John Martyn has made many excellent albums in his career: I wouldn't claim complete knowledge but I find it hard to believe that he has ever improved upon this late Seventies gem. Its successor, 'Grace and Danger', has always received critical acclaim, and yet I think that this is even better.
For a start, its sound seems to be completely timeless. I've listened to it recently, and it doesn't sound at all dated: in fact it doesn't sound like anything else at all (apart from other John Martyn recordings)! Martyn's style is unique and defies description at the best of times: here he blends his signature rhythmic, repetitive, echoed guitar sounds with jazzy drumming, dubby basslines and surging, swirling keyboards, and over all that his slurred, bluesy vocals... No one else has ever sounded like that.
When I first bought this album, I thought it was the most superb late-night listening ever (I suppose now we'd call it 'chill-out') and it ended many an evening on my turntable (yes, that long ago...) played at low volume so as not to disturb the neighbours. Then one Saturday afternoon I found it still there, put it on and cranked up the volume, and it sounded even more amazing! If you have, or acquire this album, try playing it really loud - it really leaps out and grabs you. You'll enjoy chilling out to it too, but let it rock out a bit...
John Martyn is one of the UK's real originals, a national treasure. I spent a good few happy evenings in my student days, watching with awe as a scruff with a wired-up acoustic guitar filled the whole hall with spacy, echoing riffs. This album takes that sound into a whole new dimension, and it really should be regarded as an absolute classic.