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The Prognaut
3 stars With over 72 minutes of music, this is in my very own appreciation, the best FISH compilation album. From the most significant song contained in the band's first LP, "Script for a Jester's Tear"; to the very last one representing FISH's farewell from MARILLION with studio album "Clutching at Straws", "Sugar Mice"; this is a transitional 2 CD set that certainly uncovers way too many feelings. Most of them properly condensed in Disc One.

I find this album as challenging as dangerous. This is the razor's edge for MARILLION fans. In one corner, you have Edinburgh's beloved singer and in the other, well, the guy who tried to fill his shoes. It's not that I am ruthlessly cynical about this forever confrontation, but I am pretty much sure there's a deepest reason of this "both sides of the story" compilation album. Facing both MARILLION leading singers respectively, was a curious experiment. And it worked out perfectly for me. There's no more air to be cleared, FISH is the best.

Nonetheless, I cannot give this album more than three stars because this a collectible item for fans only. Maybe 3 and a half because of its beautiful track listing order, the selfless selection of the songs destined to be here and the arrangements made specially to "Market Square Heroes" and "Forgotten Sons". Unfortunately, you can't have one disc without the other one because of the "2 CD Set" feature (and that would undermine the original intention of the "Both of Worlds" experience, right?), but that's a fair price to pay for this keeper entirely dedicated to FISH. Enjoy.

Now, moving on to Disc Two. I wanna be relentless and fair about this one, but really, there's nothing much to be said regarding the HOGARTH experience on a 2 CD compilation album. First of all, it is useless, almost inhumane; to include his intermittent career on a set that includes a CD from a prominent lead singer like Derek DICK and try to make a face-off between these two. So what was the point? We all know that already.

The seven years of HOGARTH with the band represented in this album, turned out to be four in the end. All the songs from Disc Two were unarguably taken from "Seasons End", "Holidays in Eden", "Brave" and "Afraid of Sunlight", and apart from those works there's nothing much to add up to the track list of this compilation album. In between we can see there are way too many live recordings from Glasgow to Caracas, a singles collection album and a MARILLION music collection recording.

It is completely unnecessary for me to rate this album, but there's one thing I actually enjoyed about it: the booklet. I just loved the way it was put together, the images and photos, and the most important thing, the division to tell FISH era from HOGARTH era (you can even select which front cover to display!). Marvelous! I recommend all you fans and collectors to get this album just under this precise point of view and directions, and mostly keeping in mind this is only an item for completionists. Please, do not expect anything else from this 2 CD set album and try to enjoy this surprising MARILLION experience. Like I said, can't have one without the other.

Report this review (#12354)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
Tristan Mulders
3 stars Marillion - The Best of both Worlds

As I already mentioned in other reviews concerning Marillion compilation albums, this is the best one available.

With over two hours of music, comprising two discs, this is the most representative overview of Marillion's back catalogue available. It is not a simple collection of singles, but a genuine 'Best of' album with the best songs, also regarding songwriting. Of course the obvious 'hit'singles are included, but they do not represent the band here. Marillion are shown as a varied and original band that incorporated many musical styles into their music.

The songs are taken from all studio releases up to and including "Afraid of Sunlight," with both musical era's split upon 2 CDs: 1982-1988 (The Fish Years) on disc 1 and 1989-1995 (Steve Hogarth) on the second disc.

The album comes with great artwork, including a double front cover. Thereby meaning that there are two front covers, one for the Fish era and one for the Hogarth stuff. You simply turn the booklet around and you change the cover. I prefer the Fish cover for its beauty, but always have the Hogarth cover up front, weird eh??! The booklet itself contains little notes about the songs included and also a lot of photographs that were taken over the years.

If you are unfamiliar with Marillion, this is the best starting point!

Report this review (#80215)
Posted Saturday, June 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars A compilation is a strange animal. I believe they are NOT for fans - but for people to get an instant Marillion overview. "The Best of Both Worlds" is an excellent introduction the music of Marillion, if like me all you had heard was the hits, like "Kayleigh".

Disc One covers the 'Fish Period" up till 1989. The early stuff is very well represented, and is obviously excellent right up to the "Clutching at Straws", and it's nice to hear all of "Script for a Jesters Tear" and "Garden Party". "Warm Wet Circles" is also here with it's sequel, as well as all the hits we all know.

The second disc, from the era when Marillion were no longer played on radio, or no longer represented by a giant scotsman wearing make-up, was a great revelation for me. Great songs, otherwise unheard, are dotted all over the place, and in so many different styles. Stadium Rock ("Hooks In You"), thoughtful Ballads ("Beautiful" & "No One Can") and epics ("The Great Escape") surround sublime moments like the balls-out prog of "King" or (in this listeners opinion) the beautiful "Afraid of Sunlight", and I defy anybody to listen to "Made Again" and not feel a little bit better about life. If you already own the albums, or have a full size picture of Fish on your bedroom door (and, with all due respect to Mr. Dick, I fear for your sanity if you do), then you probably wouldn't be interested in this. However, if you just want find out if Marillion might be your thing, then this is a superb place to start.

One thing, however. What the hell is "Cannibal Surf Babe" all about?

Report this review (#81765)
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Marillion is the band that has been very special to me. As I followed through the band since its debut album "Script For A Jester's Tear" and then I stopped some years after the first vocalist Fish left the band in 1988 after releasing four great studio albums and one EP. For those of you who do not know the band, this might be a good introduction to the bad as it contains best songs of both eras: Fish era on Disc One and Hogarth era on Disc Two. Whenever possible I still recommend you to purchase the band's early albums first, starting with "Script For A Jester's Tear" (1983) and move forward with its follow-ups: "Fugazi" (1984), "Misplaced Childhood" (1985) and "Clutching at Straws" (1987). There are advantages to do so. First, you would have a complete picture of the band in historical manner. The remastered edition with two disc format would be better because you would get the band's EP "Market Square Heroes" prior to its debut album. Second, you would get a sense of how the band's music was in the early formation until it reached commercial success with hit single "Kayleigh" and "Lavender" from "Misplaced Childhood" album. Doing this way is worth investing, I think.

But in case you think that's too expensive, OK then, you can start with this album even though you might not get the true nuance of the band's history. This compilation serves sufficient in presenting these two worlds. On Disc One you get great tracks even though you miss the song position in its entire album and the impact would be different. For example is "Kayleigh" where you don't get the nice song that preceding it "Pseudo Silk Kimono" that has become a unity, I think. On Disc Two you miss also similar impact especially when you listen to "The Great Escape" which is part of the whole successful concept album "Brave".

Overall, I consider this box set as a good one even though it contains some great tracks like "Forgotten Sons" (my truly favorite Marillion song) which is taken from "Script For A Jester's Tear" album. From here onwards, you might choose which "world" satisfies your need and buy each individual album. Why? Marillion is not the kind of bands that suitable to make "The Best of" kind of compilation. Purchase of individual album is recommended. I have reviewed all Marillion albums here at this site that might be useful as a purchasing guide or making priority. Keep on proggin' ..!

"Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong."

Report this review (#99487)
Posted Sunday, November 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is another match between the two bands so far. The genuine Marillion and the Mark II one. Score of the first two was 4-2 ("Six of One, Half-Dozen of the Other") while "The EMI Singles Collection" (DVD released in 2002) ended on 3-1. Always in favour of the home team (the genuine band, of course). At least in my rating system.

I really wonder what's the point of putting these two teams in competition. One knows perfectly well who's going to win, right ?

Now, in this particular case, CD one probably features the best Marillion (the genuine one) compilation so far. Still, it is a bit of a pity that several songs were already featured on "Six Of One..." like "Kayleigh", "Lavender", "Garden Party", "Assassing" "Incommunicado", and "Warm Wet Circles". Which means that the whole bunch of songs released on the previous compilation are featured here as well (although some of them in another version, but still...).

The other six songs are of course enormous (especially the ones of their debut album : "Script", "Forgotten Sons" and "He Knows You Know"). "Clutching..." is well represented as well with four very good titles.

Now, disc II. Well, same problem as for disc one, meaning that each of the song featured on "Half-Dozen of the Other" are featured here as well. Again, some of them in a different (and shorter format). This is absolutely disgusting for the ones who purchased this previous compilation.

Four songs from each of this band's album (only three for "Afraid of Sunlight"). The most commercial ones (which sounds normal for a compilation). But I am not sure that remixes, radio edits and single versions were the best options to select.

This match ends on the score of 4 - 2. I doubt there once be a draw; unlike in "The Battle Of Epping Forest".

I really feel that I have been fooled since I purchased both of these compilations (but at the time of purchase, I just bought blindly whatever had the Marillion TM on it - which is wrong of course).

Three stars.

Report this review (#131154)
Posted Wednesday, August 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The rating of this compilation depends on where you are within your Marillion collection. I am going to rate this a 4 star because I believe that it is an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

If you have from a few to none of the Marillion albums, then this is an excellent introductory album to both of the eras of Marillion's career, with disc 1 covering most of the best songs from the Fish era, and disc two covering the first three albums from the Steve Hogarth era. I haven't tracked down Afraid of Sunlight yet so this was the first that I had heard these songs from them. Since this covers both the Fish and H eras of the band this will give a listener new to the Marillion experience a good feel for how they sound with each singer, and after such a listen they can branch out to the albums of the era that they like best. Marillion is a band that has much in common with the band Genesis. The first disc with Fish singing vocals has a similar sound to Peter Gabriel era Genesis. Fish's voice has an uncanny Gabriel-esque sound. After Fish left the band, Steve Hogarth took over the vocals, and the "which era is better" debate began. Marillion has many fans that like both eras, but there are also the fans that are firmly entrenched in the "Fish is better" or "Hogarth is better" corners. I like both eras.

If you have most or all of the Marillion albums, then this truly is a 2 star for collectors/fans only. I believe that all of these songs have been released on other albums. There are some re-mixes and single or B-side edits on here, but nothing worth buying this album if you already have most or all of their albums.

Report this review (#144039)
Posted Friday, October 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars If you have not heard any Marillion then this CD is a great introduction to the two Marillion eras.

SIde One covers the Fish era with tracks selected from the first four studio albums. These are all great and I am sure new listeners will go back and explore these albums in further detail.

Side Two covers the Hogarth era but only his first three studio albums. Hogarth's voice is different to Fish and there are plenty of arguments of which era is better.

To me, Fish era Marillion covers similar ground explored by Gabriel Genesis and therefore lacks some originality. Hogarth's voice is a bit grating but he does add to the instrumentation. Overall I can't decide between the two and enjoy both worlds.

The Hogarth era (Side Two) also has a great song selection and after listening to "The Space" or "Afraid of Sunlight", I am sure the listener will go back for more.

This is 4 star material taken from 4 star albums. If you need an introduction then get this as a starter.

3.5 stars.

Those new to Marillion can also download a sampler album from their web page.

Report this review (#357979)
Posted Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Nice compilation!

We all know that both worlds were/are ruled by two frontmen, each one of them with a particular style regarding voice, lyrics, musical philosophy and behavior, so it is easy to recognize those Marillions, no matter if Fish or H are singing, I mean, the music is the main element finally. People like me who like Marillion, normally have a tendency for one era, it is almost impossible to love both equally, but it is possible to have love for both, hope you get me.

I like more the early Marillion, I feel much more identified with Fish-era, their songs, their customs and style; however, I must say my love for Hogarth's era has grown for the last two years, so for one who like Marillion, no matter the era, this compilation album might be great. There is not too much to say about it, it is simple, a two-CD album, one per era in chronological order, so in the first one you will find classic songs such as "Kayleigh", "Market Square Heroes" or "Sugar Mice", while in the second one tracks like "Cover my Eyes", "Easter" or "Afraid of Sunlight".

There are 29 songs and 2:30hours of pure Marillion, neo-prog shared in different ways, but with the same essence. Also, I would like to point out that if you are not a Marillion fan or connoissieur, this album may work for you. Well, when you know the band, then this is just another CD in your collection. My final grade will be 3 stars.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#991772)
Posted Thursday, July 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars There is an argument to be made whether or not this collection should even exist. Not to say that I feel it shouldn't but comparing both discs (hence both era's) is unavoidable.

I view both iterations of Marillion as I do Van Halen. There are enough elements in place that allowed the respective bands to retain their commercial appeal and technical reputation, not to mention their fan base. But make no mistake about it, they are two different bands. Ironically both bands have compilations with the same name. Because I view Marillion as two different bands, I found it difficult to review Best of Both Worlds as a whole. This set would have worked very well as two compilations released individually. I enjoyed the fish fronted disc 1 Immensely. Each track seems to meld seamlessly with the other. If I was not a Marillion fan and I was listening to this disc for the first time, I would be easily convinced that this was an original album and not a compilation. It's a fun set of tracks that spotlight the unique sound of Marillion's technical prowess and the storytelling talents of Fish.

Disc 2 was a different experience for me. I did enjoy the selection of tracks. Many of the songs are tracks that I enjoyed off their original albums that arguably are the best of the Hogarth era. There are others that I wish were included here, but any fan has their own preferences of course. The difference with the Hogarth era is that I find that Marillion mark 2 crafted a sound that feels more emotional. The track Afraid of Sunlight is an example of a song that has always had a profound emotional impact on me. I am glad it is included in this collection. While many songs during the fish era were fun and generally an easier listen relatively speaking, the Hogarth era was contemplative and on many occasions quite dark. This is not a knock-on Hogarth at all. it just illustrates the profound differences in both versions of this band and why a two-disc set compiled of two different bands can feel uneven. And unfortunately, it does . In spite of that, I have to recommend this set because it generally has great songs from both eras. Just remember you are buying two different albums at the same time. From that perspective, It's quite an enjoyable listen.

Report this review (#2586219)
Posted Sunday, August 15, 2021 | Review Permalink

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