Misplaced Childhood is the third studio album by the British neo-progressive rock band Marillion, released in 1985. It is a concept album loosely based on the childhood of Marillion’s lead singer, Fish, who was inspired by a brief incident that occurred while he was under the influence of acid.
The album was recorded during the spring of 1985 at Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin and produced by Chris Kimsey, who had previously worked with the Rolling Stones. Misplaced Childhood is the group’s most commercially successful album to date, peaking immediately at number one in the UK charts and spending a total of 41 weeks on the chart. It ultimately gained the Platinum status. It features Marillion’s two most successful singles, the guitar-led rock ballad “Kayleigh”, which reached number two in the UK, and piano-led “Lavender”, which peaked at number five.
Misplaced Childhood was listed as the sixth best album of 1985 by Kerrang! and chosen as the fourth greatest concept album of all time by Classic Rock in 2003.
“I was in ‘Padres Bay’ when suddenly I felt a child standing behind me on the stairs. I knew he was dressed as a soldier and vanished as soon as he entered the corner or my eye. Perhaps it was my muse; perhaps it was the drug. It was enough to propel me into reaming off a large scrawl of prose.” (Fish)
Misplaced Childhood was Marillion’s first full concept album consisting of two continuous pieces of music on the two sides of the vinyl record. The story has thematic elements of lost love, sudden success, acceptance, and lost childhood, along with an upbeat ending. As Fish explains, he conceived the concept during a 10-hour acid trip.
Several of the songs and titles contain notable autobiographical references; for example, “Kayleigh” references the breakdown of relationships as a whole but is centered around a Fish’s past girlfriend named Kay Lee. Fish came up with the name Kayleigh in order to obscure the original name due to the song being too personal. Another example is “Heart of Lothian” (“I was born with the heart of Lothian”) which is a reference to a traditional region of Scotland – Fish himself being from Midlothian – and a reference to the Heart of Midlothian (Royal Mile) – a mosaic heart in the pavement of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
The theme of childhood is developed in “Lavender”, which is partly based on the traditional folk song “Lavender Blue”. Like “Kayleigh” it is a love song, but whereas “Kayleigh” was about the failure of an adult relationship, “Lavender” recalls the innocence of childhood.
Like Script for a Jester’s Tear and Fugazi, the original vinyl edition[nb 1] of Misplaced Childhood was released in a gatefold sleeve. The artwork was created by Mark Wilkinson who was commissioned to the role on all Marillion albums and 12″ singles of the Fish-era.
The front cover features a soldier drummer portrayed by Robert Mead, a then ten-year-old boy who lived next door to Wilkinson. Mead also appeared on the artwork of the album’s three hit singles, “Kayleigh”, “Lavender”, and “Heart of Lothian”, and can be seen in the music video for “Kayleigh”. The Jester from the two previous studio albums is imagined escaping through the window on the back cover.
Misplaced Childhood was released in the United Kingdom on 17 June 1985 by EMI Records on LP,[ 12″ picture disc and cassette and went on to be the band’s biggest selling album. It topped the UK Albums Chart, becoming the first and the only Marillion album to do so. It stayed on the charts for 41 weeks, the longest chart residency of any of the band’s albums. Misplaced Childhood was certified Platinum by the BPI for sales in excess of 300.000 copies on 26 November 1985 just 5 months after the release. It was the 20th best selling album in the United Kingdom for 1985.
The album was also highly successful across mainland Europe reaching number 3 in Germany, number 6 in Switzerland and the Netherlands, the latter of which is where Marillion have one of their largest fanbases, and number 10 in Norway. In the United States Misplaced Childhood came out on the Capitol Records label and reached number 47 on the Billboard 200 chart, the highest position the band has ever achieved.
Three singles, “Kayleigh”, “Lavender”, and “Heart of Lothian” were released, with the first preceding the album. “Kayleigh” peaked at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart turning out to be the biggest hit for Marillion and prompting the success of Misplaced Childhood. The two further singles were less successful but still ended up at high positions as “Lavender” reached number 5 and “Heart of Lothian” peaked at number 29.
On 21 July 2017, a deluxe edition of Misplaced Childhood was released via Parlophone as a 4CD/Blu-ray set along with a 4LP boxed version. The deluxe edition includes a new remaster, as well as, on the Blu-ray disc, new high-resolution stereo and 5.1 surround remixes by Steven Wilson. The set also includes a previously unreleased 1985 concert from Utrecht featuring a performance of Misplaced Childhood in its entirety, along with demos and rarities.
“It was not only a breakthrough album for the band but also for me as an artist because I was finally discovering my own individual style as a lyricist and singer.” (Fish) (by wikipedia)
After the album-tour-album cycle of Script for a Jester’s Tear, Fugazi, and the subsequent Euro-only release of Real to Reel, Marillion retreated to Berlin’s Hansa Ton Studios with Rolling Stones producer Chris Kimsey to work on their next opus. Armed with a handful of lyrics born out of a self-confessed acid trip, Fish came up with the elaborate concept for 1985’s Misplaced Childhood. Touching upon his early childhood experiences and his inability to deal with a slew of bad breakups exacerbated by a never-ending series of rock star-type “indulgences,” Misplaced Childhood would prove to be not only the band’s most accomplished release to date, but also its most streamlined. Initial record company skepticism over the band’s decision to forge ahead with a ’70s-style prog rock opus split into two halves (sides one and two) quickly evaporated as Marillion delivered its two most commercial singles ever: “Kayleigh” and “Lavender.” With its lush production and punchy mix, the album went on to become the band’s greatest commercial triumph, especially in Europe where they would rise from theater attraction to bona fide stadium royalty. The subsequent U.S. success of “Kayleigh” would also see Marillion returning to the States for a difficult tour as Rush’s support act. (by John Franck)
And I add all audio traks from Deleuxe Edtion from 2017 … Enjoy this masterpiece !
Mark Kelly (keyboards)
Ian Mosley (drums, percussion)
Steve Rothery (guitar, bass guitar)
Pete Trewavas (bass)
CD 1: The original album:
01. Pseudo Silk Kimono 2.13
02. Kayleigh 4.04
03. Lavender 2.27
04. Bitter Suite 7.55
05. Heart Of Lothian 4.04
06. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) 2.13
07. Lords Of The Backstage 1.53
08. Blind Curve 9.29
09. Childhoods End? 4.33
10. White Feather 2.24
CD 2: Live At Utrecht 1985 (Part One):
11. Emerald Lies (Intro) 0.50
12. Script For A Jester’s Tear 8.42
13. Incubus 9.42
14. Chelsea Monday 9:59
15. The Web 8.18
CD 3: Live At Utrecht 1985 (Part Two):
16. Pseudo Silk Kimono 3.15
17. Kayleigh 4.00
18. Lavender 2.20
19. Bitter Suite 8:21
20. Heart Of Lothian 4.03
21. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) 2.26
22. Lords Of The Backstage 1.48
23. Blind Curve 9.36
24. Childhoods End? 4.14
25. White Feather 5.29
26. Fugazi 12.35
27. Garden Party 6.15
28. Market Square Heroes 7.25
CD 4: Singles, B-Sides & Demos:
29. Lady Nina (B-Side) 5.50
30. Freaks (B-Side) 4.08
31. Kayleigh (Alternative Mix) 4.03
32. Lavender Blue 4.23
33. Heart Of Lothian (Extended Mix) 5.49
34. Lady Nina (Steven Wilson Stereo Remix)3:43
‘Misplaced Childhood’ Demos:
35. Pseudo Silk Kimono 2.19
36. Kayleigh 3.59
37. Lavender 2.38
38. Bitter Suite: Brief Encounter/Lost Weekend 2.55
39. Lords Of The Backstage 1.47
40. Blue Angel 1.46
41. Misplaced Rendezvous 1.57
42. Heart Of Lothian: Wide Boy/Curtain Call 3.49
43. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) 2.01
44. Passing Strangers: Mylo/Perimeter Walk/Threshold 9.17
45. Childhoods End? 2.24
46. White Feather 2.14
All lyrics written by Fish; all music composed by Mark Kelly, Ian Mosley, Steve Rothery and Pete Trewavas.