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Marillion Fugazi album cover
4.00 | 1508 ratings | 100 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Assassing (7:02)
2. Punch and Judy (3:21)
3. Jigsaw (6:50)
4. Emerald Lies (5:09)
5. She Chameleon (6:53)
6. Incubus (8:30)
7. Fugazi (8:13)

Total Time 45:58

Bonus CD from 1998 EMI & Sanctuary remasters:
1. Cinderella Search (12" version) (5:32)
2. Assassing ('92 alternate mix by Chris Hedge) (7:41)
3. Three Boats Down from the Candy ('84 re-recorded) (4:01)
4. Punch and Judy (demo) (3:50) *
5. She Chameleon (demo) (6:34) *
6. Emerald Lies (demo) (5:32) *
7. Incubus (demo) (8:10) *

Total Time 41:20

* Previously unreleased

Line-up / Musicians

- Fish / vocals
- Steve Rothery / guitars
- Mark Kelly / keyboards
- Pete Trewavas / basses
- Ian Mosley / drums

- Chris Karen / percussion
- Linda Pyke / backing vocals (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Mark Wilkinson with Julie Hazelwood and Fish (concept)

LP EMI - EMC 2400851 (1984, UK)

CD EMI - CDP 7 46027 2 (1984, Europe)
2CD Sanctuary Records ‎- 06076 84529-2 (1998, US) 24-bit remaster by Peter Mew with bonus CD
2CD EMI ‎- 4 93369 2 (1998, Europe) 24-bit remaster by Peter Mew with bonus CD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MARILLION Fugazi ratings distribution

(1508 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MARILLION Fugazi reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Quite a deception after their superb debut, this probably their hardest sounding album and is almost metal-like. Even the longer numbers have less climaxes and the mood is to anger, Typical sophomore jinx. The main flaw to this are the ambiances that are lacking to each number as on their Script album. Punch and Judy was to try to equal He Knows for Radio airplay , but failed ( at least in Toronto)
Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Sheer Bloody Poetry (The Times)

The music on Fugazi has a much harder edge than anything Genesis ever put together, and has progressed by becoming more angular than "Script". The opening, with the pseudo-funk of Assasing, progressing towards more familar territory curteosy of Mr Trewavas' bass lines, is full of Marillion's own hallmarks. Fish's lyrics are so dynamic you'd swear they have life of their own - it is rumoured that they are about the depature of their old drummer, Mick Pointer; "I am the assassin, with tongue forged from eloquence, I am the assassin, providing your nemesis On the sacrificial altar to success, my friend..".

Punch and Judy is a very amusing assault on married life. Hard and punchy, this is a great song, and was released as a single - although quite obviously never intended as one, as it contains a reference to murder - "...just slip her these pills and I'll be free, no more Judy!!!". It features everything that's great about a Marillion song - catchy hooks, riffs and melodies, wonderful jagged-edged bass lines and the characteristic light and shade that only Marillion were putting into their work in the early 1980s. This was the first album to feature new drummer Ian Moseley - and he added the touch of class in the rhythm section that Mick Pointer just didn't have. Pointer was solid and kept things moving. Mosely was fluid and drove things.

I now divert your attention to Jigsaw - probably the shining diamond on this LP, partially obscured by the two hit singles which preceed it. This song is about Marillion - the music, the band, the audience - everything. There are nods and winks to Genesis set in the lyrics, as the accusations of being Genesis plagiarists came early in the 1980s (and were very boring then!).

Emerald Lies, Incubus and She Chameleon are further jewels waiting to be discovered and really, personal experience is the way to get the most out of these tracks. To the superficial listener, they may well seem light and meaningless. Scratch the surface, however, and the grey gunk that covers the card drops off and the prizes await! Each instrumentalist gets the chance to shine - but not through overt technical displays, rather through intense dark, light and colourful shading. This is musical painting - but not by numbers!

Fugazi is perhaps the greatest song Marillion ever put together - on what must be their greatest (at least, most underrated) album. The lyrics, which are particularly notable, cover a vast array of topics in Fish's unique form - which must be at its utmost peak in this song - for example "Sheathed within the walkman wear the halo of distortion, Aural contraceptive aborting pregnant conversation."; and the crowd singalong section at the end is always too short!!! "Where are the poets, Where are the visionaries?!!!!"

Fugazi, quite simply, is a masterpiece waiting to be discovered - not the next time you listen to it, or the time after, but maybe the time after that. Even if you like it already, it opens up and offers more every time you listen to it. It is well known that most prog albums take 3 or 4 listens to "Get". Marillion, despite the surface simplicity and lack of technical prowess (compared to, say, ELP, YES or King Crimson), have a complex web of layers in their songs. These layers are individual, beautiful melodies, each of which works in its own context as well as when combined with everything else. This is a very difficult technique, and one which only Marillion seemed to be able to perfect. Even Genesis tended to go for the "concerto" approach, and make one instrument or another dominate while everything else was just great accompaniment. It must never be forgotten, either, that these are SONGS, and not the technically elaborate compositions presented by many other prog bands. Notice particularly the way the strands of music weave their way around the vocals, presenting a balanced whole. But these are not POP songs. These are Progressive rock SONGS. As with the Yin and the Yang, there is darkness in the lighter passages and vice versa. And it sounds as much like Genesis as Duran Duran do.

*****― - 5 and a half star album - ESSENTIAL MUST-HAVE!!! Buy the 24-bit Remastered CD. The bonus CD is OK, and contains "Cinderella Search", the one track that was missing from the album - but the remastering of the original album is a masterstroke, and has genuinely improved a masterpiece.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I cannot wait anymore to review this record: This record contains maybe the best guitar solos in the history of music. It is not a question of speed here; it is rather a question of sounding near the perfection. The electric guitar solos are at their best, especially the solo on "Jigsaw", which is, in my opinion maybe the best one in the history of music, at least near Eddie Van Halen's eruption: I've never heard a more pure, loud and clean Fender Stratocaster sound than on this track. The track is not extremely good, but this guitar solo is extremely refined: Steve Rothery plays each note with a rare precision and powerfulness; he also demonstrates great passion. The use of a Gibson Les Paul on She Cameleon produces another EXTREME guitar solo, not fast at all, but each note is sustained to the maximum through impressive echo effect , giving this extreme feeling of grandeur. Even David GILMOUR, an excellent guitarist, in my opinion, does not sound as grand as here. Another extreme solo is on "Incubus", but this one is more elegant, more romantic, very well structured, with an outstanding sound again. On "Assassing", there is another great solo, more merged with the beat but having a very nervous highly pitched sound.

This album is not only excellent because of the guitar: The production is absolutely top sharp: the sound and ambience are at their best. There is so much echo that when some track finish, you still hear that powerful background fading due to the omnipresent echo. The keyboards are so colorful!! Very varied too, they are extremely dynamic, floating and also melodic, always giving this unique clean atmosphere. Just hear the extremely dynamic moog solo on "Assassing": rarely seen; or when the keyboards and rythmic guitar suddenly take all the room on "Emerald Lies": terrific! Do not forget the bass: very loud, bottom and present, it is not extremely complex but its sound is really not timid. Actually, no instruments are timid, even not the drum. The lyrics are extremely refined, and FISH has always this skill to sing it with originality and humour. This is their most accessible record IMO. Not as dark as the other ones, it is even refreshing and stimulating. We can compare this listening experience to the refreshing effect of a mint candy in your mouth. Yes, it sounds pop; no, it is not pop; yes it is very progressive; no, they did not copied GENESIS.

Very recommended!

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Where are the visionaries?" They are here!

The Genesis sound is still very much in evidence here. It should be remembered though that when this album was released, Genesis were heading in other directions. Marillion were therefore in many ways carrying the torch.

I have to admit that my love of this album is down to one track, "Fugazi" itself. While as a whole, "Misplaced Childhood" is Fish era Marillion's finest offering, the title track here, is for me their best track. The song builds and weaves towards the marching beat finale, with echoes of Genesis "The knife" much in evidence. Fish is at his menacing best here, as he delivers the spiteful lyrics, "this world is totally Fugazi".

The rest of the album does have its moments, but the songs generally tend to ramble, and lack focus. "Punch and Judy" was a half hearted attempt at a commercial single, but it tries to span the gap between hit single material, and more "serious" rock, and ends up being neither.

Its hard to recommend this album in full, but the title track does make it worthwhile.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album remarks Marillion's consistency on its music direction, i.e. progressive rock. Having successfully released their debut album "Script for a Jester's Tear" this album demonstrates their maturity in musicianship as well as music composition. For me personally, this album relieved me from doubtful questions during the year I listened to Script (almost everyday I played Script at my stereo set and walkman) "Would Marillion continue the kind of Script music or they would go "abacab"? Oh no .. Lord please don't let them going poppy ...". The second question that I asked myself was even bitter "Would this group produce second album or they would die in new wave fever?". Tough question to answer really. At the time I was not even aware about internet. So, the information was only limited from regular shipment of Dutch's progressive newsletter named as "Sym Info" from our friend, Roy, in Dodrecht, Netherland. The language barriers made the case more complex as I don't understand Dutch. Well, at least I could see the band's photographs with Fish using head banner. The newsletter called it "Kopstuk Fish". I was fortunate that I got a chance to listen to the single "Assassing" (with "Cinderellla Search as B side") from my friend's LP when I was in Bandung, Indonesia, finishing my engineering study.

Let's go over track by track. The opening track "Assassing" represents the band's interpretation of Islamic music that Fish kept on playing from records lent to him by Peter Hammil (of Van der Graff Generator). The track is energetic and uplifting. Put simply, it's the track you would wanna hear to wake you up in the morning. It has a beautiful interlude with dynamic drumming and percussion mostly played by the band's new drummer Ian Mosley (ex Steve Hackett's, Curved Air).

The second track "Punch and Judy" has even more upbeat than the first track. One of my friends first knew the band from this track as he accidentally listened to the campus radio airing this track. He reckoned that this track is Genesis-alike music. Whatever. This track is wonderful, it's rocking the planet even though it consumes only 3 minutes playing time. Not a typical prog song hah? Some people define a prog music should have minimum of 8 minutes playing time. I don't really care, I love this track.

The third track "Jig saw" it's a bit of slow-rock type of music with a very nice and stunning guitar sound by Steve Rothery. "Stand straight. Look me in the eye and say goodbye .." is the piece of lyrics that people used to sing to emulate Fish.Or this piece "Yesterday starts, tomorrow tomorrow starts today ..". Listen this track with your heart, turn-off the light, play it loud and louder at guitar part. Bang! It kills you man...definitely you will love this track!

Now let's welcome my favorite's track "Emerald Lies" that tells the story about relationship. Fish used his poet kind of lyric in this track (he did also for almost all of lyrics he wrote for Marillion) representing the guy who went to party with his girlfriend. He found out that the girlfriend flirting (innocently) to other men. Observe the piece of lyric that Fish wonderfully did "I trust you trust in me to mistrust you". Wow! What an incredible lyric! This track starts with heavy drumming and keyboard sound (short but nice!) and the music goes silent when Fish starts yelling "To be the prince of possession. In the gallery of contempt"- observe the way how Fish sings, it's different. "Suffering your indiscreet discretions. As you accumulate flirtations". Oh mannn .. I bet you like this piece! At the end of Fish voice with silent music (rhythm guitar sound by Steve) then the percussion enters the scene. This is yet another nice segment of this track as the music starts going energetic. The melody flows naturally from one segment to enother and the track completes brilliantly. Once it's done I used to repeat 3 times before moving to next track.

The fifth track is "She Chameleon" that demonstrates heavy voice of Fish and stimulates us to emulate Fish with this track. It opens with organ solo sound with beautiful melody (it's Marillion trademark, I would say) followed by Fish vocals part "Sheltering her ego on the edge of ." . "She crucified my heart .". This track is very nice in its interlude (keyboard based). It talks about groupies altogether with "Punch and Judy"

The sixth track "Incubus" is about nightmare. This track made me realize another strong point of Marillion music beside its melodic composition: it has multi melody in every track and the music moves dynamically with smooth transitions from one melody to another. Brilliant! This track has very strong musical structure and different tempo but you will notice how brilliant the movement. No wonder this track became fan's favorite track for a live performance.

The last track (on disc 1) "Fugazi" starts with a touchy piano solo nicely performed by Mark Kelly and followed by tiny voice of Fish "Vodka intimate on affair .". Ghusszzzz!!! What a nice intro part! Songwriting of this track is really excellent. Listen to the part where Fish yells "Drowing in the liquid seas on a picadilly line. Rat race!" wow! Such a high-energy piece packed with dynamic drumming and bass playing that really stimulate your adrenaline. Even this part is worth to justify this track is structurally wonderful. Overall, the lyrics of this album are dark (even darker than Script) and is very personal to Fish. (That's why you would later mention that Steve Hogarth, the new vocalist that later relaces Fish, never perform any track of this album). One of review interpreted the dark side of this track:" Rat race! Everywhere are commuters, nine to fivers all in suits with "suitable ties", such as wives and kids as well as neck ties. He is their side- show as they all stare at this rebellious rock star. (More on this in a sec). ". OVERALL, I give big FIVE STAR for this album for strong and integrated songwriting, musicianship (the new drummer is much better than Script's drummer; Pete Trewavas has forgotten his reggae style of bass playing), great composition with touchy and smooth transitions, very nice melody. Sound quality is excellent. Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Review by The Prognaut
5 stars During the first half of the eighties, several progressive rock bands started to suffer considerably due the projection the decade to be was taking on. The musical tendencies started to drift away along the disco music vein, people started believing in some other performers, some other fashion trends, some other ways of independent thought, some other iconic platforms and a new society full of brand new challenges was born. The emptiness started to take on those newly born societies all over the Western world as the years went by, looking for a place to spawn, away from individuality and self-consciousness. In between those seas of confusion, many top class bands experienced the downhill sensation, and it sort of reflected negatively on their productions. The years from 1983 to approximately 1987, were determinant for most of the changes happening endlessly around the prog world. PINK FLOYD released their last production as a band under the name of "The Final Cut", letting the fans and media speculate endwise about it; at its turn, GENESIS released "Duke" and "Abacab" during the early years of the eighties, turning the criteria upon them as "doubtful and unconvincing"; dreadful and undermining productions like "90125" and "Big Generator" by the end of the decade didn't give YES back much of that recognition they have been holding on to during the incomparable past years. And those just to name a few, since facts needed to be shown at some point here.

But not everything was lost or considered a waste of time at all for prog world. With changes and improvements, comes experimentation and success. A new phenomenon was born, and it was called "Neo Progressive Rock". Among the most recognizable bands commanding the movement, we can find IQ and PENDRAGON representing the reborn British prog scene, PALLAS putting Scotland on the prog map, and obviously, the band that entirely led the true meaning out of the whole genre to be considered as precursors, MARILLION. Many of the bands followed the footsteps of some of the top class bands that rocked the 70's, having preferential inclinations like the Peter GABRIEL era on GENESIS; the PINK FLOYD sustained by Roger WATERS and David GILMOUR; and the Bill BRUFORD & company YES. Derek DICK was a huge GABRIEL fan himself, and took some of that perdurable GENESIS essence along his fondness of ELP and his Floydian attitude, to put together an outstanding, wreckful in the very beginning; band.

By the time MARILLION released "Fugazi", they pretty much proved the those days prog scene they were a relying, independent band that was there to stay. Masterful created piece "Script for a Jester's Tear" speaks for itself. After their debut album, FISH drove the band throughout unimaginable paths, clearing the air for a new matter of perspective set before the eyes of their time. With "Fugazi", a new wave of multitalented musicians was born, demonstrating it was possible to be not only the conductor, but the "voice in the crowd" as well. FISH lacked of a self-centered attitude and personality, but the mysticism and the magic behind his lyricism, turned him into the musical poet he is now. "Fugazi" not only evokes progress and innovation, but perfection and togetherness. There's a dash of "Script for a Jester's Tear" scattered all over this 1984 production, but the authenticity surrounding the blend of emotiveness and the thirst for experimentation that makes "Fugazi" so unique, is amazing.

I made "Fugazi" my favorite album out of the entire MARILLION experience for several yet evidential reasons. It's got everything, the incomparable wit, the acid romance, the inscrutable morbidity and perversion, the music and the passion. There's no single track I like better than the other in here. It can go from provocative to intriguing in a matter of chords. "Assassing" is playful and fresh, suggesting not to take life so damn seriously; "Punch and Judy" is sober and encouraging, provoking all kind of sensations; "Jigsaw" is sensual and enticing, making your skin crawl endwise; "Emerald Lies" is violent and relentless, "looking in shades of green through shades of blue"; "She Chameleon" sustains the crimsonness and the ruthless compassion of the album, displaying marvelous keyboards playing by Mark KELLY. "Incubus" is one of the most underrated suites by FISH and one of the most determinant in his career as lyricist. The lyrics here outstand from the believable, from the unthinkable and definitely provoke a nervous reaction. Undeservedly, this piece was crafted under less expectations, and that unawareness took it to the heights of perfection. The composition is fantastic, the interpretation incomparable and all the emotion and expectation set upon this album, paid off pretty well.

When moving on to the self-titled song, you will realize you made such an excellent job purchasing this album. That one I won't describe, since it's up to you to describe your own "Fugazi" moment. It'd be unforgivable to miss out this album, either you can relive the good old feeling by playing it right now or you can start living it by getting it as soon as possible if you haven't come across it yet. Recommendable by all means, and at all levels.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars This is an album about love relationships, and maybe about how Fish was so angry at that time for the suffering he had in his relationships with women. It is like a full album made with the lyrics theme of the Genesis`s song "The Lady Lies". This album "Fugazi" has a lot of "Dramatic Theatre" by Fish`s vocals and lyrics. The music is the best thing for me in this album, as the general theme of the lyrics is not very interesting for me, as I am not as angry as Fish in respect to women! Having a new more solid drummer like Ian Mosley really improved the band`s sound a lot.The best songs in this album, in my opinion, are "Punch and Judy", "Jigsaw" (one of my favourites), and "Incubus". Fish`s lyrics are hard to understand. It was until I read his explanations about his lyrics in one website dedicated to Marillion that I understood their meaning.
Review by Tristan Mulders
4 stars Marillion - Fugazi

When Marillion released the follow-up of their highly acclaimed debut album "Script for a Jester's Tear" a lot of people wondered if it could live up to the expectations created by it predecessor. Still people think that Fugazi is of lesser quality than Script, but personally I got to admit that I have listened to Fugazi a lot more than to Marillion's previous work. Mainly because it is a lot more darker and epic than their 1983 release.

Album opener Assassing sounds quite different, yet familiar compared to the band's previous output. It is a bit of a mixture of straightforward rock with the epic sound of the Garden Party song on their previous album. The lyrics of this specific song seem to be a lot more coherent than some of Fish's babble on the previous album.

Even more straightforward than the opening track is the second song on the album, Punch & Judy. Although it is straightforward rock that does not mean it is a weak track. Quite the contrary, it is one of my favourite tracks from the Fish-era, at the least from all the singles they released in the 1983-1987 or so period. The song is quite dark and depressing, featuring well written lyrics by Fish.

Coming next is my personal favourite Marillion ballad: Jigsaw. Marillion have written a few ballads during the Fish era (Kayleigh, Lavender, Sugar Mice come to mind), but only Jigsaw and Sugar Mice are the ones I still enjoy listening to. This might be because of the great atmospheres?! In the Jigsaw song, the overall tone of the instrumentation is very calm and fragile, most noticeable on Mark Kelly's keyboards. Fish's vocals sound also very fragile and whereas almost nothing from Marillion's Fish era music tends to do something for me personally on an emotion level, this song does pull an emotional string inside of me.

Emerald Lies is the song that marks the turning point on the album. Was most of the music up to this moment mainly focused on all the aspects but Symphonic Rock, this is where the epic madness really takes off. Starting of with a very bombastic introduction, the track immediately goes down a whole step and the overall tone is very calm and minimalist, with only Fish's vocals and Steve Rothery's guitar noticeable. perhaps the calm before the storm? Yes, it definitely is the calm before the storm: from around the three-minute mark the song is fairly heavy -at least for their standards- and Fish sounds more as a maniac than ever before. I love the way he sings on the 'chorus'.

I never really saw the link between Marillion and Genesis, regarding the comparison between Fish and Peter Gabriel, looking at it from the vocal perspective. Yeah, I know, the live performance was a bit nicked from Gabriel, but his vocals are not identical to him. Emerald Lies however is, together with Grendel, one of the few songs that have some resemblances to Genesis, vocally seen.

She Chameleon has never been much of a fan favourite, but for me it is one of the highlights from the Fish era. Characterised by its omnipresent synthesizer walls and the distinctive drumming, I fell in love with the ambience created by the band. Each individual instrument helps to sustain this mood. In one word: brilliant!

We are nearing the end of the album, with track number six, Incubus. Fish himself has stated that this is his favourite song he created while he was a band member with Marillion, but personally I got to admit I hardly ever listen to the song. This is mainly because I dislike the first segment of the song. It all sounds to 'happy' to me, compared to the other songs on the album. The only parts I can enjoy from the first four minutes are the quiet interlude parts. We have crossed the four-minute mark. A piano part begins which makes a lot more sense to me regarding the mood of the piece of music, compared to the overall atmosphere of the album. This part is ended with a guitar solo, like none of the others on the album. Sheer brilliance. And now the song's ending. I'm not too fond of this part too. It is too repetitive.

Here we are, the title track. Its distinctive and easily recognisable piano introduction work as a great introduction to what's coming up next. When the 1.16minute intro is over, there's total silence for a few seconds before Pete Trewavas lets his bass guitar roar in a very low pitch. Mark Kelly adds some very ethereal synthesizer patterns, before a typical 70s symphonic rock section starts. Fugazi is definitely my favourite track on this album. Although it is lesser depressing, most of the time, than the previous songs on the album, it totally fits the song.

Sorry, did I just write 'lesser depressing'. I must have forgotten about the haunting part just before the ending section. Five minutes into the song, the composition is breaking down, until only the synthesizers remain backed up with a minor drum fill. Rothery adds Kelly and Mosley with his guitar riffing around in the background, in a ghostly style, think of the mid sections of the Blind Curve and Bitter Suite songs on the Misplaced Childhood album to get a bit of an impression.

Then there it is, the end section. This section always sounded somewhat medieval to me. The song, and thus also the album, is being ended in a very uplifting way. Though only if you listen to the music, the lyrics are nothing but uplifting, they're more about doom than joy!

I cannot understand why some people dislike this album, compared to its predecessor. It is only an improvement from the musician's perspective. I find the songs to be a bit more coherent and the album itself is also far more coherent too.

Just simply don't compare them too much to one another, there's music here for every progressive music fan to love.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After the somewhat unexpectedly big commercial success and critical acclaim obtained by the "Script for a Jester's Tear" album, Marillion had to cope with the pressures of coming up with something, at least, as fresh and impressive for both fans and music press: well, opinions may vary, of course but I personally feel that the quintet really surpassed the achievements of their previous effort, maturing their writing and arranging skills, and taking their style to a harder sounding level. With new drummer Ian Mosley in the fold, Marillion's rhythm section gained precision, swing and strength, a factor that notably allowed Trewavas move more freely in his bass playing role. Meanwhile, Rothery's solos and riffs tend to be very aggressive in many places ('Assassing', 'Emerald Lies', the namesake closing track, the last section of 'Incubus') and Kelly's labour complements their partners' inputs properly with the use of absorbent multi-layers, dense orchestrations (which at times sound a bit "gothic"), and some powerful solos occasionally alternated with those by Rothery. Actually, it would be inaccurate to leave out the fact that many Kelly's parts are really delicate, particularly some of his flute-like solos, string layers, and piano arpeggios - his softer side is the link between the massive prog revival of "Script" and the harsher new attitude incarnated in "Fugazi". Fish delivers his lyrical labyrinths with the usual sense of drama, but accordingly, his way of spitting out his singing has also acquired a harder edge. The opening track 'Assassing' serves as a proper announcement of what the listener must expect from a large part of the new repertoire: this is a truly catchy number, where rock and Gabriel-esque ethno-music fuse fluidly into a sonic unit. 'Punch & Judy' is probably the least brilliant piece in the album, but it sure deserves appraisal as what it is: a single-intended material (and it was the first single A-side from "Fugazi") built upon alternate 4/4 and 7/8. The hard stuff will soon be reinstated in 'Emerald Lies', a fiery portrait of the destructive nature of jealousy and the pathos created by regret - awesome, indeed. The first time when Fish shows his most vulnerable side is on track 3 'Jigsaw', a nice number than soon will be overshadowed by 'She Chameleon', a somber testimony of casual sex on the road filled with cynicism and futile romanticism. The romanticism returns, this time revamped with cruelty and a hunger for revenge: it is majestically portrayed in the epic 'Incubus' (my all-time Marillion fave): the alternation of all the varied motifs, the clever clean arrangements, the piano/vocal section and the amazing Rothery solo that follows on a dark waltz-tempo, the explosive climax, all of these elements and more are the excellent ingredients of a real Marillion classic. Ultimately, the title track is another brilliant epic, this time focused on the call to conscience subject: everything I said earlier about the hard drive that was instilled in this album applies here exactly, all through the distinct sections right until the military drums fade out along with the final litany. Current CD editions of this album include the 'Cinderella search' song, a B-side for the single edit of 'Assassing': 'Cinderella Search' is a captivating romantic lament, which pretty much anticipates the broken-hearted's ideology soon to be explored further and expanded in the band's following two albums. Final comment: "Fugazi" is a clear example of Marillion's golden era, an era when they gave birth to a couple of particularly outstanding efforts (this one and "Misplaced Childhood"), so it deserves to be regarded as a 4.5 star worthy prog jewel for the early 80s.
Review by Tony Fisher
5 stars Fugazi is one of the greatest albums of the prog rock genre. The songs have bite, generally conveying a mood of anger and disillusionment, and Fish sings them with real venom. There are solos galore, with Steve Rothery's guitar hitting new heights, particularly on Jigsaw and Incubus, and Mark Kelly conjures wonderful melodies galore from his keyboards. Both Pete Trewavas and Ian Mosley show that the rhythm section is not just there for show; in particular, Trewavas produces dynamic and inventive bass lines which complement the lead instruments. The first 3 tracks on the first side are all masterpieces, with dark themes of assassination, wife murder and relationship breakdown respectively. Those who have suggested that Marillion are mere Genesis clones can stop here; Marillion are darker and harder than Genesis ever were (though there is undoubtedly some influence). Emerald Lies is weaker but still fine. The second side opens with the slow She Chameleon - clearly the writer has not enjoyed the casual sex on the road - and proceeds into Incubus, which is faster and heavier. It deals with the theme of betrayal and contains some sublime guitar work. But the best comes last; the title track conjures up visions of an urban nightmare haunted by the spectre of Neo-Nazis, nuclear weapons, prostitutes and the like, Fish spitting out the vocals with passion. All the tracks are quite long except Punch and Judy, which would have been an ideal single except for the dark nature of the lyrics, so they have plenty of time to develop the mood of each track. Overall, this is just their best (although not their most commercially successful) album because, unlike on the excellent Misplaced Childhood, they studiously avoid any pandering to commercialism - they just make great music.
Review by chessman
3 stars I remember, (I often seem to be saying this at the start of my reviews!) not long after this came out, many Marillion fans slagged this off, thinking it was a big disappointment after the superb debut. My own opinion is, that although this is closer to 'Script' than any subsequent album, it is somewhat weaker. The opener, 'Assassing', is excellent, and promises great things. I was quite surprised at the eastern sounding start to this track, and found it pleasantly different. Likewise, 'Punch And Judy', track number two, is quite good. Fish's vocals move up and down on this one more often than the standard office lift! Then comes 'Jigsaw', which I also like. A more melodic song, though Fish still sounds his usual aggressive, angst-ridden poetical self on it. Nice work from Rothery on this too. So far so good. Unfortunately, most of the remaining tracks are rather weaker. 'Emerald Lies', 'She Chameleon', (which does have a nice keyboard solo in it though, along the lines of Tony Banks - can't be bad!) and the very disappointing closing piece, the title track 'Fugazi', which isn't that bad until the end, which is very weak as it fades out. The remaining track here, 'Incubus' is far better, and has the usual menacing, true Marillion sound. Ian Moseley performs well on his debut. Of course, he was already an established drummer, best known perhaps for being Steve Hackett's touring drummer in the early eighties. (Interesting aside here - how many of you know that, after 'Script' came out, and despite its success, the rumours went round that Rothery was 'not up to scratch,' and was going to be kicked out, with Hackett replacing him? Of course, Mick Pointer knew differently!) All in all, this album has improved to my ears over the years, but is still, for me, the weakest of the Fish era records. It is still better than some of the Hogarth era albums though eg: 'Brave' 'Radiation' 'This Strange Engine'. Worth a listen, and probably worth, if it was allowed, three and a half stars.
Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars After the splendid debut-album "A script for a jester's tear" Marillion was embraced by the progheads, this band was their new hope and Fish was the musical messiah. I love that album but it has strong hints from mid-Genesis and often nailed for that by the venomous musical press. The new album "Fugazi" showcases a more own identity, more agressive and more direct. In my opinion Marillion had delivered their best album because of the very original compositions and the perfect balance between the vocals, lyrics, keyboards (lush and distinctive synthesizer runs) and guitar (very moving). Drummer Ian Mosley sounds superior to Mike 'ET' Pointer and bass player Peter Trawavas does his job very decent. This album was the definitive breakthrough for Marillion but, in my opinion, their last great progrock record.
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the stellar and stunning debut, Script for a Jester's Tear, Marillion returned to the Studio and recorded this exceptional sophomore effort. Fish was nearing his peak as the lyricist for the group, Rothery was still becoming the great riffer he would become, the rhythm unit was never tighter, and the vocals are top notch as always. The only problem with this album is that some of the longer songs tend to drag in the middle, bringing down an overall great experience.

The opener became the leading single for the album. Assassing is arguably the best track of the album, with great lyrics and musicianship. Rothery really shines on this track, as does Mark Kelly. Punch and Judy and Jigsaw are both good tracks, but not great. They have good riffs and structure, but the music feels a bit generic with bland synths. The other two good tracks are Incubus, which although does drag a bit in the middle, has a great riff and chorus, and Rothery belts out a great solo that no one should miss. Fugazi, is another great song with awesome drumming, lyrics, vocals, and some great subtle solo work from Rothery.

Overall, this is what some like to call a Sophomore Slump. It has moments where it really shines, but then there are moments when it is hard to not get bored. Still, it's a good album from a great band. More good things were to come. 3.5/5

Review by richardh
4 stars Marillion's second album.Here they seem to approach it with a less expansive style.The playing is tight and the songs are mostly ok.The stand out track is 'She Chameleon' which is very original,Mark Kelly's keyboard work stands out particularly.Sadly though the album as a whole just fails to get off the launch pad for me and lacks vitality.
Review by The Crow
3 stars I think that "Fugazi" is the worst Marillion's album with Fish.

Here we can hear a great protagonim of the Mark Kelly's keyboards and a clear improvement in the Steve Rothery's guitars. But Fish sings worse than in "Scrip For a Jester's Tear", and some songs like Jig Saw, She Chameleon and Emerald Lies are unispired in my opinion. This album is more pop-oriented than the previous one, but it has also a darker and too slow vein sometimes, fact that made this album a little boring for me. I like dark and sad music, but not just boring and repetitive tunes like She Chameleon.

Good songs in my opinion: Assanssing (the best of the album), Punch and Judy, Incubus and Fugazi (great keyboards here!).

Only for Marillion's completionists or Fish's lovers in my humble opinion.

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Time has gradually diminished my affection for Marilion's second studio album. There is no doubt that it saw Marillion develop their own progressive sound, and that after this the band's music took on a more commercial sheen, but considering that I prefer both Misplaced Childhood and Clutching At Straws to this effort, I have to conclude that it wasn't a bad thing.

It's obvious that Marillion were attempting to stretch out on this album, which has the hardest edge of the four Fish-era records. A couple of strong songs like Jigsaw (which has murky, oft inaudible verse sections, a magnificent chorus and a majestic soaring solo from Rothery that would easily have won him the lead guitar slot in any band that specialized in power ballads), Incubus (which promises the earth and delivers a country or two) and the Bowie-esque title track (which at least has a nice singalong finish) stand out from the pack.

But all too often this album seems to wander without conviction, and to make things worse, its production and sounds have dated badly. Assassing for example packs a bit of a punch, but is bogged down by a dated 80s sound that is equal parts hair-rock and disco-tinged. Emerald Lies is another slow-burning emotionally wrought piece that doesn't rank among the best for me (maybe there were too many of them by this point!). In fact I think it wastes a good start. She-Chameleon on the other hand, barely even gets going!

Looking back on Fish-era Marillion, this album now seems like a small step in the wrong direction. It is a muddier, less focussed version of the fascinating first album, and lacks the immediacy of the albums that followed. Its weighty moments are even beginning to affect my enjoyment of its delights, and the day may yet come when I find myself deriving more pleasure from the first post- Fish Marillion album (Seasons End) than I do from this. ... 58% on the MPV scale

Review by Prog-jester
5 stars I like this one sometimes even more than Misplased Childhood.A bit usual music in the beginning:a hard-rocking "Assassing"(I adore the mid-part with Fish's lamentation),a nervous "Punch and Judy" and "the most lyrical song"(as Fish himself proclaims)"Jigsaw"(great chorus here).But the first track,that really has a complex structure, is "Emerald Lies".It sounds like a 5-min sampler of MARILLION's classical period(83-85):a quiet Script-like intro,a cold and agressive mid-part and a Misplaced- like ballad ending in major key.

"She Chameleon" has awesome church organ(I wonder why Mark used it only once - can you recall another MARILLION's song with such organ?) and PINK FLOYD-like mid- part."Incubus"(Fish's favourite,as he says) is my favouritest track here - Rothery's 6/8 solo in the mid-part just drives me mad!"Fugazi" is my second favourite:a closing march ("Where all the prophets?")is one of the greatest tunes I ever heard!!!

I wonder why they have not included "Cinderella Search" there.A "Welcome back to the circus"-part is another astonishing final.

What more can I say? A MUST!!!

Review by sleeper
4 stars Fugazi, the "difficult" second album and one that the band fully acknolodges that they had major problems in the writing of the materiel. But having said that this record deffinatly shows that their hard work was not invane.

Only a year after their excellent (and probably one of the best ever) debut album came this and the first big change to notice is the departure of the only remaining founding member Mick Pointer, to be replaced by first Andy Warby, then John Martyr, then Jonathan Mover and finally (and permanently) Ian Mosely. The next big change to be noticed is that this album overall has a much darker atmosphere to it than Script... ever did. This is accompanied by the change in the subject matter of Fish's lyrics. No longer is he singing about the indavidual but telling us his paranoid fears of comitment in a couple (or band?).

The opener of this album is the strange, Islamic music inspired Assassing ( even Fish doesnt remember where the g comes from) witch quickly turns to the fast paced, keyboard led kind of play previously heard on Garden Party but the lyrics are aimed quite clearly at the constant chanfe in personell during the bands early years though Mick's departer would have been the main focus of the song. Punch & Judy is the first sign of his paranoia but the song was originally intended to satisfy EMI's demand for a hit single witch is obvious from its short duration time. As a single it was never going to work with the complex and morose lyrics not to mention the clear intention of murder at the end of the song. Jigsaw is were Ian Mosely makes himself known to the listner (the first 2 songs were recorded with Mover at the kit) and you can certanly here the difference. His style of play is more technical than Pointers but with more feeling than Mover, just what the band needed.

From Jigsaw onwords the dark atmosphere grows to encompass the music as well as the lyrics. The other thing about Jigsaw that makes it noticable is that Rothery gives one of his greatest performences here, something that he has only matched on rare occasions before or since. At Emerald Lies we are now well and truly mired into Fish's lyrics of failed relationships. Emerald Lies is about confronting the lover you believe to be cheating, though there seems to be no evidence for it. The amazing thing is the way that the music meanders and changes so completely and effectivly in just 4 short minutes.

She Chamelion is probably the weakest song on the album, though I cant put my finger on why exactly. Anyone that has sene an '80's Sci-Fi or horror film though will get the sense of de ja vu from Mark Kelly's Keyboards. Incubus covers pritty much the same ground as Punch & Judy but much more thurouly and without suggesting murder, whilst adding some very impressive musical pasages that fits the lyrics perfectly. Though Fish's lyrics seem to cover the same thing in the songs, each one brings something different to what he is doing and aproaches the subject matter from a different direction each time. However by the end of Incubus you are left wishing that he would cover something new.

This is accomplished on the albums tittle track, of witch Fugazi means F**ked up in Japanese. From here you can probably work out what this song is about, yet Fish's lyrics cover it brilliantly, first refering to every day life followed by international pollatics. The lyrics are accentuated by the build up of the music that starts slow and quite but really kicks off for the second part of the song. I have to say, though, I am no fan of the drum role that fade's out the song and album.

On the 2 disc version the song of note is Cinderella Search witch clearly shows the calming of Fish and the direction that the band was starting to head into. Most of the rest are demos that sound rather hollow compared to the full versions on the album and Three Boats Down From The Candy, a mediocre song that featerd on Market Squaer Heroes and Script.... 2 disc remastered edition.

Overall a very good album but not a masterpiece. The studio album alone is definatly a 4 star work, because though the lyrics lack much diversaty in the subject matter as I would have liked, he aproaches it in many ways and the music works wonderfully on each song. The two disc version is not really worth getting due to the poor quality of what is on the second disc.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars The first and most noticeable change since Script for a Jester’s Tear is that there’s a new sheriff behind the drum kit for Marillion. Ian Mosley replaced Mik Pointer, and the difference is palpable. In Script, the band at times seems to be using vocal manipulation and extended keyboard arrangements to create almost an illusion of a full sound. With Fugazi there is almost a completely new direction set right from the start with Mosley setting the tone, and at times Fish seems to be working to keep up. It’s one of two very positive changes on an otherwise slightly disturbing album (the other being Rothery, who shows more energy and creative expression on guitar here than on any other Marillion studio album).

Fish is just as acerbic and bitter here as he was on Script, but he appears to have turned his attention closer to home. With “Assassing” he is rumored to have crafted a bit of a personal attack on Pointer. I don’t know if that is true, but whoever is the target of his distain, he is certainly not pulling any punches:

“Apocalyptic alphabet casting spell the creed of tempered diction, adjectives of annihilation bury the point beyond redemption; venomous verbs of ruthless candor plagiarize assassin’s fervor. A friend in need is a friend that bleeds – let bitter silence infect the wound”.

Someone seems to have a bone to pick here – perhaps they need a hug!

“Punch and Judy” is a sour look at married life, young love replaced by the drudgery and predictability of familiarity and time. Anyone who has been married for many years knows what this is all about (not sure how Fish got to be such a knowledgeable expert at such a young age though), but “Punch” takes these emotions to a taboo extreme, with husband Punch contemplating a homicidal end to what has become his lifeless relationship – “just slip her these pills and I’ll be free”. I have to say that except for Mosley’s drums this one doesn’t really showcase anything new or particularly innovative from a musical standpoint though.

Mark Kelly’s keyboards have that bell-like tone on “Jigsaw” that he would perfect with the upcoming Misplaced Childhood, and Fish’s voice takes on a kind of tone of resigned fate. This is a slower, more introspective work with Fish once again reflecting on a defective personal relationship. This is one of several songs which are pretty much owned by Rothery and his sad, wailing guitar work. I have several compilation CDs that I have put together to listen to in the car, and this one and “Forgotten Sons” are the two Marillion works that I just love to take in on a long drive. You can really get lost in your own imagination with “Jigsaw”, and the mood can take you to places that I doubt Fish would have ever imagined. It’s just a very nice, layered composition that doesn’t even need the lyrics to be appealing, and frankly I’ve never spent too much time trying to figure out what those lyrics are anyway, for that very reason.

I’ve never liked “Emerald Eyes”, although it certainly has been the centerpiece of numerous recurring themes in the band’s work. I really have no idea what Fish is ranting about, but the overall tone is bitter, hateful, and depressing. Musically the arrangement seems to be a bit haphazard and forced. Fish and Rothery have both commented over the years that the band really struggled to put this album together in the studio following the somewhat surprising success of “Script”, and I have to wonder if the band had mixed feelings about including this in the final production. The energetic “Cinderella Search” single would have been a better choice, and in fact this is the leadoff tune on the bonus CD that accompanies the 1997 CD re-release of “Fugazi”, along with some demo cuts and a longer remix of “Assassing” (I’ve heard the “Assassing” remix, but otherwise if you don’t have the re-released compilation, it’s really not worth picking up if you already have this original version).

“She Chameleon” is another girl-done-me-wrong rant by Fish, although the musical tone here and on “Incubus” are quite different from the rest of the album. The brooding keyboards and sporadic drumbeats evoke an almost gothic mood. “Incubus” is another song that seems to lack a really cohesive effort by all members of the band. Kelly really seems to be working to fill space on keyboards, and Linda Pyke’s goofy backing vocals are actually kind of a distraction, almost an intrusion on the mood.

“Fugazi” is a much better representation of what Marillion is capable of. In some ways this is a separate album unto itself, with numerous tempo and vocal changes giving it the feel of a theatrical work, which is something Fish is much better at than straight-ahead rocking anyway. The lyrics are a chock full of cryptic references and verbal pictures. I have heard this song hundreds of times over the years and still find new ideas, sounds, and emotions with pretty much every listen.

Script was a real masterpiece of progressive art when it hit the musical landscape in 1983. In many ways Marillion breathed new life into a genre that was struggling to find itself, and the abruptness and shear force with which they entered our musical conscious left an indelible and long-lasting impression. With Fugazi however, I think the band shows evidence of the sophomore struggle that so many other bands have fought to work through. This is still an excellent body of music, and perhaps the expectations set by Script and the powerful Market Square Heroes EP were unreasonable and too high for the band to overcome, particularly combined with the personnel changes and the personal struggles that have come to light in subsequent years.

Whatever the reason, this is not as great a work as Script, and in my opinion not as good as Misplaced Childhood would be either, largely because the latter has a strong theme to hold it together, and Fish seems to have buried the hatchet on at least some of his personal squabbles by that point (or at least he seems to have chosen to separate them from his music).

So I think this is a good album, especially compared to what else was available on the market at the time, but it has not ensconced itself in the library of timeless progressive music over the years, and isn’t likely to at this point. Misplaced Childhood a year later would be a rebound, but I think three stars is the right place to put Fugazi.


Review by 1800iareyay
3 stars Fugazi is a bit of a misstep from their studio debut, the neo-prog fouder Script For a Jester's Tear. This album is the heaviest Fish-era album, not that I don't like heavy. However, this, as Hugues stated, has less climaxes, and I've always found that the best part of Marillion. This is by no means a bad album, and fans of Marillion should own it, but it lacks the power of the debut, an unfair comparison I know. Songs like Assasing and Kigsaw are on the cusp of exploding into greatness, then the band pulls it back.

Fugazi is Marillion's sophomre slump. It's the worst Fish-era album, though it still beats 90- 95% of music on the market. If you've bought the other albums, give this a spin. It takes a few listens but it grows on you. I've come to view this album favorably, though not as classic as the other Fish albums.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars More focused and dynamic than its predecessor, with Ian Mosley adding a much needed tightening-up of the band's playing. Here we see the still fledgling group furthering the development of the types of songs found in "Script", albeit with more tender and quite sections dispersed throughout. Fish's lyrics retain their earnest, entirely depressing themes while his vocals demonstrate a bit more range than seen on their previous album. Kelly's keyboard is used with much more variety and feels like a more incorporated instrument.

As a whole the songs are good, and while the band is probably playing better here than on "Script", the songs don't hit home quite as hard, or leave as lasting an impression. So, while it may be better, it isn't quite as necessary a purchase save by fans discovering early Marillion through their more well-known albums.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Your first album is a masterpiece. How will your second album sound like ?

"Assassing" has a great beat (sounds a bit disco, or at least "club" no?). It is a very hard number. Very strong rhytmic section. It is almost hard. Some great keys of course. Fish finally sounding more as Fish than ... We'll get a very commercial tune with "Puch & Judy", one of their many hit-singles. Because Marillion will also be a singles band. Whatever happens to...I like this song very much. Powerful, straight to the point, simple. Music does not need always to sound complicated. If it sounds good, it is also fine with me.

We'll revert more to the traditional Marillion mood with "Jigsaw". A very subtle number, full of melodies and featuring a great guitar solo. Full of passion, as usual. One of my fave here. "Emeralad Lies" is also a good song. Again on the heavy side during the intro but Fish brings, for one of the first time on this album, his so delicate vocals. Almost acoustic at times, it brings a bit of a relief in this rather hard sounding album (but you know that I do not dislike hard music).

"She Cameleon" is also a very pleasant number. More complex, with several tempo changes and a scheming atmosphere. Rothery delivers again a very nice guitar break that is very much welcome. But anyway, what is just the F..K ? as Fish sings ?

With "Incubus", we'll probalby reach the hardest Marillion side. Hypnotic rhythm almost throughout these 8'30". Fortunately, I would say, we'll have another brilliant guitar break which will reming a bit the Marillion of their debut. The title track and the closing number will not break with the overall mood : hard for most of it. Still, I like very much the second half of this song. Fish is so convincing during this part ! Do, do, do, do, do you realize this world is totally Fugazzi ? IMO, this is the most beautiful part of this album. But where are the visonaries ?

As usual wit Marillion, we'll get a full bonus CD with their remastered CD version. I purchased their whole remastered series in about two weeks (in 2004). I was so deep in love with this band that I almost listened to them for about two months. I have to admit that even if it is a nice present to the fan (since at the time I purchase it, it was almost the price of a single CD), it does not compete with the bonus CD of their debut album.

On this one, no "Grendel" type of songs of course. It is more a collection of bonus tracks like one has the habit to find on remastering versions : reformatting of existing songs (alternative mixes and demo versions). Not bad at all, but of course when you've listened to their first one of the genre, this bonus one is not on par.

Two non album songs are featured : "Cinderella Search" and "Three Boats Down From The Candy" (already available in another format on their previous bonus CD). "Cinderella" is a somewhat different from the tracks of the original album : more in line with their previous work. Subtle, harmonious, nice. Marillion. This might well be the best number of the whole (original and bonus CD).

We are far from the subtlity of "Script". This one was IMO a pure symphonic piece of music. With this album, Marillion enters effectively in the Neo-prog genre. I quite enjoy, hard music at times but I must admit that it was not the type of music I was expecting from Marillion after their brilliant debut album.

They produced this album in a hurry. Trying to capitalize on their growing fame. Actually almost stardom. This was probably a mistake. IMO it the least interesting Marillion album from the Fish era. It is a good album, but not more. Three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars "Fugazi" is noticably darker and heavier than "Script...". Ian Mosley is the new drummer previously having played with Steve Hackett ("Highly Strung" and "Till We Have Faces").

"Assassing" opens with percussion and has an Eastern flavour. Heavy drums come in and there is a good long guitar solo. Nice prominant bass before 4 1/2 minutes. This song is one of my favourites on the album. "Punch & Judy" is about relationships and features some great keyboard playing. The drumming really stands out too. This song is bombastic at times and Fish gets pretty theatrical at times. "Jigsaw" is another favourite that opens with light keys and fragile vocals. Powerful vocals,drums and bass come in. It's quite dramatic. Beautiful guitar solo later.

"Emerald Lies" is about jealousy. It opens with keys, drums and bass before Rothery comes in with some screaming guitar. I have to say Trewavas is very prominant with his bass on this album. High pitched vocals from Fish as the mood changes and it turns atmospheric with acoustic guitar playing. Back to original melody. "She Chameleon" is a cool song that opens with organ then reserved vocals and some bombastic drums. Nice keyboard melody followed by a tasteful guitar melody. "Incubus" features lots of keys and theatrical vocals. It gets quiet 2 minutes in and this contrast continues. Another long guitar solo follows. "Fugazi" opens with piano and reserved vocals. There are lots of mood and tempo shifts. Catchy ending.

I'm probably one of a few who prefers this to their debut. Great album !

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Superb album, for me is no doubt 4 star, the second best after the masterpiece Misplaced Childhood. From the beggining i want to say that the piece She chameleon is one of the best track i ever heard from entire prog music. The rest are also superb, Fish shines on every track, not to mention the guitar of Steve Rothery. An amzing album from a band that in the last years forgot what is their main target and audience. The best Marillion albums are the first 3. I'm out, so enjoy this band who made a solid reputation in the '80, and sience then a major influence for many bands from today. A classic of prog.
Review by NJprogfan
4 stars This one seems to get the short end of the stick, but it's my favorite from the band. Somewhat similar in scope as the first album. A bit heavier, some more meat lyrically but still retaining the trademark whimsical sound. Fish's voice is all over the place. He warbles, shrieks and pretty much bellows like a small child but for me it works on almost all the tracks, especially "Punch and Judy" with it's "Garden Party"-like psuedo Renaissance-style theatrics. "Assassing" drives straight to the gut with a steady beat and Fish's angry lyrics, bombastic keys really highlight this track. "Jigsaw" for me is the only dud, slow and meandering, it slows the album down to a crawl. The rest of the album is just fantastic with great keyboard runs for Kelly, excellent riffs by Rothery and awesome lyrics sung with major feeling, (especially "She Chameleon") by the one and only Fish. The album ends with a classic marching prog anthem, "Fugazi". A perfect neo-prog song if there ever was one. I believe things went downhill after this one, (of course, I'm not in the majority with that opinion). In my top 10 Neo albums of all time. 4.5 stars, just never felt their albums were 5 star material, but this one is oh so close.
Review by Matti
3 stars Fugazi was the very first LP I bought, after a year or two of listening and taping other people's LPs. In my early days of fandom (it was more intensive than anything later in my rock history, but it wore itself out eventually) I even thought Fugazi was my favourite album. I definitely overplayed both Fugazi and Script at the time, but it seems that Fugazi doesn't stand the test of time quite as well as Misplaced Childhood and Clutching at Straws.

'Assassing' is a banal, catchy opener, but it starts interestingly and is a good introduction track for the new drummer Ian Mosley. His tight drum sound is very much upfront on this album. 'Punch & Judy' is a speedy and even more commercial song, one of the weakest Fish-era Marillion songs in my opinion. 'Jigsaw' keeps on repeating the hollow A-B-A-B formula (refrain-chorus) but it has a nice guitar solo and the bright - but cheesy - key sound. 'Emerald Lies' finds Fish using his vocals in a very theatrical way; despite some great moments and total progressivity, this highly original song is a bit pretentious too.

The second side is more progressive and solid. 'She Chameleon' is a creepingly slow and powerful song about groupies, featuring church organ and a delicious, fast synth solo. 'Incubus' is my favourite. The multi-part composition builds a fine arch and the lyrics are exciting. It's about blackmailing, "pornographic images on which you'll always be the star". The intro of the title track is a highlight too. Fugazi is a colourful album that easily charms - or at least charmed at the time - young listeners with its accessible and theatrical Neo Prog and tasty soli of guitar or keyboards, but which in the end is too eighties-sounding (especially in production) and too pretentious to compete with their next two albums.

Review by russellk
4 stars Oh, I can't begin to tell you how relieved I was when this album came out. After the undercooked, half-realised 'Script For A Jester's Tear', this album got me into MARILLION. Perhaps 'Script' was too difficult for me (though that doesn't explain my love of VDGG or GENTLE GIANT, for example). I don't know. Individual musical taste is impossible to explain rationally.

To me, the first two minutes of 'Assassing' completely blow away anything on their debut album. FISH has wound his voice back a notch, so it doesn't drag across your back like a cat-o'-nine-tales, smothering everything else. ROTHERY plays wonderfully emotional guitar solos. I think the two are linked: the band realised FISH'S voice couldn't communicate the range of emotions they wanted, so the other instruments pick up the slack. (Incidentally, that's why FISH talks a lot on subsequent albums: his limited voice has difficulty expressing anything but forced petulance.) The rhythm section now works together, and adds to the mix. 'Assassing' is, quite simply, superb.

There's not a weak song here. 'Punch and Judy' is risibly called 'poppish' by those who may know a great deal about progressive music but perhaps not quite so much about pop - just because it's short doesn't mean it's commerical. And I don't see the label as perjorative, anyway. 'Jigsaw' lifts the album a notch, and the next two songs, while not stellar, keep it there, until the finale, one of the truly great moments in progressive history. 'Fugazi', the title track, is a wonderful way to finish the album - particularly the last three minutes. Where are the prophets, indeed.

Though not having quite the polish or continuity of 'Misplaced Childhood', 'Fugazi' nevertheless has enough compelling moments to be well worth adding to your collection.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
4 stars Fugazi was Marillion's follow-up to their debut masterpiece Script for a Jester's Tear. Like their debut, Marillion played a Genesis/Yes inspired brand of progressive rock with a slight AOR touch to it on Fugazi. One might be inclined to say they became more radio friendly with this album upon initial listens, especially regarding the first song on the album, Assassing, which carried an almost danceable beat to it. But with repeated listens one should notice that the rest of the material on this album is far from being average radio fare. Like their debut, Fish is a lyrical genius covering subject matter that is atypical of a rock band, let alone many prog bands.

Marillion also brought in Ian Mosley on drums after firing future Arena drummer Mick Pointer. Mosley had formerly appeared on some of Steve Hackett's solo albums. To my ears, Mosley and Pointer were equally competent and skilled at their craft, so the transition to me seems seamless, although the band had tried a number of different drummers before settling on Mosley.

Musically Fugazi is great, but in my opinion, not as amazing as their debut. I have always found something missing about this album and I understand even Marillion was not content with the final production of it. I'm not sure what it is that is missing. Maybe a few of the compositions could have been done differently? Maybe it's less energetic than their debut? Whatever the case may be, Fugazi is still a wonderfully interesting album and a worthwhile addition to a symphonic prog or neo prog collection. Four stars.

Review by progrules
3 stars Some of the songs on this album were actually my first encounters with neo prog. And then I'm talking about Asassing, Jigsaw, Incubus and Fugazi. In those days I was blown away by them because even though I didn't fully realize back then that I was a progger I must have felt it intuitively and known it somehow. I was impressed by the live performance I witnessed on a video in those days, Fish with his painted face and his impressive performance on stage with his theatrical displays.

I still love it right now but it's a different prog era now and this is something of those days, and so a bit outdated right now. I try not to let it play too big a part in my rating because I feel I shouldn't give this a low rating just because of the outdated-aspect. But another slight disadvantage of this album is that this studio release is not by far as good as the live performances of Marillion in those days. And it's hard to put that out of the mind when hearing this. I will give some scores song by song to show what they mean to me:

1. Assassing: sheer sentiment and a good song by the way: 3,75*

2. Punch and Judy: no sentiments here and not as good as previous: 3*

3. Jigsaw: a bit better than P&J and there are some memories here as well: 3,5*

4. Emerald Lies: a song without the great substance as the others have: 2,75*

5. She Cameleon: more or less the same actually: 3*

6. Incubus: I really loved this one back then. Brilliant track: 4*

7. Fugazi: also a true ancient cracker but not the very best: 3,5 *

So the ultimate score reflects very well what I feel for this album. It's a good/very good album, scoring at least some 3,3 but no more than 3 stars in the end.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Fugazi" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Marillion. The album was recorded between November 1983 and February 1984 and released through EMI Records in March 1984. Itīs the successor to "Script For A Jester's Tear" from 1983, which was a successful release for the band. Thereīs been one lineup change since the predecessor as drummer Mick Pointer was fired and initially replaced by American drummer Jonathan Mover. The latter was soon fired too though as he had a falling out with lead vocalist Fish, although he did manage to play live with Marillion on some German dates. Mover was finally replaced by Ian Mosley, who recorded the drums on "Fugazi".

"Fugazi" was produced by Nick Tauber, who had also produced "Script For A Jester's Tear (1983)". The recording process was long and complicated, as EMI Records pushed for a new album, because of the commercial success of "Script For A Jester's Tear (1983)", and Marillion had to record at ten different studios, many of the recordings made while on tour supporting the new album, even before it was released. It was definitely a case of becoming successful so fast that you canīt keep up with the demand.

Stylistically "Fugazi" continues the progressive rock sound of "Script For A Jester's Tear (1983)", but Marillion have opted for a slightly more contemporary sounding production, which sheds some of the 70s progressive rock influences and incorporates more 80s sounding drums and keyboard sounds. "Fugazi" features a more futuristic soundscape, but it is ultimately still a progressive rock album with all that entails of epic atmospheres, complex dynamic song structures, and high level musical performances. The band are very well playing and Fish is an exceptional singer and lyricist. Some of the lyrics on "Fugazi" are absolutely brilliant and his vocal performance is masterful. Some of the most simple lyrics on the album are featured on "Punch & Judy", but anyone who has ever been in a longer relationship (a relationship which extends beyond the magic of the first months/years of falling in the love), will recognise how well Fish are able to describe that scenario.

All other tracks on the album are of an equally high quality both when it comes to the instrumental compositional parts and the lyrics, and "Fugazi" is through and through a high quality release by Marillion. Although itīs unmistakably the sound of Marillion, the band have still managed to move forward and develop their sound since the debut. Under pressure from their label to write and record new material and tour at the same time, they have achieved something very difficult in releasing an album of this quality only a year after releasing their debut album. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

Review by JLocke
3 stars This album is fine, but not great. With ''Script'', Marillion proved that prog was still very much alive, amd did it with an album that was leaps and bounds beyond anything else around at that point in time. With FUGAZI, the band doesn't really evolve any. Sure, there are some great tracks, and I enjoy listening to them, but if we are going to expect another masterpiece from them, we will be dissapointed. FUGAZI is the second studio album Marillion ever released, so I suppose it is understandable that they would stumble a bit here, and try to find themzelves once again. Something Marillion seemed to do each album during the Fish years was attempt to re-invent themselves to suit the album's concept. With their next album, it would work, but with this one, it just seemed to be a re-hash of Script.

While I don't think simply repeating themselves here was their intention, and I also realize that the production of this album was cut short, I somehow think that had they really attempted to do something completely different rather than only a little, the result would have been alot better with this effort. Fish is superb as usual, and the addition of a new drummer adds some extra heaviness to it all. But the differences between the first two albums are slim, and often unnoticable. Because of this, FUGAZI remains my least favorite of Fish-era Marillion. Good, but non-essential. Perfect description, three stars.

Pros: More catchy tunes with enough prog to satisfy the elitists. Cons: Not enough diversity from the first album to make a huge impact on me.

Review by obiter
4 stars What is there left to say about this great album?

Fish's lyrics are simply superb. His phrasing and vocal style are unique. If Script is the prog jewel, then this is at least a Marillion masterpiece. The Jester lies semi-naked, half-cut and exposed on the cover artwork. Is he in the incubus? A magpie and chameleon rest on the sofa.

Assassing is a tremendous punchy track. The Genesis gybes which followed Grendel are erased. This is a confident band carving a different if related path. Punch and Judy showcases Fish's stark and perceptive lyrics as he exposes the underbelly of a stagnating relationship.

Fugazi is another classic. Again Fish has faces the downward spiral of western lifestyle head on. This is a Cold War track and may seem out of place or exaggerated to the modern listener. while it's good it does not have the same resonance or power as Forgotten Sons from Script (like Johnny Was by Bob Marley although that one reached its heights when performed by Stiff Little Fingers).

Maybe that's a clue to the album. It's very good but not quite reaching the heights of Script.

Review by Chicapah
4 stars A band, prog or otherwise, is only as good as the musician they have sitting behind them on the drum stool. Marillion's brave debut broke all the existing rules and regulations mandated by the corporate pig powers-that-be in the MTV virus-infected 80s and I found much of it to be of decent quality. But the inconsistent drumming of Mick Pointer was a deficiency impossible to overlook and it tainted my overall impression of "Script for a Jester's Tear." However, I was intrigued enough by Fish's over-the-top-but- engaging theatrical approach and Mark Kelly's keyboard acumen in particular to justify exploring their sophomore effort and I'm glad I did. It would seem that I wasn't the only listener who had the same reservations about the percussive component because they solved that impediment in one fell swoop by giving Mick the boot and hiring Ian Mosley to manhandle the tubs. The difference is like night and day.

Having indulged in some on-line research about "Fugazi" I've gained even more respect for the album. These boys were a mess and it's a wonder it got recorded at all. The myriad of studio problems, both technical and schedule-wise, and the band members' personal struggles with the trappings of the rock & roll lifestyle continually got in the way of the creative process. That usually spells disaster for the welfare of any group but these determined fellows somehow groped their way through the drug-laced minefields and managed to produce a follow up that exceeded my expectations.

The improvement is evident on the very first cut, "Assassing." The mysterious intro with its Indian overtones draws you right in, then a refreshing world beat emerges from the haze. Soon a driving, INXS-styled approach takes hold with Steve Rothery's guitar in front as Fish begins to paint the landscape with his unique vocal colorings. Steve's solo comes off a little too calculated but Mark's synthesizer lead is strikingly effective and the change of pace the band introduces on the bridge makes this a well-rounded song from start to finish. One of the group's strongest characteristics lies in their lyrics and this tune is no exception. It addresses the firing of Pointer (their previous stick-wielder) and, having experienced both ends of that cruel sword, I can tell you that it's heartbreaking. It's akin to a divorce and the messenger feels like. well, a cold-blooded assassin. "Listen as the syllables of slaughter cut with calm precision/patterned frosty phrases rape your ears and sow the ice incision," Fish sings, "so you resigned yourself to failure/and I emerged the chilling stranger/to eradicate the problem/unsheathed the blade within the voice." The addition of a tender "my friend" on the back of each of those last lines only adds insult to injury and the self-loathing evident in Fish's delivery is chilling.

"Punch and Judy" is next and, after an exciting 7/8 beginning, it falls into a somewhat predictable chord progression that the group decorates with various musical hues to keep it from getting stale. The tight rhythm section of Mosley and bassist Pete Trewavas provide much-needed momentum. The tune describes a jaded couple struggling through the post-honeymoon phase of their marriage. "Whatever happened to pillow fights, Friday nights and jeans so tight?/Lover's Lane, passion games, Sunday walks in the pouring rain?" they wonder. Those romantic situations have been replaced with "curling tongs, mogadons, 'I got a headache, baby, don't take so long'/middle-age dread, single beds, losing the war in the waistlands spread." Yep, been there, brother.

"Jigsaw" is a highlight of the proceedings. After a quieter, intimate verse a startling chorus strikes hard and the dynamic contrast is breathtaking. They repeat that cycle, then wisely escalate to another key for Rothery's fluid guitar ride before letting the track evolve ever larger in scope until they release the tension into a sweet fadeout. The subject is another break-up but this time it's not between friends but lovers and neither party wants to be the instigator of the split. "Stand straight," Fish demands, "look me in the eye and say goodbye/we've drifted past the point of reasons why." Later he sings "Dream coins for the fountain/or to cover your eyes/we reached ignition point/from the spark of pleasantries/sensed the smoke advancing from horizons/you must have known I was planning an escape." The next track is "Emerald Lies" and it begins with an energetic shuffle, then settles down into a softer guitar-driven segment. After Ian spices things up with jarring drum spasms they jump into a quasi-metallic motif and conclude with a grand finale. Relationships are a dominant theme throughout the album and this song tackles the scourge of mutual distrust and suspicion. "To don the robes of Torquemada/to resurrect the inquisition/and in that tortured subtle manner inflict/the questions within questions/looking in shades of green/through shades of blue/I trust in you/trust in me to mistrust you," he sings.

Another favorite is "She Chameleon," a number that goes through many changes, starting with a wonderful church organ accompanied only by Fish's vocal. Mosley's drums sound fantastic and Kelly contributes a scintillating synthesizer solo to this well-constructed piece of neo-prog. Here Fish compares groupies to reptiles. "They know what they want/they sing your name and glide between the sheets/I never say no/in chemical glow/we'll let our bodies meet," he reports, "loving just for laughs/carnal autograph/lying on a lizard's bed." But when the sun rises he finds himself feeling "degraded and alone/raped and still forlorn..." "Incubus" follows with its stately atmosphere intermixing with guitar and piano-led sections, climaxing in a cavernous ending. The lyrics are obviously about a nocturnal demon but they're very abstract and reading them is akin to poring through the poetry of Charles Bukowski. "And the walls become enticingly newspaper thin/but that would only be developing the negative view/and you have to be exposed in voyeuristic color/the public act/let you model your shame on the mannequin catwalk/let the cats walk," he rambles. Interesting.

But the album's namesake song is even weirder, word-wise. After a simple piano/vocal intro Ian kicks the band into gear and the tune grows into a driving platform for Fish to dramatize upon. After a brief pause they drop down to an ominous, stalking beat for a while before building to a full-scope closing. Perhaps the obtuse lyrics were jotted down in the fervor of a hallucinatory free-for-all but all I can derive from them is a sense that Fish has become untethered from the pier of reality, his life is now FUBAR and he fears "he'll fade with old soldiers/in the grease-stained roll call" and "linger with the heartburn/of Good Friday's last supper." (Gotta give the boy his props, though, he conjures up some fabulous imagery.)

This album shows a talented group of musicians getting better by the session. In spite of their youthful indiscretions and unrestrained wallowings in the cesspool of fame they made a pretty good record. And, bless their hearts, they continued to courageously brandish the battered banner of progressive rock in an era when the bulk of the music biz was fixated on filming cute, three-minute videos featuring half-naked wanton women snarling in cages and to hell with musical integrity. No wonder Marillion leaves us with Fish crying out from that barren wilderness "Where are the prophets?/where are the visionaries?/where are the poets.?"

Review by Menswear
5 stars Pieces of the ricochet.

Fugazi is indeed a ricochet of Script of a Jester's Tear, a rebound of an unexpected success, with more pressure this time. After giving birth to a healthy first album, they managed to give the best of themselves and it shows: this is Misplaced Childhood quality in terms of melody. The poetry on the other side, seems not to reach the height of the other records though...but still sky high compared to ...well...99% of the rest of the music industry of the time.

One step towards maturity (which means slower songs but with more flavor), and perhaps less dark than the Script, Fugazi aims bullseye almost everywhere. Assassing: a secret message to Mick 'meany' Pointer? Jigsaw: mesmerizing with sadness. She Cameleon: church organ intensity, great moog solo but surprisingly coarse language (rated R). Incubus: the meaning of great neo-prog without being tacky.

Once again, Fish is playing many roles: sad and pathetic man, the jester boosted with pride and the soiled conscience of the guilty mind. The usual, of course, inspired by the great Gabriel himself.

If half those stories are true, let me ask these question: 'Is there a shrink in the room?'

'I am meeting your eye. Eye! Eye! Eye!' -Incubus

Review by progkidjoel
5 stars Marillion: FUGAZI (1983)

Review by ProgKidJoel

Marillion's FUGAZI album was their second studio release, and it is also my favourite. Although very 80's oriented, this album delivers on every front, from lyrics, to technical virtuosity to dynamics and recording. All of the tracks were excellent, particularly "Incubus" and the title track.


1. Assassing

One of Marillion's most solid album openers, the Anthemic ASSASSING opens with an odd mixture of Eastern music and keyboard effects. Flowing into a heavily 80's guitar riff, it never failed to fill a dance floor in '83. A great lyric carried this song, as did the great 80's sound. This was released as a single, although significantly shortened. This is one of my all time favourite Marillion songs.

[5 Stars out of 5]

2. Punch and Judy

The shortest track on the album, PUNCH AND JUDY was released as the other single on this album. Also very 80's, this song delivers an amusing lyric about a marriage gone wrong, aswell as a heavy rhythmic section under a tight keyboard riff. Also a great track, it's length and repetitiveness made this track a bit less attractive to me, truth be told. Still a great song, though.

[4.5 Stars out of 5]

3. Jigsaw

JIGSAW is a fan favourite from FUGAZI - A great guitar solo, bleedin' heart lyrics and an all round good track help this track to be one of the most memorable on the entire FUGAZI album. Rothery's guitar work on this track in particular were fantastic. The same can be said for the keyboard work and the vocals.

[4 Stars out of 5]

4. Emerald Lies

Another great track on this album, EMERALD LIES has an awesome bassline and a great guitar melody. Vocal dynamics were fantastic on this track, especially when listened to overly loud. The lyrics to this track were particularly clever. For example "Looking in shades of green through shades of blue". Shades of green meaning Green with envy, and Blue meaning sadness, this track is fantastic.

[4.5 Stars out of 5]

5. She Chameleon

A rather depressing track, this would be my least favourite from the album. A fairly simple organ track and a depressing lyric brought this track down, in my honest opinion. It's still a decent track, just not great in my opinion.

[3 Stars out of 5]

6. Incubus

A great track, albeit a little repetitive at the start. After 3:51, this track bursts into some of the best prog Marillion have ever played. A brilliant guitar solo follows, aswell as an inspiring outro, and help shapes this track into one of the best. One of the great things about this song was the use of a mass of different sounds - Very proggy rock, then slowish rock, a great guitar solo, then slow again, then fast. It's hard to keep up with, but give it attention, and it will play excellently.

[5 Stars out of 5]


The title track from this album, and boy, did it deliver! Also crossing several types of rock, it opens with a great piano riff, and closes with a great 60's feeling hippie guitar riff and lyrics. This one has to be heard to be believed, and it really is fantastic if you believe in it. Once again, very 80's oriented for the most part. That being said, I love the 80's sound of FISH era Marillion, and this was some of their best. A solid range of dynamics and great guitar and keyboard work round this album out to create my favourite (And in my Opinion, the most solid) FISH era Marillion album. I can't more than reccomend this brilliant track.

[5 Stars out of 5]

Closing comments:

FUGAZI was, is, and may very well remain my favourite FISH era Marillion album. I'd highly reccomend this album, if only for ASSASSING and FUGAZI. I have the 2CD REMASTER edition, although if you already own B'SIDES THEMSELVES, I wouldn't bother with it. The demos were interesting, although at the core, just unrehearsed versions of otherwise brilliant songs.


I highly reccomend you pick this up, as soon as possible. Keep proggin'


Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Marillionīs second LP was not among my favorites for a long time. The reason was quite simple and it seemed that most reviewers here missed it: the flat, muddy production of the original record. I liked most of the songs but they sounded much better in their live renditions included on Real to Reel and La Gazza Ladra. Also the mood here is quite differente from their brilliant debut: itīs a lot darker and less accessible.

But a friend told me if I get the remastered version they released in 1998 Iīd change my mind. I was quite doubtful at first, but he was right. The new version is so much improved it looks like they almost re-recorded all the tracks! Now you can hear all the subtleties and great playing you should expect from a band of that caliber. I put the record on again and again and it sounded to me like I had never heard the original studio in my life (in a way, it was). The bass and keyboards are much clearer now. What a good, caring, respectful, remastering can do!!! Kudos for whoever did this miracle!

For the songs themselves, all I have to say is that I still think that She Chameleon and Emerald Lies are not Marillionīs best but the remaining tracks are nothing less than classics. The band had evolved a lot since their debut and showing they had a strong personality. Marillion was far from being just another Genesis clone as they were labelled at the time. And besides, Genesis at the time was heading towards a much lighter, popier direction. It was good to have another fine band proving prog was far from dead and had a lot to offer still. Fish was (and is) one of the best singers/poets to emerge from the 80īs.

Their sound improved a lot with the addition of ace studio drummer Ian Mosley (who also played for a brief period with dutch proggers Trace in the 70īs) as a permanent member. It was interesting that at the time no one believed he was going to stay too long with the band (I thought he was hired just for those sessions). But, incredibly, he remains in the group till this day! He ended a long period for the band to try to find the right person to replace the sacked Mick Pointer. The classic line up was born on this LP, even though few, if any, people knew it then.

Of the bonus disc that comes with the package: I loved the 12" single version of Cinderella Search (the one included on the BīSides Themselves compilation has the climatic last part indecently butchered), while the alternative mix of Assassin is interesting and the 1984īs re-recording of Three Boats Down From The Candy did some improvement over the original single. The remaining tracks (all demo versions) are a treat only for the hardcore fans.

Conclusion: even if not as good as the first album, Fugazi is proof that Marillion was indeed a special, one-of-a-kind, band from the very start. The remastering edition does justice to the songs power and it is certainly is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. 4,5 stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Fugazi was a major step forward for Marillion. In every aspect it's better then the debut: it's more concise and focused and with the Genesis references mostly gone, a more personal style is established. The song quality is consistent throughout and the instrumentation only serves one purpose, not to display technical proficiency but to enhance the quality of the song, not as many notes as possible but just the good ones! So it's less adventurous but more direct and less self indulgent then the prog rock of the 70's, which may be the exact reason why it's one of the most enjoyable albums in the genre.
Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When Marillion tried writing more accessible material we got a mixed bag which I always baffled me considering the high quality material featured on the three other Fish-era releases.

I guess it was understandable that Marillion couldn't just do a Script For A Jester's Tear Part 2 with their sophomore release and so they combined their progressive tendencies with some commercially oriented material on Fugazi. Assassing and Punch And Judy might have really made the already established fan-base scratch their heads in confusion but luckily this new direction wouldn't last for too long.

Jigsaw is the first commercially oriented experiment that actually make me smile in delight. The music here starts off slow and quiet building up to a highly dramatic delivery of the chorus that almost punches the listened in the stomach, something that Punch And Judy was going for but didn't really manage to achieve. Many people seem to blame the change of direction of Holidays In Eden on Steve Hogarth but just compare Jigsaw to Dry Land and you'll see that their styles are quite similar.

I would like to state that I never really cared much for the next part of the album where I usually can't tell the diffidence between Emerald Lies, She Chameleon and Incubus. It's not that the songs don't have their own unique approaches but the results here are far from the highlights featured on Script For A Jester's Tear. I usually consider these three songs to be closely related to the underdeveloped track Boats Down From The Candy from Market Square Heroes EP. All the right elements like a strong lead melody, memorable lyric delivery and climactic sections are here but they just don't work as complete compositions.

This is of course where this album's title-track actually manages to deliver the goods and prove that these elements can in fact work very well if they are put in just the right order! Eventually things would get a lot better with the next release and Fugazi would be considered a slight transitional misstep where Marillion were still developing their own unique sound. A good, but non-essential album that I would recommend listening to after the three other Fish-era Marillion albums.

***** star songs: Jigsaw (6:50) Fugazi (8:13)

**** star songs: Punch And Judy (3:21) Emerald Lies (5:09) She Chameleon (6:53)

*** star songs: Assassing (7:02) Incubus (8:30)

Review by EatThatPhonebook
3 stars 6/10

"Fugazi" is a mixed result of great songs and annoying ones.

Marillion is probably the most famous, greatest, and most important Neo Prog band ever. I'm not the hugest fan of theirs, but some albums they have released are true gems. Unfortunately, , their follow-up to the highly praised debut "Script From A Jester's Tear", "Fugazi", I do not consider one of these.

While the debut is in a way more interesting, "Fugazi" is much more 80's synth-driven, that really remind of the dance music of that era. That is probably what bothered me most about the overall sound, because in the end, the guitars are good and have nice little solos, the vocals too are really good, even though at times they resemble a little too much Peter Gabriel. Sometimes during the album I would even ask myself if this was prog, in the end, sounding more like an 80's classic rock band incorporating the new synth sounds of that time. But it occurred to me then that the structure of the songs were very much alike prog, going from more emotional moments to softer, much quieter moments, and perhaps another burst after that.

Other than that, what bothers me in this album are some of the melodies and the arrangements of a lot of the songs; they sound just a little too cheesy for my taste. Some precise songs annoy me, and always have, like "Jigsaw" and "She Chameleon". However, this album is miraculously saved by a few songs that to me have always been special; the opener "Assassing" is a great track for Marillion, with a mysterious and intriguing intro, full of Arabic influences, and interesting tom drums all around, and an even more intriguing hook. "Punch & Judy" is the shortest but best and most haunting song here, great performance by Fish, a little gem of Neo Progressive music. The two final songs, "Incubus" and the title track, are good as well, and the first one has an outro that is almost tear-jerking beautiful.

Overall an album that I have mixed feelings for, I really like half of the songs, but the other half I couldn't care less for. If you're a Neo Prog enthusiast you might enjoy it a lot more than I did and probably like those to me pretty annoying tunes.

Review by J-Man
3 stars The Weakest of the Fish Years

If you wonder why people throw around the phrase "sophomore jinx" so frequently, just give a listen to Marillion's second album, Fugazi. Their 1983 debut, Script For A Jester's Tear, received critical and commercial success, and is often hailed as a groundbreaking masterpiece in the dying 80's prog scene. Fugazi was the follow-up to this landmark prog album, and for some reason it just never clicked with me like the other three Fish-era Marillion albums did. I consider Script, Misplaced Childhood, and Clutching at Straws to all be masterpieces and some of my favorite music ever, but this album always seemed to be a disappointment in my eyes. Despite that small rant, Fugazi is still a solid neo-prog album, with more than enough worthwhile music contained in its 45 minute duration.

The first question I want to address is "why isn't this as good as the other Fish-era Marillion albums?". There really is no single reason for that, but this album never hits as many high, climatic moments as the other Marillion albums. There is no genius concept like there is on Misplaced Childhood and Clutching at Straws, and the compositions just aren't as great and memorable as they were on Script For A Jester's Tear. There are plenty of people who regard Fugazi as a masterpiece along with the other Fish-era albums, but I've always been let down by it. The songs are just too simplistic and aren't memorable enough in my opinion.

The sound here is still unmistakably Marillion. People always make the Genesis comparisons with the early Marillion albums, and while that is accurate in some respects, Marillion is by no means a Genesis clone. The only reason why there are so many comparisons between these two bands is because of Fish's Peter Gabriel-esque voice. Otherwise, these two bands don't have very much in common.

There has been a small change in lineup, as drummer Mick Pointer has been replaced by Ian Mosley, who has remained in Marillion ever since. Mick Pointer wasn't the best drummer in the world, and even though Ian Mosley got better with time, he still plays well on Fugazi. Don't expect any drumming as good as his future albums, though. Ian Mosley is much more restrained on this album.

This album consists of 7 tracks adding up to a running time of 45:54. Most of the songs are at least decent, but there are a few standout Marillion classics to be found here. Assassing, Jigsaw, Incubus (this one is my favorite from the album), and Fugazi are all great songs that could rival with songs from the other Fish-era Marillion albums. The other three songs are good, but really nothing special. She Chameleon is the weakest song here by a longshot. Way too repetitive and boring in my opinion. This album is still worth the acquisition for a few tracks alone, though.

The production is a weak point in this album. Whereas the 80's sound added some charm to Script, it just doesn't work here. The production is more annoying and treble-heavy on Fugazi and it really distracts from the overall value of the album. I wonder if I would've enjoyed this album more if it had a good production.

The musicians are always a joy to listen to, whether the music is top-notch or not. Still, there aren't as many goosebump-inducing moments on Fugazi from any of the members. Pete Trewavas is one of my favorite bassists, and he delivers some great basslines on this album. The other members play perfectly, but I miss some of the emotion that is in other Marillion albums.


I was disappointed the first time I've ever heard Fugazi, and while I will never like it as much as the other Fish-era Marillion albums, I've been able to accept it as a pretty good neo-prog album. If you're a fan of the genre, you probably already own this album, but it's worth a purchase if you love neo prog and don't have it. This is a good album, but still disappointing and non-essential when put in the context of Marillion's discography. A 3 star rating is the most I can give here. There are plenty of people who regard this album as another masterpiece from Marillion, but I'm afraid I'm not one of them. This is the only Marillion album with Fish that I won't give the masterpiece status.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Marillion's sophomore attempt disappointed many. I can see why. Most people liked the NeoGenesis sound and stylings of their debut--(which is where they'll return for their next--the album most consider their masterpiece, Misplaced Childhood.)

1. "Assassing" (7:02) opens with some SIMPLE MINDS "Don't You (Forget About Me)"-sounding sound palette before switching to a funky 80s synth baseline. The vocal isn't 80s ish, but everybody else is--especially the drums, bass, and cheesy synth flourishes. Nice lead guitar work in the fourth minute (though I'm surprised Rothery felt the need to double himself up--doing it twice on two different tracks.) In the fifth minute the baseline rhythm section switches to something more interesting (until the dated 80s synth wash chords join in.) At 5:55 we're back to the 80s SIMPLE MINDS sounds and structure. (12.5/15)

2. "Punch And Judy" (3:21) More SIMPLE MINDS sounds and structure to open this silly song. A complete failure--especially as a prog song. A song unworthy of a band of this talent and caliber. (7.5/10)

3. "Jigsaw" (6:50) MIDI-ed synth arpeggi supports Fish's sensitive vocal until 1:12 when Fish belts out his "stand straight" chorus line and the rest of the band joins in with synth washes and interesting bass up front. The song quickly moves back to the nursery room arpeggi with Fish's delicate poetic vocal again for the second verse. After the second "stand straight" chorus there is a shift into an instrumental C part in which Steve Rothery delivers a perfunctory guitar solo. A and B return, a little fuller this time, before the song plays out with the A section and Fish's delicate vocal story finish. Rothery's background lead flourishes and Pete Trewavas' interesting bass are the best things about this song. (13/15)

4. "Emerald Lies" (5:09) opens with some searing guitar over full band. Pete's chunky Chris Squire-like bass are quite prominent. Delicate 12-string arpeggi move in, providing the sole support for Fish's narrative story telling. Pete's jazzy bass joins in for a bit. Then we move into a powerful repeat of the opening for a militaristic vocal display at the second half of the third minute. I don't like the way the drums are recorded on this album: very 1980s-ish (gated snare and toms). The second part of this nightmare section is pretty cool with all the instrumentalists weaving together for some ominous music in support of Fish's dark lyrics. (8.75/10)

5. "She Chameleon" (6:53) "organ" arpeggio opening over which Fish joins in with a delicate Peter Gabriel-esque vocal. Tom hits punctuate Fish's vocal in the second minute as things get heavier with the addition of spacious bass and drums--all the while as the organ arpeggi continue their insidious malediction. Great, theatric Fish performance. At 2:42 we move into full smooth rock section for some nice synth soloing--almost Vangelis-like. At 3:35 we move dramatically back into a darker, more ominous passage--which is then filled by a slow-building Steve Rothery solo. Very David Gilmour-like. Then it's back to the story and Fish's dramatic storytelling. The best song on the album (despite the subject matter and use of foul language). (13.25/15)

6. "Incubus" (8:30) interesting and unique opening before three chord baseline sets into auto pilot while Fish sings. Nice chord sequence at the shift at 1:24 though the rhythm remains the same--but then a soft guitar-arpeggio section enters in which Pete's bass and Fish's plaintive story-telling voice sing. Simple vamp to support Rothery's fair solo in the seventh minute. (He's still not there--still not found his own sound and style much less virtuosity). All in all, this is not really a great song, though it has a lot of very promising elements--including the "waiting for the prompt" finale. (17.25/20)

7. "Fugazi" (8:13) gentle opening section is trumped by SIMPLE MINDS B section. A dull, uninteresting song to end a disappointing album. (12.25/15)

Total Time: 45:54

I have to admit that Pete Trewavas impresses me more than I imagined and Fish's skills at dramatic storytelling really soar on a couple songs ("She Chameleon" and "Incubus"), but the dated synths, horrible gated effects used on the drums, and reliance on 80s Simple Minds three-chord pop bombast on a couple of songs turn me sour.

Review by lazland
4 stars Following the unexpected success of Script For A Jester's Tear (popular prog resurrection in the 1980's, our journalistic friends?), Marillion followed up in 1984 with Fugazi, an album that saw them progress leaps and bounds in both commercial nous and originality. Whilst still the undoubted kings of the healthy neo prog movement of the time, this release meant that they could no longer be regarded as mere Genesis, Yes, VDDG, or other classic band clones. They were a musical force to be reckoned with in their own right, and all the healthier for that as well.

The bitter and scathing lyrics first witnessed on Script were continued to devastating effect on the opener, Assassing, an unlikely hit single, based around the band's self styled "Spinal Tap" drummer period. Actually, by the time they recorded this, Ian Mosley, a former Steve Hackett Band member, had been recruited, sounded fantastic, and has been with the band ever since. It is a rollicking rocker, delivered with huge panache, and British chart watchers and buyers lapped up the strange big Scottish man with weird makeup.

Punch & Judy was another hit single, a clever song telling a story of marital strife and breakup, delivered with a caustic lyrical edge. Pop prog at its very finest, and herein lies the key to the massive success the band enjoyed with this and the follow up albums. They understood that they were writing and selling music in the aftermath of punk, and that commercial success would only come about if they happened to sound modern. They did, and that success was thoroughly deserved.

The highlight of the album, for me, is Jigsaw. I fell in love with this song when I first listened to it some twenty six years ago now. A beautiful and bittersweet chronicle of unspent love, it features an incredible vocal performance, added to a lyrical guitar solo by Steven Rothery which tells the story as well as the lyrics themselves, all backed up by some soaring keyboards by Kelly and the formidable rhythm section of Trewavas & Mosley. This is perhaps the greatest prog song of that particular era, and also shows me why, as much as I love IQ, Pallas, and Pendragon, why Marillion were the undisputed masters of this particular new wave of prog. The sound of a band at the top of their game, and only, for heaven's sake, on their second studio long player.

The quality does dip a little bit with Emerald Lies, a track, which if I remember rightly, was held over from Script, and it shows. As much as I love Script (I gave it a five star review a while ago), my love of this follow up album is based on the fact that it is a genuine progression, and this is a track which is absolutely not. In fact, it sounds naive in comparison with all else.

She Chameleon is a thoughtful piece of music, featuring some stunning keyboard work by Mark Kelly and an understated performance by Fish. Album filler, perhaps, but high quality for all that.

The album reasserts itself, though, in truly grand and grandiose terms with the two outrageously adventurous epics that were Incubus and Fugazi. I know for a fact that many people who bought the album on the back of the hit singles were converted to "true" progressive rock by these tracks. Songs which not only told a story well, but also in a fantastically well performed musical backdrop.

Incubus is a hoot. The poor girl ditches her weird bloke, moves on, only to find that he reappears at the local pub where she has come out with her latest love. Latest love pops along to the khazi, and ditched bloke begins to show her photos of the pair of them in what I will politely describe as compromising positions threatening to expose (literally!) them to the wider world, starting with the new bloke. Hilarious, incredible social commentary on the use of such work, and visionary, in that this is precisely what is happening the world over via internet chatrooms and social media sites. Brilliant.

The title track refers to an American slang for ambushed in the Vietnam War, or fu**ed up. Thus "This world is totally Fugazi". He's right as well. This track is the natural follow up and progression from Forgotten Sons on the predecessor album, both lyrically and musically. A tremendous way to finish an LP. When Fish asks "where are the prophets, where are the visionaries? Where are the poets?", he need look no further than the nearest mirror. A true poet and absolutely the reason why we fell in love with the band in the first place. It should also not be forgotten that the musicianship backing this lyrical poetry was of the highest order, themselves telling the story with menace.

Is this a masterpiece of progressive rock? Not if I am honest. If it didn't contain Emerald Lies and She Chameleon, I would say undoubtedly. However, these two dip it below the five star rating.

Therefore, four stars. An excellent addition to any prog rock collection, and the reason why neo prog was so damned good back then.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars In the early 80s a friend of mine came back from UK with a copy of the EP "Market Square Heroes". I fell in love with Grendel but they were not yet distributed in Italy so the first album that I found was Fugazi.

Grendel was not there, but three things of it had an immediate impact on me:

first, my version of the vinyl doesn't have any information about the band. Marillion and Fugazi are the only thing. I actually didn't know anything about them and this sort of "mystery" contributed to give it appeal.

second, the sleeve design was saying "Hey, I'm a progressive album".

third, the high quality of the recording. "She Chameleon" is extremely clean, even on vinyl.

The connection with Genesis was evident, specially because Fish was singing like Peter Gabriel, but listening better there are also influences coming from Pink Floyd (mainly The Wall).

There is not a concept, this is just a collection of songs and some of them like Incubis, Fugazi and Assassing are very good. Others, like Punch and Judy are jus average for me. Even "She Chameleon" has an excellent production but I don't think it's an highlight.

It's a good album but not a masterpiece and it also appears to be quite dated today as it sounds very 80s. I still prefer it to their debut "Script" that I didn't find too good. This is a good starting point for who wants to approach Marillion for the first time, even if my favourite of this period is the live Real to Reel.

Even if I love it for being my first Marillion's album I can't rate it more than 3 stars. However compared to most of the stuff released in the early 80s it's comparable to a masterpiece. This is I think the reason why Marillion are so beloved. In 1984 they were the only decent new band available.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's been nearly 25 years since I heard Marillion's debut and it's taken me that long to give the follow-up a go. The first one didn't do much for me; back then I was more interested in the sonic adventures of Zep, Hendrix and Jeff Beck, and upon hearing Script For a Jester's Tear I think I muttered something like "It's too commercial". And though I can't say Fugazi has shown me the light, I do accept the band on their own terms and the tenacious, stylish, bathtub-loving Scot who fronted them. They didn't give a sh*t what anyone thought, and I like that. To be honest, Mr. Dick reminds me more of a poetic Rob Halford in attitude and attack than Peter Gabriel. As Clem points out, this is a somewhat troubled album if only evidenced by the quality and content of the cover painting. But it's about the music, right? Not some strung-out harlequin with bad taste in art and his naughty bits barely covered. Not a pretty sight but I can forgive that.

I suppose what Marillion really deserve credit for was having, despite the relentless Genesis analogies, a fairly original sound in their time. I mean what did we get in 1984; Under Wraps? Grace Under Pressure? Save U2, Metallica and a smattering of others, let's just say it wasn't a banner year for original popular music, and Prog was in deep recession. Marillion should have been welcomed universally, embraced as a vanishing "Progressive rock band" and given their due. But Prog's most ardent supporters had moved on along with everyone else; they weren't listening to Springsteen but nor were they indulging in the sort of late '70s nonsense this hard-working quartet were selling. When the party was over, it was fairly brave to push symphonic rock, as trimmed & tidy as this was. Even more impressive is that the album reached #5 in Britain. Not bad for an LP that opens with a 7-minute cut and has a junkie jester on the cover. Swaggering 'Assassing', well-conceived 'Punch & Judy' where Dick's voice begins registering distinct Gabriel-isms and filled with really nice little passages of melody and cross-harmony, and shriekingly sentimental 'Jigsaw' with its dignified request to "stand straight". Sounds of Selling England-era Genesis for 'She Chameleon' continued in pleasant 'Incubus' and the title as these torch-carriers show the influence they took from, and had on, other bands.

Overall, perfectly fine mid-80s symphrock (or should I say "neo-prog") and though not my cuppa, is that really important? Yeah I didn't think so, and though not recommended to all, I do recognize Fugazi as an atoll of thoughtful music awash in the troubled ocean that was the music industry.

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
5 stars Hitting the high note.

Fuzgazi was Marillion's follow up record to the excellent Script For A Jester's Tear. Perhaps like most success, the band seems to have tried to capture that same energy and spirit here. This album has a feel to it that is very reminiscent of their debut, especially structurally. (Ie hard hitting and top notch opener, followed by a more "commercial" song, etc.) However, there are a few key changes. First, the overt Genesis references have gone. Marillion actually tend to sound less like a clone band and more like themselves (and unlike later releases still retain the progressive spirit of Genesis and the like). Second, and more important, Ian Molsey had joined the band. His drumming is very dynamic (even without comparing it to the drumming on the debut) and the music gains so much from it. Even though the drums are still very 80s sounding (for the most part) there is more looseness and more little ornamentations to the drum lines that make the songs more open and adventurous. Also, the production is so bright and loud that nothing is lost in fuzziness or obscured in any way sonically. Marillion have captured something special with this release, which unfortunately will not be seen again by the band.

Musically there is little to fault this album with. The only song that isn't a home run is She Chameleon. While the repetitive organ chords are enjoyable (and perhaps even eerie at times), the song drifts along much too long to keep interest. However, the song is still enjoyable, just not excellent, which the rest of the album is. Unsurprisingly emotion is the name of the game here. This time there is seemingly more anger and anguish than on the debut, creating a bit of a darker atmosphere overall. Fish's voice is in top form, belting out intelligent, sophisticated, and sometimes bitting lyrics wonderfully. Rothery seems to only have gotten better, and delivers some excellent solos and leads. The keyboard sounds are richer and smoother and fit like spandex pants. The bass is bubbly and anchoring (and more importantly never falling into a realm of just being there to be there to anchor the song). I've already expressed my love of Mosley's drumming, but I'll say it again. The Drumming is just want Marillion needed. Needless to say, nothing here is overly technical, but the musical nitty-gritty isn't always important. It's hard to give special mentions to favorite songs, as they are all top notch to my ears, but I'll give special mention to Assassing (with it's energetic melody line engaging percussion and wonderful guitar solo) and the title track, which is my favorite Marillion song all things considered (with it's multilayered song writing, sense of flow, reflective lyrics, and the overall feeling produced by such a work). But really, I could such things about any song here.

All in all, this is, in my opinion, the crowing achievement of Marillion. They've stepped out of the shadow of Genesis and started to shine themselves. They kept all the successful ingredients they planted on their debut and added that 'secret formula', while still keeping their progressive nature (which would unfortunately start to shed away starting with their next album). Even though their first album is more historically important, this one is the better album, music wise (at least to these ears). (Side note: The bonus CD, unfortunately, is probably my least favorite of the Fish era years, with really only Cinderella Search being of any value. Three Boats Down From The Candy is nice to have again, but isn't anything radically different from the original form. Only demos and alternative mixes remain, and I don't care much more those types of things.) Even though She Chameleon isn't as successful as the other six songs here, I have no problem awarding this 5 stars. Recommended to all fans of prog- rock.

Review by Warthur
5 stars Fugazi used to be my least favourite of the Fish-era Marillion studio albums, but over the years it's grown and grown and grown on me. It's an odd album, that's for sure - kicking off with two of the band's more accessible tracks in the form of the hard rocking Assassing and the darkly comical Punch and Judy (a reminder that sometimes breaking up isn't the worst thing that can happen to a relationship), after a fairly approachable opening the album plunges into some of the bands more murky and less accessible material from Jigsaw onwards.

Fish's lyrics reach a new level of complexity and poetry this time around. Unkind persons might accuse him of eating a thesaurus, though it's more likely due to the influence of Peter Hammill, who'd befriended the band whilst they were touring together; certainly, there's a touch of Hammill in Fish's delivery of these emotionally raw pieces. (That said, the lyrics to at least one song - She Chameleon - had actually been written well before the recording of Script for a Jester's Tear, but the song was pulled from the band's set list so that the tune could be thoroughly reworked.)

New addition to the team Ian Mosley proves that he's both got the technical chops to take the band's music to the next level on the one hand, but on the other hand he also has the ability to show restraint which was Mick Pointer's saving grace as a drummer, never showboating or intruding on parts of the songs which demand either low-key drumming or no percussion at all. Steve Rothery's guitar work, which was such a highlight of the previous album, is still at its usual high standards, and Mark Kelly has some truly fine moments on keyboards.

On the whole, the album is an exceptional achievement with plenty in the way of hidden depths, which also blazed a trail for neo-prog as a distinct style in itself as opposed to a style dependent wholly on its influences. There is, quite simply, nothing in earlier progressive or mainstream rock music to compare it to.

Review by rogerthat
4 stars Like a fair few other acclaimed rock albums from the 80s, Fugazi is a solid album but falls short of masterpiece class. It is very consistent and there are no weak moments from amongst the 7 tracks but there are not too many moments that suggest brilliance of an elusive level in rock music, generally speaking or with specific reference to the 80s. It is ultimately held back by a limited palate of influences and styles, a trait which again can be observed in well loved 80s rock albums as well as some of the more popular 90s prog.

Stylistically, Fugazi offers even more compelling evidence that Marillion never really had as much to do with Genesis as is often made out to be in the prog world. Trewavas's driving Geddy Lee-esque basslines underline Steve Rothery's fondness for Gilmour even as Fish channels singers like Hammill, Hodgson and Waters, with only his tone somewhat resembling Gabriel. Some of the overwrought sentiment in places in Script for a Jester's Tear has been weeded out and this album is even more bitter, angry, direct and unrelenting. That is, even more unlike Genesis. Marillion don't seem to have much time for subtleties and prefer to grab you by the collar. Therein their strength and weakness.

Marillion also appear to pay heed to the soundscapes of the 80s and there are moments where the music evokes the famous Thriller album. That also means the production is not the most desirable. Ian Mosley in particular is rather loud and it gets a bit tiresome as you are getting through the album. On the other hand, he propels the more hard rocking moments like on the title track well. To be fair, Marillion needed to stay in tune with the 80s and chose to dress up their trademark Celtic flavours in 80s clothes. I think they did it very well.

Musically, this album is very strong on melody and most of the 'tunes' are very memorable. But I have to say the arrangements tend to give away their influences. For example, the dark riffs accompanying the stanza that concludes with the line "This world is totally fugazi" strongly evoke Wall-era Floyd. As such, Marillion appear to be quite fond of Wall-era Floyd. At places like the above mentioned, this may be a bit too obvious whereas on, say, She Chameleon, they are able to interpret their influences in their own light and produce something that stands out more.

Still, Marillion's trump card is singer and lyricist Derek Dicks aka Fish. His lyrics possess depth and yet have a directness of feeling that makes them very compelling and really gets me to relate to the music. And he sings the lines with passion, as always. Well, yes, I am sure any professional singer gives his passionate best to his work but Fish is truly able to communicate his passion to me and that is special. His best suit, and the one he usually relies on, is to deliver an angry and bitter viewpoint of the world with conviction but he does it well time and again. His voice is not very attractive and I am not sure his range is exactly massive either but that never gets in his way.

That is in the end the story of the album and the band's Fish-era output. They tend to get overshadowed by the imposing personality of their singer and his words. But he is not really an unbelievable vocal virtuoso and, as mentioned before, tends to play carefully to his strengths. This results in a very focused and consistent album that somewhat lacks diversity. 4 stars for one of the more worthwhile prog rock albums of the 80s.

Review by stefro
3 stars Of the four albums Marillion recorded with Fish during their 1980's commercial peak, 1984's 'Fugazi' seems to be the one most overlooked by fans, perhaps due to the difficult nature of it's inception(line-up issues, label pressure, time constraints etc) but more likely because 'Fugazi' was the group's oh-so important second album. Following on from the excellent and surprisingly-successful debut release 'Script For A Jester's Tear', Marillion were given an ultra-tight deadline by EMI to come up with more of the same. Although the resulting album wouldn't disappoint in terms of sales - 'Fugazi' reached no.5 on the UK albums chart - the album has long been seen as the weakest of the Fish-era material, despite the fact that it kicks off with a trio of stone-cold Marillion classics in the shape of the blockbusting rocker 'Assassing', the catchy synth-pop single 'Punch & Judy' and the highly-emotive semi-ballad 'Jigsaw'. However, this only goes to prove the point that 'Fugazi', like a good football match, is very much a story of two halves. Like so many other 'difficult' second albums(sorry to use the oft-used cliche) 'Fugazi' fails to truly live up to expectation. Whilst the album's first side is virtually as good as anything the group have recorded before or since, the latter half of 'Fugazi' betrays the album's fraught conception, with a poppier, more sentimental streak emerging on lacklustre efforts such as the glutinous 'Emerald Lies' and the not-so-spectacular title-track which closes the album on a rather unsatisfying note. That said, 'Fugazi' is still miles better than many other neo-prog albums of the era whilst also a much more cohesive and enjoyable effort than any of Marillion's insipid and prog-lite post-Fish material. It may be the least of the their classic quartet of albums from their heyday('Misplaced Childhood' and 'Clutching At Straws' the other two) yet there are enough excellent tunes here to make a mockery of the album's undeservedly negative reputation. Patchy then, but much better than you might think. And 'Assassing' rocks.


Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
5 stars I'm not sure why this album is considered inferior to the debut by many. I find this poetically precise, melodically menacing, rhythmically reeling and it does seem that MARILLION came of age with this sophomore release. Although I deem their debut a masterpiece of neo-prog that I like better than FUGAZI, this album has a couple things over that one. First of all, Ian Mosley has a much better delivery system on drums giving the proper percussion at the perfect times with an accompanying style that is subordinate to the lyrics of Fish's wordplay, which is, of course, the focus of this brand of neo-prog that MARILLION was quite capably bringing to life in the 80s.

Secondly the influences are more diverse here as we hear at the beginning with some Indian drumming and interesting mood building before it finally turns into a kind of early 80s sounding new wave meets Genesis type of thing. Fish sounds a little less Gabriel meets Hammill and has a beautiful range as he poetically prances up and down the scales. I really love how the keyboards weave around his vocals while the rest of the band keeps the backbone of the rhythms completely solid. There is also a hint of arpeggio metal construction in tracks like "Emerald Lies" that kind of reminds me of Queensryche and some Gilmour inspired guitar runs here and there.

Although this seems to be one of those hate or love type albums I have to admit I fall on the love it side. I think the album flows nicely from beginning to end keeping things interesting on the sonic journey with Fish and company giving their imaginative tales a beautiful musical form. Maybe this album isn't as popular because of some of the poppier influences that abound? Not sure. For me this is magnificent music that picked up the pieces that the 70s groups threw out and left behind. For me MARILLION did a better job than post-Tresspass Genesis did with this sound. Genesis may have invented it but MARILLION continued to expand it and perfect it and on this album they make it their own. Excellent album!!!

Review by Modrigue
4 stars "Script..."'s hard rock brother

For some reason, "Fugazi" seems to be MARILLION's least appreciated studio album from the Fish-era. For sure, this second effort may be the most dated, due to the strong 80's production, but it remains a little gem of neo-progressive rock creativity. From now on, the band will gradually emancipate from their initial GENESIS influences: the songs will become shorter, more and more direct and will contain less long guitar or synthesizer soli, like on "Script For A Jester's Tear". However, the ideas and impetuosity are still present, and this opus features their hardest and most aggressive compositions from their Fish years.

The sharp and incisive "Assassing" sounds typical of the eighties. This hard neo-prog song is very catchy while incorporating different ambiances and musical styles. A classic from MARILLION's! The rock-y "Punch and Judy" is also quite nice and energetic. In contrast, the soapy "Jigsaw" is more consensual, maybe a little commercial. The only true weak passage of the disc. Then comes the most progressive track of the record, the cool "Emerald Lies". This heavier song has some slight similitudes with ELOY's "Metromania", released the same year.

With its organ and spacey keyboards, "She Chameleon" transports you to a fantasy land, alternating peaceful and darker moments. Very enchanting. In the same style of "Emerald Lies", "Incubus" is also pleasant. The dreamy finale is great. The title track is another highlight of the disc. It possesses both powerful punchy passages, fairytale and spacey moments. The finale hymn is in the style of "Forgotten Sons" from the previous album, and its Scottish ambiance is very dancing! Hearing so much variety and creativity in only 8 minutes is unfortunately too rare now, we want more!

Although the music sounds very 80's, "Fugazi" contains very nice rocking tracks and displays a wide palette of musical styles. This last point proves that MARILLION cannot be reduced to a "sub-GENESIS from the eighties". Despite more direct compositions, the band is still audacious and manages to develop their own identity, spearheading the then nascent sub-genre.

"Fugazi" is a good entry point to the band for hard rock fans. An underrated neo-progressive album, and one of the best MARILLION albums with ""Script For A Jester's Tear""!

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 129

'Fugazi' is the second studio album of Marillion and was released in 1984. In relation to their debut studio album 'Script For A Jester's Tear', 'Fugazi' shows some musical differences. Marillion streamlined the intricacies of group's progressive rock leanings for a more straight ahead rock identity. Still, it remains clearly a Marillion's album. We even can say that, in a certain way, 'Fugazi' remarks Marillion's consistency on its musical direction solidifying the group.

The line up on the album is Derek Dick 'Fish' (vocals), Steve Rothery (guitars), Mark Kelly (keyboards), Pete Trewavas (bass) and Ian Mosley (drums). The album has also the participation of Linda Pyke (backing vocals). This was the first album with the presence of Mosley after the departure of their drummer Mick Pointer to form Arena. The album was produced under difficult circumstances, with the group employing and ejecting several drummers in quick sessions.

'Fugazi' has seven tracks. All songs were written by Fish, Rothery, Trewavas and Kelly, except 'Punch And Judy' that was also written by Jonathan Mover and 'Emerald Lies' and 'Fugazi' which were also written by Mosley. The first track 'Assassing' is a very good song to open the album and became one of the classic songs of the group. This is a very interesting song because it sounds at the same time quite different and yet familiar compared to the songs of their debut studio album 'Script For A Jester's Tear'. It's a very energetic song with a touch of Islamic music, with a beautiful interlude, a good bass line and a very dynamic drumming. This is, in my humble opinion, one of the highlights of the album. The second track 'Punch And Judy' was the song chosen to be released as the first single of this album. The lyrics of the song are a very amusing subject on a married life and are about a marriage that gone bad. It's the shortest track on the album but is for me a very good song. This is a wonderful song although not very typical of their music until now. However, it features everything that's great in Marillion's songs, catchy riffs and melodies and their typical sound so characteristic of Fish's era. The third track 'Jigsaw' it's a bit slow rock song, very nice and I particularly like of it very much. This is probably a song partially obscured by the two previous songs. It's a song about everything in Marillion, their music, their audience and the accusation of being a Genesis' clone, what really bothered them. This is a very sensual song with beautiful lyrics that we want to sing as we take our morning shower and leaves us well prepared to begin our day's work. Definitely, I love this song. The fourth track 'Emerald Lies' is, in my humble opinion, a good song but it's also at the same time weaker than the previous songs. It doesn't represent a truly progression on their music and it even sounds a little bit na've in comparison with the other songs composed by them until now. However, it has a good bass line, great guitar melody, the vocal dynamics are very good and the lyrics are particularly simple and clever. So, it remains a good song. The fifth track 'She Chameleon' is the other weaker song on the album. It's a very simple song with depressing lyrics and with a very simple organ work, a tasteful guitar melody and some bombastic drums. This is still a very decent song but isn't as great as the others are and, in my humble opinion, this song and 'Emerald Lies' brought this album a little bit down. The sixth track 'Incubus' is fortunately the return of the band to the great songs. This is with 'Fugazi' one of the two epic tracks on the album. The theme of the song is about nightmares and has very good lyrics. It's a song with a very strong musical structure with a very melodic musical composition and different tempo. Its music moves dynamically all over the song with smooth musical transitions from one melody to another. This is really a brilliant song. The seventh and last track is the title track 'Fugazi'. This is another brilliant epic track. As with the previous debut studio album 'Script For A Jester's Tear' where the last track 'Forgotten Sons' is considered by many, the best song on the album and one of the best musical compositions made by Marillion too, with this song is the same thing. I completely agree with those who saying that this is a great song. It's a fantastic song with great mood and a melody that changes all over the song. This is, in reality, the ending of a great musical journey made by the group and an incredible way to closing this magnificent album.

Conclusion: Perhaps 'Fugazi' is the weakest album of Marillion in Fish's era. But saying this, it seems like a sacrilege. In reality, Marillion has no weak albums in that period of time, and so, 'Fugazi' is still a great piece of music. As I wrote before and, in my humble opinion, the album has two songs with musical quality below of the others, 'Emerald Lies' and 'She Chameleon'. So, for that motif, 'Fugazi' can't be considered a masterpiece, as happened with their preceding album 'Script For A Jester's Tear' and their following album 'Misplaced Childhood'. But, 'Fugazi' remains without any doubt a great album. 'Fugazi' is an excellent album that can be recommended to all progressive rock fans. Just simply don't compare it too much to the previous one, because there's music here for every progressive rock fan to love.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
4 stars 'Fugazi', or the strongest contender for the best Fish-era Marillion album, alongside the debut, in my humble opinion. This amazing record was released in March 1984, and came soon after the recently-formed neo-progressive rock band's quite successful and promising first album, 'Script for a Jester's Tear'. The band recorded 'Fugazi' between November of '83 and February of '84, producing two singles - the opening tracks 'Assassing' and 'Punch and Judy'.

The striking cover was the brainchild of Fish, and it meant to represent the kind of protagonist of the record, although this is definitely not the usual concept album with a storyline developing across the different tracks. In fact, it is not a concept album at all. Fame, substance abuse and addiction, sexuality, and criticism over authorities are among the themes that Mr Derek Dick touches upon on this album.

Sonically, 'Fugazi' sounds very similar to its predecessor, with Marillion embracing the progressive art rock values that they had already displayed, creating what could be referred to as the definitive sound of an 80s progressive rock album. This time, however, the band showcases on some of the songs hard rock and even pop rock leanings (for example, on the two singles that this album produced), that are quite well masked in the search for an identity that Marillion found in a keyboard-centered sound that resembled 70s prog but did not dismiss completely the prevailing in the mainstream punk rock values.

Cinematic, tense, and gripping, the songs on 'Fugazi' are a perfect continuation of the very expressive rock sound that they created with the release of 'Script'. The lyrics of Fish are even more striking and obscure, quite though-provoking, and strictly poetic; his phrasing and vocal style are so recognizable, vivid, and memorable, transporting the listener to an adventure across the mind of a true lyrical genius. This can be well observed in 'Emerald Lies', 'She Chameleon', 'Incubus' and the title track, all songs that are characterized by an unsettling atmosphere which also happens to be very elegant.

The music on 'Fugazi' goes perfectly well with the concept of the record, and with the lyrical content, despite the fact that it might be considered a tad bit less comprehensive than the music on 'Script', which was something also noted by the critics at the time, not that this should of any value to the interested listener. I find the record memorable and compelling, also resonating with the listener on a profound level, indicating that the magic of early Marillion is alive and well in their sophomore release. Moreover, this is one of the albums that still sound really well after so many years, unlike a load of albums from the same period that have the neo-progressive rock tag.

As for the line-up, the only difference with the preceding album is that drummer Mick Pointer had been dismissed (who later found Arena with Clive Nolan from Pendragon), to allow Ian Mosley to join the band for an enduring and fruitful match with the rest of the band, namely Steve Rothery on guitars, Pete Trewavas on bass, Mark Kelly on keyboards, and the charismatic Fish on vocals.

Highly recommended album, and one that I consider an extremely important episode in the history of progressive rock; although 'Fugazi' is usually neglected in favor of the other three albums that Marillion released with Fish, it is certainly a 'hidden gem' in the band's discography.

Latest members reviews

4 stars After the success of their debut album, 'Script For a Jester's Tear,' Marillion proved themselves to be an unstoppable force. Mick Pointer was replaced by Ian Mosley, who played in Steve Hackett's band before joining Marillion. Ian Mosley is one of my favorite drummers, and his drumming on 'Fugazi' ... (read more)

Report this review (#2937895) | Posted by Magog2112 | Thursday, July 6, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After "Script for a Jester's Tears," their debut album, Marillion carried the expectation to confirm whether their excellent initial work was the beginning of the story of a new band with solid roots or simply a short-lived flash in the pan. And to add an extra twist, there were contrasting view ... (read more)

Report this review (#2929108) | Posted by Hector Enrique | Monday, May 29, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 1.Assassing with the recognizable intro, rolling pad and guitar, shout-chorus, wow it goes up... a few explosions of sound and you're off on the MARILLION boat; a bit of keyboards and Fish with his distinctive voice, the explosion of the chorus which reminds us that it sounded heavy, hard at the tim ... (read more)

Report this review (#2311615) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, February 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After a rather disappointing debut, 'Fugazi' really sees Marillion start to become the band we all know and love. Not that I hated 'Script for a Jester's Tear' mind you, but I mostly found it to be a rather dull album, with all but one song failing to keep my attention throughout its duration. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1779957) | Posted by martindavey87 | Thursday, September 7, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "I'm the producer of your nightmare and the performance has just begun" Script For A Jester's Tear was a success in the UK hitting number 7 in the charts and both singles charted as well, so an auspicious beginning. They did a UK tour and released a VHS titled Recital Of The Script from the final ... (read more)

Report this review (#1613665) | Posted by dcappe | Thursday, September 22, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Between Plagiarism and Greatness It took me a while to finally listen to Fugazi. Between the brilliance and awe of Fish's latter two albums with the band and the rather messy Genesis-worship of their debut, I wasn't really sure what to expect from the only record in Fish's time that wasn't cr ... (read more)

Report this review (#1163058) | Posted by Gallifrey | Saturday, April 19, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Fugazi contains some of Marillion's best songs, but it also contains one or two weaker moments, so that I find this album less successful as a whole than the other Fish-era Marillion releases. Fugazi offers a clear sonic development from Script for a Jester's Tear; musically it is more, well, p ... (read more)

Report this review (#1090610) | Posted by jmeadow | Sunday, December 15, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Fugazi was Marillions second album, coming hot on the heels of Misplaced Childhood ( for those of you travelling backwards in time ) And what a treatie it is. Opening with the dark enveloped "assassing" with it's eastern type opening and cutting lyrics about Fish being an Assassin of sorts. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1032790) | Posted by Alard Charlton | Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After the brilliant musical circus that was "Script for a Jester's Tear" could or would the second album by this band match up? Would the change of drum stool practitioner impact the music in any way? The first two tracks "Assassing" and "Punch and Judy" are more upbeat than were the track ... (read more)

Report this review (#1002578) | Posted by sukmytoe | Sunday, July 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The Anachronism Part 2: The un-avoided Trap Please don't stone me ! I know... I should like this record but I can't, I am determined to fall in love with it, but I don't... so my review has to deal with the answer "why". A lot has been said about old time Marillion and I'm sure it doesn't make m ... (read more)

Report this review (#610431) | Posted by rupert | Sunday, January 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Incubus. Have you played this scene before? With the second album, Marillon only partially confirm the expectations after the successful debut. Enthusiasm and spontaneity (sometimes even naive) so evident in the first album, and that was the strength of the band, disappears completely here. I ... (read more)

Report this review (#517199) | Posted by Dark Nazgul | Thursday, September 8, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The follow up album to their stunning debut album. This album was also a slight departure from the sound and music on the debut album. Fugazi is a pretty heavy and compact album which really punches hard at times. And I am not only talking about the opening track The Assasin. The overall sound ... (read more)

Report this review (#506614) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, August 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Fugazi is the oddity among the four Fish-era Marillion albums. Sandwiched between two strong songs ("Assasing" and the title track) are possibly the weakest efforts from the band during this period. Repetitive melodies dominated by sparse keyboards, surprisingly pedestrian baselines and mostly ab ... (read more)

Report this review (#465624) | Posted by Howard the Duck | Monday, June 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This was the second album by Marillion. I always found the guitar work better here than on the previous album. The bass, drums and keyboards are also really great throughout. Stylistically, this release is similar to the band's debut as both have strong progressive rock influences. This time though ... (read more)

Report this review (#385940) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The second Marillion album Fugazi represents a significant step forward from "A Script for a Jester's Tears" and shows that Marillion are not just "Genesis-wannabes" but have their own style. Fugazi has a heavier sound compared to Script, and Ian Mosley's drumming is much stronger than Mick Pointer ... (read more)

Report this review (#358942) | Posted by KeepItDark | Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Back in the 80s, I found this bitter outing a disappointment after SFAJT. In retrospect, it is probably a superior work. It is certainly more jagged and musically aggressive and (forget the sex pistols!) the lyrics are among the most vitriolic and self-loathing in rock. As usual, Marillion are ... (read more)

Report this review (#300510) | Posted by Cheesehoven | Sunday, September 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As I gave five stars to Script for a Jester's Tears, I could not rank Fugazi by the same way, but it just a great album. Rougher that its predecessor, Fugazi becomes more aggressive and a bit less musical. After Script, is the best Marillion album in my opinion. The opening track Assassing b ... (read more)

Report this review (#293533) | Posted by genbanks | Thursday, August 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After what is widely considered to be one of the greatest debut albums of all time (and I wholeheartedly concur) Marillion released their sophomore album Fugazi only a year later, in March 1984. Fugazi is definitely not as strong as Script, but not bad at all either. It's a curious album, becaus ... (read more)

Report this review (#281414) | Posted by nikow | Tuesday, May 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "The world, is totally Fugazi"...his album. Most Marillion folks like either the first effort or Misplaced Childhood more, but this album seems to hit my "taste'bone" right on the spot. It is darker and heavier then the first album, and seems to have a more clear sound to the recording. And an ... (read more)

Report this review (#278028) | Posted by mohaveman | Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is very special for me and my favorite of them every song fits perfect. Sometimes I think this album is very underrated also many people thinks that this album is the weakest in the Fish era (The gold era) but i dont think so. The opener assasing is so wild the percussions here are a ... (read more)

Report this review (#266473) | Posted by squire4001 | Monday, February 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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