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Marillion - The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra CD (album) cover





3.85 | 304 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album has a kind of bitter/sweet taste. I was sad because by the time it was released I knew Fish would be out of the band. And Marillion at the time was my top group, one of the few new prog acts that really made it big in the 80´s. I still did not know at the time of such great ones like Pendragon or IQ, but since even those bands were facing rocky periods, I guess it wouldn´t have mattered anyway. Who could have guessed they´d come back in such greatness?

Anyway, the sweet side of it is the fact that Marillion was one of those rare cases (at least prog wise) in that they were actually better on the stage than on studio. So it was no surprise that that album became one of my favorites ever. Although the earlier Real To Reel was more energitic, this one had far more songs and the band, whatever problems they had at the time, was still in its best shape. Those two albums were always on my record player (and latter, CD player) during the years.

The highlights are many: stunning, better-than-studio versions of almost every track, but I should point out the definitive versions of Script For A Jesters Tear, Fugazi, Kayleigh and Jigsaw. The whole Childhood´s End album on CD 2 was a big deal when the compact disc format was released (the original double LP had only half of it and did not feature Freaks either). The only downside is the choice of tracks from their last studio work, the classic Clutching At Straws: that album had much more powerful stuff than the ones which torned out in The Thieving Magpie (like the beautiful Warm Wet Circles). But nothing´s perfect, isn´t it?

This CD is an excellent companion to the previous Real To Reel and shows how great this band was in front of an audience, even if facing some critical internal problems. Marillion with Fish on vocals was one of those special bands that arrive only once in a lifetime. 4,5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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