Marillion - Anoraknophobia

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Intact
Catalog Number: Intact 12674
Format: CD
Total Time: 92:26:00

With my name in the booklet (actually printed over two pages), this means that I, together with 12,673 other Marillion soulmates (also including our webmistress Stephanie Sollow!), have pitched in the required money for this set long before there was even talk of a "normal", "general" CD release with a major label. Rumoured to be the first of its kind, the band decided to take the business equivalent of a bungy jump, throwing overboard all of the liaisons with the record industry. Hoping to reach ten thousand Marillion diehards worldwide but eventually settling for a more logical total of 8000, the band was more than surprised to find that well over twelve thousand madcaps wanted to pay long before they would get their hands on the actual album. In return, the band promised their fans that they'd deliver not one but two CDs, housed in a limited digipack, a release which would never ever again be made commercial apart from this unique pressing. Sadly, I have to say that the same thing was once said about the rare digipack CD included in the lavish and expensive Pink Floyd Shine On box set, only to find out the same disc was now being housed in a "standard" jewel case only months after the initial release. Let's hope Marillion indeed stay loyal to their fans, because if they do, then a repeat of this success might well be on the cards for the band's next album.

As expected, the album once again sees Marillion in yet another hue of the ever-changing face of the rock spectrum. Because of Hogarth's distinctive voice of course it's still Marillion Mark II, but once again the rhythms are more direct with less room for long solos. So in a way it's more of the solo Hogarth approach we get here with shadows from his Icecreamgenius effort intertwined with his Europeans past. The opening section of "Between You And Me" offers us some solitary Mark Kelly on piano but this only lasts for a mere 34 seconds before a very contemporary rhythm in U2 vein [comes in]. It's as if Marillion takes off its "old" coat by means of that retrospective view before it introduces the true identity of 21st century Marillion. True, fans of Fish-era Marillion and the Season's End period will not know what to think with this release, even if real cello suddenly disturbs the atmosphere of the opening track. Still, if you take the time to fully analyze the band's current offering, then you'll have to admit that this is true "progressive" all the way, because in no way does the band copy its past. The snake sheds off its coat and feels reborn to attack new ventures in the musical desert! What strikes me with this album is the laidback and bluesy approach from Steve Rothery, which kind of opens new options for the future. The trip-hop blues of "Quartz" isn't that far away from Portishead, yet if you replace Hogarth's voice with that of Bono and you put a little more effects on Steve's guitar then you'd have a superb U2 outtake. Especially the freaky middle section is unheard of anything the band did in their entire career.

"Map Of The World" is my daytime radio airplay favourite. Regardless of who is responsible for adding the classical arrangement, this song works very well sporting one of the strongest melodies on the album. After having done a short tour of universities in order to reach a younger audience, no wonder then that "When I Meet God" holds a lot of the Radiohead fantasy. The lengthy song in fact is kind of made up of two completely different sounding parts, the second being spacey and Floydish. Another bluesy intervention from Rothery is "The Fruit Of The Wild Rose" which has Kelly throw in some Hammond as if it was swinging sixties all over again. Ah if only Carnaby street was this cool again. If the band chooses to open their gigs with a track from their new album then "Separated Out" will certainly bring the house down. It's a powerful, classically structured rock song that, in a way, reminds me of the best INXS song you can imagine, ending in pure Led Zeppelin style. Hogarth's favourite track "This Is The 21st Century" is based on a groovy drum loop through which weird sounds and divine string sections are woven, whilst Steve's voice is technically "enhanced." Also check out the strange guitar sounds from Steve played on top of very prominent bass lines from Pete. Towards the end though, it all becomes a little bit long-drawn, with little or no variation in the drum section. The nicest title on the album comes at the very end. "If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill" kicks off in a very intimate semi-jazzy kind of way, as if Marillion was playing at a dear friend's birthday party. But then the door is kicked in by the ex-boyfriend who throws the cutlery in the air. Knifes and forks fight a battle by means of guitars and keyboards. Some are harmless whilst others are bloody deadly, touching you in the middle of their musical vortex in order to lead you the listener to absolute chaos.

The bonus disc opens with piano, voice and cello blending into the finest composition on this set. "Number One" might well be written in the classic tradition, it's a perfect illustration of the band's creative and explosive splendour. This is a song that holds the same atmosphere as "Beautiful" way back in 1995. The "naked" original demos for both "Fruit Of The Wild Rose" and "Separated Out" do have the clear lines of the final recording set out and perfectly illustrate the kind of demo minidisc recordings from which the band work when they start writing a new studio album. In the case of "Fruit Of The Wild Rose" the guitar solo could go on and on and on, as it's "one of those sessions!" As an extra bonus, Mark Kelly has treated "Between You And Me" to an even more danceable remix, yet he doesn't reach the full potential of the genre, so maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to leave this one in the capable hands of full breed remixers, samples at the ready.

Maybe Marillion needed the anorak to prevent them from "radiation" leaking from "this strange engine". Who will tell?

Disc One: Between You And Me (6:28) / Quartz (9:07) / Map Of The World (5:02) / When I Meet God (9:18) / The Fruit Of The Wild Rose (6:57) / Separated Out (6:14) / This Is The 21st Century (11:07) / If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill (9:28)

Disc Two: Number One (2:49) / Fruit Of The Wild Rose (Demo) (6:20) / Seperated Out (Demo) (6:04) / Between You And Me (Mark Kelly Remix) (5:08) / Enhanced Video : Number One (Recording Demo) (2:40) / Map Of The World (Recording Demo) (5:45)

Mark Kelly - keyboards
Steve Rothery - guitars
Steve "H" Hogarth - vocals
Ian Mosley - drums
Pete Trewavas - bass

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: May 15th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 833
Language: english


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