Melissa/The Beginning couples one of Mercyful Fate's proper albums with an album-like collection of rarities. The proper album here is Melissa (1983), the band's breakthrough first album, and the rarities collection is The Beginning (1987), a reissue of the band's 1982 debut EP with some other rudimentary early recordings appended. Melissa is a landmark metal album that took the proto-metal of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest to another level -- the band's speedy musicianship foreshadowing the rise of thrash in the mid-'80s, and its devilish theatricality foreshadowing the black metal that would come to characterize Mercyful Fate's native Scandinavia during the early '90s.
The Beginning is insightful, illuminating the band's origins and rounding up otherwise impossible-to-round-up rarities.
Volume 1 1 Evil 2 Curse Of The Pharaohs 3 Into The Coven 4 At The Sound Of The Demon Bell 5 Black Funeral 6 Satan's Fall 7 Melissa
Volume 2 1 Doomed By The Living Dead [Explicit] 2 A Corpse Without Soul 3 Nuns Have No Fun 4 Devil Eyes 5 Curse Of The Pharaohs (BBC Radio 1 Session) 6 Evil (BBC Radio 1 Session) 7 Satan's Fall (BBC Radio 1 Session) 8 Black Masses 9 Black Funeral (Demo)