Wednesday, June 06, 2007

282. John Martyn - Solid Air (1973)

Track Listing

1. Solid Air
2. Over The Hill
3. Don't Want To Know
4. I'd Rather Be The Devil
5. Go Down Easy
6. Dreams By The Sea
7. May You Never
8. The Man In The Station
9. The Easy Blues


Another great album on the list. We are back to the very vibrant folk scene of the Britain of the late 60's and early 70's. And it is a good thing indeed to be back to. The title track here is dedicated to Nick Drake who would die 18 months later, and it is natural because you can really see a common heritage here, of beautiful acoustic guitar and sensitive Jazzy sounds.

Martyn also goes for more fully acoustic and folksy tracks but everything in this album is absolutely precious, in the good sense of the word. Each track is a little gem that deserves to be listened to repeatedly and if you ever heard this album you have most certainly listened to it many times.
If you enjoy good music you will certainly love this, the tracks are surprisingly catchy without ever falling into trite, and lyrically it is as good as anything that came out of this scene. Albums which ally music and lyrics as perfectly as this are few and far between and therefore this is something to be deeply cherished.

These last few albums have been truly amazing, and really represent the reason why the early 70's are probably my favourite era for popular music; the variety of kinds of music is joined with really musical skill and a melancholy sense of disillusionment after the botched experience of the 60's which makes this a more deep experience than just hippie happiness. Get this at Amazon
UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. May You Never

2. The Man In The Station
3. Over The Hill
4. Don't Want To Know (but all the other tracks are equally great!)

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Following the commercial success of Solid Air, Martyn quickly recorded and released the experimental Inside Out, a more difficult album with emphasis placed on feel and improvisation rather than song structure. In 1975, he followed this with Sunday's Child. In September of that year he released a live album, Live at Leeds - Martyn had been unable to convince Island to release the record, and Martyn resorted to selling individually signed copies by mail from his home. Live at Leeds features Danny Thompson and drummer John Stevens, and is notable not only for the performances given, but the recording quality and incredibly quiet audience for a live recording. After releasing Live at Leeds, Martyn took a sabbatical, including a visit to Jamaica, spending time with famous reggae producer Lee 'Scratch' Perry.

May You Never, surprisingly accurate to the album version:

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