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Marillion - Misplaced Childhood CD (album) cover





4.23 | 1983 ratings

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5 stars If someone would tell you that an entirely concept album - among the best in history - was written during a 10-hour acid trip,you would say he was insane.But that is the truth behind ''Misplaced Childhood''.The same year ''Fugazi'' was released,Marillion recorded the excellent ''Real to reel'' live album,the band toured constantly to the point Fish and crew were exhausted.An envelop with acid sent by a friend to Fish was the beginning of ''Misplaced childhood'',a trip through life with strong autobiographical elements.The rest of the band accepted Fish'es concept idea and the album started slowly to took shape.However EMI was not on call to repeat the high budget and long recording process as with ''Fugazi''.Marillion found themsleves at Hansa Studios in West Berlin, Germany,where producer Chris Kimsey was responsible of keeping the band tight to release the album.The album was finally released in mid-1985.

The album contains track by track thematic elements around love,dissapointment, lost childhood years, immerse success and pride,all were actually characteristics of Fish himself and his life so far,with lyrics in an enigmatic way,showcasing Fish was not exactly in the right state of mind.The beautiful artwork was a work by airbrush artist Mark Wilkinson,while the boy on the front sleeve was actually a neighbour of Wilkinson,named Robert Mead,who became a trademark of the band like jester,being part of various singles of the band.

The concept opens with ''Pseudo Silk Kimono''.Mark Kelly introduces the concept with magnificent soaring atmosphering synths,surrounded by Rothery's background crying guitar and Fish'es storytelling voice.Here Fish sings about the story of his acid trip.

The opening track will give birth to ''Kayleigh'',maybe the most recognizable Marillion tune around the world.The title refers to Fish'es lost and gone love for her past girlfriend Kay (middle name: Lee),who's name he misspelled.The most accesible track of the album with again nice lyrics and beautiful soloing by Rothery.

''Kayleigh'' is connected with the following dreamy ''Lavender'',led by the sensational piano of Mark Kelly and the hoping voice of Fish and based on the lyrics of a traditional song,at least 300-350 years old.There is a sign of optimism in this one,giving hope to a sudden love on a dreamy walk.

''Bitter suite'' is split into a five-part 10-min. suite,dealing again with one of Fish'es lost loves,Magdalena.The atmosphere this band could create sets on top with grandiose guitar playing,synth layers around and Fish'es voice slightly distorted to end up with a sensational pastoral outro.

''Heart of Lothian'' is one of the most emotional Marillion songs ever,despite his full energy.It refers to the pride of the Scottish people for their ground and the youth of Fish himself,when he was hanging out all the time.The track contains fantastic Rothery soloing,Fish on the top of his form,a superb break in the middle and a pounding rhythm section,thus giving the composition a sense of a real pride.

The tightly connected ''Waterhole'' and ''Lords of the Backstage'' refer again to the combination of lost love and life on the road with upbeat tempos,obscure keyboard work by Kelly,pounding drumming by Mosley and the theatrical singing of Fish being a highlight.

Another five-part suite ''Blind's curce'' will follow with plenty of themes around love,losing a friend and childhood nostalgia.Fish'es lyrics are perfectly mirrored in Marillion's music.The atmosphere remains full keyboard-oriented,grandiose and bombastic with a psychedelic middle-part and featuring some of the best guitar soli in the history of progressive rock.Please try to deal with the lyrics here and the experience will be more than memorable.

Then comes the sign of hope back.Fish realizes that even he's grown up,the child is still there,deep inside him.''Childhood's end?'' is a wake up message sent by Fish to all people,wrapped under his ethereal singing,the energetic chorus and the full performance of the band with extremely dynamic guitars and backing synths.

The album will close with ''White Feather''.With a groovy tune and a powerful no-surrender polyphonic singing,the band sents a message of optimism,joy and inner strength to all children of the world.

The album became fairly a huge selling success in the UK.It combines the energetic,often complicated and highly atmospheric musicianship with some of the most esoteric lyrics ever written,indicating Fish was far beyong a simple lyricist.The combination of the two will give an unmet experience.The result?If I was alone in a desert island with an album and a player in hand,this work would propably have the most chances to be the one.A complete progressive rock milestone,extremely highly recommended.

apps79 | 5/5 |


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