on 21 June 2008
Love this album - probably my joint favourite with Clutching At Straws.
I confess, I lost interest after Seasons End (although I think it's a decent album) & equally, I never bought any more of Fish's solo stuff after the excellent Vigil In The Wilderness Of Mirrors. Somehow, it just wasn't the same for both parties.
Fugazi, for me, is a seriously dark album. I've heard criticism of the production which baffles me. It's certainly better than Script For A Jesters Tear, with a more interesting mix than perhaps Misplaced Childhood. Each instrument is clear & sharp, and the album has a powerful, all encompassing sound. Particularly sharp are it's drum sounds and the bass tones (just listen to Assassing for it's sheer PUNCH!). There's loads of strange effects, and whispers/hidden lines as well, in the background - every time you'll hear something new.
Listen out for "I'm the irritating speck of dirt that came from absolutely nowhere."
Fish was never better lyrically than here, it's great wordplay albeit a little pretentious & this guy can really paint pictures and screw with your head. Also his voice is great here, aggressive on Assassing and melancholy and chilling on Emerald lies & Incubus (beautiful lyricism).
Love the cutting wit of Punch & Judy with it's honest appraisal of the trauma of divorce.
Mark Kelly's keyboards are top notch as is the effective, refreshingly simple at times, drumming. Peter Trewavas is one of the most underrated bassists ever; so many AWESOME bass lines! Very upfront in the mix, and as melodic as it is powerful! Really, really rate this guy as good as the likes of Geddy Lee, Geezer Butler or Steve Harris! Check out She Chameleon for it's hypnotic bass notes...
The real star here is Steve Rothery who delivers a spellbinding turn on guitar, whether it's shimmering acoustics, or the full on power of Assassing, this guy can play!!! And the beautiful solos on Jigsaw & Incubus are real tear jerkers, and easily within my Top 10 ever lead breaks. These 2 songs along with Emerald Lies and title track, Fugazi are my favs off the album.
Just a really, really GREAT Progressive Rock album - quintessentially English, but with firebrand lyrics from North Of The Border.
Nice cover arwork too, second only to Script For A Jesters Tear.
Essential Marillion , along with Script & Clutching...
The most unlikely people seem to like this stuff too, even members of US Thrash Metal band , Flotsam And Jetsam, credited this as an inspiration many years ago!
on 15 June 2010
Marillion have become my most favourite of bands over the years as they keep coming up with new and exciting ideas and transforming them into great concepts for an album, 'Misplaced Childhood''Clutching At Straws''Brave''Marbles' and 'Happiness Is The Road' have all been and still are a huge part of my life.
This album was released in 1984 when I was just 19 years old. It made an immediate impact on me as Fish directed his bitter and twisted thoughts to failed relationships at a time when I was struggling with the fairer sex myself! It was his lyrics of deciept, adultery, lies and treachory that cut straight to the heart as he appeared to have had the same experiences.
'Assassing' opens proceedings with a superb keyboard intro and thunderous drums to an almost dance beat which describes his desire to kill (figuratively speaking) the object of his frustrations with such lines as "venomous verbs of ruthless candour, plagiarise assassins fervour" and "a friend in need is a friend that bleeds, let bitter silence infect the wound" This is also a rant about the sacking of resident drummer Mick Pointer who was replaced after 1 album.
'Punch & Judy' is the ultimate observation of marriage breakdown, as he describes the ectasy of being in love with "whatever happened to pillow fights?, Friday nights? jeans so tight? and "whatever happened to Lovers Lane?, passion games?, Sunday walks in the pouring rain?" to the agony of hate with "propping up a bar, family car, sweating out a mortgage as a balding clerk, "world war three, suburbanshee, just slip her these pills and I'll be free"
'Jigsaw' is a slow ballad with some superb guitar ridden angst from Steve Rothery, again the theme is aimed at the brokenhearted, "stand straight, look me in the eyes and say goodbye, stand straight, we've drifted past the point of reasons why" and this song has some of my favourite lyrics. "are we trigger happy? Russian roulette in the waiting room, empty chambers embracing the end"
'Emarald Lies' deals with divorce with acute accuracy on how the wounded party could be thinking to himself, the court being a "gallery of contempt as she accumulates flirtations with the calculated calmness of the whore" "through a silk cut haze and the smeared masscara, a 40 watt sun on courtroom drama"
'She Chameleon' has our character "degraded and alone, raped and still forlorn and betrayed on a lizards bed". One of the band's most emotive songs has Steve Rothery's guitar almost crying tears as Fish vents his anger "was it just a f***, was it just a f***, just another f*** I bled, loving just for laughs, carnal autographs on a lizards bed"
'Incubus' has to be one of my favourite tracks by Marillion, it has everything you need in an angst filled statement to an ex you really want revenge over, absolutely no love lost here! Heartbreaking lyrics as in "you can't brush me under the carpet, you can't hide me under the stairs, the custodian of your private fears, your leading actor of yesteryear"
to the ultimate act of revenge with "but now i'm the snake in the grass, the ghost of film reels past, the producer of your nightmare and the performance has just begun" you are almost cheering him on at this point!
'Fugazi' closes the album in a way only a writer knows how to finish, by reviewing his life and struggling to invisage the part he plays in the world. "drowning in the liquid sieze on the Piccadilly line rat race, scuttling through the damp electric labyrinth" he realizes how warped and insecure the world is in relation to his own life. Always a great lyric "son watches father scan obituary columns in search for absent school friends" "while a generation digests high fibre ignorance" "do you realise, this world is totally fugazi"
This is my favourite Fish related album, the songs and the production are razor sharp. Musicianship of the finest order, in no way a difficult 2nd album for me. Fans of the band reading this review will have already marvelled in it's glory, but for pending fans or for those who are just intrigued to know, you can not go wrong with this classic.
on 6 July 2004
To criticise the lyrical content of this album is ludicrous. Yes, it IS wordy, but the imagery is as razor sharp as fish's delivery. Musically it still contains Marillion's finest moments, although it lacks the conceptial and musical cohesion of Misplaced Childhood.
Fugazi is the angriest album Marillion or Fish ever made. It is intensely moving and, at times, painfully beautiful.
I could not recommend this album more.
Vicious ,biting,acidic ,vengeanful lyrics spat out with a barely concealed contempt and loathing and thats just the opening track !! 'Assassing' possibly ,arguably one of the best tracks the Fish era ever recorded,quite stunning after its gentle opening with middle eastern tinge and Floydian guitar(clever these Genesis clones making you think of other bands eh?).
Fish on this release sounds almost manic,at times his vocals are sheer anger(is it me or at times does he sound like a dalek?),for the most part he rallies against relationships disintegrating,marriage break up ,all the anger,hurt,bewilderment and sorrow that will be experienced are all accounted for in the likes of 'Punch & Judy','She Chameleon' and 'Jigsaw',if you've ever been there his lyrics at times will chill you to the core,they can cut you to the bone,at 22 years old when this first came out,i wasnt really paying attention to the lyrics,nearly 3 decades on,he's on the mark with each one,a lesson in the nastier ,more hurtful parts of life.
Best moments on the original album,easy that would be the aforementioned 'Assassing,alongside the title track where Fish's angst is now directed at the world,like 'Forgotten Sons' from the debut this also hits home,certainly now(maybe not back then) and the best bit Steve Rothery's guitar solo on 'Jigsaw'.it just gets you everytime.
For the supposed 'difficult second album,Marillion passed with flying colours,the band were tight,with new drummer Ian Mosley,whilst Mark Kelly & Pete Trewavas held everything togeher splendidly,the stars of the show once again are Steve Rothery and Fish.
This edition,is the remaster and once again the clarity of sound is superb,the booklet is excellent with some interesting revelations,cant tell if Fish is actually revelling in his part in Mick Pointers downfall or exaggerating it.
Disc 2,whilst not as essential as that found with the 'SCRIPT FOR....' remaster,still has enough moments to warrant more than the occassional listen,specifically the 12' version of 'Cinderella Search' and the always welcome '3 Boats down from the Candy'.
on 16 October 2006
After the success of 1983's debut, 'Script For A Jester's Tear', Marillion ditched drummer Mick Pointer, recruited the experienced Ian Mosley and returned with 'Fugazi'. 'Fugazi' is, in my opinion, Marillion's finest hour with Fish at the helm and still a contender for their best ever work.
Opening track 'Assassing' has a nice, slow build up with an eastern feel. Ian Mosley makes his presence felt immediately with some useful tom-tom work, and then the rest of the band fire up. Steve Rothery and Mark Kelly's repective guitar and keyboard interplay provides a memorable riff to the track, and Fish's 'blade within the voice' lyric tells the story of the sacking of the hapless Mick Pointer. 'Assassing' was an effective concert opener for Marillion and a real crowd pleaser. It also provided them with a top thirty single. It's a shame they don't play it anymore in the live set.
Next track, 'Punch And Judy' continues the breathtaking start to the album and is a powerhouse of a song with a thunderous rhythm section. Lyrically, it tells the tale of Fish's personal fear of settling down to a domestic life, and the imagery on display is actually quite amusing. It also gave them another hit single.
Up next is 'Jigsaw', which is arguably the greatest ballad Marillion have ever recorded. Fish's vocal delivery is right on the money, Mark Kelly's keyboards have a child like nursery rhyme quality and Steve Rothery throws in one of his finest guitar solos. The release of the chorus still sends shivers up the spine.
'Emerald Lies' is the weakest track on the album despite some good musical passages and some more quality drumming from Mosley. It also shows Fish starting to get a little repetitive lyrically with yet another tale of love on the rocks.
'She Chameleon' gets things back on track and is a moody, misty, sleazy tale of groupie sex and the question of who is using who. Rothery contributes a crunching solo and Mark Kelly chips in with a highly Wakemanesque keyboard solo.
'Incubus' follows and remains one of Marillion's most popular numbers from their early period. It's a huge show stopper, which lyrically, uses lots of theatrical metaphor to tell the story of betrayal and revenge. Every single band member plays to their maximum to deliver what is arguably, the best track on the album. Fantastic stuff.
Album closer, the title track is another breathtaking display of time changes, power playing and anthemic finale, complete with barbed vocals and lyrics as Fish recounts his panic attack on the London Underground.
'Fugazi' showed Marillion attempting to shrug off the 'Genesis rip off' tag, and try to appeal to an American market. Although the production is very much a sore point with the band, the songs on offer are among their best and Ian Mosley's debut on drums is something else. In fact, it is the quality of Mosley that seems to encourage every other member to give an extra ten percent. As a result 'Fugazi' shows the band letting rip and rocking like bastards.
Once again, Mark Wilkinson's artwork also gives the overall package much gravitas and continues the visual identity that the band would be able to trade on.
on 20 March 2007
Love, love, LOVE this album. This surely has to be one of Marillion's best. In my opinion, the best songs are Jigsaw, Incubus and the title track, Fugazi; although the tunes of each song will stick in your mind all day after hearing them! Defo worthy of 6 stars out of 5 !!
on 11 February 2008
I had not heard this for a while and was suprised how good it is! I had always seen it as a poor relation to Scripfor a Jester's Tear, but I think it is a wondeful little example of Prog in 1984. I reminds me of being in 5th form at School with like minded chums all trying to learn guitar! The lyric (from Fish) are wonderful, really interesting and poigniant. Musically it is fabulous, especially work from Keyboard played Mark Kelly. It has been described by some as 'widdley widdly' keyboards (heheheheheh), but so what! This is great music, good to re-visit and not a bad starting place to investigae the Fish ear of Marillion.
on 16 November 2000
Fugazi is a prime example of why Marillion were the cutting edge band of eighties alternative rock. The music is in turn both intricate and powerful, Fish has a voice so sharp it could cut through a brick, the songs are sinister and the lyrics are often aggressive to the point of sheer malevolence. Fugazi marked no major change in direction from the band's first album but the Genesis comparisons were fading fast, in particular because of the sheer evil that Fish managed to convey through his lyrics and his style of singing.
on 16 August 2003
Having been a fan throughout the 80's I bought this album for the second time after losing the CD. I still consider this album as Marillion finest hour. Fugazi and Assassing are classics and I enjoy them today as I did 15 years ago. This is timeless stuff.
The CD is a double pack and contains some unreleased versions of the songs on disc 1. The insert also has some interesting write-ups on the making of Fugazi by Fish and the other band members.
on 13 December 2002
With their second album, they found their mark. Complex lyrics and rock music that differed from the era - Marillion could be accused of being pretentious, but you have to view that with the time they were in: the ostentatious 80's. They had hints of the more real "new romantics" blended with rock ballads along with instruments they actually played. Gritty at times, real, but not for the sake of it. "Jigsaw" (a track never released) stands testament: a rock ballad with more feeling than any of the albums before or after it could muster. Simply: Marillion at their best.