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.
2006 CD featuring all 16 of the surviving sessions this Scottish-born Folk legend recorded for the Bob Harris and John Peel radio programs at the BBC between 1973 and 1978. Martyn began his career as a teen in the late '60s and has become one of the most innovative and influential artists to come from the original British Folk scene. Features rare versions of tracks from his Inside Out, Solid Air, Sunday's Child and One World albums including 'Inside', 'Beverley', 'May You Never', 'Fine Lines', 'My Baby Girl', 'Over the Hill', 'One Day (Without You)' and more.
The Island Years is the most exhaustive career retrospective from one of Britain’s most original and enduring singer/songwriters. Housed in an LP size hard-back slip case, this lavish box set including: 17 CDs featuring 12 key studio albums, recorded for Island between 1967 and 1987, now with previously unreleased mixes, Out-Takes, unheard songs and 2 complete, previously unreleased live solo concerts from 1972 and 1977 and the complete demos for The Apprentice, the last album Martyn delivered to Island. A hard-back book featuring a new essay by The Island Years compiler and researcher John Hillarby plus rare and previously unseen photographs and extensive memorabilia.
John Martyn's On the Cobbles is the warmest of folky blues, consistently impressive despite being recorded in eight different studios across England, Ireland and the USA. Occasionally, as with the sparse and haunted Ghosts, he even reaches the atmospheric peaks of his classic Solid Air. As is the fashion, there are several auspicious guests–Mavis Staples, Paul Weller and the Verve's Nick McCabe–but, really, none of them add much to a set that's alternately tortured, spacey and hugely romantic. Martyn is unarguably the star of this show, excelling both as the gruff blues moaner and soft balladeer, but also testing different ground with the Pink Floyd ambience of "Go Down Easy", the spiritual jazz of "My Creator" and the dark, rootsy "Cobbles", the latter's mournful backing vocals recalling those of Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds.
Sunday's Child is a John Martyn album released in 1975. John Martyn's follow-up to 1973's Inside Out is a more song-oriented, less experimental album. His eighth record, including two with his wife Beverley Martyn, shows the many facets of Martyn's playing, from his effects-driven electric guitar to his acoustic work. This album contains a collection of strong original songs, as well as a pair of covers: the traditional British ballad "Spencer the Rover" and the country standard "Satisfied Mind."
Import-only two CD compilation from the British Folk/Rock legend highlighting his critically successful years with Island Records. Along with Nick Drake, John Martyn was one of the most compelling British singer/songwriters to emerge during the 1970s. Martyn specialized in an acoustic, bluesy Folk sound, but he was also a restless experimentalist, running his guitar through all manner of effects processors and incorporating elements of Jazz, Pop, and ambient music. This double disc set is a survey of Martyn's work for Island Records, ranging from 1971's folky Bless The Weather through 1980's pop-oriented Grace And Danger. In between, listeners are treated to a comprehensive sampling of the artist's talents, from his sonically expansive guitar-scapes to his poetic, meticuloussense of songcraft. The music from Martyn's early-to-mid '70s period stands up the best, but the later work selected here is strong too. This is an excellent introduction back to front.
Bless the Weather is a 1971 album by John Martyn and marks his return as a solo artist having released two albums with his wife Beverley Martyn. When it was released it garnered his best reviews to date, and remains a firm favourite among fans, featuring such standards as "Head and Heart" and the title track. The album is predominantly acoustic, although it does feature Martyn's first real 'echoplex' track in "Glistening Glyndebourne". Q magazine chose Bless the Weather among the dozen essential folk albums of all time in 1999. According to Q, the album was apparently recorded in three days. In November 2007, Bless the Weather was included in a list by The Guardian newspaper entitled '1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die'.
For Stormbringer!, John and Beverley Martyn went to Woodstock, NY, and recorded with several local musicians, including session hands Paul Harris and Harvey Brooks, as well as the Band's Levon Helm. Very much in the mold of the electric Fairport Convention of this period, Stormbringer! sizzles with acoustic interplay and an almost jazzy feel. Highlights include "Woodstock" (not the Joni Mitchell tune) and the title track. ~ James Chrispell