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Marillion - Fugazi CD (album) cover

FUGAZI

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.97 | 935 ratings

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5 stars Sheer Bloody Poetry (The Times)

The music on Fugazi has a much harder edge than anything Genesis ever put together, and has progressed by becoming more angular than "Script". The opening, with the pseudo-funk of Assasing, progressing towards more familar territory curteosy of Mr Trewavas' bass lines, is full of Marillion's own hallmarks. Fish's lyrics are so dynamic you'd swear they have life of their own - it is rumoured that they are about the depature of their old drummer, Mick Pointer; "I am the assassin, with tongue forged from eloquence, I am the assassin, providing your nemesis On the sacrificial altar to success, my friend..".

Punch and Judy is a very amusing assault on married life. Hard and punchy, this is a great song, and was released as a single - although quite obviously never intended as one, as it contains a reference to murder - "...just slip her these pills and I'll be free, no more Judy!!!". It features everything that's great about a Marillion song - catchy hooks, riffs and melodies, wonderful jagged-edged bass lines and the characteristic light and shade that only Marillion were putting into their work in the early 1980s. This was the first album to feature new drummer Ian Moseley - and he added the touch of class in the rhythm section that Mick Pointer just didn't have. Pointer was solid and kept things moving. Mosely was fluid and drove things.

I now divert your attention to Jigsaw - probably the shining diamond on this LP, partially obscured by the two hit singles which preceed it. This song is about Marillion - the music, the band, the audience - everything. There are nods and winks to Genesis set in the lyrics, as the accusations of being Genesis plagiarists came early in the 1980s (and were very boring then!).

Emerald Lies, Incubus and She Chameleon are further jewels waiting to be discovered and really, personal experience is the way to get the most out of these tracks. To the superficial listener, they may well seem light and meaningless. Scratch the surface, however, and the grey gunk that covers the card drops off and the prizes await! Each instrumentalist gets the chance to shine - but not through overt technical displays, rather through intense dark, light and colourful shading. This is musical painting - but not by numbers!

Fugazi is perhaps the greatest song Marillion ever put together - on what must be their greatest (at least, most underrated) album. The lyrics, which are particularly notable, cover a vast array of topics in Fish's unique form - which must be at its utmost peak in this song - for example "Sheathed within the walkman wear the halo of distortion, Aural contraceptive aborting pregnant conversation."; and the crowd singalong section at the end is always too short!!! "Where are the poets, Where are the visionaries?!!!!"

Fugazi, quite simply, is a masterpiece waiting to be discovered - not the next time you listen to it, or the time after, but maybe the time after that. Even if you like it already, it opens up and offers more every time you listen to it. It is well known that most prog albums take 3 or 4 listens to "Get". Marillion, despite the surface simplicity and lack of technical prowess (compared to, say, ELP, YES or King Crimson), have a complex web of layers in their songs. These layers are individual, beautiful melodies, each of which works in its own context as well as when combined with everything else. This is a very difficult technique, and one which only Marillion seemed to be able to perfect. Even Genesis tended to go for the "concerto" approach, and make one instrument or another dominate while everything else was just great accompaniment. It must never be forgotten, either, that these are SONGS, and not the technically elaborate compositions presented by many other prog bands. Notice particularly the way the strands of music weave their way around the vocals, presenting a balanced whole. But these are not POP songs. These are Progressive rock SONGS. As with the Yin and the Yang, there is darkness in the lighter passages and vice versa. And it sounds as much like Genesis as Duran Duran do.

***** - 5 and a half star album - ESSENTIAL MUST-HAVE!!! Buy the 24-bit Remastered CD. The bonus CD is OK, and contains "Cinderella Search", the one track that was missing from the album - but the remastering of the original album is a masterstroke, and has genuinely improved a masterpiece.

Certif1ed | 5/5 |

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