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Fish Acoustic Session album cover
3.27 | 54 ratings | 5 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lucky (4:27)
2. Internal Exile (4:33)
3. Kayleigh (4:16)
4. Fortunes Of War (6:11)
5. Dear Friend (3:46)
6. Sugar Mice (5:47)
7. Somebody Special (4:53)
8. Jumpsuit City (4:48)
9. Lady Let it Lie (5:24)

Total Time: 44:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Fish / vocals
- Robin Boult & Frank Usher / guitars
- David Paton / bass
- Dave Stewart / percussion
- Robin Boult & David Paton / backing vocals

Releases information

Recorded Live at The Funny Farm Recording Studio

CD Dick Bros. Record Co. DDick6CD (1994)
CD IRS Records 988144 (1994)

CD Renaissance Records RMED00136 (1996)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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FISH Acoustic Session ratings distribution

(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

FISH Acoustic Session reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars This "Acoustic Sessions" album was recorded "Live" at the Funny Farm (in 94) and is effectively called "The Dick Bros Record Company".

It is a promotional offering, while the full blown acoustic album consists of a two CD set which is comprised of this one as well as a second part which was recorded in Krakow (October 95). The latter concert has been released under the form of dual DVD + CD (in.2005). As such, the double CD set will be issued in a remastered version in 2000.

This is for the history, but what do we get in here ? Well, there is not much to write home about this acoustic set. Of course, Fish is a great vocalist, but the minimalist environment of this album (although he I surrounded by his comrades) is not the one I like the most.

There are three songs coming out "Internal Exile", four from his new album (at the time) "Suits" and two genuine "Marillion" ones : Kayleigh and Sugar Mice. Nothing from his great debut album is featured, but since none of these acoustic versions do speak to me, there is no harm.

Two stars. For curious only.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Fish is surely able to fit the stage with his vocals even with only acoustic instruments. Let's add the former Camel David Paton at the bass, that's effectively the instrument which gives a bit of deepness to the sound and the "right" Dave Stewart wasted at the percussions and the result can't be too bad.

It's a pity that Stewart is limited by the acoustic environment and can't play like in Arzachel, but the sons are well arranged and in some cases are quite better than the originals, in particular "Fortunes Of War" is one of them.

The bad is that the sequence of songs is quite "randomic" so that the album hasn't continuity. There's no crowd and this together with the acoustic thing make it sound like a collection of studio rehearsals, more a documentary than an album.

Of course some song are more reliable for this kind of arrangement and other less. A good one is Dear Friend, that has a country-folk mood, or Sugarmice, but songs like "Somebody Special" are not ideal.

In the end it's an album that's nice to hear as relaxing background. It's good in this sense, but nothing more than this. 3 stars are rounded up.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Recorded "live in the studio" at Fish's own Funny Farm Recording Studio, Acoustic Session offers exactly what it suggests - Fish accompanied by acoustic guitar, base, and drums (played by Dave Stewart - that's the Scottish session drummer, not the Canterbury scene keyboardist!) and without the shimmering keyboards and soaring electric guitar we're more used to hearing accompany his work.

In terms of presentation, this product shows every sign of having been put together in a hurry - a little quickie to act as a treat for the fan club and perhaps a bit of extra product for the nascent Dick Bros. Record Company. Still, the thinking behind this is sound. Commercially speaking, the MTV Unplugged series was riding high at around this time, reviving an interest in acoustic reinterpretations of rock music, and artistically speaking, Fish's material lends itself to the treatment better than you might expect.

Other artists originating in the 1980s neo-prog boom Fish helped spearhead have tried their hand at this sort of thing, of course - Marillion had Unplugged At the Walls, Less Is More, and Live At Cadogan Hall, and Pendragon have also turned their hand to this. Fish did it before any of them, however, and it turns out his songs are ripe for the treatment. It certainly helps that there's a strong streak of the protest song in material like Lucky or Internal Exile, and that traces of folk music had been weaving their way into Fish's recent albums which could be further teased out here.

It's notable that the balance here is skewed very much towards Fish's solo material - of the 9 songs here only 2 are Marillion-era picks, Kayleigh and Sugar Mice, and in this context the solo material holds up well. Sugar Mice translates quite nicely into this format in its early stretches; conversely, the rearrangements and alterations necessary to make Kayleigh or the latter parts of Sugar Mice work in the absence of a Steve Rothery-esque guitar solo or the magic of Mark Kelly's keyboards are a bit more extensive, but it works a treat. (Neither song were tackled by Marillion on any of their various acoustic projects to see release, probably because those came well into the period when Marillion would habitually not revisit the Fish era at all on stage or in studio except once in a blue moon.)

Is this one for the prog snobs who'd prefer artists to err towards ever-increasing complexity in their musical ambitions? No, clearly not. But Fish has never really pandered to that crowd anyway - not in his solo career, not in Marillion. But in terms of really teasing out new charms in Fish's material, Acoustic Session is rather lovely.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Acoustically arranged good old Fish If somebody wants to go out on a street and play Fish songs with a bunch of friends (4 recommended), but lacks the equipment (e.g. effect-packed Fender Stratocasters, or a mellotron) - this CD is exactly what he needs. Fish goes acoustic, alive and kickin ... (read more)

Report this review (#166065) | Posted by Mike_Zed | Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is Fish. In the turmoil of screaming guitars, this is a new view of unplugged sessions. The man has a voice...the voice is a dream. The music is just backgroundfilling. Maybe this is a little harsh to the musicians, but the name Fish is on the cover, and he is the man on the foreground. I ... (read more)

Report this review (#58433) | Posted by Hét LICHAAM | Monday, November 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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