John Martyn’s City Struggle

JOHN MARTYN’S CITY STRUGGLE

FOUR YEARS ago John Martyn came south from Scotland, and next February he will be moving back with his wife and family. Those four years have been a constant struggle against the oppression of the city, but considering his abject Sounds 12 December 1970aversion to this kind of environment, he has succeeded in his task. He has made his mark produced several fine albums which bare the mark of an inventive, refreshing brain, and on the face of it are wholly irreconcilable with the confused conglomeration in which he lives.

So when his wife Beverley has their second child, they will be moving to Peebleshire, within a stone’s throw of the Incredible String Bands retreat, to escape a programmed routine which John analogises with the non-changing flight patterns of insects. The real break for John was the “Stormbringer!” album he made with Beverley – an album which extricated him well and truly from his folk club upbringing. But even then the

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London Conversation Review

Mojo September 2014London Conversation Vinyl Release 21st July 2014.

Beginners, please.

A teenage greenhorn lays the foundation of Island’s folk-rock village. By Jim Irvin.

Debut albums can be a mixed blessing, perhaps a tentative wave hello, a flood of suppressed creative outpourings, or a clearing house for childish guff. They’re most fascinating when they wrong-foot posterity. Who could have extrapolated Radiohead’s In Rainbows from Pablo Honey or Tom Waits’ Mule Variations from Closing Time? Solidly in that subset lies John Martyn’s London Conversation, now back on vinyl (Universal ***). ILP 952, issued in October 1967, was the first release on the new pink Island label, marking the company’s shift from its reggae origins. It’s a jejeune thing – cut, so they say, in a couple of evenings for £158 – that bears almost no resemblance to his mature work, not in the sound or swing of the playing, the tone of his voice or the acuity of the writing. And the whiff of childish guff is strong on opening song

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66th Birthday

Happy Birthday John!

Today (11th September) would have been John’s 66th birthday. He left us a tremendous legacy of wonderful music and fantastic memories.

John you are in our hearts everyday. Our thoughts are with your family and loved ones on your birthday. Celebrate John’s life by playing your favourite album and raising a glass.

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London Conversation Vinyl Reissue

London Conversation Vinyl 2014Universal Music have announced that John’s first album London Conversation will be re-released on 180 gram high quality vinyl.

The album has been re-mastered from the original analogue studio tapes by Paschal Byrne of The Audio Archiving Company. The artwork is a faithful reproduction of the original release.

Release date is 21st July 2014. Pre-order here!

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New Old Gig Review – Eric’s Liverpool 1977

Sounds 19March 1977Folk’s answer to Ted Nugent? John Martyn: If he’s too loud then you’re too old!

FOR THOSE of you who do not know, let me merely say this: John Martyn is Britain’s number one singer/songwriter. Absolutely. Without doubt. His fine, unique vocals excellently complement his subtle blend of guitar pyrotechnics. You heard correctly – pyrotechnics! (And if any of you Ted Nugent/Buck Dharma/Ace Frehley fans wanna argue, come right up!).

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Well Kept Secret (Remastered And Expanded)

Well Kept Secret is to be re-released by Cherry Red Records in remastered and expanded form with two bonus songs and enhanced artwork. Revised release date is 14th July 2014.

Well Kept SecretAvailable to pre-order now and here is the full tracklisting is-

  1. Could’ve Been Me (J. Martyn)
  2. You Might Need A Man (J. Martyn)
  3. Hung Up (J. Martyn)
  4. Gun Money (J. Martyn)
  5. Never Let Me Go (Joe Scott)
  6. Love Up (J. Martyn)
  7. Changes Her Mind (J. Martyn)
  8. Hiss On The Tape (J. Martyn)
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Solid Air e-book

Solid Air ebookRichard Connor has recently completed his first e-book ‘Solid Air: an in-depth look at the classic album by John Martyn’ and it is available now here.

Richard explores each of the songs on Solid Air and a few more along the way! He provides his own interpretation and thoughts on the album, whilst also sharing his journey to write and publish his book. An entertaining read!

 

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