It's Over

Album: More of Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits (1964)
Charted: 1 9
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Songfacts®:

  • Roy Orbison shed some light on this song when he spoke with the NME in 1980. Said Orbison: "'It's Over' is a lonely type song, but it's not over if you listen to the lyrics very closely. Well, in fact it is over, but I don't know it, and I'm telling everyone it's over. I was trying to say that certain things are over before you realise it, before anybody realizes it."
  • When this topped the UK charts on June 25, 1964, Roy Orbison became the first American to reach #1 in the UK since Elvis did it in December 1962. There was a run of 16 consecutive British #1s.
  • Bill Dees presented Roy Orbison with his song "It's Over At Last." Roy Orbison combined it with two others to make "It's Over." Bill Dees wrote or co-wrote 64 songs with Roy Orbison that The Big O recorded, including possibly his most well-known song "(Oh) Pretty Woman." Bill Dees also sang high harmony on "(Oh) Pretty Woman" and many other Orbison tunes.
  • Structurally, this is similar to Roy Orbison's 1961 hit "Running Scared," in that both songs build from a whisper to a scream, and have a bolero-like beat in the verses. However the melodies of the two hits are completely different.
  • This operatic rock ballad has also been recorded by many other artists including Glen Campbell, Gene Pitney and Bonnie Tyler. Michael Caine sung it in the 1998 film Little Voice.
  • Producer Fred Foster commented on this on the Roy Orbison: In Dreams radio special: "The great writer has the ability to bare his soul unabashedly. Hank Williams did it. Can you imagine saying I can't help it if I'm still in love with you? You know? And Roy, only the lonely know the way I feel tonight. You know, we all feel that way sometimes, but we can't put it into words, or we're embarrassed, or we think we're showin' weakness if we do. But Roy knew what he was talkin' about. And when he played me It's Over, it, it touched me deeper than anything I'd ever heard." (Courtesy: Public Radio Exchange. Thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
  • In 1964, when artists like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones dominated the UK charts, Orbison was the only American artist to reach the top spot. He did it with both "It's Over" and "(Oh) Pretty Woman."

Comments: 5

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1964 {April 17th} Roy Orbison performed "It's Over"* on the British TV's Friday evening musical variety program, 'Ready Steady Go!'...
    A little under ten weeks later on June 25th, 1964 "It's Over" would peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} on the United Kingdom's Official Top 50 Singles chart...
    Between 1960 and 1992 the Vernon, Texas native had thirty seven records on the UK Singles chart, twelve made the Top 10 with three reaching #1, "Only The Lonely" for two weeks in October of 1960, the above "It's Over", and "Oh, Pretty Woman" for three non-consecutive weeks in October of 1964...
    He just missed having a third #1 record when his "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)" peaked at #2 for two weeks in April of 1962...
    Sadly, Roy Kelton Orbison passed away at the young age of 52 on December 6th, 1988 {heart disease}...
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the remainder of the UK Top 50 Singles Top 10 for the week "It's Over" peaked at #1:
    #2, "Someone, Someone" by Brian Poole and the Tremeloes
    #3. "You're My World" by Cilla Black
    #4. "Hello, Dolly!" by Louis Armstrong
    #5. "My Guy" by Mary Wells
    #6. "Ramona" by the Bachelors
    #7. "Here I Go Again" by the Hollies
    #8. "You're No Good" by the Swinging Blue Jeans
    #9. "Shout" by Lulu and the Luvvers
    #10. "Can't You See That She's Mine" by the Dave Clark Five
  • Marty G. from Lodi, Ca.Great song, I remember my drill instructor would tell all us trainees, he say, ol' Jody got your girl and he's takeing real good care of her. Then we all would go back to the barracks turn on the radio and wait for it's Over to come on with eyes full of tears
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 26th 1964, in London, England the Beatles attended a birthday* party for Roy Orbison...
    At the time Roy Orbison's "It's Over" was at #31 on the United Kingdom's Singles chart; eight weeks later it would peak at #1 {for 2 weeks} and it spent 15 weeks on the chart...
    While in the U.S.A., "It's Over was at #18 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart and three weeks later it peaked at #9 {for 2 weeks} and it spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    And in Ireland on June 12th it reached #1 for three non-consecutive weeks...
    * The Big O's birth date is actually April 23rd, and on April 23rd, 1964 he celebrated his 28th birthday.
  • Wilbur from Wodonga, AustraliaOMG! the Big O manages to load this tune with more sentiment, raw emotion and realism in 2mins 49secs than any modern day performer could in a 5 minute power ballad. I've not heard any other performers do this song, I don't think I need to, I'm pretty sure it won't be topped by this effort.
  • Stormy from Kokomo, InI remember hearing that some people swore that Roy Orbison was blind because he wore "shades" during his concerts. Of course that wasn't true. This is how that happened: when Roy was in England in the early 60s he was on the same bill with The Beatles and touring England. Just before he was to give an interview to The London Times, he accidentally sat on his regular glasses and broke them. Roy's eyesight was extrememly poor (almost blind without glasses), so he wore his only pair of glasses that he had with him and those were his sunglasses. When he played that night, he wore his sunglasses on stage, liked the effect and kept them.
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