Misplaced Childhood the special edition and I bought it again. This might seem somewhat unnecessary as I bought the LP in 1985, the CD in the nineties, the videoclips on DVD and a few live versions by either Fish or Marillion on DVD thereafter. Disk 1 contains a remastered version, but I must admit that to my installation and ears this is not a huge extra. But then came disk 2 and 3 and I was convinced I wanted to get this. An integral version of their Vredenburg show in 1985. So let me go back in time and explain.
It is the early eighties and metal is booming on the radio and at home with Hans and me laying the foundations of fast metal collections. In The Hague those days you had some metal shops in the centre, but the most complete LP store would be Kees at the border of the city. Bicycle rides to Kees turned into pilgrimages, where apart from new discoveries, new albums from the big names also erratic appearing Aardschok and Kerrang could be purchased. Kerrang in those days was still a good magazine, putting us on track of many new bands. Turned out that Marillion would appear rather often in interviews or live reviews from the Marquee. Now they were compared with Genesis and I knew nothing of the Gabriel years, so wondering why a band compared with Abacab, Mama and the likes would get so much attention in Kerrang. Yet when Script for a Jester's Tear was released I decided to give it a try. I did not go to Kees, but to the store whose name I forgot across the street from Headphones (Super something I believe). In those days you would get a headphone on and listen on a bench in the store. I remember still very well when he firts put on Side 2 and Garden Party hit me. Studying the beautiful Mark Wilkinson cover, Chelsea Monday and Forgotten Sons followed and my life changed forever. I did not know that I had discoverd Neo-Prog there and then, but I loved this album. Soon hereafter I got the Market Square heroes EP as well.
That summer of 83 Marillion would open Parkpop in my hometown on their first tour outside the UK. Amongst maximum a hundred fans I stood up front with Magchiel and was amazed. Until the day of today he still remembers how the sign above the stage misspelled Marrilion and I recal the power of the band on stage being much heavier than on LP. Fugazi was the next album and Marillion returned to Holland for a show at Pinkpop. With Dio and Marillion that day it would be the only Pinkpop I ever attended ( a festival selling out big time soon hereafter). Highlight of the day was Incubus and amongst our friends the fanbase was growing quickly. That autumn they made a clubtour and hit Paradiso supporting the Real to Reel album. During that show there was a calm intermezzo, which we did not know nor fully get. Later on we understood they played Side 1 from Misplaced Childhood.
Comes 1985 and Misplaced Childhood is released. Kayleigh became a modest single (later on much bigger in polls due to heavy voting fanclubs) and Holland was graced with their first ever appearance in Vredenburg. They still return every now and then to Vredenburg, but I am sure it would never get as good as that very day in 1985. Support came from then unknown Pendragon, soon to become other Neo-Prog heroes of mine. Well what happened during that show can now be heard on disk 2 and 3. One of the best shows I ever attended. As we were all around twenty at the time, we still went upfront during shows. That day I believe we were with ten and the next day we could see our faces on the picture in national newspaper NRC. The article was the usual slagging of Marillion, talking about Dinosaurs and the shit by someone who just does not love good music. Yet the picture of Fish standing over the crowd showed our happy smiling faces. As I studied in Rotterdam those days I passed the NRC that week, asking if I could buy an original of the picture. I could, but against the cost of I believe 30 guilders. Well given beer prices at the time and my student budget, this just would not fly. A pity as today I would have proudly hanged it on the wall of my home office next to the artwork of Mark Wilkinson. Only later we learn what we appereciate in time, so I hope the beers tasted well. But at least I now have top quality recordings of one of the more amazing shows I ever witnessed.
Then there are still two diks to come. Disk 4 gives us Singles, B-sides and alternative versions. Nice but owned already. Further we get demo takes of the Misplaced Childhood album. If you know an album so through and through these demos funnily sound wrong at times. The endresult of the album turned out to be the perfect version, or did I hear it just too often? Disk 5 gives us a DVD. I still have to hear sound surround mixed by Steven Wilson, but I saw the interview. This is only for real fans as six man speak about the album, the recording and the period in time. I quite liked it, but my god one has to pay attention when Fish is speaking without subtitles. The DVD closes with some Video Clips which I already have on DVD. Finally all is packed in a beautifull artwork package, including half a book with background information I still need to read. Maybe only for fans, but at least those who attended that tour, have something to look out for in a release from Utrecht. Definitely the band at their best period ever. The Childhood just never ends it seems, and I love it.