The early 1980s was perhaps the worst time in musical history to be a prog-rock band, much less to start a new one, but that's just what the hardy souls in Marillion did. Little could anyone have imagined that they'd set off a whole wave of "neo-prog" in the UK. At a time when synth-pop was all the rage, and unassuming ditties ruled the charts, Marillion's debut album, SCRIPT FOR A JESTER'S TEAR nodded proudly to such ambitious forebears as Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. Lead vocalist Fish, in fact, bore an uncanny sonic similarity to Gabriel, a fact that his penchant for onstage theatrics did little to discourage. In turn, the rest of the band offered a '70s-flavored blend of Floyd/Camel-like melodic guitar lines, Rick Wakeman-with-an-attitude multi-keyboard cascades, and odd-metered rhythms.
If that was the whole story, Marillion would have been written off as mere revivalists. The real spark of SCRIPT lies in the fact that it filtered these influenced through a sense of urgency and concision that could only have come from living through the post-punk era. In fact, many of Fish's lyrical themes were concerned with skewering the upper classes in a manner not dissimilar to the likes of Ian Dury or any Thatcher-hating New Waver of the era. Prog was born anew with SCRIPT, and it had a chip on its shoulder.
Re-issue contains a bonus disc featuring album tracks, B sides, studio takes & demos.
One of the few Neo Prog albums I really like. It clearly reminds of Genesis (Peter Gabriel's era of course), but it's not a copy, it's more of a "continuation" of what has been done in the previous decade. In my opinion one of the best albums of the '80s.
The revival of progressive rock, started in the early 80's, probably occurred with the arrival of this album. Many purists pretended this album to be a Genesis' clone. Probably those people don't accept the judicious use of modern technologies, serving a noble cause: the creation of a logical continuity of the best progressive rock of the 70's. This album is certainly influenced by Genesis circa Foxtrot, but it is definitely not copied from them.progarchives.com
The Recital Of The Script DVD is an extended version of the 1983 VHS, now featuring the full 87-min. concert as well as a featurette of extra performances and backstage footage. Track list: Script For A Jester's Tear, Garden Party, The Web, Chelsea Monday, He Knows You Know, Forgotten Sons, Market Square Heroes, Grendel. Extra Tracks Filmed At The Marquee, London 1982: He Knows You Know, Backstage Footage, Market Square Heroes (Excerpt), Interview With Fish.