..:: audio-music dot info ::..
Marillion: Afraid of Sunlight
||Marillion, Dave Meegan
|Price in €:
 Gazpacho (Helmer/Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) – 7:28
 Cannibal Surf Babe (Helmer/Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) – 5:25
 Beautiful (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) – 5:12
 Afraid of Sunrise (Helmer/Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) – 5:01
 Out of This World (Helmer/Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) – 7:54
 Afraid of Sunlight (Helmer/Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) – 6:49
 Beyond You (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) – 6:10
 King (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) – 7:03
Steve Hogarth (Aka "H") – Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion, Arrangements, Producer
Steve Rothery – Guitars, Arrangements, Producer
Mark Kelly – Keyboards, Arrangements, Producer
Pete Trewavas – Bass, Arrangements, Producer
Ian Mosley – Drums, Arrangements, Producer
Barbara Lemzy - Additional Vocals
Dave Meegan - Arrangements, Engineer, Mixing, Producer
Stuart Every - Assistant Engineer
Michael Hunter - Assistant Engineer
Andrea Wright - Assistant Engineer
Michael Bauer - Mixing
Nick Davies - Mixing
Peter Mew - Digital Editing & Mastering
Paul Cox - Cover Photo, Photography
Lucy Jordache - Liner Notes, Project Coordinator
Nigel Reeve - Project Coordinator
Bill Smith - Design
2002 CD EMI EMD 1079
Recorded at The Racket Club, Aylesbury, Bucks. between January–June 1995
The album was originally released on Cassette, vinyl LP and CD. In 1998,
as part of a series of Marillion's first eight studio albums, EMI
re-released Afraid of Sunlight with remastered sound and a second disc
containing bonus material, listed above. The remastered edition was
later also made available without the bonus disc. A new 180 gram vinyl
pressing was released in September 2013 by EMI. It was identical to the
original vinyl release from 1995.
Afraid of sunlight was Marillion's first real progressive album since
Fish had left the band. While it does not rank as high as classics like
Script for a Jester's Tear or Fugazi, it still has some very strong
moments. "Cannibal Surf Babe" is a tribute to the '60s (sort of). It
starts off like the Beach Boys' "California Girls" before turning into
the nightmarish tale of a cannibal woman! But the best moments are in
the second half of the album, with tracks such as "Out of This World,"
"Afraid of Sunlight," and "King." As usual with Marillion, the keyboards
stand out the most. There are some very beautiful melodic moments and
perhaps a better mix between calm and agressive melodies than on
previous albums made with Steve Hogarth.
Alex S. Garcia - All Music Guide
"...a 40-minute journey that touches on the legacy of Brian Wilson, Todd
Rundgren and The Beatles, while hinting at the experimental
trivialities of Jellyfish or Split Enz. There is a preposterous tone at
times, but Steve Hogarth's voice is lovable, tear-jerking and even
Q (magazine) 4/5
The exhausted album. The long dark nighttime of the soul album. It has
been around as long as the LP has been more than a collection of
singles, and to some, these records have a glamour all their own.
When released, they are often misunderstood or ignored, only to be
perennially rediscovered by record collectors and rock critics looking
for something on the darker side. Such albums as There’s a Riot Goin’
On, Third/Sister Lovers and Exile on Main Street capture frustration and
addiction on vinyl with vivid detail, throwing listeners into the
bottomless pit of doom, dirge, and suspect mixing.
The ‘90s was a ripe time for darkness. The decade saw the
commercialization of emotional bankruptcy as less creative artists
imitated the suicide-chic of Kurt Cobain and the relentless nihilism of
Tupac. In those days, English prog-rock band Marillion was a decade
beyond its greatest chart success—1985’s Misplaced Childhood— and
feeling the constant pressure of a band nearing the end of a major label
When the band first started, it was at the forefront of a short-lived
progressive rock revival in early 1980s England with a theatrical, six
foot tall force of nature named Fish on vocals. With a defiant Scottish
brogue and some Peter Hammill-inspired poetic lyrics, he personified the
band to many fans as the group trucked on through four albums of
meandering suites and sharp singles.
After reaching the top five in the British charts again with Clutching
at Straws, the frontman and band parted ways. As Fish began his solo
career, Marillion’s instrumentalists quickly found singer and session
keyboardist Steve Hogarth, until then best known as a The The and Julian
Cope sideman. After several albums spent sorting through its past in
search of a new sound, Marillion spent 15 months recording what would
become 1994’s Brave.
It was a commercial flop, completely out of sync with the Britpop that
was all the rage in Marillion’s native land. After this, there was no
chance EMI would invest the same amount of money as it did on Brave. The
follow-up album would have to be recorded quickly and cheaply.
To insure this, producer Dave Meegan would sit in on the work from the
first song written to the final song mastered to help the band maintain
focus. Meegan attended their jam sessions and selected the raw material
for the songs as Hogarth and his friend John Helmer wrote lyrics to
express the dislocation they were feeling.
Marillion had always preferred to populate its songs with characters;
Fish had masked his tales of drug and emotional abuse in stories, and
the more direct Hogarth sang his best lyrics as the semi-fictional
protagonist of Brave. This album would be no different.
Immersed in the O.J. Simpson case, struck by the death of Kurt Cobain,
and fascinated by Scorsese’s “Raging Bull”, the lyricists refracted
their own experiences through the lenses of these men. Though the band
retained a fascination with studio trickery and irregular song
structures, its sound became more modern under Meegan’s influence.
“Gazpacho” opens with Steve Rothery’s chiming guitar figure and Pete
Trewavas’ hyperactive Blur-like bassline, as Hogarth conflates the
stories of Jake LaMotta and O.J. Simpson. The track introduces the
themes that will emerge over the next seven tracks, as Hogarth, at the
edge of his range, sings, “Raging like a bull to an empty ring / Do you
think that they’ll forgive a hero anything?” The song changes to an
ominous chant of “Now your ring is just a band of gold,” as a news
recording plays of Simpson’s car chase.
The album’s centerpiece is “Out of This World”. Questioning the very
motives behind fame, the song’s inspiration was British daredevil Donald
Campbell, who died attempting to break the water speed record in 1967.
After two elliptical verses, the drums are muted and the recording of
Campbell’s last radio transmission can be heard. Over a wash of
keyboards, Hogarth sings “What the hell do we want / Is it only to go /
Where nobody has gone?”
If “Out of This World” is the enterpiece, “Beyond You” is the psychic
nadir. Channeling Phil Spector both in production and in its obsessive
lyrics, the song is as unsettling as it is compelling. The vocal melody
in the verses is minimal, with Hogarth muttering and mumbling in his
lowest register before the spectacular release of the chorus. As he
sings of “a hole in my body aching” during the bridge, the ache and
exhaustion comes through in his voice.
The closing meditation, “King,” is a tantrum focused on Elvis and Kurt.
Rather than surrender to the loneliness and pressure of fame, the song
challenges those who embrace it. As the instrumental backing crumbles
around him, Hogarth hoarsely sings, “I hope for your sake / You’ve got
what it takes / To be spoilt to death”.
Helped neither by the laughable adult contemporary fluff that was the
band’s video for the single “Beautiful” nor the strange album cover of
an angel standing in front of a circular flame, Afraid of Sunlight
disappeared upon its release. A cohesive fan base had not survived the
seven years since Fish’s departure and a hardcore following would not
rematerialize until the internet boom. Indeed, Marillion would become
one of music’s great web success stories when fan campaigns fronted the
money to pay for the group’s 1997 American tour and its last three
Remarkably, the band has come to a comfortable stasis, owing no money or
music to a label and playing only for its fans; freedom from the
responsibilities and pressures of the pop-life rat race. They had
stared that game right in the face and refused to play anymore, leaving
EMI to sell the album to a nation gripped by Cool Britannia. It
would take Blur a few years and Oasis a decade to realize the party
wouldn’t last forever. Rather than deal with the trivialities of
celebrity, Afraid of Sunlight examines the larger issue: What happens
when we achieve all our wildest dreams and we have nothing left to do
but hold on for as long as we can?
Bob Short, 5 March 2008
© 1999-2015 PopMatters.com
Afraid of Sunlight is Marillion's eighth studio album, released in 1995.
It was their last for EMI (who would, however, continue to release
back-catalogue material on compilations and re-issues, as well as
distribute some later recordings). It was the first Marillion studio
album to fail to reach the Top 10 in the UK Albums Chart, peaking at
number 16 and falling out of the Top 40 after two weeks. Despite this,
Afraid of Sunlight became one of the band's most critically acclaimed
albums and was included in Q magazine's "Recordings of the Year" for
1995. It was retrospectively described by Jeri Montesano of Allmusic as
"the peak of Marillion's growing, impressive body of work" and by
colleague Jason Ankeny as "the most consistent Marillion release to
While not a concept album as such, Afraid of Sunlight repeatedly
examines the destructive side of celebrity. In particular, "Afraid of
Sunlight" refers to self-destructive thrill-seekers such as James Dean;
"Out of This World" is about world land and water speed record holder
Donald Campbell, killed in 1967, while "Gazpacho" seems to refer to Mike
Tyson. "King" refers to Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, and Michael
Jackson. The song "Beyond You" is reminiscent of Phil Spector's Wall of
Sound productions, and is recorded monaurally rather than in stereo.
The first half of the album has a more satirical tone. "Gazpacho"
lampoons the Hollywood lifestyle, "Cannibal Surf Babe" is a Beach Boys
pastiche also inspired by late-night horror movies, and "Beautiful"'s
utopian lyrics may be written from the perspective of an unmoored
Steve Hogarth named the 1980 Martin Scorsese film Raging Bull, about a
boxer's inability to deal with fame, as a strong influence on the album.
Hogarth also cited O.J. Simpson, on trial for murder at the time the
album was recorded, as another influence on its theme; the wind-down of
"Gazpacho" ends with a sample from a news report on Simpson's infamous
flight from the police.
The wreckage of Donald Campbell's Bluebird K7 and Campbell's remains
were not recovered until 28 May 2001 when diver Bill Smith was inspired
to look for the wreck after hearing "Out of This World". Both Steve
Hogarth and Steve Rothery were present at the raising.
Currently no Lyrics available!
Currently no Samples available!