Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Best of Both Worlds (Arg)
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
This 2 CD set was recorded between 1982 to 1995 and includes liner notes by Marillion. All of the tracks have been digitally remastered. In their initial incarnation, led by charismatic, flamboyant lead singer Fish, Marill... more »
Listen to Samples
This 2 CD set was recorded between 1982 to 1995 and includes liner notes by Marillion. All of the tracks have been digitally remastered. In their initial incarnation, led by charismatic, flamboyant lead singer Fish, Marillion led the neo-prog charge in early-1980s England. The Fish-fronted group made such a splash that when their vocalist departed after three albums, it seemed like Marillion's future was in serious doubt. Against all odds, the band not only continued on with a new singer (Steve Hogarth), but they actually became even more popular. Best Of Both Worlds neatly divides these two phases of the group's career, giving equal time to both Fish and Hogarth. Fish's more theatrical, larger-than-life style was both more suited to Marillion's early, explicitly '70s-influenced work, and he clearly had a lot to do with pushing the band in that direction, as nods to Genesis and Pink Floyd abound on the epic tunes. As soon as the switch was made, though, the group started to slim down its ambitions and move more towards a contemporary rock sound. While Hogarth's approach is less grandiose, his voice is just as powerful a tool, and suits the relatively toned-down framework of the second disc to a T. The Best Of Both Worlds is a testament to the tenacity of the other Marillion members, who had both the courage of their convictions and the openness to change with the times. 29 total tracks. EMI. 2005.
loteq | Regensburg | 08/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Best of.." is the only Marillion collection which really makes sense, featuring one disc which is dedicated to the 'Fish era' and one with material when Steve Hogarth was lead singer. Hardcore fans tend to be very specific about what constitutes Marillion's best material, and I thought I could give you a short overview of this collection's content plus a few statements concerning the regular studio albums. As a starting point for the newly interested, "Best of.." comes highly recommended. With a name taken from Tolkien's novel "Silmarillion", the band released its debut "Script for a jester's tear" in 1983. At this time, the music was dominated by Fish's theatrical thrills and his typical singing style. As the first five tracks on "Best of.." demonstrate, this sound was quite unusual and serious for the early-'80s and truly looks back to Genesis' early-'70s output with Peter Gabriel as lead singer. "Assasin" and "Punch and Judy" are taken from 1984's "Fugazi", but this album also contains several other strong songs like "Incubus" and "Emerald lies", so this selection of two songs is a bit scanty. In 1985, the brilliant concept album "Misplaced childhood" marked the beginning of a golden, albeit short, period for the band, containing the unforgettable top hit "Kayleigh" and other successful singles, "Lavender" and "Heart of Lothian". The next four tracks are taken from the final album of the Fish era, 1987's sinister and majestic "Clutching at straws". This record was musically more accessible and melodic than the band's prior work, although the lyrics were probably written in Fish's darkest hours. By the time of 1989, Fish and Marillion had parted ways and the new lead singer Steve Hogarth made his debut on the atmospheric, wistful "Season's end", an excellent album that came up with epic ballads like "Easter" and "Berlin" as well as surprisingly straightforward rock numbers like "Uninvited guest" and "Hooks in you". But in contrast to Fish's first solo outing, "Vigil in a wilderness of mirrors", "Season's end" was a commercial flop and drew scorn from some fans who didn't like Steve's singing and missed Fish's lyrical ability. Two years later, the band enjoyed a series of minor hit singles with "Cover my eyes", "No one can", and "Dry land", all taken from the album "Holidays in Eden". Despite a more rock-oriented, streamlined sound, the album itself was a disappointment, being too bland and disjointed. The next record, "Brave", would become a classic art-rock album, with mostly slow ballads and a perfect sense of the dramatic. Although it didn't contain any hit singles, "Brave" sold in respectable numbers and found much praise among fans. Finally, 1995's "Afraid of sunlight" proved to be Marillion's best album of the '90s, featuring an impressive variety of styles and moods. "Beautiful" became a summer hit in Europe, but unfortunately, this great album suffered from bad promotion, so it dropped off the charts quickly. Marillion were forced to leave their record company and issued their next albums ("This strange engine", "Tales from the engine room", "Radiation") on independent labels."
A fine collection for a band that's not a "hit factory"
John Manigrasso | asbury park, NJ | 04/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a big fan of Marillion, and while this collection is a great primer for the uninitiated, I kinda feel like the band is worth your checking them out one album at a time. This collection's first disc features material from the first four albums (plus a few b-sides) featuring the band's original lead singer-songwriter, Fish. Disc 2 features material from the first 4 albums featuring the current lead singer, Steve Hogarth. There are plenty of songs that work as individual songs, but for the most part, they work better in the context of the albums from which they originally came. It's a forced analogy, but those Chocolate crunch things you find in a Carvel ice cream cake? They taste really good on their own, I'lll eat 'em straight from a cup, but they taste better...in the ice cream cake. Same with Marillion, the songs work fine as songs, they work better as part of an album.
If you know little about the band, and just want to take a chance, I doubt you'll be disappointed. But if you want the advice of a long-time fan, I'd suggest buying Clutching At Straws and either Brave or Afraid of Sunlight first. It will give you incredibly strong entire CDs, one from each singer, and then you can see whether it's worth adding to your collection."
An excellent sample of the Fish and Hogarth eras of the band
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 05/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those who don't know Marillion too well, it tends to be divided into two eras: the time when Fish used to be the lead voice and composer (he left in 88 to pursue a solo career, which some contest as not having been as fruitful as Marillion's continuing business); and the time since multi-instrumentalist, lead singer and composer Steve Hogarth joined the band. In the beginning the Hogarth era was unfairly misjudged as commercial and lacking musical and lyrical depth, when compared with the Fish era. Hogarth (or H, as he is sometimes called) and the band proved (in my opinion) everyone wrong, by releasing albums of incredible beauty, such as 'Brave', 'Afraid of Sunlight' and more recently 'Anoraknophobia'. I invite you to listen and judge for yourself. This compilation allows you to be exposed to some of the best works of the band from the two eras, so you'll be in a position to say if you like best the Fish stuff, the Hogarth stuff, or if, regardless (like I do), you love Marillion and want to collect all their music."