Marillion - Misplaced Childhood

Year of Release: 1999
Label: EMI
Catalog Number: CDP 7 46160 2
Format: CD
Total Time: 41:16:00

Less a review than just commentary really, since there's no way I can be objective about this album. I absolutely, unequivocally, love it! To enthuse about it any more than this would be downright creepy, I think. :-)

When I list my favorite albums of all time, one unwavering entry is Marillion's Misplaced Childhood (Capitol, 1985), and more often than not, at number one. From the opening keyboards of Mark Kelly and Fish's fragile (well, fragile for Fish) vocals of "Pseudo Silk Kimono" I was hooked. Okay, I had heard and was hooked by "Kayleigh" before buying the whole album when it first came out, but I fell in love with the album immediately. I'm not sure if at the time it was Steve Rothery's guitar that first hooked me with that song, but there was something about it that just clicked with me. A romanticism, a fullness, a richness ? an emotion. Yes, that was the key, and one thing I look for in music - does it move me (oh, and this one does)? What underscores the track, the entire album, is strong emotion. It gets to you, you feel it, you may have even felt it in the same way Fish did when he scribbled out the lines. Of course, after time, I came to love not only Rothery's guitar playing, but everything about this Marillion release (and Marillion, in fact). I love Mosley's textured and powerful drumming (which is why I'm not usually impressed by the generic bash-bash of some prog metal bands - use the kit dammit!, ya know), Trewavas' bass, Kelly's keys, everything. And here was this great band that nobody outside a small circle of fans knew about - and no one in my inner circle -- though I was willing to share this discovery with everyone I knew. It is the reason you have this website here to read, because Marillion opened a whole world of prog to me, and not just "neo" prog, as these pages attest.

When I would try to describe it to anyone who'd listen, I'd refer to tapestries, how each time you looked (listened) you discover new things. And I did, and indeed still do. Favorite moments? Well, really every single note, but Mosley's percussion leads into "Lavender" is one, and the percussion and Kelly's keyboards that mimic rain leading out of "Bitter Suite: Windswept Thumb" (from the lyric "and the sign of the rain") into "Heart Of Lothian" is another; Rothery's achingly lovely guitar leads and solos everywhere on this album? Though Trewavas bass would gain more prominence in the mix on later albums, his absence here would surely be felt. Sometimes it's the subtle things that make a difference. To use Marillion's own metaphor, this is a puzzle and each piece fits together only in a certain way - but unlike the album artwork depicts, there are no missing pieces here.

I'll say it again, I can't be objective about this release? I know every word and must sing along, full-voice, regardless of the howling cats and family members (yes, howling family members - at my singing, mind you, they are okay with the music). How often have I played this album? Well, let's see. I wore out the cassette that I originally purchased in 1985, and the replacement cassette died as well. Bought it on vinyl and taped it and I think that tape's wearing thin. I bought it on CD, which has held up, which is good. This album was the soundtrack to my drive from home to the junior college I was attending. And it seemed always perfectly timed to the features of the road. The tape would begin just as I started my journey, and by just about the end of "Bitter Suite," the crescendo during "Bitter Suite," actually, I'd reach the summit of Grand Ave about a quarter mile from the college. Of course, now the road has changed, more lights and traffic, so it doesn't work anymore, but it was my morning ritual. The rest of the album would play while I waited in my car for my first class. If I were stranded on a deserted island, and somehow had a way to play it, this'd be the CD I'd want with me.

I remember thinking how cool it was that one song flowed into to the other, as I'd not heard that before (not having heard DSOTM in full at that time, for example). And being impressed by the poetry of Fish's lyrics and how he sings them (I still am; I do hold an English Lit degree, so words have always been of importance to me). I was even inspired by this, and Script?, to write my own poetry (can't say it was good poetry ? and so I won't share it). And even underscored sections of my (still yet to be finished) novel, but that would take too much explaining here; the inspiration, however, was "Threshold" and some stories a college professor had about his trips to India.

What has inspired this commentary was not what you think - not because we've reviewed Fish's new album Field Of Crows (which I'm now anxious to hear, based on that review), but actually because I was listening to La Tulipe Noire's Faded Leaves and needed to confirm a reference. But I can never just listen to a snippet of this album, and so the words have just exploded from me (and if you want to listen along with me, I'm at Rothery's monster solo during "Passing Strangers"/"Mylo" - of course, I stop to air guitar/drum/bass/keyboard as needed). In fact, I'm writing both this and the LTN review at the same time (more or less), and it occurs to me now the similarities between "Perimeter Walk" and "Grendel" (from Marillion's early years) and in listening to explosive "Threshold" I wonder if this is where Threshold took their name? it has that same kind of power that would appear on Wounded Land? hmm? never thought about that before.

As I said, this wasn't going to be a review, since I can't be critical about anything here. Not that there's anything to be critical about. The album sounds great (though this isn't the remastered version I'm listening to, so I can just imagine how awesome it would sound), the performances are astounding? if ever you are going to hear me speak like a fan-girl about an album, this is it! Followed closely by Clutching At Straws.

Everyone has an album that has touched their life in some profound way - this one's mine.

Rating: 5/5 (of course) ? or if you look at Gnosis, I've given this a 15!

Here's some weird facts I've learned while researching cat #s for later releases of this CD. "Lavender" appears on a compilation called Hot City Nights, released in 1994 by the Alex label, alongside INXS, Queen, Heart, Kiss, Rush, Big Country? on a German release from 1990 called Best of 1980-1990 is "Kayleigh," you'll find it on Now That's What I Call Music: 1985 as well (and yes, that is what I'd call music) and on Burning Hearts ? Soft Metal from Griffin Records includes "Sugar Mice" (Clutching?, of course) alongside Rick Springfield's "The Human Touch" and sequenced between "The Living Years" (Mike and the Mechanics) and "Thin Line Between Love And Hate" (Pretenders)? what's metal about any of them?? Hmm? one never knows what one'll find at, eh.
Pseudo Silk Kimono (2:13) / Kayleigh (3:54) / Lavender (2:33) / Bitter Suite (7:53) i. Brief Encounter - ii. Lost Weekend - iii. Blue Angel - iv. Misplaced Rendevous - v. Windswept Thumb / Heart Of Lothian (4:08) i. Wide Boy - ii. Curtain Call / Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) / Lords Of The Backstage (1:57) / Blind Curve (9:29) i. Vocal Under A Bloodlight - ii. Passing Strangers - iii. Mylo - iv. Perimeter Walk - v. Threshold / Childhoods End? (4:32) / White Feather (2:23)

Fish - vocals
Steve Rothery - guitars
Mark Kelly - keyboards
Pete Trewavas - bass
Ian Mosley - drums, percussion

Script For A Jester's Tear (1983)
Fugazi (1984)
Reel To Real (1984)
Misplaced Childhood (1985)
Brief Encounter (ep) (1985)
Clutching At Straws (1987/1999)
The Thieving Magpie (1988)
B-Sides Themselves (1988)
Season's End (1989)
Holidays In Eden (1991)
A Singles Collection 1982-1992 (1992)
Live At The Borderline (1992)*
Live In Caracas (1993)*
Live In Glasgow (1993)*
Brave (1994)
The Making Of Brave (1995)*
Afraid Of Sunlight (1995)
Made Again (1996)
Kayleigh (1996) (Dutch comp)
Essential Collection (1996) (UK comp; same as above)
Real To Reel/Brief Encounter (1997)
Best Of Both Worlds (1997)
This Strange Engine (1997)
Rochester (1998)*
Piston Broke (1998)*
Tales From The Engine Room (1998)
Radiation (1998)
Christmas 1998: The Web Christmas (1998)**
Kayliegh: The Essential Collection (1998) (UK comp.; diff. from above)
Unplugged At The Walls (1999)* (1999)
Zodiac (1999)*
Christmas 1999: (1999)** (or bonus disk) (Ver 1-2000)
The Singles: '82 - '88 (box set) (2000/2009)
Christmas 2000: A Piss-Up In A Brewery**
Crash Course (Sampler) (2000)
ReFracted! (2001)*
Anoraknophobia (2001)
Another DAT At The Office (2001)*
Christmas 2001: A Verry Barry Christmas (2001)**
Fallout (2002)*
Anorak In The UK Live (2002)* (or bonus disk) (Ver 2-2002)
Brave Live 2002 (2002)*
Caught In The Net (2002)*
Crash Course (Sampler) (2002)*
The Singles: '89 -'95 (2002)
Brave Live (2002)*
AWOL (2002)**
Christmas 2002: Santa And Elvis (2002)**
The Best of Marillion (2003)
View From The Balcony (2003)**
Christmas 2003: Say Cheese! Christmas With Marillion (2003)**
Curtain Call (2004) (3CD Box)*
Crash Course (2004)*
Marbles (2004)
Remixomatosis (2004)*
Christmas 2004: Baubles (2004)**
Popular Music (CD oop, avail. as download only) (2005)** (or bonus disk) (Ver 3-2005)
View From The Balcony (Sampler) (Ver 2-2005)
Marbles By The Sea (2005)*
Marbles Live (2005)*
Handful Of Marbles (Sampler) (2005)*
Christmas 2005: Merry Xmas To Our Flock (2005)**
Unzipped (The Making Of 'Anoraknophobia') (2005)*
Crash Course (Ver 4 - 2006)
Smoke (2006)*
Mirrors (2006)*
Marbles Vinyl Edition (2006)
Christmas 2006: Jingle Book (2006)**
Somewhere Else (2007)
Crash Course (Ver 5 - 2007)*
Christmas 2007: Somewhere Elf (2007)**
Family (2007)*
Friends (2007)*
Crash Course (Ver 6 - 2008)*
Happiness Is The Road - Volume 1: Essence (2008)
Happiness Is The Road - Volume 2: The Hard Shoulder (2008)
Early Stages - The Official Bootlegs 1982-1987 (6CD Box) (2008)
Christmas 2008: Pudding On The Ritz (2008)**
Happiness Is Cologne (2009)*
Live From Loreley (2009)
Recital Of The Script (2009)
Less Is More (2009)
Size Matters (2010)*
Tumbling Down The Years (2010)*
The Official Bootleg Box Set, Vol. 2 (2010)
Live From Cadogan Hall (2010)*
Live In Montreal / Saturday (2010)*
Live In Montreal / Sunday (2010)*
Keep The Noise Down (sampler) (2010) Deluxe Digipack (2011)
Somewhere Else (2LP) (2011)
Marbles Deluxe Digipack (2011)
Marbles (2LP) (2011)
Live In Montreal / Friday (2011)*
Season's End Live 2009 (2011)*
This Strange Engine Live 2007 (2011)*
Afraid Of Sunlight Live 2003 (2011)*
A-Z (2012)*
This Strange Engine - Deluxe Digipack (2012)
Fugazi (LP) (2012)
Holidays In Eden (LP) (2012)
Sounds That Can't Be Made (2012)
Sounds That Can't Be Made - Deluxe Edition (2012)
Crash Course (2012)*
Sounds Live (2012)*
Anoraknophobia (LP) (2012)
The Glow Must Go On (2012)*
Sleighed Again (Christmas 2012) (2012)**
Best.Live (LP box set) (2013)
Radiation 2013 (2013)
Brave (LP) (2013)
Misplaced Childhood (LP) (2013)
Clocks Already Ticking (CD/DVD) (2013)*
Best Of Leamington (2013)*
Best Of Montreal (2013)*
Brave Live 2002 (CD/DVD) (2013)
Radiation 2013 (LP) (2013)
Somewhere In London (CD/DVD) (2013)
Afraid Of Sunlight (LP) (2013)
Clutching At Straws (LP) (2013)
Sounds That Can't Be Made (LP) (2013)
Brave Live 2013 (2013)
Sounds That Can't Be Made - 2013 Special Edition (2013)*
Proggin Around The Christmas Tree (Christmas 2013) (2013)**
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (dlx bx set) (2014)*
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (Holland version) (2014)*
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (Montreal version) (2014)*
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (3LP) (2014)*
A Collection Of Recycled Gifts (xmas comp.) (2014)*
Live At The Forum (2014)
Chile For The Time Of Year (Christmas 2014) (2014)*
Glass Half Full (2015)
F.E.A.R. (2016)
Waves & Numbers (2016)*
Marbles In The Park (2016)*
Singles Night (2016)*

Recital Of The Script (VHS/DVD) (1983/2003)
Grendel/The Web (VHS EP) (1984)
1983-86 The Videos (VHS [oop]) (1986)
Live From Loreley (VHS/DVD) (1987/2004)
From Stoke Row To Ipanema (VHS/DVD) (1990/2003)
A Singles Collection 1982-1992 (DVD) (1992)
Brave, The Film (VHS/DVD) (1995/2004)
Shot In The Dark (VHS/DVD [oop]) (2000/2002)
The EMI Singles Collection (DVD [PAL only])(2002)
A Piss-up In A Brewery (DVD) (2002/2010)
Brave Live 2002 (DVD) (2002)
Christmas In The Chapel (DVD) (2003)
Before First Light (DVD) (2003)
Wish You Were Here (DVD box, oop) (2005)
Colours And Sound (DVD) (2006)*
Marbles On The Road (DVD) (2005)
Bootlet Butlins (DVD) (2007)*
Somewhere In London (DVD) (2007)
This Strange Convention (DVD) (2009)
Snow De Cologne (DVD) (2009)**
Out Of Season (box set) (DVD) (2010)
Ding Dong Loreley On High (live) (DVD) (2010)
In-Tube DVD Sampler (DVD) (2010)
Out Of Season (DVD boxset) (2010)
Live In Montreal (3DVD) (2011)
Holidays In Zelande (BR) (2012)
Clocks Already Ticking (CD/DVD) (2013)
Brave Live 2002 (CD/DVD) (2013)
Brave Live 2013 (BR & DVD) (2013)
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (BR & DVD) (2014)*
Breaking Records (BR) (2015)
Unconventional (BR & DVD) (2016)
Out Of The Box (BR & DVD) (2016)

* Racket Records releases; ** Fan Club only

Genre: Neo Prog

Origin UK

Added: March 7th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1366
Language: english


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