Martyn Joseph - Undrugged/Being There

Wednesday 1st December 1993
Martyn Joseph - Undrugged/Being There

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
LABEL: Epic 4730164

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Marketed simultaneously into mainstream record shops and Christian bookshops they've decided to package Martyn's first studio album for Epic 'Being There' as a bonus when you buy the recorded-live-in-concert 'Undrugged'. I question the wisdom of this particular strategy. For a start nine of the songs Martyn sings live are also on 'Being There'. Secondly, I don't think 'Undrugged' has the passionate intensity of his previous live album 'An Aching And A Longing' (he does a version of the title song of that on 'Undrugged' too). I would certainly recommend this package if you've yet to purchase 'Being There', it's a mature, mellow, acoustic orientated album from a thoughtful songwriting craftsman. But if you've already bought it you could miss this unless you're a devoted Joseph fan/album completist.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Jerry Thompson in Essex UK @ 20:18 on Sep 4 2010

The live album An Aching And A Longing from 1989 was the first Martyn Joseph recording I bought and it's a powerfully charged top quality acoustic set.
From this 1993 double CD I found Being There, although of a high musical standard, to be a bit of a downer.
Now Undrugged, that's another matter entirely.
Yes many of the Being There songs are duplicated, but I find they are given more life and commitment than on the studio collection.
Martyn has a good stab at Larry Norman's The Great American Novel, there's a lovely warm I Will Be Waiting, a moving Swansea and best of all a storming rendition of Billy Joel's Piano Man.
Martyn Joseph fans are likely to enjoy this live show, although I am not so keen on Please Sir and Working Mother.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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