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Marillion - B'Sides Themselves CD (album) cover





3.50 | 212 ratings

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3 stars It may seem hard to believe that an album consisting only of B-sides can carry so much good stuff, but this is one and for that, B-Sides Themselves is quite special.

First off, any album featuring a 17 minutes song as good as Grendel has a claim to being an essential. In Grendel, what may look like an hommage to Genesis' Supper's Ready turns out to be a quite different work, despite the reminiscent vocals and the 9/8 time signature finale. Both these songs are rare gems - melodically engaging for their full lenght.

The two tracks that are of no interest to me are Charting the Single and Margaret.

Market Square Heroes is a classic, albeit more standard rock than progressive rock in my opinion.

Three Boats Down and Cinderella Search are, like Grendel, excellent 80's neo-prog songs that would have deserved a place on most studio albums had it not been for the quality of the work produced by Marillion during the Fish era. Grendel aside, Cinderella Search is probably my favourite Marillion B-side, with a very nice build-up and soft but dynamic tones.

The three following tracks, Lady Nina, Tux On and Freaks, are more simple pieces but still pretty good as well.

All these B-Sides also offer moving lyrics of the kind that only Fish could produce.

This album could be deserving of 4 stars, but since I am no fan of compilations and since this one does have two tracks that really annoy me, with a few other tracks that I find good but not excellent, a rating of 3 stars seems fair even if a bit harsh.

Essential for lovers of Fish-era Marillion. Good to very good for typical neo-prog fans. I would although warn against buying this album for those who prefer harder or more modern sounds (and even then, Grendel may still be worth it).

SentimentalMercenary | 3/5 |


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