Marillion - Marbles

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Intact Records / Dead Ringer (dist. Caroline Distribution)
Catalog Number: 12772 (2CD) / 6501 (1CD)
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

2004 will go down as a banner year in the Marillion camp. A clever marketing campaign was launched urging fans to buy a few (3?) copies of the bands first single. The calculations proved correct, and thanks to the loyalty of the fans, Marillion ended up with two top 10 singles in the UK ("You?re Gone" & "Don?t Hurt Yourself"). Add to this a successful tour of the UK, and the bands first trip to the States since the tour fund of 1997.

Marbles is the band's strongest release since Afraid of Sunlight. Thank Dave Meegan for helping mold the band's sound, as he has been at the controls for some time. "The Invisible Man" is a stunning opener, featuring an impassioned and gritty vocal performance from Hogarth. It tells the story of a man who has died (I assume) and struggles with the fact that he cannot connect with the one he loves, yet has to endure her hardships. Musically, the song has many distinct sections that seem to relate the characters loneliness, anger, and frustration. Moody, atmospheric, and emotional, with a wonderfully understated bluesy solo from Rothery that is the epitome of taste. The song's ending concludes the song in typical dramatic Marillion fashion.

The "Marbles" segments (four in all) tell of Hogarth?s fascination with the little round glass objects as a child. Apparently he caused some anxiety for his neighbors when he decided to try hitting them with a tennis racket, and eventually had his marble collection confiscated.

Two other outstanding tracks can be found on disc one. "Fantastic Place" just creates a wonderful feel, and Rothery again makes his mark. "Ocean Cloud" opens with a gloomy tone, backed by Rothery?s delayed rhythm guitar work. A song that clocks in at 21 minutes will surely get ones attention, and I must admit to having gone right to this track the first time I played the CD. It features the most aggressive playing to be found on the disc, but it seems that the main goal was to create a real sonic experience throughout the CD, and this was achieved. Kelly?s keyboards stand out, even when playing behind Rothery?s wonderful solos. It is just a very interesting track to listen to, and Kelly really gets some amazing sounds.

Disc 2 has more of a commercial flavor, containing all three single releases so far (those previously mentioned and "The Damage"). The singles are good solid catchy pop songs, but these guys have been crafting singles for years, they just don?t get the airplay they should. "The Damage," which is the latest single, is the weakest of the three. I find Hogarth's vocals particularly annoying, very gravely and at times intentionally off key. The line "you?re a natural woman" just bothers me and I can't get past it. "Don?t Hurt Yourself" seems most inclined to work on radio, with its medium tempo beat, acoustic guitar, and hook-laden chorus. "You?re Gone" has a more modern feel to it, and some really pleasing guitar work from Rothery, it sounds like he is using the E-bow, sustaining notes forever. "Angelina" is an absolutely beautiful song, I get lost in it every time it plays, and Rothery again proves that less is more in the solo department. Disc 2 ends on a strong note with "Neverland," another powerful track with some great performances from Rothery.

Marbles hopefully has served a number of functions for Marillion. It seems to have something for the old guard, who generally seem pleased with the flavor of the CD. The singles success has given the band more exposure, and hopefully added more loyal new fans. I will admit that it has taken a number of listens for this one to really hit me. It seems very melancholy and sad, but the more I listen, the power of the songs really come through, and Hogarth's overall performances are his best in many years. May the "Marbles" continue to roll.

2-Disc Version: Disc One: The Invisible Man (13:37) / Marbles I (1:42) / Genie (4:54) / Fantastic Place (6:12) / The Only Unforgivable Thing (7:13) / Marbles II (2:02) / Ocean Cloud (17:58)

Disc Two: Marbles III (1:51) / The Damage (4:35) / Don't Hurt Yourself (5:48) / You're Gone (6:25) / Angelina (7:42) / Drilling Holes (5:11) / Marbles IV (1:26) / Neverland (12:10) -- TOTAL TIME: 53:43/45:14

1-Disc Version: The Invisible Man (13:37) / Marbles I (1:46) / You're Gone (6:28) / Angelina (7:41) / Marbles II (1:55) / Don't Hurt Yourself (5:48) / Fantastic Place (6:12) / Marbles III (1:51) / Drilling Holes (5:11) / Marbles IV (1:25) / Neverland (12:09) / Bonus Track European Version: You're Gone (Single Mix) (4:00) or Enhanced Track North American Version: Don't Hurt Yourself (Promotional Video) -- TOTAL TIME: 62:03 plus bonus material

Steve Hogarth ? vocals, hammered dulcimer
Steve Rothery - guitar, bass
Pete Trewavas - bass, acoustic guitar
Ian Mosley ? drums, percussion
Mark Kelly ? keyboards


Carrie Tree - additional vocals (1:3, 2:5)

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 28th 2004
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website:
Hits: 733
Language: english


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