MARILLION: Ten of the Best

At Real Gone, we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of musical styles, but rock music is pivotal to our everyday listening. In the years building up to the site’s creation, Marillion were one of our all time favourite bands. They have arguably one of the most obsessive fan bases of any band ever. Hours have been spent discussing the merits of various works – with their ‘Radiation’ album being particularly divisive – and, while the fans often agree, they’re as likely to disagree on various things.

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STYX – The Serpent Is Rising

styx serpentThe first Styx album (self-titled, 1972) is an overlooked slab of pomp rock. It’s not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but any band wishing to open their debut long player with a thirteen minute epic fusing hard rock with flourishes of Aaron Copland and what sounds like a conversation with a New York cabbie must have something, right? With that track, ‘Movement For The Common Man’, Styx announced their arrival in a typically grand style. The rest of the album, while nowhere near as complete sounding as 1977’s ‘Grand Illusion’ or as obviously song oriented as any of the albums from then onward, still makes for interesting listening decades after its original release. 1973’s ‘Styx II’, by contrast, is a more sedate affair – sedate in the world of early Styx means still very much still pompous and overblown – but, naturally, a bigger input from vocalist/pianist Dennis DeYoung, brought with it a much stronger element of musical theatre.

With these two records as a solid grounding, the band went all out for their next long player ‘The Serpent Is Rising’. Released in October 1973 – the third Styx LP to hit the shelves in just eighteen months – it has to be said, it has less of a focus than its predecessors. It doesn’t sound as if Styx had been tempted to use up leftover material though, rather more that this time out, the gloves were truly off. Coming from the days when bands were allowed to spend record company money (no matter how meagre a budget) while still very much on a learning curve, it sounds as if Styx intended to throw everything at this recording bar the kitchen sink to find out, once and for all, what styles worked for them…and which ones really didn’t.

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KING BLACK ACID – Twin Flames EP

twin flames epKing Black Acid started as a bedroom project for song writer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Riddle. Over the course of a few years, it has evolved into a full band, often with a revolving cast, dependent on Riddle’s own musical needs. Past King Black Acid alum have included Pigface’s Joseph Trump, Scott Adamo of the Wipers and Richmond Fontaine’s Dan Eccles.

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A Million Ways To Change Your Life (A Real Gone Sampler)

In 2016, Real Gone celebrated it’s seventh full year online. This year also marked the sixth year we’ve given away new music at the end of the year. Now a staple of the RG catalogue, the free album-length download is looked forward to by a core of our supporters and in turn helps bring new readers and listeners to our site.

2016 hasn’t been quite as notable for new music compared with a couple of years previously, but that’s not to say it hasn’t thrown up some great stuff. On the first of Real Gone’s free compilations for 2016, we take a look at a broad selection of tunes from punk, country, singer-songwriter fare and more… [a selection of metal oriented artists can be found over here]. If you’ve been paying attention to our website over the past twelve months, a few of these names will be familiar. If not, it’s time to say hello to new music. If you find a couple of things to love, our work here is done!

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