Liner Note Author: Ian McFarlane.
Recording information: Allegro Studios, New York; Catero Sound, San Francisco; Wessex Studio, London.
Raven's double-disc set contains three albums Melanie released in the early '70s: Candles in the Rain and Leftover Wine, both from 1970, and 1971's Gather Me (the original full-length version of "Lay Down [Candles in the Rain]" is added as a bonus track). These aren't Melanie's first albums but they are her most popular, with Candles in the Rain being her breakthrough and Gather Me containing her perennial "Brand New Key," but apart from the hits the albums offer plenty of evidence of Melanie's charmingly eccentric, melodramatic quirks. Plus, this well-annotated set is a nice way to get the best of this singer/songwriter. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine