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Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear CD (album) cover

SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.23 | 1989 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Script For A Jester's Tear" is the debut full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Marillion. The album was recorded between December 1982 and February 1983 and released through EMI Records in March 1983. The band had originally planned for David Hitchcock to produce the album, as he had produced the bandīs first single "Market Square Heroes" (released in October 1982), which had been a minor hit in the UK. However Hitchcock was seriously injured in a car crash driving home after completing his work on the single, and Nick Tauber was brought in by EMI Records to produce "Script For A Jester's Tear".

The material on "Script For A Jester's Tear" is progressive rock, but with a more contemporary 80s sound (especially on the keyboards and the drums), which sets the style apart from the 70s progressive rock scene. Marillion canīt escape comparisons to artists like Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator, but with the more contemporary production values the neo-progressive rock term was coined by this release (and by other contemporary releases by artists like IQ, Pallas, and Pendragon).

Marillion opted not to include neither their single "Market Square Heroes", nor the B-side to the single "Three Boats Down from the Candy" on "Script For A Jester's Tear", and they left off their 17 minutes long epic "Grendel" too, which had otherwise been songs they had performed live as part of their setlist in the preceding years. Instead "Script For A Jester's Tear" features six new original compositions. Three on each side of the original vinyl version of the album.

The title track opens the album with a quiet melancholic vocal line, which more or less sets the tone for the remainder of the album...but itīs not completely true though, as the band are also able to rock a little harder on tracks like "He Knows You Know", "Garden Party", and "Forgotten Sons". All tracks are very dynamic in nature though, and typically features both quiet melancholic sections and more hard rocking ditto. All instruments have an equally important role in the music, and in front are the paatos filled and powerful vocals by Fish. Again the word dynamic comes to mind, as Fish easily go from low volume singing to high volume shouting/screaming. He has an incredibly versatile voice and a wide range, and uses his abilities to the full potential. Add to that his clever lyrics which are engaging, intriguing, and paints pictures in the head of the listener, and you have a world class vocalist/lyric writer on your hands.

"Script For A Jester's Tear" features a professional, detailed, and powerful sounding production job, which is a combination of the typically more organic sounding productions of the 70s and a contemporary 80s production style. The production choices work perfect with the material and "Script For A Jester's Tear" is overall a very well sounding release. Upon conclusion itīs definitely one of the most impressive debut albums out there and itīs a seminal release in terms of keeping progressive rock alive in the 80s, where the genre had dire conditions to thrive (and even survive). A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 5/5 |

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