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Stormbringer!
Format: Audio CDChange
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2001
Some tracks on this album sound embarassingly dated (such as Tommorrow Time) but, as always with Martyn, the gems shine through. The title track in particular is a moody, rhythmic and highly emotional effort that he has probably only bettered on Solid Air and Bless the Weather. A great band, good use of piano in particular and his trademark voice make this worth a listen. And I open the debate - can Beverley sing? Also give an ear to the track "John the Baptist" - try not to listen to the frankly silly lyrics but instead to the truly rocking folk rock band backing them up.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2009
Just think it has only taken me 40 years since the first release of this album to finally discover it and hear for myself how good this and the Solid Air album is.I have to say that it has been well worth the wait.If this year is the anniversary of 50 years of Island Records, what other gems have I missed out on ? Perhaps I made a slight mistake in listening to Road to Ruin first.Although quite decent in it's own right, it's not until you give Stormbringer a right good bashing, that the song writing and and whole feel of this duo shines through.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2002
I bought this on vinyl years ago and have recently bought the CD! All of John's songs are first class,with "John the Baptist" being one of his strongest songs.Beverley writes three songs,two of them are ho-hum,the other is a great eight minute song called "Sweet Honesty" which has Levon Helm (The Band) on drums and someone,not credited on harmonica.Paul Harris (Manassas) plays keyboards and is credited for the musical direction and arrangements.Other guests include Harvey Brooks on Bass and Billy Mundi of the Mothers of Invention!
On the strength of John's songs plus "Sweet honesty" this is well worth buying.There is an innocence about these songs,long before Big Muff came along with his Powder puff!
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on 15 June 2014
This is criminally underrated and can stand shoulder to shoulder with anything by the Band . John was still singing like a truculent Scot with none of the slurred mumbling which ruins later records .Beverley is a lot better than critics say and Sweet Honesty smoulders along effortlessly until you find you are dripping with sweat . She is only deadpan on Tomorrow Time but even her speak your weight machine efforts begin to make perfect sense when you listen to the brilliant backing on this track . Much has been made of the guest drummers but the show is stolen on both this and Road To Ruin by the fantastic melodic and driving piano work of Paul Harris . Please buy this and find out how world beating British folk rock of the late sixties could be .
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on 13 April 2014
Beverley complained that she had been offered an opportunity to record in the States and took John along, only for him to buddy up with the session musicians and take over. Well thank goodness he did, because we have three exceptional John Martyn recordings on this album. 'Go out and Get It', 'Stormbringer' and the extraordinary 'John the Baptist'. Apparently the use of rock drums with a folk guitar was revolutionary at the time, so all that drinking with the boys resulted in what was maybe the first of John's new approaches to the genre-busting work that was to come. This album is not as good as Bless the Weather, Solid Air, Inside Out or One World, how could it be, but the almost-solo work he does on it is a good sign post for what will come.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2010
I'd never heard this album before and it has been a wonderful listening experience. I love the music - no doubt that it is a sixties/seveties sound but still sounds fresh. Beverley Martyn has a strong voice not dissimilar to Grace Slick so on one or two tracks there is a similarity to Jefferson Airplane (or maybe it's the other way around. John Martyn is superb,backed by some excellent session musicians. Anyway great stuff.
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on 20 July 2015
Got this pretty much on loop in the car. Says it all really. Too much John (if that's possible) but then a again, he did hijack what was meant to be a Beverly solo album. Cracker though..
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on 2 May 2014
It gives a glimpse int the marriage of John and Beverley how their voices magically combine to take you on a journey somewhere else. Definitely different to John's solo work.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2010
Along with The Tumbler and the subsequent Road to Ruin, Stormbringer seems to have been consistently under-rated -- as the above reviews confirm. There is a timeless charm and, and an even rarer [especially nowadays] quality, A SENSE OF FUN AND ADVENTURE running through these recordings that makes quibbles about how good a songwriter or singer Beverley is/was verging on the redundant. However, if an answer is required, Beverly's brooding contralto sounds pretty effective here and her songs [esp I Can't Get the One I Want] stand up well alongside's JM's admittedly cooler efforts. [Incidentally Francoise Hardy, a good judge of a song, covers two of Beverly's Stormbringer songs, on her excellent If You Listen album, which is also well-worth checking out].

In short, Stormbringer is a superb example of early 70s folk-rock, an album that effortlessly smites most modern folk-rock acts out of the park.

Just listen, without prejudice, and let the thing wash over you.
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14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2008
A wonderful record, great song well sung before John became unintelligible. The Ocean is the stand out track it is a shame that Island don't release the John and Beverley tracks they retain. They were a great partnership and John solo efforts never lived up to the excellence of this record. Two talents wasted, the whole was better than the parts. This is the one record to buy before you die.
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