Vigil & Internal 2LP Vinyl Edition Bundle

£49.98 ex. VAT

This item will be released July 22, 2024.

Please note: this product is a bundle, including both the Vinyl Editions of Vigil in A Wilderness of Mirrors and Internal Exile. It’s only available for single order only, with a limit of 1 bundle per order. If you require more than one bundle, due to postage restrictions, you will need to place multiple orders. 

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Description

‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors,’ Fish’s first solo album post-Marillion, originally released in 1990, has been remixed by Calum Malcolm for 2024. This new remix breathes fresh energy and dynamics into the album, giving it a new lease on life. The remix highlights fan-favorite tracks like ‘Cliché’ and ‘The Company,’ and celebrates the album’s enduring legacy as Fish embarks on a new chapter.

‘Internal Exile’, Fish’s second solo album post-Marillion, originally released in 1991, has been remixed by Calum Malcolm for 2024. Working from the excellent original ’91 recordings, Calum Malcolm has reinvented ‘Internal Exile’ and it now stands a very strong and proud follow up to ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’. The songs were always independently powerful but now they have been brought together into a cohesive and energised collection that is balanced and flows as it was always intended to.

Double vinyl gatefold album mastered by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering and pressed by Sea Bass Vinyl in Macmerry, Scotland. High-quality 180 gm black vinyl. ‘Internal Exile’ is mastered at half speed as the sides are slightly longer, containing the ’95 re-recordings. The vinyl editions have colour inserts with all the lyrics.

Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors

Vigil Vinyl Mock Up

 

‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’ was Fish’s first solo album after leaving ‘Marillion’ in 1988. After moving to a farmhouse near Haddington in East Lothian, Scotland, he began writing with his main collaborator at the time, keyboard player Mickey Simmonds, who had formerly been with Mike Oldfield. They were joined in the rehearsal room at the farm by guitarists Hal Lindes, who had recently left ‘Dire Straits’, and Janick Gers, who was about to join ‘Iron Maiden’. By early spring of 1989, they had finished writing the album, and in March 1989, Fish performed his first solo gig at a benefit night at the Rex Cinema in Lockerbie. The band on stage included drummer John Keeble from ‘Spandau Ballet’, Frank Usher on guitar, Bruce Watson from ‘Big Country’ on mandolin, Neil Hay on bass guitar, and Alison Jones on fiddle. Apart from Alison and Neil, all the musicians on stage that night, including Mickey, Hal, and Janick, would join Fish on the recording of the album at Townhouse Studios in London that summer.

Jon Kelly (Deacon Blue, Kate Bush, Chris Rea) came in as producer, and although John Keeble would play on a couple of the studio tracks, the rhythm section was comprised of Scottish bass player John Giblin (Kate Bush, John Martyn, Simple Minds) and drummer Mark Brzezicki from ‘Big Country’.

Other musicians who would appear on the album were Scottish folk musicians Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain on accordion and fiddle respectively, who, with Davie Spillane on Uilleann pipes, contributed to ‘The Company’ and an early version of ‘Internal Exile’ as well as the title track. Luis Jardin added percussion, The Kick Horns were the brass components of ‘Big Wedge’, and the backing vocals were provided by Tessa Niles and Carol Kenyon.

All the tracks on the album were put down at the Townhouse Studios apart from ‘A Gentleman’s Excuse Me’, which was recorded in the Abbey Road main studio with a 23-piece orchestra. Mixing took place at Olympic Studios, and the album was completed in the late summer of 1989.

‘State of Mind’ was the first single from the album and was a Top 40 hit in October when Fish embarked on his first solo tour that took him up to the Scottish Highlands and islands. Hal Lindes declined the opportunity to join the touring band, and old friend Frank Usher stepped in with another friend from Aylesbury, Robin Boult, on guitars. Mark Brzezicki would come out on drums and be joined by his brother Steve on bass. Mickey Simmonds became the lynchpin of that band lineup, which would carry on touring until mid-1990.

The second single, ‘Big Wedge’, was a UK Top 20 and preceded the album release in late January 1990. ‘Vigil’ was a Top 5 album in the UK and Top 20 across Europe. The third single, ‘A Gentleman’s Excuse Me’, although a Top 30 in March 90, added to the depth of the album, and as a first solo release, ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’ was acclaimed by critics internationally.

Seen as a touchstone album in Fish’s career, it quickly became a fan favorite with songs like the epic title track and ‘Cliché’, which featured a defining Frank Usher guitar solo, ranking high in estimations. The broody, dark, and powerful ‘Family Business’ sat comfortably beside the rock of ‘Big Wedge’ and its blasting brass section, and the groove and acoustic slide of ‘State of Mind’. Janick Gers’s contribution to the writing, ‘View from Hill’, has finally found its place in the 2024 Calum Malcolm remix, and ‘The Company’, an anthem amongst the fans, is still a crowning moment.

The songs from this album are ever present in set lists, and this remix and reissue have been long overdue, with the album having last been released nearly 25 years ago. The 2024 Calum Malcolm remix gives the original album an entirely new energy and dynamic, and a completely new lease on life. A perfect legacy and a wonderful closing of a circle as Fish moves into another new chapter in his life.

Side One

  1. Vigil (Dick/Simmonds) – 8:49
  2. Big Wedge (Dick/Simmonds) – 5:21

Total: 14:13

Side Two

  1. State of Mind (Dick/Simmonds/Lindes) – 4:45
  2. The Company (Dick/Simmonds) – 4:04
  3. A Gentleman’s Excuse Me (Dick/Simmonds) – 4:19

Total: 13:14

Side Three

  1. The Voyeur (I Like to Watch) (Dick/Simmonds) – 4:46
  2. Family Business (Dick/Simmonds/Lindes) – 5:18
  3. Cliché (Dick/Simmonds/Lindes) – 7:06

Total: 17:16

Side Four

  1. View from a Hill (Dick/Simmonds) – 6:52
  2. Jack and Jill (Dick/Simmonds) – 4:27
  3. Internal Exile (‘89 Version) (Dick/Simmonds) – 4:46

Total: 16:09

Internal Exile

Internal Exile Vinyl Mock Up

 

The ‘Difficult second album’ once again featured Mickey Simmonds as lead on the writing team at the now christened ‘Funny Farm Recording Studios.’ They were joined by Robin Boult and Frank Usher, who’d taken up the position of twin guitarists in the touring band. The outbuilding that had been the old writing/rehearsal rooms was now evolving into a fully-fledged recording studio, and in the summer of ’91, work began on the ‘Internal Exile’ album with Chris Kimsey as producer.

A lot had happened since the ‘Vigil’ album, including a high court litigation over contractual issues with EMI, which resulted in a move to Polydor Records in early 1991. The songwriting had been plagued by outside interference and financial strains, and the stressful environment resulted in an album that, in some ways, lacked direction. The songs were powerful but not cohesive as an album, and the title ‘A Collection of a Boy’s Own Stories – Internal Exile’ summed it up.

There were the Progressive Rock epics of ‘Shadowplay’ and ‘Tongues,’ a direct comment on the litigation proceedings, the more straightforward rock approaches of ‘Credo,’ ‘Poets Moon,’ and ‘Lucky,’ while at the same time, there were seemingly slightly country influences over ‘Just Good Friends,’ ‘Dear Friend,’ and ‘Favourite Stranger.’ It was a mishmash of styles, but individually, every song was strong.

‘Internal Exile,’ which had been written back in 1989 sessions and originally recorded during the ‘Vigil’ sessions, was rerecorded. It had traditional roots that were echoed in ’Shadowplay’ and in other songs. As far as influences and styles went, it was a mosaic of an album, which was perhaps an indication of the freedom Fish now had, but also the slight confusion in direction after the trauma of the previous months.

There are no weak tracks on the album, and every song has been a favorite on stage, but at the time, it was perhaps a disappointment to some fans after the debut of ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors.’

Chris Kimsey produced the sessions with Berlin tech Thomas Stiehler engineering at the brand-new Funny Farm Recording Studios. It was the first album to be recorded there, and trial-testing the studio created a lot of issues. The writing had all come together by the time recording began in June, and the principal members of the band were in place.

Ted McKenna (Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Michael Schenker) had been brought in on drums, and David Paton (Pilot, Kate Bush, Alan Parsons Project) was on bass. Ted played on a couple of tracks but was soon replaced by Ethan Johns on Chris Kimsey’s suggestion. It was an awkward moment, but Ethan quickly proved Chris’s faith in him, and the sessions surged forward.

The new studio was challenging, and the mixing was a laborious affair that, in the end, provided satisfactory but didn’t really provide the results everyone had hoped for.

The first single, ‘Internal Exile,’ was released in September 1991 and reached just inside the UK Top 40 singles chart. The lyrical subject matter of Scottish nationalism alienated quite a few of Fish’s fan base, and the UK media and national radio play was limited.

The album cover, designed once again by Mark Wilkinson, reflected Fish’s return to his Scottish roots with a portrait by Kenneth Martin surrounded by a framework of images that were a collection similar to what you might expect on a book of ‘A Boy’s Own Stories,’ the subtitle of the album.

The album, released in October, only reached number 21 in the UK album charts and was lacklustre across Europe. The corresponding tour was a huge success, and the second single ‘Credo’ in December was again Top 40 and a stalwart at rock radio. The album, however, didn’t do the numbers expected, and not even a third single, ‘Something in the Air,’ in June ’92 could revitalise its fortunes.

The new remix by Calum Malcolm has completely changed the energy and the dynamics, and a subtle change in the running order, bringing the B-sides ‘Poets Moon’ and ‘Carnival Man’ into the track listing, has virtually created a brand-new album. Working from the excellent original ’91 recordings, Calum Malcolm has reinvented ‘Internal Exile,’ and it now stands as a very strong and proud follow-up to ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors.’

The songs were always independently powerful, but now they have been brought together into a cohesive and energised collection that is balanced and flows as it was always intended to.

SIDE ONE

  1. Shadowplay (Dick, Simmonds)
  2. Lucky (Dick, Boult, Simmonds)
  3. Just Good Friends (Close) (Dick, Usher, Boult, Simmonds)

SIDE TWO

  1. Favourite Stranger (Dick, Usher)
  2. Tongues (Dick, Simmonds, Usher, Boult)
  3. Something in the Air (Keen)
  4. Poets Moon (Dick, Simmonds, Boult, Usher)

SIDE THREE

  1. Dear Friend (Dick, Boult, Simmonds)
  2. Credo (Dick, Simmonds, Boult, Usher)
  3. Internal Exile (Dick, Boult, Simmonds)
  4. Carnival Man (Dick, Boult, McKenna, Simmonds, Usher, Paton)

SIDE FOUR

  1. Credo
  2. Just Good Friends
  3. Lucky
  4. Favourite Stranger