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Marillion - Kayleigh CD (album) cover





2.89 | 41 ratings

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3 stars This is one of those budget best-ofs that I picked up when I was just switching to the CD format. It covers just Fish-era Marillion, and as it includes three great B-sides not available on the four original studio LPs (Scripts For A Jester's Tear, Fugazi, Misplaced Childhood and Clutching At Straws) the band put out during that golden period, I think I will hold on to it. Because of some glaring omissions, I have little doubt that a superior single CD compilation to cover this era could have been conjured up, but there really is some great neo-prog on here, and I'm sure it would make for a decent introduction to the band.

The greatest selling point (to proggers at least) has to be the 17 minute fantasy epic Grendel, which was initially issued only as part of an EP that showcased Marillion's first single Market Square Heroes. It is clearly influenced by early Genesis, although I feel the main part of the song suffers from a lightweight sound that doesn't match the epic tone of Fish's impassioned performance (the drum sound is really pathetic). Nonetheless there's enough class from guitarist Steve Rothery and keyboardist Mark Kelly to make sure this song is still one of the greatest prog moments of the 80s.

There are many fine songs here. The excellent ominous accusatory He Knows You Know, with some kick-ass Kelly synth lines that underpin the chorus, is one. Jigsaw which spends half its time being barely audible, and the other half soaring on a beautiful Fish chorus is another. Another B-side, Cinderella Search, is a memorable hard-rocker that drips with melancholy, while Lady Nina and Torch Song boast that massive Marillion sound I've come to love. There are also two classic slices of Marillion pop from the group's chart-topping album Misplaced Childhood ... Kayleigh and Lavender (which actually had to be extended to be long enough to be a single).

I don't quite like Punch & Judy, and the omission of early singles Market Square Heroes and Assassing, not to mention huge chuncks of the excellent Script For A Jester's Tear album as well as later efforts like the awesome Incommunicado and Warm Wet Circles, gives this compilation a pretty haphazard feel. Also Marillion fans who've bought B'Sides Themselves will have no use for this record. I have to admit though, that this is a convenient little pocket-sized snapshot of Marillion. ... 61% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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