Marmalade – Fine Cuts: The Best Of (2011)

Share this:

A two-disc set, Fine Cuts: The Best Of is the place to start if you’re not already hip to this great Scottish band. The first record centers on Marmalade’s 60s nuggets, while the second disc features highlights from the 1970s. Liner notes authored by the band’s guitarist, pianist, singer and co-songwriter Junior Campbell complete the collection.

Here in America, Marmalade is mainly remembered for “Reflections Of My Life,” a hand-wringing, Bee Gees-styled saga that topped the charts at No. 10 in the spring of 1970. But the band actually netted more hit singles in scattered pockets across the world, particularly in Europe.

1966 was the year Marmalade officially kicked off their recording career, with “It’s All Leading Up To Saturday Night,” which duly commences the retrospective. Stamped with showers of creamy harmonies and plucky anticipation, the tangy tune was something of an anthem for working stiffs eagerly waiting for the weekend to arrive.

Powered by strong and healthy vocals, mated with a knack and a half for digging melodies, Marmalade played a scrumptious stripe of polished pop rock smacking of shades of the Beatles, the Searchers and the Hollies. Tracks such as “There’s No Use Hanging On,” “Station On Third Avenue,” “Wait For Me Marianne” and “Lovin’ Things” (also rendered by the Grass Roots), along with the aforementioned “Reflections Of My Life” and “It’s All Leading Up To Saturday Night” perpetually illustrate how efficient and enthused the band was at delivering pure-as-gold pop goods.

Keenly attuned to the times, Marmalade wiped the floor clean when it came to playing psychedelic music as well. Bristling with acid-damaged wonder, “Laughing Man” wiggles and squirms with vertigo-induced tempos, while the absolutely dazzling “I See The Rain” glimmers to a striking showcase devised of feathery choruses and mesmerizing movements. Not to be confused with the Procol Harum song of the same name, the properly titled “Kaleidoscope” surely does spawn visions of a kaleidoscope, as it whirls and twirls with blindingly colorful sensations.

As the 1970s sauntered on, Marmalade changed direction, producing material split somewhere between gentle folk pop and heavy duty rock. Governed by a punchy groove and a real party-hearty feel, “Radancer” skillfully mixes the bluesy boogie stomp of the Faces with the freshly-scrubbed pop of Raspberries, and then there’s “Bad Weather” and “Empty Bottles,” which grunt and grind with fat and ferocious hard rocking rhythms.

Rich with superbly crafted tunes prompting multiple listens, Fine Cuts: The Best Of (Salvo Records) is an excellent documentation of one of the finest and best bands imaginable. Take my word for it!

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B005DQ3B4I” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0009CTVOA” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0047DVWLW” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B004NXIUX4″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B005FUBON2″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at [email protected]
Beverly Paterson
Share this:
Close