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Progressive Rock Book Reviews

Marillion

Marillion / Separated Out: The Complete History 1983-2002 written by Jon Collins

Review by Steve Alspach

"Marillion / Separated Out" is a very thorough look at a band that, for the last 20 years, has managed to make music strictly on its own terms.

The book starts even earlier than 1983. It goes back to the formative years, when the only recognizable names to most Marillion were guitarist Steve Rothery and lyricist Derek William Dick, also known as Fish. This book chronicles the start of a band that, back then, had the brazen audacity to wear its progressive (i.e. Genesis) influence on its sleeve. Growing pains are documented as the band settles into the musical four-piece (Rothery, Mark Kelly, Pete Trewavas, and Ian Mosely) to accompany Fish. Collins' book also delves into the departure of Fish from the band as well as sharing how the band settled on new singer Steve Hogarth (and he with them).

The book is well-researched and full of information. Collins also reviews each album in a complimentary but even-handed fashion, for example noting Marillion fans' hesitancy on embracing "Holidays in Eden." For photo fans like myself, there are a lot of pictures in the book, though some color pictures would have been nice.

But the book goes into more than just the music and touring. Marillion's relationship with its fans is unique in the world of rock music. Marillion fans are an extremely dedicated breed, and they have been known to ante up money for albums and tours before those projects ever get off the ground. The book also documents how the band was one of the first to utilize the internet, and there is a list of web sites that are dedicated to Marillion. There are also small tidbits of information or anecdotes throughout.

All in all, "Marillion / Separated Out" is a well-written, thorough book that documents the career of one of progressive rock's most enduring bands and is a must-read for any fans who have followed the band throughout. And for those of us who may have drifted away over the years, the book serves as an excellent welcome back.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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