Marillion- Marbles

Discussion in 'Music' started by Mike Broadman, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Here's the low-down on the new Marillion album:

    Hard-core fans have been pre-ordering it for the past 7 months so that money has been paying for its production and marketing. This versions of the album is 2 CDs of new music and comes in a big, fancy-schmancy packaged thing. Those of us who ordered before January have our names in the credits (mine can be found on the 4th page of credits, right side, towards the top [​IMG] ).

    On May 3rd, a one CD version will be released via retail stores. Frankly, I'm surprised by some of the choices of which tracks they're putting on the one-disc version. Suffice it to say, those that settle for that one will be missing a couple of really neat tracks.

    Overall, the album is very melancholy and emotive. Steve Hogarth has all but abandoned his clear, melody-focused style for a more conversational, emotive approach. The band just sounds amazing- proven as master performances a long time ago, they have constantly been experimenting with their sonic pallette and have reached a state of ingenuity, subtlety and perfection. Whereas their 1998 album Radiation saw them diving into new sounds with mixed results and their last two toning it down, they brought it back with it's very successful. Spare electronic sounds with varied percussion, a nice array of guitar sounds, subtle atmospheric keyboards, elegant bass. The production is solid and unobtrusive.

    Highlights: 4 short interlude tracks called Marbles are spread throughout the album. The first song, Invisible Man, is 13 minutes, sprawling, a bit messy, complex, and great listening experience. It changes dynamics quickly, creating a collage effect. The single, You're Gone, uses sparse electronic beats and a solid melody. As a single, it's on the top 10 in the UK charts. Ocean Cloud is a gorgeous 17 minute epic and, unlike Invisible Man, flows nicely throughout so that it feels much shorter than it is. It's almost meditative. Not surprisingly due to its length, it's only on the double album version. The Only Unforgivable Thing is also only on the double and it's a very good tune. Angelina and Neverland are the most emotive on the album, very intense and gorgeous.

    As cliched as this is, this is one of those albums that rewards you the more you listen to it. It's been on my iPod and in my car since I got it a few days ago and I can't wait to listen to it again. And, in true Marillion fashion, is a reaction to their last album, which was more "accessible" as it solidified their experimentation until that point.

    Very highly recommended.

    The double CD can be ordered from www.marillion.co.uk
     
  2. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    As someone who's also "in the book", I agree that this is a keeper. (I've only made it through once so far.) With two hours plus, it's a lot to digest, but worth the effort.

    The package itself is amazing. Easily the most impressive CD package I own, and that's saying a lot.

    The production is startlingly good. There's real dynamics on this record, a dear commodity these days, and everything is clear and vivid, spread across a wide open stereo image. Probably the best-sounding Marillion album ever. Rothery's solos in Neverland are grippingly alive and tangible.

    Anyone who's a fan and not pre-ordered this should definitely grab one of these deluxe editions before they're gone.

    Ryan
     
  3. Rob M.

    Rob M. Stunt Coordinator

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    Agreed and agreed.

    Got my copy last week and I've been listening non-stop. And, Mike is absolutely correct, the best tracks are not going to be on the single-disc version.

    I just hope all that money they raised can get them across the pond for some US shows.
     
  4. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    I just ordered mine today...and discovered all those DVDs and "official bootlegs" Racket is selling. More money flies out of my already strained wallet...

    I've got to stop reading threads Mike Broadman posts to..my wallet can't take it anymore! [​IMG]
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Your wallet? Can you imagine actually being Mike Broadman?! Yikes!

    I have a few of the Racket Records release, too. I highly recommend the double live album at The Walls (I think that's what it's called). It has a great acoustic version of Answering Machine, a reggae rendition of Alone Again (In the Lap of Luxury), and covers of Blackbird and Fake Plastic Trees. The Brave live DVD is a must-have as well.

    Update: listened to the album again. It's still great.
     
  6. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    My name is in the book as well, and I am excited about a Marillion album for the first time in years. The last three studio albums left me rather flat, so I put this one on with low expectations. CD 1 brings back the magic of Brave and Afraid of Sunlight, with dark and moody pieces that take a while to digest but become the most rewarding in the end. CD 2 is more varried, and has a few songs that haven't grown on me yet, but it still works well. Fans of bands like Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, and other modern British bands should check this one out. If you only know Marillion from the 80s, this is a very different sound.

    Chris
     
  7. Chris Stainton

    Chris Stainton Second Unit

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    Just a heads up that they have started announcing tour dates in the U.S. I haven't seen them on this side of the pond since 1997. I can't wait.
     
  8. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    No one's seen them on this side of the pond since '97. [​IMG]

    Got the e-mail about 'em coming here last night. Oct 6 in NY- eagerly awaiting confirmation of the venue and ticket sales. If the DVDs are anything to go by, they are awesome live.
     
  9. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    You've never seen MARILLION live? I saw them during the Fish years on the "Script" tour--they opened for Todd Rundgren's UTOPIA and damn near got booed off the stage. Then I saw them on the "Fugazi" tour at the old Ritz (now Webster Hall), which was one of the greatest shows of my life. I was against the stage (in a MOTORHEAD t-shirt, no less), and Fish gave me the "golden handshake" during "Market Square Heroes."

    Although I prefer the Fish-era MARILLION, I saw the current line-up four times on the "Season's End" tour, and once on the "Holidays in Eden" tour. I could listen to Steve Rothery wail for hours (probably the world's most underrated guitarist).

    I may have to catch this show, because I'm really liking the 2-disc "Marbles" set. I haven't liked a MARILLION album this much since "This Strange Engine."
     
  10. Chris Stainton

    Chris Stainton Second Unit

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    Yeah, Marillion live is an incredible experience. The best concert I've ever been to was when I saw them live in 1990. First tour with H and they just kicked ass.

    I've seen Fish live too. It was fun, he tells the funniest stories, but no where near the experience of Marillion.
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I was a wee lad during the Fish years, and have only been into Marillion for a few years. The last time they toured North America, I didn't know they existed.
     
  12. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    The closest I've been to seeing Marillion live was Fish's solo tour a couple of years ago. Unfortunatly, I had decided not to go to the "This Strange Engine" show in the area when it happened, not knowing that it was going to be years before they returned again.

    Jason
     
  13. Chris Stainton

    Chris Stainton Second Unit

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    On the "This Strange Engine" tour I saw them at the Fillmore in San Francisco. The place was having problems with sound throughout the show. At the end of the song "King", H, who was playing guitar as well, through his guitar across the stage in frustration. It was an awesome moment and fit the intensity of the song very well.

    During the "Holidays In Eden" tour they were doing in-store signings as well. I got to see them do an acoustic set and again it was simply magic. It was just H, Trawavas and Rothery. Luckily a friend of mine video taped it.
     

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