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Released: March 12, 1984

Rating: 3.575 (average of 10 ratings)

Genre: rock > neo-progressive

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Assassing [7:01]
  2. Punch and Judy [3:21]
  3. Jigsaw [6:49]
  4. Emerald Lies [5:08]
  5. She Chameleon [6:53]
  6. Incubus [8:30]
  7. Fugazi [8:12]

Lyrics by Derek Dick (Fish). Music by Marillion (Dick/ Kelly/ Mosley/ Rothery/ Trewavas).

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.06
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 0.06


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart 5

Singles/Hit Songs:

Notes: A 1998 reissue includes a second disc with demos of “Punch and Judy,” “She Chameleon,” “Emerald Lies,” and “Incubus;” an alternate mix of “Assassing,” and non-album tracks “Cinderella Search” and “Three Boats Down from the Candy.”


One of my personal top 100 albums of all time. Click to learn more.

Marillion worked diligently to restore progressive rock in the early eighties with debut album Script for a Jester’s Tear, and there was no reason to let up with their sophomore effort. The most marked difference between this album and their first is the percussive, driving beat led by new drummer Ian Mosley. The two songs that open the album, Assassing and Punch and Judy, just won’t let up and, surprise surprise, are the singles.

Fish maintains the status quo with his lyrics by singing “darkroom unleashes imagination in pornographic images in which you will always be the star” in song “Incubus.” Also like on their first album, Marillion churn out their best song with the anthemic title cut. The song even explores the same themes as “Script for a Jester’s Tear”as Fish continues to struggle with substance abuse and failed romance.

Marillion work awfully hard to match the standard they set with their debut. There are times that it shows; some songs meander a bit more in Marillion’s effort to make them “epics.” Still, this album reaches farther, and in many ways succeeds, more than most bands can ever hope.

Review Sources:
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Related DMDB Links:

Previous Album: Script for a Jester’s Tear (1983) Marillion’s DMDB page Fish’s DMDB page Next Album: Misplaced Childhood (1985)

Punch and Judy (on Top of the Pops)


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Last updated March 10, 2011.