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This Strange Engine - Introduction

Introduction: This Strange Engine was Marillion's fifth Hogarth-era studio album. The tone is somewhat more mainstream than its predecessor (despite containing a seventeen minute progressive epic in the title track) and the album is fairly gentle in terms of tone, partly due to the fact that Steve Rothery had been playing on acoustics with his Wishing Tree project.

The album contains a wide range of styles and influences from Slavic folk to Caribbean salsa. The vocal melody of An Accidental Man reminded me of the vocal melody to the Police's Wrapped Around Your Finger and the start of 80 Days calls to mind the beginning of Queen's Friends will be Friends.

Man of a Thousand Faces

Introduction: In an interview with Ed Sciaky from WMMR, 93.3 in Philadelphia, Steve Hogarth said: "This was based on a book called Hero of a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell who is America's foremost knowledge on mysticism and psychology. And it's quite a heavy book which attempts to link Freud and his thoughts and Jung and his philosophies with tribalism, rights of passage.

He's really talking about man's need to function on a tribal or mystical level and how that's a psychological need as well as a spiritual need. That song takes in conspiracy theory, masonry, secret society, all the way from the Holy Grail in the Knights Templar to some of the conspiracy theories that still go around in the modern age. And the need in all cultures in all parts of the world and at different times to worship similar symbols and how similar gods keep on turning up. So, it's quite a heavy book. It addresses heroism really, and the need for a hero in every culture in society. That's what that one's about."

80 Days

Introduction: In an interview with Ed Sciakyfrom WMMR, 93.3 in Philadelphia, Steve Hogarth said: "80 Days is quite interesting because it was an attempt to write a song which was not only for the fans, but about the fans. We have an incredible, cult following, but it's a big cult following. It's a cult of a few hundred thousand people around the world. And there is a cult mentality within our fans. The band is very precious to them. They turn up early for the shows, stand around all day, sometimes in the freezing cold, just for a chance to stand on the front row, they're usually there hanging around after the show in the street to talk to us afterwards, and we always go out and chat. And we're very close to our fans.


Introduction: Marina Lenti sent through the following from the Web Italy Real to Read mag: Steve Hogarth: "I met him on an aeroplane. I was sitting on one side of the aisle and he was sitting on the other side. And we just started exchanging glances and we said hello. We got talking about what we were doing there like two people might get talking. He asked me what I did for living and I said 'I'm a singer in a band' and I asked him what he did for living and he said he was a filmmaker and I asked what kind of film and he said he made documentaries and he was working on a documentary about the Estonia, which had sank in the Baltic, and that he'd been to Tallin, in Estonia, making his film.

The Memory of Water

In a Spring 2012 interview with me for the Web UK, I suggested to John Helmer the key to the song was the Arthurian references. He replied, "That was the Joseph Campbell stuff, but also homeopathy, which I don't necessarily believe in. But I was interested in the idea that water might have a memory because I think that water tends to play very heavily in our lives. It's a very primal thing, water. We were born out of water, and I have lots of memories of swimming in the water where I grew up and lots of more personal things."

Hope for the Future

'limbic brain'
The limbic brain is associated with memory, specifically, the ability to recall a particular memory upon receiving particular stimulus. An example might be a certain album bringing to mind a particular computer game, because you would always play that game whilst listening to that album.

Bruce Norris said: The three major parts of the brain are as follows:

This Strange Engine

Introduction: In an interview with Ed Sciaky from WMMR, 93.3 in Philadelphia, Steve Hogarth said: "The story behind that song is that I was lying in bed one night, as so often is the case, unable to sleep, it was about 4 in the morning and these words started to go around in my head a couple of summers ago and I wrestled with the idea of not getting up, 'cos I really didn't want to, and then in the end, I thought I'm gonna have to get up and write this down, 'cos I'll have forgotten it in the morning. I went downstairs and I wrote a poem, in a very short time, it was over the space of about 20 minutes to a half an hour. This poem came flooding out. It's the story of my life, but it was really in attempt to write something down for my father and to acknowledge what my father had sacrificed for me. Because I've now got to that age, I was his age when he had me."