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on 2 September 2006
It's been a very very long time coming but finally someone has got around to releasing Martyn's BBC TV appearances on DVD - WELL DONE UNIVERSAL! This is a fantastic collection of Old Grey Whistle Test and Rock Goes To College appearances. The last BBC material was released in 1982 on Betamax video so you can see what I mean about 'not before time!' So whats on it, well here we go ;

The Old Grey Whistle Test, Collegiate Theatre, UCL, January 10th 1978 - May You Never, Small Hours, Certain Surprise, Couldn't Love You More and Big Muff.

Rock Goes To College, Reading University, October 20th 1978 -

May You Never, One World, One Day Without You, The Dealer, Certain Surprise, Big Muff and Anna.

Rock Goes To College, Stirling University, March 2nd 1981

Big Muff, Some People Are Crazy, Grace and Danger, Save Some (For Me), Eibhli Ghail Chiuin Ni Chearbhail, Couldn't Love You More, Amsterdam and Johnny Too Bad.

Bonus Footage, ALL from The Old Grey Whistle Test;

March 13th 1973

May You Never and I'd Rather Be The Devil.

January 17th 1975

One Day Without You and You Can Discover.

March 1st 1977

Couldn't Love You More and One World.

October 15th 1982

Hiss On The Tape, Hung Up and Gun Money.

An absolutely essential DVD for all John Martyn fans, the animated menu is superb, the content even better and artwork excellent - a very well presented package with quality sleeve and good liner notes. Yeah, I know it's sad but I enjoy reading them!

A fantastic value release at less than £10, so waht are you waiting for? BUY IT, you will not be diappointed!
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on 3 July 2009
For someone who appreciates the work of John Martyn, this DVD is a must. Starting from the late 70's with a set from the Old Grey Whistle Test and then Reading University. John Plays a stunning, mainly acoustic performance as a soloist and includes his witty banter with the audience.

Into 1981, Stirling University; John performs with his band and uses electric for this performance. There are Extra features with other great sessions with John, from The old Grey whistle test.

154 minutes of fantastic music, showing the great skill of John Martyn's playing, his witty humour and unique voice. What is lovely, is that it is filmed in such a way, that it feels as if you could be there in front row position. It has a personal, simplistic feel, and Truly mesmerizing to watch! The quality and sound is excellent. Beautifully put together. DTS surround sound.

If John Martyn's music and playing style interests you, than quite simply this DVD will not disappoint. It is a lovely keepsake to remember this great artist. I cannot think of any negatives for this DVD, other than i wish there could be more John Martyn performances available to buy to this quality and standard!
0Comment|13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Anyone who wants to find out about good music played by someone at the top of their game need look no further than this DVD.

The tracklisting is top notch and the source very good to excellent. Given the BBC's poor ability to archive material there is a surprisingly large ammount of john Martyn still arrund in the archive.

This has to be one of my top 5 music DVD's beaten only by (Led Zeppelins DVD,for quality and quantity and Paul McCartneys DVD for Volume of material)

Hats off to the compillers this should be in every musicians collection.
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on 13 May 2011
I had high hopes for this DVD, and it's safe to say that it exceeded my expectations. Starting off with John's early, solo work with some incredible versions of tracks including Small Hours and One World, though to his later work with his band.

I've read a review on here suggesting disappointment with the later songs with John's full band, stating that it showed "his ability to let style overcome substance in the 1980s when he unwisely engaged rock bands to bolster his sound". To my mind this is a ridiculous statement. John's work with his band showed his need to keep experimenting and developing his sound, he was certainly not the kind of musician to find his style and sit comfortably with it, he was constantly looking for new directions, and I think that even if some of these journeys have been less successful than others, it shows his creativity and unbelievable talent. The same reviewer adds "but I can't help thinking of how much better this DVD could have been", which I can only assume means that they'd have preferred a DVD of only John's early, solo work, which would have been to only see him at the very start of his amazing career and miss the fantastic developments from his further journey.

This DVD is brilliant from start to finish and hugely enjoyable.
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on 4 March 2011
This DVD covers performances from 1975-82, when John Martyn was at his best, which is how I prefer to remember him. The performances are just so good: OK, I'm a fan. There is so much more to John Martyn than "May you never", although to see him singing that song from "The Old Grey Whistle Test" in 1973 is an intimate experience. No frills - solo guitar, voice and microphone. There are, in fact, three versions of this song on the DVD, and that's OK because it's 154 minutes long. Lots of solo stuff in a BBC studio and good live gigs as well; John sometimes playing with a band. The musicianship is outstanding, the picture and sound quality are excellent, considering that it dates from over 35 years ago. If you're my age, you'll remember and love it. If you're younger, John Martyn is one of those artists you ought to know about. His influence is still very much alive. I wish he were - I miss him.
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on 5 May 2010
John Martyn is a bloody genius anyway, but to watch him actually play live on these BBC recordings takes you back to a period in time that was frequented by the likes of Nick Drake, Bert Jansch, etc etc ... You just HAVE to buy this, it's priceless. You find yourself watching his fingers intently, and trying to work out all the weird tunings.
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on 1 December 2006
If you like John Martyn this is heaven. He is like a nerdy guy twitching and making silly remarks between songs - his tourette-like persona disappears as soon as the music starts - his vocals and guitar playing are just incredible - he is just at one with his music, which seems to come through him, from a higher place - he may not be the best lyricist - but the lyrics are good enough to convey the powerful emotion and you could never say his music doesn't come from the heart -

on the 80's bit he has a band - to talk about this as wise or unwise makes no sense - he will always do his own thing, what he feels like doing, as geniuses do.
22 comments|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 May 2008
I love John Martyn's music and at last I've found this copy of the gig I went to when I was university. Fantastic to "re-live" it, memories flooding back. Weird seeing myself in the audience.
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on 26 June 2009
I've been a John Martyn fan for over 30 years its just great to have any dvd showing him in action as it were. Just a great collection so glad I purchased it.
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on 19 December 2015
The best JOHN MARTYN DVD there is out there. Its a compilation of his BBC appearances such as ROCK GOES TO COLLEGE,OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST and others. This dvd cost little for what you get and was worth what i paid. Other dvds of his are short in length and don,t cover his acoustic and electric material THIS DOES. I suggest you get it.
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