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4.3 out of 5 stars15
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 4 May 2011
Although John was past his artistic peak by the time of this release he would still go on to put out some very fine music, and this was the best of his post 70's output. It's actually as good as any of his key works but perhaps not so creative and vital as the essential Bless the Weather, Solid Air, One World etc releases of a few years earlier. It's one of the best albums of the 1980's by any artist and has some of John's finest compositions, particularly the definitive recording of Couldn't Love You More, and the sublime Hold On My Heart with a beautiful flugelhorn solo. The Phil Collins sound is all over it but actually adds to the dynamics and texture of the album for the better. It's a companion piece to Phil's own Face Value and came out around the same time. I always preferred the more introspective side of John's muse but the couple of harder edged pieces on here really work and set off the overall melancholy of the album. Even by his standards the emotion and feel achieved on this record is quite beautiful and it could perhaps be considered his most overlooked masterpiece. Go on and see for yourself.
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on 22 November 2013
This album is simply John Martyn at his best. I may be biased, as it brings back memories of a gig where he played and played and played - until he was dragged off stage by the road crew. The folk-jazz-bluesy guitar and slurred lyrics are just so typical of John and the tracks? Every one is a stand out! There are other albums - and many of then woould rate 5 stars too. But for me this is the five star starred album. Enjoy.
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on 27 May 2004
Of all of John Martyn's recordings this one seems to be the hardest to find and is a real gem. Recorded with Phil Collins and Eric Clapton around the time all 3 of them were divorcing. this is a really dark album with a lot of the sounds that would go onto make Face Value appearing here. "Please Fall in Love with Me" is nothing short of a demo of "In the Air Tonight" and "Couldn't Love You More" is re-recorded here in its best form.
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on 28 February 2016
This may be seen by some as an 'unholy alliance' between John Martyn and Phil Collins when they were both down after relationship break ups. To an extent it is, but there is enough of interest to make this worth buying. Although Phil Collins produced his best album in these times (face value) the same cannot be said of John Martyn. Any version of 'I couldn't love you more' is welcome, this followed by a very Collins' 'Amsterdam' and then a very 80's John Martyn on 'hold on my heart' and a south american style 'perfect hustler' then a couple of good Martyn tracks before the Collins influence reasserts itself (but not in a bad way). Like I say interesting, and definitely one for all Martyn collections.
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on 2 January 2013
I have been a John Martyn fan since the late 1970's, and I have most of his albums, although some of the older ones are only on cassette. So I decided to buy this CD so it would last. I hadn't listened to the album for about 10 years and wondered how it would stand the test of time. No sounds better than ever. Many die hard JM fans denigrate this album for being a deviation from the norm but that to me makes it all the more special. It allows us to hear a lighter approach to his expression, and coupled with beautiful melodies and always meaningful lyrics plus awesome percussion, this album is a gem and is well worth a listen, even to those new to John Martyn.
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on 6 October 2015
NOT AS GOOD AS Piece by Piece and I do prefer his earlier work from the 70's however the album is OK
Delivered in good time
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on 26 March 2015
This album was the follow-up to "Grace and Danger",a set treasured by fans and critics.This album's not as good.His friend Phil Colins produced it,and he makes the whole thing sound at times like an early 80's jazz-lite set,with a few radio-friendly songs like "Pascanel","Hold on my Heart" and the opener, a remake of "Could love you more" featuring a guitar solo from Eric Clapton.It's all a bit slick and over-produced.

However the band is superb(when did John Martyn ever work with bad musicians?),some of the songs are lovely and the closing track"Don't you go" is a deeply moving anti-war song,hymn-like,tradditional-sounding,and a song as good as any Martyn ever brought to the recording studio.
Those new to the great man might be best advised to stick with the golden 70's period ie,"Solid Air""Inside Out" and "One World",
but speaking as a lifelong fan I always find that this album offers moments that are,at times lush,funky,jazzy,soulful and,well..glorious.
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on 6 December 2015
Earlyish stuff but good to dd to the collection
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on 21 July 2012
Being a huge fan of John Martyn I love practically all his work - especially his seventies output from 'Bless the Weather' to 'Grace and Danger'. In recent years I've come to really appreciate his more recent work as well, like 'The church with one bell' , 'Cooltide' and 'Heaven and Earth'. One of the missing pieces though was 'Glorious Fool'.
I can't hide the fact that I was really disappointed. 'Couldn't love you more', for example, is a pale shadow of the glorious song it is on 'One World'. All tracks on 'Glorious Fool' suffer greatly from the slick production they've been subjected to, and to me it seems that this record sounds much more dated than anything John Martyn did before or after.
So, just two stars - I would probably bestow more stars on it had it been by anybody else, but this is by the great man himself. As you may have gathered, this is by far my least favourite John Martyn cd.
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on 26 December 2014
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