Marillion’s two-disc Marbles release was my absolute favorite of 2004, so of course I’m going to enjoy this live representation from July 10th & 11th that same year at the Astoria in London, England.
From what I can ascertain in the liner notes, these are excerpts from the Marbles on the Road DVD. I know that this DVD will have to go on my wish list, as I saw them on their tour of America that year and they were truly sensational. Easily, the most mesmerizing set since I saw King Crimson on their Beat tour in *mumble mumble.*
The production values on this concert recording are stellar. So much so that it is difficult sometimes to separate what was done on the original release from this disc. With a live recording this impeccably produced, I’m reminded of the only Supertramp concert album I’ve heard which is 1980’s Paris. A great band, but it’s so like the original studio recordings you have to wonder what’s the point? Here the point is that it’s initially a DVD. The CD is almost an afterthought.
The more accessible songs are all included from the original recording like “Fantastic Place,” “You’re Gone,” and “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” They’ve also incorporated all four “Marbles” and a rousing rendition of 1997’s “Estonia” closes the CD. Thank goodness they included the opening epic “The Invisible Man” and “Neverland,” or I would think that this was more a bid for commercial viability. I kind of miss “Ocean Cloud.” It’s not included on this or the DVD. It was one of my favorites from the original.
Although this is a great CD, the DVD is the primary focus and should be purchased over this recording. Unless of course you are a big fan of live albums, then by all means get this. It’s a wonderful representation of this group at the top of their form.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on January 9th, 2007