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Grance And Danger
Island Records ILPS9560 (1980)

Grance And Danger - John Martyn

Album available as:-
(Island Records IMCD67)

Other Releases:
(Germany/ Holland 202 932, France Phonogram 6313 160, 25 02 2000: 180gr rerelease Simply Vinyl SVLP 0174, Island IMCD 67)

Following a short layoff, John Martyn returned with his 12th record (including two with wife Beverley and a best-of collection), Grace & Danger. The album, which finds Martyn fronting a tight quartet featuring Phil Collins on drums and backing vocals, paints a stark, painful portrait of Martyn and Beverley's crumbling marriage. Close friend and Island Records president Chris Blackwell reportedly found the songs so personal and unsettling that he delayed its release for a year. Martyn sets a somber feel right from the start with the seductive opener "Some People Are Crazy" and carries it, for the most part, throughout the record. The hushed, tormented blues of "Hurt In Your Heart," the beautiful "Sweet Little Mystery," and the heartbreaking closer "Our Love" are a few of the highlights. With some of his clearest, strongest singing in years and a collection of terse, honest originals, as well as a cover of the Slickers' reggae classic "Johnny Too Bad," Grace & Danger shows John Martyn at the top of his game.

- Brett Hartenbach (AMG)

Grace and Danger was released in October 1980 having been held up for a year by Island boss Chris Blackwell who was a close friend of John and Beverley's and who found it too openly disturbing to release. Only after extreme pressure from John was it finally released and John got the exorcism that he needed. In the late 1980's John would cite this album as his favourite. The album features Phil Collins and John Giblin. Giblin's harmonic bass playing was in the style of Weather Report's late (and great) Jaco Pastorius, a band and style John had long admired. Relying increasingly on his Gibson S.G. electric guitar, John's playing was highly inventive and beguilingly. With John's distinctive vocal delivery and painfully honest lyrics, Grace and Danger became a stunning exposition of confusion, heartache, love and remorse. John later said that it was "probably the most specific piece of autobiography I've written. Some people keep diaries, I make records."
John said, "I was in a dreadful emotional state over that record...I was hardly in control of my own actions. The reason they finally released it was because I freaked: Please get it out! I don't give a damn about how sad it makes you feel - it's what I'm about: direct communication of emotion."

- John Hillarby (The John Martyn Website)


Track Listing:

1. Some People Are Crazy (Martyn) - 4:19
2. Grace And Danger (Martyn) - 4:02
3. Lookin' On (Martyn) - 5:11
4. Johnny Too Bad (Slickers) - 3:56
5. Sweet Little Mystery (Martyn) - 5:28
6. Hurt In Your Heart (Martyn) - 4:58
7. Baby Please Come Home (Martyn) - 3:56
8. Save Some (For Me) (Martyn) - 3:34
9. Our Love (Martyn, Martyn) - 3:57

John Martyn - Guitar, Vocals






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