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Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear (2020 Limited Deluxe Edition) CD (album) cover




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5 stars The 2020 deluxe version of Script For a Jester's Tear offers up a treasury of wonders. The freshly remastered album, given a careful remix by Andy Bradfield and Avril Mackintosh, feels like a distinct improvement over the previous 1997 remaster of the album; now that the CD mastering "loudness wars" have passed the material is given a bit more room to breathe and it all just sounds fantastic, with new subtleties teased out. They even tease the best out of Mick Pointer's drumming.

The second CD gives the same treatment to the Market Square Heroes EP - with Charting the Single also spruced up as a bonus track. Significantly, the version of Grendel here is not the "Fair Deal Studios version" from the 2CD version of the 1997 reissue, but the studio version which was originally released with the EP - the first time this track has had a proper clean-up on CD since it was issued as part of B'side Themselves. Andy and Avril have worked wonders with this version of the track, dialling back some of the inappropriate sunniness of the earlier mix and investing it with the dark spirit of the Fair Deal Studios version, whilst at the same time bringing out details of the performances that the Fair Deal version obscures. It may be in the running for my favourite rendition of the song now.

Last off, there's a live show from the Marquee from 29th December 1982. If you have the Early Stages boxed set, you'll have the 30th December performance, and the running order between the two is identical, but a) if you have that box and you enjoy it you're probably the sort of person who can't get enough live Fish anyway and b) if you don't have that box, this is a pretty good show from the Script-era lineup.

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Posted Monday, April 20, 2020 | Review Permalink

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