The Road To Ruin (1970)

Released in November 1970. John had numerous disagreements with Joe Boyd over the production of this album and, because of the numerous overdubs , John felt that the recording lack spontaneity. The album featured the introduction of the talents of bass player Danny Thompson. There was some discussion as to what to call Say What You Can and in the sleeve notes it is also referred to as Let It Happen. Good friend and musician Paul Wheeler wrote Give Us A Ring.

The Road to Ruin, John explains “is really an adolescents’ views of mortality, you know the idea, isn’t all fun, we’re all doomed but we may as well enjoy it: we’re all going one way, but we may as well get down to it while we’re here.”

“The Road To Ruin stands apart from other John Martyn albums…it enjoys distinctly jazz instrumentation in what is basically a rock format.” (Andy Childs, ZigZag No.41)

John stopped gigging for some time and spent an increasing amount of time with his family in their home at Hastings. He was soon to become a father for the second time. After The Road To Ruin, Joe Boyd disbanded Witchseason and decided that John and Beverley should record solo albums. Of this quiet period John said, “…we hadn’t had a number one single, and Radio One didn’t like us, and all that kind of stuff. There wasn’t too much interest from the A&R men and the powers that be, so Island said, ‘Give him six grand and see what he comes up with’….And that’s how the next album, Bless The Weather came about.”

  1. The Road To RuinPrimrose Hill (B. Martyn)
  2. Parcels (J. Martyn)
  3. Auntie Aviator (J. Martyn, B. Martyn)
  4. New Day (J. Martyn)
  5. Give Us A Ring (Paul Wheeler)
  6. Sorry To Be So Long (J. Martyn, B. Martyn)
  7. Tree Green (J. Martyn)
  8. Say What You Can (J. Martyn, B. Martyn)
  9. Road To Ruin (J. Martyn)