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Ring the Living Bell: A Collection

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Album Review

The title of Renaissance's Ring the Living Bell: A Collection gives the impression that the double-disc set is a comprehensive overview of Melanie's career. Take a look at the back cover, towards the bottom of the disc: it makes it perfectly clear that the album consists of "newly recorded and digitally remastered" tracks. So, it isn't all that it appears, but it isn't bad, either, since Melanie has matured surprisingly well. There's none of the extravagent productions that detailed her early '70s recordings; it's just her and a guitar. In this context, she sounds surprisingly strong, performing convincing renditions of her best-known songs ("You Could Have Had Me for a Nickel," "Candles in the Rain," "Brand New Key"), plus a few good newer songs. Certainly, this kind of album is only of interest to hardcore fans — any casual fan that picks this up, believing it contains originals, will undoubtedly feel tricked — but those dedicated followers should find this enjoyable.

Biography

Born: 03 February 1947 in Queens, New York, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

No talent who came out of Woodstock and who continued actively performing more than a quarter century later remained as closely associated with the 1960s and "flower power" than Melanie. Born Melanie Safka in Astoria, Queens, in 1947, she made her first public appearance at age four on a radio show, later studying at the New York Academy of Fine Arts. After mounting a singing career while in college, she later sang in clubs in Greenwich Village, and was signed to a publishing contract in 1967. She...
Full bio