The similarly-entitled A Breath of Fresh Air – A Harvest Records Anthology 1969–1974 released on 14 May 2007 borrowed most of the original title, but had only three tracks in common with its precursor (Pink Floyd's "Embryo", Panama Limited's "Round and Round", and Quatermass' "Black Sheep of the Family"). Although most tracks featured were of similar vintage, the album was a retrospective compilation, rather than a promotional sampler.
EMI Records launched the Harvest label in 1969 to take advantage of the progressive rock market, and like many record labels at the time, they produced a budget-priced showcase album of their artists. Their roster of artists was large and interesting enough to support a double album retailing at 29s/11d (approximately £1.50). The result was an eclectic mixture of traditional folk, hard rock, psychedelia and obscurities.
The inclusion of Embryo, without the approval of Pink Floyd, and which the band considered unfinished, resulted in the album's prompt withdrawal.
None of the artists who were featured on the album are portrayed on the outer cover. The front and rear of the gatefold show a group of people wearing World War II gas masks sitting in sand dunes with a dead bird on the sand. The interior of the sleeve displays the covers of most of the albums from which the tracks are taken against the background of an incoming sea tide. This background features a family walking across the sands in a washed-out monochrome. The cover design and photographs are credited to Hipgnosis, famous for their progressive rock album cover designs.