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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gun Money
I love this album. Ok, its a stab at commercial radio friendly pop - why not? You cant blame the guy, after years of producing album after album of sublime, timeless, undefinable magic for minimal return, for having a go at making some pocket money.

Well Kept Secret is like Phil Collins with an edge. Check out the lyrics to Love Up - "your baby cant see you...
Published on 2 Sep 2008 by Magnus Quad

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much maligned but I like it.
Critics panned this album when it came out in the 1980's. But I have always enjoyed it, so when it became available on CD I jumped at the chance of ownership. Its certainly a departure from albums like Solid Air, One World etc..
This is a far more aggressive album - certainly shown by tracks like Gun Money which has to be Martyn at his heaviest. However there are...
Published 17 months ago by Munki652


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gun Money, 2 Sep 2008
By 
This review is from: Well Kept Secret (Audio CD)
I love this album. Ok, its a stab at commercial radio friendly pop - why not? You cant blame the guy, after years of producing album after album of sublime, timeless, undefinable magic for minimal return, for having a go at making some pocket money.

Well Kept Secret is like Phil Collins with an edge. Check out the lyrics to Love Up - "your baby cant see you now shes busy, she recommends you go see sister Millie, step around the corner up against the wall, she'll see to your needs, no trouble at all..." Or Gun Money " gimme a pound Ill make you sound just like a Rolls Royce on a summers day, gimme a dollar or I might just blow your head away".

Make no mistake, there's lots of "boy loses girl" pop stuff on there too, but Martyn couldnt make bad music if he tried.

If you expect our John to be making the same album over and over again, you'll hate this. If youve got an open mind, there's plenty to enjoy on this slight diversion into radioland.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much maligned but I like it., 20 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Well Kept Secret (Audio CD)
Critics panned this album when it came out in the 1980's. But I have always enjoyed it, so when it became available on CD I jumped at the chance of ownership. Its certainly a departure from albums like Solid Air, One World etc..
This is a far more aggressive album - certainly shown by tracks like Gun Money which has to be Martyn at his heaviest. However there are tender moments such as Hung Up. It is very 1980s poppy and it will not appeal to everyone. But it was the kind of change needed to allow transition to albums like Sapphire and and PIece by Piece. However if you think this is simply a natural followon from Glorious Fool or the truly excellent Grace and Danger than you will be sorely disappointed.
Stand out tracks for me are Could've Been Me, Gun Money, Livin' Alone. For me its worth it just for these tracks.
Sure its a mixed bag, not helped by the very 1980's instrumentation and almost Level 42 style bass work, but Martyns vocals are in fine form.
It is certainly only a collectors album. If this is your first or early forray into Martyn you would be far better servd going for albums like:
Solid Air - One World - Grace and Danger.
Or one of the many excellent compilations covering most of his extensive catalogue.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not his best, 26 May 2009
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This review is from: Well Kept Secret (Audio CD)
I enjoyed this album: the version of the late great Johnny Ace's Never Let Me Go is just amazing. Could've Been Me is also great; I am looking forward to acquiring the Aint No Saint box set, as John Martyn is a genius
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harshly treated, 16 Nov 2005
By 
Gordon Dent "dent" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Well Kept Secret (Audio CD)
I'm often surprised at the bad reviews this album receives. While it's much more mainstream than most of JM's releases, it still features some good songwriting and expressive singing. Okay, "Love Up" is pretty appalling, as is "Hiss On The Tape", but John has included duff tracks on a few of his albums (think "Didn't Do That" on "Glorious Fool" or "Acid Rain" on "Sapphire", for example). "Could've Been Me" gets the album off to a brooding and soulful start, with "You Might Need A Man" providing some up-beat funk to balance it. "Hung Up" seems pretty disposable but is surprisingly durable. "Gun Money" is a powerful, and uncharacteristic, song that bears frequent listening if you try to ignore the lyrics. "Never Let Me Go" is a nice bit of smooth jazz that survives by virtue of John's almost subsonic vocal.
Of the tracks on side 2 (i.e. tracks 6-10 on the CD), only "Back With a Vengeance" really stands out, with "Changes Her Mind" and "Living Alone" being listenable but unremarkable songs. All in all, this is a decent album for late-night listening; even if it doesn't attain the heights of some of JM's other albums, it doesn't reach the depths of some of them, either.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'well kept secret'...thank God !, 22 July 2006
By 
Arthur Dooley (N Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Well Kept Secret (Audio CD)
Oh dear ! When John Martyn entered the decade that music forgot,even he,it seems,was not immune to the dead hand of AOR funk.

Bubbling bass lines a la Chic,organs and whining guitars fight for air space with JM's growly voice. A fine voice to be sure, but a voice designed to deliver better lyrics than this.

Music for Radio's 'Graveyard Shift'. Late night wallpaper for bored security guards and 24 hour forecourt attendants.

I can just hear Janice Long now...'Could have been me' there from the brilliant John Martyn....nice. And now here's Bonnie Tyler a track from her greatest hits'..

Never mind John...can't win em all !
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars John's Populist Adventure, 8 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Well Kept Secret (Audio CD)
This might not be an album for John Martyn afficionados, but the man can't help hitting at least some high spots, when required. Not as many as we would like to see on this one.
For those who don't know him, There is a lot of respect for the man, amongst professional musicians, which has seen compatriots like Eric Clapton and Phil Collins collaborate on previous excursions.
In still good voice circa 1982, he bounces along on this collection with an almost permanent background girl chorus. Later albums(e.g. "And", Church with One Bell) feature a more croaky emission tempered by years and substances.
Of the tracks.
"Could've Been Me" a recognisable opening of jealous love, seems to be classic stuff, but the production is strange.
"You might Need a Man", track two comes in at speed, and could be covered by Robbie eventually.
"Hung Up" appears to have a Phil Collins influence, but I don't see any credits on the cover.
"Gun Money" must have been written in a hazy 10 minutes, maybe walking back in the rain from church. Hard and grating and making no sense.
The late Ronnie Scott joins him on Sax on "Never Let Me Go". Pleasant and ok, although veering towards the George Benson.
"Love Up" is just appaling.
For the rest, I guess "Living Alone", the final track gives most satisfaction, but in general the whole is mostly confused.
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Well Kept Secret
Well Kept Secret by John Martyn (Audio CD - 2008)
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