Album I couldn't live without: Season's End
The album I can't live without
Season's End is Marillion's first without the garrulous Derek Dick.
Remember him and Marillion's rather Genesis-esque music that rambled on about monsters and his rather bitter obsessions with ex-girlfriends and being ''misunderstood''?
Season's End introduced Steve Hogarth as their new front man and along with the voice a new direction.
It's not so much the sound, that was still evidently the prog rock Marillion of Steve Rothery and Pete Trewavas, but Hogarth's plaintive searing vocals and the songs' subject matter that make this the essential album for me.
The album appears to be in mourning for something lost. Released at a time when Anglo-Irish relations were starting to show the promise of a real end to the sectarian violence, the album delves into a Britain I remember from my early twenties as dank, wet and grey.
But this fine collection of songs bring hope and light to that grim reality of a world at the end of the 1980s, where injustice and outrage against humanity prevailed.
From Easter and The King of Sunset town to Hooks in You, the expansive new horizons of the re-born Marillion's subject matter looked firmly beyond Orwellian Britain to the hope of a better tomorrow.
But it's not just post-Thatcher Britain that gets Hogarth's attention here, as Tiananmen Square, but also the seedy side of a soon to be re-unified Berlin and the injustices of the British legal system.
The songs are as vital and relevant now as they were back in the 80s. People still do nasty things and governments and their systems are corrupt (well most of them), but at the end there is still hope.
Marillion went on to invent the idea of a pre-ordered fan-financed album (something Coldplay like to claim as their own) and their music has continued to move forward in an ever diverse way.
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