In Marillion, you have one of the most influential and important progressive bands of the early eighties, having influenced countless similar bands from all over the world. They, in turn, were no doubt influenced by the likes of Genesis, Pink Floyd and ELP, probably three of progressive rocks' best known bands. The band was formed in the early eighties by guitarist Steve Rothery, bassist Doug Irvine, drummer Mick Pointer and keyboard player Brian Jelliman, in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire in England, as Silmarillion, a name taken from the novel by J.R.R.Tolkien. After recording their first single, "The Web", they recruited Scottish born vocalist Fish (real name Derek Dick). Irvine was replaced by Diz Minnitt, who was, in turn, replaced by Pete Trewavas. Keyboard player Mark Kelly replaced Jelliman. The band were starting to build up a large fan base by now, with Fish's over the top make-up being a focal point, which gave rise to comparisons with Peter Gabriel of Genesis. Their debut album, "Script for a Jester's Tear" was released in 1983 on EMI Records. This was the album that contained the excellent "He knows you know", which was the follow up single to "Market Square Heroes". Mick Pointer was fired and was, for a brief period, replaced by Camel's Andy Ward, Johnathan Mover (of Satriani fame) and John Marter before the band settled on ex-Wolf and Trace drummer, Ian Mosley. (Pointer went on to be a founder member of the great Arena). This second album, also released on EMI Records, saw the band employ a more straightforward hard rock sound and yielded two hits, "Punch and Judy" and our featured track, "Assassing". The follow-up album, "Misplaced Childhood", became Marillion's best selling album, being virtually one continuous piece of music based largely on Fish's childhood experiences. Further excellent albums were released, but by 1988, Fish was becoming increasingly disillusioned with the direction the band was taking and, in the spring of 1989, he left to embark on what was to become a moderately successful solo career. Die hard fans felt that Fish's departure signaled the end of Marillion, but they recruited ex-Europeans vocalist, Steve Hogarth and he passed his baptism of fire admirably with the release of the band's ninth album, 1989's "Seasons End". The nineties have found Marillion as popular as ever and still releasing albums of a consistently high standard, their latest being 1999's "" Long may they continue.

Marillion - He Knows you Know, from "The Thieving Magpie", their seventh album, released in 1988. Ah, the great Silmarillion, whose roots go back to Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire in the UK in the late seventies. We've thoroughly documented the band's history elsewhere in these pages, so we won't travel that road again here. This double live album was the last album to feature vocalist Fish, a.k.a Derek William Dick, who left to embark on a relatively successful solo career (and he's not shy to release albums, that's for sure!). The rest of the band members were drummer Ian Mosley (ex-Trace/Wolf/Curved Air, etc), Pete Trewavas on bass, Mark Kelly on keys and Steve Rothery on guitars. All the favourites are on this stunning live set, from our featured track to "Kayleigh" to "Punch and Judy". When Marillion first hit the scene in the early eighties, many compared them to outfits like Genesis, what with Fish's weird facial make-up and the band's progressive slant. They were, together with Twelfth Night, Pendragon, Pallas, Magnum and others, considered the forerunners of the "new progressive" movement that has spawned so many talent bands from allover the world. Fish's departure was met with despair by many, but Ex-Europeans vocalist Steve Hogarth has proved to be an excellent replacement. The band are still going strong today, and Fish is merrily continuing to release albums of a very high quality. After all, not many people can write songs like Fish, let's be honest!  

(If you have more info on this band, please e-mail us)

Biography by Jason Ankeny & Dale Jensen
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 Internet 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. followed in 1999, and the 2000s have thus far seen 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. 


Steve Hogarth
Mark Kelly
Ian Mosley
Mick Pointer
Steve Rothery
Pete Trewavas
Doug Irvine
Brian Jelliman
Diz Minnitt

Peter Gabriel
The Moody Blues
It Bites
Emerson, Lake & Powell
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Jon Anderson
Alan Parsons
Ozric Tentacles
Jethro Tull
Robert Fripp

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.


Click on the link and type your comment on this band:



Here are a list of websites for this band.  More...



Marillion - 1983 - Script for a Jester's Tear - 4.5/5

Marillion - 1984 - Fugazi - 4/5

Marillion - 1984 - Real to Reel - 3/5

Marillion - 1985 - Misplaced Childhood - 4.5/5

Marillion - 1987 - Clutching at Straws - 3/5

Marillion - 1988 - The Thieving Magpie - 3/5

Marillion - 1989 - Season's End - 4.5/5

Marillion - 1991 - Holidays in Eden - 2.5/5

Marillion - 1994 - Brave - 3/5

Marillion - 1995 - Afraid of Sunlight - 4/5

Marillion - 1996 - Made Again - 2/5

Marillion - 1997 - This Strange Engine - 2.5/5

Marillion - 1998 - Radiation - 3/5

Marillion - 1999 - - 3/5

Marillion - 2001 - Anoraknophobia - 3/5

Marillion - 2001 - Made Again, Live - 2/5

Marillion - 2002 - Anorak in the UK, Live - 3.5/5

Marillion - 2003 - Warm Wet Circles - 2.5/5

Marillion - 2004 - Marbles - 3/5

Marillion - 2005 - Marbles Live - 4/5

Marillion - 2006 - Smoke - 3/5



Home | Genres | Reviews | Links | Contact

Copyright (c) 2006 DINOSAURDAYS. All rights reserved.