Friday, May 25, 2012

Tales from the Progressive Oceans Part.4

   Many will disagree I guess with this entry here, but Marillion is one of my most favourite bands. Further than this, I really do believe that these 2 records are an excellent example of Prog-Rock, despite the fact that they were recorded in the 80's. The band originally was called 'Silmarillion' inspired from J.R.R Tolkien (like hundreds other bands), but they shortened their name to Marillion a bit later. At the start of their career they were lucky enough to gain the attention of Peter Hammill who helped them sign a contract with EMI.
   They released their first single in 1982, it was called 'Market square heroes'  and on B-side was the epic 17-minutes-long-'Grendel'. (Maybe the best song that Marillion ever recorded).
One year later 'Script for a Jester's Tear' was released. This record 'shouts' its Prog heritage even from the painting on the cover. The album contains 6 songs and all of them are top class!
The style here reminds a lot of Genesis (in the Peter Gabriel years), but the sound is more modern. The lyrics are astonishing on many occasions, and all of them are poems written by Fish. (their singer). This record is a musical tapestry filled with beautiful melodies, strong guitar riffs, and of course the strange poetic lyrics by Fish. Strangely, this album climbed at the UK album charts reaching at No.7, and stayed there for 31 weeks. Not bad for starters eh?
 According to Fish, 'Script for a Jester's Tear' is the first of a trilogy of albums that starts here, continues with 'Fugazi', and finishes with 'Misplaced Childhood'.
 If this album contained the song 'Grendel', I believe that it would have been one of the best records of Prog-Rock of all times! But later on, a remastered CD version was released, and this time 'Grendel' is there! (But this version is not the same like the original one).
  'Misplaced Childhood' was released in 1985 and is by far their most commercially successful album .
It includes the hit singles 'Kayleigh' (No.2 at the UK singles charts) and 'Lavender' (No.5).
This is a concept album and the lyrics (written again by Fish) are about his lost youth, his first love, alcohol and drug abuse among others.The album had a huge promotion from EMI and it climbed at No.1 in the UK album charts becoming a huge success. The problem that Marillion had (in my opinion), was that they were heavily promoted from 'Kerrang' magazine in those years. But 'Kerrang' was a Heavy Metal magazine. So many people (and me among them) that learned about Marillion from the song 'Kayleigh' when they were reading about Marillion in this magazine they thought 'ah that's another pop-metal band'. What a big mistake...
Well, 'Kayleigh' I believe is a song written only to become hit and nothing else. But the rest of the record is wonderful.
   I'm sure that all of you who are familiar with Marillion's early works knows very well what I'm talking about here.
 As for you who don't know them yet, eh I think it is time to pay some attention to them...

  My Personal Rating: 'Script for a Jester's Tear :8.5
                                      'Misplaced Childhood' : 8

And here you can watch 'Grendel' live at the Hammersmith Odeon from their very early days...