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Season's End

4.1 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Audio, Cassette, October 18, 1989
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette (October 18, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00005PS67
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,805,505 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
For many longtime fans, the departure of vocalist Fish (Derek W. Dick) and the introduction of current vocalist Steve Hogarth in 1989 marked the end of Marillion as they knew it. In many ways, they were right. Unfortunately, too many of them believed that the end of Marillion as they knew it was also the end of Marillion. However, for those that have hung on for the ride to this day, we know it was not. Marillion have been able to advance and progress in such ways that we are amazed and delighted with each successive release. They have been able to combine their early Progressive Rock leanings with Rock and Roll, Hard Rock, Jazz, even Dub, while never abandoning the distinctive sound that makes them unmistakably Marillion. But, for as far as they have come, they needed to start somewhere; at the beginning.
Season's End is truly the beginning and end of eras. It marked Hogarth's first appearance with the band and yet, it still had the feeling of a Fish-era release. From the original logo appearing (for the last time), to the music (which was primarily written prior to Fish's departure), it was still concretely within the older sound. However, Hogarth (along with co-lyricist John Helmer) brought something new to the table.
Never being one that was entrenched deeply in the Fish camp, I have always considered many of Hogarth's (and often enough, Helmer's) lyrics to be sheer brilliance, and many of the band's finest appear on Season's End. "Easter" is without a doubt a classic, with it's soft acoustic base that leads into a triumphant extended solo and Hogarth's passionate, beautiful lyrics, it's enough to make a person cry.
"The Uninvited Guest" recalls some of the earlier Marillion, "Incommunicado" specifically, as its a little more upbeat, a little more goofy, but no less poingant.
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Format: Audio CD
Marillion fans must have been freaked out when the band brought in Steve Hogarth to replace the idiosyncratic Fish. It seemed that the band was toast when Fish took off, taking his uniquely expressive voice and his amazing poetic faculty with him.
But Hogarth's first outing with the band collectively removed most fans' apprehensions. Although Hogarth lacked Fish's poetic abilities, he suited the band perfectly with his fine vocal abilities and remarkable emotional expression. The music is the classic neo-progressive stuff that the band does so well, and the band retains its ability to touch the listener in myriad ways. Hogarth-Marillion's lyrical subjects are less personal than Fish's, and tackle social issues (like "Easter," which implores for peace in Ireland, or the title track, which explores environmental spoliation in a pretty way), but they are emotionally intuitive nonetheless. The album is perfect if one disregards the retch-inducingly bad "Hooks In You," which just plain sucks (fortunately it's less than three minutes long). Rothery's solos are as elegant and emotive as ever, and Kelly's keyboards add an important layer of beauty to the songs.
There's song highlights aplenty. If you make a CDR without "Hooks In You," you get one of Marillion's best albums, from either era.
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Format: Audio CD
I remember picking up this CD before knowing that Fish had been replaced (Marillion info in the states was hard to come by back then...). "Who the heck is that singing?!?!" was my first reaction, but after I got past the shock I realized that most of the songs on this CD are very good indeed.

"King of Sunset Town" is a nice opener - nothing terribly overwhelming, but a promising start. I like the long intro...

"Easter" is a Marillion classic - Hogarth's voice suits the music style perfectly. Rothery plays beautiful 12-string guitar, and Mark Kelly adds some delicate piano to top things off. The outro is vintage Marillion, with some great backing vocals adding to the richness of the song and its message.

"The Uninvited Guest" is a throwaway in my opinion, the lyrics are sort of silly and Hogarth shows (not for the last time) that he's sort of out of his element singing a rocker. A lesson that is unfortunately reinforced later in the CD.

"Season's End" is almost the mirror of "The Uninvited Guest" - everything that is wrong with Hogarth there is right with Hogarth here. This song and "The Space" showcases H's vocals best on this CD, and the chorus is just beautiful - great chord changes that make your hair stand on end. I LOOVVE the cool outro as well.

"Holloway Girl" falls into the "mediocre" pile. Nice bass bit by Pete to start things off, but the emotion that Marillion tries to pull of just doesn't work. And for a band that thrives on emotion in both its vocal delivery and its musical structure that's not a good thing. They tried to swing for the fences here, but didn't make contact.

"Berlin" gets a lot of bad press, but I think it's a great song.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok, I confess: I'm a big Marillion fan of the Fish era. And I still remember the big disapointment I felt when I heard the first album this band recorded without their former singer. Too popish, nothing at all reminded the great progressive band of the 80's. While Fish released about the same time a fantastic solo album, Marillion did this... I sold the record few months after I bought it. And thought Marillion had had it.
But time passes and I did pick up one or two Steve H singing Marillion albums and I must admit they were good (the live Made Again is really superb). This led me back to Seasons End, some 12 years latter. I still think you can't really say it is the same band or that they were palying the same style! But it does sound good, at least the first five tracks and the closing number, Space (though I think it is far better covered in Made Again). If you don't try to match it with Marillion's earlier stuff, then it's allight. Steve H is really a great singer and the band does some nice pleasant passages. The title track is superb (the only one that really matches their old stuff), Easter is beautiful, The Uninvited Guest is good (although very different in style), but there are also some tracks (Berlin and Hooks On You come to mind) that Marillion fans would love to forget they were ever recorded!
All in all I must say that nowadays I like the album. I still think Fish did much better work than Marillion in his post break up career, but they're still good, even when they're playing mainstream pop, which is much of this particular case.
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