One Sunday in January, in the CBE Studios in the 18th district, Melanie was recording.
We were there with Phillipe Rault and Phillipe Paringaux, the young director of Buddah records and some followers who had come from the States especially to be with their young protégée.
We say at once that she is indeed worth such a lot of trouble.
At 21 years this 'beginner' has already had time to ripen - artistically speaking. See for example the years she has spent interpreting her music and words. It is rumoured that while she was at school she skipped her lessons and books for the guitar. And now, to begin the year in style, 1969 sees her being launched in France. This began with the release of her first LP - an eagerly awaited disc and continued with her trips to the studio, even up to the day "Born To Be" was put on sale.
Her next record has been recorded in a European spirit like this; a bit was recorded in Paris and the rest in England and Germany - and it will be sold with priority - even in the US
It was during this Paris stage that Phillipes and I had a chance to follow her, which doesn't often happen.
The record begins with "Leftover Wine", a song which takes your breath away. The introduction is slow, but suddenly after several bars the seriousness begins. The French musicians who accompanied her on this session were very good, with the result that after only 4 or 5 takes it was done properly.
"Johnny Boy" is a much gentler song - as sad as the end of spring. When Melanie cries, one almost cries with her. When she laughs it's the same. Without an audience and with friends, she appears to be a little magical, and adorably beautiful.
The idea of Melanie and her followers is that she will not make a serious attempt to be successful in her own country, until she is known in Europe.
These recording sessions, her presence at the MIDEM festival and her appearance at the Olympia as an American star have given the expression 'STAR' it's real meaning. She has a programme which is a must for every self respecting reader of Rock and Folk.
Melanie's songs are composite, she uses in turn blues, traditional ballads and children's songs. She has a beautiful mellow sounding guitar which she plays easily. Her voice and her enthusiasm could raise mountains, on the condition that those who need it, open their ears.
At a time when all different types of music are trying to get together Melanie surely has her word to say because she is "Born To Be" . A great singer
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