14th November 1970
Disc and Music Echo

'What Have they done to my song -- it's a hit!' -- says Melanie


MELANIE: I can't pick hits

"RUBY TUESDAY" is Melanie's first hit in Britain.

No one is more surprised the record has done so well than Melanie herself. Speaking from New York, she explained her surprise:

"Well the song has been out so long and nothing else of mine has made it in England. I think I was especially surprised because of the song itself, it's not been issued as a single here and I never thought of it as a commercial record. I never pick the right ones; I thought 'Lay Down' would be a hit for sure and still don't understand why it wasn't."

She would never have chosen the track for release, but then she says she doesn't particularly like it.

"Truthfully I don't like the way it came out. I don't dislike it, but it's not one of my favourites. It's not as personal as the others, it's more as if I was just a singer who went into the studio to do the song with everything already planned.

I think it's more exciting to do a new song and hear it with music for the first time. It's not the song I don't like; it's the arrangement."

This discontentment over the arrangement isn't recently formed; she had problems with the studio session men during the recording of the song and was so annoyed with the way they handled her arrangement that she wrote "What Have They Done To My Song Ma?" during a break in the recording as a means of telling the musicians what she thought of them

This song recently proved: an enormous hit for Britain's New Seekers in America and she's pleased with their success.

"I'm really happy about it but my mother's not. She says no one should record my songs but me. People think I should be mad because I didn't have a hit with the song but I'm not; it's sort of ironic though they chose that one to record." People expect Melanie to keep herself to herself; to

only record her own songs and not appreciate it if others record hers. But she does like to do other artists' material.

"I love doing the Stones songs. 1 used to do a lot of their songs in the clubs I played and people used to be disappointed because they didn't sound like the Rolling Stones" "Livingstone Taylor writes some nice songs, so does James Taylor but I don't think many of his would suit me. Also I've just heard a girl called Dorry Previn (I think she was married to Andre Previn), she writes her own songs and I'd really like to get into some of them.

She has a very unusual style of writing.

Since her American success with "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)" she's been working almost non-stop and had little time to write. She has managed to complete her first film score, for a forthcoming film called "R.P.M." But she wasn't pleased with the results.

"It's a horrible film. The idea of a college revolution isn't a bad one but I don't think it's properly acted.

The people who play the college students are a bunch of brats, they're not pleasant at all. I don't think the film came off " But she says she enjoyed working on the film and would like to do more music for films.

"It's nice to work like because it gives you a chance to get involved with people. Playing college dates and concerts is a very shallow life. You never have any relationships; you have no time to exchange or share anything with people. But on a movie score or TV where you're working with the same people for a few days you get to develop relationships.

Her recent time has been taken up playing college dates and she played famed Carnegie Hall for the first time. Her performance was recorded for her next album, "Leftover Wine."

I imagine if people like me they'll like the album; if not they'll hate it. It's just me with my guitar and a whole lot of applause."

Her next British single will be "Peace Will Come(According To Plan)" which was set for release this week but has now been indefinitely postponed. It's one of her favourite songs because, she says, it's one the of her least self-indulgent songs. She thought it was going to be a big hit in America but it was only a minor one, so she fears its chances here.

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