Melanie - At Central Park (1974)

You may think I already said that a million times before about other Melanie live sets but honestly this is my favorite. Never she has been so intense, intimate, moving, thrilling, concentrate, subtile in her voice. Don't know why to play at Central Park on this 15th of June 1974 gave her so much qualities, maybe the fact that it was open air and in her city. Each song is here in one of its best version (listen to "Do You Believe", someone can't help to applause in the middle of the song) and the setlist has nothing to do with the too often "greatest hits" she delivered (and still does) in her shows. Many covers (most of them were in Madrugada, the LP she released the same year) but all in the same mood, reflective, melancholic, deep and personal. The "Wild Horses" cover is particularly extraordinary. The way Melanie takes the Stones songs (the previous one was "Ruby Tuesday" and not only make them her own but also gave them a new depth is unique, except of course Billie Holiday and Nina Simone). This has, to my knowledge, never been released on any vinyl, CD or MP3 files. I found these songs on youtube, posted by Ian Walker. I only converted the MP4 files in MP3 and did a fake cover (with a Central Park concert picture shot in the period and on the back side a picture of Melanie at the relevant concert but I'm not certain) to wrap these 10 gems. A way to have them with you on any support. Don't know why nobody has ever released this on record? Maybe it was too early after the (much less good) Carnegie Hall double live LP released the previous year. And it's even better than the Paris Theatre concert released in only 100 vinyl pieces but that you can find here (I have to re-up it). Played after the Madrugada LP, her second commercial fail, Melanie seemed to still have the crowd affection but her star was fading. A shame when listening to this fantastic set. Catch it here. Still more diamonds from this beloved singer to be found later on FS. All the youtube versions are below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful self-made live album. I just love it! Might have found the different songs on youtube but I have only very limited time for this so really thank you to put it together and into limelight. The front cover is pretty good too, congrats!
This version of Do You Believe just really is extremely beautiful. I always liked this song (as the whole album 'Stoneground Words') but here there is so much emotion, right now definitely my favorite Melanie track. Tried to listen the Stoneground Words version after and had to stop as soon as the violins came in. Don't know how most people think but for me Melanie is never better than with limited instruments and production. For me it is her voice and the emotion in it which I love. Later on in her career she might have got some good songs but I was never pleased with the production of her albums really.