MARTYN... try again John
The performances on and production of Glorious Fool are superior, but John Martyn's songwriting this time around leaves something to be desired. Of the 11 tunes here, only three make lasting impressions; the remaining are weak, soft jazz-rock that are too flowery to be interesting. Perfect Hustler is more suited for Mel Tormé than for Martyn's raspy vocal style and Couldn't Love You More and Hold On To My Heart both sound more like perfume commercials than songs. The title cut, with its endearing lyric 'half the lies he tells you are not true', Amsterdam and Didn't Do That are far better than the other songs because Martyn and the band are tougher and more involved. Martyn's last album, Grace & Danger, earned its title - it was a convincing merger of mellifluous songs, but they were also different. There's plenty of grace on 'Gracious Fool' [sic] from producer Phil Collins' drumming and Max Middleton's breezy keyboard riffs, but there's not nearly enough danger.
— Marc D. Allan
This review was part of a column Records and appeared in the Boston Globe of Thursday 12 August 1982.