Marmalade

BBC Sessions

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AllMusic Review by

Stocked with 25 BBC recordings from 1967-1969 (as well as a couple of brief band interviews), this is in one important way more interesting than most single-artist '60s BBC rock comps. It's almost a supplement to Marmalade's official 1967-1969 discography in that over half the songs were not released on their studio recordings of the era. Of course, BBC versions of several of their singles are here, including the obligatory hits "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," "Baby Make It Soon," "Wait for Me Mary-Anne," and "Lovin' Things," as well as their well-known 1967 single "I See the Rain," a favorite of Jimi Hendrix. But greater weight is given to an eclectic assortment of covers of songs that Marmalade didn't put on their regular discs, including hits by the Who, the Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Temptations, the Supremes, the Isley Brothers, and Deep Purple. That's not even mentioning the Byrds-by-way-of-Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages" and the Who-by-way-of-Derek Martin's "Daddy Rolling Stone," as well as even more surprising items like the Flamingos' "Boogaloo Party," Ray Stevens' "Mr. Business Man," and Crazy Elephant's "Gimme Gimme Good Loving." Although it testifies to the group's versatility, it doesn't do wonders for any credibility as original talents that historians might want to assign to Marmalade, making them sound at points like a very accomplished club cover band. At better points, they play a brand of pop/rock that's more credible than some critics have acknowledged, with liberal dashes of blue-eyed soul and an occasional whiff of psychedelia. There are even a couple of downright good obscurities, like their second single, "Can't Stop Now," which has a stronger mod-soul flavor than anything else here, and their surprisingly good version of "Daddy Rolling Stone." But this is ultimately, like many if not most BBC comps, more for devoted fans of the band; less intense admirers will be better off with anthologies of the more familiar vintage studio recordings, which have all made it onto CD.

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