Legendary Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph answers our ‘Joy of Decks’ Q&A, and reveals his passions, listening habits, and love for Bruce Springsteen.
What record is on your turntable right now?
Martyn Joseph: Harvest Moon by Neil Young.
What’s the last great album you listened to?
Martyn Joseph: Dark Side Of the Moon by Pink Floyd.
Are there any classic albums that you only recently heard for the first time?
Martyn Joseph: The first Led Zeppelin album.
Describe your ideal listening experience (when, where, what, how).
Martyn Joseph: At night, home, it’s raining, vinyl.
What’s your favourite album no one else has heard of?
Martyn Joseph: Probably Ten Easy Pieces by Jimmy Webb.
What album should everybody get into before the age of 21?
Martyn Joseph: Springsteen’s Born To Run.
What album should nobody get into until the age of 40?
Martyn Joseph: Solid Air by John Martyn. It will rejuvenate you.
Which artists — musicians, singers, songwriters, producers — working today do you admire most?
Martyn Joseph: Springsteen, Ani DiFranco; I loved Sam Fender’s record.
Do you have any comfort albums?
Martyn Joseph: Elvis’s Aloha from Hawaii.
Do you think any “canonical” albums are widely misunderstood?
Martyn Joseph: Probably, but that’s one of the great things about music: it’s all open to the listener’s interpretation, no one owns it in that respect.
What’s the best album you’ve received as a gift?
Martyn Joseph: Rubber Soul by The Beatles. My parents bought it for me.
What album do you recommend to people most often?
Joseph: Southeastern by Jason Isbell.
How do you organise your records?
What’s the most interesting thing you learned about an album recently?
Joseph: That Neil Young was tired of loud noise when he recorded Harvest Moon.
Which genres do you especially enjoy listening to? And which do you avoid?
Joseph: Rock, acoustic, folk, americana stuff, soul, instrumental beats, soundtracks, classical etc. I don’t really listen to much pop, chart etc.
What album might people be surprised to find on your shelves?
Joseph: The Plan by The Osmonds.
Is there any album in your record collection you desperately wish you’d made?
Joseph: The Rising by Bruce Springsteen: essential writing for a particular moment in time.
Have you ever changed your opinion of an album based on information about the artist, or anything else?
Joseph: I’ve certainly grown into stuff and left a lot behind. My tastes broadened greatly as the road widened, but sometimes discovering what was going on in an artists mind can greatly illuminate and help the connection to their art.
You’re organising a party. Which three artists, dead or alive, do you invite?
Joseph: Springsteen (sorry, bit of an elder in my church), Ani DiFranco, Phil Ochs.
Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What album did you feel as if you were supposed to like, and didn’t?
Joseph: Weirdly, Blue by Joni Mitchell. I listen to it every so often, and I appreciate it’s an iconic piece of work, but it just drifts over me and apart from one or two songs it doesn’t quite engage me like I know it should.
Any upcoming albums you’re really looking forward to?
Joseph: Sufjan Stevens new album, The Ascension.
Martyn Joseph’s latest EP, When We Get Through This, is available now.
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In the latest in our ‘Joy of Decks’ series for music enthusiasts, music journalist and author Cath Holland tells us about her listening habits and her not-so-secret love for Elvis Presley.