This is one of the best singles in the history of rock 'n' roll, posted here cause backed with a song not included in the current album of the moment Exotic Birds & Fruits. Considered by the whole musical press as the single that would reinstall the band at the top of the creampie, it was taken as single of the week by John Peel, not inclined to have taste for the band, and seemed a killer with its unstoppable Motown beat, with Chris Thomas producing what announced his production for Never Mind The Bollocks (the perfect choice for Sex Pistols I must say) 3 years later. Unfortunately, it was a failure and "Nothing But The Truth" didn't even chart. However, the song stands proudly the test of time and this is one of my fave one from the band, and with "Simple Sister" my fave rock one. The B-side was intended to feature in Exotic Birds and Fruits but was removed for "New Lamps", and maybe even in Grand Hotel since a drawing in the style of the inside booklet had been done for it, but you can read all this by someone more scholar than me here. This is also a rocky one and this single was a message than the Classicorchestral period of the band was over after 2 years focused on this style. The ghost of the Paramounts was back in them and it was a thrilling return. Again, you can learn a lot of things on this song if you're interested in reading this bunch of erudition here. For the 2 songs of this single (I show 2 different sleeves, above is the UK one, below maybe Italian one) click here.
Nothing But The Truth. It seems as clear as yesterday We saw it in a dream but dream became insanity an awful gaping scream So sad to see such emptiness So sad to see such tears And heaped up leaves of bitterness turned mouldy down the years Nothing but the truth. Common words in use Hard to find excuse Harder than the truth Like Icarus we flew too high We flew too near the sun They caught us in that awful glare Our hapless throats were strung But just before the final stroke They took us victims of the rope And cast us far beyond the deep To lie in never ending sleep It seems as clear as yesterday They cast us in the deep We lie in darkest night for good Never ending sleep A never ending bitter gloom Whose darkness seldom clears A God forsaken emptiness Which fills our hearts with tears
Between 1978 and 1982, Melanie tried to reach some kind of success using covers of others' songs. There were "Knock On Wood", there will be "Detroit or Buffalo" and here was the classic Buddy Holly "Oh Boy". Honestly, I never found she succeeded in covering rocky songs when she triumphs in making hers ballads or sad songs. Here it's a rocker, and even if she sings it really well and with guts, behind, the band is too mainstream to make it a total success. But the interest of this single is the B-side. At least the US single (elsewhere it will be backed with one song from Phonogenic, "Running after Love"). A re-worked version of her biggest hit "Brand New Key". First you must know that in 1972, she initially wanted to record the song as a sort of Louisiana cajun one and was greatly disappointed to realize that Peter Schekeryk had done of it a much poppy song. So, here, it's not a version to fit in the 1978-mood (or sound, not a good period for sound actually) but the version she had initially in head. And it's true that it's totally different. Much better in a way, but the song has became such a classic, that it's difficult not to love the version that was a hit. It's interesting to post this lost treasure when Melanie re-worked it recently with her son in the (I fear utopist) hope that when this song will be used for ads (recently for HP) or in movies, she will win at least some money from it, since she has apparently no right on the hit version. So here I add another brand new piece to this puzzle. Sorry for the sound quality. It's a rip from my vinyl and the one I found is rather noisy and scratchy. I did my best to improve things but couldn't do miracles. Totally unbelievable not any of the hundreds of Melanie compilations included any one of these songs. The web allows to share them with Melanie's amateurs. Enjoy it here. There was no picture sleeve for this US single so I did one.
This is not a simple update, neither a simple reup, it's the real complete version of this set played for the BBC in front of an audience. The new BBC boxset released this month features the 14 songs (I forgot to remove the Dj speech that takes the place of a song), but the 2 new are small musical trait-d'union, nothing essentiel but it's normal to substitute this one to the incomplete 12-song version I had posted. Moreover the sound quality is improved. Not very improved, but sensibly improved. Below what I wrote in the initial post. This complete version here.
In July 1974, 1 month after a session in the BBC studios, and whilst releasing their rather weak Preservation Act II double LP (Ray Davies said it was released "yesterday" before on the "Money Talks" intro), the band played a show at the Hippodrome, London, mixing songs from their Preservation saga with older ones. But in no way, at that times, the Kinks were requested to play "You Really Got Me" or "Waterloo Sunset" such as it will be the case in the eighties and in the present concerts of Ray Davies. At that times, the Kinks were maybe not as wondrous as they were (the version of "Lola" is particularly a wreck and sometimes the band seems not to be on the same boat), but they were a living band, and we were waiting for their next musical change. It was unfortunately the last that will inspire some excitation, even if some further albums will be better. In this set, very well recorded (nothing here of the awful sounding bootleg concerts you can find here or there), the band is really impressive, in particular Mick Avory on drums (listen to him on "Here Comes Flash" below). And all the songs from the Part II of Preservation are very superior to their album version. The audience seems very receptive. All in all, bands such as Polyphonic Spree make me think of the Kinks of that era. Just that Tim de Laughter has better songs than the ones Ray Davies composed at the times. The songs from this concert can be found for 6 of them ("Victoria", "Here Comes Yet Another Day", "Money Talks", "Mirror Of Love", "Celluloid Heroes" and "Skin And Bone") on the BBC Sessions 1964-1977 double CD, and the 6 other ones on a bootleg CD called Kinks in Concert with a RCA logo on it but it is no way an official LP. Nobody seems to have pooled the 2 6-song sets in one LP, this is therefore what I do in this post with a cover sleeve taken from a gallery here. They are from a show played 2 months before but it's OK.