Marillion – Misplaced Childhood (1994)

Marillion - Misplaced Childhood (1994)
Artist: Marillion
Album: Misplaced Childhood
Genre: Neo-Prog
Label: EMI
Year Of Release: 1994
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)

Tracklist:
1. Pseudo Silk Kimono (2:13)
2. Kayleigh (4:03)
3. Lavender (2:27)
4. Bitter Suite (5:53)
– i. Brief Encounter
– ii. Lost Weekend
– iii. Blue Angel
– iv. Misplaced Rendez-Vous
– v. Windswept Thumb
5. Heart of Lothian (6:02)
– i. Wide Boy
– ii. Curtain Call
6. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) (2:12)
7. Lords of the Backstage (1:52)
8. Blind Curve (9:29)
– i. Vocal Under a Bloodlight
– ii. Passing Strangers
– iii. Mylo
– iv. Perimeter Walk
– v. Threshold
9. Childhoods End? (4:32)
10. White Feather (2:23)

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Personnel:
– Fish / vocals
– Steve Rothery / guitars
– Mark Kelly / keyboards
– Pete Trewavas / basses
– Ian Mosley / drums, percussion

“Misplaced Childhood” is the third studio album of Marillion and was released in 1985. The line up on the album is Derek Dick “Fish”, Steve Rothery, Mark Kelly, Pete Trewavas and Ian Mosley.

Marillion is a British prog rock band that was formed in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England, in 1979. They released eighteen studio albums till now, comprising two distinct eras, delineated by the departure of their original vocalist Fish, in the late of 1988, after their first four studio albums, and the subsequent arrival of his replacement Steve Hogarth, in the early of 1989. With Fish, Marillion released four studio albums and with Hogarth, fourteen studio albums, till now.

With its lush production and mix, “Misplaced Childhood” became the huge commercial triumph of them, especially in Europe where the band raised the peak of their fame and became known as one of the most famous prog rock bands in the world. This was also really their most commercial successful album, reaching the first position in the UK charts and spending a total of forty one weeks on the chart, the longest chart residency that a Marillion’s album ever got. It was a successful album in USA too. The band made a tour with Rush as a support act. So, it was an amazing successful work.

The album featured also their most successful single, “Kayleigh”, which reached the second position in the list of the most commonly, listen in U.K. and was a worldwide success too. The name of the song was conceived by Fish slightly disguising the name of one of his girlfriends, Kay Lee, on which the song was inspired. “Lavender” was another song that was also released as a single and it was also a great commercial success. It reached the fifth position on the chart.

“Misplaced Childhood” is a conceptual album, the first conceptual album released by the group, consisting of a continuous piece of music. Armed with a handful of lyrics born out of a self confessed acid trip, during ten hours after consuming LSD, Fish came up with this very well elaborated concept for the album. The story of “Misplaced Childhood” is essentially about lost loves, sudden success, acceptance, lost childhood and it has, surprisingly, an upbeat ending.

Since this is a conceptual album, the music is fragmented. Most songs consist of short themes tied together. The lyrics are even more fragmented and they are difficult to interpret. “Pseudo Silk Kimono” has mellow synthesiser tones, a warm bass line and a guitar hinting in the back, with Fish’s soft whispering voice. As the synth tones of “Pseudo Silk Kimono” fades, the guitar intro to “Kayleigh” starts. It’s a classic prog ballad, a sad invocation for regret and self blame. A piano segue connects “Kayleigh” and “Lavender”. It combines a traditional English nursery rhyme with classic rock components. It’s a touching love song with a sentiment of beauty. “Bitter Suite” starts with an ambiguous poem. It’s brooding and dramatic, with multiple sections and a beautiful piano ending. “Heart Of Lothian” is a pretty straightforward rock song. The lyrics are about Fish’s nationalism. It has cohesive keyboards and drums, catchy guitar riffs, strong bass lines and Fish’s dramatic voice. “Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)” is aggressive, lyrically and musically. It starts with menacing keyboard tones before drums kick in and a high paced rock song full of percussion. “Lords Of The Backstage” is a paced rock song. The music quietens again for the epic on the album. “Blind Curve” is another fragmented song like “Bitter Suite”. Rothery takes over with one of his most beautiful guitar solos. “Childhood’s End” is a sweet song. Trewavas playing is superb, keyboards also make an important part for the song and the strumming playing of Rothery’s guitar would become his trademark. “White Feather” is a great closer, very energetic and dynamic.

Marillion’s artwork has always been special and unique. Mark Wilkinson painted all artwork of Marillion’s albums in Fish era and for the subsequent solo career of Fish, beyond other British bands. The artwork for “Misplaced Childhood” followed the concept of the album. The artist portrayed a child, with the thunderclouds surrounding him while the jester is sneaking out of the window on the backside of the album. The boy became one of the faces of Marillion in the future.

Conclusion: Besides be their most commercial successful album, “Misplaced Childhood” is, for me, and without any doubt, their best studio album until today, and is also, in my humble opinion, one of the best studio albums ever made in the progressive rock music. Even the former drummer of Dream Theater, Mike Portnoy commented that this was the best Marillion’s album of all time. With “Misplaced Childhood”, Marillion proved they weren’t a clone of Genesis and with it they reached the status of being considered one of the best progressive rock acts ever. “Misplaced Childhood”, put Marillion on the same quality level of Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Van Der Graaf Generator, Camel, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Rush and Dream Theater. It put them as one of the greatest and most influential prog bands of ever too. If you don’t know the band yet and want to buy a Marillion’s albums, this is their best.
Review by e210013, sputnikmusic

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