Grace & Danger

13 Oct 1980
The Bottom Line:

The heartbreak album and one of John's personal favourites. Phil Collins blends in well and subtle Weather Report influences result in a sophisticated sound.

'Thanks and various blessings for all concerned, love John.'

Chris Blackwell loved the album but at the same time it was said he hesitated to release it, finding it too emotionally disturbing. With a one year delay Grace & Danger hit the market. As late as 2008 John had a much more down to earth explanation for the delay: "I think the market was off – the Sex Pistols were big in those days. Chris was busy promoting The Slits and I was a bit unfashionable at the time."

His friend Phil Collins played drums on the album and had vivid memories of the collaboration (The Guardian, 15 November, 2002). He said Martyn is an unpredictable character who tends to wander into a hedge -or a pub- on his way to the recording studio:

"He lived with me for a while in 1978, and he drinks a lot, does whatever's around... He wanted me to produce his album a few years ago [probably Glorious Fool, HB]. I said that I'd co-produce it if he sent me the tapes, and he said that he'd bring them over in person [to Collins' house in Switzerland]. I told him: 'Stay right where you are!' He takes up a lot of space. But he's fantastic."

Bass player Chris Glen revealed in 2017 (in his book The Bass Business) that he was approached to play bass on the album.

In 1978 I got a call from a drummer called Timi Donald, who'd been in the Pathfinders in Glasgow. He told me, 'John Martyn is looking for you. I'm playing with him – would you mind coming in? He's doing production work for Grace & Danger.' I was getting £100 a day for production, which at that time was fantastic. Chris Blackwell, the Island Records boss, wanted me to play on the album, but I had to say, 'You'll need to get in touch with my management,' because they still had me under that contract. The management went, 'We want this, we want that, or we can't do it.' So John's people went, 'Let's forget it.' So John Giblin did it.

First CD-release May 1987.
The audiophile HQ vinyl edition had the same sleeve with a sealed pvc jacket carrying a silver sticker: "Simply Vinyl/ Limited edition vinyl LP/ Classic albums/ 180 g virgin vinyl pressings/ Heavy quality sleeves". The label is pink with an Island logo.
A remastered and expanded double CD Grace & Danger DeLuxe with a lot of bonus material came out 12 February 2007.

Mold Numbers:
On the Simply Vinyl LP mold numbers were scratched in by hand:
08 43116 20/ A1 SVLP 174 and 08 43116 20/ B1 SVLP 174.

Producer: Martin Levan
Engineer: Martin Levan
Design: Bruno-Christian Tilley
Photography: Sandy Porter
Vinyl: Island ILPS 9560
Vinyl: Island SMAS 9560 (US)
Vinyl: Island ILPS 19560 (Italy)
Vinyl: Island Antilles AN 7081 (Canada)
Vinyl: Phonogram 6313 160 (France)
Vinyl: Island 202 932 (Germany/ Holland)
Vinyl: Simply Vinyl SVLP 0174 (25 Feb 2000, 180gr)
CD: Island CID 9560 (May 1987)
CD: Island IMCD 67