10/21/15

Melanie - The Creative Workshop Sessions (1975)





















My M link was not available anymore. Worrying. I hope it's not the first signs of a change in their politics of sharing control. Here's the new one.

This is one of the most stunning post since the beginning of this blog. Of course, I posted some very rare and precious stuff beforehand, from Alain Kan, Alternative TV, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Steve Harley, Nikki Sudden, Peter Perrett, Television Personalities and some more, even from Melanie, but it was often some songs when here we got 31 ones. Yes, 31 demos actually, from the sessions she recorded at the famous Creative Workshop studio in Nashville for what would become Sunset and Other Beginnings. A little bit the Melanie's Basement Tapes. The main comment I can do is that it's a shame the selection of songs and the arrangements that were done for the official album were so poor compared to these sessions. I don't know if Peter Schekeryk can be considered the guilty one and it's too late and useless to establish his responsability, but it's a fact that there was in these sessions, enough diamonds to provide the material for a fantastic album when it was (at least for me, I know some Melanie fans don't share my views) uneven and one of her weakest in the seventies. Why such a wonderful song as "White Man Sings The Blues" (sometimes called "White Man's Blues" on various Melanie fans' blogs), although being tried twice on these sessions (both versions being stunning) was not included on the final album? Why the version of "Perceive It" is so moving here and so middle of the road on the album (listen to the different tone Melanie sings it, and the arrangements too)? Even "Nobody's Business" would have been a better choice that several of the songs that made the cut. Another strange discovery is that Melanie and the band rehearsed "Deep Down Low" 3 times on these sessions, an old song featuring on Affectionately, but didn't use it finally. Maybe she did not want to put old material on her new releases, feared to give opportunities to the press to put her in the case of "past celebrities". But it's sad co's the song was wonderfully reworked and would have deserved to be offered this way, much better than its original version. It's on such reworked songs that it was clear that she acquired maturity and a grown up way to share her emotions. It would have been a good idea too to put her nice version of the Seekers song "I'll Never Find Another You" that she makes her so perfectly. We had to wait until 2002 to have a revised version of this song, but it is here still better. Actually, these sessions were so creative that they could have offered a double LP allowing to include everything on it. But limited to one LP only, the choice of songs could have really been more judicious. But what is clear is that Melanie is never better than when she is captured in the most nature way, and this is the case here, some of the songs that were finally heavily (I may have written "evil-y") orchestrated, being at least heard in their stripped version. I can't say who sent me these legendary recordings but she must know I deeply thank her. The cover sleeve I created for this fake double LP may seem a little deceiving compared to some I did in the past for Melanie stuff I posted here, but I wanted to use a picture of her shot during this period of her life (and I hope in 1975) and there was not much that could be the source of a front cover sleeve after being digitally manipulated. And I must confess that I like the result quite well. Strange but I feel it gives the impression it's really a double LP. Enough words, now let the music talks. Hope you'll savour this wonderful collection with the same delight and excitation I have when listening for the first time these sessions.




8 comments:

Harry said...

Oh my goodness! I was (and still am) eagerly anticipating your Melanie re-ups — but a new one! This is wonderful. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Wow....just wow! Cannot thank you enough!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this great album with 31 songs on it. I've never heard or read about the existence of this album.

Anonymous said...

This is no longer available. Would you be able to PLEASE re-up this?
Thank you very much!

dkelvin said...

Quite a concern my M links are deleted. Thanx for telling me.
dk

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the re-up! Wonderful music!

billy said...

thanks ,what a great blog to discover-in fact i've just been rediscovering melanie-i was crazy about her thru' 70-73 and i have been realising what really great and heartfelt music she has been producing since then,really enjoyed reading your info about whole areas of her work thay i don't know k

Any middle-aged German Witch in Amerika said...

Oh look what you have discovered (haha).

Haven't been here for so long, sorry, too busy traveling, but now I had a peep again, and I love your new cover!! Yes, the pics are from 1975, and they fit perfectly!

These tracks give a great insight into the production of an album, and her immense talent. Melanie Safka rules, actually still rules!

To those stepping in here who don't know what she's been up to lately, Melanie's latest album is from 2010, but last year she also released a great LIVE album (recorded 1984) which had been taken from the soundboard of the venue. Her son Beau Jarred reworked it with great results, and you can order it from her website www.MelanieSafka.com