EMI Records Ltd, released 29th January 1990
UK : EMD 1015
01. Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors (08:43) [Dick/Simmonds]
02. Big Wedge (05:19) [Dick/Simmonds; Brass arrangement by Kick Horns]
03. State Of Mind (04:42) [Dick/Simmonds/Lindes]
04. The Company (04:04) [Dick/Simmonds; Arranged by Simmonds/Dick, Strings arranged by Simmonds]
05. A Gentleman's Excuse Me (04:15) [Dick/Simmonds ; Strings and Horns: Orchestrated by Gavin Wright]
06. The Voyeur (I Like to Watch) (CD &Cassette Only) (04:42) [Dick/Simmonds]
07. Family Business (05:14) [Dick/Simmonds/Lindes; Arranged by Simmonds/Dick/Gers]
08. View From The Hill (06:38) [Dick/Gers]
09. Cliché (07:01) [Dick/Simmonds/Lindes; Arranged by Simmonds/Dick]
Total Time: 51:18
12" Picture Disc
UK: EMPD 1015 - Contains a poster
UK : TCEMD 1015
EUR: 264-7 93634 4
UK : CDEMD 1015
EUR: CDP 7 93634 2 (0 077779 363421)
JAP: TOCP 6103
JAP: TOCP 6103 (Normal edition, with special wrapping and red printing ('sample not for sale')
UK : DDICK28CD (5 034349 000044) Released 18th Dec 1997 by Dick Bros Record Co Ltd under licence from EMI Records Ltd
Eur: (Roadrunner) RR 8687 2 (016861868727) - Released 28th Oct 1998
01. Vigil (08:46) [Dick/Simmonds]
02. Big Wedge (05:25) [Dick/Simmonds; Brass arrangement by Kick Horns]
03. State Of Mind (04:45) [Dick/Simmonds/Lindes]
04. The Company (04:07) [Dick/Simmonds; Arranged by Simmonds/Dick, Strings arranged by Simmonds]
05. A Gentleman's Excuse Me (04:20) [Dick/Simmonds ; Strings and Horns: Orchestrated by Gavin Wright]
06. The Voyeur (I Like To Watch) (04:45) [Dick/Simmonds]
07. Family Business (05:22) [Dick/Simmonds/Lindes; Arranged by Simmonds/Dick/Gers]
08. View From The Hill (06:39) [Dick/Gers]
09. Cliché (07:06) [Dick/Simmonds/Lindes; Arranged by Simmonds/Dick]
10. Jack And Jill (04:28) [Dick/Simmonds]
11. Internal Exile (demo) (04:52) [Dick/Simmonds]
12. The Company (demo) (04:29) [Dick/Simmonds]
13. A Gentleman's Excuse Me (demo) (03:55) [Dick/Simmonds]
14. Whiplash (04:21) [Dick/Simmonds]
Total Time: 73:30
Lead Vocals: Fish
Drums: Mark Brzezicki (Tracks 1,2,4,6,7,8,9)
John Keeble (appears courtesy of CBS Records) (Track 3)
Bass: John Giblin (Tracks 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9)
Keyboards: Mickey Simmonds (Tracks 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9)
Guitars: Frank Usher (Tracks 1,2,3,4,6,7,9)
Hal Lindes: (Tracks 1,2,3,4,5,7)
Janick Gers: (Track 8)
Percussion: Luis Jardim (Tracks 2,3,4,6,9)
Pipes & Whistles: Davy Spillane (Track 1)
Whistle, Bodhran & Accordian: Phil Cunningham (Track 4)
Backing Vocals: Carol Kenyon, Tessa Niles (Tracks 2,3,6,7,9)
Brass: Kick Horns (Lorimer, Sanders, Clarke, Spong) (Track 2)
Violins: Aly Bain & Gavin Wright (Track 4)
All tracks published by Fishy Music Ltd/Hit & Run (Publishing) Ltd except State Of Mind, Family Business and Cliché Fishy Music Ltd/Hit & Run (Publishing) Ltd/Copyright Control.
Lyrics reproduced by kind permission.
Engineered and Produced by John Kelly Assistant Engineer Al Store (The Court Jester).
Thanks to Klark Teknik, Harman Audio, Peavey, Akai and Sound Control Edinburgh for equipment supplied.
Thanks to Eric Miller, Keith Inverarity, Alisdair Gow, The Royal Bank Of Scotland, Dalkeith, Hibernian F.C., Keith Slaughter, Johnny And Martin Jenkinson, Jimmy Dubickas, David And Kenny Dunn, Mitch, Dougie, Jimmy Dunn, Rennie Thomson, Murdie, Willie Goodall and all the boys who helped me build the house on the hill, Bruce Watson, John Keeble, Alison Jones, Neil Hay, Janick Gers, Hal Lindes, Chris Kimsey, Judy Totten. Special thanks to my wife Tamara, Mum and Dad and Sister Laura, John and Loraine Cavanagh, Mickey and Sarah Simmonds, Andy and Ash Field, Steve Robinson, Toots Hurry, Robert Flury, Frank Usher, John Kelly, Al Stone, Robin Boult, Mark and Steve Brzezicki, Mark Wilkinson, Stef Jeffery, Tony Smith, John Crawley, Howard Jones, Howard Rubin, Alan Stirling, Fred Cucchi, all at Waterside Bistro, Robbie The Pict, Nick Gatfield, Malcolm Hill, Brian Munns, Amanda Rabbs, and all at E.M.I. and to everyone who played on and contributed to this album, for standing by me and giving me their hope, love, encouragement, support, and faith, without which I would never have been able to climb this high.
Thanks to Marillion for showing me the hill.
Illustration by Mark Wilkinson from a Concept by Fish.
Design by Russel Walker,
Photographer Coneyl Jay, with thanks to The Sullivans and many others for patiently posing TV Personalities from 'The Golden Age' by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
This album is dedicated to William Jeffrey, who never had a chance to see the hill.
The copyright in this sound recording is owned by EMI Records Ltd.
EMI Records Ltd.
Reviews:Well, if you like Fish-era Marillion, then this is the CD to purchase. It basically sounds like early Marillion, and almost every song is amazing. I've got to warn you though - this record is extremely depressing, and it may put you in a sad mood just from listening to it. However, the emotion and strength of the music outweighs the somber feelings conveyed.
I personally used this cd in dealing with a break up. I was seeing a girl for a long time, and when we split up, I listened to VIGIL, and I think it may have only increased the sadness I felt. It's definitely not an album to ride your bike to. Tracks like 'Cliche,' 'Family Business,' 'A Gentleman's Excuse Me,' and 'The Company' will make you want to kill yourself, plus they sound like the type of Marillion we'd hear on Clutching At Straws or Misplaced Childhood. The title track is about lying to cover up lies, and in a more historical sense, it refers to cold war relations. The U.S.S.R. had defectors, they knew it, and to make up for it, they fed some high risk government workers bogus information. The United States had to decipher fact from fiction and this was called a 'Wilderness of Mirrors.' The only track I think is a bit cheesy here is 'The Voyeur'. There are also some more upbeat, poppy, 80's-sounding tunes like 'Big Wedge,' which is about the one-dimensional motivations of greed in the United States as well as 'View From a Hill.' All of these songs either deal with Fish leaving Marillion, or Fish having some type of problem with a female. Honestly, though, are you surprised?
Fish's vocals here are spectacular, and this record may be the strength of his career when focussing strictly on the vocals. Other notable musicians here are Mickey Simmonds (keyboards), Robin Boult (guitar), and Frank Usher (guitar). There are also three notable bonus tracks. The alternative takes of 'A Gentleman's Excuse Me' and 'The Company' sound a bit more raw, but well worth it. There's also the scottish-influenced 'Internal Exile' which will make you feel like putting on a kilt.
This is one of my all time favorite records...EVER. Christopher Calabrese (Amazon), July 20 2005
In September 1988, Fish decided to leave Marillion after 7 succcessful years in the most popular British prog band of the eighties and hits like Kayleigh, Lavender, Heart of Lothian and Incommunicado. It didn't take long though before he got together with keyboard player Mickey Simmonds (of Mike Oldfield's backing band) to compose the material for his first solo album.
Other experienced musicians like Mark Brzezicki (Big Country), John Giblin (Kate Bush, Simple Minds), Janick Gers (later Iron Maiden) and Fish's old buddy Frank Usher from his first band Blewitt helped out making an album which Fish has never been able to surpass afterwards. All of the elements of the album are simply sublime, from the amazing Mark Wilkinson cover art to the marvellous production and wonderful compositions of Fish and Mickey.
There wasn't a single bad track on the original album, every moment was enchanting, from the versatile title track which builds to a magnificent climax to the best Fish ballad ever written; A Gentleman's Excuse Me. The album had its emotional moments in tracks like Family Business (later to become a live favourite) and the love song Cliche. More commercially tending (but no less powerful) tracks like Big Wedge (eat your heart out Mr. Collins) and the news fetish perversion of The Voyeur. There's a bit of light-hearted folk in the song which would become the anthem of the international Fish fan club, The Company, the groovy attack against the public system State of Mind and the almost heavy metal of View from a Hill with Gers on guitar.
The lyrics were as splendid as the tracks they belonged to with Fish at his best; bitter and critical.
If there's one Fish album which should definitely be present in your collection than it's without a doubt this one. For those who already had the original CD, this new remastered version also includes the original recording of Internal Exile as well some of the B-sides of the singles from the album; the demo versions of The Company and A Gentleman's Excuse Me plus two 'new' songs. The first of these, Jack and Jill, has never been a real favourite of mine. I always thought the melody and the lyrics clashed too much and that the chorus and verses didn't fit together, although the song does feature one of the best keyboard solo's to be found in Fish' solo work. Whiplash might not be one of Fish' best tracks either but it is definitely groovy and features very funny lyrics; I really like this one.
The booklet features lots of new pictures, extensive open-hearted liner notes by Fish about Marillion's failed attempt to combine their musical ideas with Fish's new lyrics and melodies (5 partially finished songs which would reappear on Vigil), the origins of his first backing band and the development of his first solo album. All of the lyrics are present as well.
Highly recommended! 9.5 out of 10 Ed Sander (DPRP), December 2003