Born Melanie Safka but only using her first name for her music, Melanie burst on the music scene in 1969. In 1970, she had top ten hits in Britain and America with different songs - Ruby Tuesday, a Rolling Stones cover, in Britain, Lay down (Candles in the rain) in America.
Melanie's biggest hit, Brand new key, was a top five UK hit and a number one American hit. Sometimes dismissed as a novelty song, it became even more of a novelty song when the Wurzels wrote their own lyrics to it and released it (with Melanie's permission) as Combine harvester (Brand new key) - it topped the UK charts in 1976. Of course, you have to look elsewhere if you want Combine harvester - it's not here.
The New Seekers also liked to record Melanie's songs. Rival versions of What have they done to my song Ma both became minor UK hits, with Melanie doing slightly better than the New Seekers, who also covered Nickel song and Beautiful people.
While Melanie wrote plenty of original material, she also liked to record a few covers. Apart from Ruby Tuesday, this collection includes Melanie's versions of Lay lady lay and Mr Tambourine man, both written by Bob Dylan although the latter was popularised by the Byrds.
Melanie has a very distinctive voice that does not appeal to everybody although I love it. If you enjoy the folk-pop singer-songwriters of the early seventies, you will enjoy Melanie's music providing you like her voice. There have been plenty of Melanie compilations released down the years but this one is as good as any.
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