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Marmalade - 1982 Heartbreaker



ARTIST: Marmalade
ALBUM: Heartbreaker
LABEL: Specctra
SERIAL: SPA3
YEAR: 1982

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Sandy Newman - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Alan Holmes - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Graham Knight - bass, backing vocals * Glen Taylor - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Take Another Chance * 02 Lady You Take My Breath Away * 03 What Are You Gonna Do * 04 Best Of My Love * 05 Heartbreaker * 06 Question Of Love * 07 I Don't Believe In Love * 08 Listen To My Heart * 09 Running * 10 I Gave Up


Background
There have been a few turn-up for the books, where we've seen British pop bands convert to an AOR style later in life, sometimes fleeting, sometimes for a longer duration. We can think of bands such as The Hollies, Liverpool Express, Blackfoot Sue and Liner (who went on to become Outside Edge) and we can also throw in 60's/70's popsters Marmalade, or The Marmalade, depending which side of the breakfast table you lather your morning toast with said product. 'Heartbreaker' is a very hard album to track down, and considering it was released in 1982 and on a small label, most AOR collectors would've given this a wide berth due to the band's pop profile. Only enlightened collectors would've been aware of this album's potential, but it's only in recent times that 'Heartbreaker' has surfaced, thanks to cooperative filesharers around the globe. Thanks to them, 'Heartbreaker' is now up for review. The band lineup is pretty much the core guys who have been with the band since the early days, and also beyond this album into the future.


The Songs
The timeframe and era obviously had an influence on the Marmalade team, as this is primetime AOR/West Coast from 1982. Sneaking in reference points from all over the chronometer, you can hear everything from Charlie, Toto, Dakota and LRB in the mix. Everything about the album smacks of AOR and West Coast, and though Marmalade are not a band that you would associate with our favourite sub-genres, they deliver like they've been doing this all their musical lives. Sandy Newman is the main man here, providing the pre-requisite keyboard layers and lead vocals, plus handling all the production duties, and a grand job he does too. The pick of the tracks include 'Best Of My Love', which takes the energy of Toto and combines it with the drama of the Michael Stanley Band, the opener 'Take Another Chance' is a pearler of an opening track, you'll hear strains of Charlie in the mix. 'What Are You Gonna Do' is a synth laced pop rocker, it's in contrast to the smooth West Coast/AOR of 'Question Of Love'. For something different, Marmalade deliver 'I Don't Believe In Love', and for those of you who enjoy artists like Joe Chemay or Frankie Bleu, then this might appeal. 'Listen To My Heart' throws out a torchlight to the likes of Wha-Koo and other 70's pop rockers, whereas the Charlie influence returns on the closer 'I Gave Up'.


In Summary
As expected, this is a low profile album from back in the day, and hopefully now we've been able to throw some light on what was previously a very shady (shady as in no light, not underhand/devious) episode in the Marmalade back catalogue. Thanks to Terje Hoiland for the review opportunity.


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This article has been tagged
Tags: Marmalade 
 
Comments
#1 | super80boy on August 16 2015 16:37:46
I finally tracked this elusive vinyl album down recently. Heartbreaker seems to have only been released in Northern Europe. Yes, 'Best Of My Love' is the standout cut here - an AOR gem. The title song with is ballad-like tempo and synth stabs has a nice showing and reminds of TOTO in places. 'I Listen To My Heart' has a very subtle twang vibe, but it's the chorus that strikes an ear pleasing check mark. Other notable tracks - 'Take Another Chance', 'What Are You Gonna Do' and 'I Gave Up'. This foursome straddle AOR and period pop rock at times, but Heartbreaker is definitely worth investigating. Thanks for bringing it into the spotlight.
 
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