John Martyn / The Head and the Heart: The Acoustic John Martyn

Head and Heart: The Acoustic John Martyn is a new two-CD set from Universal that brings together ‘key album tracks’, a scattering of live performances and various rarities, including some unreleased demo recordings.

This double-disc collection kicks off with four tracks from John Martyn‘s 1967 debut London Conversation before unveiling three unheard demos from the follow-up, 1968’s The Tumbler.

The title track from 1971’s Bless This Weather is included – as performed live on BBC TV’s The Old Grey Whistle Test – as Head and Heart moves through the 1970s, cherry-picking tracks of interest from various sources, including the deluxe edition of Solid Air and the Island Years box set from 2013.

The sleeve notes are handled by Mick Houghton, who penned the Sandy Denny biography I’ve Always Kept A Unicorn. Head and Heart: The Acoustic John Martyn is set for release on 28 April 2017. No vinyl version has been announced (thus far).


  1. Fairy Tale Lullaby – from London Conversation (1967)
  2. London Conversation – from London Conversation (1967)
  3. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – from London Conversation (1967)
  4. She Moved Through The Fair – from London Conversation (1967)
  5. Goin’ Down To Memphis – demo version from The Tumbler session (1968)
  6. A Day At The Sea – demo version from The Tumbler session (1968)
  7. Seven Black Roses – demo version from The Tumbler session  (1968)
  8. Woodstock – from Stormbringer! (1970)
  9. John The Baptist – Demo version from Stormbringer! session 16th April 1969
  10. Traffic Light Lady – Demo version from Stormbringer! session 16th April 1969
  11. Parcels – from The Road To Ruin with Beverley Martyn (1970)
  12. New Day – from The Road To Ruin with Beverley Martyn (1970)
  13. Tree Green – from The Road To Ruin with Beverley Martyn (1970)
  14. Go Easy – from Bless The Weather (1971)
  15. Bless The Weather – OGWT performance from Nigel Lees (1971)
  16. Head and Heart – from Bless The Weather (1971)
  17. Singing In The Rain – Alt Take (1971)
  18. In The Evening – from Ain’t No Saint (2008)


  1. The Glory Of Love – from Ain’t No Saint (2008)
  2. Solid Air – from Solid Air (1973)
  3. Over The Hill – Alt Take from the Solid Air Deluxe Edition (1973)
  4. May You Never – Live from the Solid Air Deluxe Edition (1973)
  5. Go Down Easy – Take 3 from The Island Years box set
  6. When It’s Dark – from the Solid Air Deluxe Edition
  7. Fine Lines – from Inside Out (1973)
  8. Ways To Cry – from Inside Out (1973)
  9. Beverley / Make No Mistake – from the Bob Harris show 10/10/1973
  10. One Day Without You – from John Peel session 7/1/1975
  11. Lay It All Down – from Sunday’s Child (1974)
  12. My Baby Girl – from John Peel session 7/1/1975
  13. All For The Love Of You – from Ain’t No Saint (2008)
  14. Working It Out – from Ain’t No Saint (2008)
  15. Spencer The Rover – from Sight and Sound “In Concert”  31/12/1977
  16. Certain Surprise / Couldn’t Love You More – John Peel session 18/1/1977
  17. Patterns In The Rain – Live at the Island Records Birthday Party – 4/7/1987 from The Island Years

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While the German Amazon had by far the cheapest option for the Island Years box I was unable to actually order it. They won’t ship to the US ans provide no option to add shipping costs.

CJ Feeney

No exclusive tracks to tempt completists. That’s a refreshing change, after the acoustic Sandy Denny compilation that manged to find three low quality demos that had somehow escaped the compilers of the 15 CD set from a couple of years back. (or had more likely, been rejected by them)

I had virtually everything on the Sandy Denny album, so didn’t need it and didn’t buy it. But I would recommend it to anyone thinking about her music. This also looks like a great intro to JM.

CJ Feeney

Or have I misread the piece – are some of those demos previously unreleased?

Daniel Wylie

As a massive John Martyn fan, these compilations never work for me. They always miss out essential songs and include inferior versions. Better to buy all the albums with their bonus tracks and make your own personal compilation.

Gary C

Remember when that John Martyn box was like 30 GBP or something from Amazon Italy; great day indeed!


So glad your article specifies just what I haven’t got on this compilation as an owner of almost everything JM related. Interesting too to see how much the Island Years box is going for now too and so glad I got it on release at £130. Following your week in review email and the Pink Floyd pricing on release, you really have to watch these items carefully for fluctuations up and down and I am thinking FITD deluxe…..How long will I be able to hold out for the SDE deal alert?


Nice looking set, and I like the cover