(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
Enter 1985, a group of five enter a studio to record what universally is hailed as the greatest album to come from the second wave of what at the time was called "neo-prog". A highly successful tour of United States and as supporting act to Rush, brought them their only success in the States, both with the album and single. But despite all of this, it also was their downfall as well, as for unlike their fans in Europe, Marillion, but for a glimpse of hope, never been much more then a novelty act in United States.
The album of mention is Misplaced Childhood.
From the lyrical mind of an individual that might have portrayed images of Peter Gabriel circa his Genesis days, via his stage presence and vocals, but yet thematically was more in debt to the madness driven lyrics of Peter Hammill and Roger Waters. Misplaced Childhood is an album that had it not been for the technology of the instruments used on it, it could easily have fit amongst there woe-begone heroes of a time gone by.
The Genesis/Camel overtones are still here and might probabaly be more evident here then any of their other releases, but despite that minor flaw, the band plays like never before, totally inspired throughout creating some of the most enduring music of its time.
Although three songs were lifted off this album, Two UK Top Ten singles, The schmaltzy "Kayleigh" (#74 on the US singles chart, only single to chart in the US), power ballad "Lavender" and the last charting single "Heart Of Lothian", Misplaced Childhood is best listen to in a whole concentrated sitting as you let the entire suite absorb you within.
Album Rating: Five Stars
(All Album Reviews by jethro fish)
Marillion's third album Misplaced Childhood, released in 1985, was the album that really put them on the map globally. It is also revered as their finest hour by most people. I almost agree.
This is in most aspects a flawless album. Inspired is the word that comes to mind, musically, lyrically and performance-wise.This is, however, (imho) the most accessible and mainstream album from Fish-era Marillion. That is not always a bad thing but the small reservations I have towards this album are based on this.
I am not a prog-puritan in the sense that a song has to have 239 different meters and 459 different keys in order to be acceptable but I fell in love with the Marillion sound of their first two albums so for me it is a bit of a problem, though a very small one.
Anyway, (I'm afraid this review looks more negative than it should) this is a top notch album and I highly recommend it to anyone and it would definately be the first one I would recommend to someone who is unfamiliar to prog music. It's hard to pick the top tracks since in my opinion the whole album is and should be regarded as one song.
"Kayleigh", "Bitter Suite" and "Heart of Lothian" are terrific. "Lavender" is a bit too sweet for my taste but I'm not the one to put down such a rarity as a prog rock hit single.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5