MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

CURVED AIR

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Curved Air picture
Curved Air biography
CURVED AIR were formed in 1970 by Sonja Kristina (vocals), Darryl Way (violin), Francis Monkman (keyboards), Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums). The group decided the name using a shortened version of Terry Riley's composition "A rainbow in curved air". In their first album "Air Conditioning", a prominent role was given to vocals and violin; the album reached number 8 in the British charts. Then, in 1971, they released "Second Album", highly recommended example of CURVED AIR sound (a mix of acoustic folk and progressive rock).

1972 was the year of "Phantasmagoria", with Mike Wedgwood as bass guitarist. After a long tourney the band fell apart and Way formed the WOLF, while CURVED AIR showed a new line-up with Eddy Jobson as violinist, but they will never reach the performance level of the early two albums. In 1973, after "Air Cut" (with a sound hard oriented), Wedgwood joined with CARAVAN and Jobson with ROXY MUSIC. The four members of the original project made the first reunion in 1975 for a tourney (album "Curved Air Live"). Afterwards Kristina and Way carried on with drummer Stewart Copeland, bassist Tony Reeves, guitarist Mick Jacques and released "Midnight Wire". Their last album was "Airborne", published in 1976. The second reunion of the four former members was in 1990 for a concert in London (album "Alive 1990"). In the same year was released an album of previously unissued tracks recorded in 1973 ("Lovechild"). Finally, in 1995, an album of BBC sessions, called "Live at BBC".

: : : Silvio Chiarioni, ITALY : : :

Curved Air official website

CURVED AIR MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

CURVED AIR forum topics / tours, shows & news


CURVED AIR forum topics Create a topic now
CURVED AIR tours, shows & news Post an entries now

CURVED AIR Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to CURVED AIR

Buy CURVED AIR Music


AirconditioningAirconditioning
Import
Repertoire 2012
Audio CD$7.27
$4.99 (used)
Best of Curved AirBest of Curved Air
Import
Repertoire 2008
Audio CD$7.72
$8.40 (used)
Air CutAir Cut
Import
Imports 2011
Audio CD$7.15
$10.90 (used)
PhantasmagoriaPhantasmagoria
Import
REPERTOIRE 2011
Audio CD$8.91
$8.90 (used)
REBORNREBORN
MARQUEE
Audio CD$87.26
$15.82 (used)
Second AlbumSecond Album
Import
REPERTOIRE 2011
Audio CD$7.72
$10.97 (used)
AirWaves - Live At The BBC Remastered / Live At The Paris TheatreAirWaves - Live At The BBC Remastered / Live At The Paris Theatre
Cleopatra 2012
Audio CD$9.99
$10.66 (used)
Lost BroadcastsLost Broadcasts
United States Dist 2012
DVD$10.99
Second AlbumSecond Album
Import
Wea Int'l 2008
Audio CD$35.34
$11.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
AIR CONDITIONING Curved Air vinyl LP album 1970 Warner green label Collectable USD $16.70 Buy It Now
CURVED AIR - AIR WAVES NEW CD USD $40.10 Buy It Now
Curved Air-Midnight Wire UK prog cd USD $10.99 Buy It Now
Mixed Lot 20 Records Captain & Tennille Curved Air Weather Report Kenny Loggins USD $22.72 Buy It Now
Second Album by Curved Air SHM-CD Japan Import New Sealed USD $13.29 [0 bids]
AIR CUT CURVED AIR LP Original UK PROG ROCK USD $23.45 Buy It Now
CURVED AIR North Star Double LP Vinyl Sealed Caravan Gentle Giant USD $34.56 [0 bids]
CURVED AIR AIRCONDITIONING LP 1970 WARNER BROS PSYCHEDELIC ROCK USD $24.99 Buy It Now
Phantasmagoria Lp - Curved Air - Vinyl LP - Used USD $15.60 Buy It Now 1h 24m
Airconditioning - Curved Air - Vinyl LP - Used USD $21.11 Buy It Now 1h 33m
Best Of Curved Air Vinyl (Curved Air - 1976) K 36015 (ID:14982) USD $10.27 Buy It Now 3h 56m
Curved Air -Midnight Wire CD NEW USD $16.09 Buy It Now 4h 3m
Curved Air -Airborne CD NEW USD $13.16 Buy It Now 4h 3m
CURVED AIR: SECOND ALBUM CD Classic 1971 prog inc. Back Street Luv, Everdance USD $8.98 Buy It Now 5h 49m
Curved Air - Air Cut (Vinyl) USD $33.41 Buy It Now 6h 54m
1976 - CURVED AIR - Airborne + UK Tour Dates - Press Advertisment - Poster Size USD $11.56 Buy It Now 7h 3m
Curved Air - Airborne (Vinyl) USD $25.69 Buy It Now 7h 16m
Curved Air - Best Of Curved Air (Vinyl) USD $21.84 Buy It Now 7h 19m
CURVED AIR LOVE CHILD RARE OOP CD USD $14.99 Buy It Now 8h 42m
CURVED AIR Best Of 1976 (Vinyl LP) USD $8.35 Buy It Now 12h 14m
Jackie Magazine issue 402 Sep 18th 1971 *Steve McQueen Curved Air Humble Pie* USD $12.85 Buy It Now 12h 38m
Rock Lp Curved Air Live On Btm USD $8.99 Buy It Now 12h 55m
CURVED AIR LP "SECOND ALBUM" ORIGINAL 1971 WARNER BROS. USD $12.84 [1 bids]
13h 9m
DARRYL WAY HIGHLIGHTS ROUGE LIBRARY LP 1986 CURVED AIR SYNTH C-3PO STAR WARS USD $19.27 Buy It Now 15h 39m
CURVED AIR 'Back Street Luv' 1971 German 7"/45 rpm vinyl single USD $12.84 Buy It Now 15h 47m
CURVED AIR:"CURVED AIR LIVE".1975 DERAM+1W/1W MATRIXES+INNER+LAMINATED COVER. USD $12.85 Buy It Now 15h 49m
CURVED AIR - SECOND ALBUM FOLD OUT SLEEVE ~ 1971 UK WARNER BROS LABEL ~ EX USD $12.84 Buy It Now 16h 15m
NEW CURVED AIR Airconditioning JAPAN Mini LP CD1971 1st Darryl Way Conditioning USD $41.52 Buy It Now 18h 11m
CURVED AIR: Air Cut LP (UK, VG+ gatefold cover light spine wear) Rock USD $20.00 Buy It Now 18h 46m
Curved Air-Midnight Wire-ORIGINAL 1975 German Prog LP-NEAR MINT! USD $19.99 Buy It Now 19h 32m
TERRY RILEY A Rainbow in Curved Air LP ORIGINAL COLUMBIA Tangerine Dream USD $22.45 Buy It Now 1 day
AIRBORNE CURVED AIR TOUR DATES ADVERT 10 JULY 1976 USD $10.27 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR ON TOUR MIDNIGHT WIRE ADVERT 8 NOV 1975 FULL PAGE USD $12.84 Buy It Now 1 day
Curved Air Live Curved Air Vinyl Record USD $21.79 Buy It Now 1 day
TERRY RILEY A Rainbow In Curved Air LP COLUMBIA MASTERWORKS Ambient Minimal USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
CURVED AIR Air Conditioning Japan mini lp cd USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR: Airconditioning LP (Germany, tear in shrink) Rock & Pop USD $25.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Curved Air ?- Second Album LP fold out cover - damaged cover - K46092 - Ex USD $17.98 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR - AIR CONDITIONING USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $16.16 Buy It Now 1 day
Curved Air - Tapestry Of Propositions [New CD] UK - Import USD $12.84 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR - LIVE USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $16.97 Buy It Now 1 day
Curved Air - Tapestry Of Propositions [New CD] UK - Import USD $14.37 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR - MIDNIGHT WIRE [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $11.02 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR - AIR CONDITIONING USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $10.54 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR - NORTH STAR [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $28.74 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR - AIR CONDITIONING NEW CD USD $19.50 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR - LIVE NEW CD USD $17.12 Buy It Now 1 day
Curved Air - Phantasmagoria [New CD] Germany - Import USD $10.83 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR - AIR CONDITIONING NEW CD USD $16.38 Buy It Now 1 day
CURVED AIR - MIDNIGHT WIRE [DIGIPAK] NEW CD USD $16.08 Buy It Now 1 day
Curved Air - Phantasmagoria [New CD] Germany - Import USD $18.96 Buy It Now 1 day
Curved Air Air Cut 1st press U.K. records USD $7.57 [0 bids]
USD $20.00 Buy It Now
1 day
Curved Air-Air Cut UK prog mini lp cd USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Curved Air - Curved Air Live Vinyl LP USD $3.13 [0 bids]
USD $4.70 Buy It Now
1 day
North Star by Curved Air (Vinyl, Oct-2014, 2 Discs, Curved Air) USD $37.94 Buy It Now 1 day
Airborne - Curved Air 4009910524824 (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.31 Buy It Now 2 days
Daryl Way (Curved Air) - Little Plum - 7" single - mint USD $12.84 [0 bids]
2 days
Curved Air - Back Street Luv - 7" single - mint USD $6.41 [0 bids]
2 days
CURVED AIR - BACK STREET LUV - 7" VINYL 1971 WARNER BROTHERS USD $5.64 Buy It Now 2 days
CURVED AIR 'AIRCONDITIONING' UK LP A2/B1 MATRIX USD $19.27 Buy It Now 2 days
CURVED AIR MIDNIGHT WIRE ORIGINAL ADVERT 16 X 12" POSTER SIZE 1 NOV 1975 USD $16.70 Buy It Now 2 days
Curved Air - Live Atmosphere [Vinyl New] USD $24.74 Buy It Now 2 days
CURVED AIR-CURVED AIR LIVE-JAPAN SHM-CD D50 USD $17.50 Buy It Now 2 days
Curved Air - Live Atmosphere CD/ DVD (2012) USD $10.48 [0 bids]
2 days
CURVED AIR Best Of.. WB 1971 FREE UK POST USD $16.20 Buy It Now 2 days
CURVED AIR "BACK STREET LOVE" 45rpm on Warner Bros. K16092 USD $1.79 [0 bids]
2 days
CURVED AIR Phantasmagoria 1972 UK ORIG WARNER BROS VINYL LP +INSERT Free UK Post USD $19.28 Buy It Now 2 days
Rainbow in Curved Air - Terry Riley Compact Disc USD $11.35 Buy It Now 2 days
BBC 325 Transcription Disc TOP of the POPS Live Badfinger Slade Lulu Curved Air USD $449.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Curved Air Second Album LP Deleted Nude Cover DIFF ISRAEL ONLY MEGA RARE!! USD $249.00 Buy It Now 2 days
RENAISSANCE Tales of 1001 Nights Vol 1 CD PROG (Genesis, Curved Air, Yes, Camel) USD $3.69 [0 bids]
USD $4.80 Buy It Now
2 days
CURVED AIR Phantasmagoria WPCP-4224 CD JAPAN 1991 NEW USD $98.91 Buy It Now 2 days
Curved Air "SECOND ALBUM" rarity WBros UK copy K46092 stereo USD $78.20 Buy It Now 2 days
CURVED AIR Live JAPAN MINI LP SHM CD USD $50.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Curved Air - Airborne CD USD $7.81 Buy It Now 3 days
Curved Air - Midnight Wire CD - Near Mint USD $8.59 Buy It Now 3 days
CURVED AIR - AIRWAVES: LIVE AT THE PARIS THEATRE - FEATURING STUART COPELAND 197 USD $32.10 Buy It Now 3 days
Curved Air second album CD progessive rock Japan import USD $10.99 Buy It Now 3 days
CURVED AIR MIDNIGHT WIRE BTM 75 A-1EB-2E LP MINT/EX USD $17.98 Buy It Now 3 days
CURVED AIR air conditioning 1970 UK WARNER BROS GREEN LABEL STEREO VINYL LP USD $20.55 Buy It Now 3 days
CURVED AIR Airborne CD 10 tracks Repertoire REP 4493-WY USD $4.99 [0 bids]
3 days
CD - CURVED AIR - North Star - Album - VGC. USD $9.64 Buy It Now 3 days
CURVED AIR - IT HAPPENED TODAY / WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BLOW YOURSELF UP USD $3.84 [0 bids]
3 days
Curved Air - Phantasmagoria - RARE 1997 Germany IMPORT CD EX/EX Art-Prog-Rock USD $11.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Curved Air Tony Reeves magazine MM Musician Autumn 1977 USD $19.27 Buy It Now 3 days
CURVED AIR-LOVECHILD-JAPAN MINI LP SHM-CD Hi25 USD $32.99 Buy It Now 3 days
CURVED AIR second album 1971 UK GREEN WARNER BROS LP + MULTI-FOLD DIE-CUT SLEEVE USD $39.83 Buy It Now 3 days
Curved Air-The best Of, 1976, import, K36015, WEA, EX/EX USD $5.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Curved Air - Air Waves [New CD] Japanese Mini-Lp Sleeve, Shm CD, Japan - Import USD $28.57 Buy It Now 3 days
Curved Air - Air Waves [New CD] Japanese Mini-Lp Sleeve, Shm CD, Japan - Import USD $28.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Curved Air - Air conditioning - Vinyl LP album 1970 (Burbank Warner) USD $12.85 [0 bids]
3 days
Curved Air ?- Phantasmagoria Vinyl LP USD $7.71 [0 bids]
3 days
Curved Air - Air Cut [New CD] Rmst, Digipack Packaging, Germany - Import USD $11.07 Buy It Now 3 days
Air Cut - Curved Air (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.07 Buy It Now 3 days
CURVED AIR ?- AIRCONDITIONING (UK 1973 WARNER BROS. LP) USD $25.69 Buy It Now 3 days
NEW Terry Riley: A Rainbow In Curved Air; Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band USD $11.69 Buy It Now 3 days
CURVED AIR "Curved Air Live" MINT/NM 1978 JAPAN 2nd edition w/ OBI USD $35.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Terry Riley - A Rainbow In Curved Air (NEW CD) USD $14.45 Buy It Now 4 days
CURVED AIR - SECOND ALBUM CD ROCK & POP NEW+ USD $17.72 Buy It Now 4 days
THE BEST OF CURVED AIR K36015 RECORD WARNER LP ALBUM USD $19.28 [0 bids]
4 days

More places to buy CURVED AIR music online Buy CURVED AIR & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
CURVED AIR has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

CURVED AIR discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CURVED AIR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.28 | 148 ratings
Airconditioning
1970
3.60 | 179 ratings
Second Album
1971
3.81 | 206 ratings
Phantasmagoria
1972
3.69 | 128 ratings
Air Cut
1973
2.40 | 54 ratings
Midnight Wire
1975
2.53 | 46 ratings
Airborne
1976
2.96 | 9 ratings
Reborn
2008
3.34 | 49 ratings
North Star
2014
2.78 | 9 ratings
Curved Space & Infinity
2016

CURVED AIR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.65 | 61 ratings
Curved Air Live
1975
3.36 | 20 ratings
On Air - Live at the BBC
1995
3.48 | 11 ratings
Alive 1990
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
2011
4.87 | 4 ratings
Live Atmosphere
2012
3.95 | 2 ratings
Tapestry Of Propositions - The Curved Air Rarities Series Vol. 1
2016

CURVED AIR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.97 | 13 ratings
Masters From The Vaults: Curved Air
2002

CURVED AIR Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.58 | 12 ratings
The Best of Curved Air
1976
2.61 | 30 ratings
Lovechild
1990
3.67 | 3 ratings
Retrospective - Anthology 1970-2009
2010

CURVED AIR Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Vivaldi
1971
3.00 | 2 ratings
It Happened Today
1971
3.00 | 1 ratings
Back Street Luv
1971
3.00 | 2 ratings
Sarah's Concern
1972

CURVED AIR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Lost Broadcasts by CURVED AIR album cover Live, 2011
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
The Lost Broadcasts
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
4 stars I did not have the focus on this band in the early 1970's. Not sure why, maybe somehow because they simply were well ahead of time, not easy to pigeonhole anyway. So what, in the aftermath, more than 45 years later, 'The Lost Broadcasts' shows them on rather eclectic paths, while blending classical, symphonic, fusion and folk elements to their own approach of playing sophisticated rock music. Furthermore, of course versatile front singer Sonja Kristina, who for example also was involved in the London version of the musical Hair, marks a special trademark. And she's a real eyecatcher on top of it, you bet!

The band witnessed a lot of line up changes during the years. On this occasion, concerning the year 1971, we have a shift on the bass guitar to notice in any case. However, when following the band's official timeline, drummer Florian Pilkington-Miksa should be the correct listing when it comes to the second session, which took place some months later. But for me it looks like Jim Russell is involved here. Never mind, it doesn't matter in the end. The first song Vivaldi surprisingly sees Sonja sitting behind the keyboards. Darryl Way turns out to be the centre of attention due to some strong violin soloing. And again, differing to the studio version, Sonja is present with vocals too.

It Happened Today and Propositions are wellknown band songs played with a jazzy vibe. Especially the latter evolves to Francis Monkman's showpiece. Excellent! Both Back Street Luv versions then are somewhat peculiar, relatively short, because for what reason ever abandonded, just when Monkman is going to start some solo activity with his guitar. Piece Of Mind finally is their most complex and tricky performance. Taken from the original German Beat Club series and released on Gonzo Multimedia, this DVD/CD couple offers a song collection with acceptable audio and video quality. Quite a spellbinding documentation of the bands qualities.

 Second Album by CURVED AIR album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.60 | 179 ratings

BUY
Second Album
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars Curved Air's unimaginatively titled Second Album, for all it's dour melancholy, is an album of full-blown classically influenced prog that features standout ensemble playing, along with much improved vocals from Sonja Kristina. Francis Monkman expands his role on the the VCS-3 synthesizer along with suplying eerie swirls from the mellotron and organ when he's not accompanying Daryl Way'a multi tracked electric violin with some classically tinged piano. Monkman also ups his game in electric guitar playing with both very clean leads and wonderfully distorted chords.

The first five songs are still, more or less, in the verse, chorus, bridge, verse and chorus variety, and are dominated by Way's somber violin or Monkman's funky electric piano, as evidenced on the UK hit "Back Street Love". Again, the emphasis on these songs is on the mood of the music and the somber lyrics that are delivered quite well by Kristina, in a style and sound now reminiscent of Renaissance's Annie Haslam, but clearly lacking Haslam's incredible power and multi octave range.

Where this album gets interesting is with the last three songs penned completely by Monkman that breakout of the standard pop song format and go head long into odd tempos and time signatures. Kristina does well to handle the lyrics and phrasing necessary to stretch over this material without the song's sounding too awkward. Way is in full compliment to Monkman's more jazzy free form vision, as are drummer Florian Pinkington-Miksa and temporary bassist Ian Erye. (It seems that Curved Air went through bass players like Spinal Tap went through drummers.)

This synergy would not last after the group's third album which would go into almost a free form format from the get-go. However, the balance found on Curved Air's Second Album of classical and hard rocking prog would be the best from the first incarnation of this band.

Cleaner and better mixed album production, when compared to the band's debut album Airconditioning, helps to place Second Album close to a four star rating.

 Phantasmagoria by CURVED AIR album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.81 | 206 ratings

BUY
Phantasmagoria
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by SteveG

3 stars Phantasmogoria is the third studio album by the celebrated prog ensemble Curved Air which features founding members Daryl Way on electric violin and Frances Monkman on keyboards, guitar and proto electronica. Along with founding member Sonja Kristina, the band had firmly established, for better or worse, their vision of early 70's progressive rock. The groups' sound, at this stage, was firmly marked out by playing songs with odd or jazzy time signatures such as 12/8, 9/8, 5/4, and even plaintive 6/8, with Kristina trying like hell to match her vocal delivery to these tempos before she runs out of breath. As truly progressive as this approach is, its an acquired taste. Edgy and dramatic jazz rhythms can easily come off as jerky and manic when vocals are placed on top of them.

That being said, the songs that work the best are the Way composed "Marie Antoinette" which is accompanied by an excellent synth played by Way and is one of those grandiose classically tinged prog songs that somehow survives it's lyrical pretentiousness. Followed immediately by the Kristina penned ballad "Melinda (More or Less)" which is a folk like song reminiscent, both lyrically and musically, of the sentimental ballads of the Strawbs' Dave Cousins. However, the band goes quickly south after this with the brass accompanied "Not Quite The Same" kicking off into it's manic rhythms with Kristina vocally trying to play catch up and clumsily trying to paste lyrics over the song's galloping rhythms and melodies. Even in the slightly slowed down sections, she still sounds awkward, and this sets the stage for the album's remaining songs.

What makes these gallivanting song and vocal concoctions suffer even more is Frances Monkman's arrangements of horns and annoying xylophone accompaniment on the album's last two "epic" prog songs "Over And Above" and "Once A Ghost, Always A Ghost", which renders these two songs in the clichéd realms of cheesiness. The few brief electronic/synth manipulated experimental pieces from Monkman seem out of place and offer no respite to his overproduced songs.

On the upside, Kristina's vocals are much more palpable on Phastamogoria with the rough edges firmly tucked away, but that does little to aid the album. As I said, Phantasmogoria is a record of truly progressive rock music, but it's not the kind that I like. Others may differ and if they find enjoyment in this album, nobody would be more pleased than I.

 Airconditioning by CURVED AIR album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.28 | 148 ratings

BUY
Airconditioning
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by SteveG

2 stars Curved Air, to be honest, was a band that I always viewed as "Daryl Way and Friends", in their first incarnation, and dismissed them as such. After 40 plus years, I've tried to put my long held feelings on a shelf and give the group another try, starting with their first album titled Airconditioning. Why the first, when it's known for it's poor sound quality and hit and miss song success? Because it's basically the formula or form that Curved Air would follow on their more successful follow up albums and plainly demonstrated the band's strengths and weaknesses.

Unfortunately, not much of my previous view has changed. First off, classically trained electric violinist Daryl Way added much of the overt and convert classical vibe to the groups music, followed closely by keyboardist/guitarist Francis Monkman. Monkman also added futuristic psychedelia by means of a VCS3 synthesizer. Curved Air being one of the first bands to record with one. The rhythm section consisting of Florian Pilkington-Miksa on drums and Robert Martin on bass was more than adequate, if not distinctive. Which is all well and good.

Where Cured Air starts to fall apart in a big way is Sonja Kristina's lead vocals. Lacking the power and range of other female vocalists such as Renaissance's Annie Haslam or even San Francisco rocker Grace Slick, who she more closely resembles, Kristina simply lacked the skill and power to go head to head with either Way's stratospheric violin or Monkman's heavy lead guitar. The fact that an instrumental standout track such as Way's near famous neo-classically flavored "Vivaldi" only helped to conflate the issue on this album, and marginalized Kristina's vocals abilities even more.

Much of Curved Air early success was due to great promotion by both their management and record company, with the band given something in neighborhood of a $60, 000 advance prior to recording Airconditioning. Perhaps if the band had invested in a renowned record producer and the services of a top flight recording studio, Airconditioning would not have sounded like just so much hot air, forever dogged by poor mixing and mastering. Let's see if their second album, unimaginatively tilted Second Album, has the power to break the bleak foreboding of Airconditioning.

 Tapestry Of Propositions - The Curved Air Rarities Series Vol. 1 by CURVED AIR album cover Live, 2016
3.95 | 2 ratings

BUY
Tapestry Of Propositions - The Curved Air Rarities Series Vol. 1
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars Curved Air has been going strong since their comeback in 2008. Sonja Kristina (vocals) and Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums), got themselves new musicians (nowadays: Kirby Gregory on guitar, Chris Harris on bass, Robert Norton on keyboards and Paul Sax on violin) and they keep touring and releasing material.

Their last studio album was North Star (2014) and from that tour comes this new Live album: Tapestry of Propositions.

But a warning must be given about this record: it's not your normal Curved Air record. Tapestry Of Propositions is the first volume of the Curved Air Rarities Series and brings to the listener an hour long version of the song 'Propositions' (from the band's debut album Air Conditioning) with over a dozen of the improvisations which usually happen in their concerts. But here you have them edited together to flow naturally. And it kinda works!

Sonja Kristina vocals are present only on the opening and ending tracks so what you have here is an album for fans of the band and improvisational music, really. And as it is, it's a very good rarity for Curved Air's fans!

Interesting idea, let's see what the band will bring us for the next albums of the series!

 Curved Air Live by CURVED AIR album cover Live, 1975
3.65 | 61 ratings

BUY
Curved Air Live
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars To me the essential Curved Air albums are the first three albums, and I know most would agree on that. In December 1974, the classic lineup reunited (Sonja Kristina, Francis Monkman, Darryl Way, Florian Pilkington-Miksa), minus the bass player (as the original lineup always had trouble with keeping bassists, their first three albums featured a different bassist). The new bass player being American named Philip Kohn (I used to think Stewart Copeland was the first American in the band, but turns out it was Kohn). Apparently some of the original members were needing to pay back taxes, and despite the lack of sales, it still helped pay back their taxes.

As this album featured 4/5 of the original lineup, it should really come as no surprise that no material on Air Cut was featured, as they would require more rehearsing to get them familiar with the material, so it's all focused on their first three albums, and what a great performance this was. I was a bit put off by Sonja's singing, as she tends to scream, which she never did on the studio albums. It's as if she was taking after Janis Joplin, Ann Wilson, or Jenny Haan (Babe Ruth). It's like I was imagining her trying to steer Curved Air into heavy metal. OK, so the songs here take on a harder-edge approach, so they have a more rocking quality. Even Francis Monkman playing guitar like there's no tomorrow. "It Happened Today", except for Sonja's vocal performance sticks close to the original template, although in a more hard-edge fashion. "Marie Antoinette" really seems strange when Sonja does her screams here, as this is one of their more soft and gentle songs. "Propositions" really gets interesting because Francis throws in an organ solo that is actually him doing Terry Riley! It unsurprisingly bears more than a passing resemblance to A Rainbow in Curved Air, which makes perfect sense, as that album/composition is where the band got their name from. You could almost imagine Francis Monkman recording a solo album of Terry Riley-type minimalist music. No Curved Air with Darryl Way would be complete without "Vivaldi", a lot of it is the same as the original, although Sonja throws in a short vocal passage, and Darryl throws in "Sailor's Hornpipe" on his violin. The big reason to own this album is the songs are arranged a bit differently from the originals, but maybe not as drastic as Gentle Giant's Playing the Fool: The Official Live Album, as you still easily recognize these songs, but they given them a harder-edge approach and some nice jams not fount on the originals (and that neat Terry Riley reference on "Propositions"). I do find Sonja's vocal approach a bit over the top here, but that's probably because she's attempting to give these songs a harder edge, but doesn't quite work right. Other than that, a great live album, which surprisingly has quite a few surprises despite all the material came from their first three albums.

 North Star by CURVED AIR album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.34 | 49 ratings

BUY
North Star
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by Pastmaster

4 stars Curved Air - North Star

"North Star" is the seventh (eighth if you count the re-recordings album "Reborn") studio album by progressive rock band Curved Air and their first studio album with new material since 1976. Curved Air is an often forgotten band of the 70's progressive rock scene, and like Renaissance they were one of the more classical-influenced bands. They make extensive use of violin and on their first album even had a song titled 'Vivaldi'.

On "North Star", we have seven new songs, three re-recorded songs, one re-recorded Sonja Kristina solo song, and three covers. Personally, I don't care for the covers and re-recordings but the new songs are excellent and some of the best songs the band has made.

Something I find amazing about a lot of the songs, is that the band rocks but at the sometime makes the music very calming and easy to listen to. Songs like 'Stay Human' and 'Time Games' both have some pretty rockin' guitar and bass work, but the peaceful keyboards and violin really add a different feel. Parts of the latter especially almost sound other-worldly, it's hard to explain, but the way all the instruments play together makes it rock and calm at the same time. 'Images and Signs' has a particularly great combining of violin and guitar, with the guitar supplying climbing riffs and sometimes getting menacing while the violin and keyboards bring a calming presence.

Now that I think about it, the band actually rocks quite a bit more than they used to. Now, this isn't hard rock or anything, but they really put the rock into 'progressive rock' with this album. While a lot of the new songs have great guitar work, the instrumental 'Spider' really has some awesome riffs. It combines more typical symphonic rock sections with really catchy riffs with a real jump to the guitar. There are also some space-y parts in the song that fit in really well.

The production is very organic and natural sounding, and it has a real warmth to it. I think this production works perfectly with the sound of the music, as I said the music feels very relaxed and if it wasn't for the filler of re- recordings and covers, the album would flow perfectly. A good idea of the feeling the music and sound gives, is a feeling of sitting by a fireplace calm and content but also tapping your foot to a catchy riff and rhythm.

Overall, it's rare for a classic 70's band's best work to be their most recent after being split-up for many years. However, I think this is the case with Curved Air, and this would get an easy five stars if it wasn't for the filler. I'll have to settle for 4.5, but I can't wait for anything else new that Curved Air has up their sleeves. I highly recommend this album for any fans of symphonic rock that want something both rocking and relaxing. 4.5 rounded down to 4.

 Phantasmagoria by CURVED AIR album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.81 | 206 ratings

BUY
Phantasmagoria
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by Deferred Defect

4 stars In technology, the Uncanny Valley is an expression used to describe something that approaches realism, be it a computer generated image, voice, or physical object.

When something trying to be "natural" is ever-so-slightly skewed away from what we perceive as "real", our brains have tremendous difficulty dealing with it, something that causes unease and adverse reactions in most people. We want to tell ourselves that the technically flawless CGI in modern films is as real as the actors, but people can spot the difference with almost no difficulty.

I was initially going to start this review with a comparison to the uncanny valley, but I'm still unsure if it's fair or not.

Going into Curved Air's Phantasmagoria, it ticks all the "right" boxes - We have a 1970s English progressive rock band, symphonic elements, psychedelic overtones, interesting song topics, and extremely tight, if not incredibly complicated, musicianship.

It's got some extremely catchy songs and themes that make it a fascinating listen, and yet the first time I listened to it, I'm fairly certain it ended without my taking much notice.

It's also got some very unconventional moments, mixing heavy synth experimentation with brass, funky time signatures, and lots and lots of violin, but even then something always made me feel that this was a heavily commercial album.

Maybe it's the production, the pop/ typographic style cover, or even Sonja Kristina's airy (but nice) vocals singing "La LaLaLa La La" on the title track, but there's elements here that make me feel like it's an elaborate ruse by a record label to cash in on this up-and-coming "progressive rock" fad.

Obviously that's not the case, but this is where we go back to the uncanny valley. Everything is there, but it just feels "off" somehow. Maybe it's just me.

Highlights for me are the incredibly good "Marie Antoinette", with Lorena McKennitt-esque lyrics and singing, leading into the calmer, and exceedingly pleasant "Melinda (More or Less)".

"Cheetah" is another highlight, with an extremely strong opening violin section and great bass. With the addition of a bit of guitar, this could fit very well into "Islands" era King Crimson.

"Who's Shoulder are You Looking Over" is an interesting improvisational piece that segues nicely into Over and Above, which might be my favourite track. There's some great vibraphone work and the song has excellent energy management. It ends in a very "Let it Be" era Beatles freakout, growling guitar solo ripping apart the chanting vocals in the background.

I'm usually paying attention by this point, unfortunately, because it leads right into my least favourite track, "Once a Ghost, Always a Ghost". Usually I love tropical influenced songs on prog albums (CAN's Bel Air especially), but this just doesn't do it for me. Believe me, it was not easy hitting play on the last track for this review.

Even considering the flaws, and my own inability to listen to it in my regular prog lineup (it usually ends up sandwiched along with the for-mentioned Beatles, Bowie, and ELO), it's got some really great moments. I think would be an album very suited as an entry to the genre; There's nothing too heavy, and it's genuinely fun.

3.5, but leaning towards a 4 for someone other than myself!

 Airconditioning by CURVED AIR album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.28 | 148 ratings

BUY
Airconditioning
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by GKR

4 stars Curved Air' first album is a great voyage encountering classic music, something of psychdelia, one of the greatest female vocals in progressive rock history, nice melodies and introspective lyrics.

The first track is already an anthem in progressive rock history, a real good song combining every element of what was, is and I believed will be Curved Air. Well sang, well played. Really suberb. The other highlights are, from my point of view, "Blind Man" - beautiful and melodic song - and the "Vivaldi" section - showing the quality of Darryl Way (that all Tull fans remeber for his participation in "Heavy Horses").

Great work, a good adition to anyones music library.

 Second Album by CURVED AIR album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.60 | 179 ratings

BUY
Second Album
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Wikipedia describes Curved Air as a band with a sound that was "a mixture of progressive rock, folk rock, and electronic sound". Indeed all these elements are present on their second album, imaginatively entitled, "Second Album". Additionally, we find the band having already reached a crossroads in their career. The album features mostly shorter songs with one epic piece. Though this in itself is nothing unusual, it is significant because the shorter songs were written mostly by Francis Monkman and the longer composition plus two short songs by Darryl Way. In fact, Monkman wrote side one and Way side two, delineating a clear split in their desire to express themselves independently of one another through the same band. Monkman enjoyed improvisation while Way was a perfectionist who wanted to create a real "epic". This was the writing approach that would at last disintegrate the core line-up of the band after the third album.

As one can expect by the Wikipedia description above, the music is quite diverse. There is some fairly standard early seventies rock with a bit of fuzz-tone guitar, the standard bass / drum set up and a lot of piano and organ plus harpsichord and some electronics provided by E.M.S. London. "Young Mother" features a violin solo and a synthesizer solo which I think sounds really great at times but is also a little shy of imagination in that it establishes an arrangement of notes, then repeats that arrangement, then comes a new set, repeat, another new set, repeat and so on. Still, it is my favourite of the shorter tracks on the album and I really enjoy the synthesizer sound. It works very well in the song. The presence of the violin and also a fairly strong piano presence give the music a classical feel. The 12:52-long "Piece of Mind" includes other strings as well, and some of the piano passages in this song as well as a couple of others bring the band close to the sound of Renaissance. You'll also hear some brass on the album, and I am sure I caught a bassoon in there as well.

Songs like "Young Mother", "Back Street Luv" (the band's bit hit single), "You Know" and "Everydance" show Curved Air's rock side with rock guitar and a more standard pop song format, "Young Mother" stretching the boundaries with its violin and synth solos and a bit of brass, too, and "Everydance" featuring more violin and some very active drumming.

"Jumbo" sounds more like something from a musical, a slow piece for piano and violin. And "Puppets" follows a similar style with more piano and either strings or a Mellotron and percussion provided without the standard rock drum kit. Neither of these songs do much for me, I admit, though I give the band credit for working outside a standard rock music format. "Bright Summer's Day" is a jaunty piece that borders between a pop song and another track from a musical. It shows the band's humorous side with some light-hearted lyrics about a break- up, and listeners will note that the bright summer's day in question occurred "in the middle of May".

Had the album been entirely comprised of these shorter tracks it would have been a fairly standard early seventies album as many bands experimented with instrumentation and new approaches to the pop rock song. The twelve-minute plus "epic" track "Piece of Mind" takes the band into prog territory not with tentative steps but a big bold stride. Essentially a long song with some strong classically-influenced music (piano, harpsichord, strings, and brass providing much of the drama), "Piece of Mind" also includes some great piano and violin solos and two short mini-instrumental parts at the end. The first part is a lively piece with a synthesizer solo and (what spoils it for me somewhat) silly duck quacks; the second is a more subdued piece with a different synthesizer sound and a more cosmic feel. Though these two additional sections extend the song and add to the breadth of the musical landscape, they are so different from the rest of the song that they do sound like separate ideas that were tacked on because they were too good to waste but not enough time was granted to develop them into complete songs of their own.

Sonja Kristina provides a solid vocal performance of course. I don't find her voice to be as broadly reaching as her Renaissance counterpart, Annie Haslam; however Sonja's voice lends itself more to the rock sound of the band, having a hint of an edge to it at times.

As this album shows the band attempting to stretch into broader territory, I give it a favourable review and a strong three-star rating. It doesn't quite reach four stars for me. I could do without the musical-type music and replace them with another mini-epic, but that's just my preference. This is my first and only Curved Air album so far and I think it is a great first purchase to acquire of that band.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives