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3 stars Holds little value for fans as they will have these songs on the albums, although Heart of Lothian is slighly different as is part of a longer suite and Lavender is actually extended to make it a single, also Easter has a big chunk of guitar solo cut out. Collectors might like to own the remixes of Assassing and Garden Party but as for the rest maybe only a good document for beginners.
Report this review (#12270)
Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2003 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Not for fans

It may seem unusual for a prog band like Marillion to qualify for a "Singles collection", but in truth, they have been far more successful in that field than most of their peers. Whether or not this is to their credit is for debate another time!

This album gathers together the band's more accessible works from both the Fish and Hogarth eras (hence the title). "Kayleigh" and ""Lavender" are obvious choices, the latter being longer than section on "Misplaced childhood". While tracks such as "Assassing" and "Garden party" will naturally find favour with fans of the band, their inclusion here as "singles" (both run to over 7 minutes), is questionable.

In general, the Hogarth era tracks do not lend themselves to extraction as singles particularly well, as is evidenced by their lack of success in that field. Good as they are in the context of album tracks, they are like fish out of water in this format. The exception is the cover of Rare Bird's "Sympathy" which was a clear attempt to create a successful single. It is a great track, but the original still stands as the definitive version.

The album makes for a good introduction to the more commercial side of the music of Marillion for those who might not normally consider trying them out. For those who already have their albums, this represents more of a completists only collection.

Report this review (#12275)
Posted Tuesday, January 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This compilation captures two eras of the band's front-man: six tracks from early lead singer, Fish and the rest eight tracks from the new era of new singer Hogarth - until "Holidays in Eden" album. For Fish era fans, this probably their introduction to new Marillion's music without Fish. Actually, this is not a fair deal because the tracks under Hogarth era that stemmed from only two albums ("Season's Ends" and "Holidays in Eden") have taken more space than those from Fish era albums with five albums and one EP. It's probably EMI's trick to boost up the sales of new era Marillion because many fans were leaving the band after the departure of Fish.

Listeners would know that the new era is much more poppy compared to the old stuffs. This can be seen through "Cover My Eyes", "Uninvited Guest", "No One Can", "Dry Land". However, this new era marillion has good tracks such as "Easter", "I Will Walk on Water" as well as cover version of Rare Bird's "Sympathy". Unfortunately, Fish era part does not capture great tracks such as "Forgotten Sons", "Heart of Lothian" or "Hotel Hobbies". Again I guess EMI did this intentionally to give some balance with "not truly prog" Hogarth era songs. Keep on proggin' .!!! Progressively yours, GW.

Report this review (#12276)
Posted Sunday, April 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars As the title implies this compilation album puts a string of Marillion singles from both the Fish and Steve Hogarth eras on the same CD ... . What really rankles is the fact that the compilers of this album have seen fit to put the tracks in random order as if to imply that Marillion is the kind of band that's produces such consistently good music that there is no need to try and put the music in context. It's also not particularly convincing that only 6 tracks have been picked from the Fish era while 8 were selected from the Hogarth period, despite the fact that when this collection came out in 1992 Hogarth had cut only two albums (Seasons End and Holidays In Eden) with the band, while the Fish era had produced a much larger (and let's face it, distinctly superior) catalogue of material to chose from.

I have to report that despite some questionable selections, it is the Fish songs that really stand out. It helps that the only real "prog" moments that make it onto this album are indeed Fish tracks, although the uneven Assassing (good to hear some solo spots from keyboardist Mark Kelly but I do find the band's sound to be somewhat tame at various points during the song) and Garden Party are hardly my favourite Marillion "prog" tunes. I dare say though that even a neutral first-time listener would be forced to admit that the Fish-era pop songs Kayleigh, Lavender, the incomparable Incommunicado and the oh-so-subtle Warm Wet Circles are significantly better than the average Hogarth-era tune on offer here.

A handful of the Hogarth songs are good, like Cover My Eyes (Pain & Heaven) which reminds me of U2, the anthemic ballad Easter and a passable (if occassionally over the top) cover of Rare Bird's awesome hit Sympathy ... but most are not. Hooks In You is the worst of a bunch that includes The Uninvited Guest, No One Can (which is like a bad Alison Moyet song), Dry Land and I Will Walk On Water. It's all quite unfortunate when you consider that there were much better songs on Seasons End alone that didn't make the "single" cut. I for one think The Bell In The Sea would have made a great single.

Marillion is an undeniably progressive rock band that could (and did) make great singles. Unfortunately the balance of this album is skewed, and I'm not even sure that it would have worked even if there were more Fish-era songs and the material was presented chronologically. As for a real "best of", there are way too many songs (offhand, Grendel, Script For A Jester's Tear, Forgotten Sons, Jigsaw, He Knows You Know, Sugar Mice, Bitter Suite, Heart Of Lothian, Blind Curve, to name a few) left off this collection for it to come close to doing Marillion justice. Based on the track listing I can see that it was done better on The Best Of Both Worlds, where the vocalists have a CD each. As for this record, despite containing some great songs, it fails on many different levels. ... 41% on the MPV scale

Report this review (#36938)
Posted Sunday, June 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tristan Mulders
3 stars Marillion - A Singles Collection

Over the years, Marillion have released several compilation albums. Most of them included the typical "Best of." tracks, thus meaning the 'hits' like Kayleigh and Lavender and hardly any true prog rock songs, or at least no full-length versions of those prog songs.

This compilation varies a bit regarding that issue. The 'hit'singles are indeed included here as well, but also album versions! When I purchased this album I only knew the song Assassing in its single mix, so when I heard the full-length (even extended!) mix included here I was pleasantly surprised. The song does not sound commercial from this perspective and therefore seems a bit of an odd choice for a compilation album.

All other songs are more or less the typical single versions of songs, just the same as on their previous single releases.

All but the two bonus tracks which were previously unreleased: Sympathy and I will walk on Water. Both songs have long been available only on this compilation, up to the moment that EMI decided to reissue 1991's "Holidays in Eden" album, with a bonus disc that included these two songs albeit "I will walk on Water" was an alternative version.

Sympathy is an excellent cover version of Rare Bird's classic and certainly does not disappoint people who have the original recording in high regard. I like both versions myself, although I have to admit that when I first heard Marillion's version, I did not yet know the original version.

This compilation is a more straightforward, as in 'more rocky,' compilation of Marillion's career from "Script for a Jester's Tear" up to and including "Holidays in Eden". I slightly prefer "The Best of both Worlds" above this disc, but "A Singles Collection is a good point for starters.

Report this review (#79832)
Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars actually, this is the first Marillion CD that ever played in my stereo (thanx John).. the amazing thing about it is that i loved ALL tracks immediately... needless to say, i became a huge fan of the band ever since... it is a good introduction for Marillion's 'both worlds', it worked for me anyway..i know most of us already have these songs from their original release but still i'm emotionaly attached to this compilation, so 5 stars it is..
Report this review (#85900)
Posted Sunday, August 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars At this time of Mark II Marillion, EMI thought of a brilliant idea. Let's have six great songs of either Marillions and released them as a "Best Of".

Maybe to remember how great was Marillion before ? Before Mark II, I mean. Because there will never be another Marillion than the Fish one, let's face the reality. Even if the songs of the original band do not really belong to the best of their prog repertoire, they are way better than "Cover My Eyes", "Easter", "No One Can" etc.

If some tracks could make illusion on individual albums (because they were confronted to other very average songs), there is a huge difference here.

The choice to get an alternate true Marillion song and a Mark II one is staggering. IMO, it is a rather poor idea. So, next time : the record company promises. You'll get a double CD compilation : one with the best Marillion, and another one which you will never listen to with Mark II songs. But this is another story.

Three stars for this rather poor compilation effort. It is useless if you are looking to the great and powerful songs of Marillion and if you prefer Mark II (is there any one out there) , I guess you would prefer a compil of their work only. But to do so you'll have to wait for their "Singles 89-95" released in ... 2002 to do so.

Before this, only compil of the great Marillion at times mixed with Mark II songs. This is significant enough.

Three stars for this one my friend (four / two if you see what I mean). I only grabbed it because it sold for cheap.

Report this review (#124416)
Posted Saturday, June 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#133156)
Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars A Singles Collection was a compilation of Marillion's greatest hits from both the Fish era and the first two albums of the Hogarth era, six from each era (thus the appropriate subtitle). It also included two bonus tracks which were not released on the original Holidays in Eden album (but available later on the 2-CD remastered version). It included 1992 remixes of Assassing and Garden Party. Because it contains mostly radio hits, it lacks most of the really good progressive material from the band's first two albums. The 1992 remixes are really not worth the effort to seek this one out, nor are the bonus tracks since they didn't even make the final version of what was one of the worst released by Marillion. Two stars, for collectors and completionists only.
Report this review (#141493)
Posted Tuesday, October 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars I wonder if Fish fantasizes about kidnapping Peter Gabriel and keeping him in a pit in his cellar, and sending him down a bucket filled with moisturizer while saying "It puts the lotion on it's skin...". I'd swear he wants to be Gabriel.

He made a few albums which are pale imitations of Genesis. At best they sound like the first few post-Gabriel albums. The he left, to record less proggy albums (at least from what I've heard). The reamaining band did not descend to the depths Genesis did after their singer left, but there was a merked decline.

This collection sounds like it may have been selected by Fish, to show how much he was needed in the band. While his tracks are not great, they far outshine the blandness of the Hogarth tracks. I cringe at the imitation U2 on Cover My Eyes (should have covered my ears, too), and the imitation Police on No One Can.

I've heard better from this band.

Report this review (#291343)
Posted Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think I can say that "A Singles Collection" is a good compilation but ultimately fails to win me over as it should. Strangely I can not conceive of Fish and Hogarth as members of that band. After I met the Fish's Marillion I find it strange to hear the same songs sung by both singers, because I know Hogarth's Marillion well with much modern albums. In any case, I recognize that "A Singles Collection" is a good compilation, certainly, but not a masterpiece (or so).

I find, to be extremely honest, the songs with Fish much warmer and sincere than those with Hogarth. Musically the songs are at the same level. Maybe, but they are details, with Hogarth the songs are a little too POP to my ears.

In short, if you are looking for a compilation to introduce you to the Marillionchildren of Genesis, here it is!

Report this review (#716448)
Posted Sunday, April 8, 2012 | Review Permalink

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