About the author
Rick Martyn is a former professional musician, songwriter, arranger and producer who has performed all over the world, and is now based in the UK and the USA. He first heard the music of Al Stewart in the early 1970s (well before Year Of The Cat), and was immediately drawn to its unique qualities: more melodic than hard rock, and more satisfying musically than traditional folk with intelligent and accessible lyrics.
The idea to critique Al’s songs occurred one night while listening to Last Days Of The Century. That album, and especially “Antarctica”, contains so many points of interest that the decision was taken to note them all down for future reference and discussion with friends and other musicians. That’s the essence of Like Timeless Wine, which covers all of Al’s output from his first record “The Elf” in 1966 to the latest album Sparks Of Ancient Light. It also includes less well known studio demos and some live recordings.
Creating Like Timeless Wine has been an incredibly exciting and fascinating project. It has also been a bit daunting as the original (non-compilation) albums contain a lot of material, in addition to the bonus tracks that have appeared in recent years on the re-issued CDs. But it’s been worth every minute of the many hours spent listening, re-listening, analysing and commenting on this amazing collection of songs. May there be many more!