Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Marillion - Sugar Mice CD (album) cover




From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars Yet another single I'm the first one to review. 'Sugar Mice' is a strong ballad from Clutching At Straws, the last Marillion album with Fish. If that album (ie. the alcohol-loving character of Mr. Torch) is more or less autobiographical, this song is so in the most heartfelt way. The character's marriage is crumbled and he sulks in bars, full of self pity. "The toughest thing I ever did was talk to the kids on the phone. When I heard them asking questions I knew that you were all alone." In addition to the emotional level, Fish's lyrics capture wonderfully the surroundings, the hotel bar where the jukebox in the corner plays Sinatra. This is among those songs by a prog band that definitely must not be evaluated by their progness or the lack of it. It may be a bit syrupy - up to its title! - but it's a great song in its own rights. It actually comes closer to Entertainment Music (elegant crooners such as Sinatra or Tony Bennett) than Prog- Rock, even with that electric guitar solo. And that's no sin, is it?

The single contains an extended version (not very necessary) and a radio edit. 'Tux On' is a dark-toned song that appeared also in the compilation B'Sides Themselves (1988). I'd count it among the finest non-album tracks of Marillion. Operating mostly in a quiet, nearly mysterious understatement where the delicate details such as hi-hats come up front, it builds its suppressed tension towards the end. Maybe it could have evolved in a more powerful/proggy way than basically repeating the refrain over and over.The story of a young lad having his first guitar etc. is not quite clear to me; what is the event where he had a tuxedo on and why that detail was so relevant? Anyway, an interesting little track, which simply would have been out of place on an album, like all good B-side songs, and that's precisely their charm.

Report this review (#704076)
Posted Monday, April 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Sugar Mice" is a single release by UK progressive rock act Marillion. The single was released through EMI Records in July 1987. It´s the second single released to promote the release of Marillion´s fourth full-length studio album "Clutching at Straws" from June 1987. It was released in multible formats from a 7" vinyl single version, to a 12" vinyl EP version (picture discs of both versions also exist), plus a 5" CD single version. The regular 7" vinyl single features "Sugar Mice" (album version) as the A-side track and the B-side track "Tux on", while some of the other versions feature a radio edit version and/or an extended version of "Sugar Mice".

"Sugar Mice" is one of the highlights of "Clutching at Straws" (1987), as it´s an incredibly well composed track featuring a signature guitar motif from Steve Rothery and an engaging emotive vocal performance by Fish singing melancholic and moving lyrics about an unemployed man who feels like he has let his family down and drinks to ease his sorrows and hide his shame. "Tux on" is a great track too, which at this time was exclusive to this release. It was later included on the "B'Sides Themselves" compilation from January 1988. The lyrics for "Tux on" are about a rock star who becomes more and more arrogant and egocentric the more famous he gets and ends up doing drugs. So upon conclusion "Sugar Mice" is a strong single release from Marillion featuring to great quality tracks and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#2840567)
Posted Saturday, September 17, 2022 | Review Permalink

MARILLION Sugar Mice ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of MARILLION Sugar Mice

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.