And this time on "Marillion's" "Holidays in Eden" album released today in 1991.
This is the band's sixth album and second with singer Steve Hogarth replacing Fish on the previous album - "Seasons End" released June 24, 1989.
This album combines "Marillion's" familiar progressive tracks with more accessible and commercial tracks.
If Hogarth came to the previous album after most of the material had been written, then this album is the first time the band has written as a complete piece, with Hogarth's contribution being very noticeable. How noticeable is it? The music for three of the album's songs - "You Don't Need Anyone", "Cover My Eyes" and "Dry Land" was already recorded by Hogarth as part of his previous band "How We Live" in 1987, when the song "Cover My Eyes” was with a slightly different chorus and was called“ Simon’s Car ”.
After the song "Easter" from the previous album showed relative success, the record company got an "appetite" and asked the band to work with producer Chris Neil, who among others produced bands like "A-Ha". Chris knew how to strip the songs from the layers of instruments and the sound barrier and make some of them accessible in a more "poppy" way, aimed at a larger audience and the mainstream.
Marillion's music suddenly got the sound of bands like "U2" (listen to Steve Rothery's guitar that opens the song "Cover My Eyes"), or sounded for moments like "Bon Jovi's" ballads (listen to "Dry Land" or "No One Can" and imagine Jon Bon Jovi singing them).
But along with the "commercial" hits, you can also find some moments that are reminiscent of the good old "Marillion", in this album. Listen to the dramatic opening of "Splintering Heart" and the divine entrance of Steve Rothery at 2:36 and say that it does not throw you straight to 1983. Listen to the gloom and melancholy of "The Party" and you will understand its complexity, especially in the amazing bridge section, with syncopations and rhythm changes Starting at 3:20. What a great song it is! Mark Kelly's beautiful keyboards, the pounding bass work by Pete Trewavas, and the clever drumming by Ian Mosley and that's even before we mentioned Steve Rothery's crazy guitar solo.
Even the three songs that seal the album "This Town", "The Rakes Progress", and "100 Nights" are arranged as a trilogy, in a kind of medley that deals with the impact that the big city has on two people.
Indeed, it's not quite the good old "Marillion", but we really like this album, even its more commercial parts.