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Marillion - B'Sides Themselves CD (album) cover





3.45 | 189 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Credit where it's (not) due

With many collections of B sides, outtakes, non-album singles, live and alternative versions, etc., you can often be distracted by the sound of the barrel being scraped. With this collection from Marillion however there is good reason to gather these tracks together to form an album. Indeed, the title rather belittles what is on offer here, as it may imply a collection of sub-standard tracks.

While that connotation may indeed be applicable to some of the content, others such as the three tracks from the "Market Square heroes" EP would be worthy of inclusion on any Fish era album. The opening track, "Grendel", has been the subject of repeated debate in the forum of this site, due to the strong similarities on one part of it, with the "Apocalypse in 9/8" section of "Supper's ready" by Genesis. It's a pity really, as it's a distraction from what is in fact an excellent piece of music, which had remained largely hidden until this collection was released.

Inevitably, being a collection of on the whole pretty good B sides, there is a lack of cohesion and continuity to the album. This is especially apparent with the live "Margaret" which ends the album. While this may well be an enjoyable climax to a live concert, it is a rather tedious indulgence when taken out of context. It is interesting too that the song-writing credits for this piece, which consists largely of a traditional Scottish song, are claimed by the band.

A worthwhile collection of rare tracks, which offers a cost effective way of obtaining them without breaking the bank.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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