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Marillion - A Singles Collection - Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other  CD (album) cover

A SINGLES COLLECTION - SIX OF ONE, HALF A DOZEN OF THE OTHER

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

2.92 | 71 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars There are albums done for artistic purpose (Of course they want profit, that's their career but not the main goal) and others for pure commercial reasons, MARILLION'S "A Single Collection 1982 -1992" also known as "Six of one Halve A Dozen of the Other" is one of the second. Seems the band producers and/or label tried to juice Fish and Hogarth's fans at the same time and the only thing they achieved is a mess.

I had heard so much about MARILLION that got this album without knowing the history of the band and simply didn't knew what to think, two vocalists, one closer to Prog, the other clearly Pop oriented, bland songs with a couple of really Prog ones, it was the worst propaganda, it took me one decade to listen this good band again.

Lets make a fast check of the tracks because most are extensively reviewed in their original albums:

The album starts with "Cover My Eyes", a very good AOR song performed by Hogarth, made me remember of ASIA or even BOSTON but no resemblance to Prog, at this point I was a bit angry with the person that recommended me this band telling me they were Prog..

"Kayleigh" was not too much of an improvement despite Fish is in the vocals, but even when it's a simple ballad you can feel something Prog is happening somewhere in the background.

"Easter" is a nice acoustic ballad with a folksy Celtic touch, but again no relation with Prog, my intentions against my friend had changed from simple murder to murder with previous torture.

"Warm Wet Circles" is quite an improvement, at least the vocals are outstanding and the arrangements are strong, despite it flows gently from start to end there are some good changes and the vocals have strong resemblance of Gabriel era Genesis, love this track, the guitar passages by Rothery a la Hackett are simply brilliant, even when a bit more aggressive.

Despite being a Hogarth's track and not being a huge fan of his voice, I must admit that "Uninvited Guest" is an excellent song, well elaborate, great guitar and drumming, what a change.

Now "Assassing" is a classic, that's how I would like MARILLION to sound always, wonderful track, radical changes, excellent vocals with Fish at it's peak, Mark Kelly is perfect, in some moments Fish reminds me of Peter Gabriel in Battle for the Epping Forest but with a Psyche touch.

"Hooks in You" starts strong but the vocals ruin it (sorry it's stronger than me, Hogarth sounds so plain and common), a decent Rock track, no connection with Prog.

"Garden Party" is absolutely reminiscent of Genesis, Fish tries to sound like Gabriel and achieves it but with his own strong accent to make the difference, one of the best songs, complete, great arrangements and perfect sound, Mark Kelly makes a good work with some digital version of the Mellotron (Probably a Novatron, but is not credited in the album), one of the highest points of the album.

"No One Can" is just a filler, a boring plain and repetitive ballad, I don't understand what was the target audience of the band, by far the worst track at this point.

"Incommunicado" is another MRILLION classic, the drumming by Mosley is outstanding, the keyboards are pompous and bright with a modern approach, one of the best Fish songs,

"Dry Land" is another ballad with little interest, it's incredible how a band inspired in Genesis had such a parallel evolution as the influential, each song has a strongest pop sound and the difference can be heard at this album, for God's sake sounds as three men era Genesis, if they had Collins on vocals I could swear it was them.

"Lavender" is not one of the finest moments of Fish era MARILLION, another filler, I'm sure it was added because of the popularity in their days.

Plus the two bonus themes that IMHO could well have not added, even when "Sympathy" is a nice cover.

Now we reached the weakest point, "I Will Walk in the Water" is for sure the worst song in the whole album, I don't know what they pretend, it's a tasteless hybrid that sounds like everything and nothing at the same time, thanks God for the skip button.

"Sympathy" is a very decent song, dramatic , well it's not a MAERILLION track but written by RARE BIRD back in the sixties, even Hogarth sounds great doing what she should stick to, Hard Rock tracks, Rothery and Trewavas are simply outstanding, very good cover, when the inspiration gets weaker you have to try with covers.

After listening the whole album there are two questions I keep in my mind:

1.- Where are tracks as "Script for a Jester's Tear" far superior to most of the ones included in this compilation?

2.- Why in hell didn't they recorded the Fish songs together and the Rothery songs also? This format is confusing for the newbie and uncomfortable for the fan of any of both eras.

If you are a newbie in Marillion as I was when bought this album, avoid it you will feel as lost as in penguin in the Sahara desert not knowing what to expect from this band. If you are a fan of one of both eras exclusively (as I am of Fish's), better get a compilation of that era, but if you like all MARILLION, go for it, the album is not bad, I would qualify it as average and rate it with 2.5 stars, but not being available, will go with three because it's a good album despite the previously mentioned flaws.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 3/5 |

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