MARILLION - 30 Years Misplaced Childhood

27. May 2015


MARILLION - 30 Years Misplaced Childhood

The starting point of the album, which changed everything and without which according to keyboarder Mark Kelly "Marillion would no longer exist in its present form", is to be found in late summer '84: After the exhausting "Fugazi" tour, Marillion initially took a two-month break. Although they sketched some initial ideas for a new album here and there, they used this phase to recharge their batteries for the upcoming tasks. And they had it in them. The band had got wind of their label EMI playing with the idea of terminating the contract with them. The responsible persons there were dissatisfied that the high investments in the second album had not led to the desired sales figures. In fact, "Fugazi" had been sold a few thousand times less in England than "Script For A Jester's Tear", which sold around 120,000 copies.

From today's perspective an astronomically high number for a newcomer band, a global player like EMI expected significantly higher sales volumes in the 1980s. "I know there was a rumor going around," confirms Fish, "but I didn't give it too much credit. We were very convincing as a live band and were therefore able to win new fans again and again. For me, there was no question that EMI would continue with us. They were just trying to put more pressure on us: They wanted a hit single at all costs and later repeatedly sent their spies to the recording sessions in Berlin. But they were quite party animals themselves, so they preferred to party along and tell their bosses at home in England that everything was cool and could go on like this. "And they certainly couldn't remember what they heard."

The memory of Marillion's guitarist Steve Rothery, however, is different: "I think the chances for a contract termination were 50/50, and the record company already exerted a lot of pressure. We were probably saved by the success of the live album 'Real To Reel', which was released in 1984 during rehearsals for the new album. But we didn't let ourselves be impressed and went after 'Misplaced Childhood' without commercial intentions." This is also underlined by Fish: "As much as I scold, I must admit: EMI never talked us into it once it was clear that we could record the record. Well, we didn't tell them for a long time that it was supposed to be a concept album..."

All at Marillion were convinced that a progressive rock band that is on its own must present at least one concept album in its career. So they agreed to tell a coherent story with their third album. "That was also very convenient for us," said Rothery with a smile. "We always had the problem of composing the end of a song. Since the new pieces were to merge, this problem was solved." Writing a concept album was also Mark Kelly's confident response to her record company's demand for a hit single: "We were annoyed because they always demanded a big hit from us. The relative charter successes of 'He Knows You Know' or 'Punch And Judy' were by far not enough for them. So what better to do than record a concept album, where all the songs merge into each other and you can't find a single with the best will in the world? We gave them the middle finger. Meanwhile, I think that could have gone a long way."

Lesen Sie mehr im eclipsed Nr. 171 (Juni 2015).