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Fish Suits album cover
2.91 | 195 ratings | 17 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mr. 1470 (6:06)
2. Lady Let It Lie (6:53)
3. Emperor's Song (6:18)
4. Fortunes of War (7:51)
5. Somebody Special (5:22)
6. No Dummy (6:16)
7. Pipeline (6:43)
8. Black Canal (8:27) *
9. Out of My Life (3:43) *
10. Jumpsuit City (6:49)
11. Bandwagon (5:07)
12. Raw Meat (7:20)

Total Time 76:55

* not on 1994 CD

Line-up / Musicians

- Derek Dick "Fish" / lead vocals

- Frank Usher / guitar
- Robin Boult / guitar
- Foster Patterson / keyboards, backing vocals
- James Cassidy / keyboards, arranger & producer
- David Murray / bagpipes
- Bill Gilles / saxophone (4,6)
- Mark Duff / flute & whisle (4,11)
- Fraser Spiers / harmonica (10)
- Charles McKerron / fiddle (5,11)
- David Paton / bass, backing vocals
- Kevin Wilkinson / drums & percussion
- Knox Academy Senior Choir / chorus (2)
- Ken Johnson / choir conductor (2)
- Danny Campbell / backing vocals
- Lorna Bannon / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Julie & Mark Wilkinson

2LP Dick Bros. ‎- DDick4LP (1994, UK)

CD Dick Bros. ‎- DDick4CD (1994, Europe) With less 2 tracks
CD Roadrunner Records ‎- RR 8686-2 (1998, UK) Remastered, 12 tracks as on LP but in different order

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FISH Suits ratings distribution

(195 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

FISH Suits reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Fishy
2 stars Not his best effort I'm afraid, in 1994 Fish was known as an artist who was producing progressive rock, and Suits simply wasn't that style of music. Maybe you can describe Suits as an eighties pop album in the nineties. "mr 1470", first track of the album has an interesting lyric about a very old skull and the music is sounding pretty mysterious as well. "Lady let it lie" was the first single of the album, it isn't bad but it'sn't a new Kayleigh. At the end of the track you can hear what the problem with the album is, the songs are too long as the last two minutes keep repeating the same melody over and over again. "Emperor's song" is bloody commercial crap and also "Fortunes of war" does nothing to me. "Somebody special" is one of the best tracks although it is a rock song. "No dummy" is one of the weakest points on the album and men can only hope the Scotsman won't record this [&*!#] ever again. "Pipeline" is a complex piece of music but you keep searching for a strong melody. Maybe the best tracks of the album are the three closing tracks : "Jumpsuit city" has very interesting social commentary as a lyric and this time the funk influences are fitting in the song. "Bandwagon" sounds as Fish backing band is a Jethro Tull in good shape. The highlight of the album is the emotional "raw meat" which changes from a ballad to a pop song with influences from soul (!). Overall this isn't a bad album, Fish tries to use some influences from other style of music but the result is a misplaced pop album.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This may not be the best album of Fish solo. This was the first album that Fish released using his own label - The DICK BROS Record Company, having had a deal for 3 previous albums under Polydor. Well, this must be a very important album for Fish as since this album he has had no one to blame to if things go wrong with an album because everything is his own. He may have had a strong vision to own a record company as his own as I sensed from the lyrics of "The Company" from "Vigil .." album. He pleaded: " The company I choose is solidly singular / Totally trustworthy, straight and sincere / Polished, experienced, witty and charming / So why don't you push off, this company's my own". Yeah Fish, finally you made your dream came true ...

This album did not blow me at first listening until I got the last track "Raw Meat". This track is for me a masterpiece as it has a tasty and touchy melody - especially during intro part - that reminds me to his songs from previous albums, such as "Cliché", "Family Business" , "The Company". I think, this is Fish core competence in creating a sort of tasty melody like this. The singing style is really Fishy; it's definitely the style of his own. The voice quality is top class! The next interesting track is "Lady Let it Lie" . ugh .. a nice mellow track. Then it goes to track 1 "Mr 1470" and "Fortunes of War" as interesting tracks to enjoy. Other tracks are standard, nothing special, sometime I got bored listen to it because some of them have repeated melody - typical pop music.

Well, I leave it up to you to decide whether or not to own this CD. If you are a Fis aficionado, yeppp . this is for you. It's for collectors only. For me personally, am proud knowing Fish has successfully established a company of his own. At, he did what he preached! Congratulations, Fish! "Oh, boys would you drink to me now / Here on the hill, halfway up, halfway down / Oh, boys would you drink to me now / Here on the hill, halfway up, halfway down". "Oh for the company, dream of the company / Live for the company until I die / Oh for the company, dream of the company / Drink to the company until we die / Until we die. Until we die ......" GW, Indonesia.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Fish's struggle to break away from EMI finally ended in him starting his own record company, Dick Bros. Records. This album is the first release off of that label and it would ultimately be my least favorite Fish album. Now the main problem with this album lies in the fact that each song could have been shorter, but the chorus just seems to repeat on and on for the final two minutes of the song, which not only makes it boring at points, but it also makes for a lot of extra space filled by none other than filler. The lyrics, as always with Fish, are biting, cynical, and snipe out the problems in society as well as his own problems, and are as always are top notch. Returning to record with Fish this time around are Robin Boult and Frank Usher, the guitarists on Internal Exile, Kevin Wilkinson, who joined Fish on the Internal Exile tour, and Dave Paton, who played bass on Internal Exile. So in the end, 1994 would see the arrival of Suits, Fish's weakest studio effort.

Mr. 1470 has a mysterious feeling and some interesting underlying percussion. The guitar riffing and the stellar bass performance only make this track one of the best on the album. Although right from the start you can hear the major problem with this album, the endings, which are too contrived and more importantly, too long, with the same melody repeated over and over again until a fade out. Lade Let it Lie (and most of the other tracks on this album) suffer from this problem. Although it has a nice overall pace and some interesting Rothery-esque riffing, the song is dragged down by a contrived chorus and an overly long ending section. Emperor's Song doesn't really do much for me, it has this overall really cheesy feel, and the synthesizers feel a bit dated in this atmosphere. And the ending chorus takes up a third of the song, which gets really boring really fast. Fortunes of War is a more mellow and somber piece. It doesn't really seem to go anywhere fast, though, despite nice guitar work and some interesting keyboard parts. Once again, the main problem lies in the excessive length of the song itself.

Somebody Special continues the type of songs like Just Good Friends and Dear Friend off of Internal Exile, a heartfelt ballad that doesn't really fit on a Fish album, albeit a rockier type piece. I must mention such great unison guitar work from Usher and Boult, although not as great as the unison work on Tongues off of Internal Exile. No Dummy suffers from the main problem of this album, in that it just goes on forever and ever in the ending. On top of that, the piece doesn't really evolve and it doesn't even go anywhere. Pipeline is a mellow piece with some subtle bongo percussion and some ethereal keyboards, as well as some underlying lead guitar themes, but once again despite many interesting parts, I'm a bit underwhelmed by the piece. Jumpsuit City has a nice groove and some intuitive drumming from Kevin Wilkinson. It doesn't really reach a climax and retains a mellow pace. Bandwagon is a piece that has a commercial edge to it. Some tight grooves and interesting choruses are here, and it actually is one of the better songs on the album. Raw Meat ends the album with probably the best overall piece. Some interesting and melodic keyboards are met with some acoustic guitar arpeggios and some great lead work, as well as probably the best lyrics and vocals on the album.

Overall, Suits is far from Fish's best album. It could have used a lot of editing and some of the songs should have been better refined. Still, if you're a fan of Fish, you'll probably find some enjoyment out of this album. For me, though, I'm underwhelmed by this album and will regard this as Fish's weak point for a long time to come. 2/5.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars One of the problem with this album is its length. It still reminds me the romantic "Marillion" with songs like "Lady Let It Lie" for instance. Fish's voice always being so great to listen to. At least, I feel so.

The mood is on the commercial side or full of melancholia ("Fortunes Of War"). As one would say, a pleasant work. Some rockier atmosphere (with good Spanish guitar intro) during "Somebody Special". Hypnotic beat and powerful bass guitar. Maybe a bit too funky for my ears. Repetitive, but this a dominant feature on this album, and this has been already and correctly underlined by "Fishy" in his review.

Same funky (but less inspired) flavour with "No Dummy". A weak number IMO. The intro of "Pipeline" reminds me "Won't Get Fooled Again". We are again on a rockier edge (even heavy) and I have the impression that Fish is willing to sing closer to Phil Collins.

I would be more indulgent with this album than the majority of the reviewers (for once). It is enjoyable, yet longish. Some nice ballads, some pleasant rock songs and two or three fillers. All in all, a good album.

And the best is yet to come. "Bandwagon", is one my favourite track of this album. An heavy number with great rhythm (vaguely Tull oriented). The band is really powerful, effective. On par with the big man.

And the closing is just superb. A great crescendo track which allows Fish to fully show his great vocal capabilities. Full of subtlety, this is a true "Marillion" song. Yes, it is at this level. Raw Meat is the highlight of this album without the slightest shadow of a doubt.

Three stars.

Review by progrules
2 stars In my previous review of Fish's Sunsets album I mentioned the period before that release and actually this one, Suits, represents that period best. After "Vigil" the next three albums couldn't match the fine debut in any sense. Lately I checked out this one for a decisive judgement and compared to Sunsets this one indeed sounds pretty flat.

The opening song Mr.1470 demonstrates this remarkably. Not especially bad but a bit flat and pale sounding, even the guitar solo isn't really sparkling. Next up is the highlight to me: Lady let it lie. A wonderful song with a very good vocal performance. On the other hand it doesn't reach the excellence level in my opinion. And then we have told just about half the story here. If a good/very good song is almost the very highlight of the album, that is not a very good sign right ?

Out of the next seven songs I just like Fortunes of War somewhat, it appears a nice ballad. The rest of the songs is at best mediocre and will have to be decisive for the standard of this album I'm afraid. Just a special mention for the final track Raw Meat which is in the end the absolute stand out song of this release. A very good song indeed, again very well sung. But unfortunately it can't save the overall standard for "Suits" so I will have to leave this one at two stars (2,4).

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Fish´s third album, and not nearly as bad as some people claim. That´s my final conclusion after many spins. I even avoided the CD for a long time because so many other reviewers were so down to this work that I didn´t want to risk my hard earned money into something that might be not worth it. However, being a big fan of early Marillion and having listened to several other Fish´s solo output I deciced to take a shot on this one anyway and I got the remastered version, with a beautiful booklet with extensive notes from the man himself. I was not blown away by it, but also I was not disappointed either.

It is clear that Suits is a different album from the previous two. It is more guitar and is more ´song´ oriented, the keyboards are much in the background. But it is also quite progressive and very well done. The four first tracks are just great and Lady Let Die is surely one of fish´s best. The biggest problem I see on Suits is that most of the remaning stuff is also of quality, but overlong: songs like Jumpsuit City and No Dummy, just to mention two, would benefit a lot with some editing. He just goes on and on too much. The production here is quite superior than those I´ve seen on his solo output so far. You can hear everything quite clear and the balance is excellent. The lyrics are, as expected, quite clever and insightful and the liner notes on the booklet are quite helpful to fully understand some of them.

In the end I found this CD a bit too long and its second part drags on a little, but I like it as a whole, not just few songs. Suits is different, ok, but very good prog rock. If some of the tunes only was a little shorter I could give it a higher rating. As it is I´d give it 3. Good, but not really essential.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars This is the kind of album which needs a track-by track comment as there's not a concept or just a dotted line between the tracks. The style is in line with the post-Marillion period and after a not very good album of covers it appears to be a little better. The presence of the former Alan Parson's Project and Camel David Paton is less relevant than expected.

It doesn't start very well, anyway. The opener is a repetitive uptime song on which Fish repeats the word "Suits" several times. From here the album's title.

Things start to go better with "Lady Let It Lie" and "Emperor's Song" which are more on the early Marillion's chords. "Fortunes Of War" seems taken from Clutching At Straws, so a sequence of three good songs.

I don't like much the songs of the kind of "Somebody Special" even if they have ever been part of the Fish production. Too much Peter Gabriel for me.

"No Dummy" is a song that doesn't lead anywhere. At least for me. Not that is bad or disturbing, only it's not a reason to make me buy the album. It should be jazzy or funky in the author's intentions but I think it doesn't meet the target. And it's not funky that I look for in a Fish album. "Pipeline" is a little better but I sometimes skip it.

"Jumpsuit City" is a more regular Fish song, not a masterpiece, but surely better than the previous two. It's jazzy but it doesn't appear "forced" like No Dummy.

"Bandwagon" is a funny song, but try to sing it spelling "Under Pressure" instead of "Bandwagon"...a coincidence of course.

"Raw Meat" it a prologue to Sushi? Joking apart it's a song from the romantic side of Fish, that's I think what he does better. The only song on this album that can compete with the best songs of Vigil from a musical point of view.

This is not a bad album, but it's still far from the debut and has some weak songs in the middle. A shorter album would have been better.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars An elegant suit

Fish's two first solo albums, Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors and Internal Exile, both featured some really great songs (most notably the respective title tracks), but unfortunately also some rather weak and even slightly embarrassing ones. The present album never quite reaches the highs of those two albums, but it also never really sinks to their lows. As such, Suits is a more even album even if there are some lesser tracks in the middle of the album.

There is a somewhat broader set of musical influences here with many subtle but noticeable Folk and World-Music elements. Even if not all of this album is precisely my cup of tea, it is nice to see Fish try out some new things. It may not be the kind of Neo-Prog anymore that Marillion fans would expect. But, who knows, maybe this would appeal to a completely different set of people altogether (if they only heard it)?

Fish's vocals are as good and distinctive as always and the material is actually quite good with only a few bearable exceptions. The opening track, Mr. 1470, is probably my favourite track here, but also Lady Let It Lie, Fortunes Of War, and some others are not bad at all.

Good, but hardly essential

Review by Warthur
4 stars Fish's Suits album had a long germination, with some songs having seen live airings as far back as 1992 when he undertook his "Toile Tour" of small venues to workshop the material. The Songs From the Mirror and the headaches of his exit from Polydor intervened, but he would finally be able to record the final version of the album in late 1993 and early 1994, by which point the backing musicians (by and large the same team who had made Songs From the Mirror) were used to playing with each other and had spent extensive time on the road testing out much of this material.

The end result is an album which, in retrospect, I think has been sold short over the years. Are these Fish's best songs? Probably not - the songwriting on, say, his following album (Sunsets On Empire) would be better and structurally speaking many of these songs seem a bit loose and could do with tightening up. What you have here are some very well-performed and impeccably-produced renditions of B-grade songs, and it's the standard of performance which really helps buoy up the material and makes the material come across stronger than it otherwise should.

Stylistically, Suits is where you can find the seeds of the approach which Fish would later take on Sunsets On Empire - Pipeline, for example, could have been taken from that album quite happily - nestling alongside the remnants of the rather gentle, laid-back art-pop approach that Songs From the Mirror took. Neo-prog purists may struggle with it, but if you approach it as a mixture of art pop with a neo-prog mindset (shot through with moments of neo-prog with an art pop mindset), you might be better placed to appreciate it.

The folk flavourings that had worked into Fish's sound on Internal Exile are joined by some world music influences here. Whilst comparing Fish to Peter Gabriel is a bit samey, a glib parallel people have been eager to draw ever since they decided that Marillion was a Genesis clone band on the basis of the climactic section of Grendel, here the parallel is apt: this really feels like an album which takes Gabriel's So as one of its stylistic touchstones, at least on the quieter and more mellow tracks. In rockier, rowdier moments, it feels like Fish's neo-prog instincts are resurgent again, more than they perhaps have ever been over his entire solo career from Vigil In a Wilderness of Mirrors to this.

Some influences from current musical styles also enrich the stew; for instance, there's a somewhat trip-hop air at points, such as on Black Canal, a rather great song which was kept off non-CD editions of the album but really finds Fish engaging with a more modern sound whilst making it feel not like a break from his past styles but a further evolution of them.

On the whole, Suits might not be a mindblowing album, but it's far from clumsy, and what it lacks in tight songwriting it makes up for in atmosphere and heart. Though Fish wouldn't produce the first bona fide five-star classic of his solo career until the following Sunsets On Empire, on here he would undeniably chart the course that led there.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The suits fit me well After de disappointment from the two previous albums, Internal exiles (2 stars) and Songs from the Mirror (one star), the Fish is rising again! Suits is a more personal, creative, and inspired album where you can feel that Fish is more comfortable and regained confidence. Let ... (read more)

Report this review (#2437798) | Posted by zedumar | Saturday, August 15, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars An enjoyable album. Still reminiscent of the Marillion 80s era with some more modern sounds. Even if there are no specific weaknesses in this album, there are no real peaks either nor this something extra that makes you take it out of your shelf again and again. Two songs are above average : ... (read more)

Report this review (#263543) | Posted by Subterranean | Saturday, January 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Great music, Suits could have become a classic Fish album if only they had cut it down. Make the songs shorter and dumped the filler songs. No need for an album to last 73 minutes when there's only 45 minutes of good material, and 45 minutes is long enough for me. So a missed opportunity for F ... (read more)

Report this review (#92393) | Posted by tuxon | Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the first Fish solo album I listen to. I love the Marillion albums where he is the singer. Without knowing anything of this before, without reading these reviews I started to listen and from the very beginning this was, I mean this is, strong stuff! Same high quality in compositions a ... (read more)

Report this review (#71618) | Posted by pirkka | Saturday, March 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars There are some good songs on this album which come over well live- Mr1470, Emperor's Song, Pipeline..... Raw Meat is highly regarded amongst the fanbase but I personally much prefer the draft version on live cd 'Toiling in the Reeperbahn'. This album marked Fish's first on his own label. It ... (read more)

Report this review (#40439) | Posted by oldcrow | Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Among Fish albums this one is considered one of the worst. That's true. But even if it's not his best album it's still a piece of good music. Maybe not too perceptive, but still good. I bought it few years ago just before Easter, and I kept listening to it on and on. We have few gems here: La ... (read more)

Report this review (#25023) | Posted by | Friday, April 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I'm a great fan of all Fish realisations with Marillion. Excellent work. I love his 'Vigel...' and 'Eternal...', but... I don't like this CD. I don't know why, but it gives me a bad feeling. The only song I like is 'Fortunes of War'. ... (read more)

Report this review (#25021) | Posted by | Monday, February 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars some good moments but it's over-produced, the keyboard sounds are quite crappy and most of the songs should be one or two minutes shorter...Though the Roadrunner remasters give a wider sound it's stull the most disappointing Fish solo album... ... (read more)

Report this review (#25016) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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