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Marillion - Kayleigh CD (album) cover





3.58 | 74 ratings

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3 stars "Neo-prog 'guilty pleasure'?"

1. Kayleigh (03:33)

Between the albums Fugazi (1984) and Misplaced Childhood (1985) EMI and Marillion negociated about the music: the band wanted to make a concept album, EMI was OK but on the condition that Marillion delivered a commercial song, for a hit single. Well, we know the result, that commercial song became Kayleigh: it reached the #2 position in the UK (in The Netherlands #12, in Germany #7 and in the USA #74) and it remained 14 weeks in the charts, then Marillion got the headline spot on the Milton Keynes festival and all concerts at the Wembley Arena were sold out, incredible for a progressive rock rooted band!

About the title Fish said: "I'd wanted to write a song about a girlfriend I'd split up with, whose name was Kay (in 2012 she passed away). Which of course we couldn't do. So we added her middle name, Lee, and it became Kayleigh instead. "But it wasn't just about Kay, it was inspired by three or four different people in my life."

The song starts with a fragile guitar riff that carry you away to a climate that alternates between romantic and melancholic, perfectly blended with Fish his tender vocals. The refrain features a soft outburst in which Fish sounds more powerful, to emphazise his deep feelings about the broken relationships. Halfway Rothery delivers a splendid guitar solo, very moving and powerful, as a long and desperate cry how it all went wrong. In the final phrase "Maybe it will prove that we were right. Or ever prove that I was wrong" Fish strongly sings the word "wrong" and the music fades away.

This timeless composition made many fans happy and lots of daughters were named Kayleigh. But listening to Kayleigh I still have strong mixed feelings after all those years, is this a brilliant ballad or a tedious tearjerker? Well, from now on it's my 'guilty pleasure'.

2. Lady Nina (03:41)

Fish said: "I was going through a very Bohemian element, you know. I remember hanging about this place called 'Rasputins', which was one of the famous German brothels, and I used to go along and just write there at night with the girls, and talk to the girls, sitting in the red light of the bar. Lady Nina was written there."

Typical early Marillion neo-prog song featuring strong guitarwork, propulsive drum beats, an important role for the vocals and lyrics from Fish ("I know you'll never act with me, I know that you're in love with me. So how do I compare to the sailors of the ships of the night? Was I all right? Did you come tonight, lady Nina?" and in the final part pleasant synthesizer flights.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |


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