Solid Air

John Martyn – Solid Air.

Acoustic troubadour’s finest hour revisisted. Hello there Badly Drawn Boy.

First released in February 1973, this still has all the hallmarks of a classic album. Beautiful flawed, mythologising, the title track was written for and about his troubled label mate. Nick Drake and recorded with a line-up of Island Records instrumental hotshots (Danny and Richard Thompson, the Daves- Mattacks and Pegg, Simon Nicol) it confirmed John Martyn’s stature as a key mover in the progressive acoustic movement. Musically it veers between rubber-boned ballads delivered in a melting drawl such as Go Down Easy and May You Never and the genuine ferocity of Dreams By The Sea and I’d Rather Be The Devil, the last doubled up here with a live version. One of Martyn’s key recordings and still one of the coolest albums of all time. ****

Rob Beattie
Q Magazine
1 October 2000