Current members are Steve Hogarth (h), Mark Kelly, Steve Rothery, Pete Trewavas, and Ian Mosley. Former members include Fish and a Spinal Tap-like series of drummers.
Marillion was one of the most popular bands in Europe and the UK from about 1983-1987 by being precisely what everyone else was not. They have existed since 1979, being founded by a few friends in Aylesbury, England, (guitarist Steve Rothery, keyboard player Brian Jelliman, drummer Mick Pointer, and bass player Doug Irvine) but took their most popular form on the arrival of six-and-a-half-foot-tall Scottish vocalist and lyricist Fish in 1981 (also coming with Fish was bassist Diz Minnitt replacing Irvine, a bit later Mark Kelly replacing Jelliman, and then Pete Trewavas replacing Irvine.) A recording contract with EMI produced the single Market Square Heroes and the albums Script For A Jester's Tear and Fugazi. We all remember early 80s pop rock and Marillion were much more like old Genesis or Yes or what have you, down to intricate painted covers (by Mark Wilkinson) and Fish wearing face paint and costumes on stage a la Peter Gabriel, whose vocal style Fish's was often compared to. They, in fact, were one of the progenitors of New Prog.
The band had already built up an enormous gigging reputation throughout England and the success of the first album made EMI crave for more. Mick Pointer was dropped, to be replaced by Andy Ward, John Martyr, and Jonathan Mover within months of each other, with the band finally settling in with Ian Mosley, thus forming their most commercially successful lineup. Fugazi was released in 1984 with the hits "Punch And Judy" and "Assassing."
For their next album, they retreated to Berlin and spent the time recording the concept album (!--this was 1985, remember) Misplaced Childhood, which produced their biggest hit, Kayleigh that summer. Still relentless touring and the grind of the rock star life brought all the standard rock star excesses and troubled lives, and in 1987, they released Clutching At Straws, a dark, complex album where every song involved drinking or alcohol. in 1988, Fish left the band acrimoniously.
Looking for a new vocalist, they found Steve Hogarth from the bands Europeans and How We Live who was a good fit but a completely different vocal style and stage presence than Fish. Their first album with h was Seasons End which had song ideas and snippets from recording sessions with Fish and lyrics by Hogarth and John Helmer.
In 1991, they released Holidays In Eden, made to be a more intentionally popular album, which didn't quite suit the band as well as they would have hoped.
Taking 3 years to write and record their next album, Brave in Miles Copeland's castle in France, they produced an album that both diehard fands and critics liked. Like Misplaced Childhood, it is a concept album, and sounds much like Pink Floyd in bits.
1995 brought Afraid of Sunlight, an atmospheric album of sonic textures and songs about the nature of fame and fortune that artistically was one of their strongest statements yet. However, their sales had never equalled the successes of the Fish era, and after this album EMI dropped Marillion from their record label.
This Strange Engine was released in 1997, and without a major label backing them, Marillion announced on the Freaks mailing list that they wouldn't be able to tour the United States due to cost concerns. An online campaign was begun by fans that raised over $60,000 that went directly to the band to cover expenses of touring, and they proceeded to put on a substantial US tour.
Unfortunately, Marillion haven't been back to the US since despite releasing Radiation in 1998 and marillion.com in 1999. They have moved to an in-house record production and distribution system via their Racket Records label.
In the Summer of 2000 the band announced they were taking pre-orders for their next album (titled by the Freaks as M12,) using the money to fund the recording process instead of asking a record company for an advance. Because of this bold move, they have now resigned to EMI who will be doing their distribution and promotion. This is similar to the Street Performer Protocol in concept.0
After nearly 13,000 orders for this album (now titled Anoraknophobia,) it was shipped to participants in April, 2001, as a special two-disc version. The retail version is released on May 7th everywhere but North America where it was the 15th.
In further innovation the band has released a single only available on their website--with the unique offer that you get 2 for 1 and are supposed to send the second copy to a radio station with a letter explaining the band and requesting they play the single. This has actually gotten them some airplay and attention.
For their 13th album, Marillion would again go to their hardcore fans, this time asking them to buy not only buy the album in advance, but to buy posters, T-shirts, calendars, and other merchandise to fund their own promotional fund for the album. Also, advance purchasers would get a full double album version instead of the 1 CD version in the shops. The band raised several hundred thousand pounds this way.
The album itself, Marbles took nearly 2 years to record, and is Marillion's best work in years. The promotional money paid for ads, appearances, as well as their most extensive tour since the mid-90s, including their first trip to North America since 1997. In addition, an online campaign encouraged fans to buy copies of the first single from the album, You're Gone which was available in 3 formats in the UK, and total sales lead to #7 chart position--Marillion's first top ten single in over 10 years.
After two albums of presales, the band decided to finance their next album more conventionally, and in April 2007 released Somewhere Else, with a download-only single "See It Like A Baby."
The sessions for Somewhere Else had produced much more material than the album, and the band announced their 15th album would be coming the following spring. However, during the writing and recording process, the band developed enough material for a double album, so they took preorders, and will release the double album Happiness Is The Road in October, 2008.
Marillion have always been a band of uncompromising quality, of a desire to do what they want and not what the industry or trends tell them to, and thus have a loyal, and devoted fan following for whom every Marillion album is an exploration into the soul and an affirmation of all that is good in the world.
(some information cribbed from marillion.com)