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Clutching at Straws

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Amazon's Marillion Store


Image of album by Marillion


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Marillion are one of the UK music scene’s best kept secrets; purveyors of soulful, powerful, and often deeply-moving music, with a long-standing reputation for blistering live shows which have earned them an impressive and faithful global fanbase.

Steve "h" Hogarth fronts the band (original lead-singer, "Fish", having departed in 1988).
and brought a new ... Read more in Amazon's Marillion Store

Visit Amazon's Marillion Store
for 107 albums, 14 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Clutching at Straws + Fugazi [Bonus Disc] + Misplaced Childhood
Price For All Three: £49.62

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Nov 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Phantom Sound & Vision
  • ASIN: B0000DERNT
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

1. Hotel Hobbies
2. Warm Wet Circles
3. That Time of the Night (The Short Straw)
4. Going Under
5. Just for the Record
6. White Russian
7. Incommunicado
8. Torch Song
9. Slainte Mhath
10. Sugar Mice
11. Last Straw: Happy Ending

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Stotty on 21 Oct 2006
Format: Audio CD
Clutching At Straws is Fish's letter of resignation to Marillion. Lyrically you can clearly tell that Fish is going through some inner turmoil. Musically, the band have never sounded so powerful.
The opening salvo of 'Hotel Hobbies/Warm Wet Circles/That Time Of The Night' illustrates the concept of the struggling writer trying to keep the demons of alcoholism at bay and ultimately failing. It's an awesome opening salvo of vocals and jaw dropping musical ability that leaves the listener quite breathless.
'White Russian' and the prophetic 'The Last Straw', show that Marillion are still quite adept at writing and performing big, show stopping epics, while 'Incommunicado', 'Sugar Mice' and the excellent 'Slainte Mhath', prove that the band were becoming more proficient in terms of delivering accessible, radio friendly tracks without selling out in any way.
Both Fish and Steve Rothery seem to dominate proceedings with some truly outstanding individual performances, and Ian Mosley's drumming is real masterclass stuff at times, especially in the first three tracks and 'White Russian'. Terrific stuff.
Chris Kimsey's production is, once again, right on the money and when you consider that 'Misplaced Childhood' could have been a real millstone around the band's neck, that 'Clutching...' is as strong an album as it is should be viewed as a real achievement.
I'm of the opinion that if Marillion had continued on this path with Fish at the helm, they would be sitting now with the same gravitas and worldwide popularity as Iron Maiden or even U2. As much as I love the Steve Hogarth era albums and fully respect the direction the band now follow, I do find myself returning to the Fish era records and feeling a little sad that the big man had to quit the group in the manner that he did.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chrissy-E on 9 Oct 2008
Format: Audio CD
Despite its strong theme of alcohol misuse running throughout, this melodic, deep and moving record actually lends itself well to a listen last thing at night with a good single malt in hand!

One or two tracks just don't fit. These will stand out to you and you'll skip them. The rest is pure genius; timeless, and accomplished. A great album, with a surprisingly 'light' yet technically brilliant and intricate sound.

This album should never be confined to history. Fish and the boys did good here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By max222 on 14 Oct 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is my favourite Fish era Marillion album. It betters even the superb Misplaced Childhood - and that's saying something -with the first 3 tracks, Hotel Hobbies, Warm Wet Circles and At That Time of the Night being the high points for me. Oh - and Sugar Mice of course. A concept album about drinking, heavy drinking that is and really being a bit depressed. The one track that doesnt fit in for me is Incommunicado - which is all a bit too upbeat and fast for the rest of the album - it feels tacked on as a single - and indeed it was the first single.
The real gems here - and here I must disagree with a previous reviewer - are the bonus CD outakes and demos which would have become the next Marillion album had not Fish and the band split. Tic Tac Toe (which was used for the basis of The Release on the first post Fish Marillion album, Seasons End and also on State of Mind on Fish's 1st album, Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors) is a superb song - better than either of the 2 subsequent versions, esp the Fish solo one. Voice in the Crowd is wonderful too, very moving - poor quality sound though which is not surprising as these tapes had been sitting around for years. Exile on Princes Street is another song reused by Fish, this time on Internal Exile the title track of his 2nd solo album. Better sound quality on this one. Again far better, far more melodic and emotional - rather than the horribly folky jig track it eventually became. And there are several other excellent demos too on this bonus disc. All of which seem to indicate the next album was coming along nicely and would have been perhaps just as good as Misplaced Childhood and Clutching At Straws. A real shame it never happened. And finally you also get Tux On - a b side of the era which is another good track.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. O'toole on 13 May 2008
Format: Audio CD
Marillion have always been a grossly underrated band, always at the soft metal end of the scale, their prog rock influence is evident. They are good solid backing musicians to be sure but like Queen need a showman to give them a drive and direction. That showman they had in Fish This cracker is Fish's swansong with the band and is living proof that the man is a poet and a troubadore if there ever was one! His growling impassioned Sottish accent is everywhere, the lyrics are verbose verging on stupendous" I seen teenage girls like gawdy moths..." "..feigning casual silence in strained romantic interludes.." The man isn't short of a word or two. The whole album is suffused with alcohol from the pub theme of the cover through multiple references in the songs " till the barman wipes away the warm wet circles.." " sweating out a happy hour.." Our hero Torch is warned by his doctor "Continue this lifestyle and you won't reach 30!" The album is lyrically so rich that it be on the syllabus for English GCSE. Stand out tracks include "warm wet circles" "at that time of the night" "white Russian" "incommunicado" a song which proves Marillion aren't without a sense of humour with hilarious video as Fish spills drink over a talk show hostThe hit single "Sugar Mice" is also here"if you want my address it's number one at the end of the bar..". The absolute cracker in my mind are "Torch Song" a lovely languid guitar line whichs opens with the magnificent"Read some Kerouac and it put be on the track to burn a little brighter now.." "Slainte Mhaith" is so Scottish it deserves to be in a banquet scene in Highlander "trapped in the indecision of another fine menu..Read more ›
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