Reviewed by Plamen on 27 Feb 2002
Let’s say it directly! If somebody of you who is reading this review does not have this album in his collection, he simply does NOT deserve to call himself ‘a Prog fan’. Script For A Jester’s Tear – the debut album of Marillion - after its appearance on the market in that 1983, made so that the term ‘Progressive Rock’ to sound actual today. What a debut! For the sake of comparison, let’s take for example the debut albums of the four who have given the start of this genre:
1. Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’67 – the influence of Syd Barret here is too strong in order to speak about a real Progressive Rock.
2. King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King’69 – undisputed classics but just remember for the needlessly prolonged ‘Moonchild’ with those discursive sounds repeated later by Genesis in ‘The Waiting Room’ from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’74.
3. Genesis - From Genesis to Revelation’69 -Bee Gees have to envy for such a debut and The Beatles, no doubt, have to feel robbed.
4. Yes - Yes’69 – still too far away from the sound of Close to the Edge’72.
And now let’s go back to Script For A Jester’s Tear. When it came out the critics of the Island were unanimous – ‘Genesis of Peter Gabriel is Back!’ They were right - Mark Kelly, Steve Rothery, Peter Trewavas, Mick Pointer and Derek William Dick – Fish have presented six masterpieces to the ‘intellectually hearing’ audience of the world (that’s how I call the Progressive Rock listeners) assembled in 47 minutes. On their own words, the title composition is created most hardly and in fact it has consolidated the work of the five members in its expressive lyrics and breathless rhythm. ‘He Knows You Know’ – the first hit-single of the band – is oriented to the strongest disease of the XX century – the drugs. Then follows ‘The Web’ that later gave the name of their official Fan Club. The idea of the temporary ‘escape from the reality’ in the lyrics by Fish has created him to the one of the most distinctive poets of Scotland nowadays. The next composition ‘Garden Party’ is a slap in the faces of those pseudo-intellectuals from the highest class and very smartly overflowed to the social engaged and hypnotic ‘Chelsea Monday’. For the final – the masterpiece ‘Forgotten Sons’ – a composition whose lyric put into trouble all dependent musical companies and in a great degree obstructed the band to receive later the merited place in the glory hall.
This was the time when Fish was writing his lyrics on beer glasses pads in the bars. And this was the first and the last album of the drummer Mick Pointer who 11 years later created Arena. This was the time when a man called Nick Barrett bought from Tower Records this album and during these years and today Pendragon are one of the successors of the great Marillion. This was the time when more of the strongest fans of Genesis pre-oriented their hearing and started to buy Marillion’s albums. And this was the time for which I am writing a …Script for a Jester’s Tear.
P.S.: ‘…Please don’t lie upon the grass, unless accompanied by a fellow…’ (Garden Party).