Mellow Gold, 70s Style

Mellow Gold from Sessions

Mellow Gold from Sessions

I’ve always been a sucker for the compilation albums advertised on TV.  I’m ashamed of how many I actually own.  Many of these I owned on album or cassette as a child, and as an adult have spent an embarrassing amount of time and money recreating these on CD.  No, I don’t need a hobby – this is my hobby. As part of an ongoing series, I’ll share with you suckers some of my favorites, beginning with the one that got me started, the one and only Mellow Gold.

Mellow Gold actually belonged to my mother.  I suppose she gave it to me because the first album was missing and the two that remained were already scratched all to hell.  I was in HEAVEN. Two albums, packed with songs that I soon grew to love, along with some duds, but hey, you could always skip the duds, anyway. And I loved that cover shot, by the way.  I still do.

As a young connoisseur of comp albums, I soon found that Mellow Gold was typical of offerings from Sessions – eclectic selections, interesting cover art, three albums or tapes.  I was a return customer, as you will soon discover.  This particular volume came out in 1976, and the three albums sold for $8.98.  WOW.

Here’s the track listing for Mellow Gold, annotated:

Side 1:

Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot

Midnight at the Oasis – Maria Muldar

I Say a Little Prayer for You – Aretha Franklin

Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye – the Casinos

Long Train Running – the Doobie Brothers

Side 2:

You Were on My Mind – We Five

Sunshine – Jonathan Edwards

Cherish – the Association

Hey Jude – Wilson Pickett

Ma Belle Amie – The Tee Set

That’s the Way I Always Heard it Should Be – Carly Simon

Side 3:

SOS – ABBA

How Can I Be Sure? – The Rascals

I’d Like to Get to Know You – Spanky and Our Gang

Everybody’s Talkin’ – Nilsson

My Special Angel – the Vogues

Love the One You’re With – Stephen Stills

Side 4:

Anticipation – Carly Simon

Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding

Doctor My Eyes – Jackson Browne

Feel Like Makin’ Love – Roberta Flack

One of a Kind (Love Affair) – the Spinners

Side 5:

Summer Breeze – Seals and Crofts

Baby, I’m Yours – Barbara Lewis

Hello, It’s Me – Todd Rundgren

Send in the Clowns – Judy Collins

She’s Gone – Daryl Hall and John Oates

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin

Side 6:

Fallin’ in Love – The Souther, Hillman, Furay Band

Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues – Danny O’Keefe

Baby Don’t Go – Sonny and Cher

Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town – Kenny Rogers and the First Edition

Everything That Touches You – the Association

Oh, how I grieved over the long-lost first album.  I loved “Sundown,” and “Cherish.”  Lots of weeping and wailing over that one.  Album two (or sides 3 and 4, according to Sessions) was my favorite.  especially “SOS,” “How Can I Be Sure?” “I’d Like to Get to Know You” and “Everybody’s Talkin'” in sucession – that seemed especially good sequencing to a 6-7 year old girl.  The songs I listened to most were probably “Hello, It’s Me” and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.”

Now, here are a few bites from Mellow Gold, just for you:

I’d Like to Get to Know You – Spanky and Our Gang: Ah, I love this song. The dignified male verses, then the brassy Spanky coming in, the breathy outro…. all right.

Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town – Kenny Rogers and the First Edition: We listened to a LOT of Kenny Rogers in my house, growing up. This ties with “Reuben James” as my favorite. This is a very menacing song, and I can’t imagine why it was so appealing to a small child, but oh well.

Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot: This was the song that made me regret the loss of album one so keenly. One of my favorite songs of all time.

Isn’t Mellow Gold yummy?

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Mellow Gold, 70s Style

  1. I actually have every one of these tracks in iTunes – this is going to make an amazing playlist. There’s absolutely no logic to it, but I feel it will be sublime, by accident.

  2. Sara

    This set of albums massively influenced my musical taste. “You Were On My Mind” is a current favorite. The Wilson Pickett version of “Hey Jude” was the first one I ever heard of the song. So for years I though it was a Wilson Picket tune, not the Beatles. So glad Mellow Gold was part of your childhood.

  3. Thomas

    Holy cow. My parents had this album when I was a kid. I remember each label with the tracklist being a different color. I was totally into it as I was just getting out of listening to kids’ music. I was fascinated by the Rascals tune. Thanks for posting this!

  4. I loved that album set! I thought my sister and I were the only ones left on earth who remembered and/or had this. I’d stack all three records on our player and use it as the sound track whenever I did my chores around the house. Today, whenever I hear any of those songs I’m reminded of this beloved compilation album. I still have it tucked away in my things. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

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