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'Reflections of My Life'
Single by Marmalade
from the album Reflections of the Marmalade
B-side'Rollin' My Thing'
Released14 November 1969
March 1970 (U.S.)
RecordedDecca Studio 2 West Hampstead, London
GenrePsychedelic pop[1]
Songwriter(s)Junior Campbell, Dean Ford
Producer(s)The Marmalade
Marmalade singles chronology
'Reflections of My Life'
Music video
'Reflections of My Life' on YouTube

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'Reflections of My Life' was a 1969/1970 hit single for the Scottish band, Marmalade.[2] It was written by their lead guitarist Junior Campbell, and singer Dean Ford (born Thomas McAleese).[3] Released in late 1969, it was the band's first release on Decca following an earlier spell at CBS.[4]

The song went on to chart worldwide, reaching number three in the UK in 1969,[2] number 10 in the US in 1970 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number seven on the Cash Box Top 100. Initial sales were significant in both countries, and the one million mark was reported in November 1971, when the group was presented with a gold disc for global sales.[4]The track featured a lead vocal by Ford backed by vocal harmonies, and included a reverse tape guitar solo (backmasking) by Campbell.

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'Reflections of My Life' has produced sales of over two million units. In 1998 the writers were awarded a Special Citation of Achievement by the BMI for attaining radio broadcast performances in excess of one million in the US alone.[5]


Original 1970 Decca release promo for 'Reflections of My Life'

The recording took place over three days in October 1969 at Decca Studios 2 and 1 in West Hampstead London with band members Graham Knight on bass, Alan Whitehead on Drums, Pat Fairley on acoustic guitar, and Junior Campbell on keyboards and electric guitars. Dean Ford sang lead vocal and Junior Campbell and Graham Knight provided harmony vocals.

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The added brass and strings were orchestrated by Keith Mansfield. 'Reflections' was released 14 November 1969 in the UK. The Decca staff recording engineers were Bill Price and Peter Rynston.


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The song structure is unusual in that the intro, verses and choruses all share the same 8 bar sequence: G major B minor E minor G7 C major B minor A minor D7 repeated throughout.

Guitar solo[edit]

'Reflections of My Life' US Sheet Music Cover 1970

The guitar solo in 'Reflections of My Life', often referred to as 'reverse' guitar solo, was a sixteen 'bar' sequence (termed 'measure' in the USA) featured in the recording by Junior Campbell, the band's lead guitarist.

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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 – lhe then picked up from bar 8 through to bar 16 as normal, so in fact, only 4 bars are actually “reversed”.

The solo was played on his left-hand Gibson Stereo ES355 using a Sound City stack.

In popular culture[edit]

The recording has resurfaced on various film soundtracks as diverse as the pre-election 1998 UK Government TV campaign in support of the Good Friday Agreement to Inside Deep Throat,[6] the documentary movie covering the life of Linda Lovelace.

In October 2008, 'Reflections of My Life' was used as the closing end titles soundtrack to an episode of the American version of the British television drama, Life on Mars. In December 2009, the song was also used at the end of the pilot of the television programme, Men of a Certain Age. It was also a notable part of the soundtrack of the 2011 HBO film Cinema Verite starring James Gandolfini, Diane Lane, and Tim Robbins. A portion of the song can be found in the closing credits of the 2011 comedy movie, 'Hall Pass.' In 2020, a significant portion of the song was used in the HBO Max Seth Rogen film “An American Pickle.”

The original recording can be found on Fine Cuts – The Best of Marmalade Salvo MDCD26, 2-CD compilation, and on various earlier releases on Sanctuary Recordscompilations, including Marmalade: The Ultimate Collection[7] and Rainbow – The Decca Years.[8] It is also available on Rhino Records', Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 2.[9]

Australian pop/rock group Flake had a top 40 hit on the Go-Set National Top 60 with their cover version in January 1971.[10][11] Marmalade's original version had peaked at No. 47.[12]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly singles charts[edit]

Chart (1969–70)Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[13]6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[14]9
Ireland (IRMA)[15]2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[16]9
New Zealand (Listener)[17]13
Norway (VG-lista)[18]8
South Africa (Springbok)[19]5
UK Singles (OCC)[20]3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[21]10
U.S. BillboardAdult Contemporary[22]21
U.S. Cash Box Top 100[23]7
West Germany (Official German Charts)[24]20

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1970)Rank
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[27]43
U.S. Cash Box[28]29

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Cover versions[edit]

The Australian band Flake recorded the song in 1970. It charted regionally in Adelaide and Sydney, where it reached #10.[29] The Hong Konger band Blue Jeans recorded the song in Cantonese lyric in 1987.[30]


  1. ^Sendra, Tim. 'Golden Groups & Glitter Sounds – Various Artists Songs, Reviews, Credits'. AllMusic. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  2. ^ abRoberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 351. ISBN1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^'Reflections of My Life – Marmalade Song Info'. AllMusic. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  4. ^ abMurrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 263–264. ISBN0-214-20512-6.
  5. ^'THE MARMALADE'. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  6. ^'Inside Deep Throat : Soundtracks'. IMDb. com. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  7. ^Tim Sendra (24 May 2005). 'The Ultimate Collection – Marmalade Songs, Reviews, Credits'. AllMusic. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  8. ^'Rainbow: The Decca Years – Marmalade Songs, Reviews, Credits'. AllMusic. 24 September 2002. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  9. ^Bruce Eder. 'Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 2 – Various Artists Songs, Reviews, Credits'. AllMusic. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  10. ^McFarlane, Ian (1999). 'Encyclopedia entry for 'Flake''. Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 1 September 2004.
  11. ^Nimmervoll, Ed (3 April 1971). 'National Top 60'. Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  12. ^ abSteffen Hung. 'Forum – 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)'. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  13. ^'Top RPM Singles: Issue 5120.' RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  14. ^' – The Marmalade – Reflections of My Life' (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^'The Irish Charts – Search Results – Reflections of My Life'. Irish Singles Chart.
  16. ^' – The Marmalade – Reflections of My Life' (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  17. ^'flavour of new zealand – search listener'. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  18. ^' – The Marmalade – Reflections of My Life'. VG-lista.
  19. ^'South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (M)'. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  20. ^'Marmalade: Artist Chart History'. Official Charts Company.
  21. ^'Marmalade: Chart History'. Billboard.
  22. ^Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 151.
  23. ^'Top 100 1970-05-23'. Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  24. ^' – The Marmalade – Reflections of My Life'. GfK Entertainment Charts. To see peak chart position, click 'TITEL VON The Marmalade'
  25. ^'Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada'.
  26. ^'Jaaroverzichten – Single 1970' (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  27. ^'Top 100 Hits of 1970/Top 100 Songs of 1970'. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  28. ^'Top 100 Year End Charts: 1970'. Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  29. ^Pop Archives
  30. ^[1] 八十年代樂隊的風潮與傳承, Hong Kong:Hong Kong Shue Yan University, 2017

External links[edit]

My 2nd Grade Life

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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