Marillion - Clutching At Straws - EMI 1987

Marillion - Clutching At Straws - front cover

front cover

Marillion - Clutching At Straws - rear cover

rear cover


Music - 5 stars

Clutching at Straws, Marillion's forth album and the last one with front-man and lyricist Fish (Derick W. Dick) is a dark look into the mind of a person descending into alcoholism and paranoia, and also the strongest album overall of the "Fish" period.

The music is complex progressive rock and the songs fit together seamlessly as the story progresses culminating in the ballad "Sugar Mice" about a man explaining to his wife why he had to leave her and his children. This is quite different lyrical material, more in common with Lou Reed's "Berlin", than usually appears in progressive rock.

Fish is a great storyteller, more like a confessional poet, and when he left Marillion's music changed considerably. Marillion still carry on with lead singer and lyricist Steve Hogarth, but the original Marillion sound is very much alive with the great Fish solo material that I have heard.