Lavender - Marillion (1985)
Punk slit Prog's throat on the great pop music battlefield of the late 70's and most people believe it was decades before critics, fans and even punks started to preach the new gospel of how important the much maligned music was. If you lived in England however, a mere eight years after Punk broke, Progressive rock was back......
.....And on Top Of The Pops!
There was Pallas, IQ, Pendragon and Twelfth Night; but none of the Neo Progs ever shined as bright as Marillion. None perfectly honored the past while forging ahead into the future like Fish & Co. did in the 1980's. While arguments can be made for all of their discs that the wiley Scot helmed before departing the group in 1988, you really can't get better than the band's own Thick As A Brick, Misplaced Childhood. Over the course of a disc long suite, the listener is greeted with a constant shift of musical ideas under the united theme of innocence lost.
It was intelligent.
It was gorgeous.
It was a smash, with two singles (singles from an album length epic!!???) rocketing into the UK top five, one of which is our pick for today. Although the lower charting of the two("Kalyleigh" almost made it to the top), "Lavender" is a perfect rock ballad, incorporating Burl Ives in the chorus and referencing Joni Mitchell in the first verse! It is so unlike anything else from the same year that it completely sounds of its own time and space, which is a progressive rock character trait if I've ever heard one. Marillion would continue on after the loss of their Peter Gabriel, with continual success that follows them to this day.
But the Fish years......
Man, you really can't top them!
12 inch extended version....Oh Yes!!!!!!