Marillion / Clutching at Straws reissue

4CD+blu-ray deluxe set • 5.1 mix • Live audio • demos 

After the successful reissue of Marillion‘s 1985 album Misplaced Childhood in 2017, Parlophone will reissue the British quintet’s fourth studio album Clutching at Straws in November.

Like its predecessor, the album was produced by Chris Kimsey and it delivered three top forty hits (‘Incommunicado’, ‘Sugar Mice’ and ‘Warm Wet Circles’). Clutching At Straws would turn out to be Marillion’s final studio release with original singer Fish.

Clutching at Straws will be reissued as a 4CD+blu-ray deluxe edition and a 5LP vinyl box set. Both include a new stereo remix by Andy Bradfield and Avril Mackintosh (Mackintosh was the original mixing engineer for producer Chris Kimsey in Advision studios back in 1987) and a concert recording of the band performing at the Edinburgh Playhouse in December ’87. Some of these live performance have appeared before, on The Thieving Magpie live album, although it should be noted that this is a new mix for 2018 by Michael Hunter.

The 4CD+blu-ray edition adds a disc of demos, most of which were issued on the 1999 two-CD deluxe, although there are four ‘new’ ones are added here (‘Hotel Hobbies/Warm Wet Circles’, ‘Just For The Record’, ‘Torch Song’ and ‘Slàinte Mhath’).

The blu-ray features the stereo remix and a 5.1 mix although not by Steven Wilson this time, but by Bradfield and Mackintosh, again. Fish describes the new surround mix as “truly wonderful”. As a bonus the blu-ray gives you the original mix of the album in stereo and a a few extra mixes. Video content includes a new 60 minute documentary featuring Mick Wall interviewing the band and discussing the album, plus promo films for the three singles.

Clutching at Straws will be reissued on 23 November 2018. Both versions are currently very well priced on Amazon UK but you can spend a bit more and get signed versions from Fish’s online shop or editions signed by Marillion from their store!

Worth noting that Warners have told Fish that “both the vinyl and CD/BRD disc box sets will be discontinued after they have sold this production run.”

Clutching at Straws / 4CD + blu-ray deluxe edition

Disc One: 2018 Andy Bradfield & Avril Mackintosh Re-mix

  1. “Hotel Hobbies”
  2. “Warm Wet Circles”
  3. “That Time of the Night (The Short Straw)”
  4. “Going Under” (Alternate Version)
  5. “Just or the Record”
  6. “White Russian”
  7. “Incommunicado”
  8. “Torch Song”
  9. “Slàinte Mhath”
  10. “Sugar Mice”
  11. “The Last Straw”
  12. “Happy Ending”

Disc Two: Live at the Edinburgh Playhouse 1987 (2018 Michael Hunter Mix)

  1. “La Gazza Ladra”
  2. “Slàinte Mhath”
  3. “Assassing”
  4. “White Russian”
  5. “Incubus”
  6. “Sugar Mice”
  7. “Fugazi”
  8. “Hotel Hobbies”
  9. “Warm Wet Circles”
  10. “That Time of the Night (The Short Straw)”

Disc Three: Live at the Edinburgh Playhouse 1987 (2018 Michael Hunter Mix)

  1. “Pseudo Silk Kimono” (Intro)
  2. “Kayleigh”
  3. “Lavender”
  4. “Bitter Suite”
  5. “Heart of Lothian”
  6. “The Last Straw”
  7. “Incommunicado”
  8. “Garden Party”
  9. “Market Square Heroes” (incomplete, featuring “My Generation,” “Margaret,” and “Let’s Twist Again”)

Disc Four: 1999 Remaster Demos           

  1. “Beaujolais Day” (Demo)
  2. “Story From A Thin Wall” (Demo)
  3. “Shadows On The Barley” (Demo)
  4. “Exile On Princes Street” (Demo)
  5. “Sunset Hill” (Demo)
  6. “Tic-Tac-Toe” (Demo)
  7. “Voice In The Crowd” (Demo)
  8. “White Russians” (Demo)
  9. “Sugar Mice In The Rain” (Demo)
  10. “Hotel Hobbies/ Warm Wet Circles” (The Mosaic Demos) *
  11. “Just for the Record” (Demo) *
  12. “Torch Song” (Demo) *
  13. “Slàinte Mhath” (Demo) *

Blu-ray Content

Clutching At Straws (2018 Andy Bradfield & Avril Mackintosh Re-mix)

  • 48/24 PCM Stereo Remix48/24 LPCM Master Audio 5.1 Mix
  • 48/24 DTS Master Audio 5.1 Mix

“The Last Straw” Clutching At Straws: Interviews with Fish and band

Promo Films (SD Content)

  • “Incommunicado”
  • “Sugar Mice”
  • “Warm Wet Circles”

Audio Extras          

Clutching At Straws (Original 1987 Album Mix)

Bonus Tracks (Audio Only)

  • “Incommunicado” (Alternative Version)
  • “Tux On”
  • “Going Under” (Extended Version) 

Clutching at Straws 5LP vinyl box set

Clutching At Straws (2018 Andy Bradfield & Avril Mackintosh Re-Mix)    

Side One

  1. Hotel Hobbies
  2. Warm Wet Circles
  3. That Time of the Night (The Short Straw)

Side Two

  1. Going Under (track only included on original CD version)
  2. Just for the Record
  3. White Russian

Side Three

  1. Incommunicado
  2. Torch Song
  3. Slàinte Mhath

Side Four

  1. Sugar Mice
  2. The Last Straw
  3. Happy Ending

Live at the Edinburgh Playhouse (19/12/1987) (2018 Michael Hunter Remix)

Side Five

  1. La Gazza Ladra
  2. Slàinte Mhath
  3. Assassing
  4. White Russian (Previously released on Thieving Magpie)

Side Six

  1. 1. Incubus
  2. Sugar Mice

Side Seven

  1. Fugazi

Side Eight

  1. Hotel Hobbies
  2. Warm Wet Circles
  3. That Time of the Night (The Short Straw)

Side Nine

  1. Pseudo Silk Kimono (instrumental)
  2. Kayleigh
  3. Lavender
  4. Bitter Suite
  5. Heart of Lothian

Side Ten

  1. The Last Straw
  2. Incommunicado (Previously released on Thieving Magpie)
  3. Garden Party

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Derek Langsford

Got an email from Amazon UK that my CD Super Deluxe set, pre-ordered on Sept 7, has not yet dispatched and won’t arrive until Dec 21. WTF! Waiting a month for a pre-ordered release is frustrating but also very unusual for Amazon. The only thing that stops me from cancelling is that I only paid £18.94 for it!


Ordered mine at £56.99 from Amazon on 7th Sept. £92 seems steep

P S Billingham

I have had box the CD/Blu Ray and the vinyl edition delivered and I am sorry to report the vinyl edition is o e if the worst quality pressings of anything I have ever heard, atrocious! Suffers from massive tracking distortion, is cut too hot and frankly, I have bootlegs on tape frombthe same era that are as sonically pleasuring. I honestly thought something wS wrong with my hi-fi it’s sounds that crap. I have complelel yet reset up my turntable with a fresh stylus just make sure but the pressing is indeed awful. So disappointed as this is in my top five albums if all time! I am an avid music and buy and listen to records every week. This is just shonky merchandise and we deserve better.


Yes indeed!!!! Ik was just thinking the same thing. First i thougt it was my hi fi stereo turntable butt its bad vinyl reilly dissapointed!!

Nicholas Violo

The misplaced Childhood Blu-Ray disc was pretty wonderful. Loved the 5.1 mixes but I absolutely hated the cds. Way way too much compression for my liking. Do not like Michael Hunter’s mastering. The cds have no warmth whatsoever. Fish’s vocals have so much goddam sibilence it is ridiculous. I expect the same in this new Clutching At Straws box set….great blu ray…lousy cds.:(

Julian H

1) Michael Hunter has not been involved with the main album in this case, as it’s a remix not a remaster.
2) I don’t find the MC discs too compressed, they are less compressed than the 1998 remaster was and even that was not really what I’d call a loudness war victim

Julian H.

I’ll be getting this, but I somehow wish Paul did a post on reissue programs that have no clear concept. Each of the three issues in the series so far has taken a different approach as to whether original mixes are used on CD or not, and whether bonus tracks from the previous edition are re-used (and re-mastered)…

Matt Smith

Agreed. Around 10 years ago Genesis got slammed for replacing the original mixes of their albums with new remixes, which Marillion seem to have done with Brave (only the Steven Wilson remix on CD has remained in print AFAIK). I was disappointed that the original Brave mix on the last reissue was not remastered – the CD included with the box set was identical to the original 1994 CD.


Well there was a perfect master in 1994, what would have been the point in remastering, except for taking the risk to do something terribly wrong (just listen to Iron Maiden’s latest remaster..)


Hi Paul…any idea when it will be available on Amazon US?
Great site! Thanks for your answer


Wow glad i preordered this at £22.73 as the price has jumped £13 on Amazon.

Big Nige

Me too. Two in fact. I had to. That’s a lot of 2’s? One or two other bands need to make their box sets £22 too. Time to lie down…..

Hope Fugazi is next up!


Masterpiece from the 80’s. Dark as the state of mind of Mr Fish at this time. Beautiful soundtrack for a promenade in Paris or London back in ’87.
This album, with Script & Fugazi are the trio i was waiting for new editions.
Hopes for a new approach with the new mix and the extras.


So what’s with Amazon? Only 2 of them listed.


i absolutely LOVE this album. I hope the remastering and the remix keeps the desperate mood of the album and does not “clear” things too much. I would not woory about the surround mix, until I’ve heard it. I do no find the Sounds Can That Can Not Be MAde and the F.E.AR surround mix that bad, it is not as wide as a SW mix is, but I think it suits the music just fine.
I, for the first time with a SW mix, was not overimpressed by the work he did on “Brave”. Apart from “Mad” which is full of good ideas, the rest of the record does not really gain from the mix IMO.
Anyway, looking forward to this release, and as usual, the end of the year is going to have a heavy load on my wallet…


Sunset Hill (demo) is what spun off into the first Fish album, yes? I may have to get a listen to that.


Beaujolais Day, Story From A Thin Wall, Shadows On The Barley, Exile On Princes Street, Sunset Hill, Tic-Tac-Toe, Voice In The Crowd all have parts that ended up on either Season’s End or Vigil.


A heads up, 23 November is Black Friday, so bear in mind deliveries with Amazon can go a little astray.

If you pay for this to be delivered, 2.99: with Amazon, it will arrive hopefully on release day Black Fruday

Alex Stassi

Pre-ordered. Thanks for the heads up :)

Hans (utrecht)

ordered!! Great price. THX Paul.

David B

Loved what i’ve heard of the album .. looking forward to the surround sound version .. can’t believe the Amazon price . .cheers Paul ..

David B

Incredible .. loved what I’ve heard of the album .. looking forward to the surround sound, and can’t believe the Amazon price .. pre-ordered obviously .. cheers Paul ..


For sure I will be getting the CD edition; just wondering if again I will order the vinyl too just for collecting! (And in that case, managing to get the signature of Fish on it!).
As has been said before, I bet Seasons End will come next; then…
Holidays in Eden
Afraid of Sunlight

I read somewhere in Fish’ blog that an agreement had been reached to re-release his first solo album, Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors, in the same format. The point is when because if it has to wait for the end of the series he probably would have retired by then. (Vigil is a stunning album, IMHO his best ever and at the same level as the best of his former band).

Michel D.

Not 100% confirmed but the next one will probably be Afraid of Sunlight as stated by Lucy Jordache (Marillion manager).

Phil Morris

I suspect that if Vigil does get a re-release it will be in the same format as he has been reissuing the rest of his catalogue, which is a little different (and not as expansive) as these Marillion reissues.


Actually, with one exception, he has gone with the 3CD only route [exception is “Songs” because of the lack of extras, so he did a documentary similar to the ones with Marillion.
Actually wasn’t too pleased with his remasters. I believe just about all the live tracks were released on his official bootlegs. Where possible I would of preferred a full show or include everything that was part of the CD singles.


@Phil Morris:
I find Fish’s remasters pricey for 3CDs.


That would be the perfect running order. I hope so. Wonder if Nick Davis is doing the 5.1 mix on Season’s End (whenever scheduled). He did great with Genesis 2007 5.1 mixes IMHO.


Is the bluray
ntsc or pal?


Blu-ray Disc is an international high definition standard. Although BDs do support region locking, NTSC and PAL are not applicable to the format.


That’s a brilliant price on Amazon UK and i’m not bothered about signatures. I have the singles box sets so the missing tracks is no big deal. One last thing i heard Steven Wilson is going to be doing Afraid Of Sunlight apparently.

Phil Morris

I’d not heard that Wilson had changed his mind on these. Last I heard – some time ago – he was pretty firm that he’d only be doing Brave and MC.


My only complaint is that all 5 original members wont sign together.


Will be interesting to watch the documentary on the Blu-ray as this the album is where the shit hit the fan.

Derek Langsford

So why is the stereo and 5.1 on the blu-ray only 48/24 not 96/24?

Anyone know?

Derek Langsford

From the 1999 2 CD issue on Discogs:

24 bit digital remaster plus bonus disc.
Disc 1: Clutching At Straws album originally released in 1987.
Disc 2: Alternate versions and previously unreleased tracks.

Original analogue masters have been digitally transferred at 24 bits resolution, processed
using Sonic Solutions NoNoise technology and mastered to 16 bit for CD, using Prism Noise
Shaping. Digital editing & remastering at Abbey Road Studios, London, January 1999.

So maybe the 24 bit masters from this effort were remixed in 5.1 for the 2018 boxed set?

elliott buckingham

pre-ordered at that price. very surprised they haven’t re-added the extended version of sugar mice on the cd

Big Nige

Can’t wait for a SDE of Fugazi. That’ll be a CD and vinyl purchase. I have an autographed promo of the album that I won when buying…..err….. the album.

Unbelievable at less than £23. Not worth a tenner to me to have a signed print…. and the jacket won’t fit me either

Mathew Lauren

Well, I guess I’ll be the one to say: “I’m concerned!”
SW set a VERY high bar with these Marillion cd/5.1 blu booksets. “FEAR” 5.1 SACD was a disaster. “Misplaced…” and “Brave” were utterly amazing – Grammy worthy. We knew this day was coming, but I just can’t “pull-the-trigger” (at least, yet) because whoever follows SW (who’s not a “known,” 5.1 mix-engineer of note – one of only a handful of names we all agree “get 5.1+”), it’s like… it’s like going on after a great act. No one relishes the slot, no matter…

*Now, I’m not making direct comparisons here, but when Bowie took the stage after NIN (at their peak), half the house, headed for the doors and to the casinos. I stayed and was rewarded with a GREAT show, by an iconic performer on top of his game (BOWIE). I’m sure the smaller crowd-size surprised Bowie, who only performed more brilliantly, imho, to his TRUE fans who remained — and he’s a known quantity.

Point being: Is not anyone concerned, about the quality of the 5.1 Marillion releases, post Wilson?


@Mathew Lauren: You can’t compare FEAR 5.1 with this mix as it hasn’t been released yet unless you got an advanced/leaked copy. If Fish likes the mix, then I’m sure I will. In the end a lot will depend on who does the mixing of them.

Steven Roberts

@Mathew Lauren: I am really surprised Steven Wilson passed on the opportunity to work on this album – I’d have thought it would be precisely his kind of thing.

Clearly the chap is extremely busy.

Or maybe he just prefers Jethro Tull* :)

(he’s remixing Stormwatch for 2019 release)

Stuart Ansell


Steven Roberts

Frustrating that they appear to have bumped some of the audio from the blu-ray in order to include the interview documentary – personally I’d have preferred the extra music.

Still, would like to get the Fish signed version of this….but Lordy, that’s a good price currently at AmazonUK….


@Steven Roberts: What was “bumped”? Basically the same setup as the previous releases – various mixes of the album, a documentary and a few audio tracks.

Steven Roberts

@Gisabun: basically I am of the opinion that everything that is on the CDs should be available in hi-res on the blu-rays (demos, 12″ mixes, live tracks, the lot).

You know, like on the Jethro Tull box sets :)

I’m surmising that some of the tracks are left off the blu-ray to make space for the retrospective interviews/chit-chat. Either that, or they’re just being a bit tight/mean-spirited and holding them back deliberately.

I’m disappointed if it’s the former (as I said before, I’d rather have the music), and even more so if it’s the latter – to my mind these boxes are probably the last time these albums will get a ‘kitchen sink’ deluxe release – so they ought to be done *right*.


Is there any information on when/where these demoes were recorded ?

Wikipedia says “demo tapes from the writing sessions for the then-planned untitled and subsequently aborted fifth album, right before Fish left.” Which indicates to me they are from 1988, so after the release of Clutching At Straws. But there are two demoes included of songs which are on Clutching At Straws (White Russians, Sugar Mice).


I would guess some were from the CaS sessions and the others for the 5th album. If you listened to Season’s End, you’d hear elements of some of the demos here.

CJ Feeney

Tracks 2 – 6 on the demo disc are for the 5th album. The music was reused in part for Seasons End and the lyrics adapted on Fish’s Vigil album. They are a proof (IMHO) that a 5th album with Fish would have been better than either of the two albums that followed the split.
They were quite a find, as the studio tapes were wiped. A band member had made a cassette copy.


@Gisabun & CJ Feeney

Thank you very much. I’m always interested in recording session information. Haven’t found a good source for Marillion information yet.

Gary Hurley

The Amazon U.K. price is £7.26p cheaper and with no postage fees then the Marillion web site, but they will send you an album size picture signed by the band.

peter chrisp

After buying last years superb Clutching At Straws box set as this was Fish’s last album with Marillion it was great to get the box set signed by the band members, as i am in Australia it will be interesting to see with these implemented taxes & import duties how much will be charged out of my account, from what i understand it’s between 7% & 10% can’t wait not!


Somehow i don’t think you bought this last year.

peter chrisp

Sorry Neil meant to say Misplaced Childhood thanks for correction


Definitely buying this. It will be amazing. Marillion are the best band on the planet.

Paul McCarthy

I couldn’t agree more with Darren. I prefer vinyl over cd and the vinyl box set would be far more appealing with the blu ray audio included. I’m not a huge Marillion fan but really interested in 5.1 audio mixes so the cd box set at a significantly lower price wins hands down.


On the version sold on Fish’s site, it says that the BD includes a hi-res version of the Edinburgh show.
This doesn’t appear on the track listing on here or on the Marillion site.
Fish only bonus? Or available on all?

John T

It looks like Fish is offering a an actual signed boxset whereas Marillion are only offering an additional signed A4 print ? Good price at amazon UK though.


Both Fish and Marillion need the money so its probably best to buy from them.


I think they have to buy it (on retailers terms) from Universal like other dealers have to, so not sure if they make more money of it when you buy from their online-shops. Anyone from the Dark Side here willing to give some insight in this?


Wow! My favorite song, Happy Endings, has been promoted to a full track and not just thrown at the end of The Last Straw. Should of been a the fourth single. :-)
Ya. A real bummer why the B’sides and mixes from the 2CD edition weren’t included except on the BR. I guess like Brave, I’ll be keeping the 2CD release. They are already on the second CD single box set and the trimmed down 4CD version as well.
I’m not sure how many people would be interested in a BR with the vinyl edition.
At least Warner and/or the band made the right decision to not have a DVD in addition or instead of the BR.

Peter Anderson

Knew this one was coming but was hoping they would also re-release the standard single vinyl release – any idea if they might still do?


@Peter Anderson: They did it for the last two, so unsure why they wouldn’t continue the trend….


Brave and Misplaced Childhood were both released as standard 180gram vinyl several months after the boxsets.


Paul, your link to the Fish online store sends you to the Marillion one instead. Marillion link is fine.

Le Baron

Sad to see the original album is split on 4lp sides…


@Le Baron:
The album is around 50+ minutes. Reduces the quality. A better option would of been the album on 3 sides and etching or the 3 b’sides on the 4th.

Patrick Walker

My favourite album of all time. I’ll be ordering from Fish and from the band’s wearing!


Why aren’t the b-sides and alternate mixes from the singles on the cds? There would seem to be enough room on disc four.


You can’t complain too much due to the price on Amazon UK, but it is a pity they have not put the audio only tracks on CD4 rather than the Blu ray. Tux on, particularly, is an excellent song.

Andrew Greenwood

The three “Audio Only” tracks on the Blu Ray look as though they are the same as the first three tracks on disc 2 of the 1999 2CD remaster. The first nine tracks on CD4 here are the same as the last nine on CD2 of the 1999 remaster. Tracks 10-13 on CD4 appear to be additional one compared to 1999


Agree that it’s strange to have them on BR only, especially as there’s plenty of room on CD4


Another great value SDE of one of the band’s best albums. Looking forward to finally getting an official copy of the whole of the Edinburgh show which, as Fish notes, is considered “legendary” amongst the fans.

As they’re doing all 8 EMI albums, my money would be on Seasons End for the first 2019 release.


Afraid of sunlight will be the next release.

Darren Briscoe

And once again those who pay more for vinyl get far less content. why oh why can’t the Blu-ray also be slipped into the vinyl box???? It was annoying with Misplaced and was commented on then.


Or perhaps they could at least include a VHS containing the videos with the vinyl edition.


@Darren Briscoe: Vinyl has limited runs let alone fewer manufacturing facilities and more expensive to package than a CD set. The 4 CDs here would end up on between 12 and 16 vinyl sides. Increased chances of damage during shipping [and heavy to lift!].