Marillion / Fish – Fugazi
Posted on Sep 18th, 2010 by Alan @ 5:16 pm

Over a quarter of a century between these two performances, and two completely different interpretations of the song.

For what it’s worth I’m in a tiny minority of Marillion fans who think that the Fugazi album is one of their very best (only beaten by “Afraid Of Sunlight” and “Brave” in my opinion). It finished the annual fans’ poll second bottom last year, with only the execrable “Radiation” behind it. I’d definitely put that down near the bottom too, with a couple of their most recent albums (“Somewhere Else” and “Less Is More”) down there with it. Am I falling out of love with the band I’ve followed since I was a kid? Maybe… or maybe the pattern that they’ve been in for 20 years of alternating a stunning album with a shocker will continue. Sandwiched in between those two was “Happiness Is The Road”, which other than a couple of weak tracks was excellent.

I’m really looking forward to Fish’s next album too – his last one, “13th Star”, was his best solo album for a number of years, and once he’s finished his current acting gig (shooting a feature film called “Electric Man”) I hope he gets back in the studio.

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Check them out at www.marillion.com and www.the-company.com

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Marillion – Bitter Suite
Posted on Aug 6th, 2008 by Alan @ 2:40 pm

It’s hard to believe that Misplaced Childhood was released 23 years ago – two thirds of my life have passed with this in my music collection! – but it’s true. I love it as an album, although it signalled a change in the perception of the band as it shot them towards the top end of the singles chart with the ballads “Kayleigh” and “Lavender”. Marillion went from being a bunch of Genesis wannabes to a bunch of Kajagoogoo wannabes (I know, I’m exaggerating) overnight, and they were mocked equally for both of them!

In truth, after the first 12 minutes or so of the Misplaced Childhood album there was more to back up the first accusation than the second – but having those two singles right at the front end (after the introductory track “Pseudo Silk Kimono”) creates the impression of a very commercial record. The album then slips into this track and then the third single “Heart Of Lothian” closes out side one (the purists amongst us think of this album as having only two tracks, side one and side two, as they are effectively continuous pieces of music)

It’s amazing listening to this album just how a lot of it’s darker moments have the same vibe as it’s predecessor Fugazi. Take out the two big singles and those albums would sound fairly consistent, but as a whole they could hardly feel more different. Fugazi was definitely a grower for me – my first exposure was through Childhood and then Clutching At Straws before I worked back to Fugazi and Script For A Jester’s Tear, and I’ll admit to hating Fugazi on first listen – but it quickly became my all-time favourite Marillion album.

Misplaced Childhood is definitely a more complex album than it first appears though, and is well worth the ridiculously low price it’s available for nowadays. Go on, click the button.

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Drum Solos – The Good, The Bad and The Funny
Posted on Jul 23rd, 2008 by Alan @ 2:13 pm

I’ll not tell you which category I’ve put each of these in… view the whole post to watch the videos!
(more…)

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Marillion – Fantastic Place
Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 by Alan @ 11:16 am

live.jpg

Ah, Marillion. Hobbits and Genesis rip-offs. Sitting in a BO-saturated bedroom playing dungeons and dragons and lashin’ aff to pictures of the blonde elf bird out of Lords Of The Rings. Isn’t it?

This is one of the exceptions to the rule, one of those rare moments where the band shrug off their kaftans, wipe the greasepaint from their faces and play something that breaks the mould.

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Marillion – Just For The Record
Posted on Nov 29th, 2007 by Alan @ 10:37 am

marillion.jpg

The almost-original line-up of Marillion (Mick Pointer, the drummer on their very first album didn’t get an invite) were back on stage together a couple of months ago for the first time in almost 20 years. The occasion was “Hobble on the Cobbles”, a free festival on the Market Square in Aylesbury, the town where the band formed back in the early 80s. Fish played a full set, and for the encore invited his old pals up to join him for a rendition of “Market Square Heroes”, their debut single a quarter of a century earlier.

So here, for your listening pleasure, is one of that line-up’s finest moments – “Just For The Record”, from their fourth album “Clutching At Straws” in 1987, the year before Fish left the band.

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Marillion – Toxic (Britney Spears cover!)
Posted on Oct 24th, 2007 by Alan @ 3:58 pm

britney.jpg

This is awesome, absolutely awesome, I wish they’d release this as a single!!!

Buy one of the best live CDs of this (or any other) year here!

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Miniature Earth
Posted on Jun 13th, 2007 by Alan @ 9:59 pm

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Stunning video (and affected me way more than anything Bono said ever could). I prefer the Tears For Fears version of the soundtrack though.

As it says in the video, one of the “luxuries” that 18 have to do without is a tap with clean water…

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Marillion – Out Of This World
Posted on Apr 24th, 2007 by Alan @ 9:55 am

This is awesome stuff. Another track off Marillion’s “Afraid Of Sunlight”, mixed with footage of the subject matter – Donald Campbell’s world speed record attempts in the 1960s. Click here for a Wikipedia article about Campbell’s land and water speed record attempts – and also how Bill Smith was inspired to search for the remains of the Bluebird after hearing Marillion’s song. And click here to read Steve Hogarth’s account of the raising of the Bluebird.

The first clip is actual archive footage, and the second clip is from the BBC’s 1988 reconstruction of his final attempt in 1967.

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Marillion live on BBC 6 Music
Posted on Apr 16th, 2007 by Alan @ 11:06 pm

Marillion - Somewhere Else

Three tracks and a bit of chat from Marillion on the radio last week. Most of the time I resent paying the license fee, then I remember about 6 Music and it’s every penny. They’ve got a live session from Porcupine Tree in a couple of weeks time (to follow up on the session that’s on the Radio 1 rock show in about 15 minutes time)

Faith

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Easter

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See It Like A Baby

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This is by no means their best ever live performance (I’ve got to come clean and say that after 22 years as a fan I’m growing tired of hearing them live unless I’m actually in the audience! their studio stuff is infinitely preferable) but a good interview.

I’ve got their new album (Somewhere Else, released last week) on heavy rotation at the moment. It’s a mixed bag really going from the sublime (the title track) to the ridiculous (the ghastly attempt at a straightforward rocker “Most Toys”) and to my mind the two tracks in this radio show don’t do it justice. “Somewhere Else” (the song) is already up there in my all time top ten Marillion tracks though, and is worth the price of the CD alone.

As always, I commend Marillion’s website and online store to the house ๐Ÿ˜‰ although you can always pick up a bargain over at Amazon.

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Marillion – Afraid of Sunlight
Posted on Mar 27th, 2007 by Alan @ 6:28 pm

Marillion

When it comes to Marillion it’s difficult to know where to start… so many misconceptions to deal with!

For a band that are about to release their 14th album, it’s funny how many people still identify them with their former frontman Fish, who left 10 albums and almost 20 years ago. They’ve firmly taken control of their own destiny, and have been as innovative in making the music industry work them as they have been musically. They also haven’t released a song based on a JRR Tolkien character for 25 years ๐Ÿ˜‰

This track is the title track from their “Afraid of Sunlight” album – it’s actually the third track in the middle section of the album (the first two being Afraid Of Sunrise and Out Of This World – one of many Marillion songs about water and death! Lovely!)

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Find a better way of life at www.marillion.com

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This blog is intended as a way to spread the word about music I really like, and encourage others to support artists who are making great music. "Try before you buy", if you like. If you hear something you like here, go and buy it - I'll post links to online shops where you can buy each track I blog about.

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