Marillion are a British rock group, formed in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England in 1979. Their recorded studio output comprises sixteen albums (2009's 'Less is More' is primarily reinterpretations of existing tracks) and is generally regarded as comprising two distinct eras, delineated by the departure of original vocalist & frontman Fish in late 1988 after their first four albums, and the subsequent arrival of replacement Steve Hogarth ("h") in early 1989. Marillion has so far released twelve albums with Hogarth. The band continues to tour internationally, and are ranked 38th in Classic Rock's "50 Best Live Acts of All Time".
I believe that the greatest era for Marillion passed with the departure of their band leader, Derrick Dick, A.K.A. Fish. Fish had a style that remains unmatched both in lyric writing and performing. Here are two videos from that era.
The core lineup of Steve Rothery (Lead Guitar and the sole 'pre-Fish' original member), Pete Trewavas (Bass), Mark Kelly (Keyboards) and Ian Mosley (Drums) has been unchanged since 1984. The band has enjoyed critical and commercial success with a string of UK Top Ten hits spanning their career, an estimated fifteen million total worldwide album sales and even an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Marillion's music has changed stylistically throughout their career. The band themselves stated that each new album tends to represent a reaction to the preceding one, and for this reason their output is difficult to 'pigeonhole'. Their original sound (with Fish on vocals) is best described as guitar and keyboard led progressive rock or "neo-prog", and would be sometimes compared with Gabriel-era Genesis.
More recently, their sound has been compared, on successive albums, to that of Radiohead, Massive Attack, Keane, Crowded House, The Blue Nileand Talk Talk, although not consistently comparable sonically with any of these acts. The band themselves in 2007, tongue-in-cheek, described their own output merely as: "Songs about Death and Water since 1979..."More from the Fish days.
Although the live stage presence seems lacking to me, there are several good songs from the Steve Hogarth incarnation. I've added two here...
But I must end with the "old" Marillion, may their music live on for generations to come!