Articles

Worst Luck

Mark Ellen
The Word #16

Section FOREWORD/ MUSIC

For the first time John Martyn "didn't do a runner from hospital". With good reason: he'd just had his leg amputated.

IN 1996, JOHN MARTYN'S PANCREAS exploded. The medical profession had warned him -and to be fair, he had adopted a more balanced diet; "a balance," he reflects, "of pickled eggs, whisky and beer"- but it was the point in the life of the now 55-year old songwriter when he had to concede that his grievances were self-inflicted and not merely an endless catalogue of catastrophic bad luck.

Live In Your Living Room... John Martyn

John Hillarby
Newsprint #3

John Hillarby takes a quick look at John Martyn on One World Records

Few artists have influenced and inspired whole generations of new musicians, but with a career that has now entered its fifth decade, John Martyn is one such artist. Everything But The Girl, Morcheeba, Sade, The Verve and U2's The Edge have all cited John as an inspiration. Just when you feel that you've heard all he has to offer, when you've finally pinned down and categorized his music, he undergoes yet another metamorphosis. Folk? Blues? Jazz? Reggae? Rock? Trip Hop? Funk? John refuses to conform to any particular music genre whilst simultaneously embracing them all.

Celtic Soul Brother

Michael Heatley
Record Buyer & Music Collector

Michael Heatley traces the career of John Martyn, a true musical maverick

Try to pin down the quicksilver musical soul of John Martyn and he'll just squeeze through your fingers. Few who caught up with London Conversation, his late '60s recording bow for Island Records - he was the first white solo performer on what was then a reggae-based label - could have foreseen his transition from folky singer-songwriter to electric rock-band leader and, now, hip-hop balladeer.

Yet while Bob Dylan, an acknowledged influence, made at least the first change, he never showed the same fascination for sounds and textures as Martyn. The way the Scot applied slapback echo and other effects to the acoustic guitar in the '70s has helped shape the approach of many who followed: a generation led by Brit-winning Beth Orton, owes him a debt, while chart-toppers the Verve selected him as their special guest for a 1998 show, introducing him to a new audience.

Been Gone so Long

Bob Stanley
Mojo magazine

folk

After thirty years away from it all, Beverley Martyn is making music again. She speaks to Bob Stanley about her music, friends, enemies and looking after Nick Drake.

Sister Bliss and John Martyn

Dan Gennoe
Seven Magazine

STAND:

She's the first lady of house, he's a living folk legend. She likes gospel, he likes jungle. They are the odd couple and they're taking progressive trance to new ethereal heights. Via a whole lotta love, Sister Bliss and John Martyn tell Dan Gennoe why they were destined to be together.

WORDS:

Emotional Rescue

David Stubbs
Uncut #43

Classic Albums Revisited

John Martyn is a neglected tower of British rock, a man who's made some of the most palpable, almost physically emotional, music ever recorded, whose reward for having always pushed a little too far ahead of his time and against assumptions of what he's about has been perpetual commercial frustration.

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