B-Sides Themselves

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Before the arrival of the deluxe, double-CD reissues that restored Marillion's entire discography to glory in the late '90s, 1988's B-Sides Themselves was the only source for Fish-era fanatics to experience the many rarities of the colorful progressive rockers' career. Sure enough, no time is wasted with subtlety here, as the monumental "Grendel" opens this collection with 18 minutes of over the top pomp and grandeur. Less challenging, but equally entertaining nuggets like "Charting the Single" and "Three Boats Down From the Candy" follow, but the clear highlights are contained in the songs previously heard on the band's live albums; first single "Market Square Heroes" and the exquisite "Cinderella Search" were featured on 1984's Real to Reel, while the punchy "Freaks" was first heard on 1988's The Thieving Magpie. The remaining material is less interesting, but this package still offers a convenient selection of B-sides for those not wishing to purchase each double-CD set individually.

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