Throughout the 1970s Don McLean maintained a large and loyal Dutch and UK fan base. His frequent concert tours to both countries were always sold out meaning it was no surprise when Don returned to number 1 in 1980 with his recording of Roy Orbison and Joe Melson’s classic song “Crying”, first in Holland and then Britain.
In the late 80s, Roy Orbison join forces with Canadian singer KD Lang to re-record Crying in the style of Don McLean’s version. This prompted some radio disc jockeys to introduce Orbison and Lang as singing “the Don McLean classic, Crying”. Such a comment would not be approved of by Don as he was always good friends with Roy Orbison.
The song become a hit for Don in the USA in 1981 and renewed attention on his other music. A “Very Best of” compilation reached number 3 in the UK charts and the album that Crying was recorded for, Chain Lightning, reached the UK top-20.