Customer Reviews

13
4.2 out of 5 stars
The Tumbler
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2009
I am so old that I bought this album when it first appeared, having seen John at Swindon Folk Club and been wowed at his ability. Learned to play 7 Black Roses, but never with his agility.
For me, Song of Summer, and Roses, were the whole deal! I accept that 'Gardener' was part of a developing future, but I didn't like the electrified version of John as much as the exuberant folk singer I had seen.
Taken in isolation, this is a great album. packed with talent in composition and ability.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2014
As one would expect, more folkie than his later material, but for me it's the better for that.
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8 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2003
First things first. This album has one of the worst covers of all time. And the music? There is an unmistakeable quality to John Martyn's guitar work on this early album, although it sometimes degenerates into undignified, frenetic fingerpicking. This folk journeyman's singing is adequate throughout but the lyrics are sometimes appalling, with references to everyday things like cats and hats and current buns which fail to amuse or enlighten in any way. Too often, folk whimsy(the Steptoe and Son type interjections in Knuckledy Crunch And Slippledee-Slee Song)falls flat and becomes funny for all the wrong reasons. The use of flute has always been a valid musical choice, but here it is used to such a degree that it becomes meaningless, and where it should add colour, it merely becomes an irritant.
There was a time and a place when an album like this would have found an audience. But it's hard to see who would listen to it now. If you're new to British folk music, steer well clear because it conforms to every negative stereotype associated with the genre. Better try some more illustrious albums later in his catalogue, or better still, any Nick Drake or Bert Jansch's Jack Orion.
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