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 aversion 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 theRead More
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 wereRead More
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 songRead More
Folk’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!).
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.
Available to pre-order now and here is the full tracklisting is-
- Could’ve Been Me (J. Martyn)
- You Might Need A Man (J. Martyn)
- Hung Up (J. Martyn)
- Gun Money (J. Martyn)
- Never Let Me Go (Joe Scott)
- Love Up (J. Martyn)
- Changes Her Mind (J. Martyn)
- Hiss On The Tape (J. Martyn)
Richard 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!