Sometime back in the earl 80’s I was lent 3 Vinyl LP’s by my friend Ian Holland. These 3 LP’s probably changed my outlook on music for the rest of my life. They were like nothing I had hear before. And that change made me open to all sorts of music from that point on. Those 3 LP’s were by Marillion and they were Script for a Jester’s Tear, Fugazi, and Misplaced Childhood. I loved the intricacy of the music and the complexity of Fish’s lyrics. Clutching at Straws completed a perfect suite of albums.
Fish left in 1988.
In 1989 Marillion released their first album with new singer Steve Hogarth, Seasons End. It was an excellent follow up album to Clutching and a good start for the new band member. This was followed by Holidays In Eden which I wasn’t that keen on. However in 1994 they release Brave which was a masterpiece. From that point on I kept religiously buying Marillion albums up until Marbles.
Fish however brought out Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors in 1990, which was ok. He followed this with Internal Exile in 1991 which was less ok. So when Suits came out in 1994, I left it and stopped listening.
A few weeks ago I realised that there were 2 Marillion albums that I didn’t have and 6 Fish albums. So I went to their respective web sites and ordered the missing back catalogue.
I listened to all the Fish Albums and they are shit. They get progressively better but not enough. At the beginning he is let down by poor musicians and although that starts to change you realise that actually Fish is a crap lyricist. Now, to just type that goes against everything I had ever believed about him from the Marillion era, but it seems that when he left Marillion, he was moving his lyrics into a more serious and possibly literary medium. He is a good poet but they just don’t make good songs. So many times it seems that he is straining to make a lyric fit to the music. The words just don’t appear to flow with the melody. The verse lines are often too long and thus all the expected rhymes are in the wrong place or not there at all. This is most noticable in that, with the the few songs that are actually good, the lyric seems to break down to a more punchier and snappier format. I just wonder if he is missing a group of talented musicians who can get him inline. Someone not afraid to tell him to edit to a song format when needed. It’s a shame because it’s the first time I have ever bought music that I was really unhappy with.
The Marillion albums are great. They are a perfect addition to my music library.Marillion, Misplaced Childhood, Clutching at Straws, Steve Hogarth, Seasons End, Holidays In Eden, Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors, Internal Exile
Marillion, Misplaced Childhood, Clutching at Straws, Steve Hogarth, Seasons End, Holidays In Eden, Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors, Internal Exile