One World (1977)

Released in November 1977. One World was critically acclaimed, was commercially accessible and sold well, charting at number 54. It contains a variety of styles and moods from the dubbed Big Muff co-written with Lee Perry, to the incredibly romantic Couldn’t Love You More which has been reworked and recorded many times since and is still a great favourite with his fans. The album closes with the mesmerising “Small Hours”, a ‘live’ echoplex excursion featuring a flock of Canadian geese ! One of the all time great chill-out tracks which was later adapted and re-recorded as Anna for the Australian feature film In Search of Anna. Unfortunately a sound track was never released, but a small number of live performance tapes featuring Anna are in existence.

“Guaranteed to chill your spine.” (Melody Maker 10/12/77)

“Martyn’s labours on Island culminated with One World…that shifted his earlier crystalline sound into a deeper, more liquid encounter. Accompanied by Danny Thompson’s resonant bass and a superb lineup of Island musicians, Martyn’s expressive voice had matured via a wide range of circumstance. There were still moments of joyous sensitivity.” – Magnet

“One World looks like a work of importance and beauty, sounds even better and there’s no finer place to start to develop an addiction for the man who may be England’s brightest light in the musical starfield, nobody else comes near to John’s coherence in expressing the flux of spirit and the voice of emotion, he’s simply the guv’nor.” (Steve Burgess Dark Star)

“First encounters of the best kind – the day you hear’ One World’…A John Martyn Masterpiece” (Island Advertisement)

“You might not be in the market for a new Lamborghini or a flash apartment in Berkeley Square but there’s always ‘One World’…A John Martyn Masterpiece.” Island Advertisement)

John used a Rhythm Doctor: a drum machine winking through the mist of Small Hours and One World. He got more flack for that: “People thought it was so funny, that this geezer would walk onstage with a glorified metronome. They could not see that it was in fact a bass drum, with a kick drum at the top. A lot of the things I used to fiddle about with confused people at first.” – The Wire

Island released Dancing / Dealer as a single in January 1978.

  1. One WorldDealer (J. Martyn)
  2. One World (J. Martyn)
  3. Smiling Stranger (J. Martyn)
  4. Big Muff (Lee Perry, J. Martyn)
  5. Couldn’t Love You More (J. Martyn)
  6. Certain Surprise (J. Martyn)
  7. Dancing (J. Martyn)
  8. Small Hours (J. Martyn)