Slow Beats - Later With Jools Holland, Vol. 2

Various Artists
12 Nov 1996
The Bottom Line:

Trip hop sampler containing She's A Lover performed live at Later.

John's contribution was recorded 1 June 1996 and he sings in a relaxed way.

Two artists, Portishead and Ben Harper, might have inspired John to do a cover of them on the Church album.

Backing vocals; sax, conga, electrical piano and guitar.

John's picture has been flipped on the cover, so he seems to be a left-handed guitarist...

Track Listing:

nr artist(s) title author(s) time
01 Massive Attack Karmacoma (Vowles/ Del Naja/ Marshall/ Tricky/ Norfolk/ Lee) 4:41
02 Morcheeba Tape Loop (Godfrey/ Godfrey/ Edwards) 4:06
03 D'Angelo Brown Sugar (D'Angelo/ Ali Shaheed Muhamad) 3:43
04 Neneh Cherry Watusi (Cherry/ McVay/ Barrow) 4:17
05 Portishead Glory Box (G. Barrow/ B. Gibbons/ A. Utley/ I. Hayes) 5:25
06 Ice T I Must Stand (Ice T/ S. Sanguillen/ Beth Gibbons/ Geoff Barrow/ Adrian Utley) 3:59
07 Ben Harper Whipping Boy (Chris Darrow) [6:04; sl 4:06]
08 Everything but the girl Single (Tracey Thorn/ Ben Watt) 4:18
09 Tricky Suffocated Love (Tricky) 3:47
10 Björk Possibly Maybe (Björk) 5:19
11 John Martyn She's A Lover (John Martyn) 4:08
12 Soul II Soul Don't You Dream (Romeo/ Kelly) 4:33
13 Ruby Paraffin (Leslie Rankin/ Mark Walk) 3:33
14 G Love and Special Sauce Blues Music (Dutton) 4:24
15 Guru Feel The Music (Keith Elam/ Ray Hayden) 4:12
16 Shara Nelson Inside Out (Armstrong/ Nelson) 3:01
17 Spearhead People In Tha Middle (Michail Franti) 4:27

Producer Mark Cooper's sleevenotes suggest John Martyn followed a trend set by Portishead, thus ignoring the fact that as early as 1984 John played this kind of music. For instance the phenomenal Big Muff on the Live From London video.

According to the accepted wisdom, pop songs on television should come on like the proverbial short sharp shock, all supercharged energy and rapid arm movement and over three minutes flat. These unwritten rules have been particularly out of step with much of the best and most innovative music to come out of Britain and out of the hip-hop community in the last few years, music that is slowed down, blunted and blurred, music which can barely walk, let alone break into a trot. 'Trip-hop' was the journalistic phrase coined for this new music pioneered out of Bristol by Massive Attack, Tricky and then Portishead, music that teamed the slurred delivery of a Tone Loc or a d.c. basehead with soulful vocals and dub influences. We weren't sure what to call Portishead when they came on 'Later' in November, 1994, sandwiched between INXS and Percy Sledge and staring across the floor at the newly rejuvenated Edwyn Collins. The band's writer and DJ Geoff Barrow had already appeared on the show some 15 months previously , adding his own distinctive flavour to Neneh Cherry's Watusi but this was something different again, a film noir soundscape of tragic romance with Beth Gibbons cast in the role of Billie Holiday against a scratched, jazzy backdrop seemingly suspended over a yawning void. Portishead sounded like a cross between an ancient field recording and a futurist broadcasting from a pirate radio station. They'd proved that their music was anything but studio-bound and their album promptly took off up the charts. The next September they returned to the BBC to celebrate winning the 1995 Mercury Music Prize by performing Glory Box with a 21-piece orchestra and it's that unique rendition that's on this CD. Meanwhile Massive Attack and Tricky had both memorably translated their studio-based art into memorable live performances while all manner of other artists from Bjork to John Martyn have since employed the slow, sparse beats because, contrary to the old rules of television, it's the drama of the music that counts, not the pace, and as the tracks on this CD testify, this music oozes space, sensuality, menace, and a million things besides. Slowly.

Mark Cooper, September, 1996

Inside Out by Shara Nelson has nothing to do with the famous JM title.

Production: Mark Cooper, Jools Holland
Engineers: Mike Felton, Dave Lee
CD: Island/ BBC CID 8054/524 312-2