I can remember picking up a copy of the “End of year” Rolling Stone magazine and reading a small review on this album, which sounded very interesting to say the least and the cover actually seemed as intriguing! Marillion were “my 80’s” band at the time who I enjoyed immensely together with Simple Minds, Big Country, Waterboys and U2. My 70’s favorites were largely Genesis and Rush and for some reason I was looking for something a little different and bought this in late 1989.
It is certainly a classic to my ears. It’s very melodic and reasonably “riffy” at the same time (check out “Everybody knows a little bit” – The lead vocals, backing vocals, “big” guitar riffs and bass lines, great drumming… a real reflection of the excitement the whole album has. On the other extreme “The Difference” – a beautiful acoustic number.
The music has a lot of depth in terms of its construction (it is very “layered”). At the end of the day it is very passionate, very well played, very well thought out and with the multi layered vocals, big guitar and bass riffs and free flowing drumming I find myself discovering new sounds on each listen.
Doug Pinnink (Lead and backing vocals, Bass), Ty Tabor (Lead and backing vocals, Guitar and Sitar), Jerry Gaskill (Backing vocals, Drums) do make a great sound together and there a lot of passion in the playing and singing. Producer Sam Taylor I think also works well with them in getting that sound. (A bit like, in my opinion, Rush with Terry Brown (it just feels complimentary – Band and producer).
I would suggest not passing this one up. Check out a few tracks, I believe you’ll be keen to hear the whole thing and won’t be disappointed – perhaps start with a few of the rockers (“Over my head”, “Everybody knows a little bit”, “Fall on me”) and then a couple of more acoustic tracks (“Summerland”, “The Difference”, “Pleiades”), there is just so much superb music here.
The 90’s and what was to become known as “Grunge” was just around the corner. For me this album was “the new sound” it really blew me away, never heard anything like it up to that point. It was a different style of music than I would normally have listened to and this album and the follow up “Faith, Hope, Love” (1990) were two of my favorite albums of the early 90’s. Certainly a change in the type of music I’d experienced up till 1989, but one that just left me going “Wow!” from the first note to the last.
I hope you enjoy this album as much as I do, it’s a classic.