Beautiful People: The Greatest Hits of Melanie gets the nod over the 1990 Rhino compilation The Best of Melanie as the best compilation of the singer's work. Containing 19 tracks where the earlier album contained 18, it could hardly be longer and fit on one CD. The songs have been mastered from their original master tapes for the first time by Robert Fripp (!) and David Singleton, so the sound quality is the best yet. The set contains the original LP version of Melanie's Top Ten hit "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)," running just over seven minutes, as opposed to the nearly four-minute single edit. Also featured are two recent songs, "Summer of Love II" and "I Will Get Over." That's all on the credit side. On the debit side, it is not in chronological order and the selection leaves off several of Melanie's singles chart entries, notably "Bitter Bad," which made the Top 40 (and is included in the Rhino compilation). Nevertheless, this must be counted as the best Melanie compilation yet, featuring her number-one hit "Brand New Key," as well as standards like "Beautiful People" and "What Have They Done to My Song, Ma?."
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann