Freda Payne

Band of Gold

Composed by Edyth Wayne / Ronald Dunbar

Song Review by

Far and away the biggest hit of Freda Payne's career, "Band of Gold" was also one of the biggest successes for the legendary Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team following their departure from Motown. It's easy to miss the song's real meaning if you're not listening closely, because on the surface, "Band of Gold" is filled with the typical emotions of a heartbreak song: sadness, longing, abandonment, a little betrayal. But reading between the lines, the source of those feelings is very different: the song is really the tale of a woman's disappointment on her wedding night, when her new husband is unable to perform and leaves her to sleep alone. You only get this from one key line -- "Hoping soon/That you'll walk back through that door/And love me like you tried before" -- but it's unmistakable. Payne's vocal is powerful but full of yearning vulnerability, painting her as much more disappointed than angry. Yet clearly, this is also a woman who wants sexual satisfaction, who likely wasn't content to say "It's OK, it happens to everyone" -- who is, in short, really, really bummed out ("I wait in the darkness of my lonely room/Filled with sadness, filled with gloom"). This acknowledgment of a woman's sexual appetite is still in the context of the bonds of holy wedlock, and it hardly draws attention to itself. Nonetheless, "Band of Gold" signals a loosening of sexual mores that was taking root in society and would filter into pop music more and more in the coming decade. Even apart from its social significance, "Band of Gold" is a musical powerhouse, boasting a compulsively listenable hook, a great walking Motown-style bassline, a sitar-like guitar effect, and a deceptively detailed arrangement (all the backing vocalists just melt into the rest of the track to the point where they're barely noticeable). The song went to number three on the pop charts in 1970, notching Payne her only Top Ten hit, and went all the way to number one in the U.K.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Band of Gold 1970 ZYX Music 2:53
The Best of Freda Payne [Invictus] 1972 ZYX Music 2:53
No Image 1990
Various Artists
DCC Compact Classics
Greatest Hits 1991 Fantasy 2:55
Super Bad 1991
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
All Woman, Vol. 1 1992
Various Artists
Time Music 4:06
Sounds of the Seventies: Seventies Top Forty 1992
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:54
63 Hits from the Sensational Seventies 1993
Various Artists
Fat Records
Grand Strand Gold [1998] 1994
Various Artists
Ripete Records 2:54
Gay Happening, Vol. 2 1994
Various Artists
Dance Street 4:12
Hits from the 70's [Fat Boy] 1995
Various Artists
Fat Boy 4:08
Sweet Soul Music [K-Tel] 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:20
Now & Then [Original Soundtrack] 1995
Original Soundtrack
Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 2:53
Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind! Vols. 1-5 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 2:57
Soul Classics, Vol. 1 [Intercontinental] 1996
Various Artists
ITC Masters 2:55
No Image 1996
Various Artists
Priority Records 2:56
Gay Anthems 1996
Various Artists
Almighty Records 5:48
An Evening with Freda Payne: Live 1996 Dove 2:32
Sensational Seventies, Vol. 2 1996
Various Artists
Time Warner
Hit Songs from the 70's [Prime Cuts] 1997
Various Artists
St. Clair / Prime Cuts 3:02
Global Rock, Vol. 1: From London to L.A. 1997
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group
The Seventies Generation: 1970 1997
Various Artists
St. Clair / Retro Records 3:08
Heart & Soul 1997
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:53
The Best of Motorcity Records, Vol. 17 1997
Various Artists
Hot Productions
Global Rock, Vol. 1-3: From London to L.A. 1997
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group
Greatest Love [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:52
Shag Spectacular, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
Orion 4:08
Have a Nice Decade: The 70s Pop Culture Box 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 2:55
Band of Gold/Contact 1998 Sequel
Seventies Collection 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:53
Detroit: Motor City Frenzy 1998
Various Artists
Hot Productions 3:27
60's Generation 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
60's Girl Power 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:54
Sisters of Soul [Excelsior] 1998
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings 3:05
Absolute Almighty, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Almighty Records
Seventies Generation: 1970-1971 1999
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:08
The In Crowd [Crimson] 1999
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:53
HDH Solid Gold, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Holland / Fantasy 2:55
Pop Complete 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Live in Concert 1999 Varèse Sarabande / Varese 2:32
Sophisticated Soul 1999
Various Artists
Mars Entertainment / Mars 2:55
Invictus Chartbusters 1999
Various Artists
Sequel 2:55
It's the '70s Again, Vol. 2 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 3:03
Lost in Love 2000 Universal Special Products 2:55
Soul Train: The Dance Years 1970 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 2:55
Rock Culture 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:07
Women in Rock: Changing Times 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:06
The Seventies Generation: A Decade of Fun 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:08
Sisters of Soul [Direct Source] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:06
Women in Rock [Direct Source #2] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:06
Best of the 70's [Direct Source 6 CD Box] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:06
Sweet Soul Seduction 2000
Various Artists
Delta Music Ltd. / Delta Distribution 2:54
Band of Gold: The Best of Freda Payne 2000 Music Club Records 2:53
Solid Gold Soul [Castle] 2000
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:55
Dancin' in the Streets 2001
Various Artists
ATP Recordings 4:04
Back to Black: 1900-1999 2001
Various Artists
Universal International 2:54
Decades: Story of the 60's, 70's & 80's [EMI] 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:54
World of Disco 2001
Various Artists
ZYX / ZYX Music 4:08
70's Generation [Direct Source] 2001
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:05
Capital Gold Legends 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:54
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1970-1974 2001
Various Artists
Buddha Records 2:55
Can You Dig It? The '70s Soul Experience 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 2:50
Unhooked Generation: The Complete Invictus Recordings 2001 Castle Music Ltd.
Let's Hear It for the Girls [Crimson/Demon] 2001
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:54
The Blues & Soul, Vol. 2: 1970-1971 2002
Various Artists
Connoisseur 2:53
Soul Spectacular! The Greatest Soul Hits of All Time 2002
Various Artists
Rhino 2:55
Sounds of the Seventies [Castle] 2002
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:52
Hits of the 70's [Chakras Dream] 2002
Various Artists
Time Music
Then: Totally Oldies, Vol. 4 2002
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande / Varese 2:50
Best of the 70's [EMI Gold] 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:54
No Image 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:04
Driving Rock [Box Set] 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source Special 3:06
Disco Inferno [K-Tel] 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:07
Rock N Roll Reunion 1970 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:04
Bubblegum Soul 2003
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:55
Drivin' Soul [Castle Pulse] 2003
Various Artists
Castle Pulse 2:56
No Image 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
WCBS FM: Motown, Soul and Rock N Roll: Motown 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 2:55
Simply the Best Platinum Soul 2003
Various Artists
WEA International 2:55
New Hooked on Number Ones Experience 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 1:29
Pop Divas [Goldies Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:02
Rhythm, Love and Soul 2004
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / Shout! Factory/WQED Multimedia 3:04
Gold Collection: Golden Oldies 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:04
Hits of the 70's [Madacy Box] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 3:05
I Love 70's 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:54
This Is the Modern World [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 2:54
Ocean Boulevard 2004
Various Artists
Ripete Records 2:52
70's Soul Sessions 2004
Various Artists
Sessions Records 2:53
Party People Presents Ladies Night 2004
Various Artists
Party People 2:53
Gay Happening Best, Vol. 3 2004
Various Artists
Dance Street / ZYX/Dance Street 4:14
The Platinum Collection, Vol. 2 2004
Various Artists
Trinity Mirror 2:52
Ocean Boulevard, Vol. 3: The Capitol-EMI Masters 2005
Various Artists
Ripete Records 2:52
The 70's Album [Castle Pulse] 2005
Various Artists
Castle Pulse 2:52
Soul 2 Soul 2005
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:04
Disco Soul [Pulse] 2005
Various Artists
Pulse 2:58
Northern Soul, Vol. 2 2005
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:54
Ultimate 70s Pop 2005
Various Artists
Bmg Tv 2:54
Heaven Must Have Sent You: The Holland/Dozier/Holland Story 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:53
Legends: 70's Radio Legends 2005
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:04
The World of Superhits of the 70's 2005
Various Artists
ZYX Music 3:04
Groovy 70's 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:07
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Disky
1970's Top 10 Hits 2005
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:06
The Best of Disco Fever 2005
Various Artists
Global TV 2:52
Reunited 2005
Various Artists
Disky Communications 2:53
I Love Music 1970-1974: Teenage Rampage 2005
Various Artists
Disky 2:53
The Top 20 of Disco 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:07
Classic Soul Hits of the 1970s 2006
Various Artists
KRB Music 4:09
K-Tel Presents: Dance to the Music 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution / BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) 4:09
Get Dancin' [K-Tel] 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:07
70's Groove Machine [2006] 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:04
Bringing On Back The Good Times 2006
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Planet 70's 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 2:52
K-Tel Presents: Rockin' 70's 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:04
Best of the 70s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Sonoma Entertainment 3:05
Guinness Book of Hit Singles: Ultimate 70's No. 1's 2006
Various Artists
BMG / Sony BMG 2:51
K-Tel Presents: Groove Machine 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:11
No. 1 Hits of the 70's [Pegasus] 2006
Various Artists
Pegasus (Pinnacle)
Hits of the 70s [2006] 2006
Various Artists
Ground Floor 3:02
Beach Party Favorites 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:04
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Mastersong
The Best of R&B [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Sonoma Entertainment 3:03
Invictus Soul Box Set 2006
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:55
Greatest Ever! Party: The Definitive Collection 2006
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:54
Hits of the 70s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:04
The Best of Freda Payne [Collectables] 2006 Collectables 2:55
For Lovers Only: Our Love Is Forever 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:04
Greatest Ever! Seventies 2007
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:54
Bada Bing! Music Heard on the Sopranos 2007
Original Soundtrack
Golden Stars 2:16
American Soul, Vol. 1 2007
Various Artists
Hudson Street
Best of Soul & R&B 2007
Various Artists
Madacy 3:04
Live in Concert 2007 Band Of Gold Records 2:32
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Cheap O Lata / WG Productions
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Greatest Ever / Union Square Music
25 Best: R&B Classics 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 3:04
Body and Soul: The Legends of Soul Live 2008
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Great Seventies Collection 2008
Various Artists
Red X
Best of R&B [Madacy 2008] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 3:04
100 Hits: Girls Night 2008
Various Artists
DMG 100 2:54
Remember the 70s [Greatest Collection] 2008
Various Artists
Greatest Collection 4:07
Roller Disco Hits 2008
Various Artists
Cleopatra / Goldenlane Records 3:02
No Image 2008 2:56
101 Greatest Housework Songs 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / Virgin 2:54
The Pop Years: 1970-1971 2009
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:51
Purely Disco 2009
Various Artists
Delta Distribution / Purely 4:06
Band of Gold/Contact/Best Of/Reaching Out 2009 Edsel 2:58
100 Hits: Northern Soul 2009
Various Artists
Demon 2:54
Sweet Soul Music: 1970 2009
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:50
Invictus' Greatest Hits/Hot Wax Greatest Hits 2009
Various Artists
Edsel 2:57
The  Complete Soul Collection 2009
Various Artists
Horizon 4:04
Mod Mania 2010
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:53
The  Pop Years: The 70s 2010
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:51
Best of 70s Hits 2010
Various Artists
Sonoma Entertainment 3:04
Jackie: The Party Album 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / EMI TV 2:54
To the Best Mum in the World...Ever! 2010
Various Artists
EMI 2:54
The 70's: The Way We Were 2011
Various Artists
PBS Records 3:13
Greatest Ever! Chartbusters 2012
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 2:54
3/60: Nothern Soul 2012
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
70s Hits [Crimson]
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
No Image
Various Artists
Awesome Inc. 3:02
Disco Nights [Delta]
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 4:04
No Image
Various Artists
Motorcity, Vol. 3
Various Artists
Tring 4:08
The  Very Best Of Sad Songs
Various Artists
EMI TV 2:54
The Seventies: A Decade to Remember [K-Tel UK]
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:07
blue highlight denotes editor's pick