So here I am once more.........The almost whispered opening lyric is the start of an intense, demanding, emotional but ultimately incredibly rewarding musical journey. Soon the lyric is repeated but by this time it is surrounded by whirling keyboards and soaring guitar. This is Marillion. This is "Script for a Jester`s Tear". This is in my humble opinion the greatest album of all time.
This is a very difficult claim to substantiate. Marillion are not only derided by mainstream pop/rock fans and critics but also sadly by many progressive rock fans. All I can say is listen to the music.
The title track begins the album and lead singer Fish, in the guise of the tragic jester, opens his heart. "He knows you know" follows portraying the angst of a drug addict, before we reach "The Web", another anguished love song of the jester. "Garden Party" I feel is the one musical weak point on the album, but Fish`s lyrics compensate as he humourously and scathingly derides pretentiousness and snobbery. So far so great. But the best is still to come. "Chelsea Monday" is the story of an aspiring actress who comits suicide to gain that elusive headline. Twenty years on it still moves me with its pure raw emotion. Before your senses can recover we are into "Forgotten Sons", written about soldiers killed in N. Ireland but relevant to any young lives wasted in war.Fish`s lyrics are caustic and emotive all at once, with the closing section providing a suitable finale to an incredible album.
Marillion made three more albums with Fish which fulfilled the promise of this debut before sadly parting company. Since then both parties have continued to make excellent music without quite reproducing the magic they had together.
Do yourself a favour, buy this album and listen to it with an open mind. You will not regret it.