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Artist: MARILLION
Album: "CLUTCHING AT STRAWS REMASTERED (CD)"

Year: 1987/ 2019
EAN/UPS: 0190295605155
Media type: CD

Цена: 18.00 лв. (BGN)

Cat. No.: WIZ00006301
Label: EMI
Genre: Progressive/ NEO Progressive/ Instrumental Rock, Melodic Hard Rock/ AOR

Статус: Наличен / In Stock


Clutching at Straws is the fourth studio album of the progressive rock band Marillion. It was released in 1987 and was the last album before the lead singer Fish left the band. Although commercially not quite as successful as its 1985 predecessor Misplaced Childhood, it is considered to be among the best work of Marillion's "Fish era" by many (including Fish himself, as he has stated in several interviews).


The Album Cover:

The front and back covers of the album give a revealing glimpse into Fish's inspiration for the album's lyrics as well as depicting some of his heroes. There are allusions to them throughout the album. The setting is in a British bar & pool room, and the people represented are:

On the front from left to right: Robert Burns, Dylan Thomas, Truman Capote and Lenny Bruce
On the back from left to right: John Lennon, James Dean and Jack Kerouac

It is also interesting to note the seemingly ‘self-destructive’ ways in which these men died:

Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, died of 'habits of intemperance', a euphemism for excessive drinking;
Dylan Thomas, a Welsh poet and writer, died of alcohol poisoning. It is rumored that his last words were: "After 39 years, this is all I've done";
Truman Capote, an American writer, died of a combination of alcohol & drugs;
Lenny Bruce, an American stand-up comedian and champion of the American Constitution's 'First Amendment' for free speech, died of a heroin overdose;
John Lennon, an English singer-songwriter, formerly of The Beatles, died when he was shot by Mark David Chapman, an embittered ex-fan jealous of his fame;
James Dean, an American actor who shunned fame, died in a car crash;
Jack Kerouac, an American writer who hated fame, died of cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcoholism.


The Concept:

The concept of the album is pretty easy to understand if you are a Fish-era Marillion fan: the character of "Torch" has gone from being an angst-filled singing jester from the hills of Simarillion to becoming a 30-something out of work factory worker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, and seeks comfort in mostly alcohol to numb himself. He is trying (but failing) to forget what lies at his feet - a failed marriage, being a deadbeat father, as well as his lack of commercial success as a singer in a band.

As he gets drunk he also writes about his surroundings and his laments, which has never been better described throughout the entire album than the centrally-themed song "Sugar Mice." Here is an excerpt from the lyrics:

"So if you want my address, its number one at the end of the bar
Where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws, and nursing our scars
Blame it on me, oh! you can blame it on me
We're just sugar mice in the rain...
Your daddy took a raincheck, your daddy took a raincheck..."

The lyrics and the imagery that one gets from other parts of the album also suggest strong hints as to why the band "took a break" after their tour in support of the album (and Fish eventually quitting) after the album was released. The song "Incommunicado" excellently describes the pitfalls of the business, and in real life pressures were crushing in from outside by the band's label Capitol Records for them to either "succeed or else they would be dropped by the company" (see the external link below), which they did anyway a few years later.

The album's mixture of music and lyrics is highly introspective, dark, at times full of sunny memories twinged with a bitter past, sometimes full of loss and fear, all of it coming from these same memories that are shouted out loud. Since Torch has no other real outlet at his disposal, he ends up in bars, hotel rooms and on the road, screaming and drunk, letting us know it has all slipped through his fingers and that he is beyond redemption or hope. From the sound and feel of the music, his creativity seems to be still alive and well - as long as the drink does.

TRACKLIST:

01 "Hotel Hobbies" – 3:35
02 "Warm Wet Circles" – 4:25
03 "That Time Of The Night (The Short Straw)" – 6:00
04 "Going Under" – 2:47 (not on the original vinyl LP)
05 "Just For The Record" – 3:09
06 "White Russian" – 6:27
07 "Incommunicado" – 5:16
08 "Torch Song" – 4:05
09 "Slainte Mhath" – 4:44
10 "Sugar Mice" – 5:46
11 "The Last Straw" – 5:58

"Happy Ending" – 0:00 (this is listed as a track on the back of the album, but in a statement of irony, it is not an actual track - it merely consists of someone yelling "Help!", then echoing muffled laughter fading off into silence.)

LINE-UP:

Fish (Derek W. Dick) - vocals and lyrics (left in 1988)
Ian Mosley - drums, percussion (joined 1984)
Steve Rothery - electric and acoustic guitars - Founding member
Pete Trewavas - bass guitars, backing vocals, additional guitars, samples and effects (joined 1982)
Mark Kelly - keyboards, samples and effects, backing vocals, programming (joined 1981)

Note: The album also features Tessa Niles on backing vocals on That Time Of The Night (The Short Straw) and The Last Straw.


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