Solid Air

Solid Air by John Martyn (1973).

JOHN MARTYN: That period for me, around the early ’70s, was very fresh. It was interesting, but very difficult. Solid Air had a very warm and very big feeling about it. In some ways it was ahead of its time. I got the feeling sometimes that people wanted me to go out and do pop music, which isn’t my thing at all. The record company tried to make a hit single out of May You Never but, let’s be honest, it was never going to work.

JOHN WOOD (co-producer): Out of the many albums I recorded for Island, I was lucky enough to have co-produced three seminal ones: this, Nick Drake’s Pink Moon and Richard and Linda Thompson’s I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight. Today I doubt whether any of these records would have seen the light of day. The artists and I were just left alone to get on with making the records; there was no interference from Island’s A&R department. None of these artists’ previous albums had sold particularly well but, in spite of this, Island put its faith in the artist and hence got unique results. This is possibly one of the reasons why the Island catalogue has such longevity and many of its albums had a timeless quality. And I was never given any hassle about budgets.

John Martyn
1 May 2009