Johnny Boy Would Love This - LSM 4012

11 Aug 2011
The List #685
Malcolm Jack


Tribute Album
Various Artists
Johnny Boy Would Love This… A Tribute to John Martyn
(Hole in the Rain/ Liaison)

However affectionate a tribute album, they can still make you wish classic songs, like historic buildings, could somehow be listed to preserve their original splendour. Case in point on this set dedicated to late, great folk and jazz man John Martyn: Snow Patrol's demolition of May You Never. 'Shall we protect its understated intimacy?', you can almost hear Gary Lightbody consider. 'Sod that – string section.'

The rest ranges from play-it-safe and vanilla (two tracks by Morcheeba – really?)1 to plain WTF? (Phil Collins). But a few geniuses ride to the rescue – Robert Smith's moody Small Hours, Beck's super-cool Stormbringer and Vashti Bunyan's gorgeous Head And Heart. Johnny would definitely have loved that. (Malcolm Jack)

1 Only one Morcheeba track was included, Run Honey Run.
This short review was published in The List issue 685 of 11 August 2011, on page 124.