* Prices may differ from that shown
Right - let's get it out of the way to begin with! 'Fugazi' is a word coined by the US army during the Vietnamese war simply meaning 'all f*cked up.' Which about sums up the american involvement over there.
Anyway. 'Fugazi' is the second album from the Aylesbury quintet and, unsurprisingly, sounds a more polished affair, if a little disjointed in places. It is also what is known as the second of a trilogy - the previous LP, 'Script for a Jester's Tear' being affectionately called 'Bedsit Thoughts', this LP going by the name of 'Hotel Thoughts' and then, the next long-player, 'Misplaced Childhood' being 'Home Thoughts.' Released in 1984 it only sold a third as many as their debut but contains some truly wonderful songs.
CD1 - 'Assassing' a song about the cut and thrust world of business and the cold, unemotional way in which employment is terminated. A slow build-up which leads nicely into the album as the pace quickens and Fish's words show that, if anything, they have become even more cereberal - 'Venomous verbs of ruthless candour plagiarise assassins fervour.' See what I mean - certainly not chart-friendly
'Punch and Judy' follows - the bands first single from the album and a light, bouncy, jolly old thing about battering your wife! It certainly doesn't feel like Marillion, it's far too short for one thing, but, to appear on Top of the Pops you have to make a few sacrifices!
'Jigsaw' is next, followed by 'Emerald Lies' which you could very easily think were the continuing story of the 'Punch and Judy' affair. Jigsaw speaks of a marital breakdown in a soft, lullaby-like sound picking up for each chorus ('we are jigsaw pieces aligned on the perimeter edge - interlocked through a missing piece') and 'Emerald Lies' sings of the messy divorce that follows. When I first bought the LP this was my least-liked track but has since become one of my favourites.
'She Chameleon', a slow, mournful lament about an emotionless tryst with a prostitute, is a wonderfully cold piece over the top of a haunting keyboard. They're certainly not a band to put on if you require a bit of cheering up that's for sure!
'Incubus' sings of the world of glamour models and how they are seen purely as an object and not as a human being.
Until...'Fugazi', which opens as a slow, empty peice and builds up into a faster pattern before dropping down into a dark, brooding malevalance regarding the danger/threat of nuclear weapons. Not as big a threat these days but back in '84, when everyone was stocking up on baked beans, painting themselves white and hiding under angled doors, things were a different story. As Fish sings - 'This World is totally fugazi!'
CD 2 - 'Cinderella Search' (12" version) originally the b-side to 'Assassing' and is a song in two parts. The first half is quite forgettable but the second half is fantastic talking about an unrequited love - 'Was that love in your eyes I saw or the reflection of mine?'
'Assassing' (alternative version) which is basically the same song as on CD1 but has more to the bridge that, although was played on showcases of the song live, was kept off the album version. Pity really, I like the song with it in.
'Three Boats Down from the Candy' this is a remixed version, tarted up slightly to match the overall production of the 'Fugazi' album (it was released as the b-side to 'Punch and Judy')
The next, and last, four songs, 'Punch and Judy', 'She Chameleon', 'Emerald Lies' and 'Incubus' are all unreleased demo versions of songs found on CD1 and, as you would expect, have none of the clarity of sound but still carry across as powerful songs.
The CD case is still the usual affair - fold out flap containing extra CD and covers matching those of the vinyl version, but once again, the booklet is well worth the outlay. 28 pages of facts delivered by the band and their artist regarding memories of recording this LP along with numerous pictures of them and artwork issued around that time.
Marillion are not an easy band to define - their sound changes within each song - tempo and time signature altering along with the feel of the lyric - and they require a really close listen to garner the best from them but, given the chance, they are a deep, meaningful band with more to say than most bands ever did, or will!
Fugazi is widely regarded as the worst of the 4 Fish albums, and even the band admit that they struggled a bit writing it. However for me it is a very worthwhile album that grows on you. The music is enchanting and the lyrics rewarding to read and try and understand. The style of music is very mixed - incubus is quiet and haunting, asassing (best song on album) is punchy, very melodic, and fugazi is a superb title track that closes things nicely. Never would an album like this be a no 1 - but if you like the Fish era it is a must!!!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Punch and Judy
4 Emerald lies
5 She chameleon
8 Cinderalla Search
Disc #2 Tracklisting
2 Three boats down from the candy
3 Punch and Judy
4 She chameleon
5 Emerald lies