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Good Book, The/Gather Me

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Feb. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Edsel
  • ASIN: B000MGBRD6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,072 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Good Book
  2. Babe Rainbow
  3. Sign On The Window
  4. The Saddest Thing
  5. Nickel Song
  6. Isn't It A Pity
  7. My Father
  8. Chords Of Fame
  9. You Can Go Fishin'
  10. Birthday Of The Sun
  11. The Prize
  12. Babe Rainbow
  13. We Don't Know Where We're Going (Bonus Track)

Disc: 2

  1. Little Bit Of Me
  2. Some Day I'll Be A Farmer
  3. Steppin'
  4. Brand New Key
  5. Ring Around The Moon
  6. Ring The Living Bell, Shine The Living Light [chant] - 7.Ring The
  7. Living Bell - Shine the Living Light [chant reprise]
  8. Railroad
  9. Kansas
  10. Some Say (I Got Devil)
  11. Center Of The Circle
  12. What Wondrous Love
  13. Baby Day
  14. Tell Me Why

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 May 2009
Format: Audio CD
By the time the first of these albums was released in February 1971, Melanie's career was on a roll. These two albums further enhanced her reputation, but it seems that this was as good as it got commercially for Melanie.

The first album featured here, The good book, contains several classic songs but also shows Melanie's increasing disenchantment with the music business. There is one piece of nonsense (Isn't it a pity - a spoken narrative that lasts just half a minute) but don't worry about that, as there are ten great songs on the main album, plus a reprise of one of them (Babe rainbow) and a bonus track (We don't know where we're going) that appears to have been a B-side of one of the singles released from the album.

The most famous tracks from this album are the title track, Babe rainbow and Nickel song. All three of them appeared on the vinyl collection of Melanie's music that I bought way back in 1978 when I was just starting to collect music. Nickel song and another track here, The prize, are both protest songs about the music business (a recurring theme in Melanie's early albums) although The prize doesn't mention music so it could equally apply to other forms of entertainment including movies. While Melanie wrote most of the songs here, she included covers of My father (Judy Collins), Chords of fame (Phil Ochs) and Sign on the window. Of the original songs that I've not mentioned, I particularly like The saddest thing and You can go fishing.

Melanie and her husband set up their own label in 1971, presumably because of Melanie's dislike of the music business, so Gather me, the second album here, was released on that label. It appeared in October 1971 and features Melanie's most famous song, Brand new key.
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By therealus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 May 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Singer-songwriter Melanie Safka at one time burned almost as bright, in my eyes, as Joni Mitchell. Perhaps the biggest differences were that her songs occasionally strayed into tweeness, she lacked a Geffen-like Svengali figure, and her greatest hit, Brand New Key, cannot be played in the UK without an automatic association with a parody by The Wurzels (how was that allowed?).

Nevertheless, purchasing this pair of CDs gave me the immense pleasure of being reunited with some truly beautiful songs and singing, not to mention a unique voice.

Standing out on The Good Book are Babe Rainbow, Birthday Of The Sun and the painfully sad The Saddest Thing, which you must not under any circumstances listen to if you are even vaguely unhappy, plus covers of Dylan's Sign On The Window, an unforgettable version of Judy Collins's My Father, and Phil Ochs's Chords Of Fame, a song so melancholy it could have been written by Leonard Cohen or Tim Hardin.

The folky arrangement for the title track is also a standout, though I've always worried a little about the lyrics, with an apparent appeal from someone supposedly from the "counterculture" for instructions about how to behave, and wishing we were more like "horses and sheep" in knowing where we're going; I always thought the fun was in remaking the rules, and not knowing the outcome.

Gather Me I always considered the weaker of the two albums, but there are still some very strong individual tracks there, including Little Bit Of Me, Ring Around The Moon, Some Say (I Got Devil) and Centre Of The Circle, and the presence of only one cover, Tell Me Why, right at the end, proved Melanie didn't need other writers to give her backbone.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Saw Melanie in May 2008 and can confirm that she is still in good voice and a joyous presence. I had waited for 20 years for a CD of Gather Me and am very pleased it has finally arrived. The songs remain strong and affecting. Some really are classic; personally I prefer the less cute ones- Steppin', Ring the Living Bell, Centre of the Circle, but they are all good. Production is rather unsympathetic and I don't think her producer (Mr Melanie) really worked out how to balance such a powerful voice with the accompaniment. As the excellent notes say (and indeed Melanie herself said at the concert)some of the backings are kitsch and subtract rather than add to the songs (all the 'hey heys' on Ring the Living Bell). Still some fantastic writing and singing, and that throaty warble remains unique. Good Book is good too, but for me Gather Me was her career highlight, and I suppose in some ways it also explains why she never quite got mass acceptance in the way she deserved. Shame, but then she is till going strong!
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Format: Audio CD
I have been wanting this CD for a while and just cant stop playing it. It has brought back so many memories os my childhood as this was my most played record when I was growing up through some difficult times. The memory's are good ones and I can relive them again and again now.
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The Good Book has some truelly sublime songs. Melanie's cover of My Father is exquisite. But all the tracks are good, with some very pretty melodies, like Babe Rainbow. Anyone who likes Melanie, or dare i say Joanne Newsome and has not got this cd(unlikely i know) should buy it!
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