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Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear CD (album) cover





4.23 | 1990 ratings

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5 stars Almost perfect... or just perfect? Marillion was introduced to me (or I was introduced to them) by my old table tennis coach. He always thought that Marillion would be too mind boggling for me, the 17 year old Rush, Metallica and Iron Maiden fan in the second half of the eighties, but one day I visited his home and he was playing Clutching at Straws - which was just released at the time. I borrowed Misplaced Childhood and Script for a Jester's Tear and on my next visit we enjoyed the Live at Loreley VHS. I was hooked - and then suddenly Fish left. Luckily, the guy stayed long enough with the band to leave four remarkable albums, including the grand opening Script for a Jester's Tear.

From the vocal note of of the title track up to the last note of the title track, up to the last second of Forgotten Sons, this album manages to get my attention, which is rare for me - always being occupied with many things in parallel. Even now, while writing this review, the album keeps distracting me from just writing about it. Script for a Jester's Tear is a poem put to music, with painful emotions showing in both the vocals and the music. It gives me goose flesh, even after having known it for 20 years now. The follower He Knows You Know seems to have been a single that I missed out on, not knowing Marillion at the time. I can't imagine it did much in the charts, with what we now know and say about eighties pop music. The song pounds on and on, driven by bass and drums, while Fish shares the Jester's opinion on God - only interrupted temporarily by a flashing piece of energy generated by the keyboard and guitar breaks.

After this, The Web has always given me the creeps. The music fits the mood of the lyrics, the Jester drowning in his memories - almost whispering, than screaming out and complaining. Breathtaking, until the opening of Garden Party - a completely different beast. The keyboards fading in, followed by a strong beating of bass and drums - then Fish' vocals. A great opening for a great party track, with lyrics that mean more and more to me over the years, as I learn to see how society (pun intended) operates. As I read in another interview on this site: the lyrics are pure venom, but of a kind that I can stand. On a personal note, the track always reminds me of a garden party at a friends house. He was a huge Marillion fan, but I spent over an hour convincing the hired disc jockey to play this one. I insisted our host would love it, he insisted I was drunk. Oh well... I won.

Chelsea Monday is a classic one for me. The opening lulls me into quiet moods, until Fish shuts up to give Steve Rothery some room for a guitar solo, accompanied by the keyboards of Mark Kelly. Time to just stop writing and listen for a bit...

The anger of Forgotten Sons, represented by hacking rhythms and 'jangling' - for lack of a better word in my English vocabulary - keyboards reach their peak in a prayer that might scare me stiff if it would be played to me unexpectedly in the dark. When this album is mentioned, this track isn't the first that comes to my mind, due to my love for Garden Party and Chelsea Monday, but like the latter it is among Marillion's best - and certainly one of darkest.

All in all, Script for a Jester's Tear is one of the most treasured albums in my collection, and one of the few of my older ones that was given playtime during a ten year period without much serious listening to music. A classic to me, and to progressive rock - no matter what bad critiques the band had to suffer from the hard core Prog crowd of the 70s. The anger and emotion in this album, as well as the musician ship are akin, but from a different nature than the Genesis classic it was said to be a copy of. I like them both and grant them both 5 stars on the scale.

Angelo | 5/5 |


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