Script for a Jester's Tear

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Script for a Jester's Tear
Marillion - Script for a Jester's Tear.jpg
Studio album by Marillion
Released 14 March 1983[1]
Recorded December 1982 — February 1983
Studio The Marquee Studios
(London, England)
Genre Neo-progressive rock
Length 46:45
Label EMI
Producer Nick Tauber
Marillion chronology
Script for a Jester's Tear
Singles from Script for a Jester's Tear
  1. "He Knows You Know"
    Released: 31 January 1983
  2. "Garden Party"
    Released: 6 June 1983
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]

Script for a Jester's Tear is the debut studio album by the British neo-progressive rock band Marillion, released in 1983. Produced by Nick Tauber, it was recorded between December 1982 and February 1983 at The Marquee Studios in London.

Script for a Jester's Tear was intended to be part of a trilogy along with the next albums, Fugazi (1984) and Misplaced Childhood (1985).[3] It was a commercial success in the UK, produced the Top 40 singles "He Knows You Know" and "Garden Party",[4] and peaked at number 7 on the album chart.[5] It reached the Platinum certification and is credited with giving a second life to progressive rock.[6]


Script for a Jester's Tear was preceded by the single "Market Square Heroes", released in 1982, with "Three Boats Down from the Candy" and the 17-minute-long epic "Grendel" as B-sides. None of these songs appeared on the original album, though the A-side can be briefly heard during a short radio segment prior to "Forgotten Sons". All tracks are featured in the bonus disc of the 1997 remastered edition.

Cover art[edit]

The artwork was created by Mark Wilkinson who would be commissioned to the role on all Marillion LPs and 12" singles of the Fish-era.[7]


Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic critic John Franck has retrospectively given the album a 4.5 star rating. He called it "an essential work for any self-respecting first- or second-generation prog rock fan", but considered the "over-the-top" lyrics for "Chelsea Monday" to be a minor shortcoming.[2]

Commercial performance[edit]

Script for a Jester's Tear reached number 7 in the UK charts and spent 31 weeks there, the second-longest chart residency of a Marillion album.[5] It was certified Platinum by the BPI on 5 December 1997 for sales in excess of 300.000 copies.[8] The album did not achieve a commercial impact in the U.S., making only number 175 in the Billboard 200.[9]

Formats and reissues[edit]

The album was initially released on LP[nb 1], 12" picture disc and cassette.[10] The first CD issue[nb 2] appeared in 1985.

As part of a series of Marillion's first eight studio albums, EMI Records re-released Script for a Jester's Tear on 29 September 1997, with 24-bit digital remastered sound and a second disc containing bonus tracks[nb 3].[1] The remastered version was also made available without the bonus disc in 2000,[nb 4] and again in 2005 as a Japanese mini-LP replica.[nb 5]

A new 180g heavyweight vinyl pressing, identical to the original 1983 edition,[nb 6] was released in 2012.[10]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Fish, Steve Rothery, Pete Trewavas, Mark Kelly, Mick Pointer, Diz Minnitt, and Brian Jelliman, except where noted.

Side one
1."Script for a Jester's Tear"Fish, Rothery, Trewavas, Kelly, Pointer8:39
2."He Knows You Know" 5:22
3."The Web"Fish, Rothery, Trewavas, Kelly, Pointer, Jelliman8:48
Side two
4."Garden Party" 7:15
5."Chelsea Monday"Fish, Rothery, Trewavas, Kelly, Pointer, Minnitt8:16
6."Forgotten Sons" 8:21
Total length:46:45
  • The total length is listed for the first CD edition[nb 2]. The remastered version[nb 3] is 14 seconds longer.
  • All individual writing credits are from the 1997 remastered edition[nb 3]. In the original 1983 version[nb 1] the whole band is listed as writers, arrangers, and performers; all lyrics are credited to Fish.




Region Certification
United Kingdom (BPI)[8] Platinum


  1. ^ a b EMI EMC 3429
  2. ^ a b EMI CDP 7 46237 2
  3. ^ a b c EMI 7243 8 57865 2 5, REMARIL 001
  4. ^ EMI 7243 5 27115 2 9, 527 1152
  5. ^ Toshiba-EMI TOCP-67784
  6. ^ EMI 50999 091614 1 2, VEMC 3429
  1. ^ a b "Script for a Jesters Tear". Fish-TheCompany.Com: Official Site. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Franck, John. Marillion: "Script for a Jester's Tear" > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  3. ^ Lee, Craig (9 March 1986), "New Kids in Town: Fish 'N' Ambition", Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, retrieved 13 March 2015 
  4. ^ "Marillion". Official Chart Company. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Marillion – Script for a Jester's Tear". Official Chart Company. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Popoff, Martin (2016). Time And a Word: The Yes Story. Soundcheck Books. p. 98. ISBN 0993212026. 
  7. ^ Dome, Malcolm (18 February 2015). "Cover Story: Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear". Classic Rock. TeamRock. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "British album certifications – Marillion – Script for a jester's Tear". British Phonographic Industry. 
  9. ^ a b c "Marillion: "Script for a Jester's Tear" > Awards". AllMusic. 
  10. ^ a b "Script for a Jesters Tear". The Official Marillion Website. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  11. ^ " – Marillion – Script for a Jester's Tear". Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 March 2015.

External links[edit]