Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Significant Albums: Marillion - Brave (1994)


When I 1st was told about Marillion, it was May of 1995. Misplaced Childhood was the record I was suggested, being a Rush fan, and I was for the most part immediately won over. So naturally I got to looking for more of their music the Summer of 1995 and soon there after.

They had a pretty big catalog, and I remember seeing this album and Afraid of Sunlight, and being a little thrown off by it. What was it about? It seemed darker than Misplaced Childhood for some reason.

I of course came to learn their history with who was still a relatively new singer in Marillion in 1995, having Steve Hogarth, instead of Fish, the singer on Misplaced Childhood.

I remember though buying 2 cds in particular, Six of One Half a Dozen of the Other, and Made Again, the double live album. And Made Again had a lot of their recent songs/singles per say on disc 1, including a few of the Fish era tracks, and on disc 2 of course was the complete Brave live.

I recall buying Brave at Media Play in 1996, as I stumbled upon, somehow, a receipt recently that I saved when I purchased my 1st cd copy of this album. The Made Again performance along with a bootleg video I picked up at 1 of the local Twin Cities area record shows where the band played the whole thing, I think really won me over to the Hogarth music and this album in particular.

And it sort of helped me through/related to some depression I was going through.

As much as every part of this album works cohesively and is without any song/moment that is out of place (including "Paper Lies"),I think this album has 3 songs that probably reach me more than any other Marillion songs, or maybe songs in general, save for some huge level of sadness or nostalgia on a song like "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

The Great Escape, Hard As Love, Runaway.

Steve Rothery's tone and phrasing, along with the lyrics especially. I frankly do not have enough space or time to capture how much some of the lyrics on those 3 tracks hit me. Not exactly on a directly personal level, but in a mood/escape/sympathetic/empathetic (or pathetic? lol) ways.

Some of the saddest guitar lines ever. Some of Hogarth's most impassioned vocal lines. He sounds like he's crying throughout, even though he's in voice exactly.

Very much a record that transcended music. The message was extremely powerful, I almost have felt Brave was not so much music or an album, but an out-of-body experience. I still to this day cannot get through it without balling like a baby at times. Why I love it so much? I'm not sure, but the natural human tendency to curl up in the fetal position to feel safe and comfort kind of hits me.

I recall Hogarth talking about playing it and the rest of their music live at the time, with the Brave music/performance being more like a painting that would be displayed in a museum or something,and the rest of their set being like Greatest Hits or something people might enjoy to party to.

I'm sort of at the place where I need to move along for now, just to not invest the time that I don't have right now to dissect so much more about this. In fact I guess the best thing I can include for now is, this very well may be just a preamble or excerpt of what very well could be like a essay (novel? lol) size examination on the *significance* of this album to me.

I almost feel like I love it to death, in that if I ever feel my most down, vulnerable, or needing of some excessive melancholy with nostalgia, and with a 3rd ingredient I don't know if I've ever found again, it is on here.

Justice will have more to add, I just need to find the time and be in the mood. But it may come sooner than later (2014 perhaps).