Live (Shaw Theatre, London, 31st March 1990) (1995)

Released in 1995 having been recorded during The Apprentice tour at the Shaw Theatre, London. To support the release of The Apprentice John toured for three months in the UK and Europe, including eleven dates at London’s Shaw Theatre which featured guest artists and reunited John with his right hand man, Danny Thompson. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour also guested and the show at which he appeared was filmed and released on Video in August 1990.

David Gilmour features on the album but unfortunately Danny Thompson didn’t play. John and David Gilmour were interviewed on television and Gilmour said he had admired John’s music for a long time and even knew one or two songs ! The pair had only rehearsed for a couple of hours before going on stage and Gilmour jokingly said that John would glare at him when he got it wrong ! Another spontaneous recording. In November 1999 re-released as Dirty, Down and Live on the Griffin label.

CD1 

Live

  1. Easy Blues
  2. May You Never
  3. Dealer
  4. Outside In
  5. Never Let Me Go
  6. Sapphire
  7. Couldn’t Love You More
  8. Deny This Love
  9. Fisherman’s Dream
  10. Big Muff
  11. AngelineLive (Beat the Bootleggers)
  12. Sweet Little Mystery

CD2

  1. The River
  2. Income Town
  3. The Apprentice
  4. John Wayne
  5. Look At The Girl
  6. Looking On
  7. Johnny Too Bad
  8. One World
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The Hidden Years (1996)

Released in 1996, The Hidden Years is a superfluous compilation of The Apprentice and Cooltide from Artful Records.

The Hidden Years

  1. Live On Love.
  2. Hole In The Rain.
  3. The River.
  4. Jack The Lad.
  5. Look At The Girl.
  6. Same Difference.
  7. Send Me One Line.
  8. The Cure.
  9. Income Town.
  10. The Apprentice.
  11. Call Me.
  12. Deny This Love.
  13. Hold Me.
  14. Cooltide.
  15. Patterns In The Rain.
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And (1996)

Released on 29th July 1996. John had been struggling with health, record labels and other problems. And came over four years after John’s last new material on Cooltide. The result was an excellent album which showed clearly that John’s music was still progressing with the use of samples and trip-hop beats. Produced by Stefon Taylor who was clearly an inspiration to John.

John was now signed to the Go Discs label along with bands like Portishead. Unfortunately, this was another short term relationship as the Go Discs label was soon bought by Polygram. And is a remarkable album and one which I return to regularly. Phil Collins and John Giblin both play on the album and Phil Collins backing vocals are evident on some of the tracks, particularly Suzanne. Some critics criticised Collin’s involvement as detracting from the album but on the whole And was received well particularly by fans. Crackles are evident on some tracks and on making enquiries of Go Discs I was told that this was vinyl feel ! The album was also released on vinyl – wonder if that’s got double vinyl feel then !? Nonetheless there are some classic songs on this album, The Downward Pull Of Human Nature, Carmine, Sunshine’s Better and She’s A Lover.

Four of the tracks featured on the Snooo.. CD EP which had been given away free with a t-shirt. This has now been re-released by Voiceprint.

An unlisted Acid Remix of Sunshine’s Better with a superb bass-line brings the album to a close.

Asian dance/remix artist Talvin Singh was to remix Sunshine’s Better and this version received much radio air play especially on Radio 1. This is totally different to the remix which appears at the end of And and it is included on a compilation album Cafe Del Mar Volume Four. A 12 inch promotional version of the track was also released on vinyl lasting some 12 minutes plus !

Go Discs planned to release Sunshine’s Better as a single but it was withdrawn prior to release. One or two copies of a Radio Edit Version on CD made it to radio stations but these are without a sleeve and are very hard to find.

  1. Sunshine’s Better (J. Martyn)And
  2. Suzanne (J. Martyn)
  3. The Downward Pull Of Human Nature (J. Martyn)
  4. All In Your Favour (J. Martyn)
  5. A Little Strange (J. Martyn, Leon Ware, T-Boy Ross)
  6. Who Are They ? (J. Martyn)
  7. Step It Up (J. Martyn)
  8. Carmine (J. Martyn)
  9. She’s A Lover (J. Martyn)
  10. Sunshine’s Better (remix)

 

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The Very Best Of (1997)

Released on 7th April 1997, The Very Best Of is another superfluous compilation album compiled from Couldn’t Love You More and No Little Boy.

Very Best Of

  1. Lonely One.
  2. Couldn’t Love You More.
  3. Sweet Little Mystery.
  4. Head And Heart.
  5. Could’ve Been Me.
  6. Over The Hill.
  7. Fine Lines.
  8. May You Never.
  9. One World.
  10. Ways To Cry.
  11. Angeline.
  12. Man In The Station.
  13. Solid Air.
  14. Never Let Me Go.
  15. I Don’t Wanna Know.
  16. Bless The Weather.
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The Church With One Bell (1998)

The eagerly awaited cover-album was released on 23rd March 1998. Uncovering a whole generation of blues classics from Portishead’s Glory Box to Billy Holliday’s Strange Fruit, The Church With One Bell reverberates with John’s vast musical talent. John is accompanied by John Giblin (bass), Spencer Cozens (keyboards) and Arran Ahmun (drums).

The track selection was quite simple, when John and the band laughed, they chose that track – hard to imagine as many of the songs are not happy ! John’s rendition of Glory Box stands out and other songs such as Small Town Talk, Strange Fruit, God’s Song, Excuse Me Mister work well. On the other hand some songs just don’t make the grade. This album enabled John to purchase the Church next door to his cottage where he know lives.

The album was recorded in one week in Glasgow and was produced by blues producer Norman Dayron. Unlike many artists John doesn’t just cover a song, he re-writes it and makes it all his own. Church received wide acclaim in the USA but unfortunately was less well received here. In time people will realise what a great album this is.

Excuse Me Mister was released as a CD single with additional live tracks.

The Church With One Bell

  1. He’s Got All The Whiskey (B. Charles)
  2. God’s Song (R. Newman)
  3. How Fortunate The Man With None (Dead Can Dance. lyrics by B. Brecht)
  4. Small Town Talk (B. Charles, R. Danko)
  5. Excuse Me Mister (B. Harper)
  6. Strange Fruit (L. Allen)
  7. The Sky Is Crying (E. James, M. Robinson,/ C. Lewis)
  8. Glory Box (G. Barrow, B. Gibbons, A. Utley)
  9. Feel So Bad (S. Hopkins)
  10. Death Don’t Have No Mercy (G. Davis)
  11. How Fortunate The Man With None (alternative version)
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The Rest Of The Best (1998)

Released on 30th March 1998, you guessed it! The Rest Of The Best is yet another superfluous compilation from Artful.

The Rest Of The Best

  1. Big Muff
  2. Dealer
  3. Easy Blues
  4. Fisherman’s Dream
  5. John Wayne
  6. Johnny Too Bad
  7. Just Now
  8. Pascanel
  9. Rock Salt and Nails
  10. Sapphire
  11. Sunday’s Child

 

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