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Marillion - Misplaced Childhood CD (album) cover





4.25 | 2093 ratings

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4 stars The album that broke the band big time, 'Misplaced Childhood' was the group's third album and, commercially speaking at least, represents the apex of the 1980's neo-prog revival. The album featured that rare beast for a prog band: a hit single in the shape of the Fish- penned honest-to-god love song 'Kayleigh' which, again, represented a peak of sorts, topping various charts across Europe and giving the band some valuable exposure in the process. Fish would, of course, leave the behind three years and one album later in 1988, but the four albums produced whilst he was the group's figurehead represent the band's true golden era, an almost perfect merging of dark lyricism, shiny neo-prog musicanship, fantastical artwork and, the magic ingredient, a commercially-viable pop-edge that gave the band unexpected success in the face of doubting critics who were championing punk, new wave, goth-rock and synth-pop above anything produced by Marillion or their less successful contemporaries, the likes of Twelfth Night, Pendragon, IQ, Pallas and Abel Ganz. 'Misplace Childhood' and it's follow-up 'Clutching At Straws' were both big sellers, repaying EMI's faith in the much-maligned band, and the fact that Marillion found any kind of success whatsoever is actually quite extraordinary considering the musical circumstances surrounding them. The Fish-era band(four of which are still in the band at the time of writing, 2010, with lead-singer Mark Hogarth replacing Fish in 1989) can probably be seen as the last great progressive rock band to be accepted by the mainstream, and certainly the last prog band to be associated with a major-label. Since the beginning of the 1990's the band's sound has changed greatly, with their new material completely at odds with their 1980's output, but such is the nature of the genre. After all, it's called 'progressive' rock. These days prog is very much a niche genre made by fans for fans on independent labels. The reformation of several big-name bands from the 1970's golden-era, such as Genesis and Yes amongst others, has shown that their is still much blood in the old prog body, and that the newfound popularity across Europe and America can be attributed, in part, to bands like Marillion who bravely decided to try and re-invigorate the genre in the face of much ridicule after the bloody punk whirlwind had come trashing through the land. Punk, of course, was short, brutish and a rather nasty short-lived phenomenon that momentarily put pay to the genre's big beasts, but the seeds of recovery were sown at the beginning of the 1980's and out of the dark punk forest came Marillion and company, complete with their double-necked guitars and keyboard castles. Unlike their (friendly) rivals, they found worldwide commercial acceptance, and, although thy didn't know it at the time, 'Misplaced Childhood' became the last great hurrah of the progressive rock genre. A true concept piece, it's an album thats well worth a place in any serious prog fans collection. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 4/5 |


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