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.