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John Martyn|The Island Years

The Island Years

John Martyn

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There are few comprehensive, elaborately packaged box sets that actually warrant the price they command, but this 18-disc set by the late songwriter and guitarist John Martyn is one of them. The 17 audio discs contain every album he cut for the label, from his first solo recordings to his duet albums with first wife, Beverly, and all the steps in between until 1987's original version of The Apprentice, which sees first light here. (Chris Blackwell, Island's label boss, refused to release the album, claiming it wasn't the proper direction for him. Martyn took this as an invitation to piss off and declined to renew his contract. He self-financed a re-recording then released it himself in 1990.) There is also a DVD in the package. It includes four Old Grey Whistle Test appearances between 1973 and 1978, the complete Foundations concert -- as well as outtakes from it -- and an appearance on A Little Night Music in 1981. The 17 audio discs include beautifully remastered editions of each album, and dozens of unreleased, alternate, and outtake tracks. Some of the live material really rates highly in this box's treasure-trove department; in particular, there are two gigs: Live at the Hanging Lamp from 1972 on disc five, which took place between Bless the Weather and Solid Air, and disc ten's Live at Town Hall in Sydney, dating from 1977 between Sunday's Child and One World. For those who purchased the double-disc deluxe editions of his catalog records, the second discs are included here, so you may want to take that into consideration. That said, those who purchased 2008's Ain't No Saint -- prepared with full participation by Martyn just five months before his death -- will find little duplication here when it comes to scale. In addition to the music and video, the package itself is so utterly handsome it's almost an artistic fetish object. There are three 12"x12" gatefold sleeves inside a hard, thick, gorgeous cardboard slipcase. Two of these include the 17 audio discs, while the third contains the DVD and various ephemera: there are reproduced handbills, a tour souvenir booklet from 1978, press releases, and even a set list replica. It also contains a full-size, hardbound book entitled The John Martyn Album, which includes a family album of photographs from childhood on, a lengthy, in-depth, and authoritative historical liner essay by John Hillarby, more copious and rare photographs, and a scrapbook of press reviews of various concerts and records. Finally, there is a replica poster from the Live at Leeds gig. Ultimately, no matter how heated the exchanges between Martyn and his fans could be during concerts, the respect between audience and performer was total and it was loyal -- the same punters who would complain the loudest would be at the very next show. It is for these people, those who knew his true worth as an artist who The Island Years was created for and will appeal to most.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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The Island Years

John Martyn

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1
Fairy Tale Lullaby (Album Version)
00:02:52

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

2
Sandy Grey (Album Version)
00:02:24

John Martyn, MainArtist - Robin Frederick, ComposerLyricist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

3
London Conversation (Album Version)
00:02:42

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Theo Johnson, Producer - Jon Sundell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

4
Ballad Of An Elder Woman (Album Version)
00:02:42

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

5
Cocain (Album Version)
00:02:56

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - John Martyn, Arranger, Work Arranger, MainArtist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

6
Run Honey Run (Album Version)
00:02:37

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

7
Back To Stay (Album Version)
00:03:27

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

8
Rolling Home (Album Version)
00:05:43

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

9
Who's Grown Up Now (Album Version)
00:04:02

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

10
Golden Girl (Album Version)
00:02:33

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

11
This Time (Album Version)
00:03:07

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

12
Don't Think Twice It's Alright (Album Version)
00:04:15

Bob Dylan, ComposerLyricist - John Martyn, MainArtist - Theo Johnson, Producer

℗ 1967 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

13
Sing A Song Of Summer (Album Version)
00:02:19

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

14
The River (Album Version)
00:02:53

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

15
Goin' Down To Memphis (Album Version)
00:03:09

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

16
The Gardeners (Album Version)
00:03:11

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

17
A Day At The Sea (Album Version)
00:02:30

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

18
Fishin' Blues (Album Version)
00:02:36

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

19
Dusty (Album Version)
00:03:02

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

20
Hello Train (Album Version)
00:02:32

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

21
Winin’ Boy Blues (Album Version)
00:02:19

John Martyn, MainArtist - Jelly Roll Morton, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

22
Fly On Home (Album Version)
00:02:29

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

23
Knuckledy Crunch And Slippledee-Slee Song (Album Version)
00:02:52

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

24
Seven Black Roses (Album Version)
00:04:01

John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Al Stewart, Producer

℗ 1968 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

DISC 2

1
Go Out And Get It
00:03:11

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

2
Can't Get The One I Want
00:02:55

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

3
Stormbringer (Album Version)
00:04:18

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, FeaturedArtist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

4
Sweet Honesty
00:08:02

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

5
Woodstock
00:01:44

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

6
John The Baptist
00:03:12

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

7
The Ocean
00:03:42

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

8
Traffic-Light Lady
00:03:18

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

9
Tomorrow Time
00:03:49

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

10
Would You Believe Me
00:05:19

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

11
John The Baptist (Alternate Take)
00:03:00

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 2013 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

12
Go Out And Get It (Alternate Take)
00:03:11

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 2013 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

13
Traffic-Light Lady (BBC John Peel Show/ Broadcast 4/4/1970)
00:03:16

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 1970 BBC

14
It's One Of Those Days (Previously Unreleased)
00:05:41

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

15
I Don't Know (Alternate Version)
00:03:52

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

16
John The Baptist (Alternate Version)
00:02:56

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

17
Traffic-Light Lady (Alternate Version)
00:03:01

Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

DISC 3

1
Primrose Hill
00:02:59

Paul Harris, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

2
Parcels
00:03:28

Paul Harris, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

3
Auntie Aviator
00:06:03

Paul Harris, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

4
New Day
00:03:59

Paul Harris, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

5
Give Us A Ring
00:03:52

Paul Harris, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist - Paul Wheeler, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

6
Sorry To Be So Long
00:04:42

Paul Harris, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

7
Tree Green
00:03:12

Paul Harris, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

8
Say What You Can
00:03:05

Tony Cox, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

9
Road To Ruin
00:06:24

Paul Harris, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Boyd, Producer - John Martyn, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Beverley Martyn, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

Album Description

There are few comprehensive, elaborately packaged box sets that actually warrant the price they command, but this 18-disc set by the late songwriter and guitarist John Martyn is one of them. The 17 audio discs contain every album he cut for the label, from his first solo recordings to his duet albums with first wife, Beverly, and all the steps in between until 1987's original version of The Apprentice, which sees first light here. (Chris Blackwell, Island's label boss, refused to release the album, claiming it wasn't the proper direction for him. Martyn took this as an invitation to piss off and declined to renew his contract. He self-financed a re-recording then released it himself in 1990.) There is also a DVD in the package. It includes four Old Grey Whistle Test appearances between 1973 and 1978, the complete Foundations concert -- as well as outtakes from it -- and an appearance on A Little Night Music in 1981. The 17 audio discs include beautifully remastered editions of each album, and dozens of unreleased, alternate, and outtake tracks. Some of the live material really rates highly in this box's treasure-trove department; in particular, there are two gigs: Live at the Hanging Lamp from 1972 on disc five, which took place between Bless the Weather and Solid Air, and disc ten's Live at Town Hall in Sydney, dating from 1977 between Sunday's Child and One World. For those who purchased the double-disc deluxe editions of his catalog records, the second discs are included here, so you may want to take that into consideration. That said, those who purchased 2008's Ain't No Saint -- prepared with full participation by Martyn just five months before his death -- will find little duplication here when it comes to scale. In addition to the music and video, the package itself is so utterly handsome it's almost an artistic fetish object. There are three 12"x12" gatefold sleeves inside a hard, thick, gorgeous cardboard slipcase. Two of these include the 17 audio discs, while the third contains the DVD and various ephemera: there are reproduced handbills, a tour souvenir booklet from 1978, press releases, and even a set list replica. It also contains a full-size, hardbound book entitled The John Martyn Album, which includes a family album of photographs from childhood on, a lengthy, in-depth, and authoritative historical liner essay by John Hillarby, more copious and rare photographs, and a scrapbook of press reviews of various concerts and records. Finally, there is a replica poster from the Live at Leeds gig. Ultimately, no matter how heated the exchanges between Martyn and his fans could be during concerts, the respect between audience and performer was total and it was loyal -- the same punters who would complain the loudest would be at the very next show. It is for these people, those who knew his true worth as an artist who The Island Years was created for and will appeal to most.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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