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Curved Air - Alive 1990  CD (album) cover

ALIVE 1990

Curved Air


Eclectic Prog

3.52 | 13 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars It happened when?

There are a couple of mysteries about this album. Hmm, Curved Air, band of mysteries. The first one comes with the CD booklet. My version shows a ceiling fan and a patch in the lower right corner with a fighter plane that says "Live 1990" at the top and "the HIDE & SEEK tour '99" at the bottom. Well, the liner notes really clear things up seeing as how there are no liner notes. Not even any credits for the band. So I pop it in and to my horror, it's a really crappy bootleg. The first track is called Twenty Years On. It's the only track that isn't from the past. Might actually be cool except for the crappy sound quality. Then, it breaks into It Happened Today, and I am about to shut it off and go listen to something else when it finally slides quickly into a respectable sound quality for a live recording. Mystery number two is did they not get the tape running soon enough and then have to patch the beginning with something taken from a bootleg?

Well, whenever or wherever or whatever it happened, it happened to go quite well. The quality of the recording and the performance for the rest of the show is quite good. These songs don't sound as old as their age.

As best as I've been able to find out, it's a reunion of most of the first lineup of the band. To be certain the presence of a few key members is obvious. Sonja Kristina is in excellent form. I'm surprised that someone who sings with such a strong vocal style still sings so well after a few years, if not better than she did in the past. Darryl Way's violin playing has only gotten finer over the years and together they both breathe new life into these songs. I haven't seen Francis Monkman doing anything post Sky, he certainly takes advantage of the new keyboard technology, which again helps give these old tunes a new feel.

I feel the need to say something nice about the other musicians as well. Curved Air's first drummer , Florian Pilkington-Miksa is back. I'm not aware of him doing any projects post CA. Certainly have no complaints about his performance here. Who's playing bass is anybody's guess. I see a credit for Rob Martin playing bass on Vivaldi on this site and that's it.

I haven't heard the live at the BBC Curved Air concert(s) CD, but I do have the Live from 1975 (performed in December 1974, I know this thanks to good liner notes, are you actually trying to sell the damn thing?, I think we all know the answer...). This one's much better despite its flaws, and not a bad assortment of selections from their first three studio albums, to boot.

Slartibartfast | 4/5 |


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