Has there been a thread about John Martyn?

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um actually not much like nick at all - nick drake is very introverted whilst john martyn seems much more - um - well extroverted isn't the word but there's an anger rather than the resignation that seaps through the drake stuff. he wanders into AOR hell quite soon and got on far too well with phil collins thus making bad white funk records but your life is not complete without the songs "glistening glyndeborne", "stormbringer" and especially "small hours" which is one of teh most beautiful songs ever. there's a good island "an introduction to.." at mid price but make sure you don't listen to the second half because it will make you want to rip your ears off...

commonswings, Tuesday, 24 September 2002 11:18 (12 years ago) Permalink

Some of the later stuff like One World is not half as bad as is being made out above.

I also really liked a track he did with Talvin Singh about 5 years back called Sunshine's Better. I think it got played before Orbital came on stage at Glastonbury this year. Sweet.

tigerclawskank, Tuesday, 24 September 2002 11:21 (12 years ago) Permalink

Commonswings is OTM. Stormbringer! in particular has to be one of the most achingly beautiful songs about unrequited love ever written, and that's up against some pretty stiff competition.

J Martyn is emphatically NOT a Donovan-esque folkie "sitting on the edge of a mushroom admiring the dingly-dangly-dell of life" as Martyn himself put it. Solid Air is the best album track by track, but there's some great stuff to be found on Inside Out, Bless the Weather, One World and even Grace and Danger.

chris sallis, Tuesday, 24 September 2002 11:31 (12 years ago) Permalink

yeah, Grace and Danger is ace

Search (songs): "Sweet Little Mystery", "Hole In The Rain", "Johnny Too Bad" (long version), "I Don't Want To Know"... and probably more I can't remember.

Jeff W (Jeff W), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 11:40 (12 years ago) Permalink

I just got "Solid Air" recently. It's very, very intense. Much harder on the ears than Nick Drake, but well worth perseverance. A rewarding album.

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 13:19 (12 years ago) Permalink

solid air is beautiful but i nevah got round to anything else by him.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 15:04 (12 years ago) Permalink

I've only got the island 'intro to..' and i quite liked it but haven't heared anything else, can someone explain the whole 'echoplex' thing and is it any good?

el wanko, Tuesday, 24 September 2002 17:24 (12 years ago) Permalink

So Solid Air is a consensus must then, but I'd also like to second (or third) Bless the Weather--the title track's worth the price of admission alone, plus Danny Thompson in the bargain.

The '80s/'90s weren't kind. His music got all cheesy and Sting-y and his vocals/lyrics became nearly incomprehensible (if the rumors are true, he got his distinctive slurring out of a bottle). A pal of mine's a great fan and even he makes jokes about, say, Martyn's cover of "Johnny Too Bad."

Lee G (Lee G), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 18:37 (12 years ago) Permalink

Check out "Road to Ruin" w/Beverly Martyn (if that counts). The first side (especially "Sorry to Be So Long") is quite strong...

Joe (Joe), Wednesday, 25 September 2002 00:40 (12 years ago) Permalink

I bought "One World" because the idea of a John Martyn / Lee Perry collaboration (Big Muff) blew my mind. Sadly the idea is better than the result: it would have been better if Scratch had recorded it himself.

bt, Wednesday, 25 September 2002 08:59 (12 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
Agree with Inside Out and One World - both excellent.

I'm pissed off I can't get to see him next Wednesday at the QEH. Has anyone seen him live recently?

James Ball (James Ball), Saturday, 8 May 2004 23:29 (10 years ago) Permalink

He has one leg now!!!!!!!!!!!!! The other was amputated below the knne in a gangrenous ganglion secenario that had absolutely nothing to do with alcohol abuse...... honest.

Dadaismus (Dada), Sunday, 9 May 2004 12:50 (10 years ago) Permalink

Saw him live last week @ Nottingham Royal Concert Hall. Desperately disappointing, especially in comparison to the last time I saw him c.3 years ago when he was outstanding. Venue too big (& sparsely attended); Martyn & his 3 piece band just didn't know how to fill it. No intimacy. Lots of dull jazzy noodling all round; too polite, too tasteful, too Demonstration CD In Hi Fi Shop. Martyn's vocals slurred & unintellgible to the point of self-parody. Songs mushed into each other, all on one level, impossible to maintain concentration. For health reasons (he's not a well man since the amputation), he now plays 2 sets: 1st is 30 minutes, 2nd is an hour. The boyfriend and I left after the first set. Our two friends stayed for the second and said:

Odd night - it was the lack of drugs (him and us) combined with an oversized venue that did it, we reckoned. 'Greatest Hits' second half with lots of 'Solid Air', Bless the Weather etc, but Martyn failed to ignite until the final two songs, without guitar, which he gave his all (Rock Salt and Nails, Never Let Me Go), then an undistinguished encore.

mike t-diva (mike t-diva), Monday, 10 May 2004 08:24 (10 years ago) Permalink

Jesus, that is depressing.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 10 May 2004 17:37 (10 years ago) Permalink

For me, "Solid Air", "Bless the Weather" and "One World" are where it's at. That and the two records recorded with Beverly Martin: "Stormbringer" and "Road to Ruin" - these two are great.

"One World" does appear to be getting more grief than it deserves; it's great... The last track is incredible but you really need to turn it up to 11 to appreciate it.

I'd be interested to hear Nick McCabe on John Martyn's new record too; pretty like minded people I figure.

Keith Watson (kmw), Monday, 10 May 2004 21:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

i saw him solo in about 79 as a teenager. he's had to borrow equipment as his was fucked. the gig was one long dream of echoed out slurs, searing dub-ambient driftworks and the occasional folk song. never heard anything like it again.

mullygrubber (gaz), Monday, 10 May 2004 21:31 (10 years ago) Permalink

That sounds incredible.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 13:32 (10 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
I just discovered Bless the Weather through a friend and am really, really into it. What a beautiful record!

gut buddy, Wednesday, 5 October 2005 10:51 (9 years ago) Permalink

first few records remastered and rereleased at the moment, really looking forward to them

Masked Gazza, Wednesday, 5 October 2005 10:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

They are in Fopp for a fiver, now. "London Conversation" is, certainly.

mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, 5 October 2005 11:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

Just picked up the Stormbringer reissue today - gonna smoke an obscene amount of weed and spend the night listening to it on repeat

God Buddy, Tuesday, 11 October 2005 00:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

o man.

mullygrubbr (bulbs), Tuesday, 11 October 2005 06:43 (9 years ago) Permalink

We've been playing Martyn for unborn baby. The baby loves it. Kicks and moves around when we played it.

nathalie, a bum like you (stevie nixed), Tuesday, 11 October 2005 06:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

weird. i never heard of this guy before until his "fly on home" just played on pandora.com. and here this thread was, right in front of me! so anyway, I like him.

richard wood johnson, Tuesday, 11 October 2005 20:57 (9 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
!!!!

jaxon (jaxon), Thursday, 19 October 2006 20:43 (8 years ago) Permalink

When did he take to playing kid-sized guitars? Oh wait...

doug watson (solid air), Friday, 20 October 2006 00:11 (8 years ago) Permalink

his catalogue is really mixed... lots of smoove jazzy stuff you don't want... but "may you never" is one of my all-time faves

marc h. (marc h.), Friday, 20 October 2006 03:39 (8 years ago) Permalink

I went with a friend who is a big fan, fairly recently (two legs).

I thought he was great! My friend thought he was massively disappointing. So go figure.

I have "London Conversation" as my dad was present at the session. Why, I have never been able to work out. He told me a couple of stories of the day, and it was about fifteen years later the same stories were in Mojo (a nick drake article) from a woman who was also there. I asked him if he remembered a tall lad, he said no.

mark grout (mark grout), Friday, 20 October 2006 09:05 (8 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-CkvEcdubU

caek, Saturday, 21 April 2007 13:57 (7 years ago) Permalink

I'm all over that Grace And Danger re-issue...totally missed out on this the first time around...

henry s, Saturday, 21 April 2007 14:12 (7 years ago) Permalink

10 months pass...

homie is awes

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 28 February 2008 22:12 (6 years ago) Permalink

We used to drink a great deal together. I got really drunk one night and woke up and Danny Thompson had nailed me under the carpet. I couldn’t move my hands or feet. I was very dry and had a hangover and I said Danny, please… get me, get me a drink. So he stepped over my helpless body, went to the phone and in a very loud voice said, can I have a glass of orange juice for one, please. Breakfast for one, please. I was screaming blue murder by this time. I was furious! He met the guy in the hall, so the guy couldn’t get into the room and see what was happening. He sat in front and downed the orange juice and had the breakfast.

caek, Friday, 29 February 2008 13:55 (6 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

Amazon.co.uk are currently flogging a few of the reissues for £2.98. Am hugely enjoying Inside Out. Are Grace and Danger or London Conversation vital purchases? (They've also got Sunday's Child and One World at that price at the mo).

NickB, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 11:07 (6 years ago) Permalink

(maybe we should have a thread for cheap stuff on Amazon?)

NickB, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 11:07 (6 years ago) Permalink

London Conv is pretty much yr standard 'folk singer's first album' stuff.

Mark G, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 11:10 (6 years ago) Permalink

I guessed it was and passed on it (got The Payback instead).

NickB, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 11:18 (6 years ago) Permalink

Yeah lots of these John Martyn CDs are three quid in Glasgow Fopp at the moment - they also have all of Sandy Denny's solo recs, cpl of Richard and Linda Thompsons and some Fairport stuff at the same price

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 11:43 (6 years ago) Permalink

I got Unhalfbricking, just cause it was £3.

Man! That 'sailor's story' sounds like Tom Verlaine guitaring!

Mark G, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 11:46 (6 years ago) Permalink

yeah, verlaine's gtr sound = 50% jerry garcia, 50% richard thompson - the version of 'Sloth' on the Fairport Convention live at the LA Troubadour set is especially Television-like, tho' Sailor's LIFE always sounds to me more like FT trying to be the Velvet Underground

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 12:12 (6 years ago) Permalink

Talking of guitaring, there's an amazing similarity between the bonus track version of 'Outside In' and the Edge on 'Where The Streets Have No Name'.

NickB, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 14:00 (6 years ago) Permalink

tho' Sailor's LIFE always sounds to me more like FT trying to be the Velvet Underground

Yes, that occurred to me too.

Mark G, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 14:14 (6 years ago) Permalink

(Who's FT btw?)

Mark G, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 14:14 (6 years ago) Permalink

Have been listening to "Go Easy" on repeat for a while now -- yeesh what a great song! The rest of Bless The Weather is great too, but that one is doing it for me right now. Woozy, wasted self absorption never sounded so good.

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 14:56 (6 years ago) Permalink

NickB, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 18:51 (6 years ago) Permalink

let's balance out all these fat old John pics with an skinny young one.

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 19:01 (6 years ago) Permalink

John's just received his second lifetime achievement award of this year (from Mojo - he got one from BBC Radio 2 in Feb). This does not bode well I fear.

NickB, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:50 (6 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

A friend recently lent me the 'Live At Leeds (And More)' album and I finally got round to listening to it last night.

The Live In Leeds set itself, recorded October 1975, and self-released as a LP at the time, is absolutely amazing. Really powerful, rocking, freely extended versions of the tracks. Solid Air on there is wonderful.

The CD set has a second disc of other live stuff from over the years and is pretty patchy to my ears. Too much later stuff that was far too saccharine and sentimental, m.o.r. pish, BUT it ends with an incredible version of a track 'Anna', performed in 1983 at the Bottom Line club in NY.

Anyone know this one? A bit of reading about says that "Anna" was from a movie soundtrack and was an evolution of the track "Small Hours" from 'One World'.

I've only ever heard 'Solid Air' before, which I've fallen in love with over the course of this year. Nothing else I've sampled has clicked yet, but I'm going to explore a few others now.

krakow, Thursday, 3 December 2009 10:58 (4 years ago) Permalink

http://www.johnmartyn.info/?q=node/92

This story needs reposting, especially for the "no matter how drunk JMartyn was, he still could work out what was going on" air.

Mark G, Thursday, 3 December 2009 11:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

xp , If you like Solid Air then Bless The Weather is probably the next thing to try.

caek, Thursday, 3 December 2009 11:36 (4 years ago) Permalink

Mark G, that's incredible! Thank you for the link.

krakow, Thursday, 3 December 2009 11:43 (4 years ago) Permalink

Thanks passed on to caek (link was above)

Mark G, Thursday, 3 December 2009 11:45 (4 years ago) Permalink

Ah, I see it now. Thanks caek.

krakow, Thursday, 3 December 2009 11:48 (4 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

in the end, kind of a depressing thread...

WharfRat, Wednesday, 24 March 2010 01:22 (4 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

the drum machines added to "dancing" on one other world make it sound like it just came out today. pretty amazing

kamerad, Thursday, 9 September 2010 16:10 (4 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

One World is the missing link between Spirit of Eden, World Of Echo, and Heart Of The Congoes. I can't believe I am only hearing this record now.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Friday, 23 September 2011 18:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

aye, its a great record. allmusic gave it 3 stars!!

Michael B, Friday, 23 September 2011 18:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

3 out of 3 right?

Chewshabadoo, Friday, 23 September 2011 18:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

Those mid-period Martyn Records are really great--that echoplex!

one dis leads to another (ian), Friday, 23 September 2011 19:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

One World is the missing link between Spirit of Eden, World Of Echo, and Heart Of The Congoes. I can't believe I am only hearing this record now.

That's some playlist you're pointing to there.

They all have to be on Spotify right?

my opinionation (Hamildan), Saturday, 24 September 2011 13:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

the drum machines added to "dancing" on /one other world/ make it sound like it just came out today. pretty amazing

"Dancing" is like the greatest Grateful Dead song ever. it feels like it could go on forever.

I prefer One World by a pretty big margin to Solid Air -- the watery dubbiness of "Big Muff" and "Smiling Strangers," the grit of "Dealer," his gruff vocals, Steve Winwood's taut Minimoog solos...there's a lot to love about this album.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 24 September 2011 14:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

"Small Hours" is transcendent, shimmering peace.

Euler, Saturday, 24 September 2011 15:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

"I prefer One World by a pretty big margin to Solid Air"

Bless The Weather is better than both imo

nostormo, Saturday, 24 September 2011 15:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

Ranking them is tough. But for now I'd go (1) One World, (2) Grace & Danger, (3) Solid Air and (4) Bless The Weather. Love the man!

QuantumNoise, Saturday, 24 September 2011 15:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

Been pretty obsessed with Martyn this year. I don't think the drum machine on One World sounds contemporary though, but that's what i love about it. It's got that primitive feel, like on There's A Riot Goin' On

Number None, Saturday, 24 September 2011 16:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

Also, pretty sure drum machine isn't on Dancing -- it is on Dealer tho.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 24 September 2011 20:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

The drum machine is added to "Dancing" on the outtake/bootleg (yet avail. on iTunes) set Another World.

I'm a sucker for his, er, dance-y late-'70s/early-'80s songs, like that track and "Running Up The Harbour" from the Grace And Danger deluxe set.

Hold me closer, tiny blushda (Craig D.), Saturday, 24 September 2011 21:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

I think it's on the deluxe remaster too

Number None, Saturday, 24 September 2011 21:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

"Didn't Do That" on Glorious Fool is a great twitchy number. But we are a long way from One World.

Euler, Saturday, 24 September 2011 21:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

The drum machine is added to "Dancing" on the outtake/bootleg (yet avail. on iTunes) set Another World.

I stand corrected. That stuff sounds great. May need to pick it up.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 25 September 2011 00:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

tylerw, Thursday, 29 September 2011 22:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

Jesus Christ

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 30 September 2011 04:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

7 months pass...

Bless Spotify

Scott, bass player for Tenth Avenue North (Hurting 2), Monday, 7 May 2012 01:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

John Martyn, I did not know you until now.

Scott, bass player for Tenth Avenue North (Hurting 2), Monday, 7 May 2012 01:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^ fave john martyn song of the moment. so great.

one dis leads to another (ian), Monday, 7 May 2012 01:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

when i got to talking to michael chapman last year he mentioned in passing that john martyn was the only person he'd ever kicked out of his house.
i would like to hear the rest of that story someday.

one dis leads to another (ian), Monday, 7 May 2012 01:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd be interested to hear Nick McCabe on John Martyn's new record too; pretty like minded people I figure.

― Keith Watson (kmw), Monday, May 10, 2004 10:05 PM (7 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I always heard echoes of Richard Thompson in the guitar on the early Verve records. But I guess it was Nick drake not John Martyn that had his accompaniment, RT's that is.

Stevolende, Monday, 7 May 2012 12:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, verlaine's gtr sound = 50% jerry garcia, 50% richard thompson - the version of 'Sloth' on the Fairport Convention live at the LA Troubadour set is especially Television-like, tho' Sailor's LIFE always sounds to me more like FT trying to be the Velvet Underground

― Ward Fowler, Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:12 PM (3 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I was really reminded of Verlaine at least by the guitar you can now hear under bits of North Star Grassman & The ravens the Sandy Denny lp.

Stevolende, Monday, 7 May 2012 12:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

the guitar on dancing is just so ~sparkly~.

tubular, mondo, gnabry (Merdeyeux), Saturday, 1 September 2012 02:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

durutti-esque even

blank, Saturday, 1 September 2012 02:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

god that ogwt 'one world' upthread is gorgeous

bear, bear, bear, Saturday, 1 September 2012 10:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

durutti-esque even

Jerry-esque is more like it.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 2 September 2012 04:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

when i got to talking to michael chapman last year he mentioned in passing that john martyn was the only person he'd ever kicked out of his house.
i would like to hear the rest of that story someday.

― one dis leads to another (ian), Monday, May 7, 2012 1:55 AM (3 months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

one dis leads to another (ian), Monday, 3 September 2012 05:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

never heard this guy before! he's amazing...

listening to Inside Out

not sure what kinda music this is...only thing that kinda pings are the weirder Tim Buckley albums...

captain angeroo (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 6 November 2012 17:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

get One World, Solid Air, and Bless the Weather right now!

Number None, Tuesday, 6 November 2012 18:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah, those and live at leeds. the ones with his wife are solid too, though more on the straight-up folk tip.

tylerw, Tuesday, 6 November 2012 18:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

Stormbringer

ryan, Tuesday, 6 November 2012 18:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

11 months pass...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00FNSAHUM/ref=dm_ty_trk

Amazon selling the 17 disc as mp3download, £7.49 (at time of this message)

Mark G, Monday, 7 October 2013 09:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

yow, good deal, gotta be a mistake, right? doesn't seem to be available in the usa :(
listened to sunday's child last week -- great record, if a bit all over the place. found myself wondering: "who the hell does this guy think he is?!"

tylerw, Monday, 7 October 2013 15:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

The only thing about this is that there's no 'ebook' or suchlike, and all the MP3s seem to have the same Album Title for the idb tags.

Still, that's sort-outable..

Mark G, Monday, 7 October 2013 15:09 (1 year ago) Permalink

Weirdly, 'Couldn't Love You More' has been popping up on various m8s fb/twitter feeds, incredible song...just took a punt on the Glorious Fool LP (£3 from a fruit/veg/record shop in New Cross)...might take a bit of getting into this...

the Shearer of simulated snowsex etc. (Dwight Yorke), Monday, 7 October 2013 17:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

yow, good deal, gotta be a mistake, right? doesn't seem to be available in the usa :(
listened to sunday's child last week -- great record, if a bit all over the place. found myself wondering: "who the hell does this guy think he is?!"

― tylerw, Monday, October 7, 2013 4:00 PM (2 days ago)

Both links now dead so must have been a mistake.

I bought the Amazon one as it automatically added to my Cloud Player on Monday and told some friends about it but both Google Play and Amazon are no longer selling the MP3s.

groovypanda, Wednesday, 9 October 2013 06:52 (1 year ago) Permalink

^ crazy scenes on Hastings beach with Big John

gotta lol geir (NickB), Tuesday, 15 October 2013 16:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

middle of the day and the whole town looks pissed

gotta lol geir (NickB), Tuesday, 15 October 2013 16:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

listening to 1987's piece by piece for the first time, thought i was in for an ugly horror show after the first track but some of it is very nice. even if at points it does sound like john has wandered in on some bloke playing around with a dx7 and decided to sing along.

Merdeyeux, Monday, 12 May 2014 17:59 (5 months ago) Permalink


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