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Marillion - Assassing CD (album) cover




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Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Back when I was in the Marine Corps in the eighties I came very close to getting the cover of this disk made into a tattoo on my left arm. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

I’m not even sure what version of the single I have. I bought it as an import back around 1985 or so. There’s no disk number that I can tell, other than a “12Maril2” on the back cover and printed on both sides of the disk label. Marillion list a 12” picture disk of this single on their web site, but mine is not a picture disk – it’s simply a 12” inch single inside a flimsy paper sleeve. The band’s web site also lists this single as containing an “edit” and “full” version of “Assassing” along with “Cinderella Search”. Mine has a version of “Assassing” on the front side which is listed as a “full” version, and only “Cinderella Search” on the back. I haven’t done a note-by-note comparison or anything, but the version of “Assassing” doesn’t sound much different than the album version to me.

This was the first time I had heard “Cinderella Search”, as either the ‘Real to Reel’ live album hadn’t come out yet, or I hadn’t picked it up. In fact, if I bought that one on cassette, something I now regret unfortunately.

This is an early release of what would become a very long line of extended Marillion singles. I probably wouldn’t have bought it except that the band was pretty huge at the time and I really liked the cover art. I’m inclined to give it two stars since I’m pretty sure these are the same versions available on the remastered reissue of ‘Assassing’ that came out in the late nineties. But the fact the band was being opportunistic doesn’t really take away from the quality of the music, so we’ll settle for three stars and call it good.


Report this review (#176318)
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I don't own this vynyl, but my prog mate (I'an) do. I remember vividly when I was doing an engineering degree in Bandung and by that time my life was filled with Marillion music with their debut Script for A Jester's Tear and EP Market Square Heroes. It had been a year since the release of phenomenal album Script where my cassette started to ruin due to extensive playback on Script album and it was THE ONLY music released in 1983 that satisfied my expectations. Everyday we searched information about this new band with practically no track record before. And, by that time we had no internet technology yet and so Dr. Google was not around. So, I'an and me tried to source prog rock material from Netherland and we found a magazine called SYM INFO. We did not understand Dutch but we were very very happy to be able to see the band's picture in the magazine which happened in many issues of the magazine that finally we subscribed - for the sake of obtaining info about Marillion! You can imagine how great our anxiety towards Marillion which both I'an and me were very delifghted to have their music. One of the Marillion articles in that magazine featured band's photograph and special spot on Fish with head band, the caption said Kopstuk Fish which assumed that it meant Fish with head band.

One day we knew from SymInfo magz that Marillion would issue this ASSASSING single while at that time we were actually expecting new album. But never mind, finally, through a friend of us who stayed at Dodrecht (spelling) in the Dutch, we purchased the vynyl. We were so afraid that Marillion would go pop after Script. After a long waiting period (remember, there was no internet and we could not order through Amazon) we finally got this vynyl. I had the privilage from I'an to have a spen of the vynyl to taste the new Marillion. I was immediatley impressed by the production quality (sonic quality) of the vynyl especially on Cinderella Search even though the song is pop in nature. I also liked Assassing even though it's in a short duration of track. I find this single is good and luckily I have the Marillion Singles collection where this single has been digitalized into the boxed set.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Report this review (#183358)
Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Side 1 :

Assassing - full version (7:01) :

On my 12" version of the Assassing single by Marillion everything matches: the intricate Mark Wilkinson cover, the dynamic neo-prog, the passionate vocals, the venemous lyrics and, last but not least, the outstanding drums by new member Ian Mosley.

About the sultry intro Steve Rothery told: "The germ of the idea came while we were writing at Mountain studios in Wales in the summer of '83. I'd just got my Roland guitar synthesizer and was experimenting with it and Fish had been driving us all mad by playing Islamic records he'd got from Peter Hammill, at great volume all the time".

Then a catchy beat and dynamic music, focussing on Fish his vocals and lyrics, pretty emotional and personal. I read that Fish his sarcastic lines point at his former friend and ex-Marillion drummer Mike Pointer, Fish was very disappointed about him and felt bitterly hurt. This generated wonderful poetical words with a bitter undertone: "I am the assassin, with tongue forged in eloquence. I am the assassin, providing your nemesis." To emphasize his anger he repeated the words "My friend" several times, spoken with a lot of venom!

We can also enjoy a powerful guitar solo, Mark Kelly his distinctive synthesizer flights and Ian Mosley his fluent drumwork. But Fish shines with his vocals and creative lyrics, loaded with references, like: "The scarf with the fugi knot" (Fugi is a corruption of Thuggee, worshipers of Kali who would strangle their victims in the name of religion. The method of strangulation was by a yellow scarf into which a one rupee had been knotted.) and "Non-com observer" (this refers to non-combatant, not non-commissioned, in this case. It was a term used especially in Vietnam and Korea meaning film crews, journalists, photographers and the like who were involved in the documenting of events, and were not required to take part in any military action."). The dynamic and melodic atmosphere on Assassing (typical neo-prog) appealed to the fans,. And it became a popular composition during the concerts, also due to Fish his mesmerizing stage antics.

Side 2 :

Cinderella Search - full version (5:24) : Originally this is a not a Fugazi album track. The atmosphere is mellow featuring the sentimental side of Fish ( wonderful poetry with a strong Freudian undertone, about sex, addictions and fear for rejection) and sensitive electric guitar runs. Halfway a short break, then a compelling accelaration with powerful drums, melancholical vocals and fiery electric guitarplay, slowly fading away. Simply beautiful.

Assassing - edited version = not on UK version (3.38)

The single reached the #22 position in the UK charts in May 1984, supported by a smooth video featuring Fish like a kind of New Wave singer. But on stage Fish was way more captivating, with a new outfit for Assassing during the Real To Reel tour (late 1984), see my avatar.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#1913781)
Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2018 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars In the 80´s a had a friend who used to travel to Europe and got a lot of records that were completely unavailable for us in Brazil at the time. And she had this single (in picture disc form, if I´m not mistaken). I really loved it, specially for its flip side, Cinderella Search. Probably Marillion´s best romantic song ever, with its beautiful lyrics and superb music to match the inspired title, theme and words, it also features one of Steve Rothery´s most emotional solos of his life. The "A" side is another classic track from this band, unfortunately marred by editing: at only 3;35 minutes it has little more than half of its original length, even if that does not make the songs loose its power and venom.

However, as good as they were, both versions here would pale from their renditions on Real To Reel live album of 1984. On that LP, Assassin in particular is much better than even the full length version of Fugazi. Cinderella Search also benefits greatly from the live performance, specially the new, dramatic, ending.

So, in the end, this single has more a historical importance than a musical one, since better interpretations pof both tracks can be found elsewhere. Also the cover art of the single is fantastic. For that alone I think the single was worth, at least at the time.

Report this review (#2476360)
Posted Monday, November 16, 2020 | Review Permalink

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