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Beck Returns With Cover of the Late John Martyn


John Martyn was a pioneering British singer-guitarist who released 20 albums and worked with everyone from Eric Clapton to Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour before passing away in 2009 from pneumonia. On a new album Johnny Boy Would Love This…A Tribute to John Martyn (out August 16), the late musician will get the full-blown tribute treatment: The Cure’s Robert Smith, Snow Patrol, Vetiver, and his one-time musical partner Phil Collins (among others) will offer covers to the two-disc set. There’s also a contribution from Beck, who takes on Martyn’s 1970 ballad “Stormbringer.” Hear it here.

Beck wisely doesn’t fuss too much with Martyn’s original, adding some reedy Mellotron keyboards to the tune’s low-key guitar-and-piano. And while Beck has veered into psychedelic terrain with recent LPs The Information and Modern Guilt, it’s nice to hear him returning to the heartbreaking, acoustic vibe of his 2002 classic Sea Change.

Hear It: Beck, “Stormbringer”