Misplaced Childhood - Intro



Introduction: Misplaced Childhood was the third Marillion album. With the massive hit of Kayleigh, it broke the band into the top flight of rock. Not all the songs on the album have explanations: Pseudo Silk Kimono, whilst dense in mood, uses simple imagery and does not warrant explanation. 

Blind Curve doesn't have explanations either, for similar reasons. 


Fish (The Funny Farm Interview - July '95, Dick Bros) said: "I'd been going out with a girl called Kay for quite a few years, off and on; we had a very tempestuous relationship, and by the time it came into 1984, it was dead and gone. I did an American tour which was particularly traumatic, you know; there were a lot of expensive phone calls which resulted in me going back to the flat in Belsize Park to find all her stuff out, and all my stuff stacked neatly in a corner.

"I moved up to Aylesbury and it was one of those periods where I'd been particularly down and depressed, and somebody had sent me through basically, some acid, in an envelope, which I hadn't done for years. And I was sitting there thinking, what am I gonn... I'll try some. And I remember I did like, half the tab and then cycled up to see Steve Rothery. During the cycling I was thinking, 'Oh, well, it's not as bad as I thought it was gonna be, and I could still do it like I used to' and did the other half and by the time I got to Steve's house, I was about to enter into one bummer of a bummer trip! I came back to the house, and I was so freaked out that I locked all the doors etc., and spent the next seven hours just trying to hold myself together.

"I remember that involved staring at this painting called Padre's Bay by a guy called Jerry Schurr (see right for the only version of the picture I can find - Ed), and at the same time [...] I remember listening to Incubus etc. At the same time I was writing. I was doing this Jack Kerouac, sorta stream of consciousness stuff, and I wrote this entire piece of prose that lasted about ten or twelve pages, which was the entire structure of the Misplaced Childhood album. Part of it involved the Kay thing, you know, in terms of that.

"Once I had the skeleton together, other bits and pieces, the muscle, started to appear."

Cover notes: The cover for Misplaced Childhood was another Mark Wilkinson work. 

Considerably simpler than the two previous album covers, it reflected the simpler yet more sophisticated lyrics. It introduces a new character, the drummer boy, who would also star on the covers of the album's three singles. Dressed in a cod-military style, the boy was actually Wilkinson's neighbour Robert Mead. He went on to take a starring role in the video for Kayleigh

On the front, the drummer boy stands with the Fugazi magpie standing on his hand, its ring fallen to the ground below. Three poppies have broken through the ground and behind all this ominous clouds billow across a deep blue sky. A rainbow arches over onto the back cover. On the back, the jester can be seen hot-footing it through a window. The symbolism is clear even before hearing the album. In a suspended 'Tweety Pie' style bird cage, sits the chameleon. On the top of the cage, another magpie (two for joy...) has the cage key suspended from his beak. Above it, the bird's faint image can be seen in a rainbow looking more like the dove, the bird of peace. The floor is holed with missing jigsaw pieces in which the album's contents are listed. Maybe we are to think that they will fill in the missing pieces. 

The whole image is more spacious than on the previous albums, the lines and colours crisper, clearer, less intimidating, less ominous. There is an innocence and an optimism in the image that is reflected in the music, although the clouds tell us that it won't all be easy going. 

The collage on the inner gatefold is again by Julie Hazelwood, Wilkinson's wife. 


Where to get this album:

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