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Marillion - Market Square Heroes CD (album) cover





3.90 | 117 ratings

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4 stars This is a very important EP for progressive rock since it marked the beginning of a new renaissance of the genre. Most people seem to agree that Neo-Prog began with Marillion's debut album Script For A Jester's Tear and completely miss that Market Square Heroes was released a year earlier and featured 26 minutes of material that could easily have been a part of that album.

The EP consists of three compositions that basically show every aspect of Marillion's music that we would hear on their next few albums. The title track is a commercially oriented anthem that just like White Feather, Freaks and Incommunicado will become a regular concert favorite. Considering that it was released so much earlier than any of these other compositions I am amazed that there is nothing I would want to change with this performance.

Three Boats Down From The Candy is an early take on a symphonic type of composition writing that will be strongly improved upon with the release of the debut album and other future tracks like Jigsaw or Just For The Record. I lack the strong lyric content from Fish but even the instrumental section suffers from being underdeveloped. Steve Rothery's first real stab at his trademarked guitar solos still don't have that emotional aspect that he coveys so well while Mark Kelly does shine on a few occasions without really making a strong statement with his work here.

Still it is the performance of a 17+ minute prog epic titled Grendel that completely steals the show on this EP. I consider it to be on par with many of the great '70s lengthy compositions and it's a pity that the band would never again undertake such an ambition project on any of their future records. There are a few inconsistencies in the instrumental work like the quite dull performance by Mick Pointer and I tend to think that Steve Rothery really plays it safe without really going anywhere outside the box with the exception of the wailing guitar work at 7 minute mark.

What makes Grendel stand out is the overall team effort that the band shows with their performance. It definitely overcomes any inconsistencies and flaws for me. This is also how I feel about this whole EP. Market Square Heroes EP is simply a piece of prog history and excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

***** star songs: Grendel (17:16)

**** star songs: Market Square Heroes (4:20)

*** star songs: Three Boats Down From The Candy (4:32)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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