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Marillion

Marillion emerged from the short-lived progressive rock revival of the early '80s to become one of the most enduring cult acts of the era. The group formed in Aylesbury, England, in 1979, and adopted its original name, Silmarillion, from the title of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel. Initially, Marillion were comprised of guitarist Steve Rothery, bassist Doug Irvine, keyboardist Brian Jelliman, and drummer Mick Pointer, but after recording "The Web," an instrumental demo, they recruited vocalist Fish (born Derek Dick) and bassist Diz Minnitt. Prior to recording their debut single, "Market Square Heroes," keyboardist Mark Kelly and bassist Pete Trewavas replaced Jelliman and Minnitt.

Marillion issued their debut album, Script for a Jester's Tear, in 1983, and on the strength of a relentless touring schedule they won a loyal following. With new drummer Ian Mosley (formerly of Curved Air) firmly in place, they returned to the studio for 1984's Fugazi, which streamlined the intricacies of the group's prog rock leanings in favor of a more straight-ahead hard rock identity; the refinements paid off, and both "Assassin" and "Punch and Judy" became British hits. With 1985's Misplaced Childhood, an elaborate conceptual album reflecting Fish's formative experiences, Marillion earned their greatest success to date; the lush ballad "Kayleigh" reached the number two position on the U.K. charts, and became a hit in the U.S. as well. The follow-up, "Lavender," was also a smash, but the group began crumbling: Fish developed alcohol and drug problems, and egos ran rampant. After 1987's Clutching at Straws (and the 1988 live effort The Thieving Magpie), Fish left the band for a solo career.

The initial release of post-Fish Marillion did not substantially alter the sound the band had displayed on Misplaced Childhood and Clutching at Straws. The addition of lyricist John Helmer and lyricist/vocalist Steve Hogarth came after the band had developed much of the musical material for Season's End, and few alterations in style were made. The follow-up, Holidays in Eden, was intended as a more mainstream rock album but failed to attract a wider audience. Marillion's record label, EMI, gave the band a higher budget for the next album and the result of 15 months labor was Brave, a concept album that mixed classic symphonic progressive rock with standard rock. The following release, Afraid of Sunlight, considerably altered the band's approach with great success -- it is the most consistent Marillion release to date.

Following Afraid of Sunlight, the bandmembers split up briefly to record side projects. Hogarth released Ice Cream Genius under the name H, Rothery formed the Wishing Tree (which produced Carnival of Souls), and Mosley and Trewavas joined Iris for Crossing the Desert. The Rothery and Hogarth projects were both very acoustic in nature, and when the band re-formed for This Strange Engine in 1997, Marillion's style changed again to a softer sound.

After the release of This Strange Engine, Marillion scheduled a European tour, but keyboardist Kelly posted an online message stating that the band would not tour the United States due to a lack of record company support. Fans of the band worldwide joined forces to raise over $60,000 to underwrite the tour, and the band undertook its largest North American tour since Holidays in Eden. In 1998, the band returned to the studio to record its tenth album, Radiation. Again changing styles, the effort showed the influences of the Beatles and Radiohead, specifically OK Computer. Marillion.com followed in 1999, and the early part of the new century saw the release of two additional studio albums, 2001's Anoraknophobia and 2004's Marbles, the latter displaying the influences of both U2 and Pink Floyd. While both of these albums were closely followed by themed live releases, the second of these -- 2005’s Marbles Live -- featured on-stage renditions that were arguably stronger than their comparative studio takes.

Breaking away from the meticulous approach to production offered by long-time collaborator Dave Meegan, in 2007 Marillion employed Michael Hunter to oversee the recording of their 14th studio album, Somewhere Else. In terms of sales, it was their most successful release in almost a decade and featured the U.K. hit single "Thank You Whoever You Are." In 2008, Hunter also produced their ambitious two-volume work, Happiness Is the Road before a back-to-basics, self-recorded acoustic album -- Less Is More -- was issued the following year, featuring pared-down versions of post-1994 Marillion material. Their next full-blown studio album was 2012's politically motivated Sounds That Can’t Be Made, which included the sprawling 17-minute "Gaza." The following year a live performance from their 2013 biannual weekend festival in Port Zelande, Netherlands, was recorded. Titled A Sunday Night Above the Rain, the album was expected to be released in 2014. ~ Jason Ankeny & Dale Jensen, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Really want a superb song? The Invisible Man is a thriller, complex and beautiful opus. Marillion shows the best of their both worlds.
They sound like Genesis.
@bradwilder8 4 5 - They played 2 shows at The Chance in 1987. October 2nd which was such a success they came back a added another (not originally scheduled) just over a week later on the 15th. I was at both and still have the stubs. :) Fish spilled my beer while I was watching the opening act at show two... the b**tard! ;)
I just came across Marillion on Youtube I thought some of their music was Genesis when I heard it. but I really like it with Fish or Without. and Rush and Scorpions are 2 of my all time favorite bands.
A dear British friend of mine introduced me to marillion many years ago , i was already into other prog type groups such as rush and pink floyd. I remember listening to script for a jesters tear and feeling so akin to the lyrics. My friend is now past (he committed suicide) Mike may you rest in peace... I recently got internet and have started re-exploring the music of my past. and marillion came up and i realized i need to catch up. Thanks to Pandora
bradwilder84 5 - Fish left the band at the end of 1988 after the CLUTCHING AT STRAWS album and tour, so it couldn't have been in the mid 90's. Maybe you seen Fish's solo tour and not Marillion. Steve Hogarth joined the band in 1989 and they released the SEANONS END album and he's been with them ever since.
bradwilder84 5
Saw them with Fish... oh my, can't recall when. Mid 90's. Fantastic! It was in an old theater called The Chance in Poughkeepsie NY
Ohhh , Helll, this has to be my No. 1. all time favorite; which says quite a lot.
Most Excellent.. Wow...
i read a interview with Fish and he said that the song perimeter walk from misplaced child was about him going over Rothery's house one night to collaborate on some ideas and then he dropped acid and walked home. during this walk he started forming in his head the song. when he got home he was sitting on his steps and hallucinated that a little boy was standing by him and this boy represented his misplaced childhood. Wow...kinda spooky. read the lyrics & you'll clearly see what he seen and felt.
Thanks to Pandora I now have a station labeled Neo-Progress i v e Rock.
Marillion with Fish as their frontman was awesome,saw them in Nottingham. Once Fish left to do his own thing I believe they both lost their way and were never as good when they were together,sor r y Steve no offense mate.
Saw them in pittsburgh in the mid 1990s. after the show, ian mosley came and sat down at our table in the club. great guy, and a great band.
WoW I remember this group was a huge hit while I was station in and around Frankfurt,Ge r m a n y . I used to own a few of the cassettes that came out back then. Sachzenhauss e n for example of the Taverns played Marillion. Keliegh,left a huge impression on all of us even while doing the border patrols between East and West at the time!
mike22806
They sound like old Genesis love vocals by Fish
pmfith
After Brave, I completely lost interest. I only listened to Marillion because they were (sort of) progressive. Once they lost that - they became another pointless band among thousands of others...
love marillion - every time I hear one of there tunes I have never heard b4 - makes me want to go out and purchase the whole album - never been disapointed.
First time saw them in L A supporting This album. Little I knew was going to be the only time I saw them with Fish as their frontman. Great band. Undoubtedly one of all time favd
Outstanding! The bio has been updated! (I think my email to Lucy paid off)
Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden Praises Marrillion. hmmmm
desde 1994 sigo a marillion y nunca lo dejare
This needs updating. Marillion has released 3 more albums, and has a 4th on the horizon (December 2012 tentative release). They do a festival called Marillion Weekend every year or two where they play every night for three nights, and host other musical talent and a great set of events related to music, culture, and fundrasing/a w a r e n e s s for world hunger.

They recently made another successful American (the continents, not the country) tour over both North and South America the summer of 2012.
love steve hogarth voice the man has an incredible range - this is the first marillion album that that ever tickled my ear drums - i am a huge progressive rock fan from the days of yes genesis - king crimson - i hv just been listening some of there stuff with fish and its good too but the music they have recorded with steve hogarth is the best in my opinion - peace
Saw them in Los Angeles on June 28, about 20 years after seeing them the first time. They are an amazing live band. Throughout the whole show, they consistently held the audience in their hand, taking them from a fevered frenzy one minute to a level of silence quiet enough to hear the audience hum to a whispered song.

Old stuff or new stuff, they continue to produce great music over the 25 years I've been a fan. I hope they'll make it back to the US one of these days!
Marillion is the greatest band to ever walk the Earth IN MY OPINION. Many people will hear Kayleigh and quickly judge. Don't do that it! You really gotta dig through them and listen to all their albums. I'm 14 and from the US, and I own EVERY album and I've never heard one I don't love. Brave is the best, by the way.
i love the comment from jchaldu. your answer to your friend, i believe is not only well said. i think it is the perfect answer. Succinct, and as is said, enough said. jjs
jchaldu
One of the greatest live acts ever. Marillion live shows will leave you stunned. I took a friend to see This Strange Engine in Los Angeles many years ago. 2 minutes into the first song she grabbed me and said Why arent these guys the most famous band in the world! I said in the heads of everyone here they are.
cheryl551
June 29th @ the Filmore...I can barely wait!!!!!!
One of the great progressive groups to come out of the second generation of prog/rock bands. I loved them with Fish, who is a wonderful singer and a great lyricist but think that H has brought them a long way.
Marbles is one of the great concept albums. Their live albums are fantastic.
fregney
I live in Pittsburgh and went to see them twice in Montreal - 2009 and 2011
Garden Party fanatastic! It's a Parrrrttttyy y . . . !
toads2
I love them., They are finally coming to the u.s.! see you there!
I love Marillion.
papawhiskey9 9
Have been a huge fan for years. Not well known here in the states. Would love to see them live.
241084893
Like this music. Never heard it before.
This sounds like a more (if possible) upbeat version of U2. BTW--I have ancestry on both sides of my family from the area near Aylesbury!
I have followed this band since its inception. Script, Fugazi, and Misplaced are my favorite. I miss Fish. Tremendous lyricist. Very good live.
Love the music and stories with both Fish and Hogarth since we started playing "He Knows You Know" on 97 LAV-FM when it was first released.
kjw1231
Wide variety of sounds, moods and textures. Been a fan since 1982. Cannot wait for the show in Montreal- April 2011.
bsdirect9
Been a big fan since Misplaced Childhood. I remember seeing them open for Rush in the mid-80s and headlining in many smaller venues. Would love to see a US tour that includes NYC. Mark - keep up the good work.
I bought radiation in 1998 when it came out, I had heard some marillion in the early 80,s I think kallie- on the radio - radiation is a great record - I like the guy who sings for them now better than fish - radiation kind of reminded me more of a seventies group - CRACK THE SKY - than of genesis there is a song on the lp called estonia that is just brilliant and the rest of the album is good too.
Thanks for all the positive comments. We will return to the USA one day.
Saw Marillion many times, their best concert was the Garden Party at Milton Keynes Bowl, Saturday June 28th 1986 with Jethro Tull and others as support. Misplaced Childhood live was always amazing. Also saw them in 94 on the Brave tour at UEA with SH lead singer,can't believe they are still recording and touring. Wish they would play the North West USA!
As a fan of Genesis, Yes, Floyd, some King Crimson, should I explore this band? I've been familiar w/ them. I kinda like what I hear, but for some reason, I'm resistant. 80's Prog trying to be 70's Prog doesn't exactly work for me. Do I need to keep giving them a chance?
Genesis for a new generation. The kids are alright, Prog lives on in the new generation of killer bands like Marillion Spock's Beard Porcupine Tree The Flower Kings Enchant. Can you dig it?
mossbass
Ahh... Marillion. Saw them open for Rush back in 86 and was completely blown away! I had never heard of Marillion up to that point, and I used to skip the opening band when I went to concerts in those days. I'm sure glad I didn't that time! The next day, I went out in search of Marillion records... Which were hard to find in the US back then. Good times...
However, when Season's End came out, and I eagerly gave it a spin for the first time, I was shocked and disappointed to hear another s
pmfith
seems Pandora should be a little more thorough in its bio's. This bio is about a band called 'Marbles', obviously confused with the album called 'Marbles' by the band 'Marillion'. . . a bit different.
Probably one of the only bands to make the greatest B-sides. "Grendel" to me is their best track.
One of my favorite bands ever....both with Fish or with Steve Hogart, an amazing band!

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