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Marillion: Anoraknophobia

 A l b u m   D e t a i l s

Label: Sanctuary Records
Released: 2001.05.15
Category: Pop/Rock
Producer(s): Deave Meegan
Rating: ******.... (6/10)
Media type: CD
Web address: www.marillion.com
Appears with:
Purchase date: 2001.08.02
Price in €: 15,99

 S o n g s ,   T r a c k s

[1] Between You and Me (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) - 6:27
[2] Quartz (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) - 9:06
[3] Map of the World (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas/Van Eede) - 5:02
[4] When I Meet God (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) - 9:17
[5] The Fruit of the Wild Rose (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) - 6:57
[6] Separated Out (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) - 6:12
[7] This Is the 21st Century (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) - 11:07
[8] If My Heart Were a Ball It Would Roll Uphill (Hogarth/Kelly/Mosley/Rothery/Trewavas) - 9:29

 A r t i s t s ,   P e r s o n n e l

STEVE HOGARTH - Vocals, Additional Piano & Percussion, Trainspotting, Morris Dancing, Base Jumping
MARK KELLY - Keyboards, Fossil Collecting, Brass Rubbing
IAN MOSLEY - Drums, Ornithology, Taxidermy
STEVEN ROTHERY - Guitars, Car Numbers, Star Trek
PETE TREWAVAS - Bass, Add. Guitar on [4], Add. Vocals, Stamp Collecting, TV Repairing

Additional Musicians:
DIZZY SPELL - Background Vocals
SOFIE - Background Vocals
NIAL - Background Vocals

DEAVE MEEGAN - Recording, Mixing

 C o m m e n t s ,   N o t e s

2001 CD Sanctuary 84506

Recorded at The Racket Club Studios, Buckinghamshire, England.

Music Industry First as Marillion Fans Finance New Album

In what is believed to be an unprecedented venture which could revolutionise the music industry, Marillion fans have financed the making of the band's latest album after an Internet whip-round raised over £100,000 - conclusive proof of the power of the Internet for artists and record companies alike.

Marillion, who have been writing and recording for almost 20 years, approached their database of over 30,000 fans via e-mail, as an alternative to taking up the deals they were being offered from established record companies. The response was overwhelmingly positive: within 3 weeks fans offered to pre-pay for the album, to the tune of 5% of total world-wide expected sales, providing enough money to cover the costs of making their 12th studio album. In doing so, a record company advance was rendered redundant and the band retained the rights to their new music. This groundbreaking idea enabled the band to return to EMI Records who have agreed to license the album for a world-wide marketing and distribution deal. The album will be released in Spring 2001 through their Liberty label. Any pre-orders will be manufactured and fulfilled by Marillion's own Internet mail-order company, Racket Records, and shipped on the week of release. Fans pre ordering albums within an initial limited period will be thanked personally in the sleeve notes of the special first edition of the album. Marillion will cease manufacture and sale of the pre-ordered version upon the album release after which the album will be available only at retail.

Commenting on the initiative, Lucy Jordache, Marillion's marketing manager said: "We were being offered deals from various record companies, but what the guys really wanted, was to have total control of their music, yet still be able to utilise the expertise and distribution facilities of a major record label. This could only be achieved if we obtained the capital to record an album from another source, and then took the finished product to a label. This is a real testament to the loyal support of Marillion's fans, old and new. It also demonstrates the power of the Internet and what it has to offer both artists and the record industry as a whole. 95% of the band's market still remains beyond the scope of the pre-order idea, so retailers should see no noticeable loss in potential sales. Indeed, an upturn is expected as Marillion return to their original EMI stable." EMI Liberty's co-director Peter Duckworth added: "We were very impressed with this venture which we believe breaks new ground in the industry. We are all in a win, win situation, EMI are happy, retail is happy, the band are happy and the fans are extremely happy."

Marillion are no strangers to harnessing the power of the Internet. They were one of the first groups in the UK to set up a web-site, ("http://www.marillion.com"), in the mid 90's to communicate with and sell Marillion products to their fans - fans from as far and wide as Brazil to Japan and Australia to Iceland. They now have an active database of over 30,000 fans who visit their web-site on an average weekly basis.

UK fans objecting to a chance remark by Simon Mayo on Radio 1 last summer, brought the radio station's computer system to a standstill when they emailed to complain and demanded he play a Marillion track. He subsequently interviewed keyboard-player Mark Kelly on air in an attempt to understand and appease the phenomenal passion of Marillion's audience.

Back in '97 American fans underwrote an entire US tour to the tune of $60,000, with donations following an internet campaign - an idea conceived and managed by the fans before any involvement by the band. Lead singer, Steve "h" Hogarth adds: "It's not just about the money - the Internet allows us to communicate directly to our fans world-wide in a way that's spontaneous and instant. It's a two-way communication process that's changed everything for us - the fans feel like a world-wide family now. Faith moves mountains so watch out."

Pre-Order Press Release

It occurred to me about a year ago watching "Never Mind The Buzzcocks," or something like that, that we're starting to live in a 'take the piss' culture, and that having a cheap shot or ripping the piss out of somebody has become a national sport in this country, and all the easy targets are people who believe in something and have a passion. Our fans are the easiest people in the world to point the finger at and call anoraks, and the thing about these guys that are sitting there - the Mark Lamarrs and the Angus Deaytons of the world - whether you love or hate them, is that they never actually stand up and declare what they believe in themselves, because if they were to do that, then everybody else would point and laugh at them. So really to declare a passion is to expose yourself to ridicule, and I personally would much rather have a world full of people that were passionate and believed in something and cared about something, than a load of two-dimensional types who stood around smirking and pointing at other people. I really just wanted to say, "We know you're all anoraks, and there's nothing wrong with it! We're anoraks too!" The point of the title "Anoraknophobia" was no fear of it. Anorak no phobia.
STEVE HOGARTH - March 2001

Anoraknophobia started like any other album for me. We had obviously been talking about what we should do next, since the completion of .com and it's subsequent tour. A date was set, and we got together to start jamming, and see what we came up with. The first big difference to the last couple of CD's is that we didn't have any songs left over that we could use. So we were writing from scratch, and recording to mini disc anything that we felt was worth a second listen. This normally happens while we are jamming, and one of us - Mark or H, usually - will press the record button, in the hope that what ever it was we were doing that sounded good will be repeated. This whole process can be soul destroying, and usually takes a couple of weeks before we are in the right frame of mind so we can be completely free-thinking and let the juices flow. In fact, there is a definite pattern to how long it takes before ideas recorded get better. Somewhere around discs six and eight is a good bet for ideas that we feel are any good. Albums take on their own style quite early on. Although there doesn't seem to be an explanation for this, it has to do with the way in which we are playing together, what instruments we are using, lyrics, and a perception of what we are trying to achieve. It soon became apparent that we had some very strong song ideas, but at this time we were having disappointing meetings with record companies, and took the decision to make the album ourselves. This was made achievable with the pre-ordering idea, to hopefully fund the recording. This step made the whole thing feel much more special to me, I think because we were writing for ourselves, with us owning the end result, and this had a big influence on creativity. It seemed that in music, as in business, we were not afraid to try anything, and to keep open minds. We also started talking to Dave Meegan about him getting involved. This was another very exciting moment; I love Dave's work, and have always completely trusted his judgement. He gets killer bass sounds, which is always a big issue for me! He came to the studio for a couple of days a week in the spring of last year, after listening to some of the ideas we had selected as good starting points for songs. "Between You and Me," and "Fruit of the Wild Rose" were amongst the batch of things that Dave picked out, and we also had some ideas that were centred around bass grooves that seemed to excite everyone. Dave worked with us on the ideas that he felt were strongest, and we sorted out a deal for him to produce the CD. While working with Dave a few days a week and coming up with more material, we decided that we should talk to distributors about making the album available in the shops. However, before this happened, Lucy talked to EMI to see if they would be interested. I did not think that EMI would be so interested in what the band is doing now, although they have worked very well on the remasters and single sets. I was very surprised and pleased at the enthusiasm from everyone at EMI. Meanwhile, we were now working with Dave five days a week in our studio, jamming for an hour or so in the morning. Then we would work on one of the songs, take it a few steps farther along, put new ideas in, change the feel... whatever we felt would help. We recorded every possible way there is to play these songs, and Dave would go away at the end of the day, listen back, and try to make sense of it all.

Having Dave as a central figure made us work harder, and anyone who knows us will understand it is very hard to keep us focussed on one thing, or even in the same room, for very long. Dave virtually locked us in the live room for hours on end recording, re-recording, adding a bit here, taking something out there. We would argue about ideas we were unsure about, but would record every event, just for the record (excuse the pun). Slowly every song was crafted in to shape, and some great new ideas were mixed in amongst them, which kept the whole thing fresh. It is a good feeling to be playing something you know to be well written and then add something new and exiting to it. I remember I had an electric 12-string idea that Dave wanted to add to one of the more straight-ahead pieces, and although they were in different time signatures, he was adamant it would work. We spent some time talking and playing around with it, not being convinced, but it has become a favourite bit of the album for me. Putting unusual ideas together has become one of Dave's trademarks on this album, and has worked a treat; you'll hear it all over the place, and it keeps a good vibe going, as there is always something new and unusual around the corner. We decided to record the backing tracks in two halves: after getting the first four songs together, we recorded them before working on any more. This was done for various reasons, one being that I had to go to America to play with Transatlantic, something I was already committed to. But I think it was good to work on a few songs at a time as everything stayed new and exciting, and nothing got overlooked. I wanted to get a good bass sound, and record bass guitar along with the drums. We always record backing tracks as a whole band anyway, but I normally go back and replace what I did. This time I wanted the feel of Ian and myself doing it for real, as it happened. I did manage to achieve a lot of this, which I was pleased with. We would record five or six takes of a song, and Dave would edit together his favourite moments from the drums to make a drum track, then he would do the same with the bass. This was made easier, because we were using a combination of ProTools and Logic computer software, as well as digital tape, to record onto. This means we had a virtual studio on computer as well as real recording equipment. For editing or moving things around, and trying stuff out, the computer is absolutely brilliant. Word processing for music would be a good way to describe it. I came back from good old US of A to find that the backing tracks had been enhanced by various guitar and keyboard overdubs, as well as vocals, and we then carried on with writing and arranging the next batch of songs. An amount of time passed and we were ready to record again. We must have spent another four or five days recording the backing tracks, and set about overdubbing. This was done after Dave had been in and edited his favourite versions of things together.

While the editing and overdubs were happening in the control room, we were busy in the live room getting ready for a fan club tour. This was born out of the idea to do a convention somewhere and just blew out of all proportion. This was another thing we had never trusted ourselves to do in the past, but found that all things are possible. I should point out that we had invaluable help from all the fan clubs involved, and Lucy found another hat to wear. We had a plan to have the first four songs overdubbed, with vocals and everything, by the time we went out for the shows. We just managed it, with the band rehearsing during the day while one of us was needed from time to time to record something for Dave, sometimes it was a lead vocal, or a guitar part. A couple of times Dave wanted me to re-do some bass, he would usually have a version he had compiled if what he wanted to hear, but for what ever reason he wanted to hear me re-play it, or sometimes he wanted to hear a different sound. Then after we had got back to rehearsing some more, Steve would be back to singing in the evening, or Steve and myself would be trying some backing vocals. We then went and played the fan club shows, which I feel were a thank you to everyone who had the faith and commitment to put their money behind what we were trying to achieve here. That was a great success, with a lot of fun had on the way. Then back to club Racket where Dave had been mixing the tracks and had various versions ready for our perusal and approval. They sounded great as expected, and with a few things tweaked here and there, we were ready to move on to the second lot, and finish them off. I was getting ready to fly to Nashville just after Christmas and work on a second Transatlantic album, while finishing off these last few tracks, adding bits of bass harmonies here and there, and some guitar bits - where my youthful approach to guitar playing can sometimes be an added attraction. Then it was back to America while the rest of the band worked their magic, with our Merlin stirring away frantically at the virtual cauldron. I arrived back in time for the start of the second lot of mixes, and to start rehearsing for a short Uni tour around Britain, which we have organised as a an experiment in reaching a younger audience (is Marillion having a mid life crisis?). From where we started with all of this, it seems that there is no end to what can be achieved when there is enough belief scattered around.
PETE TREWAVAS - March 2001

A word about drum loops. We've always had click tracks on various segments of the album that I've played to, but this time really was the first time that we've used full-blown drum loops; and if it's done properly it can be really good. It's like having another drummer in the room next to me, or having a serious percussionist, but I treat it the same as a click track: it's basically there to keep consistent timing, because drummers always speed up and slow down. I play to it as if it was another instrument, and it can give you a good sense of security, really, because I can play around, and whatever happens, the beat's always going to be there. If it wasn't for the drum loop, then it's usually Pete who's always there. As far as "technology" affecting our live performances, I don't think it will. The bands I've seen live that usually play to loops, the first number or two you think "Great!" and after that you wonder "Where's the excitement?", so what Marillion usually do is not let the technology take over. I still play a steam-driven drum kit! So we do similar to, say, "Afraid of Sunlight" - the drum loop will start, and then when the real drums come in, that's it, I'm on my own. It's the same as when Mark uses particular samples that might be in a loop, rather than him triggering it and having it last for 8 bars or 16 bars. He'll be able to trigger the drum loop live every 4 beats, so if something speeds up a bit, he can trigger it again and stay in time. Dave Meegan seems to understand where we're all coming from. When we're recording an album, he's got this capacity for absorbing so much information. You'll play something in a run-through, and then when we come to the recording, it'll be a month later and he'll come out of the control room saying, "Ian, play that thing that you played back in June at 10:30 in the morning!" And I'll say, "What bit?!" and he'll go to a reference tape to show me. Nine times out of 10 I was just messing about, but Dave will really like it. So you have to remember with Dave that everything you play is logged, but I totally trust him.
IAN MOSLEY - March 2001

I decided early in the writing of Anoraknophobia to bring down most of my equipment from my home studio to the Racket Club. It was fun to be surrounded by computers and keyboards as well as my usual guitar set up. It meant that I could load up a drum loop or sequencer pattern to noodle along to in any lulls in the creative process. I think at times it provided a more modern backdrop for the music to develop on, pushing us in new directions. There's an amazing thing that happens when we improvise ideas together. It's like a kind of telepathy. Quite often we anticipate each others' radical change of direction as the music flows and evolves with a life of it's own. It becomes difficult after making so many albums to avoid the repetition that most artists succumb to, and so it was extremely gratifying to see that the desire to diversify was still as strong as ever within the band. The return of Dave Meagan as producer gave us not only, I feel, a sonically superior album, but one that felt fully developed. His dedication to the project really was incredible and the end results are a fitting tribute to the skill and judgement of someone who I consider to be a sixth member of the band. I have never known a producer with such a passion and understanding of the heart and soul of the music.
Steve Rothery - March 2001

Steve Hogarth about "Map of the World":

There's always a problem child. There's always a difficult song - the one that isn't coming into the world without a struggle... On "Afraid of Sunlight" it was the title track; on "This Strange Engine" it was "An Accidental Man"; on "Marillion.com" it was "Go". Well, on this one, it was "Map of the World." The problem was that every lyric I wrote for it was rejected by Dave Meegan, who was looking for something he couldn't quite describe. Having written four complete lyrics for it I was at the hair-tearing stage and in serious risk of hating the whole idea, and Dave was already mixing the other tracks on the record. No pressure! Then an email arrived from Nick Van Eede (singer/writer "Cutting Crew") inviting me out to Barbados for a short holiday. He was languishing in the decayed splendour of a beautiful old plantation house - just across the fields from Eddy Grant - in the south of the island. Well, you might imagine how hard my arm needed twisting... I suggested to Dave that maybe I could pop down to the Caribbean and see if my old chum, Nick, could throw a new perspective on the problem child, and duly arrived in Bridgetown with a bag-full of loud shirts and a demo.

Nick met me at the airport and drove me to the house where he installed me next to the pool with a bottle of beer, and there I stayed as the sun quickly dropped down and the tree frogs and crickets began their fantastic, chaotic tropical chorus into the night. A hard life...

Well, we decided we'd leave the song for a few days and go about the serious business of being on holiday. The first days were spent recovering from the 5 hours of jet-lag and floating around the house in mild alcoholic haze enjoying rambling conversations with Nick's beautiful wife, daughter, and friends while Nick strode around the house with great sense of purpose... No one was ever quite sure why. On day four he sent us all out for the evening and descended to the basement with Marillion's backing track and a bottle of whisky. When I returned he said he'd hatched a couple of ideas and we worked through them. On one of his many sheets of paper he'd written the words "Map of the World" and I suggested we try this somehow as a chorus. On the fly he came up with the melody, and I moved it to coincide with a different part of the musical idea. This was the key that, at last, unlocked the song for me and I took everything back to England and started again.

I almost didn't get back though...

On one of the last days we chartered a catamaran and sailed around the island and up along the opulent west coast. In the afternoon we dropped anchor next to an inviting beach and I swam to shore alone to walk along the sand. I was feeling very mellow and in touch with nature when I came upon a little yellowy green apple at my feet. I picked it up and took a tentative bite to see if it tasted sour. It had a faint but pleasant taste of apple. I was about to take a further bite when a general commotion seemed to go up among the locals who began running towards me and shouting, "That's a Manchineel apple! Did you eat some of that? If you did, you gonna die boy!" Various onlookers arrived advising me to drink lots of seawater and milk and shaking their heads in disbelief at how anyone could be so nuts as to eat a Manchineel apple! It turns out that the Manchineel tree is so poisonous that when it rains and the rain drips from the leaves, it will actually blister your skin on contact. The fruit however are more poisonous than the leaves - deadly in fact. Luckily I had only managed a mouthful before all hell broke loose. I swam back to the boat - drinking the Caribbean as I swam - and told the captain what I'd done. He freaked and radioed for a doctor while pouring an entire can of condensed milk and a bottle of Pepto Bismol down my throat - which was beginning to burn as if I'd just finished a serious Vindaloo. After much questioning from the "best doctor on de island" via ship-to-shore radio, it was decided that only one bite from the apple wouldn't be fatal. I must confess I felt dodgy for the next three weeks, though - but that could have been down to drinking seawater, condensed milk and too much rum punch. Would you Adam and Eve it?

Steve Hogarth about "This is the 21st Century":

I'm proud of "This is the 21st Century." There's always one that I think, "It was worth making that album just for that song," although I don't know for sure, because I'm still a bit too close to it. I suspect that in the fullness of time, that'll be the "Easter" of this album, if you know what I mean. It makes a point in a very interesting way, in that there are two parallel streams of thought running; two stories going on. One is general, saying "A wise man once said this, and it's all bollocks, isn't it," and at the same time as that's being said, there's also this character who's driving across town to go and meet someone, and you know they end up sitting on a rug by a fire making love.

But in amongst that there's this philosophical thing going along, "It's all mathematics, it's all in the brain, there is no God." It's the difference between where we've come, and the fact that we know God has been explained through mathematics and physics, heaven has been explained with astronomy, and human beings and everything that we are has been explained with biochemistry and the human genome; but we must still live. I personally refuse to accept that magic doesn't exist, and I think the day you accept that, you might as well throw yourself off a high building.

A promotional blurb accompanying Marillion's 12th studio album (a venture funded entirely by 12,000 of the band's fans) challenges music journalists to avoid references to progressive rock, Genesis, and dinosaurs in their reviews. "You're all wrong about Marillion, just put it on and listen to it," pleads singer Steve Hogarth. While such sentiments could easily be paraphrased as "You'll be surprised how much this album doesn't sound like us"--hardly a flattering self-assessment--it's true that Anoraknophobia belongs much more to 2001 than the days when certain lambs lay down on Broadway. Even if efforts to get with it are intermittently overeager--the 11-minute-long "When I Meet God" dearly wishes it could be the Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work"--there's much to admire in the shape of the genuinely pretty summer wistfulness of "Fruit of the Wild Rose," the stadium-rock competence of "Map of the World," and the Kula Shaker-like psychedelic funfair racket of "Separated Out."

Kevin Maidment - Amazon.com

Marillion machen es den Zuhörern auch mit ihrem neuesten Album Anoraknophobia nicht gerade leicht -- vor allen Dingen bei solch facettenreichen und komplexen Stücken wie zum Beispiel "Quartz", das innerhalb seiner über neunminütigen Spielzeit mehrmals die Stimmungen und Richtungen wechselt. Hier braucht man definitiv mehrere Durchgänge, um sich dem Titel zu nähern. Wer aber Marillion kennt, der wird auch Anoraknophobia lieben und weiß bereits, was ihn erwartet.

Schließlich sind gerade diese komplexen und ausufernden Nummern ein Markenzeichen der Band -- und davon findet man natürlich auch auf Anoraknophobia viele. Insgesamt acht Mal wird dem Hörer hier einiges abverlangt, hat man sich jedoch erst einmal mit den Kompositionen angefreundet, verfolgen sie einen Tag und Nacht. Das ist wirklich große Rockmusik. Zugänglichere Songs und somit Anspieltipps sind das schöne "Map Of The World", das ergreifende "When I Meet God" sowie das rockige und leicht abgedrehte "Separated Out". Check it out!

Armin Schäfer, Amazon.de

Marillion - eine Band, die seit 18 Jahren Musik macht und allen geballten Widerständen zum Trotz immer noch neue Alben veröffentlicht. Mit "Anoraknophobia" liegt nun ein Werk vor, dessen Titel ebenso verwirrend klingt wie der musikalische Inhalt. Haben sie Angst vorm Skifahren? Sind sie von Personen in jugendlichem Outfit vermöbelt worden? Haben sie eine Federallergie? Oder haben sie einfach zuviel "South Park" in ihrer Freizeit gesehen?

Zugegeben, die Jungs geben sich Mühe. Das Album klingt von Anfang an sehr ehrgeizig, doch hört man am Ende nichts als mit Gitarren und Keyboards überladene und nicht enden wollende Songs, denen auch die hallende Stimme von Fish-Nachfolger Steve Hogarth keine überzeugenden Hooklines geben kann. Hier und da ein paar moderne Anleihen an den Sound von The Verve und Radiohead, aber außer einer süßen Weinerlichkeit des Gesamtklangs über die Herzlosigkeit der neuen Zeit (exemplarisch: "This Is The 21st Century") bleibt wenig Erinnernswertes.

So zieht sich allein durch die vier ersten Songs des Albums kein erkennbares musikalisches Konzept: nicht nachvollziehbare Breaks und monotone Gesangsmelodien, die das bereitwillige Zuhören nicht gerade leicht machen. Allein das düster-dräuende "Fruit Of The Wild Rose" überzeugt mit seinen Bluestupfern und seiner dichten Atmosphäre. "Separated Out" bringt es letzlich sprachlich und musikalisch auf den Punkt - "I need medical attention", und zwar den Musikdoktor. Doch dessen Diagnose und Prognose dürften kaum allzu positiv ausfallen, denn die Band schleppt sich asthmatisch von Song zu Song, ohne die Heilung vor Augen zu haben.

Letztlich erweist sich die Platte als so orientierunglos, dass man sich kaum vorstellen kann, was die Band eigentlich noch künstlerisch erreichen möchte. Vielleicht ist dies ein letztes Dankeschön an diejenigen Fans, die Marillion jahrelang treu begleitet haben. Das Album kam erst auf den Markt, nachdem 12.000 mitfühlende Fans sie über das Internet reserviert und Geld für die Produktion überwiesen hatten. Klingt ganz danach, als müsste das Selbstbewusstsein der Band demnächst auch noch auf der Psychiaterbank Platz nehmen, das Anorak-Problem könnte man bei der Gelegenheit ja gleich gleich mit lösen. Eine neue Fangemeinde werden sie sich mit "Anoraknophobia" kaum erspielen können, und für den Marillion-Fan, der die vier ersten grandiosen Alben schätzen gelernt hat, ist dieser jüngste Output genauso quälerisch-deprimierend anzuhören, wie sein Titel wohl witzig klingen soll.

© 1998-2001 SEITENBAU online agentur. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Es gab vor Jahren eine Single von Gerd Knebel (damals Flatsch, heute Badesalz), die handelte auch von Anoraknophobia - da hieß es im Refrain: "Mama, ich bracúch' kein Anorak, ich will 'ne Bomberjack'" (oder so ähnlich). Das aktuelle Album von Marillion mit dem bemerkenswerten Titel ist das 12. der Band und der "neue " Sänger Steve Hogarth ist inzwischen auch schon 12 Jahre dabei. Ich selbst bin einer dieser Fish-Nachheuler, aber ganz nüchtern betrachtet kann Mr. Hogarth besser singen.

Für die acht Songs des neuen Albums müsste man eigentlich eine neue Schublade definieren: AOP - Adult Orientated Pop. Marillion hat 2001 absolut Nix mehr mit Prog- oder Art-Rock zu tun. Dafür futtern sie sich durch alle möglichen Stiltöpfe und sind dabei vorwiegend melodisch. "Map Of The World" würde auf einem Savage Garden-Album nur deswegen auffallen, weil von denen sonst nicht so starke Songs kommen. "Between You And Me" groovt wie die Sau, ohne sich modernen Sounds anzubiedern. Logisch, dass es auch spacig vertrackte Stücke mit Überlänge gibt ("When I Meet God ", "This Is The 21st Century"), aber "Anoraknophobia" geht alles in allem erstaunlich gut ins Ohr. Hier zeigt sich dann auch die Erfahrung der Band - man kann melodisch und modern klingen und trotzdem Abwechslung bieten. Also, nicht immer nur "Kayleigh" summen, auch mal die neuen Sachen anchecken.

(dmm) - www.hinternet.de

On its 12th studio album, Marillion shows more of its experimental side, going deep into different textures, sounds and arrangements. This time, the band was fully successful in their attempt, ANORAKNOPHOBIA is an album that will satisfy most of the fans. I say "most" of the fans, because the Fish-era die hard fans might get a little disturbed with such an unusual Marillion album. Of course, most of them are be aware of this direction, since Marillion has played with experimentation for quite a long time, since Steve Hogarth replaced Fish as the lead singer. Steve's voice asks for deep arrangements. Songs like "This Is The 21st Century" and "When I Meet God" demand a passionate interpretation that Steve does perfectly. The band knew how to adapt to the new singer and to the new times. All songs seem modern, but without the simplicity and mediocrity that most of the "modern" music brings. The songs were carefully written and produced, bringing lots of different sounds harmonized into the songs. "Between You And Me" and "Separated Out" are heavier tracks, located at strategic points of the album, so the listener can "breathe" between the more difficult songs. "Separated Out" reminds me of the RADIATION album, with heavy, distorted chords, plus a great use of samplers, which make the song very funny. In the border between deepness and rocker arrangements, "The Fruit Of The Wild Rose" uses jazzy/psychedelic structures that lead into a bluesy acoustic guitar at the end. For the first time, Marillion plays with "funky" sounds, in the song "Quartz," led by great bass lines, and also with some jazz influences. "Map Of The World" is the most perfect blend of pop and progressive rock on the album. With great fantasy-like lyrics, and great melodies, it is one of the best songs of ANORAKNOPHOBIA. "If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill" follows the jazz/rock direction of most of the other tracks. In the more touching section of the album, we find "When I Meet God," which brings up philosophical and metaphysical questions, moved by eerie keyboard sounds and thoughtful lyrics. Still in this section, "This Is The 21st Century" is the best song of the album, and probably one of the best Marillion tunes ever. It has all the elements to make grown people cry, from the instigating lyrics that play with the coldness of the human being facing the new century, to the perfect instrumental work, with growing drama. Joined by Steve Hogarth's amazing vocal work, which varies from whispers to despair to calmness to passion, the band plays perfect music on this track, finished by a trippy, kinda scary instrumental section. The band shows maturity, not only because they're older (obvious remark), but in a musical way, experimenting, letting go all of the strident guitar solos, heavier chords and rhythms to make a more consistent album. At the end, it is the victory of quality over quantity, where it's better to play a few meaningful notes instead of a thousand notes with no relevance (a problem that most of the newcomers in the "neoprogressive rock" area face). It is amazing to see how Marillion keeps moving forward, even being a stable rock band, with no need to prove anything more than already did. The band shows interest in reaching the next step, consolidating its position as one of the strongest progressive rock bands ever.

Deritus - The leading Online Rock Newsweekly

I have to admit--after the group's first lead vocalist, Fish (real name: Derek Dick), left the band in 1988, I'd pretty much given up on Marillion. His replacement, Steve ('H') Hogarth, seemed like little more than a Steve Perry clone, and to these ears, that was not a good thing. They redeemed themselves somewhat with the Brave album, but it still didn't compare to the pre-'H' material. When the group's new CD arrived here at the offices of The Night Owl, I had no idea of the degree of greatness that I was in for.

Before I go any further, I'd like to share something with you. The CD's press release issued the following challenge:

"This is an important and contemporary album that is light years removed from anything the band have created in their past. It deserves to be reviewed in a manner that is both accurate and fair. So, our challenge to you is to firstly listen to the album. Then write a review without using any of the following words:

'progressive rock,' 'Genesis,' 'Fish,' 'heavy metal,' 'dinosaurs,' 'predictable,' 'concept album'

Because if you do, we'll know that you haven't listened to it."

Well, I've already mentioned Fish, so it looks like I failed the challenge before I even got started. I have to agree with the first sentence of the challenge though. This is the best thing Marillion has done since Fish left the group. Damn - there I go again!

Before we get to the music, I want to give you a little bit of background on Anoraknophobia. About a year ago, in an unprecedented move for an established band, the members of Marillion asked the fans to pay in advance for the new album--in essence, financing the recording of the CD. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive, with over 12,000 pre-paid orders in just three weeks from around the world. This wasn't the first time that the band did something like this, however. Keyboardist Mark Kelly contacted subscribers to the band's mailing list on the web to let them know that they were not able to financially justify a North American tour. In a true testament to the loyalty of their fans, the voluntary and immediate response raised over $60,000, enabling the band to make the trip. How cool is that?

OK, let's talk about the music. That's what you're reading this for, right? The CD starts with the rocker, "Between You and Me." After a piano intro, the song kicks into high gear with a U2-like guitar riff. This is one of those songs that sound familiar the first time you hear it. Toward the end of the song, Steve Rothery turns in a tastefully understated guitar solo to bring the tune to a close. Up next is the first surprise on the disc and one of the most contemporary songs they've ever recorded, "Quartz." I never thought I'd be writing about a Marillion tune with a groove, but here it is in all its glory. Pete Trewavas' bass line on the song is particularly cool. After some dissonant guitar work and a bit of almost-rap vocals from 'H,' they go into one of the few trademark Marillion chord progressions on the CD. From there, it's back into dissonance and the final chorus. Awesome tune.

The next song, "Map of the World" baffles the hell out of me. This is one of the lamest tunes I've ever heard. After a killer piece of music like "Quartz," you'll be wondering if this is the same band when you hear this song. It has a nice bridge & guitar solo; but aside from that, it's just lame. Thankfully, it's also the shortest track on the disc. "When I Meet God" starts as a nice, inoffensive ballad. About halfway through, things shift to a minor key and the song takes on a Floyd like feel. Wait a minute… what's this? Another groove? Sure enough. "The Fruit of the Wild Rose" starts off with a low-key groove, sounding almost like Dada. Rothery's acoustic guitar really makes the song stand out, giving it an almost Delta blues quality. Very cool.

"Separated Out" is the first song that really rocks out. There are other spots on the album where the opportunity to jam is there, but they don't capitalize on it. There's something to be said for musical restraint, and the band puts it to good use, going for tasteful solos where they're needed instead of the excessive noodling heard on so many 'progressive rock' (damn - there's another one of those phrases I'm not supposed to use!) albums. At 11:05, "This is the 21st Century" is a bit excessive. The last 3 minutes are the best part of the song. This brings us to the last track on the disc, "If My Heart Were a Ball, It Would Roll Uphill." If 'H' can pull off the vocals in concert, this is going to be a great live song. The intensity in his voice pours from the speakers, daring you not to take notice.

Sonically spectacular, the eight tracks on Anoraknophobia clock in at over 63 minutes. In closing, there's one thing I want to emphasize here--Marillion is not the band you thought they were. Any leftover Genesis (there I go again) overtones are long gone. They have clearly tossed aside any preconceived perceptions of what people think they're supposed to sound like. Instead, they produced a contemporary album of fresh and innovative music. You can't ask for anything more than that. All told, this is the band's best album since Clutching at Straws. Don't be the last one on your block to 'rediscover' this band.

© 2001 Steve Marshall

I haven't listened to Marillion since I was a kid in the mid 80's. After listening to 'Anoraknophobia' I had to check the sleeve to make sure that this was the same band I remember from my spotty youth. Gone are all the Genesis references and in their place is almost a dance feel. Leave your preconceptions of the band at the door and buy this album now, it's that good. Play Quartz to your friends and rake in loads of cash betting them they won't recognise who it is. It sounds like Massive Attack, full of rolling funky bass lines and subtle guitar touches. The biggest thing holding Marillion back is the name and all the baggage it carries.

Marillion are relevant in 2001. I am on the floor having been felled by an enormous feather. A phoenix like rebirth.

Rock Sound (April 2001)
Robert Adams - 5 Stars (out of 5)

Marillion are going to great lengths to play down their prog/art rock past and bill themselves as 'more akin to Massive Attack', but this would come as no surprise to anyone who's heard the recent offerings. But, although I like a bit of Prog as much as the next man, probably more so, I can still relate to what Marillion are about now, they just sometimes drag things out a bit. OK this is an accusation commonly thrown at Prog bands, but Marillion don't drag it out in that way, its more a case of often having to wait quite a while for something to happen.

Now having got that off my chest, I have to say the 'Strange Engine' album was pretty damn good, I missed '.COM', but 'Anoraknophobia' seems to lead on quite well from the 'Strange Engine' direction. The drums are getting less Rock and more dub sounding, there's very few widdly bits, (on the surface at least) and the emphasis is more on atmosphere than anything else.

'Between You And Me' is the kind of upbeat thing that harks back a little to their past, and this is followed by 'Quartz', a bit more moody, I think this would be cause for some Massive Attack comparisons, but as I haven't heard that kind of thing since my student days, I can't be too sure! There's also a touch of U2 influence here. After the nine minutes of that one, the happy guitar riff of 'Map Of The World' is a welcome mood change, and with its acoustic guitar and sing a long chorus, a possible single I reckon.

'When I Meet God' is one of my favourites, clever lyrics, and dare I say it even a bit progressive (albeit in a rather subtle way). Track 5 'The Fruit Of The Wild Rose' is quite interesting, a kind of techno Blues tune with some very tasty guitar from good old Rothery, who belts out a trademark riff afterwards in 'Separated Out'. This one also features some nice Doors keyboards in places.

Things get even more modern sounding in 'This Is The 21st Century', lots of spacey keyboard sounds and heavily processed guitars, and THAT drum sound, this gets very Floydian towards the end. The final track 'If My heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill' is perhaps the most musically interesting of all, Pete Trewavas pulling out a Bass line you'd expect to hear in his Transatlantic role, and there's a very off the wall guitar solo too. Overall it sounds like the band are on top form, very confident, and have really embraced newer forms of music without sounding like bandwagon jumpers. Then again when you manage to get some twelve thousand of your fans to pre-pay, and hence finance the album, confidence can't be a problem. I like this album, I seem to like it more with every listen, and hear more of it each time, which, for a part time fan is big praise. I reckon even fashion conscious friends won't be able to write this off as old hat.

Hardroxx (April 2001)
John Hegarty - 9 (out of 10)

Doves, U2, Radiohead, Massive Attack, The La's... just some of the bands one would not have expected to be namechecked in this review, but Anoraknophobia confirms that The New Marillion are one of UK music's most sublime secrets.

21st century is a dubby groove that builds to a tear-jerking climax, Quartz is a psychotic funk monster, and Between You and Me comes over like the better-looking sibling of U2's Beautiful Day. Embrace the anorak.

Channel 4 Teletext (April 2001)
8 (out of 10)

In the greater scheme of things you'd be hard pressed to see how a bunch of middle-aged blokes who've spent the best part of the last decade trying desperately hard to shake off the prog rock tag, are able to make a worthwhile contribution to Planet Rock in 2001.

Recent efforts have seen 80's melodic rockers Marillion churning out consistent but admittedly fairly bland bollocks. Which is why it comes as a shock that this album is actually pretty damn good. Marillion have never given a flying fuck what anyone in the world things of them. Still, this their 12th LP, conjures up a pretty contemporary feel with it's classy mix of blues, country, and even trip-hop stylings. And it's all moulded together with Steve Hogarth's rich other-worldly vocals.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Kerrang! (May 2001)
Catherine Chambers - 4 Stars (out of 5)

The band's 12th studio album may shy away from a tirade of startling time signatures, lyrics bordering on the asinine and grown men in cloaks, but they're still happy to string songs out for seven or eight minutes at a time. Remarkably, they rarely dawdle or overstay initial invitation even if they're mostly medium paced and full of yearning. Hogarth's voice has rarely sounded better and when the band jam a song to it's conclusion - which they invariably do the musical components sound succinct and understated. Ultimately things get a little wobbly on the final track 'If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill', which shows off as much as its title suggests it might. It sounds like a rehearsal room jaunt that should have stayed there and leaves and unduly sour taste with regard to the rest of the album.

Otherwise, however, it's a collection full of grace and tenacity, thoughtful and thought provoking and not without moments of real clarity and beauty. 'This Is The 21st Century' wouldn't have looked out of place on Kate Bush's 'The Red Shoes' (an album not made in the last month, sorry) while 'Between You And Me' and 'Map Of The World' and the haunting and haunted 'When I Meet God' shimmer and shine unabashed.

A progressive piece of work then, but not in the way you might at first think.

Classic Rock (May 2001)
Philip Wilding - 4 Stars (out of 5)

Es gab sicherlich glücklichere und glorreichere Stunden in der Historie von Marillion, die an der Prog-Rock-Geschichte eifrig mitgeschrieben haben. Gleichwohl muss man zumindest vor der Beharrlichkeit der Herrschaften Respekt den Hut ziehen.

Es gab mal Zeiten, da lag ihnen halb Europa zu Füßen. Fish war noch ihr Sänger, "Misplaced Childhood" ein allenthalben gefeiertes Album, und bei den Konzerten stapelten sich die Fans in rammelvollen Hallen. Heute kommt einem das fast wie antike Vergangenheit vor.

Fish ist seit halben Ewigkeiten mit zweifelhaftem Erfolg solo unterwegs, während Marillion mit Steve Hogarth einen begnadeten Mann ans Mikro schoben. Nichtsdestotrotz begleitete die Proggies in der jüngeren Vergangenheit häufig das Stigma einer ausgebrannten Kapelle, das eigentlich nie wirklich zutraf. Gleichwohl gerieten die Finanzen in Schräglage. Erst mussten Fans mit 60 000 Dollar eine US-Tour sponsern, dann fehlten sogar die Puseratzen für neue Album-Aufnahmen.

Also bot die Band per Internet Vorbestellung auf die Scheibe an - gegen Vorkasse. 12 000 Freaks machten mit und bekamen das Teil entsprechend früher. Oroginelle Idee auf jeden Fall. Und auch musikalisch geht die Rechnung durchaus auf. Zeitlos schöne Songs schlängeln sich durch Hörers Ohr - mal jazzig, mal ganz schön funky, dann wieder fast ambient, hin und wieder findet man auch den Weg zurück zu alten Rock-Wurzeln, dies allerdings mit der durch Altersweisheit gebotenen Zurückhaltung.

Wenn man sich erst einmal in diese Kleinode reingehört und sich auf sie eingelassen hat, öffnen sie sich wie ein guter Malt Whisky nach Berührung mit einem Tropfen Quellwasser. Als Beleg sei das wunderbare, folkig angehauchte "Map Of The World" genannt. Und dann klingen sie plötzlich wie eine frische Ausgabe von U2 minus Pathos...


Marillion's Anoraknophobia: A recording industry revolution in the making

Pros: Great music that will appeal across the rock landscape
Cons: Maybe a little too standard for the band's more adventurous fans
The Bottom Line: More than just a landmark album in the recording industry, Anoraknophobia is a great album that melds modern rock with a classic Marillion feel.
Recommended: Yes

I ordered and paid for Anoraknophbia in June, 2000 and didn't get it in my grubby mitts until April 30, 2001. Slow delivery? Lost in the mail? Nope, return on investment. This album and how it was recorded may well, in the long run, shake the recording industry every bit as much as mp3s and Napster.

This opinion will be split into two parts; the first will discuss the unique fashion in which the album was created; the second will review the disc itself.

The Making of Anoraknophobia

In 2000, Marillion had completed the tour in support of marillion.com and had run the term of their record contract. While the Simpsons might have you believe that Luleen Lumpkin can toss 0.25 into a CD recording machine and pop out a hit single three minutes later, that's not the case.

Traditionally, the immense costs of recording an album are underwritten by a record label through an advance. Salaries, equipment and studio rental and other up-front costs are bourne by those with the money to fund it, and that gives them some say in what comes out the other end. Once the album comes out, the band takes home their cut of sales, minus the advance.

Once Marillion was out of their old contract, they immediately received new offers. Marillion's installed fan base, although small in America, will pretty much guarantee world wide sales of at least 250,000 copies, not a bad seller for a lot of labels.

But the band came up with a different idea -- they had a database of 30,000 fans' email addresses that they'd built up by offering a free disc with the last album to anyone who asked for it. In June of 2000, they sent out an email to those people, offering a partnership.

If the fans would pre-order and pay for an album that hadn't even been written yet, the fans would get another free disc, their name in the liner notes, and the chance to participate in a pretty unique event.

This would enable the band to get to work on the album and not have to worry about a recording contract, just have someone in place to handle distribution when it was done.

With, as they put it, some degree of trepidation, they sent the offer out and waited to see the results.

They didn't have long to wait. By the time the ordering deadline arrived, the band had orders (and money) from 12,674 people.

That meant over $150,000 with which to record the album. It freed up the band to sign a distribution deal with their old label (three albums previous) EMI on very favourable terms (and no advance.) Most importantly, it gave the band something that most groups dream of but never achieve -- complete control over their music - what they make and whats happens to it when they're done.

What was the reaction of the record label? From the band's press release: EMI Liberty's co-director Peter Duckworth added: "We were very impressed with this venture which we believe breaks new ground in the industry. We are all in a win, win situation, EMI are happy, retail is happy, the band are happy and the fans are extremely happy."

In addition to the funding, the band got a lot of favourable publicity, including an article in USA Today last summer, and a few other artists have picked up on the idea as a way to better assert their independence and control over the creation of their music.

Just remember -- Marillion thought of it first :-)

Anoraknophobia - the name

The first question you may well have is the title of the album itself. It's not arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. Rather, it's a compounding of the phrase "anorak no phobia," or, not afraid of anoraks.

Gee, Dale, that really helps. What's an anorak?

An anorak is a raincoat.

Ok, that clears it up. The band isn't afraid of raincoats.

Anorak raincoats are traditionally worn by trainspotters.

Wasn't there a movie call...

Trainspotters are people who watch and keep records of trains in England. The phrase "Anorak" is an expanded form of "trainspotter" which describes anyone who is obsessed with detail.

So the Anorak in the title would be?

Marillion fans are notorious anoraks. To the point of embarrassing Trainspotters. The title was chosen to honor the fans for funding the album's creation.

Anoraknophobia - the album

This continues the sound that the band developed on 1998's Radiation and the 1999 release marillion.com In particular, keyboardist Mark Kelly depends more and more on organ to provide the keyboard melody. I've seen a couple of write-ups that complain about the length of the songs on the album, but I don't think that anything is dragged out. If you pay attention, even during the repetitive parts ("This is the 21st Century, for example) there are interesting things going on.

Anoraknophobia is the least Progressive Rock influenced album of the band's since 1991's Holidays In Eden, as only "This is the 21st Century" contains overt elements of that genre. Suspect any review of this album that characterizes the band as prog dinosaurs -- they clearly didn't bother listening to the album.

For this release, the band continues to be Steve Hogarth (vocals, guitar, keyboard,) Steve Rothery (guitars,) Kelly (keyboards,) Pete Trewavas (bass, vocals) and Ian Mosley (drums.) Same line up for 13 years and eight albums, and people still complain that Fish is no longer the vocalist. Long time lyric contributor John Helmer is notable by his absence.

Track listing

Between You and Me

One of the best songs on the album, this features Hogarth's best vocals on the album, with a harmony throughout. Guitar is fairly standard Rothery and the middle includes a bit with a cello that sounds very Beatle-esque. Great tune that, if edited down a bit (it's a six and a half minute song) could be a popular single.


Very nice bass line from Trewavas that plays behind meandering organ, piano and guitar. The chorus is a little on the annoying side, although the build up to it is a nice meshing of vocal and counter melody on guitar. Rothery's guitar solo is a bit pedantic, which is surprising, and I could do without the rap section in the middle. But the ending is very nice and sounds similar to previous successes on Afraid of Sunlight and Radiation.

Map of the World

A fairly straightforward song that wouldn't sound out of place on AM radio, this features lyrics written by Hogarth and Cutting Crew singer Nick Van Eede, who was with Hogarth on holiday to Barbados. When Steve complained about a lyric that wasn't working out, Eede pitched in, with the result being this song. I like the strings in this song as they carry the backing quite effectively.

When I Meet God

Similar to "Now She'll Never Know" from Radiation, this is a very soft and pleasant tune carried mostly by quiet guitar and Hogarth's vocals. With a sad lyric, this is yet another crushingly emotional song and ends with samples taken from British newscasts about senseless deaths.

The Fruit of the Wild Rose

With a title that instantly brought derision by the snotty British muscial press (Q in particular,) this is a bluesy little track that evokes memories of "Born to Run" from Radiation. Kelly again trots out the Roland VK7 organ to play against Rothery's funked out guitar and a thumpy bass by Trewavas. Title aside, this is probably my favourite song on the album, as it includes most of the aspects of the band that I love.

Separated Out

Beginning and ending with creepy clips from the cult movie Freaks (anorak note: Marillion fans called themselves "Freaks" after the 1986 single by the band,) this rocks from beginning to end. An edited version of this song would make another great single, particularly in the US.

This is the 21st Century

Available for the last month or so as a download on mp3.com, this represents the band's latest "number one" hit -- #1 in downloads on mp3.com's "Alternative" charts. Alternative is a bit of a stretch, and this is the closest thing to Progressive Rock that appears on the album. Keyboards are used effectively to set the mood behind the vocals, and the bass is also very nice. I'm not a big fan of the drum loop, though. All things said, though, this is a great song that follows "Wild Rose" as my second favourite.

You can see the band and hear the song at: http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/219/marillion.html

(In the picture, the band is Rothery, Mosley, Hogarth, Kelly and Trewavas, left to right. And no, that's not a real tattoo on Mark Kelly's head :-)

If My Heart Were a Ball It Would Roll Uphill

With another dodgy title, this is a interesting twist that includes funk, power metal (?) and some of Rothery's best guitar work. I don't care for the vocal in places, but instrumentally, this is a tasty bit of music.

There is an additional disc for those that pre-ordered, but I won't review that, as any "new purchasers" will not be able to buy it. It includes demos for "Fruit of the Wild Rose" and "Separated Out," a Mark Kelly remix of "Between You and Me," a new song, "Number One" and two videos.


Within the recent Marillion catalog, I'd have to place this behind the landmark Afraid of Sunlight but ahead of everything else. I believe that this album has the potential to appeal to almost any rock fan that gives it a listen.

Anoraknophobia will be released worldwide on May 7, 2001, distributed by EMI (and Sanctuary in the United States.) If you've been following the band through the past two albums, you will find more of the same here. If Marillion is a new band for you, this is a pretty good place to start.

Either way, perhaps some day, years from now, your kids or grandkids will pick up the cd and say "Isn't this the album that changed the way albums get recorded?"

From the liner notes by Steve Hogarth:

This isn't just a record - it's your record. You bought it before we made it. If you were one of the first to pledge your faith, then your name is in this package, and your spirit is in this record.

If you look, my name is on page 25, and I'm pretty sure that on the album, I'm the 674th note from the left. Not that I counted...I'm no anorak.

But as an investor, I'm very happy with the results.

Great Music to Play While: Cleaning the record company's clocks

by Ad Jensen at Epinions.com
May 04 2001 (Updated Jul 01 2001)

Blending their knack for epic songs with pure pop sensibilities, Marillion have released what might be considered their best effort since the astonishing Brave. Undoubtedly current and modern, Anoraknophobia is comprised by 8 tracks that range from luscious ballads to driving rockers. There’s a strong hint of U2 to be found here, but all contained within the Marillion mold.

With a dancey feel, leading track Between You and Me establishes the mood for the album. Driven by a powerful hook and a hypnotizing beat, this song is a prime example of what the band has been aiming at, and have now achieved: progressive pop rock that mixes the modern with the classic.

Quartz follows and places itself near Massive Attack and Portishead. Yet, the emphasis of this album is certainly melody, much of which lacks in most of the material of the aforementioned bands. The bass guitar becomes the prominent force here, with a pattern that helps push the song forward. The lush break in the middle of the song is dream-like, engulfing the senses all the while breaking in and out of sort of chant.

Map of the World, to my ears, is the obvious single that given opportunity could make Marillion huge again. The song is probably as accessible as what’s on the radio today, yet so much more powerful than anything even remotely popular. The only song clocking in at 5:00, hopefully someone along the way will realize what wonderful potential is herein contained.

When I Meet God slows things down and attacks all sensibility one may have. An entrancing keyboard provides the background to Steve Hogarth’s robust delivery in one of the most appallingly beautiful songs I have heard in a while. The melody haunts while the lyrics engage the listener with its depressing nature.

The pace picks up slightly for the next song, The Fruit of the Wild Rose. With a bluesy backbone, this is Marillion dangerously approaching U2 territory. Although tighter and more musically mature than anything U2 has done in over 10 years, the similarities are eerie, most noticeable in the vocal phrasings but also in the Edge-like guitar playing.

Separated Out brings the tempo up into arena rock-like levels. With a Doors-like keyboard riff, it pummels through intensely with a chorus straight out of the classic Marillion rulebook.

If nothing else, the aptly titled This Is the 21st Century defines the overall tone and concept of the album. With its trip-hop rhythm and lullaby-like melody, it’s Anoraknopobia’s poignant moment, where all the sounds and influences meet. Over 11 minutes long, the song is, quite simply, a work of art. The emotional verses build up to a frenzy that is not released until the last three minutes of the song, where artful noise brings the song to a climax.

If My Heart Were a Ball It Would Roll Uphill finds the band indulging itself in pure prog mode. Musically charged, the song blasts with fury and chaotic levity. Over the top vocals are accompanied by ear shattering guitar assaults and leave the listener in a state of confusion. Brilliant.

Anoraknophobia has restored many fans’ faith in Marillion. It finds the band on the cutting edge of music. While some may find it too modern, it’s artistic beauty cannot be denied. In an hour’s worth of music, Marillion has managed to find the perfect place between its modern direction and its classic, progressive past.


Wohl kaum eine Band hat so treue Fans wie marillion: Erst ermöglichten die Fans ihnen 1997, ihre Amerika Tour zu beenden, die wegen finazieller Engpässe zu platzen drohte, in dem sie marillion insgesamt 60,000 USD spendeten. Jetzt haben sie sogar 12.000 Alben vorbestellt und im voraus bezahlt, sodaß es Marillion gelang, völlig unabhängig von einer Plattenfirma ihr neues Werk zu produzieren: anoraknophobia. Das sich das Vertrauen der Fans im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes auszahlt, kann man auf dem Album "anoraknophobia" klar erkennen.

Wer marillion für alternde Progressiv-Rocker hält, die Jahr für Jahr weitere Avant-Garde Alben zusammenpuzzeln, wird stark enttäscht werden: das neue Album klingt modern, zielstrebig und ist in seiner Gesamtheit einfach überwältigend. marillion selbst sagt, daß dies "das beste Album ist, was wir jemals produziert haben" - und das sagen sie nicht bei jeder Platte!

Wer sich also jetzt schon freut, oder wer sich lieber live davon überzeugen lassen will, kann dies bei marillions Deutschlandtour im Oktober diesen Jahres in Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Bielefeld, Mannheim, Stuttgart und Berlin tun.

Danach werden sicherlich auch die letzten Zweifler in die Plattenläden laufen, um sich die Platte mit dem komplizierten Namen zu holen: "anoraknophobia".

Genial ist es, einmal in seinem Leben als Musiker einen Welthit komponiert zu haben, wie gemein aber ist das Leben, wird man fortan nur noch an diesem einen "dämlichen" Stück Musik gemessen. Marillion geht es so. Der Song hieß "Kayleigh", wurde 1985 veröffentlicht, und Marillion mussten sich fortan jahrelang anhören, dass sie entweder nicht wie "Kayleigh" oder zu sehr wie "Kayleigh" klangen - und überhaupt: den Ausstieg von Sänger Fish haben viele bis heute nicht verkraftet. Dabei ist der "neue" Sänger Steve Hogarth bereits seit 1989 dabei und hat eine ebenso gute wie hingebungsvolle Stimme. So oder so aber muss man objektiv festhalten, dass nicht jedes Marillion-Album genial war/ist. Dennoch gab es auch nach Fish großartiges Material, z.B. den Longplayer "Afraid Of Sunlight" (1995), der 1999 als Doppel-Album wiederveröffentlicht wurde.

Mehrfach hätte man eine Auflösung der Band verstehen können. Zuletzt, 1997, fehlte dann das Geld, um in den USA auf Tour zu gehen. Schon wieder wars das mit Marillion. Jetzt aber kommts: Via Internet starteten Fans eine Spendenaktion, sammelten rund 60.000 Dollar und brachten die Briten zu sich ins Land. Die Band bedankte sich mit einer speziellen CD-Edition, die während der Konzerte verteilt wurde.

Im Vorfeld der Produktion von "Anoraknophobia" setzten Marillion die Reise fort. Um die künstlerische Freiheit erhalten zu können, bedurfte es einer gehörigen Portion Startkapital. Den Fans wurde angeboten, das Album bereits ein Jahr vor Veröffentlichung erwerben zu können. 12.000 Menschen haben mitgemacht und der Band die notwendige Vorfinanzierung gesichert. Geduld und Vertrauen ... eine sehr schöne Geschichte.

Ein Jahr später ist mit "Anoraknophobia" jetzt also das zwölfte Album von Marillion erschienen. Die Gruppe selbst, wie auch die Plattenfirma, sieht den Longplayer als Aufbruch in eine neue Zeit Marillions an. Natürlich sind das jene Sätze, die einen gleich verharren lassen. Kann doch gar nicht sein, dass eine Gruppe wie Marillion mal was anderes macht. Und so extrem ist es auch nicht ausgefallen, das Konzept zur Veränderung der Struktur, dennoch beinhaltet "Anoraknophobia" zwischen den Zeilen Stilelemente, die nicht zu erwarten waren.

Dezente Grooves hüllen den Hörer bei "This Is The 21st Century" in eine Gewand zwischen Trance und Traum. "Between You And Me" beginnt mit einem Klavier-Solo, das ein melancholischer Dracula nicht besser hätte komponieren können, bevor Marillion zwischen Rock und Rave für Tempo und Stimmung sorgen. "Quartz" überrascht mit einer Atmosphäre, die klingt wie: "Die Straße war leer, dennoch verspürte ich das Treiben der Nacht zuvor. Wie Schatten huschten sie umher, erfüllt vom Blues ihrer verlorenen Seelen, während ich an Energie und Macht hinzugewann ..."

Als Anspieltipp empfehlen wir "When I Meet God". Der Song wurde für Träumer geschrieben und überzeugt von Beginn an mit einer Laune, die uns in jene Hängematte bettet, die sich gleich unterm Himmelszelt befindet. Da ist es vollkommen egal, ob Marillion als Prog-Rocker galten/gelten oder nicht. Wenn Musik nur gut ist, muss man sie nicht auseinanderziehen, analysieren und erklären. Will niemand wissen.

Fazit: "Anoraknophobia" reift von einem Hörerlebnis zum nächsten, wird zusammengehalten von Hogarths Stimme und überzeugt mit abwechslungsreichem Arrangement und feinen Melodien. Der Longplayer ist vielleicht nicht auf ganzer Länge ein Meilenstein in der Band-Historie, jeder aber dürfte seine ganz persönlichen Highlights darin entdecken.


Prologue / Vorab

Marillion schaffen ein Novum. Dieses Album haben ihre Fans möglich gemacht. Ohne deren Kredit wäre die Band sicherlich nicht in der Lage gewesen, dieses Album zu machen. Und als Extra bekam die Band dadurch auch noch einen weltweiten Vertriebsdeal mit der EMI. Na wenn das nichts ist. Dabei waren die beiden letzten Outputs "Radiation" und "Marillion.com" nicht gerade Highlights.


Ich nehme es mal vorweg. Marillion schaffen es endlich wieder zu begeistern. Endlich ist da wieder Drive drin. Die Band tritt souverän auf. Es scheint, als wenn man ihnen viel Last von den Schultern genommen hat. Da taucht plötzlich wieder die Spielfreude auf, die ich zuletzt bei "This Strange Engine" gehört habe. Und genau da setzt auch ANORAKNOPHOBIA an.

Weg von alten Vorstellungen haben die fünf Briten ein sehr modernes Album aufgenommen, das auf lange Strecken überzeugen kann. Da werden Elemente wie Samples, Loops und elektronische Spielereien eingesetzt. Zudem hat das Album einen sehr guten Sound abbekommen, der druckvoll und klar jeden einzelnen Track ausgezeichnet in Szene setzt. Über allem schwebt die zerbrechlich wirkende Stimme von Hogarth, der endlich mal wieder beweist, dass er ein Mann für anspruchsvolle Melodik und Dramatik ist.

So können viele Titel starke Akzente setzen. Beispielsweise kann bereits der Opener "Between You And Me" wunderschöne Momente bringen. Da dominieren Akustikgitarre und ausgezeichneter Gesang. Das nachfolgende "Quartz" benötigt einige Anläufe, bis es endlich zieht. Es entwickelt sich jedoch nach und nach zu einem tollen Stück mit vielen modernen Elementen. Mit "The Fruit Of The Wild Rose" schaffen Marillion nach meiner Ansicht endlich den Spagath und können wohl alte und neue Fans gleichermaßen überzeugen. Bei "Separated Out" kommt die Band ungeheuer rockig daher. Das klingt gut. "This Is The 21st Century" ist auch wieder mit Loops und viel Elektronik gefüllt, schafft es aber besonders im abschließenden Instrumentalpart und durch die tollen Melodien zu einem klasse Song.


Marillion sind wieder auf der Bildfläche. Nach meiner Ansicht haben sie den Sprung zu einer modernen Band endlich geschafft, ohne dabei ihre Wurzeln zu verschweigen. Wertung: 7


This album is financed by the fans. The band asked for money and many people had bought the album without listening it. Are they everybodys darling? Not the way. With their last two studio outputs they hadn't won only new fans. But with ANORAKNOPHOBIA they do a good job. The feeling is back. The spirit of Marillion lives! It seems, that the band make this record without a weight on their shoulders. Songs like "Quartz", "The Fruit Of The Wild Rose" or "This Is The 21st century" are the best, the band have done since years. The band combines straight rock with modern elements like loops or samples. I think Marillion are back. The band has made a timeless album with ANORAKNOPHOBIA. Give it a try! 7 points

© 04/2001 Thorsten Gürntke
DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean http://www.durp.com/

Something associated with this release that most people will never get a chance to see are the notes included in the bands promotional biography, and that is a shame because they are the best indicators of how the band likes to see itself. And how do they see themselves? Well, let them tell it, "Marillion are used to fighting misconceptions. So, let's tear down any you may have before we go any further. Marillion are not what you think they are. They are not a Scottish heavy–metal band, archaic prog–rockers, Genesis clones, or a bunch of hippies that sing about goblins." Well then, I am so confused now, because at various points in their career I thought that each of those descriptions was exactly on point with what Marillion really was. Guess not!

For whatever they think that they are or are not today, quite frankly, they sound like U2 clones to me. I think that they are great U2 clones at that, but we already have one of those, so one more is a bit irrelevant to the music scene and that irrelevance is really what I think is at the bottom of the bands comments.

Is this album worthy of the lemming–like following that the group has? Not really. As I said, it is technically a good record with well–crafted pop songs featuring the occasional flash of prog–rock brilliance, but overall, it just doesn't compare with much of anything that they have done before. And I expect, should the band continue on much longer, this will be one of the forgotten records.

Steve Hogarth and his collaborators have managed some decent lyricism, but there is no magic in them, which is generally the case. A disappointing outing, but with all that the band has done, it had to happen sooner or later. Here is to hoping that Marillion can put average pieces like this behind and produce another classic along the lines of "This Strange Engine."

by David L. Wilson
© 1996–2001 Wessman Productions/W.E.T. All rights reserved

 L y r i c s


Today! I saw music in the sky
I drove towards it in my car
And I turned left and I turned right
But I could never lose the light
That shines towards tomorrow night
Who can say what it means?
What goes on in between
And what gets in between
It's just somethin'
Between you and me
Between you and me
Between you and me
It's as sweet as can be.

Today! I saw music in the sky
It sang around me. I went blind.
Like a masterpiece in a disguise
Couldn't stop it pulling at my eyes

Who can say what it means
What goes on in between
And what gets in between
Ice and fire
Between you and me
Between you and me
Sweet as can be
Between you and me

Monday.. Tuesday.. Blow a fuse day
Fix it in the usual way
Meet me at the church and we'll get in a state
Stay up late and I'll wake up feeling like
A kid swingin' on heavens gate
With no God to complain
Or point the finger of blame
We'll get it all down on video 8
You comin' out to play?
Could be quite a day...

And I sang that pretty tune
An open airy song
And my heart looped the loop
Well I could do no wrong.

Who can say what it means?
What goes on in between
Who can say what you see
And what gets in between you and me

Between you and me
Sweet as can be
Between you and me.


I can imagine nothing more tedious
Than trying to have fun with you again
Maybe it's just something in my mind
But I hate feeling like I'm trying all the time
It's a kind of lie
When we pretend that we're still friends
I'm sure you're not exactly short of people to
hang out and laugh at your jokes
Tell you you look great
You wouldn't want me around
Making it all feel "forced "
..and "put down"

And every time I smile to wonder if I'm laughin' at you
And with every little grin you don't want to be wonderin'
Just exactly what it is I'm taking pleasure in

Although I always said
We were basically the same and all one
All one
It's so easy to persuade myself
I'm clockwork and you're quartz

I guess that irony
Will surely be
The death of me

And every time I smile d'you wonder if I'm laughin' at you?
And with every little grin you don't want to be wonderin'..

Although I always said
We were basically the same and all one
All one
It's so easy to persuade myself
I'm clockwork and you're quartz

You're only happy when you're oiled and jewelled
You're only happy when you wind me up and I know
You're so reliable it isn't true
And it's so easy for me to break down
If I could jump a ride between the skin and silicon then
We could join hands and understand. Hallelujah!
But I listen
to the ticking
I guess we're worlds apart ...
It's so hard
So hard

I know there's no going back
And you know there's no going back

You're only happy when you're oiled and jewelled
You're only happy when you're oiled and jewelled
You're never happy

I need maintenance
I need patience
I'm not foolproof
I'm not waterproof
I'm not shockproof

I know I told myself
We're all basically the same and all one all one
Y'know sometimes I just can't help myself
I'm clockwork and you're quartz
I'm clockwork and you're quartz

I know I never get the balance right
And turn up half an hour late night after night
And being totally dependable is so very commendable
Although you're never wrong
One of these days.. you're just gonna stop.


Watching the people on the street today she couldn't help but smile
Watchin' the town go walking by all shaded eyes and alibis
Strange how much pain you can hide away beneath a well-cut suit
This is the day she walks away
And the lights of the city pushin' a good time
Asking her out tonight
But she's saving her money for a better life

She's got a map of the world
Pinned up on her wall
She's got a map of the world
She's gonna go and see it all
She's gonna see it all

Watchin the people on the street today
Such a lonely sight
'Swore she could see their dreams go by
All cars and stars and buy buy buy
Runnin on empty Runnin to stand still
No time for their own lives
Sleepwalking through the danger signs

And it feels a little scary
A little runaway
Letting go of all she's done
And the lights of the city, well they're all singin'
Buy some of this, cmon
But when you lie to yourself
You lie to everyone

She's got a map of the world
Pinned up on her wall
She's got a map of the world
She's gonna go and see it all
She's gonna see it all

She'll empty the sand from her shoes
In Paradise
Sail out across the bay
She'll dance under an island sky
Until the break of day

She's got a map of the world
Pinned up on her wall
It's such a beautiful world
Glistening and magical

She's got a map of the world
Shining away in her mind
Colouring-in her life
This is the day she walks
She's gonna see it all
She's gonna breathe it all
Paris London New York
She's gonna see it all


And if the bottle's no solution
Why does it feel so warm
And if that girl is no solution
Why did she feel so warm
And if to feel is no solution
Why do I feel
Why do I feel so tired
Why do I feel so broken
Why do I feel so outside
Why do I seem so blind
I'm so sick of feeling
It's ruined my life
If living rough is no solution
Why does it ease my mind
If looking back is no solution
Why are we all
Nothing but children
Children inside

Why do the Gods
Sit back and watch
So many lost
What kind of mother
Leaves a child in the traffic
Turning tricks in the dark
What kind of God?

I crawled around inside myself
It was a long way down
It was a mine and it was mine
And in the darkness
I saw a perfect mirror
Floating in space

When I meet God
I'm going to ask her
What makes her cry
What makes her laugh
Is she just stars and indigo gas
Does she know why
Love has no end
But it's dark-angel friend
Tearing women and men
Slowly apart

Don't do that
Don't do that
Never do that
Never do that
I want to go out
Don't do that
I want an adventure
Just stay..
I want
Just stay in
I want to make love

And if the bottle's no solution
Why does it feel so warm
And if looking back is no solution
Why are we all just children inside
And if to feel is no solution
Why does the whole damn world feel so broken
So outside and out-of-sorts

A perfect mirror
Floating in space
Waves and numbers
But oh, such beautiful numbers
And oh, such waves..


Goodnight my love
I'm so alone
And so surrounded
By your sweet memory
I cannot sleep
For all these dreams
They come to play
Till dawn comes stealin' them away..
The fruit of the wild rose
Hangs here with summer gone
Voluptuous crimson
As the days become colder
The fruit of the wild rose

In a warmer country
Where the sea meets the land
You may walk with your baby
In the afternoon
Perhaps some aroma
From a street café
Might sadden your eyes
Carry you away
The fruit of the wild rose
Sweet and so sour on the tongue
Swollen and crimson
As the light fades and shortens
The thorny wild rose
She gave me a summer but she's gone
As England faces the winter

In your eyes, in your mind, in your mind
Clearer than a photograph
No passing of time
Ever could fade
You and I
Shimmering ghostly
Like a wild garden from another life

Will you throw your arm
Turn your body round
Breathe a sudden sigh
Wherever you lie sleeping
Stir your hips
Feel the seed inside so sweet
Dreaming westbound waves
And a man comin' back from the sea...

Dance for me rose


Can you feel my skin
Can you feel my bones
Can you put my spine in plaster and take me home
So unpleasant inside and out
So unpleasant inside and out
If you like I'll tell you about it
You wouldn't want to know

My heads full of water
Tears I never cried
Could you hold me under the shower
In the cold outside

So unsteady inside and out
So unsteady inside and out
If you like I'll tell you about it
You wouldn't want to be

Separated out
Separated out
Separated out

I need medical attention
Where's my memory gone
Everything I told you - including this,
I already forgot

Separated out
From the living stream
The thing that couldn't lie straight
Straight in the machine

So unstable inside and out
Don't know how much longer I'll take it
If you like I'll sell you a ticket
Or you can get in for free

Am I enough of a freak
To be worth paying to see
Am I enough of a freak
To be worth paying to see

Can you feel my skin
Can you feel my bones
Can you put my spine in plaster and take me home
Can you kiss my face
Let me know it's there
Can you give it shape
Can you kinda care

Am I enough of a freak
To be worth paying to see
Enough of a freak
To be worth paying to see


They're pointing and laughing
They're pointing and laughing at me


(...If you could only see what I've seen with your eyes)

A wise man once said
A flower is only
A sexual organ
Beauty is cruelty
And evolution
A wise man once said
that everything could be explained with mathematics
He had denied
His feminine side
Now where is the wisdom in that?

I came just as fast as I could
Through the dirty air
Of your neighbourhood
Your name on a grain of rice
Hangin' around my neck
And a head like lead

This is the 21st century
I heard everything they said
The Universe demystified
Chemicals for God
This is the 21st century
I heard everything they said

A wise man once wrote
That love is only
An ancient instinct
For reproduction
Natural selection
A wise man once said
That everything could be explained
And it's all in the brain

We lay on a velvet rug
by the open fire
She blew air on my eyelids
I cried "What's it all about?"
As she kissed my hair
She said "There, there.."

"This is the 21st century
I heard everything you said
The universe demystified
Astronomy instead
This is the 21st century
Can't you get it through your head
This aint the way it was meant to be
Magic isn't dead
Come to bed
Come to bed

And rest your heavy head my love.."
And slowly, from above,
She showed the answer's something that can't be written down

This is the 21st century
Flash to crash and burn
Nobody's gonna give you anything
For nothing in return
There's a man up in a mirrored building
And he just bought the world

Would you want
To have kids
Growing up
Into what's left of this?

She shook her head,
She said "Can't you see?
The world is you
The world is me."


Did you ever fall in love
Did you ever fall in love
Did you ever fall in love
Did you ever dream of falling
If my heart were a ball
It would roll uphill

We are alone in the world
We must do what we feel we should
We are told what is right
Need hurts within us
We can see sense
We can feel what feels right
And so often
All these things are not at all the same
They're not at all the same

If my heart were a ball
It would roll uphill
If my heart were a ball
It would roll uphill

Did you ever dream of running
And find you couldn't move
Did you ever dream of running
Running scared
Ankle deep in glue
With the monster after you
And it's catching up
Monsters catching up
And it's catchin' up and you're going nowhere
And you're slowin' up And you can't wake up
And it's catchin' up
and you're going nowhere wake up wake up
You're falling..

If my heart were a ball
It would roll uphill

Did you ever see a shadow
Cast against your bedroom wall
Crooked shadow in the lamplight
Ten feet tall
Did you ever dream of falling
And find you couldn't move
Did you give up.
And discover that you haven't given up
Did you ever dream of falling
Did you ever fall in love

hard ball dream love now roll
fall clown stain truth space time
race give black white all one
church state god fast as I could cry
laugh hide feel no clouds will
to win sweet seed you me
hard ball dream love now roll
fall clown stain truth space time
never do that, never do that
will to win, will to win, never do that
give black white all one wild
church state now roll
fall clown stain truth space time
race fruit
never do that
If my heart were a ball it would roll uphill
All one insane wild sweet heart
Wild rose

Did you ever fall in love?..

 M P 3   S a m p l e s

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