John Martyn - The Man Upstairs [DVD] 
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Born in Scotland in 1949, John was the first white solo artist to be signed to Chris Blackwells Island records releasing his debut album London Conversation in 1968. A number of critically acclaimed albums followed over the years including two albums with his then wife Beverley (Stormbringer and The Road to Ruin). During this period John also worked extensively with Pentangle bassist Danny Thompson, the apex of this working relationship coming with the albums Bless the Weather and Solid Air although Thompson has continued to work with John Martyn extensively over the years. In 1975 John actually became an independent act releasing a live album, which he literally sold from his front door due to the fact that Chris Blackwell didnt think John should be releasing a live album at that point in his career. The Live at Leeds album however was a success and subsequently released in the nineties in expanded form. Island did however retain his services as a recording artist and even pressed the album up for John to sell. Following a split with Island in the early eighties John moved to the larger Warner records although returned to Island again briefly at the end of the contract. Following this coming and going John moved from between a number of smaller labels before setting up his own One World Label in order to release archive and live material. Man Upstairs is a concert film of a John Martyn performance for German television in 1978. This performance was captured just months after John s most recent album One World had been released. The concert features four songs from that recent album (Big Muff, Small Hours, Certain Surprise and Couldnt Love You More) alongside older material from albums such as Solid Air (Solid Air, May You Never and Id Rather Be The devil), Bless The Weather (Bless The Weather, Glistening Glyndebourne and Singin In The Rain) and Sunday s Child(One Day Without You). Coming from a classic period in John Martyn's career this DVD will be welcomed by the massive fan base John Martyn commands. Regular touring also ensures that interest remains high in John Martyn. 1.One Day Without You 2.Outside In 3.Bless The Weather 4.Certain Surprise 5.Big Muff 6.Couldn t Love You More 7.Small Hours 8.Solid Air 9.May You Never 10.Seven Black Roses 11.Singin In The Rain
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Top Customer Reviews
Whilst tuning his guitar he snaps a string, and then banters with the audience and a roadie/crew guy, whilst re-stringing and retuning. The effect is rather like one of those Tom Waits shaggy dog stories he would tell before hitting you with a heartrending ballad. The contrast heightens the effects of poignancy and pleasure. I love that Martyn is a total artist: to me he's as much a jazzer as a folkie. Hearing how he twists, turns, changes and just plain improvises with the vocal melody on this is just exquisite.
I've watched and listened to a number of versions of this song now, but at present this remains a firm favourite. In the afterglow of first seeing this on YouTube I did a quick bit of research, and then immediately ordered this DVD here on Amazon. I'd happily pay the current asking price of the entire DVD for this priceless performance alone. The fact that there's more great music and performances on it is just a fabulous bonus.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This DVD was everything I hoped it would be, an awesome John Martyn concert. It's him performing on Rockpalast in Germany, 1978. Read morePublished on 24 Nov. 2013 by James
A live show from relatively early in his career showing a true uncompromising musician and songwriter at the height of his guitar playing powers. Read morePublished on 17 Nov. 2013 by The Aged P
This provides a good selection of live performances across his early to middle career - overall an under-rated guitarist that produced a limited body of work... Read morePublished on 19 Feb. 2013 by andrew