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15 Mar 1993 | Format: MP3

7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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  • Label: Universal-Island Records Ltd.
  • Copyright: (C) 1984 Island Records Ltd.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 41:29
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001KWN0FO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,315 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BOF on 14 Jun 2013
Format: Audio CD
Sapphire (1884) - John, who at this time in his career hardly played the acoustic guitar/folk sound in favour of a glossy pop/rock sound. Not one for people who want a lot of John's guitar playing.
Recorded at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas and CaVa Sound Workshops, Glasgow, Scotland, the album released by Island, ILPS 9779, with cover photography by Anton Corbijn and a cover illustration by Cathie Felstead.

I don't know who was going to produce this originally but after arguments John self-produced it ably assisted in the later stages of the recording by Robert Palmer. Comment from John at the time"Actually it almost didn't happen, the production team had all fallen out, no-one was taking responsibility for anything, too much rum was being consumed all over the place, so I got Robert Palmer in who brought in some other excellent musicians, and that was was all down to Robert in the end".

John Martyn - guitars, vocals, Linn drums, Barry Reynolds - guitar, Alan Thomson - bass guitar, keyboards, Linn drums, Jack Waldman - keyboards, Jim Prime - keyboards, Robin Rankin - keyboards, James Hooker - keyboards, Steven Stanley - Linn Drums, Andy Lyden - Linn drums, Uziah "Sticky" Thompson - percussion, Colin Tully - saxophones, Morwenne Laidlaw - harmonies, Terry Nelson - harmonies, Lorna Brooks - harmonies.

As seen from the above line-up, Linn Drums & keyboards aplenty with the guitars being 'treated' only the saxophone ends up being 'organic'. A well put together, well played wall of sound from the band with John's strong singing holding it all together and stopping it sliding into 'Muzak'. You can obviously hear the Robert Palmer influences in the music if you are au fait with his albums.

1 Sapphire (J.
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Let me start by saying I am a fully signed-up John Martyn fan, having seen him live over 30 times from the early 80s, up to the final gig a few weeks before his death - hence this review is somewhat biased. I like virtually everything he's done. If you are a more casual fan, this may not be for you.

Many of John Martyn fans bemoan his abandonment of the acoustic (and to some extent even the electric guitar) in his later work, as he made greater use of synths and drum machines. This album is clearly a product of the 80s; lots of Linn Drum, lots of very digital sounding keyboards, etc. But it also has what all great John Martyn albums have; wonderful songs, sung by that beautiful voice...

The title track, Fisherman's Dream, Mad Dog Days and Coming in on Time all rank among his best.

If you are a fan of his whole career and find yourself able to enjoy John's work after he ceased to be primarily an acoustic artist, the highlights of Sapphire shine very brightly indeed.
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