CD Rock Review

MARILLION: A Deluxe Edition? Hmm, Sounds a Bit Fishy

Title: Misplaced Childhood (Deluxe Edition)

Label: Parlophone

Recorded at Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin, Germany during 1985, this concept piece is formed from two pieces of music focusing lead singer Fish’s own childhood experiences, his relationship break up experiences and, let’s say, chemical extravagances (something that would play a part in him leaving the band in 1988).

Marillion - Promo-Photo Collection 20

This was the album where it all came together and where the artistic stew became a direction and a focused one at that. The difference with this release is, miraculously, they managed to please everyone. The record companies were smiling because this album shifted units and featured a host of hit singles (ie: Kayleigh and Lavender) while the prog fraternity wallowed in varying time signatures, introspective suites and soaring, Steve Hackett-like, guitar-based, uplifting and epic sequences.

Marillion - Promo-Photo Collection 15

Now the album has been reissued within a 4CD/1BluRay box set (a 4LP boxed set version is also planned). Included is the original album, remastered, a 5.1 surround remix by the ubiquitous and omnipresent Steven Wilson (I’m sure I saw on a Tesco’s check-out, recently) with a previously unreleased concert from Holland (Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht) featuring a performance of the album in its entirety plus demos and rarities. The Blu-ray contains promo videos and an album documentary, as well as high resolution and 5.1 Surround Sound mixes of the album. Topping that lot off is a 60-page booklet. Phew!

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In mastering terms, the new release exhibits a measure of compression (all modern CD releases, with a few exceptions, have at least a touch). The mastering is a little solid state-esque and cool in feel with punchy drums but I wonder if this inherent sound is a reflection of the mid-eighties original mix. That said, the remastering opens up the soundstage adding air and space and the music is both impressive and magnificent. An emphatically stacked and packed box set, essential for fans.

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