Marillion – An Overview

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Albums In My Collection

– Afraid Of Sunlight
– Anoraknophobia
– Brave
– Brief Encounter
– Clutching At Straws
– Fugazi
– Holidays In Eden
– Made Again
– Marbles
– Marillion.com
– Market Square Heroes (EP)
– Misplaced Childhood
– Radiation
– Real To Reel
– Script For A Jester’s Tear
– Seasons End
– The Thieving Magpie
– This Strange Engine

An Overview

Marillion is another Love/Hate band for me. Here’s why…

When the band first appeared on the scene during the “New Wave Of Progressive Rock” era in (primarily) England back in the 1980s, I sat up and took notice. At that time, they were the closest thing one could get to the old classic-Genesis sound. Lead singer Fish (Derek Dick) had such a terrific approach–although strikingly similar to Peter Gabriel, he also had a unique style/delivery–whereas the musicians (particularly keyboardist Mark Kelly)–seemed to mimic Genesis at every turn. Script For A Jester’s Tear, the band’s debut album, as well as the EPs and singles Market Square Heroes (especially the track “Grendel”), He Knows, You Know/Charting The Single and Garden Party/Margaret all instantly conjured the same moods and feelings of classic Genesis that I couldn’t help but fall in love with the band. These feelings lasted as long as Fish remained the lead singer. But feelings changed drastically once he left…

Granted, when Steve Hogarth joined the band to replace Fish, I was skeptical. Once I heard the album Seasons End I realized that the old Genesis sound was gone forever, yet in its place was a new sound of Marillion-Prog, one that was certainly enjoyable for the most part. This feeling lasted for another album or two.

But then, changes crept into the band, ones I did not appreciate. The band, for some reason, abandoned their style in favor of what I call “ambient rock,” watered-down, soft and moody, washed-out material that no longer held any excitement for me, that seemed nothing but yawn-worthy. I continued to purchase their albums through the years hoping that somehow they would return to the traditional Prog-Rock fold, but I have been left sorely disappointed and finally, after suffering through Marbles (which gained glorious praise, to my utter confusion) I gave up all hope. Nothing since the album Afraid Of Sunlight (after the horribly boring Brave) has held my interest more than a minute or two, so I have stopped buying any new Marillion material. A shame, since I truly held this band in such high esteem when they first appeared, and to me, the current band is just a mere shadow of its former self.

Like I thought about Genesis when Peter Gabriel left and the band dramatically altered their style, I feel Marillion should have changed their name instead of ruining the band’s reputation.

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