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Band of Gold

by

Freda Payne



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

There is some mystery to this song. Some people think it is about an impotent man, while others think it is about a frigid woman. Because of the subject matter, Payne did not want to record it at first. She thought the song was about a woman who was a virgin or sexually naïve, and felt it was more suitable for a teenager.
This was released on Invictus Records, which Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland formed after they left Motown in 1968. Holland-Dozier-Holland produced the track and wrote it with their collaborator Ron Dunbar, but because of their dispute with Motown, the H-D-H trio couldn't put their names on the label and credited themselves as "Edythe Wayne." Members of the Motown house band The Funk Brothers played on the track.
When Payne objected to this song (she did not like the lyrics), Ron Dunbar (co-writer of the song) said to her, "Don't worry. You don't have to like them! Just sing it," and she did. Little did she know that this song would become her biggest hit and would give her her first record of gold.
In 1986, Belinda Carlisle did a cover of this song for her debut album Belinda. Carlisle's remake of this song is one of 3 to have entered the Hot Dance Club Play chart. The former Go-Go's vocalist's cover peaked at #26 on a chart run in 1986-87; disco act Sylvester reached #18 with his version, while American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke went all the way to the top of the Club Play chart in 2008 with her update. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 2)
The lead guitarist on this track was Ray Parker Jr., who later found success with the theme song for the comedy movie Ghostbusters.
Freda Payne is the older sister of Scherrie Payne, the final lead singer of The Supremes. Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote many of The Supremes' hits.
According to 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, Freda Payne said of this song: "It is about a wedding night that didn't work out. I wondered why a girl would have a problem on her wedding night and why they would be in separate rooms, but they said, 'Just learn it.' I had no idea that it would be such a big hit."
Freda Payne
Freda Payne Artistfacts
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More songs written by Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland or Brian Holland

Comments (17):

On April 19th 1970, "Band of Gold" by Freda Payne entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #93; and on July 18th it peaked at #3 (for 1 week) and spent 20 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 8 of those 20 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
And on September 19th, 1970 it reached #1 (for 6 weeks) on the United Kingdom's Singles chart (and it was also the day she celebrated her 28th birthday)...
The week she was at #3 on the Top 100; the #1 record was "(They Long To Be) Close To You" by the Carpenters and #2 was "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)" by Three Dog Night.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Oh in those innocent days of 1970s I always thought this was about a couple who had a fight. Whatever the subject matter, this woman's voice is strong; I love the way she belts the song out.
- Camille, Toronto, OH
Freda Payne did marry a gay man so that explanation has some merit.
- brian, Calgary, AB
I always wondered if the writers of this song (late 60s) were thinking about the 1965 movie "Inside Daisy Clover" with Natalie Wood and Robert Redford. In the movie, the two teen stars marry and Redford abandons Wood during their honeymoon. Wood is devastated only to find out afterward that her managers knew Redford was a closet homosexual. Playboy Redford was so amazingly handsome and the Tomboy Natalie, naive. When I first heard this song, and to this day, the movie plays in my mind. The movie was mediocre (but interestingly reflects something not that uncommon apparently as we see in todays press), but the song is one of the best!
- Donna, Maryland, MD
I always thought it was about a man who was gay who married a woman.
- Angela, Portland, OR
In 1955 an artist by the name of Kit Carson charted with a song called "Band of Gold", it was a completely different song. It was Carson's only record to ever make the Top 100, and poor Kit just missed making the Top Ten, for the record peaked at #11, but it did stay in the Top 100 for 22 weeks!!!
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
"I'd wait in the darkness of my lonely room... filled with sadness,filled with gloom..."I always liked this song.I'm in agreement about the sexual dysfunction part.Dude couldn't "perform".That's why they stayed in separate rooms.
- dane, lima,ohio, FL
Hey, heard this on Flaming Oldies and thought I'd look it up:
I found these extra lyrics on the Unedited Alternative Version (3:41min)from The Best of Freda Payne (2009)on Spotify.

"Now that you're gone,
All that's left is a band of gold
All that's left of the dreams I hold
Is a band of gold
And the memories of our wedding day
And the night I turned you away.

You took me from the shelter of my mother
I had never known or loved any other
We kissed after taking vows
But that night on our honeymoon,
We stayed in separate rooms

Each night I lie awake
And I tell myself
The vows we made gave you the right
To have a love each night."

During the Coda the singer mentions that the man in question is "out of my life".

Hope this is of interest.

EB
- Ethan Bentley, Southampton, -
if i'm not mistaken thi is the 1st. no. 1 song by a female african american in the UK.
- Philippe, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I love this song,too. I like both Kimberly Locke and Frieda Payne.I never Heard the Belinda Carlyle or Afghan Whigs' version.
- Jennifer Harris, Grand Blanc, MI
I always thought this song was about a naive young girl who married a closeted gay man. The lyric is not "love me like you did before" but "love me like you TRIED before". It seems to allude to a man who is really gay or is experiencing sexual dysfunction!
- Shannon, Brooklyn, NY
She's either frigid and had romanticized the whole notion of the wedding night, or he was impotent.
- Tanya, La Verne, CA
This has always been one of my favorite songs. I even sang it once in a karaoke bar while on vacation! Great tune!
- Michael, Carlsbad, CA
Henry, I don't remember an earlier release. I'm sure 1970 was when it was a big hit. Went to #1 and got played once an hour when I was at camp. The counselor, an old guy way up at 16 or 17, complained, "This is a good song, but they play it way too much!" Which impressed me, but I still liked hearing it every hour! As a kid, I just thought the estranged couple had an argument. Then years later my girlfriend insisted the guy was impotent, and I was like, "Oh, hmmmm..."
- fyodor, Denver, CO
Band of Gold was written by Holland-Dozier-Holland (as Ronald Dunbar-Edith Wayne after they left Motown.
- Don, Newmarket, Canada
I was listening to the oldies station on the way home and heard "Band of Gold." I really have enjoyed it my whole life. But this song has a history for me. I remember this song back when I was a kid, and years later I was working at a bakery wilth a fellow worker, and a friendly arguement started between us when we heard it played at work.
He remembered very clearly that he was just out of High school when he heard the song played(1969 or so), and I said it had to be some years earlier (about 1966 or so)that I heard it as a teen.
Well I have moved on in work and life, but have always remembered that arguement. Was that song ever released earlier then 1970,(a date I read on this sight). I firmly remember hearing it on a 45 rpm my father received from a radio station, or something like that. But I must have been mistaken if it is not so. And that would make my friend happy, if I could find him and show him that he was right.

So I decided to try and find out myself today and found this site. When I found this comment bar to post notes, I thought I would try and ask this eternal question of mine. Whatever the answer, thanks.
My e-mail is, hraccts@sbcglobal.net
- Henry, Grand Rapids, MI
The Afghan Whigs do an outstanding cover of this on Uptown Avondale, their Sub Pop Motown covers album.
- John, Levittown, NY
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