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Marillion and Me

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Ghost Whistler View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 03 2016 at 04:20
(warning, long winded)

Many years ago I had joined a very (we never gigged) amateur band inspired by prog music. It's what really cemented my love of the genre. The two guys I met were very talented but our friendship didn't last and they chucked me out after 18 months. Woe is me. :D

Interestingly, the keyboard player was a relative of one of the guys in Marillion. For years (before and after) I had/have a love/hate relationship with that band. This was at the time of Holidays in Eden and he got an andvanced copy of that album prior to release.

It didn't impress me. Aside from Splintering Heart and the last couple of songs the rest, IMHO, is dirge. I have always struggled with Hogarth's voice as it sounds like he permanently sings with a cold.

The Fish years interested me more at the time, but even then Marillion always seemed close to the golden prog touch, but were never quite there. I've always admired their musicianship, Pete is a superb bassist and Ian is desperately underrated as a very subtle drummer, for example. Fish was never the best singer but they had heart. I never really got on with Misplaced CHildhood as it seemed er self indulgent and depressing. Clutching at Straws has some good tracks, once you remove the dirge like Sugar Mice and the self indulgent 'i'm a romantic poet with a drunk problem' lyric.

Season's End is an interesting album, but one of the things that put me off the HOgarth era, was their preference for really naff lyrical concepts. Holloway Girl? The Party? Ugh, sorry. A song about teenage drinking? Really? Not for me.

Sunset Town is a great track, Easter is cheesy but solid. After Me is nice, Hooks in You is crap, Uninvited Guest has promise. And so on.

So for years I've dabbled with their output post-Eden, but never really got drawn in. People say Brave is really good and I'm giving it a listen right now. It seems interesting. I tried Afraid of Sunlight, but struggled. They have moments of greatness but always seem to sink into mediocrity. The last album I listened to was (iirc) Marbles. I couldn't get on with much of it. It seemed bland. Fantastic PLace has a nice vibe, but the lyric again is awful "you can screw a man down till he turns to drinking". Hogarth Marillion has this propensity for this kind of naff lyric and, probably quite unfairly, it puts me off.

What think you, good people of the Archives? What am I mssing? Help me appreciate the boys from Canterbury. Do people here even like Marillion?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 04:28
I feel somewhat similarly regarding Hogarth's vocals and shutter to think that so many contemporary PROG bands (bands who label themselves as such) employ the same kind of singing. Then again, maybe the majority of prog fans enjoy them?
Btw I see you span Marbles but did you listen to the "bonus track" Ocean Cloud, which is easily the best thing they've ever done since Fish left? 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghost Whistler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 04:39
I don't recall which version of the album I listened to, it was pre spotify. I'm currently listening to them using Spotify (which I hate, but what are you going to do?)

I'm giving Brave a tentative thumbs up with a view to purchase as it's cheap and I've been buying a lot of prog (metal) recently). Somewhere in mya ttic I have cassettes of Clutching and Fugazi as well as Spirit on record (iirc). I have neither a record or cassette player. Funny old world. I think I have the BSides album as well, i liked Cinderalla Search, Freaks, and Charting the Single. Lady Nina was kinda silly and I never got into Grendel.

I nver liked Fish's solo work. He's not a great singer and he's also one of those solo vocalist types that needs a band to work (I'm looking at you Mr Jon Anderson).

One thing I've always admired about Marillion though is their fanbase who seem to have enabled them to continue and thrive. THat's really inspiring.

Somewhere I have a cassette with a few tracks record on 4 track I did with those guys I met. It's a bit presumptious to even call ourselves a band, but it was good times.

I think my problem with Hogarth era can be summed up as being low concept. I LOVE high concept music. THat's what i've always struggled with when people criticise prog: all they moan about is what I love about it. I want to hear about wizards dragons or robots, or interesting real world stuff (like Dark Side of the Moon). Songs about teenage kids drinking cider? No, just no.


Edited by Ghost Whistler - August 03 2016 at 04:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 04:50
'It's a bit presumptuous to even call ourselves a band' LOLClap
I think we all know that feeling.

Never got into Grendel? I love that tune - even with the 'not-quite-up-to-par-drumming' from monsieur Pointer and the abnormally shrieky vocals from the Fish.

I have a large collection of tapes that never really get played either...but maybe that could be rectified with a tape deck?LOL I say this a couple of times each year but I'm no closer now to getting one as I was 5 years ago.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Meltdowner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 04:54
^ I have three working tape decks but only one cassette LOL

About Marillion, did you try Script or Fugazi?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 05:10
Originally posted by Meltdowner Meltdowner wrote:

^ I have three working tape decks but only one cassette LOL


Sorta like having one pineapple ring to go with three plates.

“The Guide says there is an art to flying or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghost Whistler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 05:15
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

'It's a bit presumptuous to even call ourselves a band' LOLClap
I think we all know that feeling.

Never got into Grendel? I love that tune - even with the 'not-quite-up-to-par-drumming' from monsieur Pointer and the abnormally shrieky vocals from the Fish.

I have a large collection of tapes that never really get played either...but maybe that could be rectified with a tape deck?LOL I say this a couple of times each year but I'm no closer now to getting one as I was 5 years ago.

I thought they did better songs than Grendel, but then that's as it shoudl be since it was one of their very earlier efforts.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghost Whistler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 05:16


Script is a bt of a stiff effort (blame the drummer), but it's decent enough.

Fugazi is better, but i always skipped She Chameleon.

I think I'm more interested in getting to appreciate the Hogarth stuff.


Edited by Ghost Whistler - August 03 2016 at 05:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghost Whistler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 05:30
Originally posted by Ghost Whistler Ghost Whistler wrote:

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

'It's a bit presumptuous to even call ourselves a band' LOLClap
I think we all know that feeling.

Never got into Grendel? I love that tune - even with the 'not-quite-up-to-par-drumming' from monsieur Pointer and the abnormally shrieky vocals from the Fish.

I have a large collection of tapes that never really get played either...but maybe that could be rectified with a tape deck?LOL I say this a couple of times each year but I'm no closer now to getting one as I was 5 years ago.

I thought they did better songs than Grendel, but then that's as it shoudl be since it was one of their very earlier efforts.




I have a lot of stuff on record - my Yes collection for starters - and casette, but I can't be bothered buying a taoe deck. Sooner or later I'll get them on cd.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rednight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 05:51
With Fish? Pretenders to the throne. And Ian Mosley works for me.
"It just has none of the qualities of your work that I find interesting. Abandon (?) it." - Eno
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 08:54
Hi,

Kinda sad to hear things said about FISH here, and unlike PG, Fish is more of an actor than he is a singer, in the style of the Descamps in the ANGE's best years. It's about the acting, not the singing, and I am not sure why rock'n'rollers are afraid of acting, as if everything has to be just like Stairway to PBJ sandwiches! Or even Meatloaf, who says he is an actor that sings!

Marillion, is a nice band, and be it progressive or not, over the years they have distinguished themselves and stuck together and done some nice things, and never surrendered to the "pop" side of things in progressive, by becoming more metal sounding and the like. 

Acting in the rock music context, is something that a few folks do, and do it well, and David Bowie was well known for it, Bryan Ferry, and many others whose artistic bend stretched way past the rock'n'roll teen age idea and concept of music.

Hard to believe what we're criticizing here, and what is being compared to in regards to FISH. 

I really thought that we were much more "progressive" and "understanding" than we really are? 

Please tell me it's not true!




Edited by moshkito - August 03 2016 at 08:55
... none of the hits, none of the time ... now you know what the inner art is all about!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 09:01
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

I really thought that we were much more "progressive" and "understanding" than we really are? 

Please tell me it's not true!

Everyone for themselves, here there and everywhere.

f**king depressing, isn't it?
Raise the dead! Out to the cemetery, come on everybody!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 09:34
I guess it's only ok when Mosh takes a dump on contemporary music/artists. When others do it it's killing the music...yet when the maestro pulls out all the stops and bashes pretty much every modern artists out there for not being Djam Karet, it is a-ok. Funny how these things work.

It is perfectly feasible to discuss music - even the stuff others like or dislike.

Edited by Guldbamsen - August 03 2016 at 12:12
“The Guide says there is an art to flying or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghost Whistler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 10:15
I have just found Fish's solo output to be lacking.

He's an ok singer, but that was always the case.

I'm sorry if those preferences don't meet your own, but variety is the spice of life as they say :D

I just listened to (almost all of) Season's End again. It's a decent album with a pretty good vibe as quite a few records of that period did. The title track never deserved the hate it got. Even Holloway Girl isn't as offensive as it used to be, aside from the cheesy chorus.

Hooks in YOu can die in a fire though, utter bilge.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 11:22
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:


It is perfectly feasible to discuss music - even the stuff others like or dislike.

Absolutely, as long as we don't go back to the glorious devilizing PA years.

Respect, gentlemen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 12:31
Originally posted by Barbu Barbu wrote:

Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:


It is perfectly feasible to discuss music - even the stuff others like or dislike.

Absolutely, as long as we don't go back to the glorious devilizing PA years.

Respect, gentlemen.

Those were the Dream Theater days...ha!! In some ways the devilizing still exists here.

OP, seems you are trying very hard to "like" Marillion because pretty much you are describing them as a so-so band in your eyes. If you are trying to find something you like about them it seems to me you have covered the albums that most people like and enjoy about Marillion.

I have zero issues with H's voice or style, for me it fits the music well. As did Fish's voice in the early Marillion years.....I have never felt like I needed to find something in a band I liked, to me there are so many bands out there that I can spend my time trying to find one that appeals to me quicker.

Marillion for me is easily a top 10 band in my 40+ years of listening to music.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghost Whistler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 12:49
This convo got a bt weird. I'm not trying to put down other people's preferences, just speak to my own. If you enjoy Fish's solo output or Marillion's impressive ouevre then more power to you. They are a band I would love to like for a variety of genuine reasons, but their output since the mid nities has me struggling.

I've ordered BRave and Afraid of Sunlight. But I can't get into This Strange Engine Onwards, though I need to give Marbles another listen and their more recent work. I have Seasons End on casette somewhere, but I'll try and find a CD copy for my collection. It would be good to have more homegrown prog in there. But I won't be buying Holidays in Eden, though currently I can't get Dry Land out of my bloody head!

I even brought a second hand copy of Hogarth's solo band from before he joined, which had Dry Land on it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghost Whistler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 13:01
Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

Marillion for me is easily a top 10 band in my 40+ years of listening to music.

Hey, if you like them then great! I'm not here to dismiss other people's preferences. This is just a friendly convo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blinkyjoh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 13:50
Dry Land is catchy! Now i have it.

I'm a big fan of most of marillion (and Fish). They cross prog and pop boundary nicely for me. I love Rothery's guitar. Not so into fugazi, happiness, or about 1/3 of the content of each of the last few albums. If i understand what dirge is, H singing about his marbles is dirge to me :)

I don't think you are missing anything. You tried them, and some you like, some/most you don't like. 
Not everything will appeal. And being prog(related), sometimes the music will take 2 or 3 or 12 listens to hit you. If the band doesn't excite you move on there is lotsa stuff on here you might like more. Maaaybe Gazpacho? Riverside?

If you want to keep trying  and aren't generally a fan of the lyrics, but you like Rothery's guitar, i'd suggest Rothery-Ghosts of Pripyat. I might listen to that tonight.

But Maybe you could also give If My Heart Was a Ball and Invisible Man another chance. You're Gone is like Dry Land for catchiness imho :)





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 14:15
Originally posted by Ghost Whistler Ghost Whistler wrote:

Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

Marillion for me is easily a top 10 band in my 40+ years of listening to music.

Hey, if you like them then great! I'm not here to dismiss other people's preferences. This is just a friendly convo.

No worries....don't take my reply in the wrong context. I'm not dissing you for "dismissing" Marillion, I am not taking your comments that way. I was merely pointing out it seems you are trying hard to "like" a band. I don't think most people like all albums a band puts out, especially when the catalog is as extensive as Marillion's.

Take the albums you like and enjoy them....I don't listen to Holidays/Eden on purpose, it pops up on a shuffle play and that's about it for me.



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