Sweet Little Mysteries: The Island Anthology

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Wilson Neate
John Martyn was Island Records' first white solo performer. Having debuted as a fresh-faced teenage folky with 1967's London Conversation, he soon embarked on a restless musical odyssey. Built on a foundation of folk, blues, and jazz, Martyn's music has ranged from effects-laden experimentation, through rock, to fusion-influenced pop. This overview of Martyn's Island recordings ignores his first two albums and two releases with then-wife Beverley, picking up with Bless the Weather 1971. Although ornate love songs from that record like "Head and Heart" remain close to Martyn's traditionalist roots, the instrumental "Glistening Glyndebourne" shows he was keen to distance ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Wilson Neate
John Martyn was Island Records' first white solo performer. Having debuted as a fresh-faced teenage folky with 1967's London Conversation, he soon embarked on a restless musical odyssey. Built on a foundation of folk, blues, and jazz, Martyn's music has ranged from effects-laden experimentation, through rock, to fusion-influenced pop. This overview of Martyn's Island recordings ignores his first two albums and two releases with then-wife Beverley, picking up with Bless the Weather 1971. Although ornate love songs from that record like "Head and Heart" remain close to Martyn's traditionalist roots, the instrumental "Glistening Glyndebourne" shows he was keen to distance himself from the Donovan-Cat Stevens orbit of twee folk-pop. Solid Air, 1973's sublime follow-up, is well represented here. On it, Martyn moved effortlessly among light acoustic tunes "Over the Hill", darker, jazzier numbers "Solid Air," his ode to friend Nick Drake, and gizmo-enhanced excursions his rendering of Skip James' "I'd Rather Be the Devil". Martyn pursued his experimental inclinations further with the jazz-folkadelic Inside Out 1973; that album's adventurous spirit is captured by the gently droning "Eibhli Ghail Chiuin Ni Chearbhaill," which reworks a 19th century Celtic folk tune with such late 20th century rock tools as a fuzzbox and phase-shifter. Sunday's Child 1974 returned to a more focused song format, as demonstrated by the mournful "Spencer the Rover." Martyn's next studio venture, One World 1977, combined chilled-out moodscapes "Small Hours" with slick, adult-oriented pop and rock "Dancing", the latter tendency even more prominent on Grace & Danger 1980 and exemplified by the delicate "Sweet Little Mystery." While Martyn's later Island releases were less memorable, those mid-'80s numbers collected here hold up well. This album provides a great introduction to John Martyn; its only weakness is the omission of his earliest efforts, a sampling of which would give a fuller sense of his work's evolution.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/17/1994
  • Label: Universal I.S.
  • UPC: 731452224521
  • Catalog Number: 5222452

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Bless the Weather (4:26)
  2. 2 Head and Heart (4:52)
  3. 3 Glistening Glyndebourne (6:30)
  4. 4 Solid Air (5:42)
  5. 5 Over the Hill (2:50)
  6. 6 Don't Want to Know (2:57)
  7. 7 I'd Rather Be the Devil (6:17)
  8. 8 May You Never (3:40)
  9. 9 Fine Lines (3:47)
  10. 10 Eibhli Ghail Chiuin Ni Chearbhaill (3:05)
  11. 11 Make No Mistake (5:56)
  12. 12 One Day Without You (2:56)
  13. 13 Lay It All Down (1:49)
  14. 14 Root Love (4:32)
  15. 15 Sunday's Child (3:16)
  16. 16 Spencer the Rover (4:09)
  17. 17 You Can Discover (3:41)
  18. 18 Call Me Crazy (7:27)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Couldn't Love You More (3:06)
  2. 2 Certain Surprise (3:50)
  3. 3 Dancing (3:54)
  4. 4 Small Hours (8:42)
  5. 5 Dealer (4:56)
  6. 6 One World (4:00)
  7. 7 Some People Are Crazy (4:15)
  8. 8 Looking On (5:11)
  9. 9 Johnny Too Bad (3:53)
  10. 10 Sweet Little Mystery (5:22)
  11. 11 Hurt in Your Heart (4:56)
  12. 12 Baby Please Come Home (3:52)
  13. 13 Sapphire (5:13)
  14. 14 Fisherman's Dream (4:15)
  15. 15 Angeline (4:43)
  16. 16 Send Me One Line (4:44)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Martyn Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals, Multi Instruments
David Ball Bass
Phil Collins Drums, Background Vocals
Richard Thompson Mandolin
Steve Winwood Multi Instruments
Tony Coe Saxophone
Simon Nicol Autoharp
Dave Pegg Bass
Rico Trombone
Barry Reynolds Guitar
Neemoi Acquaye Conga
John "Rabbit" Bundrick Multi Instruments
Danny Cummings Percussion
Sue Draheim Violin
Tommy Eyre Synthesizer, Keyboards
Jon Field Flute
Tristan Frye Vibes
John Giblin Bass
James Hooker Keyboards
Dave Lawson Synthesizer
Andy Lyden Drums
Dave Mattacks Drums
Terry Nelson Harmonica
Andy Newmark Drums
Foster Paterson Keyboards, Background Vocals
Morris Pert Percussion
James Prime Keyboards
Robin Rankin Keyboards
Harry Robinson Strings
Hansford Rowe Bass
Bruce Rowlands Drums
Kesh Sathie Tabla
Steven Stanley Drums
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson Percussion
Colin Tully Saxophone
Jack Waldman Keyboards
Arran Abmun Drums
Jeff Castle Keyboards
Danny Thompson Bass, Double Bass
Alan Thompson Multi Instruments
Technical Credits
John Martyn Arranger, Producer
Bob Welch Composer
Chris Blackwell Producer
Smiley DeJonnes Contributor
Colin Escott Contributor, Essay
Rob Fraboni Producer
Remi Kabaka Contributor
Martin Levan Producer, Engineer
Beverley Martyn Contributor
Dave Murricane Arranger
Joseph M. Palmaccio Mastering
Tony Reeves Contributor
Kesh Sathie Contributor
The Slickers Composer
Chris Stuart Contributor
Ian Whiteman Contributor
Trevor Wyatt Contributor
Bobby Keyes Contributor
John Woodfor Producer
Chris Wood Contributor
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