Roy Orbison – Oh, Pretty Woman

  • B-side: “Yo te Amo María”
  • Published: August 26, 1964 Acuff-Rose Publications, Inc.
  • Released: August 15, 1964
  • Recorded: August 1, 1964
  • Studio: Fred Foster Sound Studio, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Genre: Rock and rollpower pop
  • Length: 2:55
  • Label: Monument
  • Songwriter: Roy OrbisonBill Dees
  • Producer: Fred Foster

The Number Ones: Roy Orbison's “Oh, Pretty Woman”

About The Song

Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” is a timeless classic, with its soaring vocals, dramatic orchestration, and heartfelt lyrics. The song was released in 1964 and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming Orbison’s biggest hit.

Orbison’s distinctive vocal style, often referred to as his “crying voice,” is one of the song’s most striking features. His powerful voice conveys the depth of his love for the woman he is singing about, and his vulnerability makes his emotions all the more relatable.

The song’s lyrics are a simple but effective expression of love and admiration. Orbison sings about how his love for the woman makes him feel “weak” and how she is “my dream come true.” His use of repetition, such as the phrase “Oh, pretty woman,” emphasizes the intensity of his feelings.

The song’s orchestral arrangement is also a major contributor to its impact. The strings and horns swell and surge, creating a sense of drama and excitement. The song’s tempo is also well-chosen, as it is fast enough to be upbeat but not so fast that it loses its emotional impact.

“Oh, Pretty Woman” has been covered by many artists over the years, including Van Halen, Bonnie Raitt, and UB40. It has also been featured in numerous films and television shows, including “Pretty Woman,” “Full Metal Jacket,” and “The Simpsons.” The song’s enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal and its ability to capture the universal emotion of love.



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