Of course, you can’t play this song now without some hipster referencing that scene from Blue Velvet. You know, how Lynch tapped into the terrifying psychodrama of the song, along with all that suburban America as a kind of hell bollocks.
Yes, there is something sinister about it, as there is with any song that – especially sung by a male – is so single-mindedly obsessive about an object of desire. But if you’re going to go with it, you should go the whole hog. As Orbison does here, his passion starting off fairly intensely and then rising and rising with no let up. You can imagine that by the song’s end he’s just drained and drenched, weeping into his pillow.
And that’s the secret of the song’s greatness – not the lyrics or the music, but Orbison’s total immersion in the performance. Thrilling stuff.