"Mystery Girl" - Orbison, Roy


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Full Track Listing:

  • You Got It (3:30)
  • In the Real World (3:44)
  • (All I Can Do is) Dream You (3:39)
  • A Love So Beautiful (3:33)
  • California Blue (3:57)
  • She’s a Mystery to Me (4:16)
  • The Comedians (3:26)
  • The Only One (3:55)
  • Windsurfer (4:01)
  • Careless Heart (4:08)
    Bonus Track (MFSL Gold Disc):
  • (All I Can Do is) Dream You (Single Mix) (3:24)
    Bonus Track (Later Reissues):
  • You May Feel Me Crying (4:17)

Background Information

Roy Orbison was a singer, song writer, who was first signed to Sun Records in 1956 as part of “The Teen Kings”. Orbison remained active in recording and performing up until his death at the age of 52, at the end of 1998. The album “Mystery Girl” was near completion and released just a month and a half later. The song, “She’s a Mystery To Me” was written by Bono and the Edge, and featured Bono on guitar, as well as crediting him with production. The chorus of “She’s a Mystery to Me” lead to the name of the album.

Bono had written the song for Orbison in 1987. Bono had discovered Orbison’s “In Dreams” while watching the film Blue Velvet. One night while having difficulty sleeping in London he put a tape on with that song included, and he describes always waking up on that song.

“So the next day I woke up and I started this song, ‘She’s a Mystery to Me.’ I became a bore and talked about Roy Orbison all day. I played the song — or what I’d started of the song — to the others in the band and they liked that. Or maybe they liked the fact that it stopped me talking about Roy Orbison. (laughs) I was just going on and on about him. Anyway, after the concert in Wembley Arena I came back and I was sitting down in the dressing-room, working on this song and basically trying to order everybody into buying ever Roy Orbison record ever made, when there was a knock on the door.”

“It was our security man, John, and he says, ‘Listen, I’ve got Roy Orbison outside, could he come in?’ And everybody just looked at me and I said, “Look, I didn’t know he was at the show.’ Nobody had told us he was coming. So there was much laughter and abuse…And he walked in and just said (quiet American accent) ‘I’m an instinctive kinda guy and I can’t tell ya why I loved the show but I loved the show.’ Then we got talking about songs and he asked for one, so I just took out the guitar and I played him ‘She’s a Mystery to Me.’

The song was started on June 2, 1987 as U2 played Wembley Arena, and Roy Orbison met them backstage on that evening. Orbison agreed to meet with U2 again later in the year, and that gave Bono time, with assistance from the Edge, to complete the song “She’s a Mystery to Me”. It was recorded with Bono once again present in late 1988.

“She’s a Mystery to Me” was released as a single from the album. A video for the song was filmed which can be found on the DVD “Roy Orbison: Greatest Hits”.

A later repressing by MFSL on gold disc would include the bonus track, “(All I Can Do is) Dream You (Single Mix)” (3:24). The album would be later reissued in Australia and Japan with the bonus track, “You May Feel Me Crying” (4:17).

U2 have performed “She’s a Mystery to Me” in concert. The first performance of the song was at the December 30, 1989 concert in Dublin on the LoveTown tour. It was played one other time on that tour. During Zoo TV, and PopMart it was played one time on each tour. The band have also played it in full at promotional appearances in 2000 and in 2004. The performance at Empire Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn NY on November 22, 2004 was released as a b-side to “All Because of You”. That performance is the first released performance of U2 performing the song. U2 have never released their own studio version of the song but it is known that one was recorded in Sun Studios in 1987 when other songs from “Rattle and Hum” were recorded.

Liner Notes

She’s a Mystery to Me: Written by David Evans (The Edge) and Paul Hewson (Bono). Produced by Bono. Engineered and mixed by Don Smith. Roy Orbison: Guitar, vocals. Bono – Guitars. Howie Epstein: Bass. Benmont Tench: Piano and cheap strings. Jim Keltner: Drums. Arranged by Benmont Tench.

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