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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 | 1458 ratings

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J-Man
Prog Reviewer
5 stars One of the Best and Most Relevant Debuts in Prog Rock History

Script For A Jester's Tear is one of those albums that, whether you love it or hate it, is a defining album in the progressive rock genre. In 1983 almost all of the progressive rock giants of the seventies were in a downward spiral into commercial songwriting. Marillion emerged from the U.K., creating an unexpected progressive rock masterpiece in 1983 with Script For A Jester's Tear. Twenty-Seven years later, this still stands as one of the finest progressive rock albums out there.

The first time I heard Script, it was one of the most remarkably positive first listens I've ever experienced. The first time I heard this I was absolutely blown away, and soon bought all of the Fish-era Marillion albums. Having heard all four of their early albums, Script For A Jester's Tear isn't even my favorite album with Fish behind the microphone, which just shows what a great band Marillion is!

I've often heard this album (and band) called a "Genesis clone", and I can't help but feel a little offended whenever I hear that. Sure, Fish sounds a hell of a lot like Peter Gabriel, but once you look past that, these two bands don't have much in common. This debut has a very distinct 1980's sound, mostly in the production. The drums have that distinct 80's synthetic sound, and the synthesizers sound from the era as well. I wish the production quality were better, but it's not that much of a problem. The music is so great that I can excuse a few flaws from a production perspective.

The music played here is symphonic prog rock. It has 80's production values and instrumentation, so you can call it "neo-prog" if you want, but I always just look at this album as progressive rock. I think the neo-prog label on any band is a little misleading. "Neo-prog" was essentially a movement that revitalized prog in the 80's, but the bands in the movement still played normal prog rock in the vein of any other symphonic prog band from the 70's.

One of the best things about early Marillion in my opinion is the fantastic vocals and lyrics from Fish. His singing style can be so emotional, yet he can be so aggressive and powerful as well. Fish is one of my favorite singers, hands down. The lead instrument on this album is usually Steve Rothery's guitars. He gets most of the solos, and Mark Kelly's atmospheric and melodic synthesizers are usually in the background. This contributes significantly to Marillion's overall sound.

The drumming from Mick Pointer is decent. He doesn't really do anything special, but he gets the job done. I do, however, believe that this album would have certainly benefited from better drumming. The bass playing Pete Trewavas is pretty great as usually. I do think he got better with time, but he still does a fantastic job on this debut album.

This album consists of only 6 songs, most of which are over the 8-minute mark. All of the songs are fantastic standalone tracks, as they are all memorable and easily distinguishable from each other. It'd be hard for me to pick a favorite because, as I said earlier, all of the songs are absolutely fantastic! There isn't a single weak track on all of Script For A Jester's Tear. If I had to pick a favorite, it would either be the title track, The Web, or Garden Party. They all are well worth hearing, though.

Conclusion:

As I've mentioned earlier, Script For A Jester's Tear is a complete masterpiece, so don't be surprised when you see me give this album 5 stars. This isn't even my favorite Fish-era Marillion album, but it would be a crime for me to give this less than a perfect rating. If you're new to progressive rock, this should be one of the first albums you hear. It really is THAT good!

5 stars.

J-Man | 5/5 |

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