Marmalade - Obla Di Obla Da 1968 Beat-Club
Lengt: 02:43 / Qality VG / format AVI
First Aired: 12/31/1968
Video: DivX 6 384x288 29.97fps
Audio: MPEG Audio Layer 3 44100Hz stereo 224Kbps
Marmalade were a successful Scottish pop/rock group, from Glasgow in Scotland, originally known as Dean Ford and The Gaylords between 1961 and 1966. They changed the group name to "The Marmalade" in 1966.
The most successful period for the band, in terms of record success, was between 1968-1972. A later version of the band (from 1974 with various further personnel changes), exists to this day, with only Graham Knight remaining from the original members.
Unusually, Marmalade had two bass players, Graham Knight on 4 string, and Pat Fairley on 6 string, and were originally called Dean Ford and The Gaylords; who in 1964, were signed to EMI Columbia by Norrie Paramor and recorded three singles, including "Twenty Miles" which was a big seller locally, but failed to chart nationally.
The group were well regarded in Scotland, and despite being crowned, 'Scotland's Top Group' decided to try to make it nationally.
They played a long stint in Germany, at the Storyville in Cologne and in Duisburg, before moving to London in 1966. They built up a club reputation, as a tight, close harmony band, before, on the advice of their manager, changing the band name to The Marmalade.
In 1966, after changing labels to CBS, and producer Mike Smith, their next few singles also failed to chart in the UK, although one, the cult hit, the "I See The Rain", was highly praised by Jimi Hendrix as the 'best cut of 1967'. It became a chart-topper in the Netherlands the same year (Graham Nash of The Hollies, contributed to the session).
During this period they landed a long stint at London's Marquee Club where they supported, amongst others, The Action and Pink Floyd building a reputation and following, including touring with The Who, Joe Cocker, Traffic, Gene Pitney and The Tremeloes. This culminated in a summer appearance at the Windsor Jazz & Rock Festival in 1967, directly preceding Jerry Lee Lewis.
Marmalade's label CBS were concerned at their lack of commercial success and threatened to drop them if they did not have a hit, and after the failure of another self-penned single later that year, "Man in a Shop", insisted they record more chart-oriented material. They rejected "Everlasting Love", which became a Number One for Love Affair, but later gave in to pressure and recorded a cover version of an American hit by The Grass Roots, "Lovin' Things", arranged by Keith Mansfield, which reached No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart in the summer of 1968.
After a lesser hit with the follow-up "Wait For Me Mary-Anne", which only made No. 30, they enjoyed their greatest UK success with their cover of The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", which topped the UK chart in January 1969. As the first Scottish group to ever top the UK chart, the week it went to the top spot, they celebrated by appearing on BBC One's music programme Top Of The Pops, dressed in kilts. This was followed by further success with "Baby Make It Soon" that summer.
After a change of record label to Decca Records, under a deal allowing them to write and produce their own songs, they recorded what would become their biggest worldwide hit (a Top 10 in United States, and No. 1 in most of South America), the melancholy "Reflections of My Life", written by Junior Campbell and Dean Ford, with its distinctive backwards guitar break by Campbell.
"Reflections of My Life" has recorded over 2 million sales and the writers were awarded a Special Citation of Achievement in 1998 by BMI in attaining radio broadcast performances in excess of 1 million in the US alone. Other UK hits included the mainly acoustic "Rainbow", coupled with "The Ballad of Cherry Flavor", and "My Little One".
They were managed by Peter Walsh, a 1960s and 1970s pop entrepreneur whose portfolio also included artists The Tremeloes, Bay City Rollers, Billy Ocean, The Troggs and Blue Mink.
After Junior Campbell, who co-wrote most of the group's original material with Ford, left the band in 1971 for a solo career, Marmalade suffered adverse publicity from the UK's newspaper, News of the World. They began a series of line-up changes including the loss of drummer Alan Whitehead, who was sacked in the middle of a self-promotion programme with his starlet girlfriend.
Marmalade recruited a new guitarist Hugh Nicholson, an ex-member of the The Poets, other band from Scotland. Then Marmalade released "Songs" in 1972 and Nicholson took on most lead vocals and song composition with more direct and less orchestral arrangements, which met with limited success. However, Nicholson penned two of their last hits, "Cousin Norman" and "Radancer", as well as the lesser hit "Back on the Road", on which he sang lead vocal. He left in 1973 to form Blue (not to be confused with a much later boy band of the same name — Blue), and Ford plus Knight carried on with Marmalade. Nicholson was replaced by Mike Japp, a rock guitarist from the Welsh band 'Thank You'.
Refusing to play most of the band's old hit records on stage, the group slowly came to a standstill. Knight was sacked, but then linked up with the original drummer, Alan Whitehead, to form Vintage Marmalade. They were reunited with their old manager Peter Walsh to play all the hits on stage, and had a full date sheet.
Ford was one of many lead vocals in The Alan Parsons Project. His last known work in music was in 1991 already living in the U.S. Knight and Whitehead took over the name Marmalade again with a new line-up, fronted by vocalist and guitarist Sandy Newman. They signed a deal with Target Records, and had another Top 10 hit in 1976 with the ominously entitled Tony Macaulay-penned song, "Falling Apart At The Seams". Subsequent singles failed to chart.
Whitehead left the band in 1978 to manage other pop groups, which he does to this day. Knight is still touring on the nostalgia circuit with Marmalade — the only original left — alongside Newman, Glenn Taylor (drums), and Alan Holmes (guitar). Ford lives in New York having retired from the music industry, whilst Fairley has his own bar, called Scotland Yard, situated in Los Angeles.
Whitehead married Louise and they had two children, born in 1988 and in 1992. Despite Knight and Ford's greater celebrity, Whitehead always contended that he was the 'face' of the Marmalade, although few would recognise him. Campbell enjoyed solo hits in 1972 and 1973 with "Hallelujah Freedom" and "Sweet Illusion". He is a successful songwriter and television and film composer and arranger, now living in Sussex, England. He also co-wrote the music for Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.
Original band members:
Dean Ford: born Thomas McAleese, 5 September 1945, Coatbridge, Scotland — lead vocalist.
Junior Campbell: born William Campbell, 31 May 1947, Glasgow, Scotland — lead guitarist / instrumentalist / vocalist and arranger.
Graham Knight: born John Graham Knight, 8 December 1943, Glasgow — bassist and vocalist.
Pat Fairley: born Patrick Fairley, 14 April 1943, Glasgow — 6 string bassist / guitarist
Alan Whitehead: born 24 July 1945, Oswestry, Shropshire, England — drummer.