So Far So Good

4 Mar 1977
The Bottom Line:

Successful compilation after 10 years in the business; material from Bless The Weather, Solid Air and Sunday's Child.

John wasn't too happy with the album but it sold well and the critical reception was favourable, too.

The version of I'd Rather Be The Devil is rather unique, the identical version only to be found on the 2000 remastered & expanded CD reissue of Solid Air. Meanwhile this track proves a bit of a puzzle; according to the label, it lasts 5:50 while in fact this must be 6:10. The provenance was long obscure but as late as 2008, it turned out that it was recorded during the last concert at the Rainbow Theatre, on 16 March 1975. The version on So Far So Good was shortened however, as the original recording on Ain't No Saint lasts 8:56. And to make matters complete, on a promotional Island Sampler from 1977, the same version was included lasting 8:34. The tape can be recognised by John's closing words during the applause: "Thank you very much... That was Danny Thompson, that's John William Stevens. We enjoyed playing for you."

For me personally this is a special album as it was my first encounter with JM. I bought it in Amsterdam at Boudisque for only five guilders. Probably in the summer of 1979. Never ceased to amaze me.

There are two types of covers: a gatefold and a normal one for repressings.

signed coverAround 1980, John signed a copy of this album expressing his own mixed feelings about the successful album: "So Far, So Good, So What?"

Production: John Martyn, John Wood
Cover design: Folio
Cover painting: Ray Winder
Photography: Brian Cooke, Robert Ellis
Vinyl: Island ILPS 9484
Vinyl: Island Festival L36195 (Australia, gatefold sleeve)