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

SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.22 | 1417 ratings

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progkidjoel
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear

Review by ProgKidJoel

Marillion's debut album, Script For A Jester's Tear, is heralded by many as the birth of neo-prog. Heavily reliant on its Genesis roots, this is truly one of the best 80's prog albums.

1. Script For A Jester's Tear

The song that began it all - The song that flew the prog flag in the dark days of the early 80's and proved that prog wasn't dead. This opens with FISH's great lyrics and Mark Kelly's great piano work. Flowing onwards, it reveals a memorable synthesizer harmony and an equally memorable lyric. As it flows onwards, it seems this is going to be another guitar oriented arena rock track, although this couldn't be further from the truth. Peter Trewavas bass work is brilliant on this track, supplying a backbone to a solid guitar harmony, lyrics and keyboard work. The one area lacking on this track, and indeed, on this album, would have to be Mick Pointer's drumming, which although not terrible, is very bland and usually cackles on like clockwork. Easily the best track on the album, this is an incredibly strong opener which helps earn this album a high rating.

5 out of 5.

2. He Knows You Know

Another solid guitar led track, He Knows You Know is a song about drugs; FISH would often introduce live as "the drug song". Also followed by a shocking, heavy-handed lyric and great guitar work on Steve Rothery's part, this is one of the two singles from the album, the other being Garden Party. The bass is very good on this track as well, nearly as energetic as FISH's screams. Percussion took a turn for the better after its abysmal effort on the first track, and prove that Mick Pointer indeed does have some chops as a rock drummer, even if he can't read musical notation. Finishing in an intriguing spoken outro, this is another great track, although was marred in its efforts by its repetitiveness.

4.75 out of 5.

3. The Web

My second least favourite track from SFAJ'sT, this track isn't bad at all, although incredibly repetitive. At a glance, this is another saddened ballad, although is quite interesting after multiple listens. A less accessible track than the two that preceded it, The Web has earnt it self a place of fame as the name of Marillion's current official street teams. During Steve's softened guitar harmonies, a high pitched buzz hollows in the background, adding much dimension and depth to a decent track. The lyrics on this track are, once again, brilliant. A track about deciding what is right for yourself, and moving on from one stage of life to another, this track features on of Steve Rothery's famous guitar solos, and as always, this solo does not dissapoint. Carrying its trademark 80's keyboard and guitar oriented sound, this is another interesting track, perhaps not as good as the two which came before it.

4 out of 5.

4. Garden Party

Ahh, Garden Party. Perhaps the least depressing track on this album, FISH didn't hesitate to mock British high society in this entertaining and technically thrilling anthem. Led by a great keyboard melody from Mark Kelly, this track travels through several high brau mockeries of a Garden Party, as the title would suggest. It seems FISH was not a fan nor member or such mingling, and boy, did he let us know with these lyrics! The other single from this iconic album, the film clip to accompany is equally entertaining. The rhythmic section is incredibly consistent on this track, complementing the melodics in a way which is nothing less than technically fantastic. The keyboard solo is another great part of this track, and when met with an identical riff on the guitar, shows that Marillion are indeed technically relevant in the prog world. An incredibly entertaining and lovable track, this is another stand out on this album.

5 out of 5.

5. Chelsea Monday

My least favourite track on this album, although lyrically masterful, is somewhat boring and shows an unneeded change of pace from the previous four tracks. Yet again, great guitar work shows a high point for this track. A rather relative solo, however, as the melodies surrounding it are incredibly similiar to that of The Web, and, once again, are incredibly repetitive, as is the solo. Not a bad track, but it feels highly uninspired and even less entertaining.

3 out of 5.

6. Forgotten Sons.

Ay, there's the rub! My favourite track from this album, and easily the technically strongest, this is one of Marillion's most outwardly protestant songs. Lyrically inspired by the Northern Ireland conflict, and continuing onwards with a great keyboard led chorus, this track doesn't disappoint. Another great rhythmic section helps this track along nicely, as does its masterful guitar work, which is, upto and above the Marillion standard. Fully of typical wordy lyrics and metaphors, this track has four distinct sections. The first, a fantastic melodic opener. The second flows into a 60's style psychadelic hippie rock song, somewhat reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix. The guitar work peaks here, and only slowly fades out. This track is backboned by what I'd say is one of the top-five funkiest bass lines I've ever heard. Flowing into a spoken bridge, the most heavy section lyrically is truly terrifying. My favourite section of this song is a fantasticly heart-wrenching outro, all brought together by its guitar work. The lyrics here are without a doubt the best on the album. Incredibly wordy and heartfelt, FISH brings tears to one's eyes in his typical fashion. The vocals here express incredibly anger and confusion, which the lyrics portray equally. Forgotten Sons is one of, if not Marillion's most solid protest track, and will go down as one of my favourites from the FISH era. Finishing on a high note, this was easily the best track the band could have picked for an outro, and it worked fantastically.

Other notes:

Perhaps overrated by some, this album definitely deserves five stars. Its worth mentioning that I have the 1997 Digital remaster, 2000 Repress, and that the sonic quality of this disc is inspiring.

5 out of 5. Not an average.

Keep listening! -Joel

progkidjoel | 5/5 |

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