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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John the lover (well except for 'John Wayne')
If you buy this album it has minimal sleeve notes so here is my version;

Piece by Piece, 14th studio album by John Martyn recorded at CaVa Sound Workshops, Glasgow, released Feb. 1986 by Island, ILPS 9807, with cover photography by Mike Owen.

John Martyn - guitars, vocals, guitar synthesisers plus an exceptional band including long time...
Published 14 months ago by BOF

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars John Martyn's move into smooth, pop production.
John Martyn's eighties period seems characterised by a desire to move away from the acoustic stylings of the seventies and on to new territories. "Piece by Piece" is a pop album. It contains good strong tunes to break your heart (as all of Martyn's albums do). The opening track may be the weakest, "Nightline" is pleasant enough but contains some of the...
Published on 3 Nov 2000


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John the lover (well except for 'John Wayne'), 13 Jun 2013
By 
BOF "best bones. B.O.F." (Them There Hills - Northern Monkey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Piece By Piece (Audio CD)
If you buy this album it has minimal sleeve notes so here is my version;

Piece by Piece, 14th studio album by John Martyn recorded at CaVa Sound Workshops, Glasgow, released Feb. 1986 by Island, ILPS 9807, with cover photography by Mike Owen.

John Martyn - guitars, vocals, guitar synthesisers plus an exceptional band including long time collaborator;-

Foster Patterson on keyboards & backing vocals.

Alan Thomson on fretless bass, another long time collaborator who has also worked with Denny Laine, Rick Wakeman, Julia Fordham, Carol Decker, and guitarist Andy Summers, and has song-writing credits with Robert Palmer, John Martyn and others.

Danny Cummings on percussion, a top sessioneer who has played with Dire Straits, Luz Casal, Johnny Hallyday, Tina Turner, George Michael, Les McKeown, Penguin Cafe' Orchestra, Elton John, The Pet Shop Boys, Simply Red, Daniel Bedingfield, Talk Talk, David Sylvian, Mark Knopfler, Depeche Mode & The Lighthouse Family.

Colin Tully on saxophone, Scottish saxophone player who was in Cado Bell in the 70's but is maybe more famous for composing the music to Gregory's Girl, played with John for several years.

John was 37/38 around the time he made this album and maybe a bit more relaxed and happy in his life which I feel is reflected in the music, although as always with John there is heartache in the lyrics. Crystal clear production (by John himself), beautifully played arrangements with that soft jazz/rock style (until John Wayne that is). If John was aiming for commercial success and monetary reward why not? He probably deserved it in my opinion.

"Nightline" 5:04 - a funky start with John imploring us to 'Watch out'

"Lonely Love" 3:22 - a bright breezy tune with lyrics reminding us (once again) that love can be bittersweet but never give up on it.

"Angeline" 4:45 - an achingly beautiful love song, the kind that John does best

"One Step Too Far" 3:18 - This song reminds me of Marvyn Gaye's album "Let's Get it on"it has that soft funk/soul sound with sensuous singing by John.

"Piece By Piece" (Foster Patterson) 3:56 - not John's song but it fits in with the whole theme of this album and even provided the album title.

"Serendipity" 4:08 - John was a big believer in Serendipity what better than writing a song celebrating 'her'

"At the tip of a wink, the drop of the hat, the turn of the card 
Serendipity told me, she'd be there, she simply didn't care at all

The spin of a coin, the skip of the wheel, the roll of the dice
 Serendipity told me that she wouldn't be there
 She simply doesn't care at all

The hair of the dog
 Slide me a hair of a dog

Madame Serendipity
 Sweet little madam Serendipity"

"Who Believes In Angels" 4:36 - The kind of dreamy love song that John can do with his eyes shut (and he probably did).

"Love Of Mine" 4:47 - A warning to a friend?

"John Wayne" 6:55 - I was listening to Mike Sweeney & Dewsbury on 'Real XS' radio a couple of years ago and they where discussing who/what was 'rock' for to qualify being played on their show, although Sweeney admired John he didn't see him as 'rock', he obviously hadn't heard this great slab of primeval sound and John's 'strangled duck' voice, love it or hate it, it became a live concert classic.

Overall a beautiful album, not a classic in the sense of the run he had in the 70's - Bless the Weather (1971), Solid Air (Feb. 1973), Inside Out (Oct. 1973), Sunday's Child (1975), One World (1977) & Grace and Danger (1980) (released in 1980 but a 70's album held back at least a year by Island), even so it can still hold it's head high in such exalted company.
If you can get hold of the (First commercially released?) CD single 'Classic John Martyn' (CDS), released at the same time containing the tracks Angeline, Tight Connection To My Heart (a Bob Dylan cover), May You Never, Solid Air & Glistening Glyndebourne, it completes the set.

Other albums from the 80's I mean to review in the next year are Glorious Fool (1981), Well Kept Secret (1982), The Electric John Martyn (1982), Philentropy (1983) (live), Sapphire (1984) & Foundations (1987)
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars John Martyn's move into smooth, pop production., 3 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Piece By Piece (Audio CD)
John Martyn's eighties period seems characterised by a desire to move away from the acoustic stylings of the seventies and on to new territories. "Piece by Piece" is a pop album. It contains good strong tunes to break your heart (as all of Martyn's albums do). The opening track may be the weakest, "Nightline" is pleasant enough but contains some of the poorest lyrics ever written by the great man ; "watch out, watch out, the law's about" indeed. The album does contain some painfully beautiful love songs. King among these must be "Angeline" with it's heart stopping plea for love and "it really don't matter if you leave in the morning". Elsewhere, "Love of mine" is a bitter warning about a treacherous lover,"Lonely Love", driven by a great saxophone line and jazz styled guitar is another cry to be loved, imploring the object of his affections to "take a chance on this lonely loving boy". "Piece by Piece" itself is a moving track concerned with the attempt, possibly in vain, to rebuild a long term affair fraying at the edges. This is one of the rare occassions where Martyn sings a cover version. "Piece by piece" was written by Foster Paterson. The mighty, enigmatic and downright difficult to listen to "John Wayne" finishes the album off. A stomach churning stramash of noise and Martyn's enraged psychotic wailing. This track polarises Martyn's fans even today. "Piece by Piece" is a good album, not a great album in the style of "solid air" but not a badly put together one like "well kept secret". It's appeal can be summed up by the name of another track and, apparently, one of John Martyn's favourite words ; "serendipity".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly Overlooked, 1 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Piece By Piece (MP3 Download)
At the time this album came out I did not think to check it out. I had not really kept up with his move to concentrating on his vocal styling and the playing down of guitar virtuosity. It seemed clear that this was not just an artistic decision but one brought on by the excesses of the "rock star" lifestyle. Now looking back I find myself drawn to the albums of this period, Sapphire has some really nice moments in it and this album is actually rather good. True there is a worrying 1980's feel to the production but there are some cracking songs on here too. Check it out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars moody and wonderful music-, 18 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Piece By Piece (Audio CD)
Some melodic, moody and wonderful music-John Wayne is the only difficult track! Otherwise everything you'd expect from a master musician
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne, 9 April 2009
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This review is from: Piece By Piece (Audio CD)
The track "John Wayne" makes this album worth the money all on it's own.
Tribute to Ronald Reagan.

I am John Wayne
I believe I'm John Wayne
They call me John Wayne.

You felt the money flowing
You watched the beast arrive
You felt your money going away
And tried to skin the lamb alive
Come to measure you
Fit you up
I come to measure you
Fit you up.

DELICIOUSLY MENACING!!!
Nice album, some lovely fretless bass work as well.

Rock on JM, wherever you are now ..
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good, 28 July 2014
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This review is from: Piece By Piece (Audio CD)
very good
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