Glorious Fool - Warner WEA 99178

14 Nov 1981
The Gazette
John Griffin
There's nothing sluggish about Doug and his pals

Gazette Pop Music Critic

Treading water


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Glorious Fool (WEA) is a case of one step forward and two steps back for John Martyn. He has retained the services of Phil Collins, who so aided last year's brilliant Grace & Danger, and he continues to forge a brave path into the musical no-man's-land that allies folk, blues, jazz and new wave.

Trouble is, Collins, who produces and plays drums here, has his signature all over the place, and it's a name writ too large. His drumming is too busy, and mixed so far forward we are distracted from the beauty of Martyn's burry, lushed-out vocals.

Worse still, Martyn's guitar -that marvellous, unpredictable alliance of folk and outer space- is buried behind Max Middleton's pretty but decidedly safe keyboard washes.

When tied to a slew of Martyn compositions that, though eminently tuneful, are neither as graceful or as dangerous as his best (and there is plenty of that) work, Glorious Fool comes up sadly short.

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This Canadian review was published in the Gazette of Saturday, 14 November 1981. Other items reviewed were Wrap It! by Doug Bennett (hence the title), Gimme A Break by Dutch Mason and the Specials' 12 inch single Ghost Town.

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