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Marillion - B'Sides Themselves CD (album) cover





3.45 | 189 ratings

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Tristan Mulders
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Marillion - B-Sides themselves

Between the departure of Fish and the first studio effort with Steve Hogarth Marillion released two compilations of the Fish years: "La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie)" and "B'sides themselves".

The name of this compilation says it all: a collection of b-sides, taken from the various singles that Marillion released in the 80s up to and including the departure of Fish. It's quite noticeable why these songs were discarded to b-side status, most of it is simply not good enough compared to most of the songs on the four Fish-era studio albums. Though this does not apply to all the songs on this compilation. Opening epic Grendel is widely regarded as one of the best songs from the Fish-era. This seventeen minutes lasting suite of typical symphonic rock music is clearly one of the best b-sides I ever encountered. I can also understand why it has been used as a b-side instead of an album track for the "Script for a Jester's Tear" album. Whereas most lyrics on that album are personal to Fish, the lyrics for Grendel are based upon an old poem and are fantasy. I guess the combination of reality and fantasy was not something that could be done.

Another good song is Marillion's debut single Market Square Heroes. Although the song has hardly any relation with prog, it is very well performed. This collection was as far as I know the first time that people could get their hands on the Grendel and Market Square Heroes tracks if they'd missed out on the debut single.

Margaret is a live improvisation with the band playing in typical melodic prog style. Listening to this song I can easily imagine why people enjoyed going to see the band perform live in those days. The band seem to be in top-notch state and the mood is excellent.

The other songs are all typical b-sides. They are not bad, but they are no instant classics.

Tristan Mulders | 3/5 |


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