Marillion
Script for a Jester’s Tear
Capitol EMI 1983

Music - 4 stars

Marillion
Fugazi
EMI British import 1984

Music - 5 stars

Marillion
Misplaced Childhood
EMI British Import 1985

Music - 5 stars

Marillion
Clutching At Straws
EMI 1987

Music - 5 stars

Marillion
Sugar Mice (45 rpm import)
EMI 1987

Music - 5 stars

Marillion - Script for a Jester’s Tear - front cover

front cover

Marillion - Script for a Jester’s Tear - rear cover

rear cover

Marillion - Fugazi - front cover

front cover

Marillion - Fugazi - rear cover

front cover open

Marillion - Fugazi - rear cover

inside open

Marillion - Misplaced Childhood - front cover

front cover

Marillion - Misplaced Childhood - rear cover

front cover open

Marillion - Misplaced Childhood - rear cover

inside open

Review

Marillion never really connected in the USA. Their following was mostly in Europe and maybe they came along a little too late with the music that they were creating to get attention in the tighter radio play of the 1980’s but if you are into progressive rock, and all of its excesses this band is for you.

The musicianship is great, the lyrics explore all of the fantasy and British mystery of bands like Genesis and Yes however; they have a sound all there own.

Fish, otherwise known as Derick Dick, composed the lyrics and has been compared vocally with Peter Gabriel. There is a similarity but this band is not copying Genesis.

Script for a jesters Tear’s title track is a majestic story of love lost that sets the tone for the music that was to follow.. Other standout tracks are “Garden Party” and “Forgotten Sons”.
Fugazi starts off with the song “Assassing” and rocks harder than the first album at times drifting almost into melodic metal. The intense drum mix sounds great on a good system. The albums songs like “Jigsaw” and “She Chameleon” have a soft passages and big powerful choruses. The title track brings the album to a fitting end.
The first side of Misplaced Childhood is a suite of songs that some consider Marillion’s masterpiece. The songs flow together seamlessly and contain the song “Kayleigh” that was released as a single and received some video play. The lyrics are a poetic story of loss and regret with many flights of fancy.

- TPW

Marillion - Clutching At Straws - front cover

front cover

Marillion - Clutching At Straws - rear cover

rear cover

Review

Clutching at Straws, Marillion's forth album and the last one with front-man and lyricist Fish (Derick W. Dick) is a dark look into the mind of a person descending into alcoholism and paranoia, and also the strongest album overall of the "Fish" period.

The music is complex progressive rock and the songs fit together seamlessly as the story progresses culminating in the ballad "Sugar Mice" about a man explaining to his wife why he had to leave her and his children. This is quite different lyrical material, more in common with Lou Reed's "Berlin", than usually appears in progressive rock or the other three albums.

Fish is a great storyteller, more like a confessional poet, and when he left Marillion's music changed considerably. Marillion still carry on with lead singer and lyricist Steve Hogarth, but the original Marillion sound is very much alive with the great Fish solo material that I have heard.

- TPW

Marillion - Sugar Mice (45 rpm import) - front cover

front cover

Marillion - Sugar Mice (45 rpm import) - rear cover

rear cover

"Sugar Mice" and "Tux-on" are two tracks from the "Clutching at Straws" period of Marillion's music.

This British 12 inch 45 has an extended version of "Sugar Mice" as well as the album version and a great unreleased track "Tux-on" about the inevitable rise and fall of a pop star with an unusual twist. This one is worth it alone for the stunning fidelity of the 12 inch 45rpm format. It also features more great artwork from Mark Wilkinson.

- TPW