Marillion - Afraid Of Sunlight Deluxe Edition review

In two deluxe editions, this Marillion 1995 gem sees the light of day once more

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Marillion - Afraid Of Sunlight Deluxe Edition

Marillion: Afraid Of Sunlight Deluxe Edition

Disc 1 (2019 Michael Hunter Remix)
1. Gazpacho
2. Cannibal Surf Babe
3. Beautiful
4. Afraid of Sunrise
5. Out Of This World
6. Afraid Of Sunlight
7. Beyond You
8. King

Disc 2: Dave Meegan Original 1995 Album Mix
1. Gazpacho
2. Cannibal Surf Babe
3. Beautiful
4. Afraid of Sunrise
5. Out Of This World
6. Afraid Of Sunlight
7. Beyond You
8. King

Disc 3: Live At Ahoy, Sep 29, 1995 - 2019 Michael Hunter Remix
1. Intro (Skater’s Waltz)
2. Incommunicado
3. Hooks In You
4. Gazpacho
5. Icon
6. Beautiful
7. Hotel Hobbies
8. White Russian
9. Easter
10. Mad
11. The Opium Den
12. Hard As Love
13. The Hollow Man

Disc 4: Live At Ahoy, Sep 29, 1995 - 2019 Michael Hunter Remix
1. Kayleigh
2. Lavender
3. Afraid Of Sunlight
4. Cannibal Surf Babe
5. Cover My Eyes (Pain And Heaven)
6. Slainte Mhath
7. King
8. Splintering Heart
9. No One Can
10. The Great Escape
11. The Uninvited Guest
12. Garden Party

1. Icon
2. Live Forever
3. Second Chance (Beautiful)
4. Beyond You (Demo)
5. Cannibal Surf Babe
6. Out Of This World
7. Bass Frenzy
8. Mirages
9. Afraid Of Sunlight (Acoustic)
10. Ascending Synth Groove
11. Velvet Lawn
12. Building Guitar
13. Band Of Gold
14. Gazpacho (Early Version)
15. Surfer Bass
16. Cannibal Surf (Early Version)
17. Beautiful (Early Version)
18. KD Lang
19. Out Of This World (Early Version)
20. Afraid Of Sunlight (Early Version)
21. Beyond You (Early Version)
22. Crunchy Guitar Idea
23. Deep Purple Vibe
24. Watery Guitar
25. King (Early Version)
26. Happy Accidents

48/24 LPCM Stereo Remix
48/24 DTS 5.1 Mix
48/24 LPCM 5.1 Mix

Afraid Of Sunlight documentary

Beautiful video

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After deluxe editions of Misplaced Childhood, Clutching At Straws and Brave, Warner’s repackaging of Marillion’s EMI catalogue continues with this standout title. By 1995 the band’s relationship with the label had soured and they would soon move on, but they still owed EMI one more album (and £500k), so over an uncharacteristically short period of a few months Marillion holed up in their own, newly kitted-out Racket Club studio and (in their words) ‘knocked out’ Afraid Of Sunlight

And what a knockout it is. Out of its mid-90s cultural context the timelessness of its themes of toxic fame, self-destruction and Icarian hubris shine anew. There’s so much content here. It’s anthemic in parts (the widescreen title track; opener Gazpacho with its references to OJ Simpson and Mike Tyson) and quirky in others (ersatz Beach Boys tribute Cannibal Surf Babe; Phil Spector homage Beyond You). The big, hit ballad Beautiful is gorgeous, the lilting Afraid Of Sunrise wears its 13/8 time signature lightly, and – up there with the finest songs in the Marillion catalogue – Out Of This World is just that. Telling the story of Donald Campbell’s fatal Bluebird crash in 1967, it’s a hauntingly atmospheric meditation on the lengths Man will go to for extreme achievement. 

King is a tough look at fame’s poison chalice, inspired by Elvis and Kurt Cobain, who took his own life the year before the album’s release. There’s a fiery, frantic Steve Rothery solo here, and the album ends with a dissonant A Day In The Life-style climax that shows drummer Ian Mosley at his most primal. Indeed, the whole band perform as if emboldened by the acclaim for Brave the year before, and the sheer sound of the album is a thing of beauty. 

Despite label disinterest the album hit No. 18 in the UK chart, and Beautiful grazed the Top 30. The band played a lively 1995 show in Rotterdam as part of the supporting tour, and that’s included in both packages, the five-LP set and four-CD box with Blu-ray. Both of these feature a solid 2019 remix from the band’s latter-day producer Michael Hunter, but the CD box includes Sunlight producer Mike Meegan’s superb original mix. The Blu-ray holds the band’s fun and revealing new 45-minute chat about the album, three hi-res audio mixes and bonus tracks, early versions
and outtakes. With titles such as Deep Purple Vibe and Watery Guitar, these’ll make you appreciate producer Meegan’s craft all the more. According to the band he did much to help them knock out Afraid Of Sunlight, and make it the shining success it still is.

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Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.