Tuesday, 6 September 2016

REWIND: Marion - 'Sleep'

More wonderful music from 1996 as RW/FF takes you aboard a musical TARDIS on a journey through musical history. If you weren't around or were too young to remember the mid 90s, consider this a lesson of enlightenment. If you (like me) were lucky enough to experience it all first time around, then these posts make a fine nostalgic blast from the blast.

Today's track is one that I first heard on a car advert at some point during the mid 90s. I then found that this indie cracker was included on the superb True Brit compilation, a CD which soundtracked the summer of 1996 for me, and featured many other Britpop classics of the time. For years this was the only Marion track I was aware of, until I found a cheap copy of their 'Let's All Go Together' single at a car boot sale a few years ago. Not long after, I got a copy of their album 'This World And Body', from which the awesome 'Sleep' is taken. The original version of the track went to number 53 in the UK singles chart, with this bolder re-recording reaching number 17 when it was released in March 1996. 

The much-loved Marion recorded a second album 'The Program', produced by Johnny Marr. The band split in 1999, with frontman Jamie Harding battling a destructive heroin habit. Guitarist Phil Cunningham later became a member of New Order, and reunited with Harding in 2006 as Marion began playing gigs again. New material was planned, but the comeback was blighted by Harding's drug use after he was hospitalised and had to undergo open heart surgery. The band reformed again in 2011, and released a live album, before parting ways again in 2012. Jaime Harding confirmed in 2015 that he would be continuing Marion with a new line up, and playing a gig in March 2016 to celebrate the release of the band's debut album. However things once again didn't go to plan, as Harding ended up in prison. The band released 2 EPs 'Rogue Male' and 'Can't Stop Now', both featuring material recorded during their 2006 reunion. More shows were scheduled for this year, only for the troubled frontman to land himself with a 2 year and 8 month jail sentence after an incident caused by drug-fuelled depression. 

RW/FF wishes Jaime all the best and hopes to see him back soon doing what he does best: crafting fine indie rock tunes and lighting up the stage once again. In the meantime, Edsel Records are releasing deluxe expanded editions of the band's two studio albums on September 16.


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