The Best Of The Island Years – Review

JOHN MARTYN – No Man Is An Island

The Best Of The Island Years
****

Last year, Universal put out a fantastic 18 disc box set that contained pretty much everything the Scottish troubadour John Martyn released for Island Records between 1967 and ’87. It was a phenomenal achievement, tracing his evolution from the young folkie of London Conversation to the sensitive artist of Sunday’s Child, from the genre hopping muso of One World to the troubled alcoholic of Grace And Danger. Squeezing even more juice from Martyn now comes this four disc collection confusingly called The Best Of The Island Years, but which actually contains a series of alternate takes, unreleased songs and live performances culled from the original 18-disc set.

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Nick Drake – Remembered For A While

drake71QXG2pSyELNick Drake – Remembered For A While is a fantastic new book celebrating the life and music of Nick Drake. Press release;  “This is not a biography. It is, rather, an attempt to cast a few shards of light on Nick Drake the poet, the musician, the singer, the friend, son and brother, who was also more than all of these. We hope it will accompany all those in search of an elusive artist, who was as indefinable as the morning mist.”

Superbly presented with copies of hand written lyric sheets and never seen before photographs. Further information here.

 

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The Best Of The Island Years

bestofislandyearsUniversal Music have announced The Best Of The Island Years, a  4 disc set due to be released on 3rd November 2014.

Press release -The Best of the Island Years is a 4-disc digest version of last year’s, definitive 18 disc set covering John Martyn’s classic years with Island Records between 1967 and 1987.

All 56 tracks on the 4-disc edition capture Martyn at the height of his creativity on the label; all of them have been chosen from the out-takes, unreleased songs and rare live recordings that were first included on The Island Years 18CD Box Set. This collection features the best of the rarities from The Island Years and creates an exceptional collection of recordings for fans who have everything but the complete box set. It includes three songs which were

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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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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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