John Martyn

Solid Air

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Solid Air Review

by Thom Jurek

Solid Air is one of the defining moments in British folk, in the same league as Fairport Convention's Liege & Lief, Richard & Linda Thompson's Shoot Out the Lights, and Michael Chapman's Rainmaker. Martyn stepped out of his comfort zone to record and produce it, including not only jazz and blues but rock and plenty of sound effects, and featuring Rhodes piano on some of its tracks, dismaying some fans while winning a ton more for its genre-blurring presentation. A number of its cuts -- such as the title track (written for Martyn's friend, Nick Drake), "Over the Hill," "I'd Rather Be the Devil," and "May You Never" -- remained staples in his live sets until the end of his life.

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