…is the title of the new Marillion album, and as of today the pre-order campaign is live. And whilst this will be a matter of the utmost indifference to 99% of the music-consuming public, for fans like myself it’s a time of great anticipation. We’ve just stumped up £30 of our hard-eaned cash for an album of which we’ve yet to hear a note, confident that the band will deliver something at the very least, interesting and surprising.
In an era when many ‘fans’ seem reluctant to pay for their music at all, that represents a not inconsiderable show of faith, but the band have been demonstrating for some years now that faith on the fans’ part is generally well-rewarded. Since launching their website and attendant direct marketing approach on the back of their 1999 album, marillion.com, they’ve worked hard to cultivate an enviable relationship with their worldwide fanbase. That’s what it’s all about these days, particularly for the small to medium sized bands that record companies aren’t willing to invest in. Pre-selling limited special editions of each new album at £30 a pop generates enough of an advance to finance the recording with £££s to spare. Because the band have taken the trouble to get to know their fans, they know what little extras to include in the package to make them irrisistible to us: the packaging will be a real work of art; the names of preorderers will be listed in the booklet for posterity; there’ll be DVD clips of the work in progress; entry into a draw to win money can’t buy prizes (though to be honest I’d have shelled out my cash anyway, just for the music).
If by any chance you’re a fan and this is news to you, head here and check it out for yourself. If you’re not, then here’s a couple of clips of previous work to perhaps whet your appetite: