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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more reworkings, but good ones
An excellent track listing, but pretty simiilar to Couldn't Love You More and No Little Boy, and as with these other two albums this seems to be a reworking of the old songs yet again. Again the style is much more jazzy and romantic than the original more folky and intimate versions. No sleeve notes at all, so buying it was a risk but luckily they weren't the originals...
Published on 2 Feb 2003 by C. A. R. Croft

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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One to avoid
Novices be warned! This is not the classic John Martyn album 'Solid Air' (originally released in 1973), but a compilation of more recent material. It contains nothing from the original 'Solid Air' album. Instead, it's yet another rehash of the Permanent Records/Artful Records material from the early 90s, which Artful has been regularly re-releasing in different...
Published on 1 Jan 2004


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more reworkings, but good ones, 2 Feb 2003
By 
C. A. R. Croft (Bournemouth) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Solid Air: Classics Revisited (Audio CD)
An excellent track listing, but pretty simiilar to Couldn't Love You More and No Little Boy, and as with these other two albums this seems to be a reworking of the old songs yet again. Again the style is much more jazzy and romantic than the original more folky and intimate versions. No sleeve notes at all, so buying it was a risk but luckily they weren't the originals (got them) or the CLYM/NLB versions. It would be good to know who's playing on them though, and whether they are well-recorded live takes or studio takes - I can't tell. Conclusion: if you've never heard John Martyn you'll love these 2 CDs, but if you have then get the originals first (or the brilliant compilation Sweet Little Mysteries) - and then, if you want jazzier versions, any one of this, CLM or NLB would do. To buy all three you'd have to be a JM addict - like me!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, jazzy re-workings of his catalogue, 16 Jun 2012
This review is from: Solid Air: Classics Revisited (Audio CD)
This is a release where the balance needs severely redressing; two discs of fantastic John Martyn music, for the absurdly cheap price of £3.49, reduced to three stars because people inanely thought they were buying the original 1973 album. This isn't Solid Air; indeed, the subtitle Classics REVISITED seems to give that away.

These are instead deep, jazzy renditions of songs from John's back catalogue, and are to my mind some of the best things he ever recorded. Never has his voice sounded better, conveying such emotion with his slurred, melodic tone, getting his timing and phrasing beautifully right on every song. The backing and the production may not be to the taste of some, not least to the Martyn fans who hated his late 80s direction, replete as it was with atmospheric keyboards, saxophones and an almost lounge like quality. There's plenty of that here, no doubt, and usually it only increases the quality of the songs; `Solid Air' becomes more encompassing and poignant; `Couldn't Love You More' is beautifully melodic; `One World' is eight minutes long, a dark, gorgeous journey. Yes, it's kind of schmaltzy, but Martyn's voice always pulls it to the right side of acceptable. If they don't beat the originals, these re-recordings do them more than justice.

There's not just jazzy reworks here either. A fourteen minute live performance of the rocker Johnny Too Bad is included, as is the fantastic Levon Helm duet `Rock, Salt and Nails'. You also get a smattering of songs from Martyn's late 80s and early 90s records, the standouts being 'Look At That Girl' and `Angeline', beautiful both lyrically and musically and so understated.

So all in all, not only is this set cheap, it also contains some of my favourite music John Martyn ever put to tape. The re-workings are close enough to the originals to make them recognisable, yet far enough away to make them worthwhile. It doesn't seem merely `thrown together', as the set flows nicely, one song into another, with classic song after classic song reminding just what an amazing songwriter you're listening to. Recommended to all fans of Martyn, then, although newcomers would be better versed to start with `Bless The Weather', `Solid Air' or `One World', so as to hear the songs in their purest, perfect, original forms before getting to know these later interpretations.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One to avoid, 1 Jan 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Solid Air: Classics Revisited (Audio CD)
Novices be warned! This is not the classic John Martyn album 'Solid Air' (originally released in 1973), but a compilation of more recent material. It contains nothing from the original 'Solid Air' album. Instead, it's yet another rehash of the Permanent Records/Artful Records material from the early 90s, which Artful has been regularly re-releasing in different packaging.
The music is great but you can obtain it in a better format, in the form of the original CDs. Please discourage Artful Records by not buying such cynical compilations, especially when they are confusingly given the same titles as other albums.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Your Mistake, Surely....., 25 July 2011
This review is from: Solid Air: Classics Revisited (Audio CD)
The reviews on this album seem to be based on the mis-assumption that this was, somehow, the original 'Solid Air'...of course it isn't. It is however a totally legitimate re-working of some classic John Martyn by the maestro himself......And it's really rather good. The vocals are sublime, the musicianship absolutely faultless, and the overall feel is very laid-back and comfortable. It is exactly what is says on the tin.....Classics Revisited. It comes more in the style of Van Morrison and occasionally sounds like Terry Callier...but how can that be bad. Thoroughly recommended. Of course you need to buy the originals as well...but this is different in a good way. £3 in HMV by the way..........
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Johnny Too Good, 6 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Solid Air: Classics Revisited (Audio CD)
Having read the other reviews, here is my perspective. Those who have been to any of JM's gigs will know that you were never sure what you were going to get depending on how much Bevvy had been consumed. This album is like that - we know all these songs and tunes - but not necessarily as they are played here. For me John is obviously having a lot of fun on these tracks (May you Never for example) and that's all he ever wanted. OK you can be Po faced about record company bahaviour and lack of liner notes but just "get over it". More fun to listen to the tracks and pick out the sounds of Aran Ahmun, Andy Shephard Alan Thompson et al. John "went with the flow" all his life I suggest you do the same and buy the album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT the famous SOLID AIR cd but still it has some great music, 8 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Solid Air: Classics Revisited (Audio CD)
It is misleading but this dbl CD is titled as the most famousSolid Air John Martyn CD. It may be confusing but I knew it before I bought this dbl cd. I bought it because it was the cheapest way to get a version of "Rock Salt and Nails", and I am not disappointed. The John Martyn's site just dismisses this cd as another pointless compilation and doesnt give much info, we just know that it comes from the years Martyn recorded for Permanent records when Island showed him the door in the 90's. The first thing I must say is that this was a big mistake for the label and for music lovers. Martyn is quoted in the liner notes as saying that he took singing lessons to improve his voice just before these recordings were made and indeed he doesnt sound any better as a singer than in many of the songs here. I am not sure if these songs come from Permanet releases or outtakes, Martyn may have not been very happy with the sound, but many of the versions here are the most accesible he recorded, the beautiful sax sound in the background is pretty much similar to the work of Van Morrison ca. Poetic Champions Compose. There is much to enjoy here, and there are also some very bad tracks with lower sound like in Income Town or The Apprentice. The version here of Send Me One Line is gorgeous, as well as Rock Salt and Nails (with Levon Helm) , I Don't Wanna Know, Head And Heart, etc... So you may need to use your remote but this is a very enjoyable release for a very reasonable price.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars See my Amazon US review if you care to, 17 Dec 2011
By 
paul pirate (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Solid Air: Classics Revisited (Audio CD)
When Amazon.UK asked me to review this (I bought it by mistake), I came to see what others had written (the US page had few if any reviews prior to mine). Some of my fellow reviewers find the mislabeling more than a nuisance, as I did. There are others who got to the point regarding the source of the recordings (the 1990s remakes for labels other than Island), something I did not research - so thank you to them. However, the remark that "of course it isn't" the original version of SOLID AIR, or that the subtitle "Classics Revisited" is "exactly what [this CD set] is," may suggest that reviewer's self-anointed breadth, but no, this is not a case of "Classics Revisited," nor should one automatically realize that this "of course isn't" the original.
What's wrong with this compilation? That the CD is "cobbled" together from unidentified sources (let's assume that a buyer trying out a sampling of JM doesn't have a lexicographic knowledge of the man's recording history), and doesn't even bother including at least the entire song set comprising the first SOLID AIR from the 1970s. I have no idea of the legitimacy of this release - are the recordings now public domain, or was the release made to help JM out (or someone else) financially? If legit, why not take a bit of trouble making it feel and read more honest (and less like a bootleg), and how about a better ordering of tracks, and doesn't "Easy Blues" sound bizarrely out of place with the jazz/rock reworkings and some less than focused singing elsewhere?
Yes, it's cheap, and some of the cuts stand up pretty well to the originals (thus two stars). Others sound formulaic in their arrangements, and others....well, you can decide. The JM Revisitation Industry has been with us for, what, 25 years now, and it isn't getting any prettier. Borrow this from your friends, or find the "originals" - then, go listen to THE original, and discover JM's true magic.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is not the original Solid Air album, 21 Jun 2009
This review is from: Solid Air: Classics Revisited (Audio CD)
I bought this 2 CD collection on impulse whilst wandering around HMV under the naive impression that I was buying the celebrated original album by John Martyn. Although the music is absolutely brilliant, and although this will probably become one of my favourite CD compilations, I'm annoyed that I let the title mislead me. Hence, like the first reviewer, I'm only awarding it one star, as I'll almost certainly buy everything John Martyn has ever released and there'll be lot of annoying duplications.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Johnny Too Good!, 22 July 2014
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This review is from: Solid Air: Classics Revisited (Audio CD)
Stunning songwriting, stunning performances, sublime, exquisite, Johnny you were Too Good!
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