“You'll never hear them from anywhere you could call anywhere..”Sounds That Can't Be Made
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MISPLACED CHILDHOOD RELEASED 1 JUNE 1985


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Marillion's 3rd Studio Album, Misplaced Childhood is a single album & was released in June 1985. This album was remastered in 1998.
 
AVAILABLE RELEASE VERSIONS:
2CD Remastered Version: Includes the original album plus bonus disc. Standard Jewel case with CD booklet featuring Lyrics & original album art.
Download Version: Audio download not available.
Vinyl Version: 180g heavyweight Vinyl version featuring original album artwork.

ON THIS PAGE: Versions of this Album / Related Releases / Extra Information and Interviews
See below for a complete track listing/ audio preview & lyrics for the main version of this album.

Hover over album covers listed to the right of this panel to view a full track listing for each version

2CD REMASTERED VERSION

CD 1:


CD 2: Bonus Disc


AVAILABLE VERSIONS FOR MISPLACED CHILDHOOD
2CD Remastered Version
Misplaced Childhood 2CD Remastered Version
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Vinyl Edition
Misplaced Childhood Vinyl Edition
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Interviews:
Misplaced Childhood : June 1998
One of my most vivid memories of the time was when my wife to be, Jo, asked me to explain how I came up with my musical ideas, picking up a nearby guitar I started improvising what later became the 'Kayleigh' riff whilst explaining that I tried to combine melody and rhythm. I sometimes wonder if we would have still written 'Kayleigh' if she had asked me if there was anything good on the telly instead!
On another memorable occasion I woke up with the riff to 'Lords of the Backstage' in my head, I ran down the stairs and frantically picked up a guitar to work it out before the memory evaporated. In the early part of 1985 we moved into a big old house called Barwell Court in Chessington for the writing sessions of the new album. I felt very inspired at around that time and the constant flow of ideas between us all meant that we worked at quite an incredible pace (for us at least), writing nearly all of side one within the first week. A few weeks later we met with Chris Kimsey, the producer, who proceeded to tell us about this great studio in Berlin called Hansa, and how we should definitely record the album there.
Arriving in Berlin in February 1985 I remember being struck by the incredible vibrance and energy the city had. Every day I would follow the graffiti clad wall from the Hervis Hotel around the corner to the studio. My bedroom window at the hotel looked out across the wall into no-man's land and the sentry towers and patrol guards made you feel like you were a character in some Graham Greene novel.
We recorded the album on an old Neve mixing desk that was constantly going wrong due to the fact that the previous band, Killing Joke (also produced by Chris Kimsey), had set off a dry powder fire extinguisher in the control room. This was corroding all the contacts inside the mixer, which therefore was in a nearly constant state of repair. The room we recorded the drums in however, (a big old ballroom), had a fantastic sound and the city itself was an incredibly inspirational place.
We had a lot of fun in the three months we worked in Berlin but I think we all probably aged at least three years during our time there.
It was suggested by various people that we should put the B-side we had recorded for the first single (Lady Nina) on the album. There was even talk about it being the A-side of the first single (Kayleigh). This led to a confrontation which, fortunately, we won.
Thinking back, the boys in the band seemed to be very relaxed with each other over the writing period of Misplaced Childhood. There was none of the mayhem compared to Fugazi and because we'd toured with Fugazi, done Real to Reel and toured that as well, we had got to know Ian (the new boy) very well. Also, if Fugazi was seen to be a bit of a disaster, Real to Reel and its subsequent tour were considered to be a success. All these things put together meant that the band was very strong and camaraderie was at a high.
Of course it didn't, but my impressions are that the album almost wrote itself. I have vague recollections of working on ‘Kayleigh' and trying different bass lines in the chorus. I remember hearing ‘Lavender' for the first time and thinking it was really good and just wanting to join in and play along as soon as possible and for most of the project I though that ‘Lavender' would probably be the first and only single (shows what I know!).
I remember Mark playing the War Widows section and deciding it wasn't quite right and Ian and I pushing him to play it again and again (mainly because we did like the 7/8 rhythm). I think Mark got a bit frustrated with us as he was still trying to develop the idea, but what he ended up doing on the album was perfect. Steve, of course, was always a musical strength and it seemed that every day that we went into the rehearsal studio, Mark and Steve would just come out with all these fantastic ideas. Creativity was at an all time high both musically and lyrically.
Fish was singing some really good stuff and suggesting things and ideas that he had. I can't remember when it happened, but Fish came up with the concept thing and we ran with it, although it was a bit tenuous in places. It was just such a relief for me to have something to bang all our musical ideas on.
The next problem was arranging lyrics and music. The band would suggest a piece of music in a certain place (now knowing we were writing with a concept) and Fish would say 'but that doesn't make sense of the lyrics', so we'd all have a rethink and on some of the demo's you'd hear us thinking out loud. I'm sure that's why some on the lyrics took so long to write, simply because he wasn't sure where we were going to end up.
Not being flavour of the month anymore, EMI wanted to record the LP for 2s 6d. They put us together with some oldish guy would work in a pretty much broken down studio in Berlin, his claim to fame being that he had worked with THE STONES (sorry Chris but that was my first impression). I know better now.
After working with Simon Hanhart and Nick Tauber, Chris was very, very different. He wanted to record the whole band rather than individual perfect performances. It became a bit more of a spiritual thing because he was trying to capture the atmosphere and everyone's reactions to each other when we were playing together in the studio. It was more like on a live stage. Chris became a very good friend while we were recording and he taught us a lot of things. Suddenly music stopped being such a product and became more of an art form (you cannot believe how soul destroying it is to play 30-40 tracks of bass to nothing but a drum track at 2.00am anyway).
Berlin was such a scary place at the time and John - bless him - had a deal with EMI to give us some wages. Now when you think if it, Berlin was a walled city at the time. After all, it was early 1985. If you had enough money you could buy whatever you wanted. There was a great little bar under the studio where we all discovered the most horrible drink in the world (begins with an M by the way). My most memorable moment is probably playing pool with Ian against Depeche Mode and the keyboard player who wore the dress got the winning shot (I was so embarrassed). P.S. He had a fantastic looking girlfriend.
The studio was by the wall. We used to watch the helicopters circling the boundaries after we had done some mixes and maybe some more. We were also working with a guy that Chris recommended called Kriss (ever so German!). He had escaped to the West from the East hidden under a car and he used to wave to his girlfriend over the wall on his way to work (there were a few places you could do that). Well one night she was suddenly there with us. She'd escaped from the East and for us it was like watching a Bogart movie. Things like that never go away.
Something for the anoraks amongst you - Steve R played a bit of bass on the album ('cause I went home for Easter). I didn't find out for years myself so don't feel bad.
Because of the success and the decisions that were made by everyone at the time, we were obviously very happy but, at the same time, getting frustrated with each other - we had spent so much time together. It was also the first time that we had money to spend and the time to spend it.
DEREK DICK
Misplaced Childhood : June 1998
It was inevitable that after so much touring supporting the 'Fugazi' album that the lyric and concept of the follow up studio project would revolve around the extreme flux of emotions that are generated by long periods on the road. Being away from family, loved ones and the sanctuary of home trapped in a cocoon surrounded by media and sycophants in a traveling circus where the quest for normality and sanity is a constant daily struggle. The live album 'Real to Reel' built on the success of the studio release and extended the profile and once again the pressure was on to deliver another project that would catapult us once again into the world in the never-ending quest for fame and fortune.
I'd been paying the price. My big on/off relationship had finally bit the dust, left behind in a haze of exhaust fumes as I careered off in search of my elusive grail. I was off balance and quickly lost in a depraved wilderness in which I soon made a home. The touring lifestyle fed my addictions on every level and when the bus dropped me off at my newly acquired house in Albert Street, Aylesbury I found myself very alone and dislocated from all the distractions that had fed my desire to escape commitments, responsibilities and realities.
I reverted to type and the 'White Swan' pub became an annexe to my house. A whirlwind of very temporary and physical relationships blew quickly away and I was faced with long periods of quite empty days and very dark nights.
An envelope arrived one of these days. Inside there was a short letter from an old girlfriend with the recommendation to digest the accompanying contents - a tab of very strong acid. Very Alice indeed!
Not having indulged for a while I swallowed a cautious half, and after a few hours and with a pleasant euphoria, I took the other - setting off on my bike to Steve Rothery's house. Very bad mistake.
The truth was that my perception of time wasn't that great and shortly after arrival at Steve's the Real Thing kicked in. Steve had to drive me home and after locking all the doors I set off into a long white-knuckle roller-coaster of a night. I'd been in the wrong frame of mind for this journey. I immersed myself in a warm bath for a while, returning to the womb and trying to reassemble myself. I spent the rest of the night crouched on the floor listening to music, watching walls breathe and staring at a large repro print called 'Padres Bay' by Jerry Schurr, an NYC artist.
I'd started to doodle and scribble in my lyric book on the off chance of catching something from the trip. It was sometime during the night that I was visited. 'Incubus' was on the deck; I was in 'Padres Bay' when suddenly I felt a child standing behind me on the stairs. I knew he was dressed as a soldier and vanished as soon as he entered the corner or my eye. Perhaps it was my muse; perhaps it was the drug. It was enough to propel me into reaming off a large scrawl of prose. Contained within were the diamonds and structure on which would hang up the entire concept of Misplaced Childhood.
I phoned Steve in the morning and read it down the phone. I was really excited although Steve, knowing me well, was cautious and hesitant to fully commit. After all, I had been totally out of my head of the last 10 hours!
We were to discuss it later as a band and felt the idea was worth pursuing at our forthcoming writing sessions in Barwell Court, a Victorian mansion near Chessington which was hired out as a residential rehearsal studio, the main writing room ironically a former children's' nursery. The rest of the band threw their ideas in the hat and as musical sections were given names and gathered on the blackboard the first side of the album started to appear.
There was no tension and the process felt very natural and organic as the curve began to grow and the sections gelled into a seamless piece of music. Not everyone was happy. Outside our creative circle there was a nervous but respectful air that questioned our decision to pursue such an obviously uncommercial venture. After all this was the mid 80's when everyone was driving sleek polished pop songs and an album steeped in the tradition of 70's progressive rock, two slabs of music with the working titles of Side 1 and Side 2 (in '85 vinyl was still king!), was not exactly a move that could be decreed as a fashion statement. More ominous worries were voiced by the record company who although relatively happy with our development on the international stage, believed that radio play was going to be hard to get and support in the USA in particular would be difficult to gather for an album with no obvious singles.
We however had a different opinion and enough weight to move on our convictions. We also knew that there were two sections that more than hinted at singles.
One was 'Kayleigh', the other Lavender.
The lyrical subject matter was bound to take into account not only the traumatic end of my long-term relationship with Kay, but also my total inability to enter into and maintain any relationship. The key to the first side of the album was the song and the lyric was written about a number of girlfriends, but centred around the one that had meant most to me. When I approached the band with the idea they loved it but were totally against using the name Kayleigh as not only did they all know her well but felt it was too personal! All manner of names were suggested, Patricia, Jennifer...but I dug in used the pet name. Kay's father called her but I changed the spelling of her middle name from Lee to the spelling Leigh, which I'm proud to say gave me an original name which is registered in those books of children's names browsed by couples in the latter stages of impending parenthood! I've got used to signing autographs for 13 year old Kayleighs.
The childhood theme also brought up the idea of utilising an old children's song and 'Lavender' was an obvious contender as one of the original pop songs of its time. The translation was easy and the theme became part of the main structure of side 1. We took the first side of the album out on tour in late 1984 and as I hadn't settled on some of the lyrics, bootlegs from the period contain all sorts of gobbledegook and variations. It was an interesting tour for us all!
'Kayleigh' wasn't actually completed lyrically until the middle of the recording at Hansa Studios in the then West Berlin during early 1985. After avoiding the issue for too long, producer Chris Kimsey went out for dinner with the others and left me under explicit instructions to complete the words before they got back. 2 hours later after much inspirational consumption of alcohol etc. it was done and that night the vocal was laid down.
The main floor of Studio 2 at Hansa was impressive as would be expected of a ballroom which at one time had hosted decadent parties - the building had once been an SS officers club. The atmosphere was a critical component of the overall recording vibe for 'Misplaced'. The control room windows overlooked the Wall which was only a 100 metres or so away. This is where the inspiration for David Bowie's 'Heroes' came from as he watched a liaison between a couple in the dark alleyway that we trudged day and night between our digs at a nearby hotel and the studio with it's much frequented ground floor bar. The 'Heroes' album had put Hansa Studios on the international map and the cheap rates appealed to EMI and our management after the ridiculous expense of Fugazi.
Chris Kimsey had come in as producer along with local engineer Thomas Stiehler who, during the proceedings, would come close to losing his sanity as well as his Volvo which was trashed after one too many tequila sorties. I really can't go into too much detail on the Berlin experience as there are too many people still alive who would suffer the consequences of a true expose. That I retain for my autobiography!
To give you a tantalising taste of the debauchery, I could mention the bedside phone book at the hotel with lists of escort agencies dealing in home delivery of a selection of beautiful women who took care of most of my weekly wages and left me resorting to banging on band members doors at 4.00am looking for loans!
I could mention my first and last heroin experience, the jazz pianist on cold turkey as I slept outside his bedroom door for 2 days after throwing his 7-gramme stash out of the window of a 6th floor Neukoln apartment. There's the Irish Bar in the Europa Centre where I casually fell off bar stools and one night met two military policemen one of whom I knew from old and who agreed to a wind up on Chris. They entering the mixing room and announcing I'd been arrested in a knife fight and needed a bail bond!
What about stripping off naked in a restaurant for a bet; smashing up a car on a traffic island during a race; the bottle of Jack Daniel's with the band's name on it in my favourite brothel; throwing bricks over the Wall trying to set land mines off; EMI executives deliberately taken out with huge quantities of alcohol and sleeping through playbacks so they'd give us good reports when back home! The list goes on and on!
We all knew it was a major album. I don't have enough space to describe concepts, details, recording techniques, lyrical inspirations etc.etc. But read the book when it comes out! It was the turning point of all our lives and the intensity of the experience still rings a smile, never to be repeated. Never again Misplaced. Do you remember?
The Misplaced Childhood Demos : June 1998
The Misplaced Childhood album demos were recorded at Bray Film Studios in a small 24 track setup owned by Gerry Anderson of Thunderbirds fame. We spent a few days there making a demo prior to going to Berlin to do the real thing.
 
Most of the album was written and arranged, in some cases even down to the solos. Being a concept album we attempted to make the music flow seamlessly from one song to the next which presented a few problems.
‘Lords of the Backstage' originally followed ‘Lavender' but was moved at the last minute to follow ‘Waterhole'. I was asked to come up with a link section to get us from Waterhole into Lords the day we recorded the master.
I felt under a lot of pressure and was not happy with the result because it sounds forced to me. Listening to these demos the link between ‘Waterhole' to ‘Passing Strangers' sounds just as bad to me!
Anyone spot a bit of ‘Lady Nina' creeping into ‘Childhoods End ?'
Overall I think these demos are of far better quality than most of our other demos and are an interesting snapshot of the album's development.
MARK WILKINSON
Misplaced Childhood : June 1998
One for sorrow, two for joy, three to get ready and go with the boy! Far away from the dissolute theatre of ‘Fugazi', ‘Misplaced Childhood' explored the emotional heartland of Fish more intimately than ever before. This time it was personal ! The consensus at the round table; that the visual symbol for Marillion should change meant it went out of the window, literally. This ain't Rock ‘n' Roll, this is Jestercide ! But like Dr. Who his spirit lived on inside a boy with a similar uniform fetish. I lent Fish ‘Demien' by Hermann Hesse, a book that greatly affected me years before. I remember the boy in the story as having the ‘Mark of Cain', something which set him apart from the crowd. I found our hero in the pub next door! Robert Mead was the Publican's son and I asked him to model for me. He was perfect, and featured in the ‘Kayleigh' video shoot in Berlin. A real pro.
Shopping bag ready, I gathered up clues by the dozen. Magpies (four), caged chameleon (one), wedding ring, poppies (three), the ubiquitous heart, jigsaw hole in floor etc.; the lineage intact from past sleeves.
How to set this up though and tie the strands of imagery together with the new boy was a puzzle. They pretty much left me to it. I put together some ideas ready for another meeting at Bray Studios. Using the surreal device of a moody skyscape behind the boy, seeded by the rainbow from the back cover (gatefold sleeves being the order of the day) I persuaded them that this would perfectly illustrate the zeitgeist of a misplaced childhood. Well, Fish had loved the book, I was on a roll, what the hell! I managed to convince them to cut down on some of the symbology thrown into the plot. Sometimes on Planet Marillion you could not see the wood for condensation on a single leaf. With this album though, the message got through loud and clear.
I am proud to be associated with it
This album was originally released on LP, 12" Picture Disc, and Cassette
Misplaced Childhood reached Number 1 in the UK album charts, and is the only Marillion album to reach number one.
EMI have released both a full-booklet 2CD Remastered version and a scaled-down-booklet 1CD remastered version of this album.
In 2005, a vinyl replica version of this album was released in Japan on CD, in a miniaturised version of the original LP packaging. The disc is the remastered version, and the track listing is per Disc 1 of the 2CD release, listed on this page.