First Hit #1: June 5, 1961
Roy Orbison could be called the sad Elvis. His voice isn’t really that different, after all, which isn’t a complaint at all. He does a very similar “big sound” thing that served him well. However, his songs don’t tend to have that cocksure swagger that Elvis tracks do, an example being this very song. It’s a song about intimidation, as Orbison expresses his fear about losing some woman with increasing intensity. His songs tend to cover love, loss and desperation, and he manages to use his big, powerful voice to highlight his own vulnerability. It’s an impressive trick, and Running Scared is built around it. The more intense the song gets, and the bigger his voice goes, the smaller and more frightened he sounds. It’s a big contradiction, and not many could pull it off.