Rating:
9.5
Marillion - Misplaced Childhood
June 1985


Disc I
01. Pseudo Silk Kimono
02. Kayleigh
03. Lavender
04. Bitter Suite
05. Heart Of Lothian
06. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)
07. Lords Of The Backstage
08. Blind Curve
09. Childhoods End?
10. White Feather

Disc II [1998 remaster bonus]
01. Lady Nina
02. Freaks
03. Kayleigh [alternate mix]
04. Lavender Blue
05. Heart Of Lothian [extended mix]
06. Pseudo Silk Kimono [demo]
07. Kayleigh [demo]
08. Lavender [demo]
09. Bitter Suite [demo]
10. Lords Of The Backstage [demo]
11. Blue Angel [demo]
12. Misplaced Rendezvous [demo]
13. Heart Of Lothian [demo]
14. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) [demo]
15. Passing Strangers [demo]
16. Childhoods End? [demo]
17. White Feather [demo]


Misplaced Childhood was released in 1985 as Marillion's 3rd studio album following their debut Script For A Jester's Tear and Fugazi. Fugazi is considered by many to be their strongest, more diverse release with songs rather than fragments but Misplaced Childhood carries a certain strength and originality I am really attracted to.

I discovered Marillion a few years ago when I realized that I had an obsession with progressive rock. The term is loosely applied to any band with concept albums, superb technical ability, longer compositions, ambitious lyrical content, and influences outside of traditional rock roots. 41 minutes is all I need for sanctuary as Marillion takes me by the hand, leading me into a world of dancing melodies where all my heartache disappears.

The album is a concept album in a much more conventional sense than anything else they have released before or since. It tells the story of a man who goes through a broken relationship, the death of a close friend and into depression until he rediscovers his inner child. It doesn't sound too promising, but by this time Fish was becoming a master of his lyrical craft and the musical backing helps to emphasise the mood. It is one continuous piece of music. Tracks change in time with the rhythm, if that makes sense, so as one song ends, you are thrown into the next one on the next beat. While a couple of tracks work best in the context of the album, most of the tracks make good stand alone tunes. "Kayleigh" was actually a hit single in England, in fact, while the name Kayleigh went on to be really popular in Britain thanks to this song. Linking the record's beautiful painted cover with the music, it creates a colourful journey through melodic guitar riffs and solos, and a deep and saga-like keyboard sound and Fish's catchy and beautiful singing. With its mix of symphonic rock and progressive rhythms it inspired bands like Dream Theater and also became one of Mike Portnoy's favourite albums of all time. But while many modern day progressive groups have more of an edge and aggressiveness to their sound, Misplaced Childhood, and Marillion as a whole during this era, was more melodic and clear sounded with a relaxing tone.

In summary a real classic, a beautifully written, sung and played story from beginning to end that has power, passion, emotion and sublime playing in abundance. With Fish's lyrics from the heart approach combined with the band's incredible sense of musical accompaniment Marillion have produced a classic that to this day has new listeners.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Marillion
Album: Misplaced Childhood


 


written by nicaZe | 03.10.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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JohnDoe - 03.10.2012 at 12:33  
Nicely written review; great job!
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.10.2012 at 13:49  
Hard to choose which is my favourite Marillion album. This one, Script For A Jester's Tear, Fugazi or the more commercial CLutching At Straws. But certainly one of those four featuring Fish. Shame what the band started turning out after those first four.
R'Vannith - 03.10.2012 at 14:00  
I've recently come to the conclusion that this is best thing Marillion produced. One of the greatest albums I've ever heard.
Urs Blank - 03.10.2012 at 15:05  
I have a slight preference for Script For A Jester's Tear but this one also belongs to my all-time favorites.
nicaZe - 03.10.2012 at 16:18  
Written by JohnDoe on 03.10.2012 at 12:33

Nicely written review; great job!


Thanks
nicaZe - 03.10.2012 at 16:21  
Written by R'Vannith on 03.10.2012 at 14:00

I've recently come to the conclusion that this is best thing Marillion produced. One of the greatest albums I've ever heard.


Totally agree with you...same thing I wrote at the end of this review....
Hammer34 - 03.10.2012 at 18:06  
Fantastic band whose influence you can hear enormously in a lot of progressive metal of the last 20 years. (And in the progressive flourishes in a lot of metal that is otherwise not "progressive"). Their first 4 albums with Fish, including several LP singles in between with original material, are all outstanding. I know they have a long track record post Fish, but I was never able to enjoy them with a different voice, his was so unique.

Not just in Britain, "Kayleigh" was also a solid radio and MTV hit in the US, and the follow-up "Lavender" got some modest airplay and attention here too. Saw them open for Rush in '86 and they actually played this entire album (don't recall if they maybe omitted a section or two). Partly I think because they thought a US audience didn't know anything other than the album from which their one hit single came.

Great review, highly recommend checking out all their output with Fish. Others may recommend some worthy post-Fish albums; for me it just wasn't the same band without his distinct voice and lyrics.
AndMetalForAll - 05.10.2012 at 00:55  
Misplaced Childhood is definitely a true classic. It's a must-have album for any progressve rock fan!!
BloodTears - 06.10.2012 at 12:39  
Indeed a classic album. This is my favourite Marillion album as well I remember fondly being addicted to the song "Kayleigh" at one point. Their career is very rich and this album is a must-have.
Thrash del Sur - 03.12.2013 at 00:02  
Written by BloodTears on 06.10.2012 at 12:39

Their career is very rich and this album is a must-have.

True!
Daniell - 03.12.2013 at 09:23  
Why this album (and band) is featured on MS is a mystery to me.
JohnDoe - 03.12.2013 at 12:01  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 03.10.2012 at 13:49

Hard to choose which is my favourite Marillion album. This one, Script For A Jester's Tear, Fugazi or the more commercial CLutching At Straws. But certainly one of those four featuring Fish. Shame what the band started turning out after those first four.


what's commercial about Clutching at Straws? It's one of their most consistent albums.

Shame of what they became after Fish left?! They've never released a bad album if you ask me, surely some albums are less inspired (Radiation, marillion.com, although there are some hidden gems even here) than others, but they've never messed things up musically like other bands did (Genesis, Yes, Alan Parsons Band, Queensryche and many others).
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.12.2013 at 12:38  
The songs on Clutching At Straws are more direct and to the point and easier to digest and more geared towards a larger public, much easier on the ears and mind. Hence more commercial.
Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston albums are also extremely consistent yet commercial. So, Clutching being their most consistent (which I agree with) is not a reason for it not to be not-commercial.

The shame of what they became is that they became a standard prog band due to the uniqueness of Fish's vocals and lyrics not being present anymore and the music became a lot blander and standard.
Daniell - 03.12.2013 at 12:46  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 03.12.2013 at 12:38

The shame of what they became is that they became a standard prog band due to the uniqueness of Fish's vocals and lyrics not being present anymore and the music became a lot blander and standard.


This. Marillion peaked on Fugazi. The next two were very good as well but then it all went downhill.
JohnDoe - 03.12.2013 at 13:48  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 03.12.2013 at 12:38


The shame of what they became is that they became a standard prog band due to the uniqueness of Fish's vocals and lyrics not being present anymore and the music became a lot blander and standard.


Hogarth came up with some great lyrics as well.
You find the music bland, you said it before many times, it's your opinion, but you say "standard", what does that even mean?
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.12.2013 at 13:54  
Musically they started to sound so much like other progrock bands. So, that's why I say standard. They lost their distinct sound.
JohnDoe - 03.12.2013 at 13:56  
I disagree, they are still unique, please name one band they sound like.

They gave up on the neo prog sound and so did Fish (I mean his solo career). Both Marillion and Fish experiment and try new things, which is great, they are not trying to repeat themselves over and over (like many bands in neo prog do).
nicaZe - 03.12.2013 at 15:32  
Written by JohnDoe on 03.12.2013 at 13:56

I disagree, they are still unique, please name one band they sound like.

They gave up on the neo prog sound and so did Fish (I mean his solo career). Both Marillion and Fish experiment and try new things, which is great, they are not trying to repeat themselves over and over (like many bands in neo prog do).


Supertramp is so similar to Marillion. Marillion is better band but they have similar style and similar sound.
JohnDoe - 03.12.2013 at 15:37  
Hogarth era Marillion similar to Supertramp? Really? Not even the Fish years music.

I wish Marcel would come to answer and prove his point that Marillion are standard and sound like everyone else.

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