Marillion - Post-Fish

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Putnam39, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. stodgers

    stodgers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montana
    Something happened once the CD era became locked in and bands were intent on filling the entire 70+ runtime: albums got worse. There were lots of great songs, but the albums seemed to be less about a focused effort, and more about fillings space. I remember vividly getting Blood Sugar Sex Magik in 1991 and wondering why the album just. wouldn't. end.

    Some bands have large gaps between albums, making one wish they would just split a lengthy effort in two (like Rush should have with Vapor Trails and Snakes & Arrows). But then there are bands who seem to pump out albums every two years regardless of whether they feel inspired or not (Megadeth) which seem a sure indication that they require the ongoing revenue each new album provides, and the stimulus for a tour that will garner interest. Cheap Trick has definitely sunk into this category now also.

    But I will say this: it is better to have new music to say 'meh' to from artists we appreciate, than it is to be languishing with what passes for music for the new generation.
     
  2. scribbs

    scribbs Resident Mockery

    Location:
    US
    One thing that I have seen with artists as they age is that the tempo of things slows down, and that makes it difficult to write a good hook. Now, I am a huge fan of the Fish years but I am really unfamiliar with the H years, so there's a chance that I may not know what I am talking about.
     
  3. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    I thought the last two U2 singles were very catchy. In fact one night I couldn't sleep and (for some reason) "You're the Best Thing About Me" kept playing in my head!

    Sadly I'm not hearing anything like that on F E A R. But I do like some of what I've heard from STCBM, so it's not that they can't pull it off anymore...
     
  4. Mirror Image

    Mirror Image In the Land of a Thousand Autumns

    I think it’s important for us to remember that Marillion’s goal may not be to create music that’s accessible by the masses. I don’t think they care anything about that as they’ve been at it for years and years now and have had no success except back with Fish during the Misplaced Childhood period, so they do know their listeners quite well at this point. I’m actually glad they haven’t ‘sold out’ as by keeping true to their musical vision, they’re making the kind of records they want and expressing what they want. For better or for worse, this is how they’ve operated since departing with EMI. They’re not a ‘singles’ band, they’re a progressive rock band whether Hogarth or Rothery or any of the other band members acknowledge this or not. Of course, I’m not complaining since progressive rock is the real reason as to why I listen to this music in the first place. I will say I love bands like The Police, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Tears For Fears, U2, Talk Talk, among others, but this is really to help clean my rock musical palette from my heavy diet of prog rock. :)
     
  5. PTgraphics

    PTgraphics Forum Resident

    I really enjoy the H era of Marillion. Saw them in Atlanta this year, truly epic! Having said that I still can't get into F.E.A.R and I still dislike the mixing and vocals on Radiation - both mixes of it.
     
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  6. The updated Radiation is stellar. One of my favourite albums. Glad to see This Strange Engine getting the love it deserves. Much prefer the H era to the Fish era although Misplaced is one of my fave albums ever. Fish is crap live these days whilst Marillion can still stun. The 5.1 Brave has elevated it to a new level for me. Everything from H era up to Marillion.com is accomplished. In last 20 years Marbles shines as do large chunks of other albums but they have enough to refresh the live experience.
    Ultimately they are still a great live band. Some of their stuff does not click until i see it live.
     
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  7. Mirror Image

    Mirror Image In the Land of a Thousand Autumns

    I’ll go ahead and say it: I’m REALLY looking forward to the Afraid of Sunlight deluxe edition (whenever this happens --- probably after the Clutching at Straws deluxe edition, which I believe will be released later this year).
     
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  8. Mirror Image

    Mirror Image In the Land of a Thousand Autumns

    I never could get into Radiation (I own both the original and the newly improved issue). This Strange Engine is one of my favorites from Marillion (just behind Brave and Afraid of Sunlight).
     
  9. Instant Dharma

    Instant Dharma Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Bay, Ca
    These are the two I’m most excited about.
     
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  10. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Fish-era is better by nautical mile.
     
  11. Mirror Image

    Mirror Image In the Land of a Thousand Autumns

    I don’t think so. Perhaps for you, yes, but for those of us who actually carried on with the band after Fish’s departure, no, not better at all. Again, I come back to the apples and oranges comparison.
     
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  12. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Overstatement at its best.
     
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  13. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    It's fine for them if they want to be artistic and all. However, I think the importance of lasting melodies cannot be overstated. All the great prog classics have great hooks and musical highs. I feel Marillion have noticeably skimped on that field with their last album, and the middle three tracks do nothing for me at all. If you want to test your audience's patience, you have to reward them after a while too, IMO.

    I think TFF and TT have a lot in common with the "prog rock" acts in some ways, and in many ways late Talk Talk already did the thing that Marillion are trying to do on F E A R, and they did it better... again IMO.
     
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  14. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Honestly, I think that the entire concept of "hook" is overestimated.
    A hook is basically a trick. A cheap trick to put something in your head and make it memorable. It's a common trick in pop. One might argue that a pop song cannot be successful without a hook or at the very least it helps a lot.

    But that's marketing. Art is something else. Art is more close to a genuine expression of contents. Of course pure art is impossible in the music business, the two things cancel out. But beautiful music can exist without "hooks". Actually, it is how music has been made in history before consumerism took over.
    Mind you, a good, remarkable melody is not the same as a "hook". The two ideas don't overlap completely.
     
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  15. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    My sentimental favorite will always be the Fish era, although some of it perhaps hasn't aged all that well.

    For me, the H era is marked by some wonderful highs and some puzzling lows as well. My favorite H era albums are the usual suspects: Brave, Marbles and Seasons' End. I think Marillion were really struggling to find themselves in the late 90s. Likewise, I haven't really been on board for the last couple of albums. I just don't enjoy the-to my ears-sleepy, aimless, wandering approach to arranging. I recognize F.E.A.R. is often considered one of Marillion's best albums by many fans, but I'm just not one of them.
     
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  16. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    I disagree with your remarks on hooks. A good "hook" is not easy to write and when it works well, it gives you an entry way into the rest of the package. Marillion have always been masters of writing good hooks and I find that is exactly what is lacking on the last couple of albums. A hook doesn't necessarily equate with "commercial". I'm not sure what other artists you admire, but I'm assuming you're also into the likes of other progressive rock artists like Yes, Genesis, ELP, etc. Each and every one of these bands wrote songs with hooks to go along with their more progressive artsy compositions. And none of those commercial "hook" laden songs took away from their artistic aspirations, IMO.
     
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  17. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    What would "The Battle of Epping Forest" be without that beautiful "picnic" line that only appears twice in the song but helps it immensely from being just a rambling thing resembling a sports reportage!

    @The_Windmill Well, then replace the word "hook" with "strong musical motif". And in classical music you also have a lot of that. And Marillion could do those very well, too. I do remember at least one from the last album: "**** everyone and run" - more of those parts wouldn't have hurt, methinks...
     
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  18. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Evenmore, Script For A Jester's Tear is the best Marrillion's album.
     
  19. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    Marillion without Fish is like if Roger Daltrey left The Who in e.g. 1968 and if some other singer was hired.
     
  20. stodgers

    stodgers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montana
    ...and they released Tommy and then Who's Next with that new singer a couple years later and blew the world's mind. :)
     
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  21. Mirror Image

    Mirror Image In the Land of a Thousand Autumns

    Not all ‘prog greats’ have ‘hooks’ or ‘lasting’ melodies (as if this was a criteria for evaluating the complex world of progressive rock). Look at Van der Graaf Generator or Gentle Giant. Where are the hooks there? Where are the lasting melodies? Look at CAN or Ash Ra Tempel or Le Orme or Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. Again, where are these hooks or lasting melodies you speak of? These things don’t make a progressive band great. They certainly do help, sure, but they’re not everything.
     
  22. Mirror Image

    Mirror Image In the Land of a Thousand Autumns

    :sigh:
     
  23. Svetonio

    Svetonio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Serbia
    I doubt so. But, perhaps a comparison with Byron-era Uriah Heep is even better, as Lawton-era never had that chemistry.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  24. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    As far as lasting melodies, I guess I'm with you on Can and Ash Ra Tempel as those bands are more about rhythm, experimentation and/or ambient sounds. But Le Orme and Banco? Geez, they're everywhere in almost any given album! I'm on the fence about VDGG and Gentle Giant but I can see both sides of the arguments there. Still, "Two Weeks in Spain" is catchy as hell, even if it's from a weaker album.
     
  25. stodgers

    stodgers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montana
    Since Daltrey had almost no creative input into the band's songwriting, why would it be unrealistic to expect that Townsend would have continued on the same path? It's a belabored analogy to begin with, since Hogarth predominantly writes the lyrics for Marillion.
     

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