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:
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
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
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
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
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
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?