Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Marillion - Fugazi

Tomorrow (March 12th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Fugazi, the second studio album from Marillion. This 1984 release followed up from the previous year's script For a Jester's Tears (click here for that review). It charted at number 209 on the US Billboard Album chart, number 42 in Germany, number 29 in the Netherlands, number 23 in Sweden, and number 5 in the UK.

Joining the band's line-up on this record was Ian Mosley on drums.

Side one opens with the seven minute long "Assassing". An edited version was released as the second single; it went to number 22 in the UK. The introductory music has an exotic, faraway sound to it before shifting into a synth-rock groove. The lyrics focus on character assassination, with the use of words to destroy one's reputation.

"Punch and Judy", a song about a failing marriage, was the first single from the album. It went to number 29 in the UK.

Things mellow a bit with the next track "Jigsaw". The music-box like verses are fitting for this song about the fallout of a destroyed relationship. It is an appropriate follow up to the previous track.

"Emerald Lies" closes out the side with a song about jealousy and sadness.

Side two starts with "She Chameleon", a cautionary message about a manipulative woman (whom the lyrics liken to a lizard). The music on this nearly seven minute long track is dark, gothic and foreboding.

The eight and a half minute long "Incubus" is next. Filled with imagery of a life on the stage, it features a rather calm, controlled response to a betrayal. But beneath it you can feel the hurt and pain, kept in check from exploding in rage.

The original vinyl album closes with the title track "Fugazi" which clocks in at over eight minutes in length. The song, composed of a number of distinct musical movements, comments on how messed up the world is.

A later double-CD release of the album included a number of demo versions of the album tracks, a remix, and the non-album B-sides of the two singles.

As with their debut album, this review was the first time I had heard most of the Fugazi album. And, again, I really liked what I heard. Marillion is one of those late-in-life discoveries for me, a welcome by-product of how I have chosen to review music for the blog. Me back in 1984 would not have had any use for this record (I cannot even recall the local album-oriented rock stations playing much of their music). But an older me can appreciate the layers and complexities woven into the music and lyrics here.

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