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Church With One Bell

John Martyn Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 July 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thirsty Ear
  • ASIN: B000007SPD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,839 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. He's Got All The Whiskey
2. God's Song
3. How Fortunate The Man With None
4. Small Town Talk
5. Excuse Me Mister
6. Strange Fruit
7. The Sky Is Crying
8. Glory Box
9. Feel So Bad
10. Death Don't Have No Mercy

Product Description


A soulful Scotsman who spent the early '70s working alongside British folkies such as Nick Drake and Richard Thompson, John Martyn has built a body of work that stands equal to those of his more celebrated peers. Evolving from a folksinger into a jazz-folk troubadour and consummate guitar craftsman, Martyn possesses one of the more beautiful singing voices of this half century. He's selected some fascinating songs here to cover in his inimitable style. Whether singing a Portishead tune, a Billie Holiday classic, or a blues standard, he makes each song his own. Slurring and bruising the words of Dead Can Dance, Ben Harper, Elmore James, and Randy Newman, Martyn proves to be an adept interpreter on his best album since 1978's classic One World. --Mitch Myers

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A recent album of cover versions 22 Jan 2002
By Straightforward TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This album is probably the best of John's recent releases - most of his recent releases have been rather uninspired - the stand out tracks are versions of Ben Harper's 'Excuse Me Mister' (check out Ben Harper if you like John Martyn, especially 'Fight for Your Mind'), and Portishead's big hit (sorry - can't remember the title of that one).
It's not perfect - some of the tunes feel a bit jaded - but it's a good one to get if you want to hear how he sounds now, when he's on fairly good form. Nothing beats his own early songs though, and I'd suggest 'Bless the Weather', 'London Conversation' and 'Solid Air' as rock-solid introductions to what he sounds like at his best.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful 23 Mar 2009
By David Lusher TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love much of the late John Martyn's work, but this album has always had a special place in my collection. Firstly, it's an album of covers - something that Martyn rarely did. Secondly, it's mainly blues and the performances are raw, emotional and telling. John Giblin on bass weaves his magic throughout, but it is Martyn's weary yet strong voice that holds the attention. 'Strange Fruit', already a powerful song, becomes that bit more significant under Martyn's delivery. There is much to enjoy here, but the killer song for me is 'Glory Box' a wonderful song, performed with passion and heart (and it has a brilliant guitar solo). With this song, Giblin and Martyn deliver a sublime performance. This is a special album - beg, borrow or steal a copy - it's a classic and very highly recommended!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To all John Martyn freaks 6 Nov 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
To all that know J.M. if you don`t have this, why not? It`s the only time mr Martyn has done copies of other peoples music and he has done it really well, as you would expect. This c.d. really kicks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All covers, all great 20 July 2014
Format:Audio CD
The notion of a John Martyn cd exclusively dealing with other people's songs is a bit strange as he's such a great songwriter himself, but this really is a winner. He does justice to all songs and soundwise this cd sounds absolutely great. Great songs overall and two of them especially (Strange Fruit and Sky is crying) totally justify the five star rating for me. "The sky is crying" has me reaching for the repeat button all the time (gorgeous bass!) while the awesome "Strange fruit" really punches its chilling message home. Utterly moving, and quite possibly one of the greatest recordings of this deservedly famous song ever.
In terms of song selection I find the latter half of the album more enticing, but it's obvious John Martyn had a good time recording all the songs. A solid, wonderful sounding album.
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