Today t5m are paying tribute to one of Britain’s most cherished musicians, John Martyn. The 60-year-old Solid Air singer died of pneumonia yesterday.
John’s career was a long and illustrious one: he released over thirty studio and many live albums over five decades.
Always the innovator with the gravel voice, John’s musical style constantly evolved. From his debut acoustic folk album London Conversation in 1967, he touched on rock, blues, reggae and even disco in 1982’s Well Kept Secret.
He first found wide critical acclaim with 1971’s Bless The Weather, described at the time by Sound magazine as ‘a masterpiece,’ before writing the track that he has found most fame with – Solid Air – for dear friend Nick Drake.
In recent years John had continued to write, record and perform – undeterred by the loss of his right leg in 2004. In 2008, he received the MOJO Les Paul Award for being ‘a true innovator of the guitar.’ He said at the ceremony, ‘the power is definitely in the music, not the people, the music is the cool bit.’
John’s death is a sad loss to music, but he will be remembered forever in its hall of fame, inspiring many contemporary acts such as U2 and Portishead.
Watch John Martyn perform classic track Bless The Weather in 1978, filmed for The Old Grey Whistle Test.