Update to Separated Out

Has it really been ten years? The first edition of Marillion/Separated Out (The Complete History) was released in the autumn of 2002. As I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I started, I wrote the story as I uncovered it, gleaned from interviews, references and anecdotes.

What emerged was a tale of band members making the music they wanted to hear, as a result developing a unique relationship with its audience. Since Marillion was first formed, the band’s music has lifted spirits, offered support through personal difficulties and become otherwise woven into the experiences of fans.

It is appropriate that Separated Out ended with the band riding the wave of affection of the first convention weekend. While the event was highly successful, Pontins offered an unlikely foundation stone for future success. The book’s conclusion was equally non-committal: “Extrapolate a few years more and all the dreams will come true: the hit single, the radio play, the household name across the globe. Or will they?”

We now know the answer. Not only has the band seen an unprecedented resurgence in its fortunes over the past decade, it has also produced some of its best music – from ‘Marbles’, through ‘Somewhere Else’ and ‘Happiness is the Road’ to the just-released and already acclaimed ‘Sounds That Can’t Be Made’. So much water has passed under the bridge, it seems hard to believe that there was any uncertainty.

Quite clearly, an update to the book is long overdue – indeed, nearly two years have passed since Lucy asked when this might be available, finally prompting me into action. When I reviewed the original content, suffice to say I wasn’t particularly happy with it – some sections were notably clunky. So I set about working through the text, tweaking, culling, nipping and tucking as I went – this process is now complete.

The next step is to get the story up to date. I will be looking for fan feedback on their own feelings about the band and its music over the past ten years – the highs, the lows, the touching moments… Please do email me at jonc (at) separatedout (dot) com or leave a comment at www.joncollins.net if you have any ideas or thoughts.

And meanwhile, in the words of the profoundly wise Karin Breiter, I shall “shut up and write.” Thanks for reading, and I hope you will enjoy the new edition.

Update to Separated Out

9 thoughts on “Update to Separated Out

  1. Philip Todd says:

    I think a whole new section could be written about the “marillion family” concept. Its very much a living thing for me. I’ve made so many friends from being a “family member” that I’d never have without it.

    The cover of my first solo album, ‘Paintings in Minor Lila’, features a painting I made and titled ‘kindness’. ‘Kindness’ is exactly what comes to my mind thinking about the realization of this cd. And yes, ‘Minor Lila’ is an anagram for Marillion.

    I’ve had the idea for a solo album for a few years now. But I never could figure out what it should be about. The more I tried and thought about it, it became very clear: If I was going to do a solo album it had to include new music and music that I was really passionate about. That’s when I decided to take some of my favourite Marillion songs and interpret them in a personal way where I would still feel the words and music of the original version. I also had the idea to take some of my favourite lyrics by H and Fish and have them narrated in combination with piano & string quartet.

    I recorded a string arrangement for ‘This Train is My Life’ and sent it to Steve Hogarth, just for the sake of sharing it with him. Steve liked the idea and my arrangement and suggested to do the narration himself….Wow…I gratefully accepted his kind offer and we came up with an original, beautiful and intense version of ‘Train’ with voice and string quartet that does justice to H’s great words. Very personal and universal at the same time.

    Having Steve on my solo album is a true gift and it made me think about how special it would be if Fish would also do a version of one of my favourite Marillion songs. So I made a piano & string quartet arrangement of ‘Pseudo Silk Kimono’ , the first Marillion song I heard as a 16 year old boy , a life changing experience at that time. I sent my arrangement to Fish, told him about Steve’s narration of ‘Train’ and about my solo album, and asked if he would also consider it. Without any hesitation he offered to do it. It was deeply emotional to hear his voice in combination with my piano-playing and string arrangement.

    Words can’t express my gratitude to Steve H and Fish. What it means to me to have these two men contribute to my first solo album also goes beyond words. An act of pure kindness and selflessness.

    ‘Paintings in Minor Lila’ also features the Limburg Stringquartet, the rhythm section of the Searing Quartet: Sjoerd Rutten (drums) & Norbert Leurs (bass) , and two of my favourite saxplayers: Supertramp’s John Helliwell and Leo Janssen (Metropole Orchestra). Iain Matthews, with whom I have an inspiring and productive musical partnership , also contributed a beautiful song.

    All the people involved shared with me their great musicianship and their positive spirit. The album was co-produced by my dear friend Arno op den Camp.

    Thank you for your kindness.
    Namaskar! Egbert Derix, The Netherlands, August 2012

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