John Martyn

Live in Nottingham 76

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The sound quality isn't perfect (this has been around as a bootleg for some time, recorded on a reel-to-reel, and the sonic sense on this isn't the best, by any means), but the music certainly is. Recorded in autumn 1976, this is John Martyn at his '70s peak, still on the high that followed the Live at Leeds album. It's almost a best-of, with tracks like "May You Never," "Solid Air," "Spencer the Rover," and "Bless the Weather." But what makes it a really remarkable document is the inclusion of two cuts -- "One for the Road" and "Dead on Arrival." The former wasn't officially recorded in the studio until after the millennium, and the latter, written for the late Paul Kossoff, has never appeared on a studio disc. Throughout, Martyn is on great form, playing and singing with complete assurance, at the very top of his form. So not only is it important historically to Martyn fans, it's a bloody great record taken on its own terms.

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