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Marillion - Real to Reel CD (album) cover

REAL TO REEL

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.84 | 304 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Fish era Marillion is a band that seems to glow even more as time goes by. Everytime I hear their work of the 80īs it appears to be better than I thought before. Far from a Genesis clone they were a brilliant outfit that defied a decade that considered the whole progressive ethos as a dead, rotting corpse, to be heard only by maybe old hippies, nerds or losers. You had to be special to face such insalubrious enviroment and survive, let alone have success. And Marillion did just that.

Part of this success, I believe, was the fact that marillion was primary a live band. They built their following with constant touring. Even though I appreciated their studio works very much, it was only when Real to Reel came out was I aware of how good they were. All the live tracks are, at least a little bit, superior to their originally recorded form. Some are too evident (Assassing, Incubus, Emerald Lies), but none as much as the single b-side Cinderella Search. This hymn to idealistic love, with its shifting moods and striking grand finale is filled with so much guts, feelings and beauty it makes you think the original version is a poor, incomplete demo. This track alone is worth the CD price.

But if you want to see how good they were at winning an audience you should listen to the last three songs: Forgotten Sons, Garden party and Market Square Heroes. Fish leads the band with the public at the palm of his hand. I remebered how I was amazed that a prog band - and a prog band in the 80īs! - could be so overwhelming powerful live. It makes you want to be there with the crowd singing with them the last songīs chorus at the top of your lungs!

Some people claim Real To Reel came a little too early (the band had released only two full albums by then). But it still stands as their best live record ever. A time when Marillion was a welcome sign to anyone who loved prog and felt alone in his musical taste. I loved it then, I love it now. Here you can have the band at its peak and before the international phenomenon they would become with the next release, the classic Misplaced Childhood.

My CD is the EMI 1997 release that includes the Brief Encounter EP as an extra CD. It was released in the USA in 1986 and contains two studio singles b sides (Lady Nina and Freaks) plus three live tracks: Kayleigh, Fugazi and Script For A Jester Tear. A nice touch.

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |

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