Songs from the Mirror

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Songs From The Mirror
FishSongsMirrorOriginal.jpg
Studio album by Fish
Released 18 January 1993[1]
Genre Rock
Label Polydor
Producer James Cassidy
Fish chronology
Internal Exile
(1991)
Songs From The Mirror
(1993)
Suits
(1994)
Alternative cover
Artwork on 1998 Roadrunner Records release
Artwork on 1998 Roadrunner Records release
Singles from Songs From The Mirror
  1. "Never Mind The Bullocks (Hold Your Head Up)"
    Released: 12 December 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]

Songs from the Mirror is the third solo album by Scottish singer-songwriter Fish, released in 1993 as his final album for Polydor. It does not contain any original material; instead it is a cover album featuring Fish's versions of songs by artists who inspired him before his career started. It reached 46 on the UK Albums Chart.[3]

Background[edit]

The album was influenced by David Bowie's 1973 covers project, Pin Ups. Fish included a version of his favourite Bowie song, "Five Years".[4] He also recorded versions of songs by The Moody Blues, Alex Harvey, Pink Floyd, The Kinks, Argent, Sandy Denny, Genesis and T Rex. The songs all date from a period between 1970 and 1976 and reflect Fish's taste in music when he was 12 to 18 years old. The title is a reference to the time when he would impersonate his teenage idols in front of a mirror.

Polydor initially rejected the idea of a cover album, but eventually accepted it as the second album Fish was obliged to deliver under their contract. As of April 2016, Songs from the Mirror is Fish's last ever output on a major record company; however, he did record for Roadrunner Records in the late 90s, an indie label with major distribution later sold to a conglomorate.

Musicians[edit]

The core line-up on this album is the same as on the 1992 tour. Since the recording of Internal Exile, keyboardist Mickey Simmonds had been replaced with Foster Paterson, while drummer Kevin Wilkinson had taken over from session player Ethan Johns. The spots for guitars (Robin Boult, Frank Usher) and bass (David Paton) had remained unchanged. Other than that and backing vocals, only two tracks ("Solo" and "Jeepster") feature an additional guest musician, Ben Molleson on violin and tin whistle. Fish tried to get David Bowie to play the saxophone solo on "Five Years", but he didn't manage to get hold of Bowie, and the saxophone solo was skipped.[5] The album was mixed and produced by James Cassidy, who Fish had met while recording guest vocals for Jeff Wayne's musical Spartacus. Cassidy would also produce and co-write Fish's next album Suits (1994).

Single release[edit]

Only a lead single was released from this album, with Argent's 1972 hit "Hold Your Head Up" as the A-Side. This was actually marketed as an EP entitled Never Mind The Bullocks (featuring Hold Your Head Up) even though the 7" and CD single only contained two and three songs respectively. Also, these songs were to be found on the album, providing little incentive for fans to purchase the single. A second single with David Bowie's "Five Years" as the A-Side was in the pipeline, but never officially released; only a radio promo exists.

Cover art[edit]

Songs from the Mirror is the only regular Fish album not to be designed by Mark Wilkinson. Fish had deliberately decided to not use Wilkinson, as he didn't want to give the impression it was an album with original material. Instead, he chose the "The Guddler" by Scottish painter Keith McIntyre as the cover. "The Guddler" had also been the working title of the project.

Tour[edit]

The album was followed by a tour, which was significantly longer than the previous tour promoting Internal Exile. After the 1992 "Toile Tour" in club-sized venues, this tour saw Fish return to large-capacity halls. However, this was also the last time he regularly played such venues. The stage design initially featured 'nets' which separated the band from Fish. Some found this somewhat egotistical while others saw that it allowed Fish to interact with the audience and heighten the sense of atmosphere. However after morale began to fall in the band, Fish finally decided to get rid of the nets and resumed with his normal stage set up. The double live album Sushi (1994) was recorded during this tour and features five Songs from the Mirror.

Re-releases[edit]

After Fish signed with Roadrunner Records in 1998, Songs from the Mirror was re-released on this label along with the other studio albums from his back catalogue. The re-issue featured a changed track-list: "Jeepster" was removed, two other cover versions were added, "The Seeker" by The Who and "Time and a Word" by Yes, which had previously been released on the compilation Outpatients '93. "Time and A Word" was also part of the compilation Yin (1995).

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Question" (Justin Hayward) (The Moody Blues, from A Question of Balance, 1970) – 6:41
  2. "Boston Tea Party" (Alex Harvey, Hugh McKenna, Zal Cleminson) (Sensational Alex Harvey Band, from SAHB Stories, 1976) – 4:22
  3. "Fearless" (David Gilmour, Roger Waters) (Pink Floyd, from Meddle, 1971) – 6:15
  4. "Apeman" (Ray Davies) (The Kinks, from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, 1970) – 5:57
  5. "Hold Your Head Up" (Rod Argent, Chris White) (Argent, from All Together Now, 1972) – 3:47
  6. "Solo" (Denny) (Sandy Denny, from Like an Old Fashioned Waltz, 1974) – 4:46
  7. "I Know What I Like" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford) (Genesis, from Selling England by the Pound, 1973) – 4:17
  8. "Jeepster" (Marc Bolan) (T. Rex, from Electric Warrior, 1971) not included on the remastered edition – 4:10
  9. "Five Years" (David Bowie) (David Bowie, from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, 1972) – 5:19

Total Time 44:53

Remastered edition[edit]

  1. "Question" (Justin Hayward) (The Moody Blues, from A Question of Balance, 1970) – 6:41
  2. "Boston Tea Party" (Alex Harvey, Hugh McKenna, Zal Cleminson) (Sensational Alex Harvey Band, from SAHB Stories, 1976) – 4:22
  3. "Fearless" (David Gilmour, Roger Waters) (Pink Floyd, from Meddle, 1971) – 6:15
  4. "Apeman" (Ray Davies) (The Kinks, from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, 1970) – 5:57
  5. "Hold Your Head Up" (Rod Argent, Chris White) (Argent, from All Together Now, 1972) – 3:47
  6. "I Know What I Like" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford) (Genesis, from Selling England by the Pound, 1973) – 4:17
  7. "Solo" (Sandy Denny) (Sandy Denny, from Like an Old Fashioned Waltz, 1974) – 4:46
  8. "Time and a Word" (Jon Anderson, David Foster) (Yes, from Time and a Word, 1970) bonus track – 4.24
  9. "The Seeker" (Townshend) (The Who, from Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy, 1971) bonus track – 3.16
  10. "Five Years" (David Bowie) (David Bowie, from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, 1972) – 5:19

Personnel[edit]

  • Derek W. Dick (Fish) – vocals
  • Robin Boult – guitar, background vocals
  • Foster Paterson – keyboards, background vocals
  • David Paton – bass, bass guitar, background vocals
  • Frank Usher – guitar
  • Kevin Wilkinson – percussion, drums
  • Mick Wall – voices
  • Lorna Bannon – background vocals
  • Jackie Bird – background vocals

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Record News". NME. January 16, 1993. p. 6. 
  2. ^ Mawer, Sharon (2011). "Songs from the Mirror - Fish | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  3. ^ David Roberts, ed. (2006). British Hit Singles and Albums. Guinness World Records Limited. p. 201. ISBN 978-1904994107. 
  4. ^ "The David Bowie Playlist: The Fans' Choice". TeamRock. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  5. ^ Fish on Facebook 11 January 2016, retrieved 17 January 2016

External links[edit]