Solid Air [2 CD Deluxe Edition]
Deluxe Edition, DLX ed.
Audio CD | Extra Tracks, Import, Remastered, 2 CD
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Audio CD, Import, Limited Edition, October 30, 2000
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Compiled, with John Martyn's blessing, by John Hillarby from the official John Martyn website and with sleeve notes by Record Collector's Daryl Easlea, John's landmark album from 1973 has now been digitally remastered and expanded into a 2CD set.
Disc One contains the original album, considered by many to be his best album, digitally remastered and sounding better than ever.
Disc Two contains 12 previously unreleased out-takes, 3 live tracks and the 7-inch single version of May You Never.
Top Customer Reviews
Martyn died in 2009 and did not have much commercial success during his lifetime. However, He did have some famous friends and admirers including Nick Drake, Phil Collins and Eric Clapton. This is a great album. It has not really dated at all, perhaps because it is mostly acoustic. The British Encyclopedia of Popular Music, which is my favorite record guide, awarded it 5 stars. It is what it deserves.
The technical explanation of loudness compression is the application of an increasingly high ratio of compression to the dynamic range of a particular recording, and then increasing the gain of the recording, until the peaks have reached maximum. In layman's terms, what this means is there are no longer any quiet or loud passages in the recording, EVERYTHING is at the same volume.
Basically, the iPod is responsible for the proliferation of this practice. When music is played back thru iPod earbuds in any environment where there is ambient noise present, by having the volume artificially jacked across the entire music spectrum, you can hear the content more clearly. However, when you listen to the same recording thru a home audio system, it sounds like the music is emanating from a megaphone.
Nowhere is this odious practice more in stark contempt for the original work than Island's "remaster" of this classic album. The sad result of this is Martyn's voice is not only buried, but has to compete with, rather than be complemented by, the accompanying instrumentation. The dynamic range of the original recording is totally gone.
The best way to describe what you will hear is this: Imagine Martyn sharing a stage with a bass player, a drummer, keyboards, etc. Every instrument, including his guitar, is electrically amplified thru the house speaker system... except his voice. THAT'S what this CD sounds like.
It is unclear if Island will continue to manufacture the older CD, which, while not remastered, is of perfectly acceptable audio quality, and is a far better listening experience than this travesty.
Link to the original version of Solid Air.