Kayleigh

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This article is about the song. For the female given name sometimes spelt "Kayleigh", see Kaylee. For the country dance, see Céilidh.
"Kayleigh CUTE x"
Single by Marillion
from the album Misplaced Childhood
B-side "Lady Nina" [1]
Released 7 May 1985 (1985-05-07)
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, cassette single [1]
Recorded Hansa Ton Studios, Berlin, March — May 1985
Genre Neo-progressive rock
Soft rock
Length 3:33 (7" version) [1]
Label EMI
Writer(s) music: Mark Kelly, Ian Mosley, Steve Rothery, Pete Trewavas
lyrics: Fish
Producer(s) Chris Kimsey
Marillion singles chronology
"Assassing"
(1984)
"Kayleigh"
(1985)
"Lavender"
(1985)
Music sample

"Kayleigh" was the first single from the album Misplaced Childhood by British neo-progressive rock band Marillion.[2] It remains the group's most successful single in terms of chart position. The single was a number 2 hit, being kept from the UK Number 1 spot by charity single "You'll Never Walk Alone" by supergroup The Crowd in the summer of 1985. It also made the top 10 in Ireland, Norway and France. "Kayleigh" is the band's sole appearance on the USA's Billboard Hot 100, hitting #74 in October 1985.[3]

The song received a great deal of media exposure in the UK. 41 Independent Local Radio stations in Britain had the track A-rated on their playlists and it became the most played single on BBC Radio 1. Whatever The band also made appearances on television shows such as Wogan and Top of the Pops. The promotional video for the single was shot in Berlin, where the Misplaced Childhood album was recorded, and featured Tamara Nowy, a German woman who subsequently married lead singer Fish, and Robert Mead, the boy portrayed on the sleeve of the album and the single. Who cares The song was performed by Fish at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute at Wembley Stadium, with Midge Ure on guitar and Phil Collins on drums.

As with all Marillion albums and singles of the Fish period, the cover art was created by Mark Wilkinson. The b-side on the international version, "Lady Nina", would go on to be used as a single promoting the 1986 US-only mini album Brief Encounter. "Lady Nina" is the only Marillion song from the Fish era to use a drum machine. The US version of the single uses "Heart of Lothian" instead, another track from Misplaced Childhood that would eventually be released as the third and final single from the album. A CD replica of the single was also part of a collectors box-set released in July 2000 which contained Marillion's first twelve singles and was re-issued as a 3-CD set in 2009 (see The Singles '82–'88).

Composition[edit]

Fish has said that his writing the song was 'his way of apologizing to some of the women he had dated in the past.' Although the lead singer and lyricist of the band, Fish, had at one point dated a woman whose forenames were Kay Lee, the song was more a composite of several different women with whom he had had relationships. Fish was quoted:

The guitar hook line through the verse came about, according to Steve Rothery, from him demonstrating to his then girlfriend what effects a chorus and a delay pedal could add to a guitar's sound. Rothery recorded the song on a chorused Stratocaster guitar, using the pick and his second and third fingers to play it.[5] The album version features an extended guitar solo by Rothery, 27 seconds of which is edited for the single version.

On 24 October 2012, Marillion announced on Facebook that "Sad news via Fish - Kay - who inspired our song Kayleigh - has sadly died. RIP Kay."[6]

Legacy[edit]

The song's popularity in the summer of 1985 was responsible for a significant rise in popularity of the name Kayleigh. Its popularity and legacy was addressed by Harry Wallop, writing in The Daily Telegraph in 2011:

Some names just didn’t exist a generation ago, but have taken off in popularity. The most famous of these is Kayleigh, which came into existence thanks to the neo-prog rock band Marillion, who had a number two hit with a single of this name in 1985. It was almost unheard of before the song. But since then it has taken hold, especially with parents who grew up with a love of long-haired bouffant power ballads. A few years ago, the name made it to the 30th most popular girl’s name in Britain, and it remains popular: 267 children were named it last year. Curiously, though, it has spawned a bewildering sub-sect of names, nearly all of which are unrelentingly bizarre. There were 101 Demi-Leighs last year, seven Chelsea-Leighs and four called Lilleigh, which sounds like a sanitary product.[7]

In 2012, it was announced that the Scottish Borders Council was to inscribe extracts from the song's lyrics into the pavement at the newly developed Market Square in Galashiels. Council engineer David Johnstone said the authority felt it was appropriate to mark the links between Galashiels and the song:

On 8 October 2012, Aberdeen based rappers Shy & DRS released "The Love Is Gone", featuring lyrics and vocals from Sandi Thom. The song samples "Kayleigh". It reached number 7 in the iTunes Hip Hop Chart and Number 32 in the Scottish Official Chart.

The song was also featured on the soundtrack of the video game Grand Theft Auto IV on the fictional in-game station "Vice City FM" and in the movie Late Night Shopping.

In 2013, in a presentation on crowd funding for a TED conference in Bedford, Marillion keyboardist Mark Kelly identified the song's popularity as "part of the reason I've never had a proper job and I've been able to make a living from music for the past 32 years".[9]

In 2013, the name was described by the Daily Mail as "a career killer". In a report which questioned more than 600 workers between the ages of 20 and 35, Kayleigh was identified as the kind of name that impeded an individual's progress in the jobs market, with people with more traditional names being favoured instead.[10]

Track listing[edit]

International 7" version[edit]

Side 1[edit]

  1. "Kayleigh" [Single Edit] – 3:33

Side 2[edit]

  1. "Lady Nina" [Single Edit] – 3:41

US 7" version (Capitol Records)[edit]

Side 1[edit]

  1. "Kayleigh" [Single Edit] – 3:33

Side 2[edit]

  1. "Heart of Lothian" [Single Edit] – 3:47

12" versions[edit]

Side 1[edit]

  1. "Kayleigh" [Alternative Mix] – 3:57
  2. "Kayleigh" [Extended Version] – 4:00

Side 2[edit]

  1. "Lady Nina" [Extended Version] – 5:46

Cassette single[edit]

  1. "Kayleigh" [Alternative Mix] – 3:57
  2. "Kayleigh" [Extended Version] – 4:00
  3. "Lady Nina" [Extended Version] – 5:46
  4. "Lady Nina" [Single Edit] – 3:41

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart[2] 2
Dutch GfK chart[11] 12
Dutch Top 40[12] 16
French Singles Chart 2
Irish Singles Chart[13] 4
Norwegian Singles Chart[14] 8
Swiss Singles Chart[15] 19
US Billboard Hot 100 74
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 14

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Marillion - Kayleigh at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Chart Stats - Marillion - Kayleigh". Retrieved 19 April 2009. 
  3. ^ Billboard Hot 100 chart dated October 26, 1985
  4. ^ The Funny Farm Interview - July '95, Dick Brothers Record Company
  5. ^ Total Guitar July 2001
  6. ^ "Marillion". Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Wallop, Harry (23 Nov 2011). "Baby names: how do you decide?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Marillion hit Kayleigh to be set in Galashiels pavement". BBC News. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Mark Kelly talks about the birth of Crowd funding at TEDx Bedford. http://www.marillion.com/news/newsitem.htm?id=318
  10. ^ "Is your name a career killer? How the likes of Kayleigh and Wayne fear they won't be picked for promotion". Mail Online. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "dutchcharts.nl - Marillion - Kayleigh (Dutch)". Retrieved 19 April 2009. 
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 - 10 Augustus 1985/Week 32 (Dutch)". Retrieved 19 April 2009. 
  13. ^ "irishcharts.ie search results". Retrieved 19 April 2009. 
  14. ^ "norwegiancharts.com - Marillion - Kayleigh". Retrieved 19 April 2009. 
  15. ^ "Marillion - Kayleigh - hitparade.ch (German)". Retrieved 19 April 2009. 

External links[edit]