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





3.86 | 321 ratings

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3 stars The Farewell...

Hm. The big one for the big time. But, also, the "not really necessary one"... compared to "Real to Reel", at least. As I have mentioned in my review to "Real to Reel" already, I'd like to divide Live-Albums into two categories, and this one belongs to the "duty"-section. There's nothing wrong with it, but did it "scream to be released" ? If you already have the studio-albums ? Well, I prefer to get that big time with those ( and "Real to Reel", of course ), choosing my favorite tracks and compiling my own "best of Marillion with Fish" then.

I can't say if it's due to the band being close to losing their front-man and all the quarrels that went on behind the curtain. This double-disc-set surely has the gesture and promise of something great and big, and it can serve you well as an "introduction" to the band before Steve Hogarth arrived and carefully, one by one, took them somewhere else. Perhaps it's necessary to watch that big theatre whilest listening so you can really get the excitement that it promised ( I never did ), but without seeing it it's nothing more than a collection of decent reproductions with - dare I say it - a lack of power and enthusiasm ( even evident in Fish's voice - perhaps he didn't feel to well ? ), at least in ( too many ) parts.

It's kind of a final testament to give the fans what would be no more for one more time, and it's far from being bad or totally superfluous, but it's one of too many live-albums that just show "well, they could do it live because they can play" and ( apart from those who have been there - who, if they loved the show, are bound to love their reminder kinda naturally ) there's no real purpose for anybody to add it to his collection. Glimpses of the magic that used to be there... shining through, there and then, that's what "The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra" is, in retrospect.

Three stars ( instead of two ) only because there's no doubt you hear a real good band doing a good - not brilliant but still remarkable, regarding the pressures within their ranks - job. But a good job sometimes is still not enough to justify a live-album, or is it ? I must admit I have resold it after 2 years or so because I just never felt like playing it. The laboring musicians still deserve their money well, but i would not really recommend to buy it, not even as an introduction ( "Best of both worlds" - if you're asking me ! ).

rupert | 3/5 |


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