John Martyn: Sapphire (Island)
This is an outstanding album from an established top class performer. Martyn's rich voice blends perfectly with his relaxed guitar stylings to provoke an earnest response from the listener.
Martyn's vocals sound a little like Joe Crocker [sic] at his best or occasionally, the Doobie Brothers, especially on Coming In On Time.
Standout songs are the title track; a remake of the classic Somewhere Over The Rainbow; Acid Rain (there's some substance to this boy's lyrics), and the soulful Mad Dog Days.
This is a sophisticated album for both dancing or quiet listening. Martyn has kept up the standard of his 1983 album, Glorious Fool,1 which won him high praise from Melody Maker (one of this year's -any year's- finest.")2
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
1 Glorious Fool was released in 1981 (in Canada and Amerika there were some delayed reviews in 1982 though)
2 Steve Sutherland, 19 Sep 1981.
This Canadian review was published in The Times Colonist (Victoria, British Columbia) on Saturday 5 January 1985.