Grace and Danger (1980)

Grace and Danger was released in October 1980 having been held up for a year by Island boss Chris Blackwell who was a close friend of John and Beverley’s and who found it too openly disturbing to release. Only after extreme pressure from John was it finally released and John got the exorcism that he needed. In the late 1980’s John would cite this album as his favourite. The album features Phil Collins and John Giblin. Giblin’s harmonic bass playing was in the style of Weather Report’s late (and great) Jaco Pastorius, a band and style John had long admired. Relying increasingly on his Gibson S.G. electric guitar, John’s playing was highly inventive and beguilingly. With John’s distinctive vocal delivery and painfully honest lyrics, Grace and Danger became a stunning exposition of confusion, heartache, love and remorse. John later said that it was “probably the most specific piece of autobiography I’ve written. Some people keep diaries, I make records.”

“At times the blending of Martyn’s voice and guitar, John Giblin’s beautiful bass and Phil Collins immaculate drumming is simply breathtaking.” – Melody Maker

John said, “I was in a dreadful emotional state over that record…I was hardly in control of my own actions. The reason they finally released it was because I freaked: Please get it out! I don’t give a damn about how sad it makes you feel – it’s what I’m about: direct communication of emotion.”

“Grace and Danger was very cathartic, and really hurt, I was really in love with that woman.”

Island released Johnny Too Bad/Johnny Too Bad (Instrumental) and Johnny Too Bad/Johnny Too Bad (Version) as singles. In March 1981 a 12 inch extended dub version of Johnny Too Bad was released with an extended version of Big Muff on the reverse. In May 1981 Sweet Little Mystery/Johnny Too Bad was released as a single.

  1. Grace And Danger Some People Are Crazy (J. Martyn)
  2. Grace And Danger (J. Martyn)
  3. Lookin’ On (J. Martyn)
  4. Johnny Too Bad (Slickers)
  5. Sweet Little Mystery (J. Martyn)
  6. Hurt In Your Heart (J. Martyn)
  7. Baby Please Come Home (J. Martyn)
  8. Save Some (For Me) (J. Martyn)
  9. Our Love (J. Martyn, B. Martyn)