Marillion - Holidays In Eden

Year of Release: 1991
Label: EMI (UK) / IRS (US)
Catalog Number: CDP 796822
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:20:00

Holidays In Eden (1991) signaled a drastic change for Marillion. There were still vestiges of their proggy past, in the opener "Splintering Heart," in "Rakes Progress" and "100 Nights," but their new pop direction was evident in such tracks as "Cover My Eyes," "Dry Land," and the title track, to name three. It's an album that I had mixed feelings about at first? it was getting further and further away from the Marillion I'd grown accustomed to with their previous albums. But the more I played it, the more it worked its own charms.

You must know that I cannot be objective about a Marillion album that I've been listening to for this long? needless to say I have grown to absolutely love Holidays In Eden -- from Steve Hogarth's emotive vocals, Steve Rothery's often light and whispy (and somewhat uncharacteristic) guitar phrases (but oh, those Rothery? solos can be heard here, too), Pete Trewavas' steadily throbbing bass, Mark Kelly's feathery, atmospheric keys to the vital pulse of Ian Mosley's drumming. I know this is often regarded as the "unwanted stepchild" to the Marillion legacy. And you know what, let's just stop that right now. No, it wasn't the Marillion of "old." Yes, it was in a more pop direction. But it wasn't and isn't a bad album, it just wasn't a very proggy album. It wasn't even a "neo-proggy" album for that matter. But, tell you what: Everything I loved about Marillion, and still love, is here, even if it's given a pop accessibility. Listen to "100 Nights" and you can hear echoes of Clutching? in Rothery's guitar solos in there; you can hear the intensity of "The Space," "Berlin,"? and in "The Party" you'll hear? um, pre-echoes (so to speak) of Brave? No, it isn't my favourite Marillion album, but I do have strong and positive feelings towards it.

I should point out that the version reviewed here is the original UK edition, with a segue at the end to the 1998 remastered version's bonus disk; the US edition had a different track order.

"Splintering Heart" begins quietly, a percolating just under the radar, then adds Steve Hogarth's emotive vocals (yes, that word again; memorize it) and Ian Mosley's sparse percussion ... and like many Marillion songs past, from subtle beginnings do large things explode and this one is no exception, with a crying Steve Rothery solos bursting out (not once, but twice). Bass (Pete Trewavas), drums and keys (Mark Kelly) following along in lockstep? only to give way to whispery keyboard effects and that chiming guitar of Rothery's? it's the calm eddy amongst fiery storms, atmospheric and moody. We get the same effect with "Waiting To Happen," a track that is even more expansive in sound and musical scope. These explosions of sound hark back a bit to Season's End and Clutching?, providing the bridge into 90's Marillion? You know this is the case because the very pop minded "Cover My Eyes (Pain And Heaven)" follows. A mid-tempo rocker, that isn't quite as biting as "Hooks In You," but you can see the musical path.

The inheritor of the "Hooks In You" drive is "This Town," a?um?driving rocker that kicks. Screaming guitar, propulsive percussion,? oh, oh, and a Rothery? solo here. Air guitar with me right now! Yes. Oh, it's so beautiful it brings a tear to my eye. It's a solo that gets you right there in the gut and the heart. Oh, and then tension as we transition from "Rakes Progress" to "100 Nights"? more classic Marillion to make a wonderful chill run down your spine.

The title track is another mostly rocking track, Trewavas' bass quite prominent in the opening passage, next prominent, Mosley's drums. After the explosive intro, we get a feathery guitar phrase and whispy keyboard passage that sets the scene, but we're back to a rocking bass, drum and keyboard heavy passage supporting H's vocals.

When I heard "Holidays In Eden," I had been reading Mists Of Avalon (an excellent book, by the way). In that book, the main character Morgaine spends time in the land of faerie, miles away (mostly figuratively) from her life before. It was an escape. It was interesting that much of the imagery in "HIE" was the same - escape to a more "primitive" existence. It is a time away that prompts a transformation? the view of one's world changes, and how one thinks of themselves. And also, we think that maybe somehow we'll reconnect with ourselves by going "back to nature." The caveat is that you may come back a changed man or woman, but it may not provide the results you expect ("no one wants to know you now/people say you've changed").

If Fish led Marillion was all about the girl he couldn't get past and felt bitter about, Holiday's In Eden was all about love. Sure, "Splintering Heart" was about the pain of love; but the happy and cheerful "No One Can" no doubt reflected Steve Hogarth's happier home life. If you take some of the lyrics here on the surface, it seems to have a creepy undertone, but perhaps that's only in light of The Police's "Every Breath You Take," which was meant to be about a man stalking his ex-girlfriend or wife ? and instead was taken as just a deep expression of love by listeners. Here, it's probably a deep expression of love that could border on obsession. Of course, it's not. It's a declaration of love despite all obstacles. The darker topic was really reserved for the light and airy track "A Collection," which didn't appear on the original UK release of the album, but was on the US version, on the CD-singles of "No One Can," and on the remastered HIE bonus disk. The protagonist collects photos of girls he's dated (and? killed, one can assume; though liner notes in the remaster suggest not quite that sinister) and collected like butterflies. Creepy because it's so sweet and pretty.

Love is also the topic of "Dry Land," a lovely balladic piece that H brought with him from his days with The Europeans. Here the protagonist is tentative to share his feelings, unsure how the object of his affection would react, if at all. As H always does, he gives a very heartfelt and emotional performance. Delicate guitar over subtle percussion and bass characterize this song.

The track that has taken longer to work on me was "The Party." In retrospect, it's a song that in some ways presages Brave, in that one could see this as one chapter in that girl's life. But, it is also, musically, one of the vestiges of "old" Marillion? Rothery's solo abandons the lovingly played notes to create studdering eddies of tight, tense sound, which the crash of Mosley's percussion and the throb of Trewavas' bass underscores the tension. Also mimicking this heady and dizzying state the central character finds herself in.

The bonus disk of the remastered version features tracks that appeared on singles, non-UK versions of the album, live demos, or on the greatest hits package Six Of One, Half Dozen Of The Other ? or all three. "Sympathy" is a cover of a Rare Bird song, and it is the socio-political song that didn't appear on the album. It's a nice, thoughtful song that fits well with this era of Marillion. "How Can It Hurt" begins with a bit of interesting, hollow-sounding percussion and then the scream of Rothery's guitar. Think of "Hard As Love" from Brave, it's quite heavy and? well, hard rocking. Trewavas' bass churns hungrily. It's much too heavy for the HIE album, but a very good track.

"I Will Walk On Water (Alternative Mix)," is a pop-new wavy-rock keyboard and guitar lead piece, soften roughed edge ? oh, I think of The Romantic's "Talking In Your Sleep" (at least the underlying rhythm is the same) given a bit of an Ah-ha kind of feel. Oh, there's certainly a Marillion element with H and R, but? If the studio version of "Splintering Heart" eased into things, the live demo dives right in with percussion and the whine of guitar. There's something in Hogarth's delivery that makes the lines seem just a little spat out. You can hear the final version in what you hear here, but this is more biting.

"You Don't Need Anyone" is another pop song, that actually wouldn't have fit on HIE (probably why it wasn't), but, oddly, might have fit on Marbles -- Marillion does Mike and The Mechanics? it's sunny, energetic pop. "Eric" is a piece where H demonstrates his midi-gloves, launching a guitar solo, and "The Epic (Fairground)" includes elements that would become "100 Nights" (the guitar bits, some of the lyrics) and, later on, "Wash Your Hands" on Brave (some intro keyboard bits).

Re-issued in 1998 (93772) and by EMI/Sanctuary (remaster) in 2002 (84532)

UK version: Splintering Heart (6:52) / Cover My Eyes (Pain And Heaven) (3:55) / The Party (5:36) / No One Can (4:39) / Holidays In Eden (5:28) / Dry Land (4:42) / Waiting To Happen (4:55) / This Town (3:18) / The Rakes Progress (1:54) / 100 Nights (6:42)

US version: Cover My Eyes (Pain And Heaven) (3:55) / No One Can Take You Away From Me (4:39) / Splintering Heart (6:52) / The Party (5:36) / A Collection (2:59) / Holidays In Eden (5:28) / How Can It Hurt (4:11) / Dry Land (4:42) / Waiting To Happen (4:55) / This Town (3:18) / The Rakes Progress (1:54) / 100 Nights (6:42) -- TOTAL TIME: 55:11

Disc One: Splintering Heart (6:52) / Cover My Eyes (Pain And Heaven) (3:55) / The Party (5:36) / No One Can (4:39) / Holidays In Eden (5:28) / Dry Land (4:42) / Waiting To Happen (4:55) / This Town (3:18) / The Rakes Progress (1:54) / 100 Nights (6:42)

Disc Two: Sympathy (3:29) / How Can It Hurt (4:11) / A Collection (2:59) / Cover My Eyes (Pain And Heaven) (Acoustic) (2:34) / Sympathy (Acoustic) (2:31) / I Will Walk On Water (Alternative Mix) (5:14) / Splintering Heart (Live At The Moles Club) (6:41) / You Don't Need Anyone (Moles Club Demo) (4:03) / No One Can (Moles Club Demo) (4:41) / The Party (Moles Club Demo) (5;45) / This Town (Moles Club Demo) (4:15) / Waiting To Happen (Moles Club Demo) (5:31) / Eric (2:31) / The Epic (Fairground) (8:31) -- TOTAL TIME (both discs): 112:16

Steve Hogarth - vocals and backing vocals
Mark Kelly - keyboards
Ian Mosley - drums, percussion
Steve Rothery - guitars
Pete Trewavas - bass, backing vocals

Christopher Neil - background vocals, producer

Script For A Jester's Tear (1983)
Fugazi (1984)
Reel To Real (1984)
Misplaced Childhood (1985)
Brief Encounter (ep) (1985)
Clutching At Straws (1987/1999)
The Thieving Magpie (1988)
B-Sides Themselves (1988)
Season's End (1989)
Holidays In Eden (1991)
A Singles Collection 1982-1992 (1992)
Live At The Borderline (1992)*
Live In Caracas (1993)*
Live In Glasgow (1993)*
Brave (1994)
The Making Of Brave (1995)*
Afraid Of Sunlight (1995)
Made Again (1996)
Kayleigh (1996) (Dutch comp)
Essential Collection (1996) (UK comp; same as above)
Real To Reel/Brief Encounter (1997)
Best Of Both Worlds (1997)
This Strange Engine (1997)
Rochester (1998)*
Piston Broke (1998)*
Tales From The Engine Room (1998)
Radiation (1998)
Christmas 1998: The Web Christmas (1998)**
Kayliegh: The Essential Collection (1998) (UK comp.; diff. from above)
Unplugged At The Walls (1999)* (1999)
Zodiac (1999)*
Christmas 1999: (1999)** (or bonus disk) (Ver 1-2000)
The Singles: '82 - '88 (box set) (2000/2009)
Christmas 2000: A Piss-Up In A Brewery**
Crash Course (Sampler) (2000)
ReFracted! (2001)*
Anoraknophobia (2001)
Another DAT At The Office (2001)*
Christmas 2001: A Verry Barry Christmas (2001)**
Fallout (2002)*
Anorak In The UK Live (2002)* (or bonus disk) (Ver 2-2002)
Brave Live 2002 (2002)*
Caught In The Net (2002)*
Crash Course (Sampler) (2002)*
The Singles: '89 -'95 (2002)
Brave Live (2002)*
AWOL (2002)**
Christmas 2002: Santa And Elvis (2002)**
The Best of Marillion (2003)
View From The Balcony (2003)**
Christmas 2003: Say Cheese! Christmas With Marillion (2003)**
Curtain Call (2004) (3CD Box)*
Crash Course (2004)*
Marbles (2004)
Remixomatosis (2004)*
Christmas 2004: Baubles (2004)**
Popular Music (CD oop, avail. as download only) (2005)** (or bonus disk) (Ver 3-2005)
View From The Balcony (Sampler) (Ver 2-2005)
Marbles By The Sea (2005)*
Marbles Live (2005)*
Handful Of Marbles (Sampler) (2005)*
Christmas 2005: Merry Xmas To Our Flock (2005)**
Unzipped (The Making Of 'Anoraknophobia') (2005)*
Crash Course (Ver 4 - 2006)
Smoke (2006)*
Mirrors (2006)*
Marbles Vinyl Edition (2006)
Christmas 2006: Jingle Book (2006)**
Somewhere Else (2007)
Crash Course (Ver 5 - 2007)*
Christmas 2007: Somewhere Elf (2007)**
Family (2007)*
Friends (2007)*
Crash Course (Ver 6 - 2008)*
Happiness Is The Road - Volume 1: Essence (2008)
Happiness Is The Road - Volume 2: The Hard Shoulder (2008)
Early Stages - The Official Bootlegs 1982-1987 (6CD Box) (2008)
Christmas 2008: Pudding On The Ritz (2008)**
Happiness Is Cologne (2009)*
Live From Loreley (2009)
Recital Of The Script (2009)
Less Is More (2009)
Size Matters (2010)*
Tumbling Down The Years (2010)*
The Official Bootleg Box Set, Vol. 2 (2010)
Live From Cadogan Hall (2010)*
Live In Montreal / Saturday (2010)*
Live In Montreal / Sunday (2010)*
Keep The Noise Down (sampler) (2010) Deluxe Digipack (2011)
Somewhere Else (2LP) (2011)
Marbles Deluxe Digipack (2011)
Marbles (2LP) (2011)
Live In Montreal / Friday (2011)*
Season's End Live 2009 (2011)*
This Strange Engine Live 2007 (2011)*
Afraid Of Sunlight Live 2003 (2011)*
A-Z (2012)*
This Strange Engine - Deluxe Digipack (2012)
Fugazi (LP) (2012)
Holidays In Eden (LP) (2012)
Sounds That Can't Be Made (2012)
Sounds That Can't Be Made - Deluxe Edition (2012)
Crash Course (2012)*
Sounds Live (2012)*
Anoraknophobia (LP) (2012)
The Glow Must Go On (2012)*
Sleighed Again (Christmas 2012) (2012)**
Best.Live (LP box set) (2013)
Radiation 2013 (2013)
Brave (LP) (2013)
Misplaced Childhood (LP) (2013)
Clocks Already Ticking (CD/DVD) (2013)*
Best Of Leamington (2013)*
Best Of Montreal (2013)*
Brave Live 2002 (CD/DVD) (2013)
Radiation 2013 (LP) (2013)
Somewhere In London (CD/DVD) (2013)
Afraid Of Sunlight (LP) (2013)
Clutching At Straws (LP) (2013)
Sounds That Can't Be Made (LP) (2013)
Brave Live 2013 (2013)
Sounds That Can't Be Made - 2013 Special Edition (2013)*
Proggin Around The Christmas Tree (Christmas 2013) (2013)**
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (dlx bx set) (2014)*
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (Holland version) (2014)*
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (Montreal version) (2014)*
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (3LP) (2014)*
A Collection Of Recycled Gifts (xmas comp.) (2014)*
Live At The Forum (2014)
Chile For The Time Of Year (Christmas 2014) (2014)*
Glass Half Full (2015)
F.E.A.R. (2016)
Waves & Numbers (2016)*
Marbles In The Park (2016)*
Singles Night (2016)*

Recital Of The Script (VHS/DVD) (1983/2003)
Grendel/The Web (VHS EP) (1984)
1983-86 The Videos (VHS [oop]) (1986)
Live From Loreley (VHS/DVD) (1987/2004)
From Stoke Row To Ipanema (VHS/DVD) (1990/2003)
A Singles Collection 1982-1992 (DVD) (1992)
Brave, The Film (VHS/DVD) (1995/2004)
Shot In The Dark (VHS/DVD [oop]) (2000/2002)
The EMI Singles Collection (DVD [PAL only])(2002)
A Piss-up In A Brewery (DVD) (2002/2010)
Brave Live 2002 (DVD) (2002)
Christmas In The Chapel (DVD) (2003)
Before First Light (DVD) (2003)
Wish You Were Here (DVD box, oop) (2005)
Colours And Sound (DVD) (2006)*
Marbles On The Road (DVD) (2005)
Bootlet Butlins (DVD) (2007)*
Somewhere In London (DVD) (2007)
This Strange Convention (DVD) (2009)
Snow De Cologne (DVD) (2009)**
Out Of Season (box set) (DVD) (2010)
Ding Dong Loreley On High (live) (DVD) (2010)
In-Tube DVD Sampler (DVD) (2010)
Out Of Season (DVD boxset) (2010)
Live In Montreal (3DVD) (2011)
Holidays In Zelande (BR) (2012)
Clocks Already Ticking (CD/DVD) (2013)
Brave Live 2002 (CD/DVD) (2013)
Brave Live 2013 (BR & DVD) (2013)
A Sunday Night Above The Rain (BR & DVD) (2014)*
Breaking Records (BR) (2015)
Unconventional (BR & DVD) (2016)
Out Of The Box (BR & DVD) (2016)

* Racket Records releases; ** Fan Club only

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: November 21st 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 2257
Language: english


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