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MARILLION

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Marillion picture
Marillion biography
Formed in 1979 in Aylesbury, UK (as Silmarillion, after the Tolkien novel) - Still active as of 2019

Pioneers of the second wave of progressive rock

The Early Years

After some early line-up changes, the first recognisable incarnation of the band was complete by 1982, with FISH (real name Derek William Dick), a charismatic Scottish frontman vocalist, Steve ROTHERY on guitars, Peter Trewavas on bass, Mark Kelly on keyboards, and Mick Pointer on drums.

The band built their reputation the old-fashioned way by gigging extensively, but their profile was also raised by some clever manipulation of the music press, especially journals such as Sounds, in which Fish often interviewed his proposition that the band were "prog with attitude", a new force for the post-punk era.

This profile landed them a record deal with EMI records, and, in 1982, they released an EP Market Square Heroes, which, it is fair to say, had more than a passing resemblance to the Genesis classic, The Knife. Also appearing was a monster prog track called Grendel.

However, it was the release in 1983 of their debut long player, Script For A Jester's Tear, which brought them to the wider attention of the rock world. The album spawned hit singles in Garden Party and He Knows You Know, was critically well received, and reached number 7 in the UK album charts.

The band's progress and workload were relentless after this point. They proved themselves to be somewhat merciless in the pursuit of musical and commercial success by ditching Pointer, who was felt to be sub-standard, and replacing him eventually with, after what the band described as their "Spinal Tap" period for drumming, Ian Mosley, formerly of The Steve Hackett Band. Pointer went on to jointly form Arena, a classic neo outfit who still record today, and still tours his Script era version of Marillion. The difference Mosley made, though, both live and in the studio, was palpable.

The line-up released three more albums; Fugazi, Misplaced Childhood, and, finally Clutching At Straws.

Misplaced Childhood was a massive hit, reaching number 1 in the UK charts in 1985, and responsible for huge hit singles in Kayleigh, Lavender, and Heart of Lothian. By this time, Fish had ditched his trademark face paint, - the music and his sheer personality were a tour de force in them...
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MARILLION discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MARILLION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 2172 ratings
Script for a Jester's Tear
1983
3.99 | 1483 ratings
Fugazi
1984
4.26 | 2340 ratings
Misplaced Childhood
1985
4.18 | 1481 ratings
Clutching at Straws
1987
3.76 | 975 ratings
Seasons End
1989
3.16 | 745 ratings
Holidays in Eden
1991
3.98 | 1164 ratings
Brave
1994
3.82 | 790 ratings
Afraid Of Sunlight
1995
3.47 | 641 ratings
This Strange Engine
1997
2.75 | 572 ratings
Radiation
1998
3.12 | 541 ratings
Marillion.com
1999
3.40 | 617 ratings
Anoraknophobia
2001
4.10 | 1192 ratings
Marbles
2004
3.06 | 588 ratings
Somewhere Else
2007
3.34 | 624 ratings
Happiness Is The Road
2008
2.78 | 393 ratings
Less Is More
2009
3.62 | 690 ratings
Sounds That Can't Be Made
2012
3.78 | 435 ratings
F E A R (F*** Everyone And Run)
2016
3.98 | 217 ratings
An Hour Before It's Dark
2022

MARILLION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 349 ratings
Real to Reel
1984
3.88 | 348 ratings
The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra
1988
2.25 | 35 ratings
Live at the Borderline
1992
3.23 | 40 ratings
Live in Glasgow
1993
3.50 | 54 ratings
Live in Caracas
1993
4.13 | 108 ratings
Live From Loreley
1995
3.45 | 158 ratings
Made Again
1996
3.65 | 72 ratings
Live At The Walls
1998
3.63 | 44 ratings
Piston Broke
1998
3.08 | 30 ratings
Marillionrochester
1998
3.16 | 41 ratings
Zodiac
1999
3.78 | 87 ratings
Anorak in the UK Live
2002
4.05 | 54 ratings
Brave Live 2002
2003
3.40 | 16 ratings
Christmas In The Chapel
2003
4.48 | 55 ratings
Curtain Call - A Live Archive 1983 - 1988
2004
4.17 | 111 ratings
Marbles Live
2005
3.97 | 60 ratings
Marbles By The Sea
2005
3.69 | 48 ratings
Popular Music
2005
3.42 | 17 ratings
Bootleg Bingo
2005
3.65 | 44 ratings
Smoke
2006
3.79 | 51 ratings
Mirrors
2006
4.24 | 57 ratings
Family
2007
3.94 | 46 ratings
Friends
2007
3.64 | 38 ratings
Somewhere in London
2007
4.53 | 112 ratings
Early Stages: The Official Bootlegs 1982-1987
2008
4.46 | 123 ratings
Recital of the Script
2009
4.28 | 118 ratings
Live From Loreley
2009
4.09 | 35 ratings
Happiness Is Cologne
2009
3.64 | 31 ratings
High Voltage
2010
4.03 | 51 ratings
The Official Bootleg Box Set Vol. 2
2010
3.66 | 51 ratings
Tumbling Down The Years
2010
4.01 | 51 ratings
size matters
2010
3.82 | 30 ratings
Live In Montréal // Saturday
2010
3.81 | 28 ratings
Live In Montréal // Sunday
2010
3.74 | 27 ratings
Live In Montréal // Friday
2011
3.71 | 32 ratings
holidays in eden live
2011
4.11 | 56 ratings
Live From Cadogan Hall
2011
3.80 | 25 ratings
Afraid of Sunlight Live
2011
3.60 | 23 ratings
This Strange Engine Live
2011
3.71 | 26 ratings
Seasons End Live
2011
3.66 | 28 ratings
A-Z Live 2011
2012
3.87 | 43 ratings
Sounds Live
2012
3.67 | 23 ratings
The Glow Must Go On
2012
3.59 | 30 ratings
Clocks Already Ticking
2013
3.95 | 40 ratings
Brave Live 2013
2013
3.63 | 8 ratings
Best of Montréal
2013
3.50 | 6 ratings
Best of Leamington
2013
3.92 | 13 ratings
Live At The Forum
2014
3.90 | 32 ratings
Sunday Night Above the Rain
2014
3.60 | 10 ratings
A Monstrously Festive(al) Christmas
2015
4.45 | 20 ratings
Waves and Numb3rs
2016
3.91 | 31 ratings
Marbles in the Park
2016
4.33 | 21 ratings
Singles Night
2016
4.00 | 8 ratings
The Gold - Best of Convention 2017
2017
3.86 | 7 ratings
Live In Chile
2017
4.77 | 34 ratings
All One Tonight - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
2018
4.22 | 9 ratings
marillion.cl/viernes.noche
2019
3.89 | 9 ratings
marillion.cl/dotcom
2019
4.00 | 8 ratings
marillion.cl/en.marquee
2019
4.13 | 19 ratings
With Friends at St. David's
2021
4.40 | 5 ratings
Distant Lights - Port Zelande
2022
4.75 | 4 ratings
Distant Lights - Leicester
2022

MARILLION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.38 | 184 ratings
Recital of the Script
1983
3.45 | 36 ratings
Video
1984
2.66 | 33 ratings
1982-86 The Videos
1986
3.74 | 35 ratings
A Singles Collection
1992
4.69 | 68 ratings
Brave Live 2002
2002
2.87 | 17 ratings
Shot In The Dark
2002
4.58 | 19 ratings
A Piss-up in a Brewery
2002
3.18 | 48 ratings
The EMI Singles Collection
2002
3.69 | 62 ratings
From Stoke Row To Ipanema - A Year In The Life (DVD)
2003
3.93 | 22 ratings
Christmas In The Chapel
2003
4.22 | 18 ratings
Before First Light (Afraid of Sunlight Live 2003)
2003
4.47 | 157 ratings
Live from Loreley
2004
4.01 | 84 ratings
Marbles On The Road
2004
2.79 | 57 ratings
Brave - The Film
2004
4.21 | 30 ratings
Wish You Were Here
2005
4.30 | 10 ratings
Colours And Sound
2006
4.21 | 61 ratings
Somewhere In London
2007
4.33 | 21 ratings
Bootleg Butlins
2007
3.73 | 13 ratings
Thank You Whoever You Are / Most Toys
2007
3.57 | 18 ratings
Something Else
2007
4.43 | 14 ratings
This Strange Convention
2009
4.67 | 6 ratings
M Tube: An Introduction To Marillion On DVD
2010
4.49 | 58 ratings
Out Of Season
2010
4.13 | 52 ratings
Live At Cadogan Hall
2011
4.63 | 27 ratings
Live In Montréal
2011
4.47 | 28 ratings
Holidays in Zelande
2012
4.08 | 35 ratings
Brave Live 2013
2013
4.86 | 14 ratings
A Sunday Night Above The Rain
2014
4.33 | 18 ratings
Breaking Records
2015
4.23 | 20 ratings
Out Of The Box
2016
4.74 | 19 ratings
Marbles in the Park
2016
4.85 | 35 ratings
All One Tonight
2018

MARILLION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 231 ratings
B'Sides Themselves
1988
2.96 | 85 ratings
A Singles Collection - Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other
1992
1.72 | 11 ratings
Marillion Music Collection
1993
4.11 | 17 ratings
The Originals
1995
2.89 | 45 ratings
Kayleigh
1996
3.82 | 10 ratings
The Best of Marillion
1996
4.25 | 4 ratings
Essential Collection
1996
3.41 | 58 ratings
The Best of Both Worlds
1997
4.08 | 101 ratings
Real to Reel - Brief Encounter
1997
3.16 | 12 ratings
Kayleigh - The Essential Collection
1998
2.21 | 63 ratings
Marillion and the Positive Light - Tales from the Engine Room
1998
4.21 | 53 ratings
The singles '82 - 88'
2000
3.20 | 11 ratings
Refracted! - From dusk 'till dot, Volume 1
2001
3.38 | 8 ratings
Another DAT at the Office
2001
3.10 | 10 ratings
Fall Out
2002
3.18 | 19 ratings
marillion.co.uk
2002
3.18 | 9 ratings
AWOL: A Marillion Solo Projects Sampler
2002
3.55 | 34 ratings
The singles '89- 95'
2002
4.00 | 8 ratings
The Best Of Marillion (EMI Compilation)
2003
3.24 | 6 ratings
Warm Wet Circles
2003
3.29 | 12 ratings
marillion.co.uk (2005 Version)
2005
4.17 | 6 ratings
Classics
2009
4.50 | 2 ratings
Keep The Noise Down
2010
4.21 | 10 ratings
Misplaced Childhood / Script For A Jester's Tear
2011
4.33 | 6 ratings
4 Albums
2011
3.80 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits On CD & DVD
2012
4.28 | 18 ratings
Marillion.Best.Live
2012
4.00 | 12 ratings
Sounds That Can't Be Made Special Edition
2013
3.67 | 3 ratings
5 Album Set
2013
4.32 | 16 ratings
Early Stages : The Highlights
2013
2.38 | 7 ratings
Best Sounds
2014
4.29 | 26 ratings
A Sunday Night Above the Rain
2014
2.92 | 13 ratings
A Collection Of Recycled Gifts
2014
4.89 | 38 ratings
Misplaced Childhood
2017
4.76 | 27 ratings
Brave (Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition)
2018
4.80 | 32 ratings
Clutching At Straws
2018
4.12 | 43 ratings
With Friends from the Orchestra
2019
4.67 | 24 ratings
Afraid Of Sunlight (Limited Deluxe Edition)
2019
4.94 | 28 ratings
Script For A Jester's Tear (2020 Limited Deluxe Edition)
2020
4.85 | 27 ratings
Fugazi (2021 Limited Deluxe Edition)
2021
4.19 | 8 ratings
Holidays in Eden (2022 Limited Deluxe Edition)
2022

MARILLION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.93 | 130 ratings
Market Square Heroes
1982
3.73 | 58 ratings
Garden Party
1983
3.92 | 54 ratings
He Knows You Know
1983
3.93 | 53 ratings
Punch and Judy
1984
3.52 | 71 ratings
Assassing
1984
3.58 | 73 ratings
Kayleigh
1985
4.11 | 9 ratings
The Story So Far...
1985
3.78 | 67 ratings
Lavender
1985
3.50 | 65 ratings
Heart of Lothian
1985
2.72 | 78 ratings
Brief Encounter
1986
3.55 | 19 ratings
Garden Party Live
1986
3.68 | 37 ratings
Lady Nina
1986
4.01 | 48 ratings
Sugar Mice
1987
3.49 | 44 ratings
Incommunicado
1987
3.98 | 46 ratings
Warm Wet Circles
1987
3.00 | 24 ratings
Incommunicado & Sugar Mice - Video
1987
4.03 | 35 ratings
Freaks
1988
3.57 | 28 ratings
Uninvited Guest
1989
4.11 | 35 ratings
Easter
1989
3.21 | 29 ratings
hooks in you
1989
3.13 | 26 ratings
No One Can
1991
2.46 | 20 ratings
Cover My Eyes (Pain and Heaven)
1991
2.94 | 18 ratings
Dry Land
1991
3.00 | 7 ratings
No One Can
1992
3.65 | 26 ratings
Sympathy
1992
3.47 | 26 ratings
Sympathy
1992
3.67 | 15 ratings
No One Can
1992
4.22 | 9 ratings
The Hollow Man
1994
4.09 | 11 ratings
The Hollow Man
1994
3.67 | 12 ratings
Alone Again In The Lap Of Luxury
1994
3.91 | 11 ratings
Alone Again In The Lap Of Luxury
1994
3.80 | 25 ratings
Beautiful
1995
2.98 | 23 ratings
Beautiful
1995
4.06 | 24 ratings
The Making of Brave
1995
4.03 | 21 ratings
Man of a Thousand Faces
1997
3.63 | 19 ratings
Eighty Days
1997
2.98 | 22 ratings
These Chains (Single)
1998
3.00 | 8 ratings
Marillion & the Web Christmas 1998
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Marillion & The Web Christmas 1998 Happy Christmas Everybody!
1998
3.25 | 4 ratings
Rich
1999
3.42 | 12 ratings
Marillion.Christmas
1999
2.79 | 16 ratings
Marillion.co.uk
2000
3.70 | 10 ratings
Crash Course - An Introduction to Marillion
2001
2.73 | 17 ratings
A Verry Barry Christmas
2001
4.07 | 15 ratings
Between You And Me / Map Of The World
2001
3.86 | 19 ratings
Christmas 2000: A Piss-Up In A Brewery
2001
3.21 | 5 ratings
Front Row Club Issue 7
2002
4.13 | 6 ratings
Le Spectrum, Montréal, Canada, 6 September 1997 (Front Row Club 008)
2002
3.80 | 5 ratings
Christmas 2002: Santa And His Elvis
2002
4.00 | 1 ratings
Ludwigshalle, Dieburg, Germany 9 November 1998 - Front Row Club 1
2002
3.50 | 2 ratings
Caught in the Net - The Making of Marillion.com
2002
4.05 | 10 ratings
Say Cheese, Christmas With Marillion
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
View From The Balcony (A Front Row Club Sampler)
2003
3.00 | 9 ratings
Christmas 2004: Baubles
2004
2.14 | 11 ratings
Remixomatosis
2004
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Damage (Live)
2004
4.20 | 5 ratings
Christmas 2005 : Merry Xmas To Our Flock
2005
2.49 | 12 ratings
A Handful Of Marbles
2005
3.33 | 3 ratings
Unzipped - The Making Of Anoraknophobia
2006
3.75 | 4 ratings
Christmas 2006: The Jingle Book
2006
3.00 | 2 ratings
See It Like a Baby
2007
4.00 | 4 ratings
Somewhere Elf - Christmas 2007
2007
2.70 | 14 ratings
Thank You Whoever You Are
2007
3.19 | 12 ratings
Thank You Whoever You Are / Most Toys
2007
4.00 | 6 ratings
ABC, Glasgow, Scotland. 9 November 2008
2008
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Basement, Newcastle, UK. 10 November 2008
2008
4.20 | 5 ratings
Colston Hall, Bristol, UK. 11 November 2008
2008
4.50 | 2 ratings
LMUSU, Leeds, UK. 13 November 2008
2008
4.50 | 2 ratings
Academy, Manchester, UK. 14 November 2008
2008
4.50 | 4 ratings
Opera House, Bournemouth, UK. 15 November 2008
2008
4.00 | 10 ratings
The Forum, London, UK. 19 November 2008
2008
4.50 | 2 ratings
JBs, Dudley, UK. 17 November 2008
2008
4.33 | 3 ratings
Rock City, Nottingham, UK. 18 November 2008
2008
2.42 | 3 ratings
De Waerdse Temple, Heerhugowaard, Netherlands. 21 November
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
013, Tilburg, Netherlands. 23 November 2008
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
Vereeniging, Nijmegen, Netherlands. 24 November 2008
2008
4.27 | 6 ratings
E-Werk, Cologne, Germany. 26 November 2008
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
Le Splendid, Lille, France. 27 November 2008
2008
3.40 | 10 ratings
Christmas 2008: Pudding On The Ritz
2008
3.00 | 1 ratings
Whatever Is Wrong with You
2008
4.04 | 5 ratings
Happiness on the Road - Concorde 2 Brighton - 28 January 2009
2009
4.00 | 2 ratings
Christmas 2009: Snow De Cologne
2009
3.17 | 5 ratings
Crash Course
2009
4.00 | 2 ratings
Christmas 2010: Ding, Dong Loreley On High...
2010
4.00 | 2 ratings
Christmas 2011: Live At The German Space Day 2004
2011
3.33 | 3 ratings
Christmas 2012: Sleighed Again
2012
4.60 | 5 ratings
North American Tour 2012: Irwing Plaza, New York City, USA - 12 June 2012
2012
4.40 | 5 ratings
North American Tour 2012: Irwing Plaza, New York City, USA - 13 June 2012
2012
4.33 | 6 ratings
Crash Course
2013
3.39 | 12 ratings
The Carol Of The Bells
2013
4.00 | 2 ratings
Christmas 2013: Proggin' Around The Christmas Tree
2013
4.00 | 5 ratings
Christmas 2014: Chile For The Time Of Year
2014
3.00 | 1 ratings
Glass Half Full - The Making of Marbles
2015
4.00 | 3 ratings
The New Kings
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
Festivities, Elation And Rejoicing! Christmas 2016
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
Christmas At The Club (Christmas 2017)
2017
3.85 | 13 ratings
Living In F E A R
2017
3.00 | 2 ratings
A Star in the East Live in Japan 2018 (Xmas 2018)
2018
3.00 | 1 ratings
Unsound
2018
3.00 | 2 ratings
Mr Taurus - The Making of Somewhere Else
2019
3.00 | 2 ratings
Satellite Navigation - The Making of Happiness Is the Road
2019
3.00 | 1 ratings
Christmas 2020
2020
4.46 | 19 ratings
Be Hard on Yourself
2021
3.95 | 16 ratings
Murder Machines
2022

MARILLION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 An Hour Before It's Dark by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.98 | 217 ratings

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An Hour Before It's Dark
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Hogweed Returns

3 stars Well, what can I say about their latest album. As a die hard fan it's quite a struggle for me. I want to like this album but I can't get into it. I miss the sparkle, creativity and pure emotion which can be found on their previous album F.E.A.R., a highlight for me. I've been to the concert in Haarlem 2018 (Philharmonie) where they played the whole album live + some of their best oldies, a very memorable evening. 40 years after Script they are still active as a band and that's quite an achievement these days. But this is still a mediocre album and the music ripples on. The last song 'Care' has it's moments but it can't save the album. You can do better than this Marillion, take your time and make something great, worthwile and beautiful. I will wait with patience for the next release ..... *** 3 stars

 Script for a Jester's Tear by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 1983
4.25 | 2172 ratings

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Script for a Jester's Tear
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I intended to review this album on its 40th anniversary, March 14th, however I was sick and thus didn't quite have the energy to review it, but better late than never right?

Unlike most, I think the 80s weren't all too bad on prog. I mean, King Crimson reunited with a cool new yet still proggy sound, Kate Bush released a plethora of great prog pop albums, Rush was still going mighty strong, and avant-prog bands like Cardiacs and Univers Zero got quite popular in the threshold. It was also the decade when we got introduced to neo-prog, which then was a synth driven progressive rock movement that combined elements of new wave, punk, and prog pop into prog rock, creating this fun and inventive ideal for bands to take. Obviously, it goes without saying the genre's start can be pointed to Marillion's Script For A Jester's Tear.

Released in the same year as Metallica's debut album, Iron Maiden's Piece of Mind, and Talking Heads' Remain In Light, I feel like Script For A Jester's Tear is quite the album for the 80s, and one that with time, I fell in love with.

This was created in the wake of many life changing melodies the then frontman, Dereck Dick, or Fish, held within his life. Break up, drug abuse, and his encounters with the rich and war, all can be found within the album's longevity of music and what he had experienced within his life. Whilst these more personal, and more outwardly touchy subjects aren't new for prog rock, hell bands like Pink Floyd and King Crimson had talked about them for quite some time, I feel like what Fish crafts here is truly his own, and in retrospect, paints a beautiful, yet very depressing picture. I think it really makes Script For A Jester's Tear a very special album in my eyes, as I feel like it takes the best elements of more punk ideals and merges them with the fun exploration of progressive rock. To me, this feels like if Genesis or any symphonic prog band decided to make their own interpretation of Animals by Pink Floyd.

Musically speaking, this album is quite some of the best prog rock you can get. Many passages on here have this overwhelming charm to it. While on first listens the Genesis inspiration is quite apparent, I feel like that inspiration goes away pretty quickly and merges within this more unique quality the band takes on. Tracks like the title track, The Web, Garden Party, and Forgotten Sons does such a charming job in my opinion within the entire beauty it all holds, and while you can definitely hear some form of inspiration within the sounds and qualities to bands from the 70s, I do not think it makes the sound any less than so, and in fact I feel like it is truly progressive, using the sounds and stylizations of bands from the past and coating them in a new coat of paint and adding a new edge to the whole is a great showcasing of progressive rock and why I really love it. I mean, it is pretty telling of this fact with the album cover. The back depicts albums from the past, on the floor, relatively hidden away in the darkness; the past is still there, but the future, the jester, is now. I think this musicality represents the entire scope of prog rock, as it looks and reflects on the past, like how Fish does within the lyrics, but it is shrouded and foggy in the wake of new things. The more I think about it, the more ingenious this whole album becomes as a metaphor for not only Fish's life, but for prog rock as a whole.

It is without saying, or denying that this album is a masterpiece. Every track on here is a masterclass of prog rock standards, and while it isn't my favorite Marillion album, nor my favorite Fish era album (that title goes to Misplaced Childhood), Script For A Jester's Tear is still a boundless and quite an amazing record, taking what was and turning it into something new. It is no better time than now to see and hear this album as it is one of those prog rock classics that I feel needs more recognition. This is an ingenious, beautiful, edgy, and quite charming record if I do say so myself.

 This Strange Engine by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.47 | 641 ratings

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This Strange Engine
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Out of all the releases Marillion had made over their 40+ years of music, I am quite surprised that This Strange Engine is so underrated and ill-appreciated within the sheer volume the band has crafted, especially in their current H-era. I want to hopefully get more people to see how good this album really is. I cannot say it is a perfect album the band has made, but I think the hate it gets is undeserving.

I think the biggest complaint I have seen within this album is that it is too poppy, or a bit more mainstream, and I can definitely see why people might have quite the stinge for that type of stuff within prog rock, but I feel like Marillion has always been a little more poppy and accessible. Look at songs like Kayleigh or The Great Escape, which are rather big pop hits for a prog rock band, and while you could argue The Great Escape is a lot more prog than pop, Kayleigh cannot be denied from it being it's very pop status, so I feel like This Strange Engine more or less just continues the more pop nature Marillion naturally already have, and I personally think it sells this more prog pop aspect really well. Songs like 80 Days, Estonia, and Hope For The Future are all excellent songs that feel very vibrant and lively, but contain Hogarth's signature moody poetry that creates a divergent boundary in mood and feelings that pay off really well.

I also feel like the critique of this being a lot more acoustic and not filled with enough complexities never quite made sense to me. I feel like even more acoustic albums can be quite complex, I mean look at some folk bands out there like Current 93 and Harmonium, which are groups that create very endearing and rather long songs that contain quite the bit more spice needed to keep things interesting. The complexities, to me, are pretty front and center, and even if they are not the main focus, I think the music as a whole makes up for it, especially on the 15 minute long title track, which I think in of itself is a very strong prog rock epic. I actually feel like the focus on Hogarth's singing and lyrics work in favor to this album, and while I do think not every lyric hits hard, I think at the end of the day this is some of the best Hogarth vocals on an album; definitely comparable to some legendary scores on Brave and Marbles.

Now, personally, really truly justly personal, I think this is a very great album. I never feel dissatisfied with these songs, and what is on here is really stellar in the grand scheme of things. However, I think it is a very front loaded album, with the exception of This Strange Engine. Unlike most Marillion releases which have a very good handful and mixture of songs that are spread out meticulously, the first half kinda has the better songs in my mind compared to the second half. While I do enjoy moments from An Accidental Man and Memory of Water, I do not think they compare to stuff like A Man Of A Thousand Faces or 80 Days that have some brilliant elements that truly make H-era Marillion my favorite era the band is held in. The exception is This Strange Engine, which I think holds some stellar, almost Ocean Cloud rivaling scores that keep me wanting more. Truly one of Marillion's best songs.

If you might be a new or old Marillion fan, I think you should really check this album out, or revisit it. I think a lot of people need to relisten to this one, as it is where we get some of the best Hogarth moments, some of the best? more moody songs the band has made, and one of the band's best prog epics. Do not turn down this album, it really is a special gemstone, and an underrated one at that.

 An Hour Before It's Dark by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.98 | 217 ratings

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An Hour Before It's Dark
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by BBKron

4 stars This is the 20th studio album from Prog mainstays Marillion, but their first since F.E.A.R. in 2016. I have to admit that although I was a fan of the early days of Marillion (with vocalist Fish) in the '80's, I haven't really followed the band through the Steve Hogarth years, so was not very familiar with what the band has done in recent years. This album pushes forward presenting commentary on all the pressing issues of the day with an immersive sound and dark and moody atmosphere. But this album also offers a bit more hope than some of their previous ones, with very emotional and stirring lyrics and music. The album features four suites of songs covering 4 major themes, as well as a couple of standalone songs. Marillion fills the musical spaces with their own version of a wall of sound, as keyboards and synths fill the background creating a dark, flowing, moody atmosphere throughout. The music often reminds me of a somewhat gloomier version of those '80's synth-pop bands like Tears for Fear and Talk Talk. At other times, there are definite similarities to U2, both in the music and emotional heft of the lyrics. There are certainly some powerful sections here and an immersive sound and feel throughout. One of the problems I have with it, however, is that it is a bit too much of that same brooding atmosphere throughout the entire album. And whether they are being somber and sad, rocking out, or being uplifted with a heavenly choir, the tempo barely changes, staying at the same slow mid-tempo pace. There is no question that these guys are very good at what they do, and they create lovely immersive soundscapes and emotionally charged moods. But for me, most of the songs go on a bit too long and without enough differences between the songs. However, the final epic suite, 'Care', is magnificent, and works beautifully, raising the entire album several notches. It starts with a funky beat and vibe reminiscent of Talking Heads and then proceeds through several different sections of ebbs and flows leading up to a magnificent soaring emotional finale. By far the highlight of the album, and possibly a highlight of the band's career, as this one works on all levels. The rest of the album also has some stellar moments, but is just not quite my cup of tea overall. Still, a very good album, Best tracks: 'Care', 'Be Hard on Yourself'. Weaker tracks: 'Reprogram the Gene', 'Murder Machines'. Rating: 3.5
 With Friends at St. David's by MARILLION album cover Live, 2021
4.13 | 19 ratings

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With Friends at St. David's
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Just as Marillion's album of acoustic reimaginings of their material, Less Is More, had an associated live release in the form of Live At Cadogan Hall, so too does their album of rock band-plus-strings-and-wind-instruments reinterpretations, With Friends From the Orchestra, have a companion live album in the form of With Friends At St. David's.

Of course, the idea of adding some orchestral friends to Marillion tracks in order to put a bit more pep in their step had enjoyed a previous airing - the very same "Friends From the Orchestra" would lend a hand on the excellent All One Tonight live album. Still, there's not much of an overlap in the material between there and here, so this release is in no sense redundant with that. Loses marks for weak sound at the start, before the sound quality evens out after Gaza.

 An Hour Before It's Dark by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.98 | 217 ratings

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An Hour Before It's Dark
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars An Hour Before It's Dark takes the song suite-based approach of their previous album, FEAR, and shifts it from that album's pastoral contemplation of an England bent on self-destruction to a contemplation of a world on the verge of darkness, but sensing some hope to come after the long night.

There's soulfulness, there's soaring moments harkening back to some of their early days (Steve Rothery's guitar solo on The Crow and the Nightingale, for example), there's sorrow, there's joy, and underlying it all it's Marillion with the quiet confidence of a band in a late-career renaissance. Why, listen to Maintenance Drugs and there's even a pinch of funk. Some of it sounds further from Marillion than they've ever gone before, some of it sounds like quintessential Marillion, but all of it sounds like it belongs together. That, folks, is a pretty serious achievement.

 With Friends from the Orchestra by MARILLION album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2019
4.12 | 43 ratings

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With Friends from the Orchestra
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is, in effect, the reverse of Less Is More - whereas that album found Marillion revisiting gems from their back catalogue in stripped-down acoustic versions, With Friends From the Orchestra finds them adding to the originals. Rather than playing with a full orchestra - an option taken by many bands in the past, but which always risks overpowering the band - Marillion instead, as the title implies, use a select group of classical musicians to add particular notes to the material.

Indeed, these friends are no strangers to Marillion - for the In Priase of Folly string quartet, plus Sam Morris on French horn and Emma Halnan on flute, made memorable contributions on the second disc of the excellent All One Tonight live album, which in effect was a dry run of this idea. That said, they played differeent songs that night, so rather than merely recapping that disc they plus Marillion push their collaboration forwards, providing new versions of the songs in question which are at once familiar but different, adding a new dimension to the material. It's not an essential release, but it is a rather fine one, and well-recommended for anyone who found the string quartet and wind instrument contributions on All One Tonight charming.

 An Hour Before It's Dark by MARILLION album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.98 | 217 ratings

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An Hour Before It's Dark
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars A mature and emotionally powerful COVID-19-centric album from these prog masters.

1. "Be Hard on Yourself" (9:28) (18.25/20): - i. The Tear in the Big Picture - great sound to the opening before large choir enters with a forceful declaration. Hogarth and the gang then enter with nice syncopated music behind Steve's passionate though sensitive vocal. Great weave from all players, none seeking the limelight, all contributing equally to the overall tapestry, while Hogarth delivers one of the best vocals I've ever heard from him. - ii. Lust for Luxury - piano arpeggi and Hogarth's "ooh's" usher in new motif--though the rhythmic foundation is not very different from the previous section. - iii. You Can Learn - gentler, more subdued instrumental soundscape indicates the start of the third section: resolution and lessons. Eventually, the faster paced drum and bass weave is re-established while guitars and keys thicken the walls with their layers of contributions.

2. "Reprogram the Gene" (7:02) Despite a strong vocal performance from Steve Hogarth, this is the weakest song on the album. (12/15): - i. Invincible - a song expressing the band's anger at the government's control of the medical community. As powerful as Steve Hogarth's impassioned lyric and vocal are (the high point of the song) the rest of the song is quite dull (merely serving as a beige carpet for Steve to deliver his rant). - ii. Trouble-Free Life - muted soundscape, softened vocal approach, soon ramps up with electric piano the strongest accompanist of Hogarth's continued vocal. - iii. A Cure for Us? - the Rothery moment to provide input while Hogarth continues singing. "Let's all be friends"? Can we get more trite?

3. "Only a Kiss" (0:39) I don't normally rate songs this short, but this tiny little ditty is gorgeous. (5/5)

4. "Murder Machines" (4:21) a very moving video of a very good song about the tragic vulnerability and helplessness we felt with COVID-19. (8.75/10)

5. "The Crow and the Nightingale" (6:35) A very pleasant, rich, engaging sonic landscape over which Steve delivers yet another remarkably powerful vocal performance especially the final three minutes when he is aided and enhanced by a wonderful choir background vocalists. Great arrangement!) The music behind Steve Rothery's guitar solo in the sixth minute brings me to tears--and this is followed by a great ending. A top three song for me and one of my favorite songs of 2022. (9.5/10)

6. "Sierra Leone" (10:54) Several of the lines repeated over and over within the lyrics get a bit old (and feel simple or cliché) (e.g. "I won't sell this diamond.") (18.25/20): - i. Chance in a Million - Hogarth and piano enter using the same melody line. The band then fills in a gentle four-part Torch song background. - ii. The White Sand - piano chord play with meandering lead guitar and slow walk drum and bass pace. Very pretty section little section. - iii. The Diamond - bursts forth into classic Marillion fullness with piano arpeggi and Steve Rothery's magic on the fretboard, top to bottom. Great passion from Hogarth in the "walking free in Freetown" delivery. - iv. The Blue Warm Air - more ethereal gentle music around Hogarth's "shimmering in around my head" and "sparkle in the blue warm air" lyric. Beautiful. Loses a little of its magic when the band bursts into dynamic fullness again. - v. More Than a Treasure - recapitulation of full part of "Blue Warm Air" with multi-voice singing and Rothery jumping more into the fore.

7. "Care" (15:20) (26/30): - i. Maintenance Drugs - funky bass and driving drum pattern support Hogarth's plea for taking care of one's self. Sounds a bit too familiar. (8.25/10) - ii. An Hour Before It's Dark - a little SYLVAN-like musically, even as Hogarth's repeated title phrase turns more relaxed and subdued. Still, very pretty section--not unlike some KATE BUSH motifs.(4.75/5) - iii. Every Cell - a nice little set up for a searing Rothery solo. The drums could use a little more imagination (and variation). (4.5/5) - iv. Angels on Earth - synth bank chords usher in a section that sounds very much like an outro/finale. I like the lyric but it does go on a bit long. (8.5/10)

Total Time 54:19

One of the problems I have with this album is the relatively undistinguishable shifts between motifs in the longer, multi-part suites: the flow is too straighforward with very little shifting or deviation from the main/established themes.

B+/4.5 stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection

 Holidays in Eden (2022 Limited Deluxe Edition) by MARILLION album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2022
4.19 | 8 ratings

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Holidays in Eden (2022 Limited Deluxe Edition)
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The 2022 deluxe rerelease of Holidays In Eden takes an album which has always had Transitional Album Syndrome and makes the absolute best of it. Though the Steve Hogarth era of Marillion wouldn't really hit its stride until Brave, Holidays In Eden contained a brace of songs which would eventually become standards, and the brand new remix really teases out their charms whilst keeping the mysterious nocturnal atmosphere of the original intact.

On top of that, you have the usual extra bits and pieces all the deluxe reissues of their EMI-era material offer - you get a blu-ray with some nice video content on it as well as a surround-sound presentation of the album (the videos including a complete televised concert from Germany's Rockpalast), you get demos and whatnot, and you get a full live show (this one from Hammersmith in September 1991). The live show is solid, but - as with much other early live material from the Steve Hogarth era - it does show some mild hiccups when the band try to work in Fish-era material into the setlist, a necessity this early on after Fish's departure but still an awkward fit in some cases. On the whole, it's a four-star show accompanying a four-star album - but what a strong four stars.

 Fugazi (2021 Limited Deluxe Edition) by MARILLION album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2021
4.85 | 27 ratings

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Fugazi (2021 Limited Deluxe Edition)
Marillion Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The 2021 deluxe edition of Fugazi follows the general pattern set by EMI's deluxe releases of the Marillion back catalogue - remaster and new mix of the album (magnificent, really nicely done, respectful to the material whilst teasing out new nuance), blu-ray with documentary, contemporary videos, and so on, and a full live show.

In this case the live show is a night at the Spectrum in Canada from June 1984. This is the same show which had pieces extracted from it for Real to Reel, but there's enough added here to make releasing the show feel genuinely worthwhile.

Marillion's long-running affection for Montreal is well-documented - they've been back to the Spectrum several times over the years and they dedicated a song to the town on Sounds That Can't Be Made - so hearing one of their first encounters with the city which sowed the seeds of that very special relationship they have with the fans there is great, and the band are absolutely on form. With Ian well-established on drums at this point, they're firing on all cylinders (they knew by this point that if the tour and the live album didn't do well, that'd be it), and they've forged themselves into the tight unit which will go on to make Misplaced Childhood.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Lazland (w/ Quinino help) for the last updates

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