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MARILLION

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Marillion picture
Marillion biography
Formed in 1979 in Aylesbury, UK (as Silmarillion, after the Tolkien novel) - Still active as of 2019

Pioneers of the second wave of progressive rock

The Early Years

After some early line-up changes, the first recognisable incarnation of the band was complete by 1982, with FISH (real name Derek William Dick), a charismatic Scottish frontman vocalist, Steve ROTHERY on guitars, Peter Trewavas on bass, Mark Kelly on keyboards, and Mick Pointer on drums.

The band built their reputation the old-fashioned way by gigging extensively, but their profile was also raised by some clever manipulation of the music press, especially journals such as Sounds, in which Fish often interviewed his proposition that the band were "prog with attitude", a new force for the post-punk era.

This profile landed them a record deal with EMI records, and, in 1982, they released an EP Market Square Heroes, which, it is fair to say, had more than a passing resemblance to the Genesis classic, The Knife. Also appearing was a monster prog track called Grendel.

However, it was the release in 1983 of their debut long player, Script For A Jester's Tear, which brought them to the wider attention of the rock world. The album spawned hit singles in Garden Party and He Knows You Know, was critically well received, and reached number 7 in the UK album charts.

The band's progress and workload were relentless after this point. They proved themselves to be somewhat merciless in the pursuit of musical and commercial success by ditching Pointer, who was felt to be sub-standard, and replacing him eventually with, after what the band described as their "Spinal Tap" period for drumming, Ian Mosley, formerly of The Steve Hackett Band. Pointer went on to jointly form Arena, a classic neo outfit who still record today, and still tours his Script era version of Marillion. The difference Mosley made, though, both live and in the studio, was palpable.

The line-up released three more albums; Fugazi, Misplaced Childhood, and, finally Clutching At Straws.

Misplaced Childhood was a massive hit, reaching number 1 in the UK charts in 1985, and responsible for huge hit singles in Kayleigh, Lavender, and Heart of Lothian. By this time, Fish had ditched his trademark face paint, - the music and his sheer personality were a tour de force in them...
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MARILLION discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MARILLION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.24 | 2047 ratings
Script for a Jester's Tear
1983
3.98 | 1376 ratings
Fugazi
1984
4.25 | 2191 ratings
Misplaced Childhood
1985
4.17 | 1376 ratings
Clutching at Straws
1987
3.76 | 891 ratings
Seasons End
1989
3.13 | 672 ratings
Holidays in Eden
1991
3.97 | 1072 ratings
Brave
1994
3.80 | 716 ratings
Afraid Of Sunlight
1995
3.43 | 577 ratings
This Strange Engine
1997
2.70 | 523 ratings
Radiation
1998
3.11 | 493 ratings
Marillion.com
1999
3.37 | 558 ratings
Anoraknophobia
2001
4.10 | 1110 ratings
Marbles
2004
3.04 | 538 ratings
Somewhere Else
2007
3.33 | 573 ratings
Happiness Is The Road
2008
2.75 | 363 ratings
Less Is More
2009
3.58 | 624 ratings
Sounds That Can't Be Made
2012
3.65 | 356 ratings
F E A R (F*** Everyone And Run)
2016

MARILLION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 323 ratings
Real to Reel
1984
3.86 | 321 ratings
The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra
1988
2.35 | 29 ratings
Live at the Borderline
1992
3.29 | 34 ratings
Live in Glasgow
1993
3.56 | 50 ratings
Live in Caracas
1993
4.11 | 96 ratings
Live From Loreley
1995
3.45 | 150 ratings
Made Again
1996
3.56 | 65 ratings
Live At The Walls
1998
3.67 | 40 ratings
Piston Broke
1998
3.17 | 26 ratings
Marillionrochester
1998
3.22 | 36 ratings
Zodiac
1999
3.71 | 80 ratings
Anorak in the UK Live
2002
4.10 | 50 ratings
Brave Live 2002
2003
3.47 | 15 ratings
Christmas In The Chapel
2003
4.50 | 50 ratings
Curtain Call - A Live Archive 1983 - 1988
2004
4.18 | 105 ratings
Marbles Live
2005
3.97 | 53 ratings
Marbles By The Sea
2005
3.55 | 43 ratings
Popular Music
2005
3.54 | 16 ratings
Bootleg Bingo
2005
3.67 | 39 ratings
Smoke
2006
3.81 | 45 ratings
Mirrors
2006
4.01 | 55 ratings
Family
2007
3.69 | 43 ratings
Friends
2007
3.68 | 32 ratings
Somewhere In London
2007
4.47 | 101 ratings
Early Stages: The Official Bootlegs 1982-1987
2008
4.45 | 109 ratings
Recital of the Script
2009
4.28 | 107 ratings
Live From Loreley
2009
3.80 | 31 ratings
Happiness Is Cologne
2009
3.70 | 28 ratings
High Voltage
2010
3.84 | 47 ratings
The Official Bootleg Box Set Vol. 2
2010
3.70 | 49 ratings
Tumbling Down The Years
2010
4.09 | 48 ratings
size matters
2010
3.87 | 28 ratings
Live In Montr閍l // Saturday
2010
3.89 | 27 ratings
Live In Montr閍l // Sunday
2010
3.82 | 26 ratings
Live In Montr閍l // Friday
2011
3.79 | 28 ratings
holidays in eden live
2011
3.93 | 52 ratings
Live From Cadogan Hall
2011
3.88 | 22 ratings
Afraid of Sunlight Live
2011
3.63 | 19 ratings
This Strange Engine Live
2011
3.79 | 23 ratings
Seasons End Live
2011
3.77 | 24 ratings
A-Z Live 2011
2012
3.93 | 41 ratings
Sounds Live
2012
3.78 | 21 ratings
The Glow Must Go On
2012
3.67 | 27 ratings
Clocks Already Ticking
2013
3.90 | 33 ratings
Brave Live 2013
2013
4.33 | 3 ratings
Best of Montr閍l
2013
3.50 | 2 ratings
Best of Leamington
2013
4.33 | 12 ratings
Live At The Forum
2014
4.64 | 25 ratings
Sunday Night Above The Rain
2014
3.89 | 9 ratings
A Monstrously Festive(al) Christmas
2015
4.56 | 18 ratings
Waves and Numb3rs
2016
4.29 | 23 ratings
Marbles In The Park
2016
4.47 | 19 ratings
Singles Night
2016
4.29 | 7 ratings
The Gold - Best of Convention 2017
2017
3.75 | 4 ratings
Live In Chile
2017
4.60 | 20 ratings
All One Tonight - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
2018
4.33 | 6 ratings
marillion.cl/viernes.noche
2019
4.00 | 5 ratings
marillion.cl/dotcom
2019
4.00 | 5 ratings
marillion.cl/en.marquee
2019

MARILLION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.37 | 169 ratings
Recital Of The Script
1983
3.42 | 33 ratings
Video
1984
2.64 | 30 ratings
1982-86 The Videos
1986
3.74 | 34 ratings
A Singles Collection
1992
4.73 | 64 ratings
Brave Live 2002
2002
2.87 | 17 ratings
Shot In The Dark
2002
4.59 | 17 ratings
A Piss-up in a Brewery
2002
3.18 | 47 ratings
The EMI Singles Collection
2002
3.68 | 61 ratings
From Stoke Row To Ipanema - A Year In The Life (DVD)
2003
3.93 | 22 ratings
Christmas In The Chapel
2003
4.22 | 18 ratings
Before First Light (Afraid of Sunlight Live 2003)
2003
4.45 | 147 ratings
Live from Loreley
2004
4.00 | 77 ratings
Marbles On The Road
2004
2.78 | 52 ratings
Brave - The Film
2004
4.19 | 29 ratings
Wish You Were Here
2005
4.33 | 9 ratings
Colours And Sound
2006
4.21 | 60 ratings
Somewhere In London
2007
4.33 | 21 ratings
Bootleg Butlins
2007
3.75 | 11 ratings
Thank You Whoever You Are / Most Toys
2007
3.56 | 17 ratings
Something Else
2007
4.50 | 14 ratings
This Strange Convention
2009
4.67 | 6 ratings
M Tube: An Introduction To Marillion On DVD
2010
4.49 | 57 ratings
Out Of Season
2010
4.12 | 48 ratings
Live At Cadogan Hall
2011
4.62 | 26 ratings
Live In Montr閍l
2011
4.47 | 26 ratings
Holidays In Zelande
2012
4.03 | 30 ratings
Brave Live 2013
2013
4.86 | 7 ratings
A Sunday Night Above The Rain
2014
4.29 | 17 ratings
Breaking Records
2015
4.18 | 15 ratings
Out Of The Box
2016
4.69 | 13 ratings
Marbles in the Park
2016
4.73 | 22 ratings
All One Tonight
2018

MARILLION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 212 ratings
B'Sides Themselves
1988
2.94 | 78 ratings
A Singles Collection - Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other
1992
1.72 | 11 ratings
Marillion Music Collection
1993
4.12 | 14 ratings
The Originals
1995
2.89 | 42 ratings
Kayleigh
1996
3.80 | 9 ratings
The Best of Marillion
1996
4.00 | 3 ratings
Essential Collection
1996
3.34 | 52 ratings
The Best of Both Worlds (2 cd boxset)
1997
4.07 | 87 ratings
Real to Reel - Brief Encounter
1997
3.14 | 10 ratings
Kayleigh - The Essential Collection
1998
2.21 | 62 ratings
Marillion and the Positive Light - Tales from the Engine Room
1998
4.19 | 49 ratings
The singles '82 - 88'
2000
3.28 | 9 ratings
Refracted! - From dusk 'till dot, Volume 1
2001
3.57 | 7 ratings
Another DAT at the Office
2001
3.22 | 9 ratings
Fall Out
2002
3.19 | 17 ratings
marillion.co.uk
2002
3.21 | 9 ratings
AWOL: A Marillion Solo Projects Sampler
2002
3.52 | 30 ratings
The singles '89- 95'
2002
3.86 | 7 ratings
The Best Of Marillion (EMI Compilation)
2003
4.20 | 5 ratings
Warm Wet Circles
2003
3.29 | 12 ratings
marillion.co.uk (2005 Version)
2005
4.40 | 5 ratings
Classics
2009
4.50 | 2 ratings
Keep The Noise Down
2010
4.88 | 8 ratings
Misplaced Childhood / Script For A Jester's Tear
2011
4.60 | 5 ratings
4 Albums
2011
4.00 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits On CD & DVD
2012
4.25 | 16 ratings
Marillion.Best.Live
2012
3.80 | 10 ratings
Sounds That Can't Be Made Special Edition
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
5 Album Set
2013
4.11 | 9 ratings
Early Stages : The Highlights
2013
2.38 | 7 ratings
Best Sounds
2014
4.33 | 26 ratings
A Sunday Night Above the Rain
2014
2.92 | 12 ratings
A Collection Of Recycled Gifts
2014
4.48 | 25 ratings
Misplaced Childhood
2017
4.67 | 15 ratings
Brave (Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition)
2018
4.84 | 18 ratings
Clutching At Straws
2018
4.32 | 25 ratings
With Friends from the Orchestra
2019
4.90 | 10 ratings
Afraid Of Sunlight (Limited Deluxe Edition)
2019
4.93 | 11 ratings
Script For A Jester's Tear (2020 Limited Deluxe Edition)
2020

MARILLION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 121 ratings
Market Square Heroes
1982
3.92 | 50 ratings
Garden Party
1983
4.20 | 47 ratings
He Knows You Know
1983
3.90 | 45 ratings
Punch and Judy
1984
3.67 | 61 ratings
Assassing
1984
3.49 | 64 ratings
Kayleigh
1985
4.14 | 7 ratings
The Story So Far...
1985
3.74 | 60 ratings
Lavender
1985
3.57 | 58 ratings
Heart of Lothian
1985
2.68 | 72 ratings
Brief Encounter
1986
4.09 | 14 ratings
Garden Party Live
1986
3.98 | 31 ratings
Lady Nina
1986
4.02 | 40 ratings
Sugar Mice
1987
3.70 | 37 ratings
Incommunicado
1987
3.97 | 38 ratings
Warm Wet Circles
1987
2.98 | 22 ratings
Incommunicado & Sugar Mice - Video
1987
4.11 | 28 ratings
Freaks
1988
3.64 | 22 ratings
Uninvited Guest
1989
4.24 | 29 ratings
Easter
1989
3.45 | 22 ratings
hooks in you
1989
3.19 | 23 ratings
No One Can
1991
3.07 | 15 ratings
Cover My Eyes (Pain And Heaven)
1991
3.08 | 13 ratings
Dry Land
1991
3.40 | 5 ratings
No One Can
1992
3.65 | 23 ratings
Sympathy
1992
3.47 | 24 ratings
Sympathy
1992
3.77 | 13 ratings
No One Can
1992
4.33 | 6 ratings
The Hollow Man
1994
4.29 | 7 ratings
The Hollow Man
1994
4.00 | 7 ratings
Alone Again In The Lap Of Luxury
1994
4.00 | 6 ratings
Alone Again In The Lap Of Luxury
1994
3.76 | 21 ratings
Beautiful
1995
2.93 | 21 ratings
Beautiful
1995
4.10 | 21 ratings
The Making of Brave
1995
4.04 | 19 ratings
Man of a Thousand Faces
1997
3.69 | 16 ratings
Eighty Days
1997
2.98 | 19 ratings
These Chains (Single)
1998
3.00 | 8 ratings
Marillion & the Web Christmas 1998
1998
3.40 | 10 ratings
Marillion.Christmas
1999
4.00 | 2 ratings
Rich
1999
2.77 | 14 ratings
Marillion.co.uk
2000
3.75 | 8 ratings
Crash Course - An Introduction to Marillion
2001
2.73 | 16 ratings
A Verry Barry Christmas
2001
4.23 | 13 ratings
Between You And Me / Map Of The World
2001
3.87 | 18 ratings
Christmas 2000: A Piss-Up In A Brewery
2001
3.22 | 4 ratings
Front Row Club Issue 7
2002
4.13 | 6 ratings
Le Spectrum, Montr閍l, Canada, 6 September 1997 (Front Row Club 008)
2002
3.80 | 5 ratings
Christmas 2002: Santa And His Elvis
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Caught in the Net - The Making of Marillion.com
2002
4.05 | 10 ratings
Say Cheese, Christmas With Marillion
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
View From The Balcony (A Front Row Club Sampler)
2003
3.00 | 9 ratings
Christmas 2004: Baubles
2004
2.14 | 11 ratings
Remixomatosis
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Damage (Live)
2004
4.20 | 5 ratings
Christmas 2005 : Merry Xmas To Our Flock
2005
2.49 | 12 ratings
A Handful Of Marbles
2005
3.33 | 3 ratings
Unzipped - The Making Of Anoraknophobia
2006
3.75 | 4 ratings
Christmas 2006: The Jingle Book
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
See It Like a Baby
2007
4.00 | 4 ratings
Christmas 2007: Somewhere Elf
2007
2.73 | 13 ratings
Thank You Whoever You Are
2007
3.15 | 11 ratings
Thank You Whoever You Are / Most Toys
2007
4.00 | 6 ratings
ABC, Glasgow, Scotland. 9 November 2008
2008
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Basement, Newcastle, UK. 10 November 2008
2008
4.20 | 5 ratings
Colston Hall, Bristol, UK. 11 November 2008
2008
4.50 | 2 ratings
LMUSU, Leeds, UK. 13 November 2008
2008
4.50 | 2 ratings
Academy, Manchester, UK. 14 November 2008
2008
4.50 | 4 ratings
Opera House, Bournemouth, UK. 15 November 2008
2008
4.00 | 10 ratings
The Forum, London, UK. 19 November 2008
2008
4.50 | 2 ratings
JBs, Dudley, UK. 17 November 2008
2008
4.33 | 3 ratings
Rock City, Nottingham, UK. 18 November 2008
2008
2.42 | 3 ratings
De Waerdse Temple, Heerhugowaard, Netherlands. 21 November
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
013, Tilburg, Netherlands. 23 November 2008
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
Vereeniging, Nijmegen, Netherlands. 24 November 2008
2008
4.27 | 6 ratings
E-Werk, Cologne, Germany. 26 November 2008
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
Le Splendid, Lille, France. 27 November 2008
2008
3.44 | 9 ratings
Christmas 2008: Pudding On The Ritz
2008
3.00 | 1 ratings
Whatever Is Wrong with You
2008
4.04 | 5 ratings
Happiness on the Road - Concorde 2 Brighton - 28 January 2009
2009
4.00 | 2 ratings
Christmas 2009: Snow De Cologne
2009
3.09 | 4 ratings
Crash Course
2009
4.00 | 2 ratings
Christmas 2010: Ding, Dong Loreley On High...
2010
4.00 | 2 ratings
Christmas 2011: Live At The German Space Day 2004
2011
3.33 | 3 ratings
Christmas 2012: Sleighed Again
2012
4.60 | 5 ratings
North American Tour 2012: Irwing Plaza, New York City, USA - 12 June 2012
2012
4.40 | 5 ratings
North American Tour 2012: Irwing Plaza, New York City, USA - 13 June 2012
2012
4.00 | 4 ratings
Crash Course
2013
3.37 | 11 ratings
The Carol Of The Bells
2013
4.00 | 2 ratings
Christmas 2013: Proggin' Around The Christmas Tree
2013
4.00 | 5 ratings
Christmas 2014: Chile For The Time Of Year
2014
3.00 | 1 ratings
Glass Half Full - The Making of Marbles
2015
4.00 | 1 ratings
The New Kings
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
Festivities, Elation And Rejoicing! Christmas 2016
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
Christmas At The Club (Christmas 2017)
2017
3.80 | 10 ratings
Living In F E A R
2017
3.00 | 2 ratings
A Star in the East Live in Japan 2018 (Xmas 2018)
2018
3.00 | 1 ratings
Unsound
2018
3.00 | 1 ratings
Mr Taurus - The Making of Somewhere Else
2019
3.00 | 1 ratings
Satellite Navigation - The Making of Happiness Is the Road
2019

MARILLION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Clutching at Straws by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.17 | 1376 ratings

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Clutching at Straws
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I've been listening to Marillion's debut for years now, but I had never really connected to their other albums with Fish. Probably because I just don't like that eighties sound too much. 'Clutching at Straws' became my Covid-19 album last two weeks and I must say I was very much surprised by the maturity and the songwriting quality of this release! Especially when comparing it to the chaotic 'Fugazi' album. The sound of Marillion has bits of mid- seventies Genesis at its most symphonic and The Wall-era Pink Floyd. Sonicly you can hear the nineties just around the corner. Guitarist Steve Rothery impressed me a lot here with his frantic, yet melodic solo's that are sure to fire up the more intense moments even further. He is obviously influenced by David Gilmour, but manages to extend the symphonic blues repertoire with some original ideas. Marillion uses a lot of keyboards and synths, but never without creating interesting textures and distinct atmospheres. The band drenches the listener in an emotional journey - as is expected nowadays with neoprog - and the concept-album feel really works to the benefit of the songs here. Fish refrains from using his voice in the more extreme ways, perfecting his performance for a balanced and imaginative listening experience. The rocking 'Incommunicado' is the only song I don't fully like, because I don't like the sound of Marillion pumpin' the AOR at this dense level. On the other had, the band excels making great AOR / prog ballads like the haunting 'Torch Song' and 'Sugar Mice'. For me this is pretty much a perfect album and I'm guessing I will be giving 'Misplace Childhood' another listen as well - a record I felt disgusted by when first hearing it age seventeen.
 Holidays in Eden by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.13 | 672 ratings

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Holidays in Eden
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by mneil1968

4 stars This album needs MUCH more love. I KNOW, I KNOW...but seriously, there is a huge place for emotionally inspiring music that the general public can enjoy. AND, if one can invite people in to advanced music through "accessible" tunes with outstanding musicianship, isn't that better than indefinitely alienating thousands through overly elitist "standards"?

This is my actual story! In 1984, I was a high school sophomore devouring all New Wave stuff. 90125 hit, and I was blown away by "Leave It". It was so astonishing that I decided I must understand everything about Yes. Fast forward to now, and I can say that my first listen to prog rock was definitely not one of Yes' best songs ever. However, it did the job. "Holidays in Eden" most certainly should have been Marillion's 90125.

I'm playing time-traveling metaphor-mixing ridiculousness now, and I know it. 90125 worked because Yes was "over" and no kids in 1983 knew anything about them. Marillion never reached the heights of Yes' popularity, except to be irrationally hated by the mainstream media to (maybe) Nickelback levels of intensity. Therefore, there was simply no awareness that Marillion could be deeply cool. But they totally are on this album. This is perfect for the time, fits everything else that was selling by the millions. It "should" have made Marillion as much of a household band-name as Pearl Jam, U2, Live, Gin Blossoms, and hundreds of other faceless 90's bands. As much as I disparage, I equally covet. Those perfect chord progressions, instantly lovable melodies, high-reaching emotion reflecting the optimistic notions of that time in history, all combined into a kind of intellectual confectionary. So sweet tasting, with just a pinch of authenticity to hook you, but mostly just empty-caloric orgasm.

If Yes, Genesis, and Asia can make bank with this recipe, by all that is honorable in the universe, Marillion deserves to have done the same with HIE. It is a tragic tale, but perhaps if they had hit big, Brave would have been equally "great but not ground breaking." So everything works out in the end?

No matter what, these songs are just wonderful, from start to finish there's really nothing less than 90s perfection here. If this had been heard by enough folks, it would have exploded. This must be due to lack of enthusiasm from the record company and the aforementioned biased media. Sucks. Simply put, this album deserves a high place in a special category: best albums to introduce people to prog.

 Lady Nina by MARILLION album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1986
3.98 | 31 ratings

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Lady Nina
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars The virtues of Marillion as a classic English prog-rock band are well-known, and they indeed deliver the goods here, even when within the restricted duration of the single format.

What can I say? Terrific job from Ian Mosley, delivering as solid & flexible drumming as ever. Great taste and power on the guitar and the keyboards. Fiery decision to inject pulse & vibration on the bass. And the most dramatic impression, as usual, comes from THAT voice.

On the A side, "Lady Nina" depicts a story of impossible love, between pathos and tenderness.

On the flip, we find an edit taken from their third full-length studio album, "Misplaced Childhood", which evolves from a quiet start into a full-blown climax by the vocalist and the band.

If you are into singles, this is a must.

 Kayleigh by MARILLION album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1985
3.49 | 64 ratings

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Kayleigh
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Time for a nostalgic trip, to the new year's night 1985/86. I'm 15 years old. Influenced by the vinyl collections of my big brother and sister (with a special interest for the early 80's albums by Saga, Asia, Yes, Jon Anderson, Mike Oldfield and Rush), I have been a music listener for a couple of years, but instead of having my own vinyls I only have a heap of home taped cassettes at this point. One of my favourite bands is Dire Straits. On the new year's night, there's an outdoor rock concert on the TV, with various artists. Then comes this unknown band whose vocalist has red paint on his cheek. The song that especially catches my attention contains lyrics with several lines beginning with "Do you remember". Sounds good, I want to know this band better! What was the name, Marillion?

And so, the following spring I finally start to buy vinyls, and the first one is Fugazi by this new-found band. I talked my friend over to get Misplaced Childhood. For the next couple of years I'm a *fan* the way I've never been ever since. Of course my "Marillionism" wore out because I always prefer to keep finding new stuff, new bands. But finding Marillion eventually helped me to find the whole progressive rock genre of which I already had had a more pop-oriented taste from my bro's & sis's vinyls without being aware of such thing as progressive rock. Soon I fell in love with the classic 70's albums by Genesis, Yes, Camel, Renaissance, etc. No doubt, sooner or later it would have happened without Marillion as well, but nevertheless Marillion -- and 'Kayleigh' in particular -- has a special place in my early listening history.

To counterbalance my personal memories, here's some information: 'Kayleigh' (from Misplaced Childhood concept album) was Marillion's most successful single in the UK, where it peaked at number-two and stayed on the chart for a total of 14 weeks. It also became the band's most successful single worldwide, reaching the top 10 in the Republic of Ireland, Norway and France, reached no. 1 in Poland, and became the band's sole appearance on the United States Billboard Hot 100, hitting number 74 in October 1985. The song popularised the name Kayleigh in the UK.

The B side of the single is 'Lady Nina', a pretty lightweight song for a prostitute. As a Marillionist I did buy several singles and maxi-singles too, but 'Lady Nina' became familiar to me from B'Sides Themselves compilation LP. I always appreciate it when a band (or artist in general) makes non-album B-siders, even when the song in question isn't so spectacular. Marillion were a good example of such band. 'Lady Nina' is best described as nice and harmless.

 Clutching at Straws by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.17 | 1376 ratings

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Clutching at Straws
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by iluvmarillion

3 stars The last of the four Marillion releases featuring Fish as writer and lead vocalist is the weakest for me. However autobiographical it may have been for Fish to write the lyrics of Clutching At Straws, songs about alcoholism and self- destruction only go so far. His incredibly brutal lyrics of Warm Wet Circles: 'Standing all your mates to another round; Laughing at the world till the barman wipes away the warm wet circles; The warm wet circles' is the stand-out song and quite possibly the best song Fish ever wrote. The band do their best to spruik it up with a brilliant change in pace in Mark Kelly's electric piano and a superb guitar solo from Steve Rothery. Where it all loses stream is in the second half of the album after the instrumental introduction to Incommunicado, when Fish sings the first verse to the song. By the time we get to Sugar Mice, it's all become terribly repetitive and uninspiring. Perhaps the band needed more time to develop the last few songs. Maybe the album needed a grand extended instrumental finish in the manner of the Incommunicado overture. Perhaps it was, the band was in a state of upheaval with Fish's decision to leave the band, that the other band members were anxious to wrap things up in the studio and move on to the next chapter in their lives.

The next Marillion album without Fish, Seasons End, is everything CAS isn't. It has tight arrangements, a nice mixture of tracks including a great acoustic number (Hogarth's Easter) and a grand finish (The Space). All it lacks is that one inspirational song that CAS possesses, Warm Wet Circles.

 Clutching at Straws by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.17 | 1376 ratings

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Clutching at Straws
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by zedumar

5 stars This is the album I have listened the most during the COVID pandemic until today (August, 11 2020). I have rediscovered it after about 20 years and it was a great surprise. When I was young I didn't give Clutching at Straws the attention it deserves, maybe the album was shadowed by the success of Misplaced Childhood. Today, I see Clutching as the most mature, well-crafted album from Marillion's Fish era. There are no weak tracks or fillers. This is not a conceptual one-track album as Misplaced childhood, but I just can't stop it in the middle. It has the same quality from Misplace Childhood: you listen to it from the first to the final note, since the songs are connected. Fish left Marillion at the very best moment of the band. Full five stars to this masterpiece.
 Clutching at Straws by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.17 | 1376 ratings

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Clutching at Straws
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Hector Enrique

4 stars Clutching At Straws, Marillion's fourth job, is a grim journey through bars and roadside hotels, guided by Torch, a fictional character ruined by his addictions and emotional hardships. The songs are loaded with discouragement and pessimism, transmitting their message with brilliance and forcefulness.

The album (except for the dynamic albeit highly commercial song Incommunicado), has a very high level. The initial trio (Hotel Hobbies, Warm Wet Circles and That Time Of The Night), Sl鄆nte Mhath, and the extraordinary Sugar Mice noticeably stand out.

The 醠bum is, by all means, an essential work in Marillion's discography.

The pressures to stay on the crest of the wave generated so much tension within the group, that after the release of Clutching At Straws the relationship between Fish, the frontman, and his bandmates unfortunately broke and then had separated their ways.

 Real to Reel - Brief Encounter by MARILLION album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
4.07 | 87 ratings

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Real to Reel - Brief Encounter
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review N?344

'Real To Reel ' Brief Encounter' is a very special compilation of Marillion. It's an economic package that includes their debut live album 'Real To Reel' released in 1984 and their EP 'Brief Encounter' released in 1986, on only one CD. This is a very interesting compilation because it includes two Marillion's works in Fish's era, what will be a very worth purchase. 'Real To Reel' is an indispensable album but I can't say the same of 'Brief Encounter', really. Still, 'Brief Encounter' has its high points too, the three live tracks. 'Brief Encounter' is the perfect companion to 'Real To Reel'.

Like Gatot, I was also totally in doubt to purchase this compilation because I had already 'Real To Reel'. However, because 'Brief Encounter' has never been released in CD format and due to initially it was aimed strictly at the American market and not officially released elsewhere, I decided to buy it. 'Brief Encounter' was also very demanded in Europe because Marillion's breakthrough, with the departure of Fish, and also because the band hadn't released any new material in 1986, the year when it was released in the U.S.A. market. So, 'Brief Encounter' became, in reality, their first work in terms of studio albums in that year. It was released to support the 'Power Windows' live tour of Rush.

As I've already reviewed these two albums previously on Progarchives, in a more extensive way, I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know, in more detail, what I wrote about them before, I invite you to read those my both reviews. However, in here, I'm going to write something about them in a more short way. So, of course, I'm not going to analyze them track by track, as I made before, but I'm only going to make a global appreciation of both albums.

'Real To Reel': 'Real To Reel' is a great debut live album of Marillion. The album includes two songs from their debut studio album, 'Forgotten Sons' and 'Garden Party', three songs of their second studio album 'Assassing', 'Incubus' and 'Emerald Lies', a song from their historical debut EP 'Market Square Heroes' and 'Forgotten Sons' which was only released as a singe. However, some of their best and most representative songs from their beginning like 'Script For A Jester's Tear', 'The Web', 'Fugazi' and specially 'Grendel' aren't included on this live album. The live performance is very competent, despite only few things can distinguish the live versions of these tracks from their studio original versions. In reality and in my opinion, to 'Real To Reel' lacks some live performance flame, to be considered a masterpiece. Nevertheless, 'Real To Reel' is still a great live album with a magnificent live performance of some of their most representative songs comprising their earlier musical material in their first musical period in Fish's era. Besides, the songs are played with conviction and energy. 'Real To Reel' isn't a perfect live album, but shows us why Marillion is the top progressive band in the 80's and also proves why Marillion is in generally considered one of the best, one of the most important and one of the greatest progressive groups in the progressive rock scene, even today.

'Brief Encounter': 'Brief Encounter' is an EP of Marillion that was released in 1986. It's a compilation with two studio tracks and three live tracks. The two studio tracks are 'Lady Nina', which is an extended version of the original track released on the single 'Kayleigh' as the B side, in 1985 and 'Freaks' which is a single version of the original track which was released on the single 'Lavender' as the B side, in 1985 too. The three live tracks were released by EMI, the American label of Capitol Records, in 1986, coinciding with the Marillion's live tour on U.S.A and Canada, on that year. So, we can see 'Brief Encounter' into two separated parts, the two studio tracks and the three live tracks. In relation to the two studio tracks, and although 'Freaks' and 'Lady Nina' be two nice songs, they aren't properly essential in Marillion's catalogue in Fish's era, and personally, I don't like particularly of this version of 'Lady Nina' too. In relation to the three live tracks, I think they're all excellent live versions of the original songs, but they don't add anything new, compared to other live versions on other live albums from the band. So, 'Brief Encounter' doesn't add anything important and new to Marillion's catalogue, and because of that, we may say that it isn't very important to buy it, really.

Conclusion: If you have already 'Real To Reel' you don't need to buy this compilation because it hasn't anything really important to offer. However, if you don't have yet 'Real To Reel' and you are interested in have 'Brief Encounter' too, this compilation is a good option for you because it's cheaper than to buy both individual works. So, it will be a very worth purchase and is a better option because you save on price and space. However and as I said before, 'Brief Encounter' isn't an indispensable document of Marillion in Fish's era. 'Brief Encounter' is a good EP, but quite dispensable. But with 'Real To Reel' is quite the contrary. 'Real To Reel' is an indispensable album, a great testimony of the band when they were in live shows in Fish's era. Besides, if you buy this compilation you can have both works as a complement. So, because of that and due to 'Real To Reel', I think this compilation deserves to be rated with 4 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Script for a Jester's Tear by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 1983
4.24 | 2047 ratings

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Script for a Jester's Tear
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Hector Enrique

5 stars One of the best debut albums in the history of neo progressive music. After the euphoria of the 70's with the traditional groups of the genre fighting with their own demons to stay current with new proposals that revitalize them, Marillion arises to take the flag and plant it with Script For A Jester's Tear. Although they were not the first of this new wave, they were the renewed blood that the progressive needed to make flow through his veins to stay current.

Not pretending to be a concept album, the one that Fish, singer and frontman, is responsible for all the compositions, Script For A Jester's Tears achieves a cohesion and structure that keeps it solid throughout its 6 songs, covering much more earthly themes than the usual cosmetic and spiritual trips in the genre. Thus, the song that bears the same name on the album is about the painful end of an intense love relationship (it is said to be an autobiography of Fish), the devastating effects of drug use in He Knows You Know; how it is better to leave behind toxic relationships to develop in freedom without being trapped in The Web, the criticisms of bourgeois and elitist society and its frivolities in Garden Party; the dreams of young women for being famous on Chelsea Monday, and finally Forgotten Sons, a tribute to those who returned from the clashes between the English and the Irish in the early 80s with disabilities, and especially those who did not return.

Absolutely recommendable also Grendel, which appeared as side B of the 12 'single, Market Square Heroes, 19 spectacular minutes of a song that in my opinion should have been part of the original album, and to which justice was done 14 years later including it in a bonus disc in the remastering of the original (1997).

There were many criticisms of Fish for the evident similarities of his vocal register with that of Peter Gabriel, and even more so with the music of Genesis, but that does not detract a bit from the value of compositions that did not deny their influences, but on the contrary they took them as an impulse to develop their own path, and that they would reach their peak with the acclaimed Misplaced Childhood 2 years later.

Excellent album and essential for fans of the genre.

 Marbles In The Park by MARILLION album cover Live, 2016
4.29 | 23 ratings

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Marbles In The Park
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by iluvmarillion

4 stars You really don't have to buy a new Marillion studio album. You only have to wait until the band's tour on the road to promote the new album and then buy the live performance of the new album (with the bonus of extras materials which comes with the new music). This is because the band have been playing together for forty years. They can be compared to a classical music string quintet in the way they execute the music. On stage each performer's instrument is an extension of the arm of the other band member's instrument, while Hogarth's lyrical style of delivery (you either love his voice or hate it) serves the purpose of the music. By the time the band gets to perform the new album all the nuances of the music have been explored and improved upon and you get to hear a superior product.

The above is a general rule. There are one or two exceptions. Marbles is that exception. The single CD edition of the Marbles studio album is the best work of the Hogarth Marillion era and should be celebrated as their finest work. Any highlights package of the H era music would have to include Fantastic Place and Neverland. I would personally add You're Gone, which is a perfect bridge between the intro, The Invisible Man and the slow Angelino. I've never been sold on the Marbles double album studio edition which includes Ocean Cloud. Ocean Cloud is a piece of Space Rock, rather like early Pink Floyd with some David Gilmour type guitar runs from Steve Rothery. Impressive as it is I don't feel it belongs on the Marbles studio album. However here on the live album, Marbles In The Park, the song is fine and works well with the other songs which have been rearranged in appearance order for the audience. With Drilling Holes, you get an interesting back story of it's writing which stems from the early days when Hogarth joined the band and they were recording the Seasons End album. Fish issued the band members with writs. Steve Hogarth was the only one not being sued.

Marbles is Hogarth's best work with Marillion. This live album doesn't quite match the studio album in brilliance. However, it works well as a narrative promoting the album and the audience in Holland would have found themselves in a fantastic place lapping up the familiar music.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Lazland (w/ Quinino help) for the last updates

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