Marillion - Clutching at Straws (1987)

by request - Undoubtedly, this is one the albums I enjoy listening to the most for very evidential reasons: the emotiveness of the lyrics is simply perceivable everywhere, this particular album has got that particular air of experimentation that works perfectly for me and the last but not least important reason, the songwriting by FISH. It is superb, entirely amazing.

From the very front cover of the record to the last song performed in here, you can perceive a sensation of sorrow, of darkness and that irremediable impact of confusion the album's got for you. I appreciate this album a lot because it showed me that dark, secret side FISH had been hiding away from himself and that happened to reveal in such unexpected way in "Clutching at Straws".

Most of the songs written and composed for "Clutching at Straws" are intended to be breathed and lived intensively by the listener, and the album achieves that important commitment: it drives you through your inner fears, your captivated feelings and brings out the sensitivity locked away in you. I can tell it is an extremely emotional album, and that you can figure out at the time you listen to beautiful pieces as "Sugar Mice" (my all time MARILLION favorite ballad), "Warm Wet Circles" and "That Time of the Night". The rest of the songs are amazing too, they certainly have got a threatening "GENESIS - like" essence perfectly resembled and evoked in songs like "Hotel Hobbies" and "Slainte Mhath".

To be concise at this point, I need, I urge to express that "Clutching at Straws" contains a very especial formula reinvented by Derek DICK that despite of the public response and the critics, worked out pretty well. That formula was pursued by the songwriter from Edinburgh three years later in "Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors", his first solo career album. This is the living proof of a reborn MARILLION that explored new trends and that at that time had a peculiar way to experiment inside the music business without relying on the most recurred music style to sell out their records persuasively (Pop) at the moment "Clutching at Straws" was released. Great album, it could've used some "Punch and Judy" to achieve my whole Five Stars rating, but certainly a great piece of work. Recommended for helplessly faithful MARILLION fans.

Track Listings

1. Hotel hobbies (3:35)
2. Warm wet circles (4:25)
3. That time of the night (The short straw) (6:00)
4. Going under (2:47)
5. Just for the record (3:09)
6. White Russian (6:27)
7. Incommunicado (5:16)
8. Torch song (4:04)
9. Slàinte Mhath (4:45)
10. Sugar mice (5:46)
11. The last straw (5:58)

Total Time: 52:18

Bonus Disc (1999 Release)
1. Incommunicade (alternate) (5:37)
2. Tux on (single) (5:13)
3. Going under (Extended) (2:48)
4. Beaujolais day (unreleased) (4:51)
5. Story from a thin wall (unreleased) (6:47)
6. Shadows on the barley (unreleased) (2:07)
7. Sunset hill (unreleased) (4:21)
8. Tic-tac-toe(unreleased) 2:59
9. Voice in the crowd (unreleased) (3:29)
10. Exile on Princes Street (Unreleased) (5:29)
11. White Russian (6:15)
12. Sugar mice in the rain (5:56)
13. Warm wet circles - Rock n Roll (hidden track) (2:20)
Total Time: 56:12

Total Time: 108:30

- Fish / vocals
- Mark Kelly / keyboards
- Ian Mosley / drums, percussion
- Steve Rothery / guitars
- Pete Trewavas / basses

- John Cavanagh / Dr. Finley (8)
- Christopher Robbin Kimsey / backing vocals (7)
- Tessa Niles / backing vocals (2-11)
Releases information

CD Capitol #ST 12539 (1987)

Download part 1
Download part 2

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