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With his utterly soaring voice and flare for big arrangements, Roy Orbison was an absolutely key figure in the post-Elvis, pre-Beatles era, and also a key figure in the sub-genre of rock ‘n’ roll made by nerdy looking dudes.
And while — with the exception of the eternal marvel that is tomorrow’s song — he’s probably best known for his ballads, I prefer Orbison the rocker, and nowhere does he rock harder than on his cover of Claude Demetrius’s “Mean Woman Blues,” a bit of proto rockabilly that features a clever turnaround on the lyric.