Sapphire (Remastered And Expanded) (Vinyl) (2015)

Sapphire remastered and expanded was released on high quality heavy weight vinyl by Universal Music on 26th January 2015.

The press release stated;

“Single disc, two-disc, double lp and digital equivalent releases which marked John Martyn’s return to Island Records in the mid-1980’s.

Universal Music Catalogue is pleased to announce the multi-formatted releases of Sapphire and Piece By Piece on January 26th 2015, two of John Martyn’s most overlooked albums and a return to the label he was most famously associated with following two album for WEA.

Both Sapphire, originally released in 1984, and Piece By Piece, 1986 are long deleted and ripe for reappraisal. Each album has been remastered and expanded, including some recently unearthed material, with a second disc as part of Island’s RePresents series alongside limited edition double vinyl editions.

Sapphire features alternate mixes by co-producer Andy Lyden, and five previously unreleased studio takes. Among these, the ‘Straight Choir’ version of ‘Fisherman’s Dream’, one of Martyn’s most popular songs, was omitted from the original album in favour of a gospel choir version. There are also three previously unreleased live performances recorded in Hamburg in 1986.

Piece by Piece includes seven alternate mixes, and seven previously unreleased live performances also recorded in Hamburg in 1986. Bob Dylan’s ‘Tight Connection To My Heart’ features among the new live recordings; it was a song Martyn rarely played on stage. ‘Angeline’ became the world’s first ever CD single when it was taken from the album and released at the beginning of February that year, just ahead of a 20 date tour which marked John Martyn’s 20th anniversary since his first professional shows.

Both albums feature enhanced packaging containing lyrics, a new essay plus rare and previously unseen photographs.”

The album was originally released in November 1984. Further details here.

This remastered and expanded gatefold vinyl release includes a second LP of alternative takes/mixes and live songs. In 1984 Andy Lyden was invited to mix the album by Chris Blackwell. All but one of his mixes didn’t make the final cut, Sapphire being the exception. This release includes 6 alternative takes/mixes by Andy including an alternative take of the title song. In addition there is Love In Your Life along with the straight choir version of John’s classic song Fisherman’s Dream featuring the Scottish National Choir both of which were left off the original album release. Both records are housed in custom printed sleeves illustrated with photographs, memorabilia and sleeve notes. There are 7 previously unreleased takes including 3 live songs, the other takes on LP2 were previously included on the comprehensive 18 CD limited edition box The Island Years released in 2013.

LP1

  1. SapphireSapphire (J. Martyn)
  2. Over The Rainbow (H. Arlen, C. Harburg)
  3. You Know (J. Martyn)
  4. Watching Her Eyes (J. Martyn)
  5. Fisherman’s Dream (J. Martyn)
  1. Acid Rain (J. Martyn, A. Thomson)
  2. Mad Dog Days (J. Martyn, A. Thomson)
  3. Climb The Walls (J. Martyn)
  4. Coming On Time (J. Martyn)
  5. Rope-Soul’d (J. Martyn, A. Thomson, B. Reynolds)

LP2

  1. Sapphire – Andy Lyden mix
  2. Watching Her Eyes – Andy Lyden mix
  3. Acid Rain – Andy Lyden mix
  4. Climb The Walls – Andy Lyden mix
  5. Coming In On Time – Andy Lyden mix
  6. Rope Soul’d – Andy Lyden mix
  1. Love In Your Life (J. Martyn)
  2. Fisherman’s Dream – Straight Choir version
  3. Mad Dog Days – Live in Hamburg 23/4/1986
  4. Fisherman’s Dream – Live in Hamburg 23/4/1986
  5. Over The Rainbow – Live in Hamburg 23/4/1986
Read More

Sapphire (Remastered And Expanded) (2015)

Sapphire remastered and expanded was released by Universal Music on 26th January 2015 in the RePresents series.

The press release stated;

“Single disc, two-disc, double lp and digital equivalent releases which marked John Martyn’s return to Island Records in the mid-1980’s.

Universal Music Catalogue is pleased to announce the multi-formatted releases of Sapphire and Piece By Piece on January 26th 2015, two of John Martyn’s most overlooked albums and a return to the label he was most famously associated with following two album for WEA.

Both Sapphire, originally released in 1984, and Piece By Piece, 1986 are long deleted and ripe for reappraisal. Each album has been remastered and expanded, including some recently unearthed material, with a second disc as part of Island’s RePresents series alongside limited edition double vinyl editions.

Sapphire features alternate mixes by co-producer Andy Lyden, and five previously unreleased studio takes. Among these, the ‘Straight Choir’ version of ‘Fisherman’s Dream’, one of Martyn’s most popular songs, was omitted from the original album in favour of a gospel choir version. There are also three previously unreleased live performances recorded in Hamburg in 1986.

Piece by Piece includes seven alternate mixes, and seven previously unreleased live performances also recorded in Hamburg in 1986. Bob Dylan’s ‘Tight Connection To My Heart’ features among the new live recordings; it was a song Martyn rarely played on stage. ‘Angeline’ became the world’s first ever CD single when it was taken from the album and released at the beginning of February that year, just ahead of a 20 date tour which marked John Martyn’s 20th anniversary since his first professional shows.

Both albums feature enhanced packaging containing lyrics, a new essay plus rare and previously unseen photographs.”

The album was originally released in November 1984. Further details here.

This remastered and expanded release includes a second CD of alternative takes/mixes and live songs. In 1984 Andy Lyden was invited to mix the album by Chris Blackwell. All but one of his mixes didn’t make the final cut, Sapphire being the exception. This release includes the complete album as mixed by Andy along with an alternative take of the title song. In addition there is Love In Your Life along with the straight choir version of John’s classic song Fisherman’s Dream featuring the Scottish National Choir both of which were left off the original album release. Three live songs from 1986 are also included. Both CDs are accompanied by a booklet of new artwork, photographs and sleeve notes, sligthly longer in length that the remastered single CD release. There are 8 previously unreleased takes including the live songs, the other takes having previously been included on the comprehensive 18 CD limited edition box The Island Years released in 2013.

CD1SapphireCD

  1. Sapphire (J. Martyn)
  2. Over The Rainbow (H. Arlen, C. Harburg)
  3. You Know (J. Martyn)
  4. Watching Her Eyes (J. Martyn)
  5. Fisherman’s Dream (J. Martyn)
  6. Acid Rain (J. Martyn, A. Thomson)
  7. Mad Dog Days (J. Martyn, A. Thomson)
  8. Climb The Walls (J. Martyn)
  9. Coming On Time (J. Martyn)
  10. Rope-Soul’d (J. Martyn, A. Thomson, B. Reynolds)

sapphiredetailCD2

  1. Sapphire – Andy Lyden mix
  2. Over The Rainbow  – Andy Lyden mix
  3. You Know – Andy Lyden mix
  4. Watching Her Eyes – Andy Lyden mix
  5. Fisherman’s Dreams – Andy Lyden mix
  6. Acid Rain – Andy Lyden mix
  7. Mad Dog Days – Andy Lyden mix
  8. Climb The Walls – Andy Lyden mix
  9. Coming In On Time – Andy Lyden mix
  10. Rope Soul’d  – Andy Lyden mix
  11. Love In Your Life
  12. Fisherman’s Dream  – Straight Choir version
  13. Mad Dog Days – Live in Hamburg 23/4/1986
  14. Fisherman’s Dream – Live in Hamburg 23/4/1986
  15. Over The Rainbow – Live in Hamburg 23/4/1986
Read More

Sapphire (Remastered) (2015)

Sapphire remastered was released by Universal Music on 26th January 2015.

The press release stated;

“Single disc, two-disc, double lp and digital equivalent releases which marked John Martyn’s return to Island Records in the mid-1980’s.

Universal Music Catalogue is pleased to announce the multi-formatted releases of Sapphire and Piece By Piece on January 26th 2015, two of John Martyn’s most overlooked albums and a return to the label he was most famously associated with following two album for WEA.

Both Sapphire, originally released in 1984, and Piece By Piece, 1986 are long deleted and ripe for reappraisal. Each album has been remastered and expanded, including some recently unearthed material, with a second disc as part of Island’s RePresents series alongside limited edition double vinyl editions.

Sapphire features alternate mixes by co-producer Andy Lyden, and five previously unreleased studio takes. Among these, the ‘Straight Choir’ version of ‘Fisherman’s Dream’, one of Martyn’s most popular songs, was omitted from the original album in favour of a gospel choir version. There are also three previously unreleased live performances recorded in Hamburg in 1986.

Piece by Piece includes seven alternate mixes, and seven previously unreleased live performances also recorded in Hamburg in 1986. Bob Dylan’s ‘Tight Connection To My Heart’ features among the new live recordings; it was a song Martyn rarely played on stage. ‘Angeline’ became the world’s first ever CD single when it was taken from the album and released at the beginning of February that year, just ahead of a 20 date tour which marked John Martyn’s 20th anniversary since his first professional shows.

Both albums feature enhanced packaging containing lyrics, a new essay plus rare and previously unseen photographs.”

The album was originally released in November 1984. Further details here.

This remastered version includes new artwork, photographs and sleeve notes. Sound quality is first class.

  1. Sapphire (J. Martyn)Sapphire
  2. Over The Rainbow (H. Arlen, C. Harburg)
  3. You Know (J. Martyn)
  4. Watching Her Eyes (J. Martyn)
  5. Fisherman’s Dream (J. Martyn)
  6. Acid Rain (J. Martyn, A. Thomson)
  7. Mad Dog Days (J. Martyn, A. Thomson)
  8. Climb The Walls (J. Martyn)
  9. Coming On Time (J. Martyn)
  10. Rope-Soul’d (J. Martyn, A. Thomson, B. Reynolds)
Read More

The Best Of The Island Years (2014)

The Best Of The Island YearsThe Best Of The Island Years 4 disc set was released by Universal Music on 3rd November 2014.

A good selection of 56 songs all previously available on The Island Years 18 disc box set released on 30th September 2013.

No additional songs or additional artwork to that previously included in the 18 disc box. If you have the 18 disc box you don’t need to buy this unless you are a completist. Includes a 40 page book with photographs and sleeve notes, edited down from the big box set.

Universal Music 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 unreleased prior to inclusion on the complete box set – ‘Hi Heel Sneakers’, from the Grace And Danger sessions, ‘Love In Your Life’ from Sapphire and ‘Lifeline’ from the Apprentice sessions, Martyn’s final recordings for the Island Records.”

CD1
1. Go Easy
2. Bless The Weather
3. Just Now
4. Head And Heart
5. Glistening Glyndebourne
6. May You Never (Live)
7. Head And Heart (Live)
8. I’d Rather Be The Devil (Live)
9. Solid Air
10. Over The Hill
11. I’d Rather Be The Devil (Devil Got My Woman)
12. Go Down Easy
13. Dreams By The Sea
14. May You Never
15. Fine Lines

CD2
1. The Glory Of Love
2. Make No Mistake
3. Sunday’s Child
4. Spencer The Rover (Live)
5. Eight More Miles
6. Outside In (Live)
7. Solid Air (Live)
8. The Man In The Station (Live)
9. Dealer
10. One World
11. Smiling Stranger
12. Certain Surprise

bestofislandyearsCD3
1. Couldn’t Love You More
2. Big Muff
3. Dancing
4. Small Hours
5. Black Man At Your Shoulder
6. Some People Are Crazy
7. Grace And Danger
8. Johnny Too Bad
9. High-Heel Sneakers
10. Running Up The Harbour
11. Sweet Little Mystery (Live)
12. Our Love
13. After Tomorrow Night

CD4
1. Sapphire
2. Over The Rainbow
3. Fisherman’s Dream
4. Mad Dog Days
5. Love In Your Life
6. Solid Air (Live)
7. Bless The Weather (Live)
8. Lonely Love
9. Angeline
10. Piece By Piece
11. The River
12. Send Me One Line
13. The Apprentice
14. Lifeline
15. Patterns In The Rain
16. John Wayne (Live)

Read More

Solid Air: Classics Revisited (Vinyl) (2014)

Solid Air: Classics Revisited released 27th May 2014 on the Madfish Label by Snapper Music plc. A selection of songs from the 2002 CD release of the same name (see here).  A compilation of Permanent Records / Artful material taken from The Apprentice, No Little Boy, Couldn’t Love You More and Live. Nothing new for fans here but it is on vinyl! A one piece paper insert with sleeve notes from the original and longer CD release.

Solid Air: Classics RevisitedSide 1

  1. Head And Heart  (J. Martyn)
  2. Over The Hill  (J. Martyn)
  3. Solid Air (J. Martyn)
  4. Just Now (J. Martyn)
  5. May You Never (J. Martyn)

Side 2

  1. Bless The Weather (J.Martyn)
  2. Fine Lines (J. Martyn)
  3. I Don’t Want To Know (J. Martyn)
  4. Ways To Cry (J. Martyn)
  5. Man In The Station (J. Martyn)
Read More

Well Kept Secret (Remastered And Expanded) (2014)

This remastered and expanded Well Kept Secret was released on 7th July 2014 by Esoteric Recordings (part of the Cherry Red Records Group) with enhanced artwork and sleeve notes.

There are two bonus songs, a U.S. Remix of Gun Money (previously available as a 12 inch U.S. promotional release)  and Hiss On The Tape recorded live at The Oxford Apollo on 10th October 1982 (previously available on a 7 inch single).

Well Kept Secret was originally released in September 1982, produced by Sandy Roberton. The album was very pop orientated although John’s trade marks of sensuality and emotion were present particularly on Could’ve Been Me and Hung Up. The album charted for seven weeks, this time reaching the Top 20. Halfway through the recording John accidentally impaled himself on a fence, puncturing a lung, and was so loaded during the subsequent sessions that he can’t even remember taking part! The superb ballad Never Let Me Go featured Ronnie Scott on saxophone.

“The songs are warm and intelligent and a majority of Well Kept Secret is pacier and louder than he’s ever been on one album before…it’s a good record, a class record.” – NME

  1. Well Kept SecretCould’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)
  9. Back With A Vengeance (J. Martyn)
  10. Livin’ Alone (J. Martyn)
  11. Gun Money (U.S. Remix) (J. Martyn)
  12. Hiss On The Tape (Live) (J. Martyn)

Cherry Records press release –

•    Newly remastered and expanded CD release for John Martyn’s 1982 album.
•    With two rare bonus tracks.
•    Booklet with fully restored artwork and liner notes.
•    Reviews in national newspapers, Uncut, Mojo, Record Collector and Classic Rock magazines.
•    Coverage on relevant websites and fanzines.

Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a newly remastered and expanded edition of “Well Kept Secret”, John Martyn’s classic album from September 1982.

The album was John’s second album for WEA Records and was a slight change of artistic direction for him, but was well received critically and also became a UK top 20 hit. Including tracks such as ‘Could’ve Been Me’, ‘Hung Up’, ‘Never Let Me Go’ (featuring a wonderful saxophone solo by Ronnie Scott), the album spawned a successful UK tour and earned John Martyn praise from many quarters. New Musical Express declared the record to be “pacier and louder than he’s ever been on one album before. It’s a good record, a class record”

This Esoteric Recordings edition of “Well Kept Secret” has been newly remastered by Paschal Byrne and features an illustrated booklet with an essay by John Martyn aficionado and official webmaster John Hillarby. It also includes two bonus tracks, released as a single in October 1982.

Cherry Red Records
27 March 2014

Read More