Freda Payne – Band of Gold

I’ve always liked this song. It’s a bit of a soap opera but it’s a really good soul song. The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 in 1970. The guitar had a rubberband type effect that was used on this song.

Because of the subject matter, Freda Payne did not want to record this 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. When Payne objected to this song, 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.

The lead guitarist on this track was Ray Parker Jr., who later found success with the theme song for the comedy movie Ghostbusters.

 

From Songfacts.

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. In a Songfacts interview with Lamont Dozier, who co-wrote the song, he explained: “The story was, the girl found out this guy was not all there. He had his own feelings about giving his all. He wanted to love this girl, he married the girl, but he couldn’t perform on his wedding night because he had other issues about his sexuality. I’ll put it that way.

It was about this guy that was basically gay, and he couldn’t perform. He loved her, but he couldn’t do what he was supposed to do as a groom, as her new husband.”

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.

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.”

Band of Gold

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 what love could be
If you were still here with me

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

I wait in the darkness of my lonely room
Filled with sadness, filled with gloom
Hoping soon
That you’ll walk back through that door
And love me like you tried before

Since you’ve been 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 dream of what love could be
If you were still here with me

Ohhh

Don’t you know that I wait
In the darkness of my lonely room
Filled with sadness, filled with gloom
Hoping soon
That you’ll walk back through that door
And love me like you tried before

Since you’ve been 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 dream of what love could be
If you were still here with me

Since you’ve been 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 dream of what love could be
If you were still here with me