MELODY MAKER Jan 26, 1974


by Chris Charlesworth

You could be excused for thinking that Melanie has retired of late. She played no concerts during the last three months of her pregnancy and, although she intended to return after having the baby, Leilah, her motherly instinct changed her mind.

Her Metropolitan Opera House concert in New York on Feb 1st will be her first in six months.

"I did a couple of concerts at the beginning of my pregnancy and then I ended up in hospital so I wasn't able to work anymore." She explained almost apologetically.

"I was only going to take time off until I had the baby, but immediately I had it something happened to my head and now I just want to be with her.

I just don't feel like being public right now. There are times when you have to have privacy and that's what I felt like.

When you have a baby, you can put yourself in a more balanced perspective. I'd planned on continuing my life as it was before, but now this has happened and it's great.

I don't know whether my outward self has changed but I know the way I think about things has changed an awful lot."

Though Melanie has stopped giving concerts, she continues writing prolifically.

"I never stop writing and I've been recording a lot too" she says.

"I recorded up until two days before having the baby, but I just didn't want to be public. We were recording for an album that was supposed to be out in summer, and then it was supposed to be out before Christmas but it's never got out.

The thing is I keep writing new songs and thinking the new songs should be on the album. We've probably got enough material for ten albums by now. The last album was a bit sorrowful, but I think that's because most of it was recorded after midnight in the studio. This new album I've been recording earlier in the day, and I tend to be brighter then, anyway. And of course, I've been really happy having the baby."

There is some doubt as to when Melanie will resume her normal schedule. She is in no hurry.

"I don't know if I'll ever get back to working regularly in the same way I was before the baby. I may not at all, because I want to go to school again, not to get diplomas or degrees, but just to learn something new. I guess I want to expose myself to things other than performing and music.

I always wanted to do some acting too, but I've never really got anywhere with that; maybe I thought someone would just come up to me one day with a script.

Maybe I'll take a drama course or something related to acting, a sort of self-searching type of course.

I've been sat up there on a stage for so long that it's very hard to make mistakes, and I think I want to become vulnerable again.

I've never been the kind of person who is afraid to make mistakes, but now it's hard for me to do anything wrong."

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