Get this crazy baby off my head!


The Apprentice

The Apprentice - John Martyn - 1990 - Permanent Records

The Apprentice was mostly completed a full two years before it was released. Martyn's record label, Island, rejected the tapes of the songs in 1988, even though artistically they were not too far removed from his previous release, Piece by Piece. In fact, this album turned out to be the more cohesive of the two. Eventually released by Permanent Records, it's by and large a well-crafted collection of songs. Its only weaknesses are the sometimes too-strong dependence on synthesizers and the song "Deny This Love," which is Martyn doing bad dance music (and featuring a truly horrible a cappella introduction). Otherwise, it's an enjoyable album. "Look at the Girl" is a wistful follow-up to his 1974 song "My Baby Girl," while the haunting and moving "Patterns in the Rain" features Martyn's first recorded acoustic guitar playing in years (even though it's not very predominant). "Income Town" is an upbeat, more rock-oriented track, which has a sort of obscure in-joke added to it. Loud arena applause accompanies the beginning, though listeners will notice in the LP liner notes that the song is credited as being recorded at a club called the Green Banana in Toronto. Longtime fans will recognize this mythical club as a recurring Martyn joke. The Apprentice, along with Cooltide, caps off the smooth jazz sound of his '80s albums, and is one of the best of this series of works. © Rob Caldwell © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-apprentice-r179473/review

The mighty Island Records dropped John Martyn in 1988. Allegedly, one of the reasons being that the label did not like the demo recordings for the album. John, never one to compromise his musical ideals personally paid for the completion of the album which was eventually released on the small Permanent Records label in 1990 to a good critical reception. Sadly, John released only five more albums after "The Apprentice" before his death in 2009. A very good album from the late, great singer/songwriter. Listen to "Patterns In The Rain" which demonstrates beautifully, John Martyn's unique acoustic guitar technique. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 97.4 Mb]


1. Live on Love (Martyn) - 4:06
2. The River (Martyn) - 4:26
3. Look at the Girl (Martyn) - 4:35
4. Income Town (Martyn) - 4:26 *
5. Send Me One Line (Martyn) - 5:36
6. Deny This Love (Martyn) - 4:15
7. Hold Me (Martyn) - 4:51
8. Upo (Martyn) - 3:50
9. The Apprentice (Martyn) - 4:28
10. Patterns in the Rain (Foss Patterson) - 3:44

N.B: Some CD versions of this album contain an extra John Martyn track, "The Moment". There are also issues with six bonus tracks. * "Income Town" is not a live track. The crowd noise is studio overdubbing


John Martyn - Guitar, Vocals
Taj Wyzgowski - Rhythm Guitar on Tracks 1, 9
Dave-Talif-Ball - Bass on Tracks 1,2
Foss Patterson - Keyboards
Aran Ahmun - Drums
Danny Cummings - Percussion, Backing Vocals
Andy Shepherd - Sax on Tracks 3, 5, 6: Colin Tully - Sax on Tracks 2, 8
Danusia Cummings - Backing Vocals


The Apprentice is a rock album by John Martyn. Recorded at CaVa Studios, Glasgow, Scotland. Originally released on CD by Permanent Records, catalogue number PERM CD 1. The demo recordings for The Apprentice were the trigger for Martyn's being dropped by Island Records in 1988. Despite this, when the album (recorded in its final form at Martyn's own expense) appeared in 1990, it was well reviewed and regarded as something of a return to form by Martyn enthusiasts.


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Some Awe said...

Saw Martyn in Exeter when he promoted this album - every live gig was a pleasure and a treasure. As I think we've agreed before, the synthsound didn't do many artists any favours throughout the 80s, but I think the songwriting here, as ever with Martyn, does triumph. But then I'm hugely biased! Recommended.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Some Awe. Got your mail. Will reply soon. John Martyn seemed to get around that eightyish synth. Definitely, the quality of his songs came through. John certainly moved with the times. I'm not a fan of that synthwash sound, but obviously John Martyn wanted the sound on The Apprentice. He paid for it! I like the album. TTU soon...P