Marillion - B'Sides Themselves CD (album) cover





3.44 | 157 ratings

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3 stars For a Marillion fan this album is nearly a must (unless you are a single collector), even if it was only for getting 'Grendel', the most fantastic (at least in the literary meaning fantastic!) prog piece Marillion ever did, a multi-part epic la 'Supper's Ready', and I think it owes a lot to VDGG too. As a literature snob I have to point out that it's inspired by John Gardner's novel of the same name, which is a rework - from the monster's point of view - of the old epig Beowulf.

'Charting the Single' is a typical B-side song, monotonously based on a rhythm phrase; one could think it's boring as hell but I kinda like it. Lyrics are interesting and humorous (which is "not so common market" about Fish). 'Market Square Heroes' and 'Three Boats Down from the Candy' were re-recorded in '84. They could have done it better. The latter fades too soon just when it has reached its magnificent peak with Rothery's delicious guitar solo. A bit obscure lyrics are probably dealing with a personal memory of Fish; the Candy is a boat-name (I first imagined it's a river...).

The 2nd side of the LP is more uneven. I used to like 'Cinderella Search' in their live album but here it sounds quite forced and the vocalsZ esZpecially sZound badly recorded. A pity. 'Lady Nina' and 'Freaks' are quite nice, light, poppy flipside songs - both unthinkable in a main album. 'Tux On' is the most interesting track here after 'Grendel'. It has a delicate dark mood (hi-hat on the fore) and a superb guitar solo.

The album closes with a dreadfully overlong live jamming of a Scottish traditional song 'Margaret' or whatever its original name is. Well, it's very nice at first, you can sense the high atmosphere of the ending of a gig, but the last few minutes add nothing and makes one yawn. (Also that one has Michael "E.T." Pointer on drums, as Fish introduces.)

Matti | 3/5 |


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