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Marillion - Marbles CD (album) cover





4.09 | 1079 ratings

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5 stars This is the finest work this band have produced, and, if I had a choice, would deserve 10 out of five stars for its sheer breathtaking brilliance and audacity. This album is a work of sheer genius and even makes Brave (which I gave five stars to) pale into insignificance.

The LP is bookmarked by two of the finest progressive rock tracks ever to grace the scene - Invisible Man & Neverland, which I feel represents this band's finest moment. The former commences slowly, and builds to a crescendo with Trewavas and Rothery especially adding to a sense of menace that Hogarth places on the tale.

The album is stated by the band not to be a concept album, but the theme is certainly linked by Hogarth's childhood memories of playing, and losing, his marbles!

Your Gone continues the band's fine tradition of great singles, and this charted at number 7 upon release. Prompted by some fine guitar work by Rothery and excellent rhythm drum work by Mosley, it is an uplifting piece considering the subject matter - it is basically a fine pop song.

Angelina is basically a great blues number, with Hogarth recounting sad blokes ringing a phone number for solace in the dead of night. Rothery's guitar sings to us throughout, and the song simply has to be played in the dark, loud, and preferably after more than a few beers.

Don't Hurt Yourself is another fine pop/rock single, but what follows is simply stunning. Fantastic Place features Hogarth soulfully recounting a beautiful island accompanied by Rothery playing a guitar solo in the middle that simply could have been written in heaven itself. I will never, ever, tire of hearing this song, and it is even better played live.

Drilling Holes is a fun track, which some would describe as a filler (literally!), but its pace keeps the listener intently concentrated upon the LP. And.. so to Neverland.

I love Suppers Ready. I love Thick As A Brick, Close to the Edge & etc. But none of them compare to this song. It is simply nearly 12 minutes of prog heaven. It is, without doubt, Rothery's finest moment. From the first moment of his guitar burst, the hairs on the back of the neck stand up, and his accompaniment to Hogarth's incredible conclusion of vocals is simply stunning. Words alone cannot possibly do justice to this track, and it gives the LP 5 stars alone without the fine music which precedes it.

I have reviewed a number of Hogarth era LPs now - all before it led up to this moment, and they really have been in a fine vein of form with this and subsequent LPs, especially Happinness is the Road. This, though, is the bees knees. Essential for any discerning progressive music fan.

lazland | 5/5 |


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