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Martin Barre biography
Martin Lancelot Barre - Born 1946-11-17 (Birmingham, UK)

Martin BARRE is certainly best known for his work with the flute driven band JETHRO TULL - in which all TULL fans consider with care the work of its long time guitarist, present in all-but-one albums of the band.

Although Martin BARRE initiated a solo career late, in early 1990's, he did a few guest appearances in other's artists solo albums. In 1973, he appeared on the first album of fellow Chrysalis musician Chick CHURCHILL; in 1978 in Maddy PRIOR's Woman in the Wings; in the same year, he appeared in John WETTON's Caught in the Crossfire.

But his first attempt of a solo venture happened only in 1992, with the release of an album in limited edition, called A Summer Band. The first true solo album of BARRE happened in 1994, with A Trick of Memory showing an eclectic and meticulous musician, with influences of early blues and a bit of jazz. The next album, The Meeting from 1996 continues in the same vein, with more pop approaches. But it was only in 2003 that Martin BARRE released an album in both United Kingdom and United States - Stage Left, practically an instrumental album (only one song with vocals) shows a guitarist eclectic in a different sense from A Trick of Memory. In all tracks he basically plays a different set of gear showing a blend of blues, crossover, acoustic and folk influences.

With the end of JETHRO TULL in late 2011, Martin BARRE dedicated his full time as a solo artist, releasing a compilation and two studio albums. The first Away with words is a acoustic and mainly instrumental re-recording of JETHRO TULL music intersected with his own compositions, giving new personality and meaning to music he played for more than 40 years. A second album Order of Play is another re-recording of JETHRO TULL, this time a more hit-oriented, being the set list of his tours in the previous years. More albums are soon to follow in the tireless career of BARRE.

His playing style is a difficult subject even for the player itself. BARRE usually said in interviews his preference in not hearing anyone, and not taking guitar classes when young, caused his sound to not seem like any other player. Critics have analyzed and highlighted his ability to produce large melodies and compositions as being nothing like a guitar god who solos, and yes a composer, playing what he believes to suit f...
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MARTIN BARRE Videos (YouTube and more)

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A Trick Of MemoryA Trick Of Memory
Purple Pyramid 2019
The MeetingThe Meeting
Purple Pyramid 2019
Live at the Factory UndergroundLive at the Factory Underground
Independent Label Services, Inc. 2019
Roads Less TravelledRoads Less Travelled
Purple Pyramid 2018
Order of PlayOrder of Play
Edifying Records 2014
$11.53 (used)
Away with WordsAway with Words
Imports 2013
$75.00 (used)
Back to SteelBack to Steel
Independent 2015
$59.95 (used)

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MARTIN BARRE discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

MARTIN BARRE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.28 | 11 ratings
A Trick Of Memory
3.67 | 12 ratings
The Meeting
4.30 | 18 ratings
Stage Left
3.75 | 15 ratings
Away With Words
3.13 | 16 ratings
Order Of Play
3.73 | 11 ratings
Back To Steel
3.86 | 17 ratings
Roads Less Travelled

MARTIN BARRE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Munich

MARTIN BARRE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MARTIN BARRE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Martin Barre

MARTIN BARRE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 2 ratings
A Summer Band


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Roads Less Travelled by BARRE, MARTIN album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 17 ratings

Roads Less Travelled
Martin Barre Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars I'm sure I can't be the only Tull fan who can't understand how there can be a Jethro Tull without Martin Lancelot Barre being the perfect foil to Ian, but there it is (mind you, Ian does have history in this regard, look at what happened to the classic line-up). I saw Martin play with Tull six or seven times, and on my study wall is a photograph I took at Verbeer Manor (in deepest Devon) of him playing with Fairport Convention (one of the tunes was the often-overlooked 'Mr. Lacey' as I recall). I know Tull started with Mick Abrahams, but I prefer his work with Blodwyn Pig to be honest, and although Tony Iommi may have appeared with Tull on the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, we all know that the real man behind the electric is Martin.

When I heard this album had been released I was quite excited, and then disappointed to discover Martin has released six other studio albums before this one and somehow I have missed them all! Oh well, always good to have some music to catch up on. Martin adds acoustic guitar, mandolin (and even banjo) at different places through an album which contains a great many elements which Tull fans will recognise. Given that he has given thirty-five years of service to that band, it should be no surprise that he has impacted Tull's sound more than many will give him credit for, and I often found myself thinking back to 'Crest Of A Knave' (for which he won a Grammy) and 'heavy Horses' in particular in terms of musical reference.

This is classic rock, and is obviously being performed by a band as opposed to a group of people brought together for one particular project. Martin has been a resident of Devon for many years, and this album features local musicians Dan Crisp (vocals), Alan Thomson (bass/fretless bass), Darby Todd (drums), Becca Langsford (vocals/backing vocals), Josiah J (Percussion/Hammond), Aaron Graham (drums), Alex Hart (vocals/backing vocals) Buster Cottam ('stand up' bass). It would be very easy indeed for Martin to get on the phone and pull in a stellar cast of musicians who have been influenced by him and his playing, but he has always struck me as a very straight person (based on the many interviews I have both read and watched over the years), and this is just what I would expect.

Elements of folk, rock, jazz, blues and prog all combine in what is a solid rock album which all Tull fans should be flocking to get. The last show I saw of Tull, back in '04, Ian was struggling with his vocals and I decided then and there never to see them again as I couldn't bear it. Martin has lost none of his finesse and power, just superb.

 A Trick Of Memory by BARRE, MARTIN album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.28 | 11 ratings

A Trick Of Memory
Martin Barre Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Martin Barre - one of my fav guitar players ever, he made history with Jethro Tull, but he got little recognition when talking about his solo career. I'm gonna review his best solo album, at least to me , outside JT, is his 1994 release named A trick of memory. Well, some of the previous reviewers hawkfanatic - explain exactly how this album is, read below. To my ears is a good one, in old fashion style, not very complex, not an easy listning aswell, some nice moments interluded with some date it ones, but in the end a good release. I like his style, never to complicated but always with a sense of melodic lines on each arrangement. The music goes , from straight rock with some progressive tones, but never stops to have good elemenst and arrangements overall. His guitar tone is great, quite similar in places with what he done in JT but ok, even the vocal parts remind me of JT in some parts, specialy Catfish rising era. Some pieces are with vocals, some choruses make from this A trick of memory a pleasent ride , but only if you know him, and I mean his musical work, both in JT or solo. Some acustic tracks and arrangements , like Bug Bee or Empty Cafe gives a good atmosphere overall. 3.5 stars for sure for me, one of the forgotten albums from a great musicians, the opinions are divided , some said is ok , even great some said is boring and date it, the truth as always is somewhere in the middle. Give it a try, nice and warm record overall, like old times.
 Away With Words by BARRE, MARTIN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.75 | 15 ratings

Away With Words
Martin Barre Crossover Prog

Review by GKR

4 stars Away with Words is the loudest scream of freedom Martin could have made. And I'am not talking only about the album itself.

This album is a re-recording of some tracks Martin though deserve special attention, not only musically but certainly with care. And with a devotion and careness, Martin do made a special, nice and mostly acoustic album.

With the musics having a introduction or a different finale, the three first tracks, "Moths", "Requiem" and "One Brown Mouse" are well reconstructed. The only traditional piece "Lament of the Spalpeen", follow by "Matin' Jig" and "Hymn 43" show a celtic taste we always like to hear as a special element of Jethro Tull. For me the great surprise was to see the Under Wraps track' "Paparazzi" also reconstructed to be FINALLY enjoyable! Martin was right all along, the songs of Under Wraps were good, but they were played wrongly. So, how about that, uh? Right after the also good re-arreanged "Fire at Midnight", "Protect and survive" and "From a dead beat to an old greaser" (all tracks with a woody feeling, for the use of acoustic instruments and wooden and block flutes, I guess) come the higlight of the album for me. "Sundown" its not only a great closing track, its an excelent track that keep the fire burning and the taste for more!

"Sundown" certainly rounded the rate from 3 to 4 stars. Good album.

 Stage Left by BARRE, MARTIN album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.30 | 18 ratings

Stage Left
Martin Barre Crossover Prog

Review by GKR

5 stars ...and then there were Stage Left.

The album' name is a word play with the place Martin occupy in Jethro Tull stage (then for 35 years) and represents a prolific year for Jethro Tull fans (as Anderson also released a solo album and Jethro Tull released the last and ranked #10 in PA JT list "The Christmas Album"). But enough Tull, "Stage Left" is all about Barre.

Impressively using a different gear for each track, "Stage Left" begin with a almost too rocker "Count the chickens" soon to follow in acoustic ventures - tracks that were treated with a almost devoted respect by Barre. "After you, after me" shows a compsoition turning around a well composed and ecletic riff. "D.I.Y" is probably the best acoustic song Barre ever made: its fun, clever, quick and you can never listen only one time - and never get bored of it! "Stage Fright" is the flute song of Martin (each album have one) and its quite good. "Winter Snowscape" is a beautiful folk tune, well aligned with the electric and 1980's songs soon to follow. Maybe the weak track is "Dont say a word", most because of the kind of vocals used. But, as I said before, this album is all about Barre and we can soon forget that.

"Stage Left" probably isnt a masterpiece, a album to put among the pantheon of the Progressive Rock... but maybe a solid and character defining work as this obviously is deserves apreciation.

I'll give 5 stars, and I'am glad of it.

 The Meeting by BARRE, MARTIN album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.67 | 12 ratings

The Meeting
Martin Barre Crossover Prog

Review by GKR

4 stars I almost gave three stars to "The Meeting", but, in the same way as this appear to be a totally different album, it kind came in pair with "A Trick of Memory". But there is plenty difference, musically. The musicians changes in the way the music is played, especially in the use of keyboards, that are far more present and the drums and percussion (with the high skilled Doane Perry, Gerry Conway and Dave Mattacks) that are also well placed.

Although the bluesy female vocals that bugs me are even more present in the opening tracks and in "I Know your face", the songs itself dont lose much because of it. "I Know your face" is the perfect example. Its a great track. "Outer Cicle" shows what great musician Martin is, and, again, the bottom half of the album is all great tracks."Misere", "Spanner", "Tom's" and "Dreamer" (that should have been instrumental) are excellent ones - and where you can understand why Martin is not a guitar god, and yes a composer.

The album lacks of a great finale, and could have been a bit more instrumental, but no need to desperate. Give it four stars and relax.

 A Trick Of Memory by BARRE, MARTIN album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.28 | 11 ratings

A Trick Of Memory
Martin Barre Crossover Prog

Review by GKR

4 stars Around 1987, 1988, in an interview, Martin Barre declared that a solo album was soon to follow. That album never saw the light of day. Actually, in other interview, Barre stated that when he made music that is capable of being compared with Jethro Tull, he throw the songs away imediately - he wants to build a different persona for his solo career. Hell, Anderson should learn with him.

Thats why he take so long to achieved a solo career, and thats why most people get quite shock when they listen "A Trick of Memory", or any other of his work, for that matter.

About the music itself: Its interesting to notice how Martin can actually rock without never lose his way to finish a song. It should be really difficult to remember the songs to play it live, because nothing seems made up on a rush, everything is meticulous.

"Bug" is a nice start off; "Way Before Your Time" have some play with words and vocals that remind me something of King Crimson's 1980' albums (slightly); "Empty Cafe" is a treat along with "I be thank you"; but the real quality for me hides in the bottom half of the album: its impressive how in the last songs Martin manage to switch from electric to acoustic guitar without losing the feeling of the song and "In the shade of a shadow" is a great close track.

The choise for female vocals with that blues feeling bug me a little, but thats how Martin chases a different persona from JT. In general, it fits.

Great album, lots of good stuff, four stars.

Thanks to evolver for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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