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

THE THIEVING MAGPIE - LA GAZZA LADRA

Marillion

Neo-Prog


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3 stars Where Real to Reel suffered from sounding a bit slick, La Gazza Ladra suffers from some of the songs being poorly mixed. Where it does work is the song selection as it works as 'best of' up to that time and does contain Misplaced Childhood in its entirety on the cd version (the old vinyl version just had up to Heart of Lothian). It does bring a couple of songs to life though and White Russian is particulary good. Marillion have done better sounding live albums since, unfortunately without such consistant selection of songs.

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Send comments to Jools (BETA) | Report this review (#12206)
Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2003 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars This is hardly more interesting than the previous live as the whole of Childhood filled the second album and this version brought nothing new. I saw them for the first time on that precise tour and expected them to be such a spectacle ( having heard so much from friends who had seen them on previous tours) but I think Fish knew he was leaving so probably the band was on a low.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#12209)
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Fish and Marillion said farewell to each other, and it seems that this album was also released as a farewell from Fish to Marillion`s fans as a member of the band. The complete live version of "Misplaced Childhood" in CD #2 was the main reason for me to buy this album. This live version has more power and continuity than the studio version, in my opinion. The only thing that I don`t like from this live version is that "Chidlhood`s End?" is shorter, without the final two verses of the lyrics. But "White Feather" has an extended final section with a guitar solo. The songs from CD #1 are good live versions, but the live versions of the songs "Script for a Jester`s Tear" and "Fugazi" previously released in "Brief Encounter" are better. Maybe as someone said in a previous review, the recording and the mixing are not very good. I don`t know if this album was remastered in the 90s, but maybe it deserves a new remastering.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#12213)
Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars EXCELLENT FAREWELL CONCERT!!!

Yoohaa ..!! What an excellent show man .! Well, this live double CD was released in a sad nuance when I was in Singapore and reading the news that the band would be disbanded. What a sad news, really. I had been the band's die-hard fan since its inception in the wake of new wave era music, 1983. And couple of years later I heard this bad news. But, what can I say? I'm just a listener of great prog music. I cannot control the band and its members, obviously. For me personally, this album is like Genesis' "Seconds Out" live album that basically featured the farewell of Mr Steve Hackett the guitarist. While for Marillion, I was at first not sure what was going to happen with the band after this live set. This album also reminds me to the band's live video "Live from Lorelei" (that would later be released in DVD format. You must have this DVD!).

Disc One contains all live performance of tracks taken from "Script For A Jester's Tear", "Fugazi" and "Clutching At Straws" albums plus one single "Freaks". All are performed excellently. I especially like the version of "He Knows You Know" in this live album than the original studio version. This version is much more dynamic and lively, especially on the drums dynamics.

Disc Two contains the whole "Misplaced Childhood" album in its entirety. This was the first time the band performed this album as a whole. It has a powerful energy and excellent deliveries by the band members. Fish has done some singing improvisation especially during the part where he sings like reading poets.

Overall, it's an excellent performance. This live set comes with an A3 size poster that depicts the band members stage act in graphical illustration / painting not in the form of photograph. It's very nice. I have framed this and put it on the wall. The sonic quality and production of this album are excellent. If you love early Marillion music, this is a MUST for you. Highly recommended. I also recommend you to purchase "Curtain Call" live set that contains three live performance, 6 CD, of Fish era. All the best freaks are here .!!! Keep on proggin' ..!! Progressively yours, GW.

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#12216)
Posted Sunday, April 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars One of the worst messages for me was, when I found that Fish is leaving Marillion. I couldn´t imagine future of Marillion and Fish in separated ways. Fish out of water. From these sentimental reasons I was impatiently waiting for farewell live album of the Marillion with Fish. And finnaly, I was disappointed. On the one hand pretty good quality of recordings, but! on the other hand, silence between songs, not continuos musical party (like Rush in Rio), but insesible collection of very good, but not related units.

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Send comments to ProgressiveRock (BETA) | Report this review (#12217)
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tristan Mulders
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Marillion - The thieving Magpie (La Gazza ladra)

Between the departure of Fish and the first studio effort with Steve Hogarth Marillion released two compilations of the Fish years: "La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie)" and "B'sides themselves".

"La Gazza Ladra" a.k.a. "The Thieving Magpie" is a two-disc compilation of songs from various performances during the fish-era. Whereas the first disc is a true compilation of live tracks, the second disc is an integral performance of the Misplaced Childhood album.

The fact that all the songs from disc one are taken from various shows is most noticeable by the fact that most songs have fade in and outs. This makes the whole disc feel as a disorderly collected compilation, created by a low profile label instead of a bit of a professional compilation that would live up to the standards by EMI. I cannot imagine that it would be too difficult to have all tracks cross fading, I mean most songs end with crowd's cheering so you could cross fade this.

Also the quality of the production on the first disc is not that high, if you compare it to the "Real to Reel" live disc that was first released in 1984. Sometimes the higher tones are barely noticeable. Quite disappointing for a release that from the outside looks like the live release of the Fish-era.

I'm more positive however of the second disc. First of all because it is uninterrupted, but also because the quality of the recording is a lot better than disc one. Fish's vocals also sound a lot better, on the first disc he sometimes sounds as if his throat is about to give in.

Too bad this album was not released as a single cd, with only the Misplaced Childhood set included. I would have rated it higher. I prefer the "Real to Reel" album over this one.

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Send comments to Tristan Mulders (BETA) | Report this review (#12218)
Posted Tuesday, May 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars It is not the greatest live aproach to the band you would find but it is a good overview at the whole Fish period. Even the production could have been better, it can't make much shadows over the performance of the band (wich is almost always brilliant as we can notice in here).

I have always felt some intrigue for the title. La Gazza Ladra is a Rossini pice used opening the shows. But how about the Thieving Magpie? Does it refer to something in particular? Maybe to some of Fish's own mithic world? To some characters on the Missplaced Childhood album? Any aproach here will be of great help, Thanx!

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Send comments to Eugenio Chahin (BETA) | Report this review (#38813)
Posted Friday, July 08, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars No doubt that this 2-disc is a comprehensive look at the Fish-Marillion-era featuring their best material. Some tracks are even more powerful and compelling than the studio- versions but I miss the typical emotional (from warm and moving to ebullient) atmosphere from the many early-Marillion concerts I attended. To me this double live album was a bit disappointing experience and I had to rely on bootlegs. Marillion got the attention from EMI because of the large cult following during their concerts and they were a perfect live act. Fortunately in the meantime some very good live releases (on CD and DVD) has been released but it will always remain a question to me why Marillion came with this flat sounding live 2-album.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#39226)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
marillionlive
3 stars Better than Real to Reel, but still really only for fans. More live than the last one but still only a rush release by EMI to give the band and Fish a chance to produce thier own studio albums (both of which turned out to be rather good!)

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#41656)
Posted Friday, August 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zac M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was the first actual Marillion album I purchased about three months or so ago. As of right now, Marillion is really the only neo-prog I like, but that may change in the future. I really enjoy it and think that all of the songs are executed especially well live. This is Fish's farewell to Marillion and a mighty fine farewell at that.

Disc one starts out with that famous classical overture, The Thieving Magpie. After that, there are a bunch of tracks that represent the best of Marillion live so to say. My main problem with disk one is, while all of the songs are good, they all fade off between numbers, making it seem less like a coherent live album. The best tracks on side one are Script for a Jester's Tear, He Knows You Know, Fugazi, and Jigsaw.

Disc two presents the listener with a full performance of Misplaced Childhood. I have not heard the studio version yet, but can safely say that this is much better than disc one. It also is obviously more coherent and does not fade off. Fish's concept album is well executed live. The best tracks here (although all of them are good) are Pseudo Silk Kimono, Kayleigh, Heart of Lothian, and White Feather.

This is a really good live release. Since purchasing this album, I also have got Script for a Jester's Tear and Fugazi. I still love listening to the live version of Misplaced Childhood though. I can recommend this to any Marillion fan, seeing as it was a fitting way for Fish to end his career with the band. 4 stars.

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Send comments to Zac M (BETA) | Report this review (#47078)
Posted Sunday, September 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Quite possibly one of the greatest live albums available. After the masterpiece Clutching at Straws, Marillion hit the road for another tour. The performances on this album are nothing short of spectacular, each musician playing at the peak of their career with Fish. The weeping guitar of Rothery, the precision drumming of Mosely, the thumping power of Trewavas' bass, the textured keyboards of Kelly, and the emotional showcase of Fish, they all add up to create a stellar live show. Showcased on this album is a collection of some of their best tracks from all of their studio albums up to that point (minus Market Square Heroes), also included is Misplaced Childhood in its entirety.

Opening with the classical piece La Gazza Ladra and then going straight into Slainte Mhath, the band plays calm and collected. All the tracks are played almost exactly the same as their studio counterparts, but they are much more emotional and Fish takes them to the next level. From the varied synths of Fugazi to the outro of Incommunicado, one cannot be anything less than captivated by Fish's presence on the recordings. The second disc, containing Misplaced Childhood in its entirety, is very much similar to the bootleg Selling Fish By the Pound 3. The album sounds almost exactly the same live as it does on the studio, but it again has much more feel and emotion this time around.

Overall, if you are a fan of Marillion, I recommend a purchase of this album immediately. You will not be disappointed. 4.5/5.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#53561)
Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars ..and it's goodbye from him!

Marillion have had the decency over the years to restrict their live album output, with this and "Made again" being their only serious forays into that field. (I am discounting other products such as "Reel to Real", which appear to be retrospective cash in projects by their labels.)

While the original double LP version included the whole of side one of "Misplaced childhood", the CD version is extended to include both sides. This review is based on the original double LP.

If "Made again" represents the work of the current line up well, "The Thieving Magpie" is a worthy record of the band's Fish era performances. The event opens in true prog fashion (per "Yessongs" among many others), with a recorded rendition of the classical title piece (originally titled "La Gazza ladra") by the opera composer Gioacchino Rossini. This moves stright into the appearance of the band, and we're off with "Slàinte Mhath" from the "Clutching at Straws" album.

The track selections cross the four official Fish era studio albums, but puzzlingly room is not found for the non album track "Market square heroes", which was always a live favourite. While there is in doubt these performances are live, there is little variation from the studio originals. The rendition of "Part 1" of "Misplaced Childhood" (up to "Heart of Lothian") is superb, with a majesty to Rothery's guitar work in particular which does go beyond even the studio version.

Clearly the tour during which this album was recorded must have been difficult. "Clutching at straws" was a thinly veiled farewell album for Fish, the lyrics of a number of the songs reflecting both his personal issues and those he had with the rest of the band. "The Thieving Magpie" does serve well though, as a fitting epitaph to this all too brief part of the band's existence.

Having the LP version is a real bonus when it comes to the packaging. The wonderful gatefold sleeve illustration is a collage of images from the band's early albums, the four faces of the inner sleeves each being dedicated to one of the four albums. There are a myriad of band photos on each sleeve too.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#82776)
Posted Wednesday, July 05, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars My introduction to this band, I held it in my hands for a zillion times in the record store never buying it, because it was in the heavy metal section, but one day I borrowed it from the library, and was blown away immediatly. within one month I had bought every album by the band at that time, so I had to no money left (I was just 15, without a job). Money well spend on this amazing band.

In retrospect I have to downgrade the album a bit, knowing better and more compelling performances in bootlegs, but the setlist is great and the perfomance adequate, and at the time i thought it was practically perfect.

Highlights on this album are Script, Fugazi, Chelsea Monday and the classical opening, but since there are no bad songs from Marillion all songs could have been used and it would have worked just as magical.

Basically this is a must have album for Marillion fans, and a very good introduction to the band, for it captures their magic brilliantly. Some other bootleg live albums are better, but that's besides the point, this is where it started for me, and I still love listening to it on a regular basis.

recommended to all.

Peace Out

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Send comments to DeathRow (BETA) | Report this review (#89706)
Posted Friday, September 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars What to say about this live Marillion one ?

At the time of release Fish was about to leave and a whole bunch of Fans will be completely lost. Marillion was a very successful band in these days : topping the charts both with their albums or with their singles. Marillion was able to combine the compositions of catchy and pop songs together with more complex and less accessible tracks.

Marillion already released some live albums, one fully concentrated on their debut studio one "Recital Of The Script" in a video format (converted to DVD some years later), while "Real To Real" and its companion "Brief Encounter" were focused mostly on "Fugazzi" (with here and there an exception).

This live album is split into two distinct CD's. One is fully dedicated to "Misplaced Childhood" and provides a good and faithful rendition of their concept album, while the other one is a kaleidoscope of different concerts. And this is the major problem of this CD.

I have always felt that the greatest live CD's comes out only one single performance. At least there is a continuity and one can feel the atmosphere changing as long as the concert goes on. Here and there we get some contact with the audience, get the reaction from the people attending etc. A true live performance. Nothing as such here, and that'a a pity.

When one knows the awful lot of boots available for Marillion, I do not understand that they did not tape entire concerts and released a live album based on that. Well, actually, they have done it and they will release some of them later on (much later actually). Like in their fantastic three double CD's :"Curtain Call" released in ... 2004.

Thier last album at the time of this release is well represented with four tracks : "Slainte Mhath", "Sugar Mice", "Incommunicado" and "White Russian". But I miss the "Straw Suite" as well as "Beaujolais Day" which was one of my preferred song of the album and released on the remastered edition only. The best song of "Fugazzi" is here and is represented by the title track of course.

Some more commercial tracks will be featured as well, giving the impression of some sorts of "Best Of Live" like " He Knows You Know" and "Punch and Judy". Their magnificent debut album is not forgotten since "Chelsea Monday" and "Script for a Jester's Tear" are here as well and very nice played.

This live album is very good of course : sound is great as well as musicianship. But it lacks in what makes the essence of a great one : the feeling of unity. But don't worry, we'll get it later on as I have mentioned.

Four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#123126)
Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Thieving Magpie was sort of a farewell release from Fish's departure, containing a wide selection of live material from different concerts during the Fish era. Because it is more of a compilation than an actual recording of a single show or group of related shows, the overall album seems to lack cohesion. The production on some of the songs, particularly on disc one, could have been better as it seems the higher tones are drowned out quite a bit. And finally, I would have preferred more of their earlier material, but since that was covered on their Real to Reel live album of 1984, I can understand why the focus was more on later material.

Even with the negatives I have just mentioned, this release is a fairly good document of the latter years of Fish-era Marillion performances. Highly recommended for Marillion and Fish fans. For the rest of you this should not be a "high priority" purchase. Three stars. Good, but not essential.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#141360)
Posted Monday, October 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This album has a kind of bitter/sweet taste. I was sad because by the time it was released I knew Fish would be out of the band. And Marillion at the time was my top group, one of the few new prog acts that really made it big in the 80´s. I still did not know at the time of such great ones like Pendragon or IQ, but since even those bands were facing rocky periods, I guess it wouldn´t have mattered anyway. Who could have guessed they´d come back in such greatness?

Anyway, the sweet side of it is the fact that Marillion was one of those rare cases (at least prog wise) in that they were actually better on the stage than on studio. So it was no surprise that that album became one of my favorites ever. Although the earlier Real To Reel was more energitic, this one had far more songs and the band, whatever problems they had at the time, was still in its best shape. Those two albums were always on my record player (and latter, CD player) during the years.

The highlights are many: stunning, better-than-studio versions of almost every track, but I should point out the definitive versions of Script For A Jesters Tear, Fugazi, Kayleigh and Jigsaw. The whole Childhood´s End album on CD 2 was a big deal when the compact disc format was released (the original double LP had only half of it and did not feature Freaks either). The only downside is the choice of tracks from their last studio work, the classic Clutching At Straws: that album had much more powerful stuff than the ones which torned out in The Thieving Magpie (like the beautiful Warm Wet Circles). But nothing´s perfect, isn´t it?

This CD is an excellent companion to the previous Real To Reel and shows how great this band was in front of an audience, even if facing some critical internal problems. Marillion with Fish on vocals was one of those special bands that arrive only once in a lifetime. 4,5 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#184566)
Posted Friday, October 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The sounds of the crowd are gradually interrupted buy a pumped-in version of Rossini's Overture to La Gazza Ladra. The crowd begins to clap to the music as it continues in it's mission. The power of the overture continues to reveal itself building up to a cresendo and finale. As the overture ends, Mark Kelly's keyboard releases a familiar song that errupts into the full band playing Slàinte Mhath. This is one of my all-time favorite recorded intros to a concert.

While I won't go into detail about individual songs, this album is a MUST HAVE for one simple reason. It is the last official live release of Fish singing with Marillion, and in my opinion, Fish was at his theatric peak. The plus of the band sounding great, along with a great production doesn't hurt either. The additional treat is the inclusion of an entire Marillion studio release being played live. Misplaced Childhood takes up it's own disc.

This is an album that marks history in Neo-Prog. Even if you are not a big fan of Marillion, having this release is mandatory for your Prog collection.

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Send comments to StyLaZyn (BETA) | Report this review (#213103)
Posted Friday, May 01, 2009 | Review Permalink
progkidjoel
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Marillion - La Gazza Ladra

Review by ProgKidJoel

Marillion's "La Gazza Ladra" is a truly fine compilation live album from Marillion, capturing the band at their touring peak. Although the first disc is made up of recordings from separate tour nights, this doesn't really reduce my enjoyment of the fantastic performance. The second disc is a live recording of the band's smash hit album, MISPLACED CHILDHOOD, and this is what really makes this 2CD set a must-have for Marillion fans.

The first disc is somewhat of a best hits of Marillion collection, featuring tracks spanning their entire career upto CLUTCHING AT STRAWS. Each track begins with a fade in and fade out, as they were recorded at different concerts. The use of a continual applause effect between tracks (as heard on Marillion's first live album, REAL TO REEL) would have been a nice innovation which would've made this feel like more of a whole concert.

Sonically, these two discs are sufficient - Not amazing, but none-the-less good. The second is admitedly a better recording than the first, although this doesn't really detract from my overall enjoyment of this great little bundle.

These are two great discs, and are great for Marillion fans, and especially are just as good for newcomers to Neo-prog's finest!

Keep proggin'

-Joel

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Send comments to progkidjoel (BETA) | Report this review (#239718)
Posted Thursday, September 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra is a live album release by UK progressive rock act Marillion. The album released as double vinyl, double CD and cassette. The CD and cassette versions include the additional track Freaks and the full performance of Misplaced Childhood (1985). The vinyl version only include 5 out of the 10 tracks from that album. I´ll be reviewing the double CD version.

As far as song selection goes The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra is simply all you could wish for as a fan of Fish-era Marillion. The full Misplaced Childhood album takes up the space on disc 2 while disc 1, which starts with the overture to Rossini's opera La gazza ladra as an intro, contains a good mix of songs from Script For A Jester's Tear (1983), Fugazi (1984) and Clutching at Straws (1987). The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra does not only serve as an excellent live presentation of Fish-era Marillion but also a an excellent compilation from that period. Besides songs from the studio albums we also get a great live version of the single track Freaks. There are no song overlabs with the previous live album release Real to Reel (1984) which makes The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra even more attractive IMO. The Misplaced Childhood songs on disc 2 are recorded at the same show while the songs on disc 1 are recorded at various shows and with breaks between the songs. It´s not something that destroys the flow if you ask me but some might find it a minor problem. The song selection can always be discussed but personally I´m not complaining. To hear songs like Slàinte Mhath, He knows you know, Punch and Judy, Sugar Mice, White Russian and Fugazi played live is simply a treat. The performance is impeccable and while the instrumental side of the music more or less sounds like the studio versions ( no improvised pieces as far as I can hear) Fish vocal performance does make the songs different from the studio versions. If you don´t enjoy polished and "close to the original studio versions" live albums, The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra probably isn´t for you. Check out Early Stages: The Official Bootlegs 1982-1987 (2008) instead if you want a more raw version of how Fish-era Marillion sounded in a live environment.

The sound quality is excellent but I´m sure this is one of those live albums with massive overdubs. If not this is quite a perfect performance by Marillion and an even better one by their producer.

The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra is an excellent live album by Marillion. For newcommers to Fish-era Marillion this album could well serve as a great introduction to the band. I find the album to be an essential part of any progressive rock collection. A 5 star rating is well deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#275186)
Posted Monday, March 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Marillion might have been considered highly influenced by the early Genesis records but this album actually takes its inspiration directly from Camel's 1978 A Live Record where the band performed their concept piece The Snow Goose right after a set of greatest hits material.

The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra is easily the best live retrospective that could fit on a 2-CD release. The album skips most of the tracks I don't care so much for like Assassing, Garden Party and Incubus. Instead we get some top-notch performances of compositions like Freaks, Sugar Mice and Fugazi that easily sound as good as, if not better then, their studio counterparts. It's true that most of these performances sound almost identical to the studio versions but that could probably be said about most of Marillion's performances. Luckily Fish adds a few new touches here and there that spice up the mood. Still, it's a pity that all audience-interaction has been cut from the album but that could probably be explained by the limitations of the vinyl and although the CD version added quite a few new tracks they never bothered to adjust anything else.

The only major change on this release is the switch of Bitter Suite's ending (ending of Misplaced Rendezvous-section) and addition of it to Heart Of Lothian. While Lords Of The Backstage added the first part of Blind Curve making the compositions slightly less coherent but it's a welcomed mix-up that in result doesn't do any damage.

Most of these performance are well documented although some tracks have Fish's audio levels a bit low but it doesn't distract from the overall experience too much. I really like how the album picked most of the essential tracks from all the four albums and although it would have been awesome to hear Miss the Hotel Hobbies/Warm Wet Circles/That Time Of The Night as the concert opener, but Slàinte Mhath works surprisingly well in that position and aside from those tracks most of Clutching At Straws-essentials are here.

The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra is a great live compilation that documents the band at the peak of their career doing what they do best. What else could we possibly ask for? I realize that my review mostly highlighted this albums flaws but I did it entirely out of the great admiration I have for this release and you can just assume that everything I didn't mention is completely flawless.

***** star songs: Slàinte Mhath (4:50) Freaks (4:06) Sugar Mice (6:03) Fugazi (8:39) Script For A Jester's Tears (8:46) White Russian (6:14) Pseudo Silk Kimono (2:19) Lavender (2:27) Heart Of Lothian (5:13) Blind Curve (5:35) Childhood's End? (2:48)

**** star songs: He Knows You Know (5:13) Chelsea Monday (8:01) Jigsaw (6:24) Punch And Judy (3:23) Incommunicado (5:23) Kayleigh (3:52) Bitter Suite (7:38) Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) (2:17) Lords Of The Backstage (6:08) White Feather (4:23)

*** star songs: Intro-La Gazza Ladra (2:46)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#276742)
Posted Wednesday, April 07, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Back when I was 16, I was a real Marillion 'Freak'. The walls of my room were literally cluttered with Marillion posters an attending the Clutching At Straws live show in Brussels 1987 was my first ever concert and a magical experience. So, after the tragic news about the break-up with Fish, this live album came eagerly anticipated.

Believe it or not but I've always been rather disappointed by it. There are gripping highlights such as Slainte Mhath and Chelsea Monday superseding the studio originals but a lot of the other songs don't seem to capture the live adrenaline that I had experienced live. Additionally, the album is pieced together from different shows and doesn't flow very well, some songs such as Script and Fugazi even sound different from the others. It all makes a rather hurried and 'contractual obligation' impression and it sure can't stand the comparison with the vintage live material that has been release since. The Misplaced Childhood recording is as good as the studio album but doesn't add anything neither.

Anyway, it is an excellent addition for the fans and it almost deserves 4 stars just by the strength of the songs alone, but as a live document I much prefer the more focused Real to Reel and the Early Stages box.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#278522)
Posted Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I first heard of Marillion in the late 90's after being outside the prog music scene for about 15 years. Fish-era Marillion was often favourably compared to Gabriel Genesis in what was the Paperlate Genesis mailing list. The recommendations were sufficient to go and explore. This double live CD was one of my first Marillion purchases which I have recently enjoyed again.

Side 1 is long (73+ minutes) and takes in most of the best early Marillion songs. There are many highlights. I usually play albums sequentially from the first track and very rarely skip or replay a title. However, the version of Fugazi (8:38) is so powerful that it deserved not just 1 or 2 replays but 3. This track captures the essence of early Marillion with changes in timing, dynamics, instrumental passages, and interesting lyrics. Starting softly and then building to a crescendo. Great stuff.

Side 2 is a complete live version of their 3rd studio effort "Misplaced Childhood" that has been faithfully reproduced live.

This is an excellent addition to any prog rock collection. Highly Recommended.

4 Stars

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Send comments to KeepItDark (BETA) | Report this review (#358939)
Posted Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This double cassette (later double CD...... the medium I base this review on) was one of my first forays into progressive rock and I bought it pretty close on it's release date. I loved it then and I still very much like this live album.

Marillion was riding on the top of the wave with sold out arenas under the Fish era. This live album is pretty much the last sounds to come from the Fish era. Well, that until some recently released live albums from that era (I believe). It is also a very worthy document from that era.

The Fish version of Marillion was a grande orchestra with big sound and as I later learned; a symphonic prog sound. An updated one minus things like moog and mellotron, that is. This has later been labelled Neo Prog. And prog it is. The first disc is a compilation from gigs in Edinburgh and other places of some of their best material from Script, Fugazi and Clutching albums. Great tracks, they are. For some strange reason, Freaks was released as a single from this album and that is the weakest track here by far. The rest is great.

Disc 2, or cassette 2 when I bought it back in 1988, includes most of the massive selling Misplaced Childhood. An album with more than one references to Genesis, I later learned. Disc 2 is simply great and a symphonic prog fan's wet dream..... to a large degree.

In the process of reviewing this album again, I gave it some listening sessions. I have to admit nothing has changed between 1988 and today in my estimation of this album. This is a truly great live album and a great reason to love Marillion's Fish era.

4 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#444486)
Posted Sunday, May 08, 2011 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars First I bought the double vinyl, then, when I saw the CD in a shop it made me very upset: On my edition there was just half of Misplaced Childhood while the CD had the whole plus some other "extra" songs. It was probably a way to push people in buying CDs and leave the vinyl.

The good of this double CD is that it's a quite complete anthology of the Fish period. With the addition of Grendel or Three Boat Down From The Candy it would have covered also the very beginnings, but there's Script and Freaks anyway.

It's opened, as the Marillion's gigs in that period, by an excerpt from Rossini's "La Gazza Ladra". A Thieving Magpie is painted on almost all the cover sleeves of the first band's albums and it's a sort of symbol, together with the Arlequin mask character, so the album's title is very appropriate as it's a sort of "So long and thanks for all the Fish".

It's good how the Rossini's suite final fades into Slaithe Mhath, and this is exactly how their gigs were.

Marillion have always been a good live band, their live executions are not too different from the studio versions, and when they are different is just because they add something. The only song that effectively sounds better on studio is Sugarmice on which Fish adds some useless singing at the end.

It's a must for Marillion fans, specially those of the first years and a good addition for those who are not familiar with them or the neo-prog in general. After listening to this album you'll have heard enough to decide if you like the band or not.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#455003)
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This blew my expectations to smitherines. For fans like myself who are more into the Fish era of MARILLION you can't go wrong with this live double disc recording that spans those first four incredible albums.The second disc includes the whole of "Misplaced Childhood" played in it's entirety and considering that's my favourite album from them it's a real pleasure to hear this.This whole recording sounds fantastic though as these songs equal and often surpass the studio versions.

Not a fan of the Classical crap to open the proceedings and even "Slainte Mhath" seems to get off to a slow start.That all changes with "He Knows You Know" with those passionate vocals and guitar. Nice finish too. "Chelsea Monday" might be my favourite of disc one.The emotion is incredible and Rothery is playing with lots of that. "Freaks" sounds good once it gets going.

"Jigsaw" with those repeated words "Stand straight, stand straight" is a killer turn. "Punch And Judy" is a fan favourite.Those words "Whatever happened to..." have so much emotion. "Sugar Mice" is beautiful. "Fugazi" is a great track with the early piano and vocals.

"Script For A Jester's Tear" has so much passion after 2 minutes and emotion after 6 minutes. "In Communicado" builds and there's lots of synths and energy as the vocals join in. Uplifting after 2 1/2 minutes then again at 4 minutes. "White Russian" is a great song to end it with and a top three from disc one. Love the drumming and Fish's passionate vocals. I like the calm too 4 minutes in. So we get about 70 minutes dedicated to three of their albums then 42 minutes for my favourite album by them. No problem here.

Disc two as I mentioned is "Misplaced Childhood" played in it's entirety.This is simply a joy for me and I like the way many of these tracks blend into one another. Apparently this was the first time they had played this complete album live, but I think this was also the last.The atmosphere is incredible on the opening "Pseudo Silk Kimono" as it blends into one of my favourites in "Kayleigh". So good."Do you remember...". It blends into "Laveneder" where the crowd is clapping along. "Bitter Suite" is about the atmosphere and random drum patterns early. Love the guitar later. I like when Fish shouts "Rain on me" in the song "Heart Of Lothian".

"Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)" has atmosphere and guitar before it kicks in. Nice percussion too. "Lords Of The Backstage" has some energetic guitar from Rothery late followed a great section after 4 1/2 minutes. "Blind Curve" opens with atmosphere and spoken words as the drums beat. He shouts out after 2 1/2 minutes then it gets fuller after 3 minutes. "Childhood's End?" has guitar to start as the crowd claps along. "White Feather" ends it with some fast paced vocals from Fish and a big finish.

Easily 4 stars and i'm so glad to own this.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#470448)
Posted Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If you want to pick up Marillion's The Thieving Magpie, I heartily recommend the CD version over the vinyl, because it is only the CD version which presents a complete live rendition of Misplaced Childhood on its second disc. This performance is by far the most attractive feature of the album, since it is a continuous performance, whereas the first disc consists of scraps from here and there - a song or two from the Fugazi tour here, a clutch of songs from the Clutching At Straws tour there. This means that the first disc is perhaps the most muddled live Marillion release of the Fish era; Recital of the Script, Live at Loreley, Curtain Call and Early Stages all offer complete shows, and Real to Reel is structured so that side A comes from one show and side B comes from another (and both shows are from the same tour) so it at least has some conceptual cohesiveness.

Still, The Thieving Magpie remains the only viable option for getting a complete live version of Misplaced Childhood (performed by Marillion, at any rate) unless you want to go to the effort and expense of tracking down a copy of the now quite rare Curtain Call boxed set. Three stars for disc 1 and four and a half for disc 2 yields a fair score of four stars.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#589448)
Posted Friday, December 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
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 ! ).

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Send comments to rupert (BETA) | Report this review (#610435)
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2012 | Review Permalink

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