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Marillion - B'Sides Themselves CD (album) cover





3.49 | 193 ratings

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4 stars Personally, I rate this one of their best albums! Yes, I know it is all B sides and extras, but the strength of the material is such that this could have been a stand alone album all by itself. I make no apologies for saying 'Grendel' is my favourite Marillion track. Yes, I know it smacks of plagiarism, and most critics knock it mercilessly for the rather large Genesis influence on display here, but, for me, that only enhances its qualities. Genesis were, and still are, my favourite band, and this, which could have been a follow up to 'Supper's Ready' is better than anything Phil's band were doing at the time. If Genesis had never existed, this would be regarded as a classic of prog rock. It has everything, a rivetting story line and vocal performance, superb keyboards, guitar work that surfaces to great effect at the right time, varied movements and an excellent melody. I also have the remastered two disc version of 'Script' which contains a slightly different, and longer version of 'Grendel'. That too is good, but this definitive version is better, especially the wonderfully atmospheric guitar ending. Also on here are such gems as 'Charting The Single' a B side which is, although simplistic and lightweight, again for me, memorable. Very catchy. 'Cinderella Search' is another excellent piece, as is 'Three Boats Down From The Candy'. 'Lady Nina' is another wonderful piece, with a superbly melodic solo from Mr Rothery in the middle of it. 'Tux On' is more restrained, but builds menacingly. Ironically, the hit single, 'Market Square Heroes' whilst being adequate, is one of the weaker pieces here, as is 'Freaks' and the live 'Margaret', ending the disc. Nevertheless, none of the material is really weak, and it shows the world what the band lost when Fish left. For me, only 'Script' and 'Clutching At Straws' are better albums. An essential 'bonus' disc, that should be treated as a serious album.
chessman | 4/5 |


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