Having come through the same secondary school –Shawlands Academy– as Moors Murderer Ian Brady, John Martyn was wont to present himself as a Glasgow tough in his darker days, a mask that suited him well as alcohol and drug use exacerbated his meanest tendencies.
It's a nice idea, to go back to roots and search out the acoustic fledgling days of John Martyn and all that followed.
Hij was net zo'n grote als Nick Drake en Tim Buckley, maar bij het grote publiek is John Martyn nooit zo bekend geworden.
Things come full circle as Martyn, whose acoustic beginnings gave way to forceful, brooding electronica, is stripped bare.
If you were too strapped or scared to commit to last year's Brobdingnagian 18-disc Island Years box set, this comparatively svelte four-disc iteration creams off the most noteworthy alternate takes, epochal live performances and rarities featured on its corpulent parent.
John Martyn Seigneur Folk Tout en Finesse
It's more than a little ironic that this sumptuous box celebrating Martyn's lengthy tenure at Island should include the first official appearance of the album that brought about the end of his relationship with the company.
In which a miscellany of John Martyn's live performances and stray studio sessions are assembled into a coherent whole – even if it takes two handily compartmentalised CDs to do so.
"I like the idea of a video that wasn't a concert, and the lads backstage," notes a comfortably overstuffed John Martyn from a similarly overstuffed armchair. "That's Spinal Tap stuff."