The Philadelphia Inquirer


Roy Orbison performed his final concert Dec. 4, 1988, near Cleveland, Ohio. The singer’s death two days later followed a succession of career triumphs, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the striking placement of his classic “In Dreams” in the film “Blue Velvet,” the guest star-studded “Black and White Night” TV special and the October 1988 release of “The Traveling Wilburys,” the debut album from a super group featuring Orbison, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynn.

The 25th-anniversary timed re-release of “The Last Concert” features the 14 songs that Orbison and his group performed that night plus a DVD containing photos from the show, Orbison’s Dec. 4 interview with Tony Weber and video from 1981 and 1986 concerts in Reseda, Calif., and Houston, Texas.

Orbison’s Cleveland concert is heard in an excellent remastered recording. The singer’s performance is characteristically perfect in a show featuring his classics, all faithfully performed. At 52, Orbison still hit those signature high notes to chilling effect. With the release of his newly recorded “Mystery Girl” album looming and a possible Traveling Wilburys tour in 1989, he left this world on a high note.