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Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars The band kind of had a dud with the 12” version of this single. While “Kayleigh” was a great song and was one of the few Marillion singles to get radio play in the U.S. in the early eighties, neither of the versions on this album saw much air time as far as I know (even though I’m sure that’s what this release was meant for).

The first “Kayleigh” version has even more reverb and echo than the one on ‘Misplaced Childhood’, and there’s a weird second vocal track of Fish sort of accompanying himself that sounds at times like an echo, and at other times like someone who is trying to sing along but doesn’t quite have the timing down. The second version is a bit better as most of the weird studio effects are left off (except those the band was accustomed to including even on their studio albums), and Steve Rothery extends his guitar solo in the middle just a bit which turns out well. Not enough to qualify as a substantially different mix, but a different one nonetheless.

“Lady Nina” on the b-side is a slightly extended version, but from what I’m not sure since the only other places I’ve seen this song is on ‘B-sides Themselves’ and some of the band’s remastered eighties albums. The lyrics would have fit better with ‘Fugazi’ than ‘Misplaced Childhood’ in my opinion, and I’ve never found this to be among the band’s better tracks.

Marillion could have done a much better job of exploiting the success of “Kayleigh” than they did with this extended single as far as I’m concerned. Maybe backed it with “Childhood End” or “Bitter Suite” – now that would have made for a great single. As it is I have to say that this one is definitely for collectors only; if you have to have these mixes, I’m pretty sure they’re on the remastered album. Two stars.


Report this review (#176319)
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The vynyl of this single was released after we had been listening to two Marillion studio albums Script for A Jester Tear and Fugazi plus one live work Real to Reel. Again, a friend of us in Dodrecht, Netherland send the vynyl to us in Bandung. So, we were very curious about how the music would be consistent with the previous two studio albums or not. It surprised me that Marillion started going disco with Lady Nina because it's not usual music of Marillion. Our disappointment went worsen with the experience playing Kayleigh that did not sound rockin'. It's quite good but too poppy for Marillion.

We started worrying that the next album by Marillion would go totally pop. Only later I knew that when the Misplaced Childhood full album was released I found that the album version of Kayleigh is much better because it has longer guitar solo, unlike the single version. Lucky also that the third full album was not totally pop and it fact it was a great concept album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#183359)
Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Neo-prog 'guilty pleasure'?"

1. Kayleigh (03:33)

Between the albums Fugazi (1984) and Misplaced Childhood (1985) EMI and Marillion negociated about the music: the band wanted to make a concept album, EMI was OK but on the condition that Marillion delivered a commercial song, for a hit single. Well, we know the result, that commercial song became Kayleigh: it reached the #2 position in the UK (in The Netherlands #12, in Germany #7 and in the USA #74) and it remained 14 weeks in the charts, then Marillion got the headline spot on the Milton Keynes festival and all concerts at the Wembley Arena were sold out, incredible for a progressive rock rooted band!

About the title Fish said: "I'd wanted to write a song about a girlfriend I'd split up with, whose name was Kay (in 2012 she passed away). Which of course we couldn't do. So we added her middle name, Lee, and it became Kayleigh instead. "But it wasn't just about Kay, it was inspired by three or four different people in my life."

The song starts with a fragile guitar riff that carry you away to a climate that alternates between romantic and melancholic, perfectly blended with Fish his tender vocals. The refrain features a soft outburst in which Fish sounds more powerful, to emphazise his deep feelings about the broken relationships. Halfway Rothery delivers a splendid guitar solo, very moving and powerful, as a long and desperate cry how it all went wrong. In the final phrase "Maybe it will prove that we were right. Or ever prove that I was wrong" Fish strongly sings the word "wrong" and the music fades away.

This timeless composition made many fans happy and lots of daughters were named Kayleigh. But listening to Kayleigh I still have strong mixed feelings after all those years, is this a brilliant ballad or a tedious tearjerker? Well, from now on it's my 'guilty pleasure'.

2. Lady Nina (03:41)

Fish said: "I was going through a very Bohemian element, you know. I remember hanging about this place called 'Rasputins', which was one of the famous German brothels, and I used to go along and just write there at night with the girls, and talk to the girls, sitting in the red light of the bar. Lady Nina was written there."

Typical early Marillion neo-prog song featuring strong guitarwork, propulsive drum beats, an important role for the vocals and lyrics from Fish ("I know you'll never act with me, I know that you're in love with me. So how do I compare to the sailors of the ships of the night? Was I all right? Did you come tonight, lady Nina?" and in the final part pleasant synthesizer flights.

Report this review (#1914632)
Posted Sunday, April 15, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars Time for a nostalgic trip, to the new year's night 1985/86. I'm 15 years old. Influenced by the vinyl collections of my big brother and sister (with a special interest for the early 80's albums by Saga, Asia, Yes, Jon Anderson, Mike Oldfield and Rush), I have been a music listener for a couple of years, but instead of having my own vinyls I only have a heap of home taped cassettes at this point. One of my favourite bands is Dire Straits. On the new year's night, there's an outdoor rock concert on the TV, with various artists. Then comes this unknown band whose vocalist has red paint on his cheek. The song that especially catches my attention contains lyrics with several lines beginning with "Do you remember". Sounds good, I want to know this band better! What was the name, Marillion?

And so, the following spring I finally start to buy vinyls, and the first one is Fugazi by this new-found band. I talked my friend over to get Misplaced Childhood. For the next couple of years I'm a *fan* the way I've never been ever since. Of course my "Marillionism" wore out because I always prefer to keep finding new stuff, new bands. But finding Marillion eventually helped me to find the whole progressive rock genre of which I already had had a more pop-oriented taste from my bro's & sis's vinyls without being aware of such thing as progressive rock. Soon I fell in love with the classic 70's albums by Genesis, Yes, Camel, Renaissance, etc. No doubt, sooner or later it would have happened without Marillion as well, but nevertheless Marillion -- and 'Kayleigh' in particular -- has a special place in my early listening history.

To counterbalance my personal memories, here's some information: 'Kayleigh' (from Misplaced Childhood concept album) was Marillion's most successful single in the UK, where it peaked at number-two and stayed on the chart for a total of 14 weeks. It also became the band's most successful single worldwide, reaching the top 10 in the Republic of Ireland, Norway and France, reached no. 1 in Poland, and became the band's sole appearance on the United States Billboard Hot 100, hitting number 74 in October 1985. The song popularised the name Kayleigh in the UK.

The B side of the single is 'Lady Nina', a pretty lightweight song for a prostitute. As a Marillionist I did buy several singles and maxi-singles too, but 'Lady Nina' became familiar to me from B'Sides Themselves compilation LP. I always appreciate it when a band (or artist in general) makes non-album B-siders, even when the song in question isn't so spectacular. Marillion were a good example of such band. 'Lady Nina' is best described as nice and harmless.

Report this review (#2448645)
Posted Friday, September 18, 2020 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Kayleigh" is a single release by UK progressive rock act Marillion. The single was released through EMI Records in May 1985 and was the first single released to promote the bandīs third full-length studio album "Misplaced Childhood" from June 1985. "Kayleigh" became Marillionīs greatest hit single and helped them achieve the commercial success they had been working for since their inception.

The "Kayleigh" exists in several different versions, but the international 7" single version features "Kayleigh" (in a slightly different version than the album version from "Misplaced Childhood" (1985)) and the non-album track "Lady Nina" as the B-side. The latter would become available on the 1988 "B'Sides Themselves" compilation album only a few years later. "Kayleigh" is one of the ultimate break-up love songs, with lead vocalist/lyricists Fish telling the listener about several romantic episodes, but also his longing for his lost loves. In this case presented as one woman, but in reality a collage of different love interests and moments from those relationships. Itīs a deeply personal song and thatīs what makes it such a compelling listen (plus the signature opening guitar riff). Fish is a master of relationship poetry, that both feels romantic, melancholic, and relatable.

"Lady Nina" is a great Marillion song too. Instrumentally itīs maybe not the most interesting track, but Fish lyrics and vocals are quite brilliant, telling a story about a middle aged woman (maybe a prostitute) who has lived her life on the merits of her beauty, but age has caught up with her, and what has she got now? Upon conclusion "Kayleigh" is an excellent single release and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#2694732)
Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2022 | Review Permalink

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