The Very Best of Melanie

SOUNDS. June 23, 1973.

Regular readers of. these pages will have gathered that the voice, songs, and performance, of Melanie tend to drive me screaming up the wall, so it's a bit wicked of mischievous J. Gilbert to dump this on my desk for review. Predictably this "Best of" collection from her Buddah recordings contains some of the tracks most likely to have me gnashing my teeth and heaving weighty objects at the record player. These include "Lay Down", "What Have They Done To My Song", "Ruby Tuesday" (or rather "Roobai Choozday"). "Nickel Song", "Brand New Key" and the execrable "Someday I'll Be A Farmer". I'll keep it though - it could come in handy for driving away visitors who've outstayed their welcome..

ROMEO (UK) 4 August 1973

Melanie seems to be one of those artistes that people either love or hate - she's not the sort of singer you can be indifferent to, anyway. Personally, I like her in small doses rather than large, but if you're the other way round this album's got just about everything you should want. And what's on it? Well there's, "Alexander Beetle," an' "Nickel Song,' an' "Ruby Tuesday" (still the best thing she's ever done in my book), an' 'What Have They Done To My Song?" and lots, lots more. If you've always fancied a Melanie album, but never quite decided which one to get - cos there's a fair old selection - stop right here, This is the one.

DISC. (UK) June 9, 1973, Laying Down The Best Of Melanie

This is a superb album for people like me who have admired Melanie for some years from afar, but have never ventured to buy any of her material. Here we have an excellent opportunity to catch-up on the highlights of this American singer-songwriter's career.

Everything you could want from the Artist seems to be captured on the album, There's the simple comedy of "I'm Back In Town" and "Alexander Beetle" and the veiled tragedy of "Close To It All", "Nickel Song," "What Have They Done To My Song?" and "Brand New Key" are fine examples of her tortured school-girl-style, while "Lay Dow" and "Candles In The Rain" illustrate admirably the versatility of her voice

There's always the danger with singer-songwriters of their records sounding like quality demo discs, but Melanie's unique style and delivery ensure that this doesn't happen here.

A total of 14 tracks are featured, All but one -- Mick Jagger and Keith Richard's "Ruby Tuesday" - are written by the singer. Other tracks are "Some Day I'll Be A Farmer," "Garden In The City," 'Babe Rainbow," "Good Book" and "Ring The Living Bell.".. DL

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