One World (John Martyn album)

One World is a 1977 album by John Martyn. One of his more experimental works, it features atmospheric, reggae influenced rhythms and free-flowing, jazzy arrangements. Acclaimed[3] for its collaborative spirit, the album includes contributions from Lee Perry on "Big Muff", and Steve Winwood (keyboards). Contemporary reviews were positive,[4] with the NME declaring the album "mean, moody and magnificent".[5] The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery.[6] When selecting Martyn as part of a "100 Great Voices" feature, Mojo chose the title track as an example of his talent.[7]

One World
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 1977
RecordedWoolwich Green Farm
GenreFolk rock, folk jazz, reggae rock
ProducerChris Blackwell
John Martyn chronology
Sunday's Child
One World
Grace and Danger
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music5/5 stars[2]

In 2000 it was voted number 948 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums.[8]

The album is notable for parts of it having been recorded outdoors. In particular, "Small Hours" was recorded late at night in the English countryside. The sweeping soundscapes on the album are partly due to the consequential presence of ambient sounds (such as water from a nearby lake) and natural reverb.[9] "Small Hours" was later reworked by Martyn into the track "Anna" as the haunting backdrop for Esben Storm's 1978 Australian film production of In Search of Anna.[10] This version of "Anna" also appears on Martyn's live album Live At The Bottom Line, New York, 1983.

Martyn later re-recorded the acoustic ballad "Couldn't Love You More" in a rock arrangement for his 1981 album Glorious Fool. The song, in its various forms, would remain a fixture of Martyn's live performances. Irish Musician Lisa Hannigan has described the song as one of her favourites, covering the song with Faultline in 2006.

Whilst touring, Martyn's gig at the Collegiate Theatre, University College London was filmed by the BBC and transmitted on The Old Grey Whistle Test on 10 January 1978.[11] In January 1978, Island released "Dancing" / "Dealer" as a single. The album charted at #54 on its UK release.

In 2004, a remastered Deluxe Edition of the album was released. It consisted of the original studio album in remastered form and a bonus disc collating previously unreleased live recordings from Martyn's summer 1978 concert at Regents Park.[12] The remaining bonus tracks were studio outtakes, previously available on the scarce 1999 release "Another World".[13]

Track listingEdit

All tracks composed by John Martyn except where indicated.

  1. "Dealer" – 4:58
  2. "One World" – 4:10
  3. "Smiling Stranger" – 3:29
  4. "Big Muff" (Martyn, Lee Perry) – 6:30
  5. "Couldn't Love You More" – 3:07
  6. "Certain Surprise" – 3:52
  7. "Dancing" – 3:43
  8. "Small Hours" – 8:45

Deluxe Edition track listingEdit

Disc 1 (Original Album remastered)

  1. "Dealer" - 4:59
  2. "One World" - 4:04
  3. "Smiling Stranger" 3:30
  4. "Big Muff" - 6:32
  5. "Couldn't Love You More" - 3:08
  6. "Certain Surprise" - 3:52
  7. "Dancing" - 3:56
  8. "Small Hours" - 8:44

Disc 2

  1. "Certain Surprise" (Live) - 3:06
  2. "Couldn't Love You More" (Live) - 3:12
  3. "One World" (Live) - 5:20
  4. "Dealer" (Live) - 6:11
  5. "Small Hours" (Live) - 7:23
  6. "Black Man At Your Shoulder" - 5:54
  7. "Dealer" (Alternate Version #1) - 4:31
  8. "One World" (Alternate Version) - 4:06
  9. "Smiling Stranger" (Instrumental) - 4:43
  10. "Big Muff" (Alternate Version) - 6:47
  11. "Certain Surprise" (Alternate Version) - 4:48
  12. "Dancing" (Alternate Version) - 3:44
  13. "Big Muff" (Drum Machine Version) - 4:53
  14. "Dealer" (Alternate Version #2) - 4:56
  15. "Small Hours" (Instrumental) - 10:20


On tour, Bristol, 1978

Recording historyEdit

The different mixes. On initial LP release the album was issued in two distinct and separate mixes. The two mixes were distributed thus: Europe and the UK, USA and Canada. The track listing remains the same for both mixes but the audio is different, being the result of two entirely separate mix-down sessions from the master tapes. Referred to henceforth as the 'UK' and the 'US' mixes.

Every track on the album is mixed at least slightly differently between the two mixes but some tracks are much more noticeably different. Three of the 'US' mixes appeared on the Electric John Martyn compilation: "Dancing" (U.S. mix); "Certain Surprise" (U.S. mix); "Dealer" (U.S. mix). The 'US' mix of "Big Muff" Appeared on the B side of a promotional UK 12" of "Johnny Too Bad" taken from Grace and Danger.

No indication of the differences in mix were given on the LP sleeves.

Subsequent CD releases have used the UK version, with one exception: the 'US' mix of One World has not been officially released on CD, but due to incorrect mastertapes being selected during the remastering process, it was used as the basis for the original album disc of the 2004 Deluxe Edition. [14]


  1. ^ One World at AllMusic
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  3. ^ "Music Reviews". Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  4. ^ "1960s and 1970s". John Martyn. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  5. ^ "Quote - Unquote". John Martyn. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  6. ^ " Parker...1001 Albums". Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  7. ^ " Lists". Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  8. ^ Colin Larkin (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 287. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  9. ^ Munro JN (2008): Some People Are Crazy - The John Martyn Story, p. 125, Polygon. ISBN 978-1-84697-058-0
  10. ^ "In Search of Anna (1978) principal credits on ASO - Australia's audio and visual heritage online". Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  11. ^ "Liner Notes - Live At The BBC". John Martyn. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  12. ^ "One World Deluxe Edition | Big Muff". 2004-11-01. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  13. ^ "Introduction". John Martyn. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  14. ^ Please cite source

External linksEdit