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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars days of prog rock glory, 23 Nov 2004
This review is from: B'Sides Themselves (Audio CD)
Back in the early 80's Marillion catapulted themselves to prog rock stardom with two fine albums and a clutch of ep's and singles - most of which can be found on this CD. One of those bands where the B sides and EP tracks weren't just fillers but generally cracking songs in their own right ( New Model Army were also pretty good at this )
This CD represents a quick and easy way to get hold of a bunch of stuff that is pretty much uncollected elsewhere. The heart of the CD is without doubt the 17 minute odd epic 'Grendel' all about the eponymous beastie of legend, but told from Grendels point of view, lots of oppressive ranting from Fish about blood stained pagan gods, misty forests and stagnant mere's. A variety of ep tracks and b sides follow most of a more moderate length personal favourites will of course vary according to individual taste but there is a wide variety of musical styles on show, ranging from the anthemic Market Square heroes ( which is what got them noticed ) through to the sublimely melancholy 'Tux on'( from the later Clutching At Straws period )
All of the others are worth a listen but standouts for me are Lady Nina - as the other reviewer suggested it could have been released as a single in it's own right, Freaks - just because I like it and Sweet Margaret a somewhat self indulgant but fun live cut full of atmosphere and energy. Some of this material is now appearing on the "enhanced" releases of the studio albums, but not all of it, so if you're looking to round out your marillion collection and find some undiscovered gems look no further than this CD.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Their Pomp, 20 Aug 2004
By 
Steven Moses - See all my reviews
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This review is from: B'Sides Themselves (Audio CD)
This mini-album (although it clocks in at just under an hour!) represents a collection of Marillion's B-sides from arguably their most productive era. Against a tide of 3-minute electronic/synth pop of the early/mid-eighties Fish and co swam particularly strongly. They weren't/aren't ever going to be the trendiest of band and against much media anti-hype they produced a trio of albums that stand up against any of prog-rock's finest. Like many bands at their creative peak even the songs accompanying singles were minor classics and several are included here. 'Charting the Single' with its mocking synth-drum is laden with classic Fish irony. But the real gems can be unearthed later; especially 'Market Square Heroes', which is a call to arms for all Marillion's fans and a particular live favourite. 'Lady Nina' could have been a single in its own right with its range of pop hooks that many critics overlooked. Marillion weren't just a cod-Genesis throwback. Overall, this album further demonstrates the strength of Marillion's song writing in this period and isn't just to be added by fans and those completing their collections. Very enjoyable in its own right
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, Representative Taste of D Dick., 10 Nov 2008
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This review is from: B'Sides Themselves (Audio CD)
It speaks volumes that a compilation of early Fish-era Marillion b-sides can be deemed a definitive, original work, well beyond it's tawdry intentions as a cash-in.
Here they are folks, the bit's and bobs ya might have missed! Just keep that filthy lucre rolling in kids!
You get the idea.

To be interested in (the hour long!) 'B-Sides Themselves' (guffaw!) you need to realise just how good this group were in their first bloom of creativity. The first four albums are superb, wherever you bite your rock, and there is stuff on here at least as good, and in many instances, better.
Of course in the plastic, un-romantic world of disc and digital, a collection like this is redundant and essential at the same time. The b-side, to all extents and purposes, is a concept that doesn't really exist anymore, and isn't it Marillion-typical, that stuff that's meant as throwaway, keeps on being nigh-on indispensable 20-odd years on?

It's mind-boggling that sterling songs like 'Lady Nina' and 'Three Boats Down From The Candy' were cobbled together and pushed out into the pop world as filler. Magnificent, lyrical masterpieces like 'Charting the Single' and 'Cinderella Search' just hidden away in the shadows. That the 17 minute prog symphony of evil, 'Grendel' originally appeared as a 'bonus' song is quite ridiculous. The Fish ego must be gigantic. If wasn't for 'B-Sides Themselves', I wouldn't mind betting there'd be fervent Marillion supporters, who would scarcely be aware of their existence.
It doesn't need me to say it (so OF COURSE I'm going to!), the quality of Marillion's b-sides wipe the floor with most groups serious and genuine output.

The live/ jam thingy 'Margaret' is the only let-down. Although man-god Fish is on fiery form as drunken audience/choir ringleader, the whole thing reeks of condescension. One 'extra' that should've stayed buried in the studio vaults.
That aside, 'B-Sides Themselves' should be treated as a major work in all quarters. Certainly on a par with 'Script for a Jesters Tear' or 'Fugazi', and only slightly below Marillion's signature classic, 'Misplaced Childhood' in the grand order of Fish pla(i)cings (sorry).

If only the record company had the class and grace to give this away free...

4 ½ stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Busy Bees, 25 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. Hugh Harkin "hugh_harkin" (Worldwide) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: B'Sides Themselves (Audio CD)
Most bands struggle to grind out a half decent album, but here were Marillion chopping out an excellent album composed of 'B' sides. 'Lady Nina' 'Freaks' 'Market Square Heroes' and 'Tux On' are all stand out tracks. I bought this on audio tape when it was first released and I played it as much as I played any of the other Marillion tapes I had.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Off the beaten path, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: B'Sides Themselves (Audio CD)
What an awesome album, Tux-On is just amazing song and hence why I purchased this album but its got plenty of great tracks that were all the b-sides from their singles!! A great trip down memory lane!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marillion, 26 Sep 2013
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This review is from: B'Sides Themselves (Audio CD)
Oooh this brings back amazing memories, Lady Nina especially has some brilliant times for me, Id forgotten how good these guys were.
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5.0 out of 5 stars birthday present, 24 May 2013
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This review is from: B'Sides Themselves (Audio CD)
my brother is a big fan of the original marillion era so bought his this little gem of an album
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply fantastic., 3 July 2012
By 
J. Cawley (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: B'Sides Themselves (Audio CD)
I have always loved the Fish era Marillion. I bought every single in 12" format and all the albums (still own them including picture discs!). Bought this to have an easy format to play anywhere, esp in the car. Freaks is the outstanding track although all fantastic. Timeless music as so unique.
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4.0 out of 5 stars B side of the universe, 10 Oct 2014
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This review is from: B'Sides Themselves (Audio CD)
Some of my favourite, yes and it's spelled right amazon, tracks are on here and to think they were only B sides
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marrilion, the music hierarchy, 4 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: B Sides Themselves (Audio CD)
This is by far one of there best albums yet, my favourite song is probably marcket place hero
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B'Sides Themselves
B'Sides Themselves by Marillion (Audio CD - 2003)
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