Saturday, August 4, 2018

"Kayleigh" by Marillion

Song#:  2485
Date:  10/05/1985
Debut:  89
Peak:  74
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Prog Rock

Pop Bits:  This British prog rock band formed in 1979 and by 1981 they had a solid lineup that featured lead vocalist Fish (born Derek Dick). Their demos got the attention of EMI Records and they signed on in 1982. Their debut album, Script for a Jester's Tear, was an immediate hit in the UK reaching #7 thanks in part to the #16 single "Garden Party." Their second album Fugazi also did well getting to #5. When it came time for their third studio album, the band decided to take their music in a more mainstream direction. Based on an experience Fish had while on an acid trip, the band developed the concept album Misplaced Childhood. This rock ballad was selected to be the first single and it became a big hit in the UK reaching #2. Thanks to that result, the album became their most successful reaching #1 and going platinum five months after its release. In the States, the song would be a hit on Rock radio getting to #14. It then crossed over to the Pop chart for a couple of months. The album would also be their most successful in the US getting to #47. In the UK, the band continued to be successful gathering nine Top 10 albums and five Top 10 hits. Fish would leave the band in 1988. He would be replaced with Steve Hogarth, who is still fronting the band.

ReduxReview:  While this song played well on rock radio, I almost think it was just a bit too mature for the 80s US pop audience, who were none too keen on accepting prog rock into the mainstream. That's too bad because it ranks among the best rock ballads of the decade. Fish, who to me sounds like Peter Gabriel's musical brother (in a good way), does great work conveying the regret found within the lyrics. On the album this song segues into the next track "Lavender," which is just as lovely (and was a #5 hit in the UK). The two songs paired together are really wonderful. Marillion was one of those bands that were enormously successful in the UK and Europe, but for some reason their music just didn't catch on in the States. That's a shame. At least they made somewhat of a mark with this song.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The original name of the band was Silmarillion. They got the name from the 1977 J.R.R. Tolkien book The Silmarillion. The band later decided to cut down the name to just Marillion fearing that using the full name might invoke a copyright lawsuit. The Silmarillion was supposed to be Tolkien's follow-up to 1937's The Hobbit, but his publishers rejected it. Tolkien then went on to write and publish the sequel to The Hobbit, 1954's The Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion wouldn't see the light of day until the author's son got it published in 1977, four years after Tolkien had died.  2) The woman who appeared in the video for this song was German model Tamara Nowy. She would also be featured in two more of the band's videos. She and Fish would end up married in 1987. They would divorce later in 2003.


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