I guess the Echoplex sound is one that runs hit or miss with music fans. She would quickly become Mrs Martyn and they recorded together two albums, which are essential in Martyn's instrumental progression. Solid air but it is a good album. The pleasure this album gives never evaporates even after repeated listening, which have been many as I bought it in 1991, in the days before mp3 and downloads when you had to visit a record shop yes really. Hang on, I don't mean to be patronising. The Echoplex guitar sound--which Martyn hung on to as a signature sound for most of his career--is used to absolute perfection here, with the sound of boats and wooden docks creaking in the water, as if the song was recorded outside. There was also a very successful bootleg Nottingham 1976 that sold 'massively' One would have to wait until 1977 to finally see the highly-acclaimed One World and 1980 for Grace And Danger, notable for Phil Collins' contributions.
. Posted Thursday, January 24, 2013 Review 899026 John Martyn's Solid Air reminds me of what would happen if you combined the intimate chamber folk of Nick Drake with the murky, slightly inebriated atmosphere of Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, then added some jazz sensibilities to the mix. The album is, however, a charming oddity or testament to a musician's need and willingness to change and progress. Piece by piece is actually a very good album. With the less-successful Sunday's Child in 1974, Martyn's new studio recording, he would eventually decrease the frequency of album releases. In a first time, he managed to keep the fans waiting with the stupendous live album Live At Leeds pun towards The Who intended that Island refused inexplicably to carry and Martyn did it himself, which is the definitive live testimony of Martyn on stage, especially in its expanded double disc Cd reissue. All songs have their own sound-pallet with destinctive settings for guitar en keyboard.
I rather have 'pop' music by prog musicians,than no music at all. Now the real good songs will start. Unfortunately he was prone to excessive drinking and substance abuse even this soon in his career , which caused his erratic behaviour, and later growing health problems often having to cancel gigs with no notice. That is in itself not necessarily a bad thing, just different. Very tight instrumental support from his support band. I have always found Martyn's excursions into rock music to be so and so but here it works very well indeed. Martyn's first two albums London Conversations and The Tumbler are about as straight folk and folk rock as you can get and were both recorded under Joe Boyd's tutelage, and it is through him he met singer Beverly Kutner.
The end result is a weirdly sunny-sounding album which sort of resembles a folk rock artist's attempt to figure out what reggae sounded like based only on some rather vague descriptions. John Martyn has a gentle voice that is relatively soft in the mix of guitars, drums, bass and piano. So it grew on me yes,and I bought the album. The standouts, though, are not that many in numbers. Ended up getting Piece by Piece and was not disappointed,as most songs of the album carry a similar sound.
Unfortunately he was prone to excessive drinking and substance abuse even this soon in his career , which caused his erratic behaviour, and later growing health problems often having to cancel gigs with. The love differs in passion, though. His music had these jazzy overtones I find appealing. One of the couple's friends was Nick Drake also a Joe Boyd pupil whose own suicide proved detrimental to Martyn's morale. The power of the record is in the subtle interventions and atmospheric feel. The lable folk-rock might attract listeners who expect something quite different, I'd rather think of 'Solid Air' as an artistic introverted soulrecord with some folkinstruments.
The focus, however, is almost always in Martyn's touching vocals, which are able to command the listener's unceasing attention. Particularly on the Skip James song 'I'd rather Be The Devil' which has the same vibe as Jimi Hendrix's aqueous '1983. By 1984 the result was good but not great. Posted Friday, August 14, 2015 Review 1453170. Or maybe it's just that it is an okay album and that is good enough.
The production is quite excellent and modern for its time. Nightline is like The song Manifesto from the album of the same name by Roxy Music. It keeps returning like waves lapping a shore. His guitar, fed through his echoplex a tape delay device which allowed him to sustain notes , is similarity fluid, all heat haze scintillation and smoky scrolls. Musically Martyn is as professional as ever but the material is not that amazing, though some very good. I think it could be that the album has aged not that gracefully, as some albums do. A strange mix, yes, but somehow an intoxicatingly catchy one, making this stylistic experiment a resounding success.
Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 Review 942924 My introduction to John Martyn was when Angeline got airplay, when this album was released. He finally downed the whiskey bottle in early 2009. Both Stormbringer and Road To Ruin have their own duo charm, but also hold the first hints of the future soundscape of John Martyn. It makes me wish I had attended one of his concerts. Though the Echoplex guitar effects are not heard or used much, John remained fond of the sound throughout his career.
Posted Wednesday, April 23, 2014 Review 1164347 John Martyn's Bless the Weather doesn't quite have a sound as compelling as the stark minimalism of Solid Air in particular, the jazz influences on Martyn's music haven't really manifested yet , nor does it have any compositions which stand out quite as much as the subsequent album's title track, but it's still enjoyable as a folk album in its own right and offers a fascinating insight into the early development of the guitar techniques and vocal stylings which would come together so effectively on Solid Air. She would quickly become Mrs Martyn and they recorded together two albums, which are essential in Martyn's instrumental progression. John Martyn's music is defenitely artistic, but it sound a bit to background music to my ears. Indeed Beverley's acoustic guitar strumming had allowed him to pick up the electric guitar and he became enamoured with the pedal effects but also daring 'electrify' his songwriting , especially one that would make his guitar sound famous, the Echoplex. He is ably supported by the great Danny Thompson on bass, providing a supple backbone, who was a great friend of john Martyn playing on many of his albums as well as being a stalwart member of folk rockers Pentangle. The Drake connection, it turns out, is no coincidence - the title track's a tribute to Nick, though as with Drake's own material it's sufficiently lyrically obtuse that I suspect only Martyn and Drake ever knew the real meanin go the song - but the connections to the rest of the British folk scene don't stop there, with various folk luminaries including Richard Thompson serving in Martyn's backing band. There is also an odd tension of jazz and Latin feel to the song.