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Marillion Brief Encounter album cover
2.72 | 78 ratings | 13 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lady Nina (extended version) (5:47)
2. Freaks (single version) (4:09)
3. Kayleigh (live version) (4:11)
4. Fugazi (live version) (8:32)
5. Script for a Jester's tears (live version) (8:52)

Total Time: 31:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Fish / vocals
- Mark Kelly / keyboards
- Ian Mosley / drums
- Steve Rothery / guitars
- Pete Trewavas / basses

Releases information

Capitol #MLP - 15023

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Buy MARILLION Brief Encounter Music

MARILLION Brief Encounter ratings distribution

(78 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

MARILLION Brief Encounter reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With 3 live tracks out of 5, this record is mainly for people who want to know how Marillion sounds live. Despite the sound of those 3 tracks is not crystal clear, like on the studio albums, Fish's theatrical lead vocals are very palpable, especially on "Fugazi" and "Script from a jester's tear". The last live track, "Kayleigh", has a pleasant live atmosphere, as reveals the responding crowd shouting "Kayleigh". The strongest track is definitely "Lady Nina", a pompous accessible track, having an almost perfect, very sustained and loud guitar solo. "Freaks" can also be heard on the "B-sides themselves" album. The album is very short, lasting around 30 minutes.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I remember vividly on the situation when I was waiting for the next release of Marillion's album after their seminal work "Misplaced Childhood" released in 1985. I was so afraid that the band would defunct because I had enjoyed their three albums plus one ep "Market Square Heroes". At the time, there was no internet connection or any other news with respect to new release. So I was just guessing what would happen next. It came out with "Brief Encounter" LP where it featured the band's two studio stracks "Lady Nina" and "Freaks" (that later became the name of Marillion fans club in addition to The Web). The rest of the tracks were live performance - each representing previous three albums: "Script For A Jester's Tear" - from the band's debut album with the same title, "Fugazi" - from second album with the same title and Kayleigh - the band's hit from "Misplaced Childhood" album (the third).

"Lady Nina" is an upbeat tempo music with pop / disco touch and keyboard-based rhythm section. It's probably quite accessible to introduce someone to the music of Marillion through this tune. "Freaks" is a nice rocking track with a good credo and Fish pondering vocals. "Kayleigh" played live was never heard before and it was truly a good treat as at the time I knew that this was the band's hit. "Fugazi" was performed similar with the version in "Real To Reel" album. "Script For A Jester's Tear" had never been played before and of course I did enjoy this version.

Overall, it's a good prog collection. Lately, the label has released the CD package that contains two LPs: "Real To Reel" and "Brief Encounter". I recommend you to purchase this two CD package than separate LP. Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. Keep on proggin' .!! Progressively yours, GW.

Review by Matti
2 stars My first Marillion review (and maybe last, due to my personal reviewing principles). What is Brief Encounter about? The simple answer: "Let's keep the fans satisfied - or more frankly, some money coming - since we're gonna have 2 years break with studio albums." Yeah, I was there, a fan waiting for new material, but I'm happy to recall it was my friend who bought this fan-thing of two b-side songs and three live tracks in half an hour's length. My friend played me 'Lady Nina' on the phone, ha. Those childish teenage days... Anyway our anxiety was well rewarded with Clutching at Straws next year. Also I got B'Sides Themselves in '88, but that compilation makes sense, especially for Grendel, if you don't buy singles.

I give extremely little value to things like this, and the same goes with maxi-singles and extended versions in general. It's so transparently commercial from a band (or record company) and in time they don't have hardly any value, in a practical sense I mean. How many live versions of individual songs anyone needs? I myself often don't care much for even one if the original pleases me.

I dedicate this review friendly to Gatot. A toast to the nostalgia of fandom days!

Review by sleeper
2 stars In 1986, on the back of the hugely successful album Misplaced Childhood, Marillion began a tour as the special guests of Rush and the Brief Encounter mini-album was released to commemorate the tour, primarily as a thank you to the bands then existing fans and as a helping hand in initiation for the new fans.

The first two songs on this disc are the studio recordings of Lady Nina and Freaks. To me these two songs are very much a mixed bag in that Lady Nina is a love song in the vein of Cinderella Search, Lavender and Kayleigh. To be honest there's nothing that stands out on this song as the music is pretty ordinary for Marillion and the lyrics are rather simple, more so than any Fish era song that I know of. Freaks, on the other hand, is a much better song, one of the best of Marillions short songs. Lyrically speaking, this song could very well act as progs very own theme tune and musically it isn't bad, though they have done much better.

The remaining three tracks on this album are all live performances, first off the immensely popular Kayleigh and the title tracks from the first two albums, Script for a Jester's Tear and Fugazi. The band give really good performances of the two title tracks, to the extent that I prefer them to the studio recordings, particularly Fugazi. As for Kayleigh, though its performed very well, it's a bit out of context without the rest of the concept album being played as Pseudo Silk Kimono is supposed to segue into this one and Kayleigh is supposed to segue into Lavender, which you can hear they clearly did in the concert.

It's a rather short disc at only just over 30 minutes and the only reason to buy this album on its own is to hear the live performances of Script. and Fugazi. However, there isn't actually any really bad songs here, even if Lady Nina is below par. I'll give this 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2, as its got some very decent music on it but only really for those that are interested in hearing more of Marillion after they get everything else.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This effort only holds three live pieces, which makes this EP a brief encounter indeed.

"Lady Nina" and "Freaks" were recorded during the "Misplaced" recordings at Hansa studio in Berlin. Both numbers will appear on the double CD and remastered version of "Misplaced". But this version of "Lady Nina" is different (extended). As such, it will be featured on the excellent "Singles Boxset 82-88". Those two songs, although not essentials of the Marillion catalogue are good ones (but again, there will be very few poor songs during the Fish era).

There will be one track of each Marillion album so far. Their hit-single "Kayleigh" from "Misplaced" (to boost sales, I guess), but more important the title tracks "Fugazzi" and "Script" which were the best songs on these respective albums (at least, they were my fave ones).

Those three songs were recorded at The Hammersmith Odeon in London (Marillion was almost at home there) on January 9th and 10th, 1986.

This EP is the perfect companion to "Real To Reel", released in 1985. Both were regrouped on a double CD in 1997 and I bought them under this packaging.

As the liner notes will tell us, this EP was released before their first major US tour during which they will be support act for Rush. It says : "this mini-album is being released primarily as a thank-you to (European) existing fans, but also as an introduction to the (US) uninitiated. The words under brackets are editions of mine.

As such, I would rate this EP with three stars.

Review by obiter
1 stars I was an acid fan at the time this was released. I was thoroughly disappointed with this mini album. Without Freaks it would have to relegated to the waste disposal unit.

I never liked Misplaced Childhood and found the pop hit Kayleigh really irritating. Fugazi and Script are great MArillion songs but I din't see how this album added anything to what we already had.

If you're a Marillion fan then complete your collection. If you're not then definitely skip this one.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars One can hardly blame Marillion for any lack of live material! The band did an excellent job of keeping documentation of their live performances all throughout their career that would be much too excessive for any new fans to get their heads around.

Brief Encounter gave the fan base something to hold them over throughout the band's first so-called gap year in terms of studio albums while they waited for what would become the last Marillion album before Fish departure from the band. Although now that we have Recital Of The Script , The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra and Curtain Call - A Live Archive 1983-1988, to name a few, this tiny document has become much too obsolete there isn't really much this recording brings to the table in terms of originality or historic value. It might still appeal to collectors since Brief Encounter almost can be considered an early take on the fan club system that the band have been known for in their later years.

There has been some controversy surrounding the origin of the live tracks. Although the liner notes state that they were recorded at Hammersmith Odeon on January 9&10, 1986, this information may be inaccurate, considering that Fish clearly says "Leicester, Goodnight" at the end of Fugazi. Wikipedia suggests that both Fugazi and Script For A Jester's Tear were actually recorded at Leicester De Montfort Hall on 5 March 1984.

Either way there isn't much that this recording has to offer to anyone only interested in hearing the most essential Marillion work. Therefore a fans/collectors only release.

**** star songs: Freaks (4:09) Kayleigh (4:11) Script For A Jester's Tears (8:52)

*** star songs: Fugazi (8:32)

** star songs: Lady Nina (5:47)

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
1 stars When I saw this vinyl in a shop it was a period in which I was used to buy everything of Marillion. A rapid glance to the track list told me that it contained two songs still unknown to me: Freaks and Lady Nina.

A live version of Script for a Jester's Tear was promising even if I already had one on a very badly recorded bootleg, so even if I had no interest on live versions of Fugazi (already on Real To Reel) and Kayleigh(already on The Thieving Magpie), I bought it.

Thanks God, it was cheap.

The version of Fugazi and Kayleigh don't add anything to those I already had, Script is not bad but it would have been better if the two unknown songs remained unknown.

This short compilation is just an attempt made by EMI to dig into the material they had in order to make some cash after the huge success of Misplaced Childhood.

I was a fan, and even as a fan I didn't like it, and I still don't. As completionist as I actually was, it was a must because of the two previously unreleased.

This fits quite well into the 1-star description. I'm sorry for Fugazi and Script, but a fan can give up to their live versions.

Only for completionists.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Brief Encounter is aptly named - it's an EP churned out by EMI in a bid to introduce Marillion to the US market, where they'd be supporting Rush on the Power Windows tour. It collects the two major non-album B-sides from the Misplaced Childhood era (Lady Nina and Freaks) with a clutch of live tracks from the Hammersmith Odeon concerts in January 1986. It's a pleasant enough listen, but those B-sides are hardly essential and more satisfying live albums from Marillion are readily available. These days, the easiest way to get Brief Encounter is as a bonus disc on recent CD reissues of Real to Reel, and I'd call that about right.
Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nš 323

"Brief Encounter" is an EP of Marillion that was released in 1986. It's a compilation with two studio tracks and three live tracks. The two studio tracks are "Lady Nina", which is an extended version of the original track released on the single "Kayleigh" as the B side, in 1985 and "Freaks" which is a single version of the original track which was released on the single "Lavender" as the B side, in 1985 too. The three live tracks were released by EMI, the American label of Capitol Records, in 1986, coinciding with Marillion's live tour on U.S.A and Canada, on that year. Marillion was the band that supported Rush's "Power Windows" live tour, the promotional world live tour of the eleventh studio album of Rush.

Although aimed strictly at the American market and not officially released elsewhere, "Brief Encounter" was very much demanded in Europe especially because Marillion's breakthrough, with the departure of Fish from the band to begins a solo career. It was also important because the band hadn't released any new material in 1986. So, "Brief Encounter" became, in reality, their first work in that year, in terms of studio albums. Because "Brief Encounter" included two non album's tracks, the result was that the EP was widely available as an import record in the European shops.

Curiously, "Brief Encounter" was the only Marillion's release not to feature a cover art by Mark Wilkinson prior to his and Fish's departure from the group in 1988.

"Brief Encounter" has five tracks. The first track "Lady Nina" is one of the two studio tracks on the album. It's a song taken from their single "Kayleigh", in 1985 and it was the B side of that Marillion's single, which was released from their third studio album "Misplaced Childhood", in 1985. It was also released as a separated single on U.S.A., in 1986, and it was the A side of that single. However, this version of "Lady Nina" is a different version, an extended version of the original studio version. Sincerely, I don't like very much of this song, particularly, of this new version. It's possibly one of the the poppiest tracks the band has made, which means the hook is huge. But when the lyrics get flowery they still even work a bit in the context, fortunatelly. Stil, this is a nice and pleasant song to hear but, in reality, it's a song too much pop for my taste, that curiously, reminds me strongly the pop era of Genesis. The second track "Freaks" is the other studio track on the album. It's a song that never was released on any studio album of the band and that appeared on their single "Lavender", in 1985 and it was the B side of that Marillion's single, which was released from their third studio album "Misplaced Childhood". It was also released as a separated single in 1988. I don't dislike this track, really. The non-album "Freaks" is much more than the ticket. This is really a fun Fish's romp. The third track "Kayleigh" is a live version of the single version of a song originally released on their third studio album "Misplaced Childhood". This live version is identical with the one released on their second live album "The Thieving Magpie ? La Gazza Ladra", in 1988. This is maybe the most recognizable Marillion's tune. It's also one of their most accessible tracks. This is a very nice and beautiful live track, used by Marillion for several times as an opener to their live shows in Fish's era. The fourth track "Fugazi" is a live version of the title track originally released on their second studio album "Fugazi", in 1984. This is a great epic track. It's a fantastic track with great mood and a melody that changes all over the song. This is the ending of a great musical journey and an incredible way to close "Fugazi". This live version is also great. The fifth track "Script For a Jester's Tear" is a live version of the title track originally released on their debut studio album "Script For A Jester's Tear", in 1983. This is a fantastic song, a brilliant opener, and is, without any doubt, a memorable musical moment on that album too. It's clearly progressive rock music with a strong melody and sung wonderfully by the magnificent voice of Fish. It's a song that reminds us perfectly well the good old times of the progressive rock music, especially the masterpieces of Genesis in Gabriel's era. This is also a good live version of the original track.

According to the information inside the EP the three live tracks were recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, in 1986. However, other sources say that "Fugazi" and "Script For a Jester's Tear" were probably recorded at De Montford Hall, in Leicester, in 1984. In fact, we can perfectly hear Fish saying "Goodnight Leicester" at the end of "Fugazi".

Conclusion: We can review "Brief Encounter" in two different parts, the studio and the live tracks. Relativelly to the two studio tracks, still that "Freaks" and "Lady Nina" be two nice tracks, they aren't essential in Marillion's catalogue in Fish's era. And I don't like particularly of this new version of "Lady Nina". However, there are fortunately very few weak songs during that musical era. In relation to the three live tracks, I think they're all three excellent live versions of the original tracks. Still, they don't add anything new when compared to the other live versions of those tracks. So, despite "Brief Encounter" doesn't add anything new, is the perfect companion to their debut live album "Real To Reel". Fortunately, both were regrouped and released on one double compilation named "Real To Reel - Brief Encounter".

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Brief Encounter" is an EP release by UK progressive rock act Marillion. The EP was originally an US-only release, which was released through Capitol Records in June 1986. Marillion had a major commercial breakthrough with the May 1985 "Kayleigh" single, and during 1986 they were preparing to extend that breakthrough the US market, starting with the release of the "Lady Nina" single and accompanying music video in April 1986 and a few months down the line the release of "Brief Encounter" to coincide with their 1986 US and Canada tours (supporting Rush on their tour for "Power Windows" (1985)).

"Brief Encounter" features the two studio tracks "Lady Nina" and "Freaks", and the three live tracks "Kayleigh", "Fugazi" and "Script For a Jester's Tear". While the EP was aimed strictly at the US market it became a sought after import release in Europe, because of the live tracks and the two non-album single tracks ("Lady Nina" and "Freaks") on the EP, which at the time, in the case of the live tracks, werenīt available elsewhere in these particular versions.

While "Brief Encounter" isnīt the most necessary release today, since all the material featured on the EP have become available on compilations since, itīs still a good quality release by Marillion, featuring about half an hour of great material, and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Is this a single? Is this a live album or what? As of recent, Marillion albums have been popping up in my used record store for cheap, and I decided to buy this because Marillion albums pop up today once in a lifetime. The two songs on here are okay, but Marillion could definitely do better if th ... (read more)

Report this review (#701435) | Posted by iamathousandapples | Friday, March 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The only reason to buy this LP years ago was to have Lady Nina in a full version, I didn`t like Freaks that time and I don`t like it, today. Nut Nina was worth buing this LP. Today BE is included on a double pack with RTR. The live songs on BE don`t reach the sound quality on RTR, but they wer ... (read more)

Report this review (#12145) | Posted by Abominog | Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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