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Mystery Girl

Mystery Girl
Studio album by Roy Orbison
Released February 7, 1989
Recorded 1987-88
Genre Rockabilly, country rock
Length 38:17
Label Virgin
Producer Roy Orbison, Mike Campbell, Jeff Lynne, T-Bone Burnett, Barbara Orbison, Bono
Roy Orbison chronology
In Dreams: The Greatest Hits
Mystery Girl
A Black & White Night Live
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [1]
Chicago Tribune (Positive)[2]
Deseret News (Positive)[3]
Houston Chronicle [4]
Los Angeles Times [5]
The New York Times (Favorable)[6]
Robert Christgau (B)[7]
Rolling Stone [8]

Mystery Girl is the last album recorded by Roy Orbison, posthumously released on the Virgin label in 1989. The album became a hit worldwide, reaching #5 on the US Billboard 200, and #2 on the UK Albums Chart.[9]


  • History 1
  • Track listing 2
  • Personnel 3
    • Core 3.1
    • Additional personnel 3.2
  • Accolades 4
    • Grammy Awards 4.1
  • Chart positions 5
    • Peak positions 5.1
    • Year-end charts 5.2
    • Certifications 5.3
  • References 6


The album was named after the chorus from the track "She's a Mystery to Me", written for Orbison by U2's Bono and The Edge.

In the documentary In Dreams: The Roy Orbison Story, Bono tells how he woke up for a concert's sound check, following a late night listening to the soundtrack to David Lynch's Blue Velvet, and had the tune of title song in his head, figuring it was another Orbison song ("In Dreams" was the only Orbison song on that album). During the sound check he performed it for the other members of U2, who agreed that the track sounded like an Orbison song. A short while later, Orbison met the band backstage at one of their concerts and subsequently asked Bono if he would like to write a song with/for him.

The album was released posthumously in 1989 and would join another Orbison album on the Billboard chart. Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 was recorded in mid 1988, with Orbison as part of the supergroup, Traveling Wilburys. The dual success means that Orbison joins Jim Croce, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson as the only singers to simultaneously have two Top 5 albums on the Billboard chart posthumously.

On December 6, 1988, Orbison died from a heart attack aged 52.

In May 2014, this album was re-issued to celebreate it's 25th anniversary. It included bonus material including demos, and a new song "The Way Is Love" ,which was put together by "John Carter Cash" and Orbison's sons from an demo recorded on a cassette recorded around 1986.

Track listing

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "You Got It"   Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty Jeff Lynne 3:30
2. "In the Real World"   Richard Kerr, Will Jennings Roy Orbison, Mike Campbell, Barbara Orbison 3:44
3. "(All I Can Do Is) Dream You"   Billy Burnette, David Malloy T-Bone Burnett 3:39
4. "A Love So Beautiful"   Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne Jeff Lynne 3:33
5. "California Blue"   Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty Jeff Lynne 3:57
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
6. "She's a Mystery to Me"   Bono, The Edge Bono 4:16
7. "The Comedians"   Elvis Costello T-Bone Burnett 3:26
8. "The Only One"   Wesley Orbison, Craig Wiseman Roy Orbison, Mike Campbell 3:55
9. "Windsurfer"   Roy Orbison, Bill Dees Roy Orbison, Mike Campbell 4:01
10. "Careless Heart"   Roy Orbison, Diane Warren, Albert Hammond Roy Orbison, Mike Campbell 4:08



Additional personnel


Grammy Awards

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1990 "You Got It" Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male[11] Nominated

Chart positions


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[30] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Germany (BVMI)[31] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[32] Platinum 100,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[33] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[34] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[35] Gold 25,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[37] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Iyengar, Vik. Mystery Girl at AllMusic
  2. ^ Silverman, David (1989-02-02). "Orbison`s `Mystery Girl` Is A Poignant Comeback". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  3. ^ "ON THE RECORD: LAST ALBUM BY ORBISON WAS A WINNER". Deseret News. 1989-03-10. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  4. ^ Claypool, Bob (1989-02-12). "Records". Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  5. ^  
  6. ^  
  7. ^ "CG: Roy Orbison". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  8. ^ link
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 408–409.  
  10. ^ 4-CD box set features 12 unreleased songs"The Soul of Rock and RollThe Official Roy Orbison Site "Roy Oabison . Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  12. ^ " Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl".  
  13. ^ "Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl –" (in German). Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  14. ^ " Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl". (in Dutch).  
  15. ^ "Album Search: Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  16. ^ by Roy Orbison"Mystery Girlロイ・オービソン-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of . (in Japanese).  
  17. ^ " — Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl".  
  18. ^ " Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl". VG-lista. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  19. ^ " Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl" (in Swedish).  
  20. ^ "Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl —" (in German). Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  21. ^ "Chart Stats — Roy Orbison — Mystery Girl".  
  22. ^ Allmusic - Mystery Girl > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  23. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 50 Albums 1989". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  24. ^ " — Jahreshitparade 1989" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  25. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1989".  
  26. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1989" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  27. ^ " — Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1989". Swiss Music Charts (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  28. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  29. ^ "The Billboard 200 - Year-end: 1989". Archived from the original on 2012-07-21. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  30. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Roy Orbison – Mystery Girl".  
  31. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Roy Orbison; 'Mystery Girl')" (in German).  
  32. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Roy Orbison – Mystery Girl" (in Dutch).  
  33. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979-1990". Iberautor Promociones Culturales.  
  34. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish).  
  35. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Roy Orbison; 'Mystery Girl')". Hung Medien. 
  36. ^ "British album certifications – Roy Orbison – Mystery Girl".   Enter Mystery Girl in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  37. ^ "American album certifications – Roy Orbison – Mystery Girl".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
Look Sharp! by Roxette
Swedish Chart number-one album
February 8 - March 22, 1989
Succeeded by
Like a Prayer by Madonna
Preceded by
Anything for You
by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
Dutch Mega Chart number-one album
February 18, 1989
Succeeded by
Anything for You
by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
Preceded by
Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1
by Traveling Wilburys
ARIA Charts number-one album
February 27 - March 26, 1989
Succeeded by
Hits of '89 Volume 1
by Various artists
Preceded by
Ancient Heart by Tanita Tikaram
Norwegian VG-lista number-one album
07 - 09/1989
Succeeded by
Solregn by Åge Aleksandersen
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