The story of Brave’s double ending.
Marillion’s sixth album remains the darkest of their career, and of the 1990s. but there was one unexpected comedic influence that shaped at least part of it: monty Python.
the vinyl version of the album features a ‘secret’ ending. where the original record pulled itself out of the darkness with the uplifting album closer made again, a hidden second groove featured an alternative ending with six minutes of lapping water sounds, suggesting the main character had jumped from the bridge.
“that was my idea,” says mark Kelly. “and like all good ideas, it was stolen. i’d had a copy the monty Python matching tie and handkerchief when i was a kid, which had a double groove – you put the needle down and you didn’t know which jokes you were going to get.”
the band enlisted the talents of george ‘Porky’ Peckham, the legendary recording engineer who was famous for etching messages into the run-out grooves of the albums he had worked on. Peckham had in fact cut the double ending on the monty Python album.
“basically, he had to cut it by hand,” says Kelly. “he’d cut one slightly wider groove with one ending, then cut in the alternative ending in the spiral between it.”
and which ending does Kelly prefer? “oh, i do like the original ending, the one where she survives. i like what happens musically with the other ending, but it might be a bit too dark after you’ve sat through all this doom and gloom.”