Marillion's 2nd Studio Album, Fugazi is a single album & was released on 12th March 1984. This album was remastered in 1998 and a deluxe edition was released in 2021.
Current & Notable Release Versions:
3CD / 1 BR Deluxe Edition (2021): features a brand new stereo remix of the album by Andy Bradfield & Avril Mackintosh. Also includes the previously unreleased in full show from The Spectrum, Montreal, Quebec on the 20th June 1984 and a blu-ray containing 96k/24-bit audio of the album and Montreal show.
The bluray includes bonus tracks and a 5.1 surround mix of the album by Andy Bradfield & Avril Mackintosh as well as "The Performance Has Just Begun" - a new in depth 90 minute documentary covering the making of the album, containing interviews with Fish, Mark Kelly, Ian Mosley, Steve Rothery and Pete Trewavas.
2CD Remastered Version (1997): Includes the original album plus bonus disc. Standard Jewel case with CD booklet featuring lyrics & original album art.
Vinyl Version (2012): Cut from the original vinyl production masters. Reproduced in 180g heavy weight vinyl with a gatefold sleeve featuring the original artwork.
Download Version: Audio download not available from Racket Records.
We decided to lock ourselves away in a house in Wales to write Fugazi and, to be honest, for the first few months I thought the game was up as we only really had one song written, Assassing, and that was written before going to Wales. With hindsight I can see a pattern was forming that would be repeated with every subsequent album. We always take a few months to get into “writing mode” and then the ideas come fast and furious.
Andy came to Wales (Mountain Studios) to write with us in June and then North America after appearing in a video with the band for the song Garden Party. 4 weeks into the tour we had to come home because Andy was not really coping very well with life on the road. He was depressed and drinking far too much - or so we thought at the time. These days we would probably think his alcohol intake was quite normal!
So we went back to England and started looking all over again. John Martyr was the next to try the Marillion drum stool for size. With John we went straight into the studio to record a new version of Market Square Heroes and it's B-side 3 Boats Down From the Candy for America.
We went back to America with John still in the band to open a week of shows for Canadiantrio Rush at NYC's Radio City Music Hall. We were already having doubts about John. His style of drumming was a bit too straight ahead for Marillion. While we were in NYC a 19 year old drummer from Boston called Jonathan Mover came to the hotel to persuade us to give him an audition back in England. He had heard we were looking for a drummer through Nick Tauber our producer.
We auditioned lots of drummers saving Jonathan until last. Jonathan turned out to know all our songs and could play them all with precision so we offered him the job. We went back to Wales (this time to Mommouth) for a second time to continue writing the album but within a few weeks Fish gave the rest of us an ultimatum “him or me” so off back to Boston Jonathan went!
Jonathan's departure gave Ian Mosley a chance to come down to Wales and help out with the writing. Ian had put himself forward to audition during the summer but we had already hired Jonathan by the time we heard about him. Luckily John Arnison kept his number and called him to see if he was interested in helping out as a “session drummer”. Ian brought technical ability tempered with experience.
Needless to say Ian soon became a full-time member of the band, the main reason we were keen to make him a member is so his wages would be brought in line with the rest of us. £360 per month, half of what he got paid as a session man!
Time was passing and EMI were getting impatient to hear the follow up to Script. Luckily Fish already had a lot of the lyrics written so while we were struggling to come up with musical ideas Fish was telling EMI how well we were doing and that “Punch & Judy” would make a great first single. The people at EMI had no idea that at that stage there was no music for Punch & Judy!
We eventually went into the Manor studios near Oxford with Nick Tauber (producer) and Simon Hanheart (engineer). Our first job was to finish writing Incubus and the title track Fugazi. It didn't take long, a couple of days at most. Why so quick? Nothing focuses the mind like knowing every day is costing you £1000!
I had a strange experience during the first week. We were laying down the backing track for one of the songs and I was playing the keys. The keyboards were stacked so high I couldn't see over the top and as I played a hand I assumed was Steve's reached through the gap between the two lowest Keyboards to pick up something. I stopped playing and looked around the side expecting to see Steve but he was standing about 15 feet away over the other side of the room! Everyone asked why I had stopped playing as I had ruined a perfectly good “take”. I explained that I had seen a “ghost” hand and the all took the piss of course and said I made it up to cover the fact I'd stopped playing.
About a week later I was sitting under some open plan stairs playing the Hammond organ and Nick reached through the stairs and made me almost have a heart attack on the spot!
Things were getting more and more hectic as time went on. We had a tour booked and we could see the album wasn't going to be mixed in time.
Simon Hanhart was responsible for holding the sessions together as Nick became more and more unreliable. Throughout the mixing we had to keep changing studios because the time we had allotted kept running out. We clocked up 10 different studios on that album. Incidentally the assistant engineer at Masion Rouge was Dave Meegan who later produced Brave and mixed Afraid of sunlight for us. I'm surprised he wanted to work with us again because he ended up in hospital for a few days after our session finished. The doctor diagnosed “extreme exhaustion”!
We had our reservations about Tony but felt we had no choice. We then had a ridiculous situation of trying to be in two studios at once, Fish Ian and Pete were in Masion Rouge or was it Odyssey? and Steve and myself were in Abbey Road with Tony mixing Incubus.
I have kept this secret until now but during the mix I persuaded Tony to erase most of the backing vocals sung by Linda Pyke. I hated them and thought they did nothing for the song. Fortunately Tony agreed with me so off they went. Steve wanted nothing to do with this because he knew Fish would be furious. Of course when Fish heard the mix he hit the roof! Naturally he blamed Tony and I didn't think it was necessary to put him straight...
Fugazi ended up being the only track we didn't get to finish before the tour started. When we finally did hear it in a studio in Liverpool during the tour we were gutted. It sounded so different to how I had imagined it especially the cross fade into the military drums at the end. Awful. I've just listened to it and it's not so bad. Funny how things that seem so important can fade into insignificance with time.....
The remastering goes a long way towards making the album sound as it should have the first time around and lays to rest a few ghosts for me......I still wonder who's hand that was though?