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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars An interesting trance-formation

In recent times, both Yes and Emerson Lake and Palmer have been the subject of remix albums, which if truth be told, were not particularly good. Some years previously however, "The Positive Light" undertook a similar treatment of tracks from Marillion's "This strange engine" album.

The original album being one of the band's more progressive albums, the choice at first seems rather odd. For me however, the results are largely successful. The main difference between this album and the Yes and ELP reworks is that here the tracks are more faithful to their original counterparts. The resulting product is more in the mould of extended versions, with perhaps a dance backing track or an accentuated bass and drum rhythm.

This album will not be everybody's cup of tea I grant you, especially many of the devotees of this website (for obvious reasons!). For those like myself however, who enjoy the occasion burst of trance, and indeed feel that some trance music has a relationship with progressive rock (and vice versa), this album makes a valid statement, and is well work seeking out.

Report this review (#12459)
Posted Friday, April 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars to mix or not to mix, that is the question... and in prog music it is deffinetly a bad choice. Let's start with the fact that if you are a Marillion fan, go and buy it (considering myself a Marillion fan), if not... well is not an album to fight for, or even consider it as a "nice buy", why, because it shows the "alternative" views of the songs, actually, sponsored by Marillion themselves. In any case, here is a place to do experiments, and remixes, so, think of this record as a "view from the other side", don't expect nothing, really
Report this review (#12460)
Posted Sunday, May 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is the worst album for many years. If we know that the worst age of Marillion is whit Hogarth, and plus that album is like a DISCO MUSIC. Maybe Donna Summer in the vocals will be much better.Really, my friends, don´t accepted this "thing" . Marillion died when Fish left the Band, because with Hogarth is another POP band withouth any diference or personal style.
Report this review (#12461)
Posted Thursday, October 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Tales from TSE came to me a little surprising, I got this CD for less money, so I took it. TSE was one of the best H-era albums and I wonder, if it could be even made better. It wasn`t better at all, but this versions of the TSE songs are interesting, some of them really great, i.e. The Memory Of Water or This Strange Engine. The songs sounded some more atmospheric, a little warmer, although some additional keys sounds too much pickled.

In fact, this is no real Marillion album, it`s a remix, but is one of the better ones!

A few years ago I worked on a remix of some Brave and AOS tunes to create something new, but I never finished, cos my computer crashed before I could save the tracks at all. The reason for telling that is, that no remix of a (especially in the H-era) Marillion song could sound the way, Marillion had done it. But I think, TFTSE opened the door for songs like 21th Century or Few Words Of The Dead

Report this review (#12463)
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tristan Mulders
4 stars Marillion and the positive Light - Tales from the Engine Room

As a first note I think I should state that this is better of being classified as electronic music. The album is a collection of 5 (or 6, depending on which version you obtain) ambient dance remixes of songs that were originally release one year earlier by Marillion on their "This Strange Engine" album.

This remix album has been worked on in agreement with the band and they stated that they liked the results. I bought it even before I owned the original versions of the songs, without knowing that this was a remix album, I just thought it was a discount version of "This strange Engine", but it was not ;-)

I hope that the word 'remix' or 'dance' does not scare you off. If there's one thing that someone who likes progressive music should be, it would be open-minded. You do not have to expect typical electronic music as available in any country's basic music charts. Here it is mainly "ambient dance" music. The point of this musical experiment was to recreate the songs, while maintaining their original vibe and mood. Perhaps the fact that the people behind the artist name The positive Light are fans of Marillion themselves might take away some of your doubts about the quality of songs, regarding the typical moody song writing that Marillion is famous for.

And believe me, I still like this remix album even more than the original "This strange Engine" album!

Report this review (#12464)
Posted Monday, February 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Marillion's album of electronica oriented tracks from This Strange Engine. In a word, not something that a casual listener should purchase. Why? Because this album has really no purpose, unless it is to show that Marillion were always trying to be creative and go down avenues that they had not gone down at the time. The result for this album is successful, but the original feeling that the band had obtained in the original versions of the songs on this album is lost in a sea of droning dance beats and accentuated drum notes, often resulting in extended versions of the songs from This Strange Engine. Most tracks also sound very very similar, but that doesn't really affect my rating of it.

Expect the versions on this album to remain somewhat faithful to their This Strange Engine counterparts, because for the most part, they do not stray away from the original structure of the song, minus the obvious addition of dance beats and more electronic tendencies. The only song that I think is truly improved on this album is Estonia, mainly because I absolutely love the drumming on this track, and the bass is also superb, and help make the chorus (which is among my favorite choruses of the band) so much better than the original album's (which is already incredibly strong). The rest of the songs, though, aren't really improved, and they aren't really brought down either. They just have a different feeling to them, in fact, a totally different feel from the original versions.

Overall, this album is really only recommended by me to fans of the group and people who like music that can be danced to. If you also like remix albums, this may be something to check out. But for me, I'm left with a feeling of why, mainly because I'm not exactly sure why this album really had to be made. Kudos, though, to Marillion for trying something new. I like the album, but I really question it's worth. 2.5/5.

Report this review (#76512)
Posted Thursday, April 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars I remember buying this album on sale. I had never heard of it before, but seeing the name "Marillion" I thought this could be something worthwhile getting. Well, what a big mistake! This is a disco/trance album! After listening to it once I thought I would give it another try because it´s Marillion after all. Well I listened to it again and then gave it away for free. This is definitely the worst album I have ever heard! Avoid at all cost!
Report this review (#84612)
Posted Sunday, July 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
Crossover Team
2 stars Hold your indignation here, this is not a Marillion album, it's a remix of some of the tracks from the This Strange Engine album, made by a project called The Positive Light. Tales from the Engine is indeed an "album" for the Marillion completionists. Estonia is very enjoyable and honours the original, Memory of Waters is just a techo-house remix (nothing much), This Strange Engine is sort of a chillout track, quite good but unfortunately longer than the original song which definitely is a drawback; if One Fine Day and 80 Days are decent songs, I have to express my shock and indignation for the remaining track called Face 1004 (?!), whatever Marillion song is remixed here only God knows (I'm not sure He knows either) - a boring awful techno track.

Only Estonia may be considered a great song (remix) here; therefore this remix album gets 2 stars for the decent songs that I've just mentioned. Unless you want to have anyhting that Marillion put on the musical market, better stay away from this release.

Report this review (#86493)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Like someone before me, I too saw this album and bought it on the spur of the moment. Labelled up £3 it was and I thought 'what a bargain!' Hmmm, driving home with it in the CD player I began to think otherwise. Gad! Dance music! Now I'm someone who has picture disc's of Market Square Hero's and Fugazi and saw Marillion on the original Script tour. Indeed Fish stood directly before me at the Brighton Dome all those years ago and positively mesmerised the impressionable teenager that was me then. Such was his (and the bands) performance I felt as if I had become part of the Marillion family for ever more. And then I bought this album. I'd often wondered what Marillion had turned into. Did I get the wrong album to find out? Yes, probably, but here's one thing for sure. It's gonna be a long time before I'm brave enough to buy another. And what happened the album I bought? I launched it out the car window. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
Report this review (#112358)
Posted Friday, February 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars Two considerations to introduce this review :

1. "This Strange Engine" was one of the record that I could live with from the Mark II Marillion. Not a great one (there won't be any to my standards) but good.

2. I have never been keen on remixes.

Therefore, I had lots of apprehension before listening to this record. The six songs featured here, are quite extended versions of the original tracks available on "This Strange Engine".

"Estonia" has gained almost 50% in lenght and although the aerial mood is not bad, I quite prefer the original song. Still, this adaptation is pleasant and is by no means boring. but that's probably because I like this song pretty much. Hogarth's voice is almost a prefect match with the music here. I deliberately say so because I really do not like his type of singing, so when I feel that I like him, I just say so.

"The Memory Of Water" starts almost as spacey as "Estonia" here, but what I was fearing was bound to happen. This remix is a dance, disco one. Needless to say that it is rather awful. I just hate it, nicely.

"This Strange Engine" was probably the most elaborate Marillion Mark II song. A fifteen minutes piece of music full of originality. This version starts like the other first two of this album : keyboard-oriented and fully space-rock for about two minutes. And then the same kind of poor beat sets the stage. Tchak, boum, tchak, boum. Almost as worse as the previous number although less aggressive. Still, to be able to enjoy these twenty minutes is completely beyond my reach.

I never could stand this style of music (almost house). Even less those remixes of nice songs. An extremely poor interpretation, indeed. The last four minutes are good, only because they are more faithful to the original.

I'm afraid that this album won't please any Marillion fan. I guess that not too many of the genuine band ones have gotten here and the Mark II ones will probably remain sceptical.

"One Fine Day" was a very nice and melodic song on the original album. Fortunately, this version is more respectful. The re- arrangement is more in the style of "Estonia"; which is a kind of relief, really. It is the second average song featured here. The "bonus" track "Eighty Days" is also acceptable. Keyboards again add a special touch.

My global feeling is that this is a rather crappy album. I honestly believe that one star is the maximum rating I can use for this "effort". Do stick with the original album of course.

Report this review (#131429)
Posted Thursday, August 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This is an impulsive review, not planned at all. I just read two reviews from Mandrakeroot and Elizabeth about this album. I agree with both reviews. In fact this was my GREATEST DISSATISFACTION in any CD purchase that I have made in my life. It cost me USD 12 to purchase and I got a totally boring music and even worse ... I could not believe that this is an album by Marillion! How could it be? I have been a fan of the band (indeed a "die hard fan" during Fish era) and it is now being destroyed by Mr h? I am sure people who read this site would not favor this kind of music because it's basically a trance music with no clear direction at all. And I have to be honest to give only one star for this. AN album that must be avoided by whoever who loves prog music. And I hope you still keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#133031)
Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
1 stars Oh, my god! I should have known better. I bought this album on a sale for less than $4, still sealed, brand new. It was just too good to be true. But since I´ve been always a big fan of Marillion, I had to try. And I could never guessed it was an album of trance remixes of This Strange Engine. In fact, even This Strange Engine is not one of Steve Hogarth-era Marillion best CDs. And still I tried very hard to at least understand this CD, maybe even like it. But to no avail. I was never a fan of trance music and this is for the hardcore ones. This electronic/dance frankenstein stripped the songs of everything that was originally recorded, saving only Hogarth´s voice and one or two guitar parts from Steve Rothery.

There is not much more to say. Ok, it may be an interesting and valid experiment for some, who am I to judge? But let me give you a piece of advice: forget to find any Marillion, prog or even pop music if you´re going to buy this album. If you´re a fan of the three aforementioned things, avoid at all costs.

Report this review (#184495)
Posted Thursday, October 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not as bad as the ProgArchive rating !

I purchased this album thinking it was a Marillion release rather than a remix album and before having heard the orignal This Strange Engine.

The overall result is listenable. Essentially, the vocal lines have been kept which avoids some of the repetition of dance remixes. In fact most of the mixes have a more ambient or electronica feel rather than dance and is something you can listen to in the background.

Fifty percent of ProgArchive reviewers have given this a 1 star rating which is the lowest mark available in the archives. Is it really that bad? No!

Marillion have given their support to this project and the result has stretched the definition of progressive music. And of course some of the electronic beats used in dance have come directly from progressive music.

In terms of ProgArchive ratings, I would consider it as a good attempt but non-essential. 2.5 stars

Report this review (#358965)
Posted Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The "Remix"

Let me start this review with a loud laugh, please... LOL !

Thank you, I feel quite better now. If you haven't stopped reading you may ask yourself why on earth did I do this. The reason is not that hard to explain. I have just laughed about that album listed under "Marillion". This is not Marillion, of course. This is not progressive rock music, either. This is an album by "The Positive Light" who, in order to fulfill their dreams, were allowed to use original tracks that Marillion had recorded for "This strange Engine".

And the two men who have formed "The positive Light" were allowed to do anything they want with what they got. Their names are Marc Mitchell and Mark Daghorn and they should be listed first in the "line up" - "playing" ( programming ) all kinds of tools / sequencers / machines they were capable of. They were completely free. But because those two men were rather unknown and their Album contained a lot of what Marillion had recorded - well, you can guess, but in order to sell it in at least decent amounts it was released as "Marillion and the Positive Light", and sold as a "Remix-Album". Actually, it was The Positive Light featuring Marillion. And it was more than a remix-album, because the two men added a lot of programming and synth-stuff, or say... they added pieces of Marillion to their own backingtracks ( that were meant to reconstruct the originals ), there's far more than some overdubs having been made cause they are musicians ( Style: ambient/drums'n'bass ! ) as well and, on one track, they completely left whatever there was from "Man of a thousand Faces". I guess it was their 4th attempt, cause they've called it "Face 1004". And this one, actually, is the only track of the six I do not like.

The others... well, I was completely surprised. I'm not a fan of remixes and I don't have any knowledge about ambient music or drums'n'bass- stuff, it's a foreign world to me and when I finally decided to buy this CD ( the 6 - track in 2001 - for sure, so there must be a kind of mistake in the info above... mine has EAN-code: 5 034504 103320 / other numbers listed: Eagle Gas 0000033 EAG / Germany: EAG 085-2 ) I did not expect to like it at all. I payed the full price ( for the Eagle-release, so, again - a mistake ? No budget-price ! ), though... perhaps I should have waited a bit longer, some years ago I would have got it for 2 Euros because... well, it flopped. But on the other hand - at the time I have bought it I actually had the money and it didn't hurt me at all. I found it quite listenable, very nice, and - by its best parts - I thought "well, that's as good as ( "Estonia" ) or even better than ( "80 days", "One fine Day" ) the originals, although it's a completely other world of music !".

I can understand if you don't agree... and I'm sure that "natural progheads" have a lot of problems with this disc, but I quite like it and, in parts, i love it. I've got only one problem with it - and that's far too much reverb that's been spent upon the whole affair. The otherwise very good cascades of keyboard in, f.e., "One fine day", cannot be heard distinctively, the soundmix tends to wash the best moments over instead of bringing them to light. But the feel is good. And the emotional effect can be mindblowing.

I think it's unfair to put that album down, not because of Marillion - theirs is "This strange Engine" ! - but because of two men who really poured their heart out in order to give a whole new perspective onto the music that we know. I still think they did a good job. I still think that "One fine Day" has been elevated up onto another level and i wouldn't change this version for the original anymore. But let me end this review just like I've started it. Does anybody call this prog-rock and honestly believe that it's fair to review it on this site ? Who ? You ?

LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Report this review (#617297)
Posted Monday, January 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is an experiment on the part of Marillion and trance music duo The Positive Light, remixing material from This Strange Engine to create a trance reinterpretation of the album. On the whole, I'd say it's an intriguing idea; The Positive Light don't restrict themselves to using sounds solely from that particular album, mining a few other recent Marillion works to add the odd accent here and there (listen carefully and you might hear the French-speaking Cannibal Surf Babe say a line or two), and they generally tackle the material with sensitivity to the general emotional and conceptual direction of the pieces in question.

Once things really get underway, you have an interesting situation where sometimes the music will drift closer to the original, whereas sometimes the Positive Light will zoom off in their own entirely trance-based direction. The end result is a unique musical trip which I personally enjoy, but which I will readily admit is not for everyone. The big thing here is that it's first and foremost a trance album, so if you really have no enjoyment of that style of music at all you're not going to enjoy this one, even if you're a big Marillion fan.

But if you are a fan of Marillion and you like a bit of trance now and then, you might find that the two flavours go better together than expected. I wouldn't call this a particularly essential Marillion release, or even a highly recommended one, but it is an experiment which was worth doing and may entertain you if you have especially broad tastes.

Report this review (#632918)
Posted Sunday, February 12, 2012 | Review Permalink

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