Song of the Week – Reflections of My Life, Marmalade

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

The obituary page of the New York Times was filled with musicians this week.  Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show was the first to draw me to the page.  Then I saw that Pegi Young, Neil’s long-time wife, passed away – as did Christine McGuire of the McGuire Sisters and “Honey” Lantree of the Honeycombs.

Finally, Dean Ford, singer in the Scottish group Marmalade died last Monday in LA.  He was only 72.

Marmalade’s most famous hit was “Reflections of My Life.”

Yeah, I know, it’s kind of sappy, but it brings back happy memories (for me) from a simpler time back in the early ‘70s.  Its harmony vocals and orchestration give the track an early Bee Gee’s sound.

Besides, it also has that “reverse” guitar solo by Junior Campbell.  Here’s how Wikipedia describes the solo (that begins at about 1:45):

The song is in the key of G major and the solo was recorded thus:

The first 4 bars were recorded as normal, with Campbell playing a long “G” note, tied over from the last beat of bar 3, through bar 4, with slight feedback sustaining the long note.

The eight track tape was then turned over, and Campbell played against the reverse sound of the track, including his initial first four bars ensuring that he played another long “G” near the same point which could be cross-faded against the original – the tape was then turned over to normal setup, and he selected just 4 bars from the reverse recording which are bars 4-7 inclusive – this was cross-faded with the original at bar 4 – he then picked up from bar 8 through to bar 16 as normal, so in fact, only 4 bars are actually “reversed”.

“Reflections…” reached #3 in the UK and #10 in the US.

Enjoy… until next week.

3 thoughts on “Song of the Week – Reflections of My Life, Marmalade

  1. I suppose I should despise this tune but I always liked it. The sappiness is redeemed by the sheer heart of the vocal. It’s hard to go wrong with the G-Bm-Em thing, also the beginning of “A Day in the Life” and “Freebird” among many others. A couple of subjective oddities:

    When I first heard this ( I was 14 ) I thought it was Crosby, Stills & Nash.
    I had the impression that the song was a bigger hit in New York, so I looked it up and it was, making it to #4 in April 1970.

  2. I wonder if they are Marmalade or The Marmalade.

    I’m pretty sure I always thought this one was an early Bee Gees tune. Thanks for the corrective.

  3. The Bee Gees, I can hear that. Here’s my biggest howler from around that time: I thought the song “Tighter and Tighter” by Alive and Kicking was Janis Joplin with Big Brother (whoever HE was) kicking in, as it were.

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