Top positive review
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Truly, a great album and a great concert experience...
on April 20, 2004
As a farewell present for fans, the double CD live collection of The Thieving Magpie is perhaps the closest to a Fish-era Marillion concert you'll ever be. This is the band during their heyday (at least in their peak album selling years) just as Fish was about to leave (or be dismissed, depending on who you ask). Here's a band known for its proximity to fans back when they performed to packed arenas. It is, without a doubt, a testament to a great band who, after releasing this album, went in two different directions with two very different results.
The two CDs are divided into a full live version of Misplaced Childhood (the band's greates achievement) and a collection of tracks from their three other albums. The results can also be divided into two groups: awesome and lacking.
Being able to enjoy Misplaced Childhood in its enterity is a true gift that the lads gave to us fans. This is one of those classic albums that transcends time and taste, and that should be around forever. It is also proof of the band's musical talents, both as composers and as performers. This is a 42+ minute track if you think about it!
The first disc starts off with an intro of Rossini's 'La Gazza Ladra' that segues into one of the bands best loved tracks, Slainte Mhath and then visits a varied collection of hits that are taken from different concerts. This disc could have been somewhat better, not because of the quality of the tracks presented, but because of the tracks missing from it. Granted, the band had already released Real to Reel and Brief Encounter, so a few of the better known pieces of Marillion's music was already out in live versions, but still, a better way to say goodbye and thanks to the fans would have been to include Forgotten sons, Assassing, Garden Party and/or Market Square Heroes.
Still, this is an album that should be owned not only by Marillion fans, but also by every and anyone who loves great music.