Solid air

In 1973 John Martyn released "Solid Air" an album that continues the quality of the work he created on "Bless The Weather". During this time Pink Floyd released their "Dark Side Of The Moon" and Mike Oldfield his "Tubular Bells". This time he is collaborating with many other artists from the folk scene like Danny Thompson (bassist of Pentangle), Simon Nicol (harpist of Fairport Convention), Dave Pegg (Bassist of Fairport Convention) and Dave Mattacks (drummer of Fairport Convention). Again he produced the album himself together with John Wood just like his previous album.

Original vinyl A Side of the album

John's fine finger picking guitar playing and brilliant double-bass playing of Danny Thompson made his work worth listening musically. He also used the Echoplex tape delay machine to create a smoky, fuzzy vibe on "Rather Be The Devil", a cover of a song from Skip James. The fusion of jazz, blues, soul and folk overall works terrific throughout the album.

John Martyn in 1973

The title track is about his close friend Nick Drake (read my post about Nick Drake) who was dealing with his depressions and became the most withdrawn person he ever met. A year later Nick died because of an overdose of medicins for his depressions. "Over The Hill" is a positive reference to Martyn's favourite pastimes. "May You Never" is best known song which was covered later by Eric Clapton. He tried to record a full band version of the song but he wasn't satisfied with it. So what we hear on the album is the accoustic version with John on guitar.

"May You Never" single cover

The album cover created by John Webster is an example of schlieren photography demonstrating the solid nature of air.

Original album cover

Solid Air
Solid Air/ Over The Hill / Don't Want to Know / I'd Rather Be The Devil / Go Down Easy / Dreams by the Sea / May You Never / The Man in the Station / The Easy Blues


May You Never live on OGWT 1973

Go Down Easy

Solid Air

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