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Marillion - Real to Reel CD (album) cover





3.84 | 311 ratings

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4 stars I'm not the biggest live album enthusiast in the world. There are obvious exceptions like King Crimson, Magma or Deep Purple, but generally live albums don't seem to add much but an occasional live ambience and reduced production values. I've seen both incarnations of Marillion in the flesh, Clutching at Strawsand Marbles tours respectively, and while I have only a slight preference for the Fish over the Hogarth-era, the live experience was quite a difference. In the 80's, Marillion concerts were a powerful experience with high adrenaline levels. The Real to Reel album has captured that live energy more then adequately.

The songs from the then most recent album Fugazi album bear no remarkable difference to their originals, but then, that studio album was perfect already. Script For A Jester's Tear however lacked a bit of punch. Here, the strenuous live renditions of Forgotten Sons and Garden Party reveal those song's true potential. Especially Forgotten Sons is an essential live track with improved drumming, extended guitar solos and Fish spitting out his soul. Also Garden Party is more convincing then its original, even though I prefer Fish's vocals over fans chanting the lyrics, but it's not off-putting. Market Square Heroes is powerful and is extended with a bit of soloing. I'm no very impressed by Trewavas background vocals, which makes me generally prefer the studio takes.

Due to the limitations of vinyl the original album didn't even have Emerald Lies. Had this been released today it would probably have been a 5 star double CD featuring a complete set. Still, this is worth a good 3.5 stars, upped for sentimental reasons.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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