MELANIE - The Good Book (1971 reissue) CDTALKING ELEPHANT
The Good Book” is Melanie's 1971 album, and features her Top 40 hit ‘Nickel Song.’ The album also features ‘Birthday of the Sun,’ a track Melanie originally performed at Woodstock in 1969. This album was the last 'official' Melanie release from Buddah Records – she left the company to form her own label. Melanie's cover of Dylan's "Sign on the Window" and her own title track both depict a woman tired of the music business (if not her art) and eager to tend cows and look after kids rather than deal with the trappings of stardom, and if her take on Phil Ochs' "Chords of Fame" and her own composition, "The Nickel Song," lack the agrarian influence of the former tunes, if anything they're even stronger variation on the same theme. However, it's worth noting there's no such thing as a Melanie album without a bit of emotional excess, and she speaks her heart and mind with clarity and gentle force on these numbers, while finding room for the hard-won wisdom of "The Saddest Thing" and Judy Collins' "My Father," and the playful proto-feminism of "Babe Rainbow." If The Good Book was a product of a troubled moment in Melanie's career, there's little arguing that she made the very best of a bad situation.