The Very Best of Melanie 1998
CAMDEN 74321 558502 BMG Entertainment International UK
All tracks are from Buddah recordings... 1969, 1970, 1971.
Melanie first appeared, in a rainstorm, at the 1969 Woodstock Festival where her rendition of Beautiful People immediately endeared her to the hippy/rock audience eager to embrace a star of the emerging singer-songwriter boom of the period.
The daughter of Ukranian-Italian parents, Melanie Safka was born in Long Island, New York in February 1947. She started singing in bars, after college, in New Jersey and Greenwich Village before signing a short-lived contract with Columbia/CBS. A lack of interest from the record company led Melanie to seek a new deal.
In May of 1969, after an impromptu audition that she attended by mistake, she secured a deal with Buddah Records who released her debut album, 'Born To Be' which featured the recorded version of Beautiful People.
Melanie's first chart single, which reached number 6 in the US in 1970, was the powerful, hymnal song Lay Down (Candles in the rain) which was inspired by the crowd's reaction to the rain-soaked Woodstock performance. The track had the distinctive backing of label-mates The Edwin Hawkins Singers and Melanie's intense vocal performance coupled with the gospel harmonies pulled no emotional punches.
This hit was quickly followed by Peace Will COme, a US top 40 hit in September of 1970. In November the same year Melanie had a successful tour of the UK where her striking version of the Rolling Stones classic Ruby Tuesday became a top 10 hit. The album 'Candles In The Rain' also reached the top 10 in December 1970.
In 1971 her own version of What Have They Done To My Song Ma? became a top 40 hit following the earlier recording by the New Seekers. Melanie continued to tour, on behalf of UNICEF, also recorded musical adaptions of children's stories as Alexander Beetle and Christopher Robin.
Her last major success came in 1971 with the single Brand New Key which was a number 1 hit in the US and her biggest hit in the UK reaching number 4. The song was apparently written in 15 minutes and was never intended for commercial release.
Around this time Melanie fell out with the Buddah label and decided to form her own label with her husband and producer Peter Schekeryk. As if to mock her charming 'earth-mother' image Buddah released a collection of unreleased material, 'Garden In The City', in a flower scented 'scratch-and-sniff' sleeve! Melanie continues to record and tour, and appeared at the alternative Woodstock '94 concert in August 1994, on the original Bethel, New York site.
This collection features all her hit singles, the distinctive cover versions of Rolling Stones and Dylan classics and highlights the melodic charm and dramatic sense of a timeless artist.
A definitive collection from the Buddah years.
Melodic, emotional and powerful songs from one of the origianl singer- songwriters of the 'Woodstock' generation.