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Marillion - Real to Reel CD (album) cover

REAL TO REEL

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.84 | 304 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Sing along now, "I'm a M_____ ______ ____"

An early retrospective live album featuring seven tracks by the Fish era version of the band. Of these, two are from their first album, three from their second, one non-album B-side, plus the final track, the non-album single "Market Square heroes".

The performance is competent if a bit mundane, with little to distinguish the tracks from their studio album originals. Certainly Steve Rothery's guitar work is superb, but Fish's vocals at times sound over dramatic at the expense of the melody. There are moments such as the closing section of "Forgotten sons" which give a clear indication of what was to come not only from Marillion, but from bands such as Arena and other "Neo-prog" outfits too.

I'm sure the rendition of "Market Square heroes" was enjoyable for those who attended the performance. I do find however that audience participation does not transfer well to audio only recordings. In this case, Fish stops singing each time the words of the title come around, to allow the audience to fill the gap. This causes the track to have a stop and start effect which completely spoils it.

"The thieving Magpie" album gave a much better representation of Fish era Marillion in a live environment. With the superior studio versions of these tracks being widely available on their original albums or compilations, "Reel to reel" is only really essential for band historians, and Marillion completists.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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