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 13 March 1983
Recorded December 1982 – February 1983
Studio The Marquee, London
Genre Neo-progressive rock
Length 46:45
Label EMI
Producer Nick Tauber
Marillion chronology
Script for a Jester's Tear
(1983)
Fugazi
(1984)
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
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]

Script for a Jester's Tear is the debut studio album by British neo-progressive rock band Marillion, released in the United Kingdom on 13 March 1983 by EMI Records.[2]

Production[edit]

Marillion released their first single, "Market Square Heroes", on 25 October 1982. It was a minor hit, peaking at number 53 on the UK Singles Chart.[3] It was produced by David Hitchcock, who was also contracted to work on the group's first full-length album. However, he was heavily injured in a car accident when he drove home after completing work on the single. EMI took advantage of the opportunity and persuaded the group to replace him with Nick Tauber, a producer known for his work with new wave band Toyah and regarded by the record label as more modern.

Neither "Market Square Heroes", nor the B-sides of the 12" single, "Three Boats Down from the Candy" and the 17-minute-long epic "Grendel", were included on Script for a Jester's Tear, although a short radio segment of the A-side can be briefly heard prior to "Forgotten Sons". As stated in the original liner notes, the music from the album was composed, arranged and performed by Marillion and the lyrics were written by Fish alone. However, in the 1997 remastered edition, four out of six songs are additionally credited to bass player Diz Minnett and keyboard player Brian Jellyman, who were both the initial members of the group. The recording sessions for the album started in December 1982 at The Marquee Studios in London and finished in February 1983, with Tauber producing and Simon Hanhart engineering.

The cover artwork was designed by Mark Wilkinson, who would be commissioned to the role on all Marillion releases through The Thieving Magpie (1988).[4]

Release[edit]

Script for a Jester's Tear was released in the United Kingdom on 13 March 1983 by EMI on vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve. In the United States, it was available through Capitol Records.

Critical reception[edit]

Dave Dickson in his review for Kerrang! said that "as a debut album this [Script for a Jester's Tear] is extremely impressive, fully living up to the band's previous promise".[5] John Franck has given the album a retrospective rating of four-and-a-half stars out of five on AllMusic. He has called it "a vital piece for any Marillion head and an essential work for any self-respecting first- or second-generation prog rock fan".[1] In Martin Popoff's biography of Yes (2016), Script for a Jester's Tear is credited with giving a second life to progressive rock.[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

Script for a Jester's Tear was a commercial success, reaching number 7 in the United Kingdom and spending 31 weeks on the charts, the second-longest album chart residency for Marillion.[7] It was awarded a platinum certification by British Phonographic Industry on 5 December 1997 for over 300,000 copies sold.[2] In the United States, however, it failed to make any impact, peaking at number 175 on the Billboard 200 chart.[8]

The album generated two hit singles in the United Kingdom. The first single, "He Knows You Know", preceded the release of Script for a Jester's Tear and launched the group into the Top 40, reaching number 35. The second single, "Garden Party", was released on 6 June 1983 and became even more popular, peaking at number 16.[9] "He Knows You Know" gained some airplay in the United States and reached number 21 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.[10]

Reissues[edit]

Script for a Jester's Tear was first released on CD in 1985. As part of a series of Marillion eight studio albums made on a contract with EMI, the album was 24-bit digitally remastered between April and July 1997 and expanded with a second disc containing bonus tracks, including all tracks from the debut single. This edition was issued on 29 September 1997 and has been in print to date. The remastered version was also issued without the second disc in 2000 and contained a pared-down booklet. A new 180g heavy weight vinyl edition featuring a gatefold sleeve and the original artwork was released in 2012.[11]

Track listing[edit]

All writing credits are adapted from the 1997 remastered edition. According to the liner notes of the original version, the whole group is listed as writers, arrangers and performers, all lyrics are credited to Fish.

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Script for a Jester's Tear"Fish, Steve Rothery, Pete Trewavas, Mick Pointer, Mark Kelly8:40
2."He Knows You Know"Fish, Rothery, Trewavas, Kelly, Pointer, Diz Minnett, Brian Jellyman5:23
3."The Web"Fish, Trewavas, Kelly, Pointer, Rothery, Diz Minnett, Jellyman8:48
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
4."Garden Party"Fish, Kelly, Rothery, Trewavas, Pointer, Jellyman, Minnett7:16
5."Chelsea Monday"Fish, Rothery, Trewavas, Kelly, Pointer8:17
6."Forgotten Sons"Fish, Rothery, Trewavas, Kelly, Pointer, Jellyman, Minnett8:21
Total length:46:45

Personnel[edit]

Marillion[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Marquee Club's Parents Association Children's Choir – choir (on "Forgotten Sons")
  • Peter Cockburn – newscaster's voice (on "Forgotten Sons")

Technical personnel[edit]

  • Nick Tauber – producer
  • Simon Hanhart – engineer, mixing engineer
  • Pete James – sound effects
  • Jo Mirowski – art direction, design (at Torchlight, London)
  • Mark Wilkinson – illustration
  • Dave Hitchcock – producer (on "Market Square Heroes" (Battle Priest version), "Three Boats Down from the Candy")
  • Mark Freegard – engineer (on "Market Square Heroes" (Battle Priest version), "Three Boats Down from the Candy")
  • Danny Dawson – engineer (on "Chelsea Monday" (Manchester Square demo), "He Knows You Know" (Manchester Square demo))
  • Pete Mew – digital remastering (at Abbey Road Studios, London, April – July 1997)
  • Bill Smith Studio – repackaging design (1997 remastered edition)

Charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[12] 51
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 42
UK Albums (OCC)[7] 7
US Billboard 200[8] 175

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[2] Platinum 300,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Franck, John. Marillion: Script for a Jester's Tear > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "British album certifications – Marillion – Script for a Jester's Tear". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter Script for a Jester's Tear in the search field and then press Enter.
  3. ^ "Marillion". Official Charts. Retrieved 16 August 2018. 
  4. ^ Dome, Malcolm (18 February 2015). "Cover Story: Marillion – Script for a Jester's Tear". Classic Rock. TeamRock. Retrieved 16 August 2018. 
  5. ^ Dickson, Dave (6 April 1983). "Marillion – 'Script for a Jester's Tear' (EMI EMC 3429)". Kerrang!. No. 38. London: Spotlight Publications. p. 10. 
  6. ^ Popoff, Martin (2016). Time And a Word: The Yes Story. London: Soundcheck Books. p. 98. ISBN 9780993212024. 
  7. ^ a b "Marillion | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Marillion Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Marillion". Official Charts. Retrieved 16 August 2018. 
  10. ^ "Marillion Chart History (Billboard Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  11. ^ "Script for a Jesters Tear". Racket Records Store. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  12. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 6315b". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Marillion – Script for a Jester's Tear". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 August 2018.