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John Martyn|The Church With One Bell

The Church With One Bell

John Martyn

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The Church with One Bell is an interesting covers album, finding John Martyn tackling songs that are both ideal and absolutely ill-fitting. Since Martyn is such an idiosyncratic talent, maybe it shouldn't be surprising that he succeeds on "Strange Fruit" and not with Randy Newman's signature craftmanship on "God's Song," but there's still a bit of shock that the former works. Furthermore, the choice of material is often puzzling, but he makes songs like Ben Harper's "Excuse Me Mister" work through committed performances. Ultimately, The Church with One Bell is too uneven to qualify as even a minor gem in his catalog, but there are enough interesting moments to make it a worthwhile listen for long-term followers.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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The Church With One Bell

John Martyn

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1
He's Got All The Whiskey
00:03:19

John Martyn, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Giblin, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Charles, ComposerLyricist - Arran Ahmun, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dayron, Producer, Recording Producer - Spencer Cozens, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

2
God's Song
00:03:30

Randy Newman, ComposerLyricist - John Martyn, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Giblin, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Arran Ahmun, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dayron, Producer, Recording Producer - Spencer Cozens, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

3
How Fortunate The Man With None
00:05:07

John Martyn, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Giblin, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lisa Gerrard, ComposerLyricist - Brendan Perry, ComposerLyricist - Arran Ahmun, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dayron, Producer, Recording Producer - Spencer Cozens, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

4
Small Town Talk
00:02:53

Rick Danko, ComposerLyricist - John Martyn, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Giblin, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Guidry, ComposerLyricist - Arran Ahmun, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dayron, Producer, Recording Producer - Spencer Cozens, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

5
Excuse Me Mister
00:04:38

Ben Harper, ComposerLyricist - John Martyn, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Giblin, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Arran Ahmun, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dayron, Producer, Recording Producer - Spencer Cozens, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

6
Strange Fruit
00:04:02

John Martyn, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Giblin, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lewis Allen, ComposerLyricist - Arran Ahmun, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dayron, Producer, Recording Producer - Spencer Cozens, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

7
The Sky Is Crying
00:04:03

Bobby Robinson, ComposerLyricist - John Martyn, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Giblin, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Clarence L. Lewis, ComposerLyricist - Joe Willie James, ComposerLyricist - Arran Ahmun, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dayron, Producer, Recording Producer - Spencer Cozens, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

8
Glory Box
00:05:43

Geoff Barrow, ComposerLyricist - Adrian Utley, ComposerLyricist - Isaac Hayes, ComposerLyricist - John Martyn, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Giblin, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Beth Gibbons, ComposerLyricist - Arran Ahmun, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dayron, Producer, Recording Producer - Spencer Cozens, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

9
Feel So Bad
00:03:31

John Martyn, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Giblin, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Sam Hopkins, ComposerLyricist - Arran Ahmun, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dayron, Producer, Recording Producer - Spencer Cozens, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

10
Death Don't Have No Mercy
00:05:50

Traditional, Author - John Martyn, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Giblin, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Reverend Gary Davis, Arranger, Work Arranger - Arran Ahmun, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dayron, Producer, Recording Producer - Spencer Cozens, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

Album Description

The Church with One Bell is an interesting covers album, finding John Martyn tackling songs that are both ideal and absolutely ill-fitting. Since Martyn is such an idiosyncratic talent, maybe it shouldn't be surprising that he succeeds on "Strange Fruit" and not with Randy Newman's signature craftmanship on "God's Song," but there's still a bit of shock that the former works. Furthermore, the choice of material is often puzzling, but he makes songs like Ben Harper's "Excuse Me Mister" work through committed performances. Ultimately, The Church with One Bell is too uneven to qualify as even a minor gem in his catalog, but there are enough interesting moments to make it a worthwhile listen for long-term followers.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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