London Conversation (1967)

John’s debut album was recorded in mono and released in October 1967 when John was¬†19 years old. The album is in the folk tradition and contains some excellent lyrics and jazzy instrumentation such as the sitar and flute in Rolling Home. As a result it won praise and the instrumentation distinguished John from his contemporaries in the folk scene. Back To Stay is a beautiful love song with a sad and dreamy melody, a sign of things to come !

John took up guitar whilst at school and although he was only 19 he was already¬†acknowledged locally as an accomplished guitarist. He was influenced by two people in particular, amongst others, that he knew. “Les Brown, who is completely unknown and has never recorded…he plays a kind of American Doc Watson guitar very very well. Lovely voice. Also a friend of mine called Paul Wheeler who is featured on the second album.”


  1. London ConversationFairy Tale Lullaby (J. Martyn)
  2. Sandy Grey (R. Fredericks)
  3. London Conversation (J. Martyn, J. Sundell)
  4. Ballad Of An Elder Woman (J. Martyn)
  5. Cocain (Traditional arranged by J. Martyn)
  6. Run Honey Run (J. Martyn)
  7. Back To Stay (J. Martyn)
  8. Rolling Home (J. Martyn)
  9. Who’s Grown Up Now (J. Martyn)
  10. Golden Girl (J. Martyn)
  11. This Time (J. Martyn)
  12. Don’t Think Twice (B. Dylan)
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The Tumbler (1968)

John’s second album was released in December 1968. Another album in the folk tradition but featuring the jazz flautist Harold McNair, particularly on the romantic Dusty, The Gardeners and Fly On Home. As a young man John stayed with his sister who lived near Hampton Court and the song Dusty was inspired by his happy memories of Hampton Court Fair.

This album was produced by Al Stewart and had more of a sparkle than London Conversation and John said, “The album ‘sings’ a bit more than before.”

Of his first two albums John said, “Those were basically acoustic albums….I got bored with the folk/acoustic thing. You can’t keep churning that out, it stifles innovation, kills the personal touch.”


  1. The Tumbler CoverSing A Song Of Summer (J. Martyn)
  2. The River (J. Martyn)
  3. Goin’ Down To Memphis (J. Martyn)
  4. The Gardeners (J. Martyn)
  5. A Day At The Sea (J. Martyn)
  6. Fishin’ Blues (J. Martyn)
  7. Dusty (J. Martyn)
  8. Hello Train (J. Martyn)
  9. Winding Boy (Morton)
  10. Fly On Home (J. Martyn, Wheeler)
  11. Knuckeldy Crunch And Slippledee Slee Song (J. Martyn)
  12. Seven Black Roses (J. Martyn)


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