Former Marillion frontman / founder Fish, who went solo in 1988, has found success (a lot more ups than downs), is reissuing his solo material through his own label, with these expanded editions available at merchandise stalls and mail order through his fanclub. This is to coincide with his Farewell To Childhood tour, where he is revisiting the classic Marillion album Misplaced Childhoold for a final time.
Famously hands-very-much-on with his fanclub, these releases are all expanded to 3 discs with live and demo tracks.
This tall affable Scot has a distinctive voice and has mixed modern prog and rock with aplomb, and this, his seventh studio album, was originally released in 2001.
Opening with the 9 minute 3D, it opens up in a gentle fashion, with Fish’s ability to tell a story in a song to the fore. The song builds well, the strings and guitar mix well, the effects adding a montage feel, and the guitar becomes quite blistering towards the end of the song. So Fellini (also referencing the work of Italian film director and screenwriter) has an alternative rock feel in places. More effects and referencing on Tiki4. Our Smile continues the feel with Fish’s vocals remaining gentle yet powerful and commanding. There is a Scottish feel on parts of this track too.
Obligatory Ballad is largely just vocals and guitar and still works very well. The Pilgrim’s Address and Clock Moves Sideways both run to over seven minutes, the former probably the closest to traditional Fish. Both are good workouts featuring a solid mix of vocals, guitar, effects and rock music.
There are some great moments here, the effects and referencing distracting for the casual fan or occasional dip in. The programming has taken the Fish sound into the 21st Century, the alt.rock sound maybe not everyone’s cup of tea.
The expansion adds a disc of live material and another of demos and alternate versions.
Between fanclub and special limited editions much of that has been already been released, but it’s nicely collated and there’s some equally excellent and rare material nicely collated here. From what I can work out though, there are 2 remixes on the original release’s limited bonus disc. A minor quibble may be.
The thick book edition, 3 discs, Fish’s own notes, it is how reissues should be done. 8/10