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 Progressive rock, neo-progressive rock, art 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
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Sputnikmusic 4.2/5

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. The album was a commercial success peaking at number 7 on the UK Albums Chart[3] and eventually going Platinum.[4]

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).[5]

This is the only Marillion album featuring drummer Mick Pointer who later became a founding member of the neo-progressive rock band Arena.


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 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.

The album itself spawned two singles, "He Knows You Know" and "Garden Party", which became UK Top 40 hits.[6]


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 there 31 weeks, the second longest chart residency of a Marillion album.[3] It was certified Platinum by the BPI on 5 December 1997 for sales in excess of 300.000 copies.[4] But the album failed to impress in the U.S. making only number 175 in the Billboard 200.[7]

Formats and reissues[edit]

The album was initially released on LP[nb 1], 12" picture disc and cassette.[8] 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 heavy weight vinyl pressing identical to the original 1983 edition[nb 6] was released in 2012.[8]

Track listing[edit]

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

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Script for a Jester's Tear"   Fish, Rothery, Trewavas, Kelly, Pointer 8:39
2. "He Knows You Know"     5:22
3. "The Web"   Fish, Rothery, Trewavas, Kelly, Pointer, Jelliman 8:48
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
4. "Garden Party"     7:15
5. "Chelsea Monday"   Fish, Rothery, Trewavas, Kelly, Pointer 8:16
6. "Forgotten Sons"     8:21
Total length:
  • 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.


Additional musicians
  • Marquee Club's Parents Association Children's Choir – back vocals (on "Forgotten Sons")
  • Peter Cockburn – newscaster's voice (on "Forgotten Sons")
Technical personnel


Chart (1983) Peak
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[9] 42
UK Albums (OCC)[10] 7
US Billboard 200[7] 175
"He Knows You Know"
Chart (1983) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 35
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[7] 21
"Garden Party"
Chart (1983) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 16


Region Certification
United Kingdom (BPI)[4] 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. ^ a b "Marillion – Script for a Jester's Tear". Official Chart Company. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "British album certifications – Marillion – Script for a jester's Tear". British Phonographic Industry. 
  5. ^ Lee, Craig (9 March 1986), "New Kids in Town: Fish 'N' Ambition", Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles), retrieved 13 March 2015 
  6. ^ "Marillion". Official Chart Company. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Marillion: "Script for a Jester's Tear" > Awards". AllMusic. 
  8. ^ a b "Script for a Jesters Tear". The Official Marillion Website. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Marillion – Script for a Jester's Tear". Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  10. ^ "1983-03-20 Top 40 UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Archive Chart: 1983-02-12" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 March 2015. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "sc_UK_Marillion" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).

External links[edit]