Digging through the Recent Arrivals bin at Sonic Boom during our trip to Taranna in November, Mike came up with this 2CD set. He passed it to me, saying that getting this for $7.99 was unreal, and that it is his favourite Marillion record. First of all, for Mike (a huge Marillion fan) to say that is no small thing.
He then said that if he’d been there on his own, he’d have bought it and sent it on to me. Talk about a sales pitch! Of course, I bought it on the spot.
For those of you who know this album, what I am about to say after hearing both discs consecutively through the good headphones (in one sitting) must come as no surprise…
Holy fuck. Holy. FUCK.
OK, thanks to Mike, I already knew of Marillion through the Crash Course series, then Misplaced Childhood and (also from this most recent Taranna trip), Script For A Jester’s Tear. I thought I knew a little of some of their genius, their ability, their incredible musicality and sense of ambience, theatre, space, and emotion. But this set blew my mind. Seriously.
This is art. On CD. There’s an attention to detail, a clarity, a dramatic creativity here that isn’t just anywhere. It’s clever, and confidently so. Marbles has this incredible sense of cohesiveness as an album, yet each song feels like its own world and entity. It’s (almost) too much for one listen. Every single song is so strong, so beautiful in its own right, that it felt like I should have given it a week (at least)!
From the reviews I read online, I (apparently) now need to get myself a copy of Brave. But holy hell, I can’t leave this Marbles set alone.
This is masterful.