Home » Song Meanings » The Meaning Behind The Song: Incommunicado by Marillion

The Meaning Behind The Song: Incommunicado by Marillion

The Meaning Behind The Song: Incommunicado by Marillion

Being a music teacher, I have always been fascinated by the power of music to convey emotions and tell stories. One song that has always resonated with me is “Incommunicado” by Marillion. I remember stumbling upon this song at a friend’s house, and from the moment I heard the opening keyboard intro, I was captivated.

“Incommunicado” is a fast-paced anthem-type rock single with dominant keyboard parts. Released in 1987 as part of Marillion’s album “Clutching at Straws,” the song delves into the issue of artists detaching from reality and craving more and more fame, even if they are already constantly in the public eye.

The lyrics of the song speak volumes about the struggles faced by celebrities and the toll that fame takes on their lives. The opening verse sets the tone, with a touch of irony, as the protagonist expresses a desire to meet someone while admitting to problems of memory due to achieving fame. It’s a poignant reflection on how fame can lead to a loss of personal connections and even self-identity.

The chorus, repeated throughout the song, emphasizes the isolation that fame brings. The word “incommunicado” itself means being unable or unwilling to communicate or be reached. This theme is further explored in the bridge, where the protagonist acknowledges a sense of familiarity with their circumstances, as if they have “been here before.” It speaks to the cyclical nature of fame, where opportunities constantly knock on the door, yet leave behind a feeling of emptiness.

The lyrics also touch upon the desire for validation and recognition. The protagonist aspires to have their handprints immortalized on Sunset Boulevard, be a dummy in Tussauds, and appear on prime time TV. These desires reveal a longing for significance and a fear of fading into obscurity, despite already being in the spotlight.

Marillion brilliantly captures the turmoil faced by celebrities with their distinct musical style. The instrumental breaks and keyboard solos add a sense of urgency and intensity to the song, mirroring the chaotic nature of the protagonist’s life. The soaring vocals and energetic guitar riffs contribute to the overall anthemic quality of the track.

As a music teacher, I often find myself discussing the impact of fame and the pressures faced by artists with my students. “Incommunicado” provides a powerful example to delve into these topics. It serves as a reminder that fame and success are not always synonymous with happiness and fulfillment. It prompts us to question the way we perceive celebrities and the toll that their career choices might take on their personal lives.

Overall, “Incommunicado” by Marillion is a thought-provoking song that delves into the dark side of fame. It reminds us to consider the human experiences behind the celebrity façade and challenges us to reevaluate our own perceptions of success and happiness.


Produced By Chris Kimsey

Written By Ian Mosley, Peter Trewavas, Steve Rothery, Mark Kelly & Fish (Rock)

Mixed By [Assisted By] Avril Mackintosh

Mixed By David Jacob

Mixed At Advision Studios

Recorded By [Assisted By] Richard Sullivan

Recorded By Nick Davis

Backing Vocals Chris Kimsey

Recorded At Westside Studios, London

Release Date June 22, 1987

Tags: Rock, Progressive Rock

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top