Great Rock Albums of 1985: Marillion- Misplaced Childhood

For many Americans, 1985’s “Misplaced Childhood” was the breakthrough album for Marillion. Many of my countrymen and women had not even heard of the band before this. Me, I had heard of them and heard great things about them but it was this album which finally got me to get off my ass and get the album. Not only did I love the album, it also compelled me to go check out their earlier albums, a task very much to my liking.

Let’s start with the obvious. The main component in aiding Marillion’s breakthrough to mainstream was the big single “Kayleigh.” I have to admit, the song hooked me as well. It proved that good progressive rock was still around and that a band didn’t have to be all synth pop to make it. Furthermore, I have praised Steve Rothery’s guitar work on those previous albums, he continues to do good work and his work on the single shows he still could. With that said, “Kayleigh,” is not my favourite song on the album. That award goes to the second single, “Lavender” because Steve’s guitar work is even more entertaining on it. I like the way it just kind of explodes after the mellow intro on the song, great stuff.

The rest of the album is very intriguing indeed. It seems to go back and forth between short two minute tracks and  two longer tracks over seven minutes long in between a couple of more standard four minute ones. But unless you have the tracks in front of you, it can be difficult to note where one track ends and the other begins. This is probably down to me being carried away in the music that I’m not really paying attention to details like that. That was probably the good thing about having the album on cassette or vinyl back then. You at least get a break in order to change sides. When you do change sides, there is a change in focus on the album. Side one ends with the keyboard melodies of “Heart of Lothian” and side two wakes you back up with the more harder, “Waterhole” and continues with “Lords of Backstage” which combine are just over four minutes long. But no worries, the nine minute “Blind Curve” does not lessen any power and has some interesting changes to keep your attention.

Again, like I’ve said on Marillion’s previous albums, Marillion are all talented musicians, I mean very talented. Steve Rothery does what he does best on the guitar and whether it’s that or the keyboard wizardry of Mark Kelly, the vocals of Fish adapt to both and then some. The result of all of this is one great album.

Track Listing:

  1. Pseudo Silk Kimono
  2. Kayleigh
  3. Lavender
  4. Bitter Suite
  5. Heart of Lothian
  6. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)
  7. Lords of the Backstage
  8. Blind Curve
  9. Childhood’s End
  10. White Feather
  • Tracks 4, 5 and 8 are broken up into parts


Fish- lead vocals

Steve Rothery- guitars

Mark Kelly- keyboards

Pete Trewavas- bass

Ian Moseley- drums, percussion

Looking back, it was more of a matter of when Marillion would make the big breakthrough. They were one of those bands that both metalhead and Duranie could like without betraying their respective camps. This album was the pinnacle of that.

Next post: Jeff Beck- Flash

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to:







13 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1985: Marillion- Misplaced Childhood”

  1. Speaking my language here! What an album. I have the five disc edition but have not cracked the seal on it yet. It doesn’t have much stuff I don’t already own, just a live concert (and I already have several with Fish).

    “Kayleigh” hooked me too. This was the first album of theirs I ever played. As soon as “Kayleigh” came on, I said “This must have been the hit.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome record. Its the least heavy of the Fish albums but is no less entertaining. I know what you mean about it all blending into one journey too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I played this album so much. It was one of the bitter sweet soundtracks to some angsty teenage years. I already liked Marillion from Script for a Jester’s Tears and Fugazi albums, but this one totally blew me away. Also had the pleasure of seeing them live Christmas 87 UK, such a brilliant show. I think it was It Bites as the support. I still have the album on vinyl but lost all my singles and 12″ early stuff. They always had cool cover art on their records.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw them in November 87 and it was a great show. I don’t know who supported Marillion but I wasn’t overly impressed with them. I can see why this album would be a great soundtrack to your angsty teenage years, it’s a brilliant one. And you’re welcome for the trip down memory lane, that’s part of the reason why I started this blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really need to hit up Marillion. Particularly this one – been on my list for years (literally).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A really important tape for me when it came out. Good review!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] Source: Great Rock Albums of 1985: Marillion- Misplaced Childhood | 80smetalman’s Blog […]

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