Archive for Marillion

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Marillion- Misplaced Childhood

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 28, 2018 by 80smetalman

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

Marillion

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: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1985: Petra- Beat the System

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2018 by 80smetalman

In the summer of 1985, a friend of mine, who was a Born Again Christian, invited me to go see the Christian rock band Petra, in attempt to bring me back to the fold. Having nothing better to do, I went and I must say that I really enjoyed it. It didn’t matter that they were singing about religion nor was I in any way annoyed when they stopped halfway through their show to present a brief slide show on the missionary work they were doing in Africa. I thought Petra were good enough for me to give their album “Beat the System” a listen.

While I wasn’t disappointed with the album, I had to say that at the time, it wasn’t the hard rock I had heard them play live. “Beat the System” is more on the lines of progressive rock bands such as Survivor and Marillion and that’s not a bad thing at all. One song that backs up my assertion is the second track, “Computer Brains.” It is done in the 80s style of the time while not going as far as being synth pop. Saying that, I do wish the guitar solo had been a little louder on it because another memory I took from the concert was that Bob Hartman is pretty good on the six string. But you can’t fault the keyboard work on this and some of the other songs.

“Clean” is a more harder track, maybe the hardest one on the album. It would have been a blinder if they had turned up the guitars a bit more but it has a catchy vibe. Next comes the hidden gem, “It is Finished.” The song is about the crucifixion of Jesus but this song has all the tools, except one, to be a great prog-metal jam. It has some cool keyboard notes to intro and a great metal rhythm to bang your head to. Greg Volz’s vocals might be the best on the album here. Everything there almost, what holds it back from being a brilliant prog-metal tune is the absence of any guitar solo. That would have propelled it through the ionosphere. If I was a Sunday School teacher and wanted to teach about the crucifixion, I would have definitely used this song.

“Voice in the Wind” is an all right song but let’s skip to the big feature of “Beat the System.” In 1991, you might have heard a KISS song called “God Gave Rock and Roll To You” compliments of the movie, “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.” Well Petra recorded this Russ Ballard written hit twice, the second time on this album. I don’t mean to anger KISS fans but I have to say that I prefer Petra’s version. KISS tried to make theirs sound to ballad-like and commercial. While Petra’s version seems more choppy, it works well. I’ll let everyone have a listen and decide for themselves.

The rest of the album is more of Jesus lyrics sung to some rather good progressive rock. The closer, “Adonai,” is a good an album closer as any. In the end, this is a good album and it proves that belief in a spiritual being has no bearing on how well anyone can sing or play music. “Beat the System” is simply good progressive rock.

Track Listing:

  1. Beat the System
  2. Computer Brain
  3. Clean
  4. It is Finished
  5. Voice in the Wind
  6. God Gave Rock and Roll to You
  7. Witch Hunt
  8. Hollow Eyes
  9. Speak to the Sky
  10. Adonai

Petra

Greg X Volz- lead vocals

Bob Hartman- guitars

Rhett Lawrence- synthesizers

John Lawry- synthesizers

Carl Marsh- keyboards, drums, bass

Did I come back to God as a result of Petra? No, but it wasn’t anything down to this cool band who have a great album and were cool to see live. What ended any desire to go back to the flock was the attitude of my friend and some of his “Christian” friends. Being a week after the great Live Aid, I had to hear these people put it down because the bands were all heathen rockers. One person said the bands should have given ten percent of their earnings to Africa. I wonder if this person gave that much of his. Damn hypocrite! That ended any idea of me burning my records and coming back to Jesus. Though, I feel I never really left him.

Next post: Kim MItchell- Akimbo Alogo

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537470169&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Up For a Crap Memory

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2017 by 80smetalman

Before I went off to Download, I began the practice of posting a song from the album I was posting about. However, it seems since I returned, I have forgotten to do that. Maybe it was down to too much partying at Download. So, in order to make up for that, I’m posting songs from Honeymoon Suite, Scandal, Marillion and David Gilmour. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Marillion- Fugazi

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2017 by 80smetalman

If there hadn’t been so much heavy metal available in 1984, I wouldn’t have missed the second album from the band I call the progressive rock kings of the 1980s, Marillion. While the “Fugazy” album was wowing people in the UK, I was too busy headbanging away for it to catch my notice.Was it a shame that I didn’t listen to any Marillion until 1985 and this album until 87? It sure is but I’ve made up for it since.

At the opening notes of the album’s first song, “Assassing,”I can hear a definite influence from 1970s prog icons Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Maybe it’s that horn sound that reminds me of “Fanfare for the Common Man” that does it. Still, “Assassing” is a brilliant song, very underrated, even in the scope of Marillion songs. “Punch and Judy” follows next and there are elements of hard rock in the song that I truly like.

The next three songs have always melded together for me with the standout part being the middle song, Emerald Lies.” “Emerald Lies” is a great versatile song that makes use of keyboards and guitars in all the right parts. This is another great progressive rock tune that requires one to sit down and listen in order to appreciate its beauty to its full potential. The song after, “She Chameleon” has always sounded weird to me but not in a bad way. There are keyboard parts that sound like a horror or sci fi film and Steve Rothery does play a mean guitar solo on it. The album closes with two of the strongest tracks on the album, “Incubus” and “Fugazi.” Both are very catchy prog rock tunes that have you bouncing along until the end. There might only be seven songs on the “Fugazi” but when the album is done, you definitely feel you had more than your money’s worth.

In an age where many bands were dumbing down their sound, it was great to hear that Marillion was one of those bands who continued to sound intelligent. They were musicians who actually cared about how well they played and that is evidenced on this album and other ones. One thing “Fugazi” surprises you with is with all the changes in all of the songs. One minute you’re drifting off to some great keyboard wizardry from Kelly and then bang! Rothery powers up the guitar. Then there’s the unmistakable vocals of Fish. He makes poetry come alive to music.

Track Listing:

  1. Assassing
  2. Punch and Judy
  3. Jigsaw
  4. Emerald Lies
  5. She Chameleon
  6. Incubus
  7. Fugazi

Marillion

Fish- vocals

Steve Rothery- guitars

Mark Kelly- keyboards

Pete Trawavas- bass

Ian Mosley- drums

Marillion would make the major breakthrough to my listening ears a year later and I would embrace them. Eventually, I would go back through their catalogue and savour the music thanks to my first wife who was a big Marillion fan. That would be the first concert we went to as husband and wife. With all of that said, “Fugazi” was too good of an album for me to miss out on in 1984.

Next post: David Gilmour- About Face

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1499533067&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Marillion- Script For a Jester’s Tear

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2016 by 80smetalman

Marillion_-_Script_for_a_Jester's_Tear

I had heard of Marillion in 1983 but didn’t actually hear them until their 1985, “Misplaced Childhood” album made a major breakthrough in the US. Even then, it would be another two years before I listened to their back catalog, which included this, their debut album, “Script for a Jester’s Tear.” I have to thank my first wife for giving me this opportunity as it was her albums that help me appreciate their early work. Actually, Marillion was the first concert we saw together as husband and wife but that story is better for another day.

One of my on going rants here on 80smetalman is that the progressive rock of the 1970s descended into the synth pop of the 1980s. I still believe this but somebody forgot to tell Marillion this was the case. “Script for a Jester’s Tear” proved that there was still some good progressive rock to be found in the 1980s. In fact, I will go as far as to say that legends from the decade before such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes, (I’ll be visiting an album of theirs in the near future) would be glad that Marillion carried on the torch of progressive rock far into a decade where it wasn’t as widely appreciated.

In the true spirit of progressive rock, the shortest track on the album is just a mere five minutes and twenty nine seconds, that track is “He Knows You Know.” It’s also why that song was released as a single. The next shortest track is over seven minutes long and the remaining ones are all more than eight. In each of those tracks, there is the great keyboard work of Mark Kelly in tandem with some impressive guitar playing from Steve Rothery. Those two elements are strongly supported by the rhythm section and the unmistakable voice of lead singer, Fish. They make all of those tracks ones where you just want to kick back and listen and just appreciate the musical efforts of the band. All good tracks but my personal favourite has to be “Garden Party,” most likely for the acoustic guitar followed by hard rock intro. One other point is that at the time, the track “Chelsea Monday” was criticised for having nonsense lyrics. If they do, who cares? The music, especially Rothery’s guitar solo more than compensates.

Track Listing:

  1. Script for a Jester’s Tear
  2. He Knows You Know
  3. The Web
  4. Garden Party
  5. Chelsea Monday
  6. Forgotten Sons
Marillion

Marillion

Fish- vocals

Steve Rothery- guitar

Mark Kelly- keyboards

Pete Trewavas- bass

Mick Pointer- drums

I think what Marillion achieved in 1983 was to provide a common ground for trendies who were able to look beyond what synth pop was offering and metalheads like me who still appreciate a bit of melody. For those, Marillion’s debut album has it all. The paradox is that while “Script for a Jester’s Tear” was a huge success in the UK, it hardly made a dent in the US. Then again, I’ll be visiting another UK band who in the same year, had an album that went multi- platinum in the US but only sold about 17 copies in the UK.

Next post: Big Country- The Crossing

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London