Small Hours: The Long Night of John Martyn

Small Hours: The Long Night of John Martyn

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By Graeme Thomson

"It's [the] adherence to home-truths... which gives Small Hours its power... just as good as Thomson’s acclaimed studies of Kate Bush and Phil Lynott" - 4* Mojo

"… unflinchingly critical of Martyn’s failings and his substance-fuelled excesses (and) equally glowing in its praise of his finest achievements as a genre-blurring performer. Insightful and beautifully written." - 4* Shindig!

"This painstaking, eloquent biography... balances the fan's assiduousness with a critic's seiving action." - Observer

"Tethers the sometimes golden music to the often savage man, retaining sympathy for his subject and the casualties he caused." - 9/10 - Classic Rock

"[A] comprehensive, thoughtful and often unsettling biography... Albums such as Bless The Weather, Solid Air, One World and Grace And Danger are as carefully considered as the man." - The Irish Times


"Telling Martyn’s story with incisiveness, compassion and even-handedness... Small Hours is the perfectly balanced book that John Martyn, his music, and the people who knew him, deserve." - Caught By The River 


"[An] excellent biography." - Independent 


"Very impressive... Small Hours charts the life and career with admirable percipience and feel for the story." - RTE Culture


"Expert… Through a judicious combination of research and original material, Thomson documents Martyn’s personal life in meticulous detail." - The Herald 


"Gives compelling insight into the complexities of the man and his music." - Louder Than War


"A stunningly written example of what constitutes a near-flawless biography." - Eternal Terror


Did any musician in the Seventies fly so free as John Martyn did on Bless The Weather, Solid Air, Inside Out and One World? Did any fall so far?

Small Hours is an intimate, unflinching biography of one of the great maverick artists. Though Martyn never had a hit single, his extraordinary voice, innovative guitar playing and profoundly soulful songs secured his status as a much admired pioneer.

Covered by Eric Clapton, revered by Lee Scratch Perry, produced by Phil Collins, Martyn influenced several generations of musicians, but beneath the songs lay a complicated and volatile personality. He lived his life the same way he made music: improvising as he went; scattering brilliance, beauty, rage and destruction in his wake.

Drawing on almost 100 new interviews, Small Hours is a raw and utterly gripping account of sixty years of daredevil creativity, soaring highs and sometimes unconscionable lows.

Publication Date: 09.07.20
ISBN: 9781787600195
Extent: 256 pages
Format: Hardback

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