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Marillion - Real to Reel - Brief Encounter CD (album) cover





4.07 | 79 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This compilation is a combination of the first Marillion live album Real To Reel (from the Fugazi tour) and the EP Brief Encounter (released after Misplaced Childhood). I feel that it is a good compilation because both of these releases are hard to find individually, and it's nice to have them both in one package. I'll go about reviewing both of these packages individually, since that is the way that they were originally conceived and released.

Real to Reel is a stellar live album, featuring a nice balance of Fugazi and Script for a Jester's Tear, and a heart pounding rendition of Market Square Heroes. The band is in full form on this one, Rothery plays his heart out on the solos, Kelly guns through the keyboard sections with precision and ease, the rhythm unit of Ian Mosley and Pete Trewavas are tight and keep the flow of the songs to their intended pace, and of course Fish is always brilliant live, often performing more in depth than in the studio. My favorite songs off of this live album are Assassing, Forgotten Sons, and Market Square Heroes, with Assassing and Market Square Heroes bookending the album. Forgotten Sons is a brilliant song performed live, with Fish getting his most cynical and aggressive vocally during the closing chant of "Ring around the rosie they all fall down". I would rate this live album a 4.5/5 if I was reviewing it as a single package.

Brief Encounter is a little EP that features two songs you won't find on any Marillion studio album, Lady Nina and Freaks. Lady Nina is a nice piece with a catchy chorus and some nice keyboard work from Kelly. Freaks gets more recognition because it is featured brilliantly on Marillion's final live album with Fish La Gazza Ladra- The Thieving Magpie. It has some nice guitar fills and a catchy chorus consisting of "All the best freaks are here/ All the best freaks are here/ Please stop staring at me". The remainder of the EP are live renditions of Kayleigh, Fugazi, and Script for a Jester's Tear. Kayleigh has the same feel as Misplaced Childhood, and Fugazi has more punch to it than the studio counterpart, but Script is utterly mindblowing on this one. Every live version of this song is always just utterly incredible, but this might be the best, with Fish singing his broken and shattered heart out on it. Rothery shines with a superb guitar solo that outdoes the studio one. I would rate this EP a 3.5/5 if I was reviewing it as a single package.

Overall, if you are one who likes to find rare commodities in compilations, then this one would be right up your alley. But if your the type who likes to be a completionist, then you might want to go for each of these packages individually. In the end, I feel that this is a strong package worthy of a purchase. It gets a solid 4/5 from me.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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