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robjekyll 10-25-2010 08:23 PM

Marillion - Misplaced Childhood (1985)
Marillion – Misplaced Childhood (1985)
I first heard Misplaced Childhood when I was serving in the military in Germany. My roommate at the time was heavily into the albums like this. When he played it for me I was bowled over. There was so much happening, it was lyrical and did what all good music is supposed to, make you forget for awhile. The album is twenty-five years old but it still surprises me that some people do not know about this gem. There were three singles from the album: Kayleigh, Lavender & Heart of Lothian as well as a video that was played on MTV in 1985, back when they played music videos.

The album was the band’s first concept album, Fish said it came to him after a 10 hour acid trip and the tracks are mostly autobiographical. It was an album that spoke of loss of not only of childhood innocence, but love and one’s place in society. One of the central themes is the loss of childhood and the need to be accepted in the larger world. The lyrics accomplish this through the use of nursery rhyme like lyrics (the use of words like dilly-dilly, penny for your thoughts) and imagery (“Do you remember chalk hearts melting on a playground wall”) over simple melodies. As the album progresses the desperation and alienation become more evident.

All the tracks on the first side and the second side (remember days of cassettes and vinyl record) are continuous, where on track carries over to the next. Before they recorded the album Fish would tell the audience that they had time for one more song called, “Misplaced Childhood” which the band would play the album in its entirety.

There are definite moments that recall days of early Genesis even with Fish sounding like Peter Gabriel every so often. Though the musicianship doesn’t rival of the progressive rock bands before them like Genesis, Yes or Emerson Lake & Palmer it still holds up as a brilliant album and one I go back to time and time again. If anyone is at all interested in Marillion than this is the best jumping off point. If this album grabs you and you want more I recommend Script for a Jester’s Tear or Clutching at Straws. Assassining on their second album Fugazi is a great track that needs to be heard by anyone that is interested in progressive rock.

I would rate this album 8.5/10

hutz13 10-28-2010 06:11 PM

I agree this is a very strong album, I just recently started revisiting the early Marillion material which I had enjoyed back in the day. This is my favourite album by the band. I'd say the 8.5 is about right rating wise ... might even go 9/10

jackhammer 10-29-2010 07:31 PM

I only listened to this album just a few days ago and whilst it is generally regarded as their pinnacle, I find many parts of it quite boring and cliched. The second half of the album is generally much better though and there are some fabulous lyrics throughout the album.

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