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Marillion: The Thieving Magpie

 A l b u m   D e t a i l s

Label: EMI Records
Released: 1988.11.29
73:29 / 42:33
Category: Progressiv Rock
Producer(s): Marillion & Privet Hedge
Media type: CD
Web address: www.marillion.com
Appears with: Fish
Purchase date: 2012
Price in €: 1,00

 S o n g s ,   T r a c k s

CD 1

[1] Intro: La Gazza Ladra - 2:45
[2] Slàinte Mhath - 4:49
[3] He Knows You Know - 5:12
[4] Chelsea Monday - 8:00
[5] Freaks - 4:06 *
[6] Jigsaw - 6:24
[7] Punch & Judy - 3:23
[8] Sugar Mice - 6:03
[9] Fugazi - 8:39
[10] Script For A Jester's Tear - 8:45
[11] Incommunicado - 5:23
[12] White Russian - 6:14

* - Recorded live at Mannheim, Germany "Maimarktgelände", 21 June 1986

CD 2 (Complete performance of Misplaced Childhood)

[1] Pseudo Silk Kimono - 2:19
[2] Kayleigh - 3:52
[3] Lavender - 2:27
[4] Bitter Suite - 7:38
[5] Heart of Lothian - 5:12
[6] Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) - 2:16
[7] Lords of the Backstage - 6:07 *
[8] Blind Curve - 5:34 **
[9] Childhoods End? - 2:48
[10] White Feather - 4:22

 * - The track is not divided properly here, and continues into the first three parts of Blind Curve.
** - This track is parts four and five of Blind Curve.

All 10 tracks recorded live at London "Hammersmith Odeon", 9/10 January 1986

 A r t i s t s ,   P e r s o n n e l

Fish - Vocals, Arrangements, Concept, Producer
Steve Rothery - Guitars, Arrangements, Concept, Producer
Mark Kelly - Keyboards, Arrangements, Concept, Producer
Pete Trewavas - Bass, Arrangements, Concept, Producer
Mick Pointer - Drums, Arrangements, Concept, Producer

Privet Hedge - Engineer, Producer
Nick Davies - Mixing
Peter Mew - Remastering
Hugh Gilmour - Assistant
Annie Lawler - Assistant
Richard Sullivan - Assistant
Mark Wilkinson - Cover Design, Illustrations, Sleeve Design
Artfull Dodgers - Artwork
Scott Minshall - Reissue Layout
Ross Halfin - Photography
Malcolm Heywood - Photography
George Chin - Photography
Paul Cox - Photography
Robert Ellis - Photography
Jo Brooks - Marketing
Paul Lewis - Tour Manager
Martin Palmer - Operation
Maurice Jones - Promoter
Leon Ramakers - Promoter
Nigel Reeve - A&R

 C o m m e n t s ,   N o t e s

1988 CD UK: EMI MARL 1
1988 CD USA: Capitol C1 - 91463 2

1988's The Thieving Magpie is a sprawling double-disc live set which manages to tie up virtually all the loose ends from Marillion's years with charismatic frontman Fish. Like 1984's Real to Reel mini live album, Magpie offers mostly sterling performances packed with both feeling and technical precision, which often times manage to better their studio counterparts thanks to their road-worthy fluidity. But unlike that seamlessly assembled mini live album, it does suffer from the occasional silence between tracks, or even noticeable variations in sound quality, crowd noise, and general ambiance. Sure, most listeners won't give a hoot about such details when faced with the sheer creative breadth (some would say absurdity) of such Marillion magnum opuses as "Fugazi," "Script for a Jester's Tear," and "Chelsea Monday" to name but a few. First-time listeners should be advised against starting their Marillion collection with this challenging release (or risk their brains exploding like water balloons); but with the inclusion of a complete performance of the band's greatest masterpiece, Misplaced Childhood, Magpie becomes a real treat for serious fans.

Eduardo Rivadavia - All Music Guide

The Thieving Magpie (La Gazza Ladra) is a double live album by Marillion, named after the introductory piece of classical music the band used before coming on stage during the Clutching at Straws tour 1987–1988, the overture to Rossini's opera La gazza ladra, which translates as "The Thieving Magpie". The album was released shortly after singer Fish's departure from the band (and before Steve Hogarth's arrival) and was intended to document the "Fish years". It complements the band's first live album Real to Reel insofar as there are no overlaps. The Thieving Magpie is not a continuous live recording, but a compilation of tracks recorded at different times and places, with audible gaps between them and different moods on the individual tracks. However, the double vinyl version does include the first side of the UK no. 1 concept album Misplaced Childhood (1985). The CD and cassette version includes the full album, as well as the track "Freaks" – originally the b-side to "Lavender", it was used as the lead single for The Thieving Magpie peaking at no. 18 in the UK. The album was produced by Christopher "Privet" Hedge, who had been Marillion's sound engineer from early on in their career.

The cover was designed by regular Marillion contributor Mark Wilkinson, who went on to work for Fish. The front part contains photorealistic airbrushed renderings of the band members. The back cover features characters found on the covers of the previous albums, i.e. "The Jester" (Script for a Jester's Tear), "The Boy" (Misplaced Childhood), and "Torch" (Clutching at Straws). The inside of the vinyl gatefold sleeve consists of a rather blurred photograph of the band on stage, circa 1986.

Originally, the album was released on double vinyl and the above-mentioned extended double CD/cassette set. In 2005, EMI Japan released a "vinyl replica" edition, i.e. a CD in a miniaturised version of the original vinyl packaging. The track listing, however, is the same as on the original 2CD version. On 22 June 2009, EMI released a digitally remastered version (along with Recital of the Script and Live From Loreley).


"The Thieving Magpie" ist bereits Geschichte. Nachdem sich Sänger Fish von Marillion getrennt hat, stellt das Opus die letzte Gelegenheit dar, die Gruppe noch einmal live in der alten Besetzung zu hören. Überhaupt scheint die Zukunft der englischen Band unsicher, denn es ist fraglich, ob die vier verbleibenden Gruppenmitglieder ohne ihren Songschreiber und Frontmann Fish weiter auf den Wellen des Erfolges schwimmen können. Marillion-Fans sollten sich die Doppel-CD also getrost aus den Regalen angeln, zumal ihnen mit "The Thieving Magpie" nahezu alle Marillion-Hits livehaftig ins Netz gehen - an- gefangen von "Kayleigh" bis hin zu "Incommunicado". Über 110 Minuten lang präsentieren Marillion ihre bekannten Collagen aus Kunst- und Hardrock, ohne langweilig zu klingen. Der gute Sound überzeugt dabei ebenso wie das gekonnte Zusammenspiel. Doch allen Fishen zum Trotz - der Hecht im Karpfenteich ist - zumindest live - Drummer Ian Mosley. Was der Mann auf "Punch And Judy", "Fugazi" oder "La Gazza Ladra" hämmert, macht je- de Rhythmusmaschine überflüssig.

© Stereoplay

Abschied einer Band, die oft genug harsche Kritik aushalten mußte: Sänger Fish, der Holzfäller mit der Super-Röhre, verläßt die Kollegen und die stecken auf. Das Finale, vier Seiten live: erstklassig aufgenommen, piekfein gemischt, souverän gespielt. So macht Marillion den Abschied doppelt schwer.

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