Roy Orbison profile – good music, weak analysis

Watch out for repeats of the recent one-hour profile of Roy Orbison in BBC Four’s Legends series.

It has lots of inspiring career-spanning footage of the Big O crooning and soaring – from his early Sun days to the Traveling Wilbury sessions in the late 1980s. And clips from several revealing interviews with the man himself.

But the programme suffers from rather too many talking heads: Elvis Costello and Bill Wyman make intelligent contributions; the rest I could do without.

The danger with treating pop music in a grown-up, BBC4-type way is that few interviewees have anything to say that’s worth hearing. Like many of the pop subjects in the admirable Legends series, the Orbison programme suffers from a surfeit of show biz gush and weak analysis.

In show biz, entertainment and pop music, grown-ups are generally in short supply.

Gerry Smith

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