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John Martyn

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John Martyn Live At Leeds album cover
4.09 | 14 ratings | 1 reviews | 31% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Outside In (18:57)
2. Solid Air (7:13)
3. Make No Mistake (5:05)
4. Bless The Weather (4:45)
5. The Man In The Station (2:35)
6. I'd Rather Be The Devil (8:30)

Total Time: 47:05

bonus tracks on One World Records re-issue:
7. My Baby Girl
8. You Can Discover
9. So Much in Love With You
10. Clutches
11. Mailman

Line-up / Musicians

- John Martyn / vocals, guitar
- Danny Thompson / bass
- John Stevens / drums
- Paul Kossoff / guitar (9,10,11)

Releases information

LP Island ILPS 9243 (1976 UK)
CD Hypertension Music HYCD 200114 (1991 UK)
CD Voiceprint/One World Records (1998 UK)
recorded February 13, 1975 at Leeds University

Thanks to Rivertree for the addition
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JOHN MARTYN Live At Leeds ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOHN MARTYN Live At Leeds reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars After the tedious reception of Sunday's Child, Martyn wanted to release a live album, but a dispute between the great Island label and the grumpy Martyn lead that he would personally market this Live At Leeds: the obvious wink at The Who's classic live album is also well-merited since Martyn's live album is among the finest live renditions ever. So he shipped worldwide this album for distribution from his home in Hastings (Kent), but it is amazing to know that this album was never eventually distributed by a big label, despite shifting impressive amount of copies, both in vinyls and in Cds, even if there were years where LAL was OOP.

Starting on the delightful and delightfully long Outside In, the title track of his most experimental album, John Martyn and Danny Thompson take their sweet time to enter the track, but once they're in it, they're rockin' it out, not being afraid to expand on the ideas only skimmed in the studios. Martyn's effect pedal Echoplex and Thompson's superb bass playing are more than your ears needs to reach orgasm. Next up is the other incredible title track, one written for his friend , to whom he felt solidarity to, Nick Drake (by now found dead the previous fall), much in the same intimate mould of Outside In. The rest of the tracks are also taken from these two albums and one from the next most important Bless The Weather, making this Live At Leeds the perfect witness of John Martyn at the top of his creativity and fame, although I understand the early 80's and the trio of Phil Collins- produced albums sold quite well. In Make No Mistake, Thompson takes the bow to his double bass, giving yet another feeling of depth, but it is in general that Thompson's role in Martyn's oeuvre must be pinpointed. Simply one of the three or four rock bassist that rewrote the book in the late 60's, Danny, at that time, was at least as important as Martyn to the music. Martyn was obviously on a good night in Leeds as proven by his hilarious banter with the audience, in between two tracks.

It's now been over ten months after his death and the reviews simply don't come easy, s if they've become painful to finish, yet this Live At Leeds is one of the most enthralling album in its original form, so it is relatively easier to find the words. Lately have come two versions that blow hot and cold. The first completes a little more the single disc with a bunch of bonus track but not at all from Leeds or even that era. Here the feeling is much rawer and bluesier: Although you'll recognize the tracks, you'll wonder where all the finesse of the Leeds album went and you'll easily conclude the original album fared better on its own.

Recently came another version with a second disc made from loose tracks from different concerts during the 90's. While these can be of a premier quality and can provide some pleasant surprise, they are cut loose from their background, sometimes abruptly (un) edited, but they don't have the rawness of the bonus tracks from the preceding version on disc 1 and are in general more interesting than those other bonuses, even if some of the tracks on this second disc may seem close to mainstream music. While not exactly bringing added value to the Leeds recording, one must recognize that this double set gives you a good idea of Martyn's full live spectrum. As a proghead, if you can have the original Leeds concert alone, I think that you should jump for it, but for the general Martyn fan, if you're seeing both the first bonus version or the double disc, the latter might definitely be worth the extra splurge, as there is plenty to digest on that second disc. 5* for the original album, 4* for the two disc versions

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