The Road To Ruin

John and Beverley Martyn
1 Nov 1970
The Bottom Line:

Fine collection of songs that had deserved better sales.

New Day sees the first appearance of bass player Danny Thompson; Give Us A Ring was written for house friend Nick Drake and in the title track we can hear the very first echoplex sounds mixing in.

Recorded at Sound Techniques in Chelsea. Sleeve photographs and design by Nigel Waymouth.
First CD pressing Island Masters series 22 March 1993 (silver).
Remastered and expanded CD pressing Island Remasters series 3 October 2005. One bonus track, Island first pink label design.
Also included in The Island Years box set with three bonus tracks.

Original production credits:

John Martyn - vocas,all guitars and harp; Beverley Martyn - vocals; Paul Harris - piano; Wells Kelly - drums on all tracks except Auntie Aviator, bass on Auntie Aviator; Mike Kowalsky - drums on Auntie Aviator; Rocky Dzidzornu - congas; Dave Pegg - bass on Say What You Can and Give Us A Ring; Alan Spanner - bass on Primrose Hill, Road To Ruin and Sorry To Be So Long; Danny Thompson - double bass on New Day; Dudu Pukwana - saxophone on The Road To Ruin, Sorry To Be So Long and Say What You Can; Lyn Dobson - flute on New Day and saxophone on Say What You Can; Ray Warleigh - saxophone on Primrose Hill.
Arrangement for Say What You Can by Tony Cox. All other arrangements by John Martyn and Paul Harris.
Sleeve photographs and design by Nigel Waymouth.
Front cover engraving by Max Ernst from 'Une Semaine De Bonté'.
Engineering by John Wood. Produced by Joe Boyd, Witchseason Productions Ltd.

wrong track..
For some reason the track Let It Happen, as mentioned on the cover, was replaced by Say What You Can. Only with The Island Years release, it became clear that an alternate take of Say What You Can not only features Danny Thompson on bass, but also has a different lyric containing the phrase Let it happen repeatedly.

Production: Joe Boyd
Engineer: John Wood
Vinyl: Island ILPS 9133 (UK)
Vinyl: Warner WS 1882 (US, green label) (Feb 1971)
Vinyl: Island Festival L36528 (Australia)
Vinyl: King Records/ Island ICL-16 (Japan, 1972, lyric sheet, Japanese liner notes)
Vinyl: Proper Records UMCLP054 (Poland, 180 gram, 28 July 2023)
CD: Island IMCD 165 (514 632-2) March 1993
CD: Universal UICY-9685 (r&e Japan)