Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Curved Air

Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Curved Air Airborne album cover
2.57 | 59 ratings | 6 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Desiree (3:12)
2. Kids To Blame (3:19)
3. Broken Lady (3:13)
4. Juno (3:23)
5. Touch Of Tequila (3:49)
6. Moonshine (11:36)
7. Heaven (Never Semmed So Far Away) (3:18)
8. Hot And Bothered (2:53)
9. Dazed (4:17)

Bonus track on 1994 & 2011 CD releases:
10. Baby Please Don't Go (2:31) (1976 Single)

Total Time: 41:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Sonja Kristina / vocals
- Mick Jacques / guitars
- Darryl Way / violin, keyboards
- Tony Reeves / bass, double bass (3), keyboards
- Stewart Copeland / drums

- Bob Sargeant / organ (1,2)
- Robin Lumley / piano (3)
- Jack Emblow / accordion (3)
- Alan Skidmore / saxophone (8)
- Henry Lowther / trumpet (8)
- Frank Ricotti / congas

Releases information

Artwork: Ean Taylor

LP BTM Records ‎- BTM 1008 (1976, UK)

CD Repertoire Records ‎- REP 4493-WY (1994, Germany) With a bonus track
CD Repertoire Records ‎- REP 5248 (2011, Germany) Remastered (?) With a bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy CURVED AIR Airborne Music

More places to buy CURVED AIR music online

CURVED AIR Airborne ratings distribution

(59 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

CURVED AIR Airborne reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The end is nigh

While "Airbourne" (released in 1976) represents the declining years in terms of Curved Air's success and popularity, it does have some historical significance as it was the band's last official studio album. "Airborne" is also notable as Stewart Copeland, who went on to find superstardom as drummer with the Police, plays "heavy artillery" (i.e. drums) here. He had already appeared on Curved Air's "Midnight wire" album, which was released just after the reunion of (most of) the original line up for "Curved Air live". From that re-union, violinist Daryl Way remained in the band, the line up for "Airbourne" being completed by guitarist Mick Jacques, and Tony Reeves on bass.

Copeland, who had recently married lead singer Sonja Kristina, participated in the song writing for the first time when he co-wrote the music for the opening track, "Desiree" (which was released as a single) along with Jacques, and the co-wrote lyrics with his new wife.

The three Daryl Way tracks are the eye catchers here, in particular "Moonshine". This track stands head an shoulders above the other songs on the album, especially in prog terms. While not quite as appealing as previous Curved Air masterpieces such as "Vivaldi" ("Air conditioning"), or "Metamorphosis" ("Air cut"), "Moonshine", which runs to about 10 minutes, is an impressive piece of work. The pace and mood of the track change regularly throughout, moving from soft delicate passages, to virtuoso violin by Way, and some fine symphonic keyboards. At times, there are echoes of Gentle Giant among others.

The rest of the tracks effectively play a supporting role. Side one consists of five short numbers. "Desiree", is a pop-rock opener, which features multi-tracked vocals by Sonja Kristina, and some decent, if brief, lead guitar. Quite why the band felt the need to multi-track Kristina's voice is something of a mystery, but it is a sound which features on several of the tracks here. Copeland's composition "Kids to blame" is a fairly innocuous piece of pop rock, but he took it with him to The Police, where it featured in their live act.

The closing track on side one, "Touch of Tequila", is the antithesis of "Moonshine", being a dreadful pop influenced song, which sees Kristina sounding a bit too like Irish Eurovision star Dana!

There are a couple of decent ballads, "Broken lady", co-written by Sonja Kristina, and Daryl Way's lullaby "Dazed", which closes the album.

"Airbourne" is an album of peaks and troughs, ranging from the excellent prog of "Moonshine" to the disastrous pop of "Touch of Tequila". In all though, a worthwhile effort, which will, in the main, please fans of the band.

Review by Slartibartfast
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
2 stars A new addition to my collection, Airborne is Curved Air's last studio album to date, and from a progressive point of view, a better album than the previous Midnight Wire. Notable for being the last of two studio albums of CA and including Stewart Copeland on drums (soon to be a Police man). Although it suffers from commercialitis like Midnight Wire, it has more good prog moments, and the poppy stuff isn't too bad for pop. Broken Lady, Moonshine, and Dazed are the best tracks here, more true to the original progressive spirit of the band than the rest. Juno has some nice vibes. Robin Lumley of Brand X even puts in a guest appearance.

Kristina's got some samples of her '90's Acid Folk stuff posted on her web site. Looks like I'll need to do some further exploration.

Dang it, I just noticed I already reviewed this one. Here's the remastered review. Heh, heh, heh:

Curved Air's last album, well sort of. Not much for the progressive music fan here. Of interest Robin Lumley of Brand X shows up on one track and this is one the ones with Stewart Copeland doing drums, who many may know went on to The Police. The last two CA albums turned out to be fairly non-impressive commercial affairs, Darryl Way did return to the fold for those.

There are three tracks of interest to the prog lover on this one: Broken Lady, Moonshine, and Dazed. The rest aren't bad for pop, so if you're a fan of the earlier Curved Airs, you might enjoy them. My favorite of those is Touch Of Tequila, might have something to do with my love of that spirit. My CD has a bonus track of a cover of Baby Please Don't Go, which though not prog, isn't a bad version of that song.

Certainly a proggier album than Midnight Wire.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Oh Well, this was a big, big disappointment. While their previous album Midnight Wire had some charm and could indicate a new direction to better things, Airborne almost buries it all. Ok, it has some good moments like Moonshine, the only real prog song here that reminds us of how good Curved Air once was. Anyway, it is a very fine track, clocking just over 11 minutes, it shows some jazz/fusion trends (also seen in small bits on some other tracks) and has a great violin solo by Darryl Way. Another highlight is Stewart Copeland's drumming, real good (and before he reached stardom as a member of The Police).

The rest of the album fells flat. Most of the songs are just atempts to reach the pop rock market, culminating with the real embarrassment of Touch Of Tequila (probably the worst thing Curved Air has ever done). The excellency of all band members is marred by the weakness of the songwriting. Some tracks are nice, like Broken Lady or Dazed, but even then, they are way below their previous effords. Adding pop, hard rock and fusion to simplistic, basic formulas only increase the overall feeling that the band was lacking direction and focus. With so many change of styles since they returned from the first break up, it is little wonder critics and public ended up losing interest. After this one it was clear the band had to call it quits.

A sad end to a band that promised (and, for a time, delivered) so much.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I'm afraid that the best of their work is definitely behind them. This remark was already very much true with their previous album ''Midnight Wire''.

The same line-up is in charge of this album, and even if this work can't be considered as a bad one, it can barely hold the comparison with their early works. Here and there, some fine music like the poetic and charming ''Broken Lady'' or like the upbeat and fine ''Juno''.

It's also difficult to face the evolution of Sonja's voice. I was really admiring her brilliant style in the early days of the band, but when I listen to the poor ''Touch Of Tequila'', I can only be totally disappointed.

To identify the best track here is a very easy task. I guess that everyone would declare that ''Moonshine'' is the one. It is by far the most elaborate, complex, poignant and in one word the only true prog song available on this offering. It is also the longest studio track of ''Curved Air'' (if my memory serves me right). Since it is good for about thirty per cent of the album, this song is more than welcome and raises quite substantially the level of this work.

The worse is being reached with the dreadful ''Hot & Bothered'', and even if ''Dazed'' is not a bad song, the mellowish mood is just too much for my ears.

In all, it is an album which is best avoided. One very good song and that's it. Two stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars A touch of moonshine!

Airborne was the final studio album that Curved Air released in the 1970's, and until last year's return with North Star almost 40 years later it was their latest. I have long been familiar with the band's first four albums, but I hadn't dug any deeper into their discography until recently. Airborne is an album very much of its time, a time as we all know that saw the first wave of progressive Rock in a gradual decline. There was an almost universal move in the genre towards more streamlined and commercial songs while still holding on to the core characteristics of classic Prog. Most of the tracks on Airborne are indeed more commercially oriented that what had gone before, but I must say that I enjoy most of them! Perhaps this is a bit of a guilty pleasure(?). And then there is Moonshine - an 11 minute plus epic that is a real gem and which alone makes the album worthwhile. In this respect it is a bit like Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman from Emerson, Lake & Palmer's notorious Love Beach album.

When listening to Airborne I am reminded of late 70's/early 80's Renaissance injected with a Babe Ruth-like energy at times as Curved Air is as always more rocking than Renaissance ever was. Even though the folky side of the band is reduced here perhaps a bit of Steeleye Span can nonetheless also be detected in the latter's more Pop Rock moods.

Overall, I find this a decent album that - even though one track stands above all the others - keeps to a fair standard most of the time. There are a couple of weak, somewhat embarrassing moments, but these are outweighed by the better moments which just barely pushes this album into three star territory.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Broken Lady is by far the best track here and although Curved air released far better records this certainly has a few moments. The cover looks a bit Jefferson Star ship but at least you get to see what all the fuss was about regarding the lovely Sonja. I suppose the inclusion of Copeland make ... (read more)

Report this review (#92045) | Posted by burgersoft777 | Tuesday, September 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of CURVED AIR "Airborne"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.