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Marillion - Fugazi CD (album) cover





3.98 | 1425 ratings

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3 stars Of the four albums Marillion recorded with Fish during their 1980's commercial peak, 1984's 'Fugazi' seems to be the one most overlooked by fans, perhaps due to the difficult nature of it's inception(line-up issues, label pressure, time constraints etc) but more likely because 'Fugazi' was the group's oh-so important second album. Following on from the excellent and surprisingly-successful debut release 'Script For A Jester's Tear', Marillion were given an ultra-tight deadline by EMI to come up with more of the same. Although the resulting album wouldn't disappoint in terms of sales - 'Fugazi' reached no.5 on the UK albums chart - the album has long been seen as the weakest of the Fish-era material, despite the fact that it kicks off with a trio of stone-cold Marillion classics in the shape of the blockbusting rocker 'Assassing', the catchy synth-pop single 'Punch & Judy' and the highly-emotive semi-ballad 'Jigsaw'. However, this only goes to prove the point that 'Fugazi', like a good football match, is very much a story of two halves. Like so many other 'difficult' second albums(sorry to use the oft-used cliche) 'Fugazi' fails to truly live up to expectation. Whilst the album's first side is virtually as good as anything the group have recorded before or since, the latter half of 'Fugazi' betrays the album's fraught conception, with a poppier, more sentimental streak emerging on lacklustre efforts such as the glutinous 'Emerald Lies' and the not-so-spectacular title-track which closes the album on a rather unsatisfying note. That said, 'Fugazi' is still miles better than many other neo-prog albums of the era whilst also a much more cohesive and enjoyable effort than any of Marillion's insipid and prog-lite post-Fish material. It may be the least of the their classic quartet of albums from their heyday('Misplaced Childhood' and 'Clutching At Straws' the other two) yet there are enough excellent tunes here to make a mockery of the album's undeservedly negative reputation. Patchy then, but much better than you might think. And 'Assassing' rocks.


stefro | 3/5 |


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