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Fish Field Of Crows album cover
3.58 | 195 ratings | 17 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Field (8:42)
2. Moving Targets (5:46)
3. The Rookie (5:35)
4. Zoo Class (5:23)
5. The Lost Plot (5:10)
6. Old Crow (5:20)
7. Numbers (5:36)
8. Exit Wound (5:55)
9. Innocent Party (7:37)
10. Shot The Craw (6:00)
11. Scattering Crows (Still Time) (5:05)

Total Time: 66:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Derek Dick "Fish" / lead vocals

- Bruce Watson / guitars, e-bow
- Frank Usher / electric & slide guitars
- Tony Turrell / keyboards
- Irvin Duguid / clavinet (6)
- Richard Sidwell / trumpet & flugelhorn (1,4,6,8,10)
- Steve Hamilton / saxophone (1,4,6,8,10)
- Steve Vantsis / bass
- Mark Brzezicki / drums, percussion
- Dave Haswell / percussion
- Danny Gillan / backing vocals (1,2,3,4,6,11)
- Yatta / "crowd" vocal (1)
- Lars K. Lande / "crowd" vocal (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Mark Wilkinson

CD Chocolate Frog Records ‎- CFVP017CD (2003, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FISH Field Of Crows ratings distribution

(195 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FISH Field Of Crows reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Not really a progressive album in any real sense of the word, but a really strong rock album with progressive tendencies is what we have here. Fish has gone through many different phases in his career, beginning with his early days as the front man for seminal Neo Prog group Marillion, and then breaking away in 1988 to pursue a career of his own, and continuing with his solo works in the 90's, which stray from the Marillion sound in favor of a harder, more guitar based sound. However, despite this change of sound, Fish maintains his cool and offers a great album filled with biting social commentary and exceedingly strong vocal and musical melodies. This musicians on this album are newcomers with Fish, with the exception of Frank Usher (who has been essentially on all Fish albums) and Steve Vantiss, who was on Fellini Days (Fish's previous solo effort).

The Field is easily the strongest track on the album, with sensitive and imaginitive lyrics, as well as a sensational build-up of instruments from each of the musicians that help Fish create a sense of mystery and magic. The Celtic feeling is strong on this track, with Fish creating more music that gives nods to his homeland of Scotland. Moving Targets is the first of two songs relating to 9/11, and the voice that is so identifiable with Fish returns once again and really steals the show. Not saying that the music is bad, the band really grooves on this song and takes the feeling to a whole other dimension of sonic power. The Rookie and Zoo Class are similar tracks in my mind. Both have similar sounding guitar lines and beats, but the topics at hand in each of these songs are completely different. Frank Usher really shines on these tracks. The rest of the album is a mix of strong guitar sensibilities, some great keyboard works from Tony Turrell and more sniping social commentary from Fish, on top of that, Fish sounds great on each and every one of these tracks.

Overall, this is a very strong work from Fish. It may not be progressive, but it certainly is entertaining hard rock with some overly progressive tendencies in moments. If you like Fish, then this is a must have. If you are a Marillion fan expecting something similar to the old Fish era works, then you'll be left with an album that has no connections with that time. It's a good album, but not near Fish's best. 3.5/5.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An excellent easy listening ...!

In terms of song quality distribution, this album is quite OK as there is no such thing as lousy track throughout this solo album by ex Marillion lead vocalist. The problem with this is that there is no one single masterpiece track coming out from this album because all are distributed evenly from start to end. In addition to this, this album is basically Fish work on almost purely pop music scene right from first to end of the track. Having said so, there is basically no prerequisite on musical taste that the listeners must have had prior to listening to this album as far as they like music. From this basis, then the review should revolve around how catchy the melody line instead of the composition manages transitions from one style to another. In typical pop music, there is basically a single straight forward structure of Intro-A-chorus-A-chorus-A .. etc. As simple as that. Well .. the statement that I made before this phrase only applicable when I spun for the first two spins. After that, it grew on me ..

The opening track "The Field" (8:42) proves to be a simple straight forward track in mellow style with low register notes of vocal line. The melody line is quite good and Fish vocal quality is clear and transparent. He sings in relax way with Frank Usher's guitar provides a howling sound that is rare in typical pop music. The flow of the music is quite nice which brings this song is enjoyable by most ears, I believe. The only boring part for me is the repetitive parts at the end of the song, those with brass section. If this is not made that long, I think this song would not make you bored with it.

"Moving Targets" (5:46) is richer in textures through the soft guitar fills but it also has steady beats through dynamic drum work. I believe the mixing of drums part in this track has been wonderfully crafted. The interlude part of this song is interesting, it gives different flavor than any other pop songs, I believe. The howling guitar part at the end part of the song is also wonderful. The drumwork enriches the end part nicely, it reminds me to Phil Collins' solo : "Lorenzo" where the percussion is dynamic.

"The Rookie" (5:35) is a riff-based music using guitar as riffs maker augmented by steady drum work as beat keepers. The keyboard /organ provides nice punchlines while Fish is singing. The song is as upbeat as the second track. The interlude part which comprises an intertwining work of guitar and keyboard tah starts at approx min 1:45 is really stunning and very uplifting. This song is much attractive than the previous two tracks, according to my personal taste.

"Zoo Class" (5:23) starts with Frank Usher guitar fills in ambient nuance followed by the work of brass section which in a way reminds me to the intro part of Chicago Transit Authority "I Am A Man" song. When Fish voice enters, it's basically different kind of music with excellent groove plus stunning guitar fills that enrich the textures of the music. As this song moves like a funky music with accentuation of brass section, you can easily find it similar with regular R&B songs. The only difference is the guitar style of Frank Usher.

"The Lost Plot" (5:10) starts high with piano as melody line followed wonderfully by Fish powerful voice. As far as melody, this can be considered better than any previous tracks' melody. The flow is also excellent especially when keyboard and piano provide the sounds that enrich the song's textures, augmented by electric guitar work at background. The music moves beautifully in crescendo letting guitar solo to enter nicely. I like the guitar solo that starts at approx 3:05 onwards. It's really cool.

"Old Crow" (5:20) uses sampling of keyboard as beat keeper combined nicely with guitar as rhythm. Fish vocal enters in energetic way. I almost get bored with the brass section but luckily Fish does not do it too much with this track, so I can still bear with it. The guitar solo that makes this song interesting.

"Numbers" (5:36) starts nicely with guitar riffs (without any other instrument) followed by percussion and Fish voice that follows. The bass guitar is used to produce a rhythmic part at background. The music moves in a bit rockin' style with good combination of guitar and drumworks.

"Exit Wound" (5:55) starts nicely with electric guitar fills that accompany Fish singing in good melody, powerful low register notes. The bass guitar gives its lines to accentuate the song. The song moves wonderfully with really a catchy melody, excellent textures through howling guitar work and sax work. I do enjoy this track and it has become my favorite as well. As far as melody concern, this is the best one from this album. It's very enjoyable and easy listening. I am impressed with how great the audio quality especially this track.

"Innocent Party" (7:37) is an ambient rock music at the intro part with excellent intro followed by accentuated Fish singing style. The drumwork makes this intro part is dynamic even though the guitar is only producing a repetitive riff. The music then flows into its main body with steady rhythm section. The interlude part in the middle of the track gives a chance for guitar to perform solo.

"Shot The Craw" (6:00) seems like continuing the riffs of previous track "Innocent Party" and the music moves in flat style. The song moves into uplifting mood at the end of the track. "Scattering Crows" (Still Time) (5:05) is a nice concluding track with piano as main rhythms section backed with sampling sound at the back. It's another nice track with good melody. It's a very good concluding track in terms of Fish singing style as well as the music that accompanies him. It's really cool and relaxing. Bravo Fish!

Overall, oh yeah .. this is an excellent album by Fish even though the prog elements are not that intense throughout the album. This album is good for those who had been expecting Fish to come up with an album where the songs that build the album are all good and, in fact, excellent. This album serves the purpose. I would be happy to recommend those who have not known Fish before with this excellent easy listening music by Fish. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I'm afraid that I won't be as laudatory as my fellow reviewers about this release; not that this album is bad but I can't find lots of highlights in here. And IMO, few highlights can hardly mean a brilliant album.

The opener starts OK, building up nicely crescendo, but as soon as the brass make their appearance (for the last two minutes), they kind of ruin the good mood. It finishes in some sort of world music tune which is quite a deception.

Most songs have a simple approach and the prog feeling that could be noticed in "Raingods" has completely disappeared. Harder sounds and average melodies are too many on this work: "The Rookie", "Old Crow" (with painful brass again and a shouting Fish), "Numbers" (which only shines during a short guitar break).

Again, the brass section during the groovy "Zoo Class" is rather invading. And the song doesn't move me at all. Repetitive and monotonous. In one word: boring.

On the plus side, "Moving Targets" probably holds the strongest lyrics of the whole album and "The Last Plot" is my preferred track. At last! Fish is displaying his melodic voice for a delicate song. Brilliant piano, excellent backing bands and convincing vocals. In one word: great. Fish as I used to like, but not only him. The second part which is greatly covered with a fantastic and inspired guitar solo is surely one of the (few) passionate instants of this long album. But we are already half way through.

The soft and gentle "Exit Wounds" also comes as a good surprise. It is another pleasant ballad which allows Fish to make use of his immense vocal talent and finally be so poignant. Some might call it mellow, but at least I get some emotion out of it. Thanks man. Even the final sax solo is enjoyable!

"Innocent Party" has a lot to share with some genuine "Marillion" songs ("Fugazi" period during which their sound was also on the harder edge). But it is better balanced than the other hard-rock songs from Crow. Fish is more signing than shouting and the instruments are also smoother and are melting pretty well with the vocals. Another good track.

There is nothing to do. I prefer the ambient, sweeter tracks from this album than the louder ones. In this respect, "Shot The Crow" also offers this subtle Fish style that we all love. Intimate and friendly. A pleasant "crow" song.

The closing number is a bit sad but so emotional. A great love song of a lost lover. I even wonder if it is not autobiographical.An interesting closing number indeed.

At the end of the day, this is another good Fish album which I rate with three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This was Fish's ninth studio album released in 2004. Again like most of his albums there are some songs I like and some I can't get into, so to me this is very inconsistant.

"The Field" sounds good early when the atmosphere rolls in. Reserved vocals follow then drums before 3 minutes as it builds. At over 8 1/2 minutes I feel this song over-stays it's welcome. "Moving Targets" has some good prominant bottom end to it as the vocals sing over top. Organ comes and goes in this fairly catchy tune. "The Rookie" is one I can't get into but the organ and rhythm section is good. "Zoo Class" opens with guitar as a full sound kicks in quickly, vocals too. Horns in this one as well. While this is catchy i'm not a fan.

"The Lost Plot" is spacey with lots of keyboards as vocals join in. Some nice guitar too. "Old Crow" is different. It's a fun with an almost hoe-down vibe. "Numbers" is a pretty good guitar driven tune. "Exit Wound" is really a bluesy ballad of sorts. "Innocent Party" builds quickly as minor guitar riffs help out. Vocals before a minute. Some good guitar 4 minutes in as well. "Shot The Craw" is ballad-like and so is the closer "Scattering Crows". It ends with birds singing until a murder of crows over-whelms them.

While i'm giving this 3 stars it's a tough one to actually recommend.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Field of Crows is a catchy collection of enjoyably prog-tinged rock songs from Fish, with all the usual emotional and social commentary issues he loves to include in his lyrics present and correct. This is, of course, precisely the sort of thing Fish has regularly attempted to create - it's what Vigil In a Wilderness of Mirrors was meant to be, for instance - but he's never succeeded to quite this extent before. The sidestep back to a more full-blooded prog direction for the albums from Sunsets on Empire to Fellini Days seems to have helped the songwriting process here - plus, once again Fish seems to have a good songwriting partner in the form of Bruce Watson. Either way, it's the most successful album of the more poppier side of Fish's sound by far, and it's another great album in the streak of successes that began with Sunsets.

Latest members reviews

3 stars One Fish respectable solo work. A set of songs, generally well structured. Also some disposable; Zoo Class and Old Crow (Suite Home Alabama II) mainly. Welcome the participation of Mark Brzezicki in drums (Big Country), who had participated in Vigil. . . and Bruce Watson in guitar. The Lost ... (read more)

Report this review (#985229) | Posted by sinslice | Monday, June 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a bit hit and miss for me, but for most of it i cant help but think 'what is this guy thinking? he was once in Marillion' at times it can be quite random, fair enough the first 2 songs came on and i thought 'hmm, its Fish trying to be a neo Pink Floyd' then i heard the songs that followed ... (read more)

Report this review (#289294) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Monday, July 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A solid effort from Fish but as time has passed my enthusiasm for this album has declined. Compared to '13th Star' or 'Sunsets on Empire' , the decent collection of songs on offer here do sound a little lacking in vitality. In part this is probably due to functional production which, although ... (read more)

Report this review (#139733) | Posted by oldcrow | Saturday, September 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars When I first listened to that album a year ago I found it uninspired and boring. But 'dam was I wrong ! The problem with Fish for me and maybe for many people is objectivity. How to be objective when it's about the ex singer of Marillion. How to forgive him to have left this extraordinary band ... (read more)

Report this review (#46309) | Posted by | Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The quality is decreased from Vigil, but Fish continues to make far better albums than Hogarth-era Marillion. Most of the songs are at least above average, but there is one only one that really sticks out: Moving Targets. By far the best song on the album, and one of the best Fish has done in his ... (read more)

Report this review (#29194) | Posted by | Friday, April 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The album is inspired by the paintings of Gogh. Gogh was an impressionist with the sad soul searching for some light in his life. The album is also sad, but not very much, it is sometimes jolly too, but not very much. Ballads are not so slow and soft, you feel a certain heavy insistence in dep ... (read more)

Report this review (#29193) | Posted by | Monday, April 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Fish's finest solo album. This almost feels like it should have followed Vigil, but I think betters it. The production is so much better than the egg-shell sound on Fellini Days, with much more depth.The addition of brass sections help give it that air of big production without being too 'in ... (read more)

Report this review (#29192) | Posted by | Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After Fellini Day's I had almost given up on Fish, but Field of Crows completely redeems him in my eyes. This album is as good as his debut album (Vigil..). The music is of high standard, thorougly worked out. Though there are not much distinctive solo's, there is room for the musicians to dev ... (read more)

Report this review (#29190) | Posted by tuxon | Friday, October 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have to say that after my disappointment with Fellini Days, I wasn't expecting much. But boy, I was wrong! This is Fish back in high style, with an trully excellent album. The band is great, Fish's very inspired and his voice is in good shape. I specially loved the ballads (Exit Wound, Shot ... (read more)

Report this review (#29189) | Posted by | Saturday, June 26, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Times change. It was only a few years ago when people would look forward to the release of a new Fish album. But nowadays, this release seems just like one of many others. And it's not because of the fans or the music lovers, but because of the artist and the record company. Over kill is a ... (read more)

Report this review (#29187) | Posted by | Tuesday, May 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The best album fish has ever wrote!!! Songs like Scattering Crows, Innocent Party, Shot the Craw, Moving Targets, The Lost Plot are very emotional and are wonderfully rendered by this incredible artist. A MASTERPIECE ... (read more)

Report this review (#29186) | Posted by raffaello | Tuesday, May 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Better than the rather cheesy Fellini album, this is still not the Fish I used to love in 1987, although the voclas are much better and there are some standout tracks that are clearly worth mentioning like proggy Movin Targets. The opener is a weak song without any tension or musical development. In ... (read more)

Report this review (#29183) | Posted by Phoneteus | Monday, April 5, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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