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Marillion - Punch and Judy CD (album) cover

PUNCH AND JUDY

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

3.85 | 39 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
3 stars 1. Punch and Judy (3:18) :

Punch And Judy was the first song I ever witnessed live from Marillion, on the annual Dutch Pinkpop festival, in 1984 (60.000 visitors). With a few hundred Marillion freaks we had gathered in front of the stage and when Marillion arrived , they were welcomed as 'neo-prog heroes'. Soon after the band had started the concert with Punch And Judy, I was in the middle of a jumping, yelling, roaring, swinging, singing and clapping crowd. And everybody joined Fish his animated gestures ('Punch, Punch, Punch'), wow, welcome to the realm of Neo-Prog. This song-oriented and melodic new genre appealed to many young people, and for the first time in my life I noticed a lot of women between the audience! On one hand they wanted to swing, sing and clap with Neo Prog, on the other hand they wanted to be mesmerized by an Old School Progrock frontman, with a painted face.

A strong point in Punch And Judy are the lyrics: a cynical lookback at a marriage that started romantic ('Whatever happened to lover's lane. Whatever happened to passion games. Sunday walks in the pouring rain.') but gradually the husband got bored ('Now I vegetate with a colour TV') and finally wanted to get rid of his wife (World war three, suburbanshee. Just slip her these pills and I'll be free. No more Judy, Judy, Judy no more. Goodbye Judy.'). Briljant cynical lines, in my opinion inspired by his own difficulties with relationships (part of his borderline personality-like behaviour).

Musically this is a strong, typically neo-prog composition, the subtle slowdown and accellaration moments are fuelled by a dynamic rhythm-section (inluding the outstanding new drummer Ian Mosley) and the colouring by guitar and keyboards is tasteful, but also functional to the vocals and lyrics.

The cover art is also great, showing the marriage in its final state, hilarious but with a dark Roald Dahl-like undertone.

2. Market Square Heroes (4:48) : A splendid rock song with powerful vocals and pleasant work on guitar and keyboards, a perfect crowd pleaser!

3. Three Boats Down From The Candy (4:02) : Another very good rock song featuring Fish his distinctive vocals.

My rating: 3,5 star

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |

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