At the time, Marillion's remarkable, full-fledged 1983 debut Script for a Jester's Tear was considered an odd bird: replete with Peter Gabriel face paint and lengthy, technical compositions, Marillion ushered in a new generation of prog rock that bound them forever to the heroics of early day Genesis. Intricate, complex, and theatrical almost to a fault, Script for a Jester's Tear remains the band's best and sets the bar for their later work. Filled with extraordinary songs that remained staples in the band's live gigs, the album begins with the poignant title track, on which Fish leads his band of merry men on a brokenhearted tour de force that culminates with the singer decrying that "…the game is over." "He Knows You Know,," a song sprinkled with drug paranoia and guilt; as the song veers to its chorus, Fish announces, "Fast feed, crystal fever, swarming through a fractured mind." If "The Web" hints at a grain of commercialism, "Garden Party" is a joyous anthem that showcases Marillion at the peak of its powers. Bogged down by some hilariously over-the-top British poetry, "Chelsea Monday" may be one of the album's lesser moments (if there are any), but the magical "Forgotten Sons" concludes the opus magnificently. Luckily for Marillion fans, EMI released a remastered version of Script with two different versions of "Market Square Heroes," "Three Boats Down from the Candy," "Grendel," "Chelsea Monday," the demo of "He Knows You Know," and an alternate track titled "Charting the Single." A vital piece for any Marillion head and an essential work for any self-respecting first- or second-generation prog rock fan.
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