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Curved Air - Airconditioning CD (album) cover


Curved Air


Eclectic Prog

3.33 | 184 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars I own the original picture disc and I've played this disc plenty of times and the paint never faded off. That's because the artwork was actually embedded in between the vinyl, not on top. Regardless, as everyone ever commented, it's not exactly audiophile quality. I also own an American green Warner black vinyl copy of this in which the sound quality wasn't that great either, despite it being on standard vinyl. Regardless, Curved Air is one of the great prog bands that been forgotten in time. While I run across older folks (older than me) who know of Curved Air, the younger generation hadn't discovered them, perhaps they didn't have "hipster" cred, I don't know.

It seems at this phase in their career, they were having trouble keeping bass players, but the rest remained fairly intact until about 1972, with Sonja Kristina, Francis Monkman, Darryl Way, and Florian Pilkington-Miksa. If you wondered what a British take on It's a Beautiful Day or Jefferson Airplane would be like, look no further than here. The It's a Beautiful Day comparison mainly for the violon, and Airplane for the female vocals (although Sonja sounds nothing like Grace Slick). "It Happened Today" was a song in my younger years I thought was a tad repetitive, but I've really grown to love it, especially Darry Way's violin solo. "Stretch" bears more than a passing resemblance to Jefferson Airplane, perhaps because of the combination female and male vocals, the male vocals reminding me of Paul Kantner. "Screw" features some low-key Mellotron and nice violin passages, while Way's "Vivaldi" is not only the album's highlight but a highlight in their live performance. A clear Vivaldi influence in obviously heard in the violin, but he really gets noisy as this piece progresses to the point you can tell Vivaldi would be turning in his grave. "Hide and Seek", "Propositions" and "Situations" are more great pieces that I have a hard time describing, but "Vivaldi With Cannon" is as described. The same "Vivaldi" piece with VCS-3 synth simulated sound of cannon fire. It seems as if Francis Monkman just bought a VCS-3 while recording this and likely just as the sessions were winding down ready for release, as he uses the VCS-3 nowhere else (luckily he totally remedied that on their next two albums).

To me a good album worth getting, but their next two album (Second Album, Phantasmagoria) are even better.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |


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