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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality for money ratio
Absolutely stunning collection of music for £3- great selection of tracks from most of John's best albums, plus a few cracking live versions, including a John Peel session of Small Hours that is dark magic. Best value CD I've ever heard or seen and available in Tesco and probably petrol stations. Long way since John and Danny were on the road in the 70s ! Should be...
Published 10 months ago by Conatus

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Essential?
The self-destructive, Scottish singer-songwriter John Martyn died in 2009, having enjoyed an eclectic musical career that lasted over 40 years. The best and longest part of that period was spent recording for the seminal Island Records label, who he had signed for in 1967, as their first white artist. It was (generally) a symbiotic relationship. They allowed him complete...
Published 12 months ago by S. Bailey


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Essential?, 22 Sep 2013
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S. Bailey - See all my reviews
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The self-destructive, Scottish singer-songwriter John Martyn died in 2009, having enjoyed an eclectic musical career that lasted over 40 years. The best and longest part of that period was spent recording for the seminal Island Records label, who he had signed for in 1967, as their first white artist. It was (generally) a symbiotic relationship. They allowed him complete creative freedom to do what he wanted. In return for nurturing him, they got a sequence of gently-experimental, bluesy and jazzy and folky-rock albums, which were critically acclaimed, and sold solidly for decades. This budget-priced 17 song CD surveys that era.

It begins that task fantastically, with arguably the four best songs from his voluminous back catalogue: 'May You Never', 'Couldn't Love You More', 'Sweet Little Mystery', and 'Bless The Weather'. That breath-taking quartet is bolstered by the cherry-picking of some of the strongest tracks from Martyn's slightly weaker albums such as, 'Spencer The Rover', from 1974's Sunday Child', and 'Fine Lines', from 1973's Inside Out. The inclusion of two tracks - 'Primrose Hill' and 'Traffic Light Lady' - from the patchily excellent albums that he recorded with his ex-wife Beverley is welcome also.

But Sweet Little Mystery isn't flawless. There is no place for first-rate songs 'Solid Air', 'Over The Hill', and 'I'd Rather Be The Devil', that should be in the running order. (After all, they regularly feature in other compilations of his work) Some of the efforts from the 1980s that are included - 'Angeline' and 'Johnny Too Bad'- aren't all that good, confirming the critical consensus that he lost his way a little bit at that time. And a couple of tracks are presented here in marginally inferior live versions as well. These criticisms wouldn't be as much of an issue if Spectrum/Universal hadn't chosen to give the collection the contentious subtitle of 'The Essential'. The fact that its sleevenote from Patrick Humphries felt somewhat perfunctory doesn't help much either.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality for money ratio, 5 Nov 2013
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Conatus (Avoca,Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Absolutely stunning collection of music for £3- great selection of tracks from most of John's best albums, plus a few cracking live versions, including a John Peel session of Small Hours that is dark magic. Best value CD I've ever heard or seen and available in Tesco and probably petrol stations. Long way since John and Danny were on the road in the 70s ! Should be compulsory to own one of these.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Aug 2014
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Its a new name for me and Im glad to know him.Very good music,voice and perfomans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars if you, ve never heard of him be suprised ..., 23 Aug 2014
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ray norman (alfriston east sussex uk) - See all my reviews
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if you,ve never heard of him be suprised and take a chance you,ll be surpriesed
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only an average compilation ..., 20 Jun 2014
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Chris "Reactiv8" (Herefordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Many of my favourites missed off.

Although undeniably good value, I could have made a much better compilation myself.

Disappointing.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great memories of the 70's, 23 Oct 2013
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Heard John Martyn on the radio so bought the CD and have been delighted with it. a good selection of tracts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Sep 2014
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excellent
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, 27 Dec 2013
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I had forgotton how much I like John Martyn's voice and guitar music, very soothing stuff, ideal to relax to
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Martyn, 14 Dec 2013
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Mr. A. Mowatt "humour magnate" (scotland) - See all my reviews
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Typically when someone in the arts, be in music, theatre etc are gone, their work become possibly more important than when they were alive.
John Martyn seems, for me, to be such a person. Like so many before and since he had his demons. He never the less has left a legacy of great guitar / songs for us to enjoy.
I thoroughly recommend this CD.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not as good as Solid Air, 16 April 2014
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but thought I would try another of John Martyn's albums just to see. I remember listening to Solid Air when I was twenty something and remembered the tracks also I bought it for my friends birthday
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