Marillion Seasons End
Studio Album, released in 1989
Songs / Tracks Listing
- The King of Sunset town (8:02)
2. Easter (5:57)
3. The Uninvited Guest (3:52)
4. Seasons End (8:07)
5. Holloway Girl (4:27)
6. Berlin (7:43)
7. After Me (3:19) ($)
8. Hooks in You (2:54)
9. The Space… (6:14)
- ($) Not included on LP release
“Fish has left Marillion!” my mate Tony told me in the local pub. I always remember that night. I remember thinking that Marillion were no more, they were gone, they were an ex Neo-Prog band.
Oh how wrong was I. Marillion were a sum of 5 parts, take one away and you still have 4 parts left. Add a different part and you have ‘New’ Marillion. The loss of Fish didn’t mean the end for the band, it just meant that from now on things are going to be a bit different. When it was announced that Steve Hogarth was the new singer I was very happy. The former Europeans/How We Live member wasn’t new to me, I had seen How We Live on tour and was so impressed that I bought the Dry Land album the next day. So with all that in mind, I was looking forward to Marillion’s future. What I cannot understand then, is why did it take me nearly a year to buy this album??
So what of the album, what does it sound like? It begins with the haunting build up intro of ‘The King of Sunset Town’. I love the way that the band burst into life on this one as if telling the listener that they are still here, they are strong and unaffected by the recent change. It is a massive statement that soon quietens down to reveal the new guy. Here he is ….on vocals, Mr Steven Hogarth. ‘Easter’ is next, a truly classic song with one of my all time favourite Rothery solos. A beautiful song which heralds to new direction for the band. ‘ The Uninvited Guest’ is my least favourite track on the album. It is a catchy, quite cleverly cheeky number that has caused many an argument about who the subject matter is about. Side One ends with the wonderful and dreamy title track @Seasons End’, again we are treated to ‘new Marillion’ sound. The song is about global warming, the changes to our planet and man’s destruction of man. There is a complete wall of sound that totally absorbs the listener. I love it.
‘Holloway Girl’ opens side two, starting with some nifty Pete Trewavas bass work. It has a great vocal by Hogarth and a sing-along chorus that really works. ‘Berlin’ is a real ‘kick you in the face song with angry, spitting vocals by ‘H’ and excellent keyboards by Mark Kelly. Drifting saxophone compliment the verse as the story is described. A song about desperation, totally brilliant. ‘After Me’ is next (this track is not on the vinyl release) with its acoustic beginning, warming gently, drawing you into be greeted by some driving Ian Mosley drumming as Hogarth reveals that there is hope out there. The single ‘Hooks in You’ is next, this is a very high paced rocker with great performances by all. The album ends with ‘The Space’ A song where Hogarth shines. I love the range of his voice on this track. It starts like a movie soundtrack swinging along with Rothery making the guitar fly around your ears. Getting more and more intense with its dum dum dum dum beat and an flourishing finale. This band is on fire.
Interestingly, for fans of Fish, you can hear what might have been by listening to the EMI 2 disc cd reissue of ‘Clutching at Straws’. The second disc of which has demos of some of the tracks that may have made this album including the demo version of ‘Berlin’ entitled ‘Story From a Thin Wall’ with Fish on vocals and completely different lyrics. Bear in mind though that these are just demos, but they do give a good indication of where the album was born.
Peter Devine October 2016