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Marillion - Made Again CD (album) cover





3.45 | 150 ratings

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3 stars the closing of a chapter...

...once more. In many ways, for Marillion's Era with Steve Hogarth, "Made again" is what "La Gazza Ladra - the thieving Magpie" was for Marillion with Fish - only that, in this case, there was no change of line-up in sight. ( Thank god ). It's not only featuring one of their best loved albums live in its entirety ( Here it is "Brave", on "La Gazza..." it was "Misplaced Childhood" ) together with another disc comprising highlights from the other albums ( plus "Kayleigh" and "Lavender" ), supposed to be a "big one" it's also the closing of a chapter - goodbye major-company, hello indie... looking back, resuming what values had been achieved and from that point on - opening a new one, going into new directions. And it's another live-album belonging to that "duty" category, it's not one that apparently had screamed for its release - while it sure aimed at satisfying three parties, the record company, the devoted fans ( who surely had waited long enough for a live-album with Mr. H ) and all the people who did not know what this band was about by then, but were willing to give 'em a try. It does have a nice packaging, a little poster and some excerpts of H's tour-diary, but most of all it's got a lot of music on it.

Good music. Played and recorded at good concerts. Some of the stuff is really fabulous and points at how good a live-album this could have been. Maybe all of the stuff... ( apart from "Kayleigh", which I still don't like when Hogie is singing it, "Lavender" is alright, and apart from the beginning of "Brave" with "Living in the big lie", a piece that was very hard to handle in concert and sometimes did not make it the impressive start that it was as on the studio-album, here they failed, but on the "Alone again in the Lap of Luxury"-Maxi the band had shown that they could do it justice ! ) fabulous, but the problem with "Made again" is... one can't really hear it. The final mix of the album is neither pleasing the performance of the musicians nor the atmosphere of the concerts - it sounds dull and lacks dynamics. I really don't know why. It's a mystery. Was it Chris "Privet" Hedge ? Did the mastering-process destroy what elseway would really have offered a big time ?

All I know is that there's quite a lot of recordings of those tours that sound far better. And though this failure can't completely destroy the pleasure of 90% of the great music and musicianship you can find here, it still simply sucks and leads to the omission of a whole star. I really like the way the band linked the two oldies together with "AOS", I love the versions of "Waiting to happen" and "Splintering Heart" ( I chose to remaster both of them by myself with my Magix-equipment and though I'm no sound-engineer at all I think that I got it right with "Splintering heart", but believe me, it was a lot of work and I still think "Waiting to happen" could use some more ), I think that the band played fabulous on several "Brave"-Tracks ( especially the title-track ), and though "King" was still far from being that rousing, energetic fab-track that it became on "Anorak in the UK" it's still better than on AOS. These are the little things that make me deny a lower rating. Nonetheless, if it was "Privet" Hedge's crime then he somehow disappeared from future-releases of this band for the right reasons. I don't remember the concert I've been to in 1994 sounding half as dull. Whoever is responsible for the final mix here - one star, no more. The music gets 4. The resulting product gets a bare 3.

It was and is a disappointment, and we - the "Hogie-era-fans" - had not got our "Real to reel" yet. Well, in the years to come we got a flood of live-recordings, though ( perhaps a little too much ? I still only have retail-releases and want to built up a DVD-collection soon... so do not wonder about my reviews being limited to retail-CDs by now ). But by then... we still had to wait. And right now - there's no need to spend your money on "Made again" anymore. It's not essential. The chapter was closed and hopefully it fulfilled its duty back then. Go buy "Anorak in the UK" if you want a great live-album by Marillion with Hogie... and, to close my review with another hint at "La Gazza...": As an introduction to this band, I'd rather recommend "The best of both worlds" !!!

rupert | 3/5 |


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