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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Melody, France

Melody - Come Fly With Me. 1976 Pole (later Tapioca)
Melody - Yesterlife. 1977 Vogue.

In short, Melody are a symphonic rock band with female vocals. The sound of "Come Fly With Me" seems more from the early 1970s, and wouldn't be out of place with albums by Mad Curry or Earth & Fire for example. There's also a psychedelic space rock undertone present throughout, that perhaps explains why one gets the feeling the album was recorded from 5 years earlier. Unfortunately the recording sounds like an unprofessional demo, and is fairly sludgy overall. Hopefully the masters still exist, and the sound can be brought out to its fullest! Musically the album is very interesting, especially if someone can possibly scrub away the grime.

It's also worth pointing out that most, if not all, of the Tapioca presses (the inheritors of the Pole label) of "Come Fly With Me" feature one half of the Melody album combined with one half of Mahogany Brain's "Smooth Sick Lights", which is an avant-garde noise fest and is a completely different style to Melody. This version was my introduction to the band which left me confused about Melody for years. Fortunately I now own the Pole version on LP.

"Yesterlife" is a far more professional album than "Come Fly With Me", in both composition and production. But given the 1977 date, and the rather atrocious looking Earth & Fire styled disco album cover, Melody were clearly viewing the hit parade. And perhaps wanting to stay relevant, they began to write more commercial music. There's still a high level of sophistication beneath the gloss (in fact some of the songs are re-recordings of tracks from "Come Fly With Me") - but it's mitigated somewhat by the ambition of its producers.

Unbelievably, for those that know that the Tapioca mispress of "Come Fly With Me" contains half of the avant garde Mahogany Brain album (as mentioned above), would you believe that Vogue switched the first two tracks on this album? Yea, 'Welcome to Wonderland' is the opening track. Jeez, these guys got the same breaks as those trying to leave Gilligan's Island....

Also, this is not a compilation album as currently tagged by RYM. The older tracks (there are 3: 'Merry-Go-Round', 'Run Faster', and 'Yesterlife') are new versions.

Priority: 3

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