Thursday, April 23, 2015

bus vibes #3 - marillion

hello there

yes, as you are quite aware, i am listening to some vibes (man) on the bus this week rather than engaging in my usual reading. why? why not, look you see. i don't really get the chance to listen to music of my own choosing so much anymore, so i figured i might as well actually do just that for a change.

today was Nilsson. yesterday, however, was - as the preview in the last post of this subject revealed - Marillion. why Marillion? mostly because i was ten minutes into my journey and had not selected anything off the ipod. i figured i better had, and Marillion was on the screen.

specifically, Misplaced Childhood. yeah, predictable. it was their biggest album, and the one that they will be remembered for. man, what an awesome thing to be remembered for.

i went off on one, at some length, about this album seven years ago. blimey, how long have i been doing this blog for now? yeah, i know, "too long", some of you would say.  i will try and limit the waffle and nonsense here as a consequence, then. no, probably no i won't.

i dreamt music. there are those out there that will say this was a subconscious trick; that my mind has been treacherous and twisted it. i disagree.

i dreamt this album. i would not like to say where or when, but i did, at a point where i had not heard it for, say, ten or so years. well, i would have heard Kayleigh and Lavender, as they are perennial favourites for compilations and the like.

i dreamt this album. i could see in my mind a music store that i had passed but never been in. for some reason i knew it would be there. rationally i "knew" it would not be, as for the most part the store stocked records not even recorded in the same hemisphere that Marillion hail from, let alone anything like them.

i woke up. i, in silence, washed, dressed and made my travels to this store. and there was the record, on CD, for a price which in today's coins of  money is about £2, give or take for fluctuations and whatever other reason you might want to give or take. i spent most of the next few weeks, perhaps months, playing the album on repeat, trying possibly to work out why exactly the album had occurred to me, why it had played on my mind and why i felt an obligation to obtain it from an unlikely source and play it.

no, i never really did work it out, i suppose, but i was happy enough to have a much treasured, masterpiece of an album back in playable touching distance.

it was more the "bonus" CD, from a set i picked up in the early 2000s, that i played on the bus, to tell the truth. it features some two remarkable b-sides (must have killed the band not to have them on the album proper), some decent extended versions and the demo version of the album with the initially intended running order. you want to hear a sample of a b-side? of course you do.

that and Lady Nina are really amazing songs, they are. so yes, of course it is well worth your time tracking down a copy of Misplaced Childhood and giving it a listen. or two. or twelve, if that is your wish.

what am i listening to tomorrow? a good friend reminded me that i have thus far neglected to listen to his most recent album. i have thus, as you can do by clicking here, bought it. i shall momentarily be wrestling with the ipod and itunes to get it all loaded up.

it is available at a "pay what you want" rate. my chum suggested i simply pay nothing, but i couldn't do that. i encourage you, if you are so inclined, to do what i did here.

am i looking forward to listening to this? yes, very much so. other than being a good mate, he is an incredibly talented musician. accomplished, even. am i looking forward to wrestling with itunes? no, not really. if i ever meet the f*****g einstein that tarnished the ipod, it being the only really decent product Apple made, by saying "instead of user friendly plug and play, drag and drop, let us create a nightmare and call it itunes", i will punch them, resolute,  soundly and squarely, in the face.

so, then, the Misplaced Childhood album itself, which yes, i did indeed listen to in full once more whilst on the bus, both to and from work. b sides do not, after all, take that long.

mostly i would refer you to my other post on the album, but if you can't be pestered with that, it's a "prog rock" thing. not quite a "rock opera" as much as it is a "distressed lament" or "rock memoir".

it is entirely possible, outside of the two big singles mentioned, to superficially dismiss this album as "the tallest ever Scottish man who ever lived moaning and crying about how miserable he is that he lost two true loves and has spent his days on drunken binges, complemented by prostitutes, the poor man". i tend, as you may well have guess, to on the whole not take this interpretation or view of the album. it is indeed a sad lament, and for the most part resides in a very dark space or state of mind. that it ends, and i suppose a spoiler warning would be appropriate here, with a sense of redemption, hope and indeed something akin to positive defiance, doesn't quite cover the desolate despair of the album. i mean, it's not Holy Bible off of the Manics dark, or maybe it is.

but yeah, you can ignore those elements and enjoy what is some truly outstanding musical moments.

i really, really need to get some sleep tonight. i think, combined or consolidated, i got four hours in last night. why was that? not sure. whatever the reason, i hope it is not here this evening. but first, off i go to fight the good fight with f*****g itunes once more.

Nilsson, should i have some sleep, tomorrow on the blog, then. two albums which are not, for a change, Nilsson Schmilsson. wow.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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