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Curved Air - Discography and Video (1970 - 2010)
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Curved Air - Discography and Video (1970 - 2010)

13CD and 2DVD | EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans and Covers Included | Label: Various | ~ 4555 or 1770 Mb
DVDs: NTSC 720 x 480 (16:9) / PAL 720x576 (4:3) | AC-3, 2 ch, 192Kbps / AC-3, 6ch, 448Kbps -> 3.56 + 3.58 Gb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog

One of the most dramatically accomplished of all the bands lumped into Britain's
late-'60s prog explosion, Curved Air was formed in early 1970 by
violinist Darryl Way, a graduate of the Royal College of Music, and two
former members of Sisyphus, keyboard player Francis Monkman and drummer
Florian Pilkington-Miksa. Adding bassist Robert Martin, the band named
itself from avant-garde composer Terry Riley's A Rainbow in Curved Air, a
touchstone that would inform much of their early work.

The quartet originally came together to provide accompaniment for
producer Galt McDermott's musical Who the Murderer Was; it was McDermott
who suggested, once the stage show closed, that they add vocalist Sonja
Kristina, with whom he had worked in the U.K. production of Hair. In
this form, the band launched a well-received U.K. tour and, that summer,
they signed with Warner Bros. -- the first British band on the
company's roster.

Curved Air's first album, Air Conditioning, was released in November
1970, a monumental recording that was flamboyantly issued as rock &
roll's first-ever picture disc. Divided neatly between ambitious hard
rockers and deeply classically influenced pieces, the album reached
number eight in the U.K. chart and, while an accompanying single, "It
Happened Today," did little, still Curved Air entered 1971 on the very
edge of superstardom.

With Ian Eyre replacing bassist Martin, the band crossed that precipice
the following summer, when the incandescent "Back Street Love" rocketed
to number four, ahead of the prosaically named Second Album.
Disappointingly, the album emerged a somewhat lesser achievement than
its predecessor, and climbed no higher than number 11, while a non-LP
followup single, the lovely "Sarah's Concern," went by unnoticed.

Curved Air bounced back in spring 1972 with their masterpiece,
Phantasmagoria, home to the spectacular "Marie Antoinette" and Monkman's
side-long "Phantasmagoria" suite. Once again, however, sales were low
and, with the album bottoming out at number 20, Curved Air split up,
victims of inter-band disputes that had already seen the two sides of
Phantasmagoria pointedly divided between Kristina/Way's rock-tinged
instincts and Monkman's more portentous contributions. Way formed a new
band, Wolf, Pilkington-Miksa joined Kiki Dee's band, and Monkman moved
into session work.

Retaining the band name, Kristina and bassist Mike Wedgwood (who
replaced Eyre for Phantasmagoria) brought in an entire new lineup -- Jim
Russell (drums), Kirby Gregory (guitar), and Eddie Jobson (violin,
synths). In this form, the band released spring 1973's Air Cut album,
but it was very much a last gasp. Although the group did record a second
album, Love Child was shelved when Curved Air broke up that summer.
(The album was finally released in 1990.) Jobson swiftly resurfaced as
Eno's replacement in Roxy Music; Wedgwood joined Caravan.

Kristina initially intended to launch a solo career. In fall 1974,
however, Curved Air's original core quartet of Kristina, Way, Monkman,
and Pilkington-Miksa reunited for a one-off British tour. With the
lineup completed by bassist Phil Kohn, the band rekindled all of the
past's most precious memories, captured for posterity on the
blockbusting Curved Air Live album. The rejuvenation could not, however,
heal the breaches that had destroyed the lineup the first time around
and, when Curved Air resurfaced in fall 1975, Kristina and Way alone
remained, alongside guitarist Mick Jacques, bassist John Perry,
keyboardist Pete Woods, and drummer Stewart Copeland. (Perry would be
replaced by Greenslade's Tony Reeves during 1976.)

Two albums released over the next year, however, did nothing to reverse
the band's fortunes -- neither Midnight Wire nor Airborne offered much
more than fleeting glances of the group's original, pioneering
brilliance, with even the naturally effervescent Kristina appearing
overpowered by the anonymity of her surroundings.

Way was the first to depart, following one final unsuccessful single, a
contrarily vibrant version of "Baby Please Don't Go"; he was replaced by
Alex Richman, but the group lasted only a few more months before
splitting in early 1977. Copeland promptly joined the Police, Reeves
re-formed Greenslade, and Kristina finally launched that long-delayed
solo career.

Occasional reunions with Darryl Way have brought the Curved Air name
back to life -- 1984's "Renegade" single was followed by a short tour in
1988; 1990 then brought a fresh reunion by the original
Kristina/Way/Monkman/Pilkington-Miksa quartet for a show at London's
Town & Country 2. Featuring one new song, the appropriately themed
opener "20 Years On," the performance was captured on the Alive 1990

Since that time, Curved Air has been best recalled by the Collector's
Choice label's reissues of their first three albums and the excellent
BBC Sessions collection, home to Way's otherwise unavailable showcase
"Thinking on the Floor" alongside recordings dating from 1970, 1971, and

by Dave Thompson, AMG

Британская проггерская команда "Curved air" была основана в начале 1970 года. А
начиналось все следующим образом. В 1968-м барабанщик Флориан
Пилкингтон-Микса и его друг, басист Роб Мартин, познакомились с
гитаристом и виртуозом клавишных Фрэнсисом Монкманом, учившимся тогда в
Королевской Музыкальной Академии.

Троица частенько джемовала вместе, а также играла на вечеринках,
исполняя различные каверы. Вскоре в одном из лондонских музыкальных
магазинов Фрэнсис повстречал студента музыкального колледжа Даррила Вэя,
а тот в свою очередь представил ему своего друга, пианиста Ника
Саймона. В результате вся эта компания объединилась в проект под
названием "Sisyphus".

Правда, через некоторое время Саймон отбыл, а Фрэнсис взялся совмещать
обязанности клавишника и гитариста. Заодно было решено поменять название
группы, и по предложению того же Фрэнсиса остановились на сокращенной
версии композиции Терри Райли "A rainbow in curved air". Во время своего
становления "Curved air" были привлечены к работе в мюзикле "Who The
Murderer Was", продюсером которого являлся Галт Макдермотт.

Он же продюсировал и другой мюзикл, "Hair", где была задействована
фолк-певица Соня Кристина. Макдермотт предложил взять Соню в состав
"Curved air", и после недолгого прослушивания Кристина стала
полноправным членом команды. Последовало очень успешное турне по Англии и
вскоре "Curved air" оказались первой британской группой, подписанной к
"Warner brothers". На сессии фирма выделила приличный бюджет и, как
оказалось, не зря. Вышедший на цветном виниле "Air Conditioning" вошел в
лучшую десятку. Альбом представлял собой интригующую смесь электроники,
прогрессива, акустического фолка, классики и джазовых элементов.

В апреле 1970-го Роба Мартина сменил Ян Эйр, а летом того же года сингл
"Back street luv" занял четвертую позицию британских чартов. Эта
композиция вошла также на прозаически названный "Second album" второй
альбом (11-я позиция). После его выхода отбыл Эйр, уступивший место
Майку Веджвуду. Выпущенный обновленным составом сингл "Sarah's concern"
оказался незамеченным публикой, зато альбом "Phantasmagoria" снова
присутствовал в двадцатке лучших.

Однако после англо-американских гастролей коллектив начало лихорадить –
сказывались пресловутые музыкальные разногласия. Окончилось это тем, что
из оригинального состава в "Curved air" остались только Соня и Майк.
Для очередных сессий они пригласили к себе Кирби Грегори (гитара), Эдди
Джобсона (скрипка, клавишные) и Джима Расселла (ударные). Эта
конфигурация просуществовала всего несколько месяцев, успев, правда
записать пару альбомов, причем один из них, "Lovechild", увидел свет
только в 1990 году. Джобсона ангажировали в "Roxy music", а Веджвуд
подался в "Caravan". В конце 1974-го "Curved air" собрались в составе:
Кристина, Вэй, Монкман, Пилкингтон-Микса и Фил Кон (бас). Команда
провела британское турне, на основе которого в 1975 году был выпущен
обалденный концертник "Live".

Но трения не давали музыкантам держаться вместе, и следующая
конфигурация была подобрана следующим образом: Кристина, Даррил, Мик
Джаскез (гитара), Стюарт Коуплэнд (ударные) и Тони Ривз (бас). Этот
состав выдал два прощальных альбома, после чего группа надолго
прекратила свое существование. После этого в середине 80-х происходили
кратковременные реюнионы, а последний из них состоялся в 1990-м, когда
Кристина, Вэй, Монкман и Пилкингтон-Микса выпустили концертник "Alive"

~ peoples ru
Curved Air - Discography and Video (1970 - 2010):

CD01: Curved Air - Air Conditioning (1970)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Covers Included | 2000 | Collectors Choice Music, CCM-148-2 | ~ 227 or 108 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
In its initial vinyl form, Curved Air's debut album is one of the prog rock movement's
most prized artifacts -- not for the music (for that, it goes without
saying, is flawless), but for the picture-disc format which had never
previously graced a 12" rock record. A glimmering of that sought-after
magnificence lives on, of course, in the artwork which has graced every
subsequent release, this Collectors' Choice reissue included. Sadly,
however, no other attempt is made to replicate the original jewel;
indeed, beyond a straightforward dub of the album, Air Conditioning's
American CD debut is something of a disappointment. No bonus tracks, no
liner notes, no remastering -- nothing, in fact, beyond one of the
finest classical rock fusions of the age. Curved Air were an unwieldy
beast at the best of times, an uneasy liaison between Sonja Kristina's
rampant rock sensibilities and her bandmates' undisguised virtuosity.
Keyboard player Francis Monkman, in particular, led the group into some
genuinely uncharted territory -- it was he who named the group after a
Terry Riley composition; he who consumed side two of each album for a
series of wild experiments, most of which incorporate acoustic folk,
free form jazz, and a hefty dose of Vivaldi. Not that this was a bad
thing. Indeed, Air Conditioning rates among the great debut albums of
1970s rock, a hybrid whose breathless audacity stands in starkly
good-natured contrast to the po-faced noodlings of the genre's other
leading progenitors. Even in full, fanciful flight (the instrumental
"Rob One" or the sawing discordant "Vivaldi"), you can hear the band
enjoying themselves, as Darryl Way's violin soars to pitches unknown to
rocking man, the immortally named Florian Pilkington-Miksa conjures
brand new rhythms from his percussive arsenal and Monkman. Well, Monkman
is as Monkman does, but even when you know what's going to happen next,
a frill or a flourish still leaps out to surprise you. Kristina,
meanwhile, possesses one of the most distinctive voices of the age, a
virtue which is apparent from the moment she enters on the opening "It
Happens Today." Hints of Grace Slick enter her delivery during the
Airplane-like "Stretch," but it's a fleeting comparison. By the time you
hit "Propositions," all echoed riffs and space age synth, Curved Air
don't sound like anything else on earth. You do, however, notice how
many subsequent bands sound a lot like them.

by Dave Thompson, AMG

01 It Happened Today 4:59
02 Stretch 4:08
03 Screw 4:08
04 Blind Man 3:36
05 Vivaldi 7:31
06 Hide and Seek 6:18
07 Propositions 3:07
08 Rob One 3:23
09 Situations 6:18
10 Vivaldi with Cannons 1:36


CD02: Curved Air - Second Album (1971)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & iPod M4A(Tracks) & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Covers Included | Warner Bros., 7599-26434-2 | ~ 286 or 104 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
Time has not treated Curved Air's second album kindly. Of course it was always
dominated by "Back Street Luv," which isn't simply one of the band's own
finest moments, it's also one of the crucial singles of the early
1970s. But across this straightforward reissue of the accompanying
album, the savage innovation which was the hallmark of their Air
Conditioning debut, and the brilliant eclecticism which would
characterize their next set, is nowhere in sight. Which is weird,
because it always used to sound quite good. In its place, a crop of
relatively straightforward but sonically flat rock songs are
distinguished by Sonja Christina's most conventional, cool vocals yet --
only "Back Street Luv" truly draws any true emotion out of her, while
the band's much vaunted classical/rock fusion only shakes its fist
during the closing "Piece of Mind," although it must be admitted that
when it shakes, it really shakes. A building, foreboding 13-minute epic,
crowned by a genuinely spine-tingling recitation from TS Eliot's "The
Wasteland," "Piece of Mind" is the kind of performance which you just
know was played endlessly in college dorm rooms of the age. The segues
from mounting rock to pondering piano seem hopelessly old-fashioned now,
the building tension of violin and percussion seems obvious and
hackneyed. In 1971, though, Curved Air were pioneers in every sense of
the word and it is neither their fault, nor this album's, that we're not
so easily impressed any longer. But maybe it isn't time which has
treated this album so poorly, but the slipshod manner in which this
album has been converted to CD. It sounds lifeless, sludgy, even (in
places) a little slow. It has certainly not been remastered; it may not
even have used the best quality tapes. Albums this ambitious need loving
care and patient attention to cut the aural ice today. This one got

by Dave Thompson, AMG

01 Young Mother 5:56
02 Back Street Luv 3:37
03 Jumbo 4:07
04 You Know 4:11
05 Puppets 5:28
06 Everydance 3:06
07 Bright Summer's Day '68 2:52
08 Piece of Mind 12:53


CD03: Curved Air - Phantasmagoria (1972)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans Included | Warner Bros., 7599-26194-2 | ~ 251 or 253 or 93 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
The sonic caveats which accompany Collector's Choice's other Curved Air reissues
remain in force; the historical truth that what sounded timelessly
groovy in 1971 is not necessarily so finger-snapping three decades later
remains unimpeachable. But still, Phantasmagoria is a fabulous album,
the culmination of all that Curved Air promised over the course of its
predecessors; the yardstick by which all rock/classical hybrids should
be measured. The opening "Marie Antoinette" sets the scene with lovely
melody, impassioned vocal and a terrifically understated band
performance which complements every syllable uttered by vocalist Sonja
Kristina. The bridge into revolution ("the rabble have gone insane") is
breathtaking -- history lessons should all sound this good, and the
amazing thing is that the album has only just got started. The gentle
"Melinda More or Less" is swirling, sweet folky psychedelia, while "Not
Quite the Same," a somewhat self-conscious ode to masturbation,
disguises its proggy inclinations with a barrelhouse 6/8 rhythm and a
genuinely catchy hook. "Ultra-Vivaldi" updates the first album's
"Vivaldi" by, apparently, letting the Chipmunks have a go at playing it.
And the four-part, side-long title track switches moods, effects, and
even genres (jazz, mariachi, and the avant-garde all get a look in) to
create an dazzling soundscape which allows every members a moment to
shine -- without once stepping into the treacherous swamps of solos and
virtuosity. This was the original Curved Air's final album -- by the
time the accompanying tour was over, only Kristina and bassist Mike
Wedgwood (himself a spanking new arrival) remained to carry on the good
work. As farewells go, then, it is magnificent, the band's grandest hour
by far. And listening to it all these decades later, one cannot help
but wonder how much grander they might have become?

by Dave Thompson, AMG

01. Marie Antoinette 6:20
02. Melinda (More Or Less) 3:26
03. Not Quite The Same 3:44
04. Cheetah 3:31
05. Ultra-Vivaldi 1:25
06. Phantasmagoria 3:14
07. Whose Shoulder Are You Looking Over Anyway? 3:23
08. Over And Above 8:34
09. Once A Ghost, Always A Ghost 4:22


CD04: Curved Air - Air Cut (1973)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans Included | 2006 | Repertoire, REP 5061 | ~ 342 or 344 or 160 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
Curved Air's fourth album featured a very different lineup and is considered by many a
weaker effort. Of course, it does not have the bombast of
Phantasmagoria (Francis Monkman's classical touch is cruelly missed),
but it still has its share of strong moments. By 1973, only singer Sonja
Kristina remained of the original members, but her voice suffices to
keep the flame burning. She and bassist Mike Wedgewood, introduced with
the previous LP, are joined by drummer Jim Russell, guitarist Gregory
Kirby, and an 18-year-old violinist/keyboardist by the name of Eddie
Jobson. "The Purple Speed Queen," a decent light psychedelic rock song,
became one of the group's best-known tracks, and the ten-minute
"Metamorphosis" still ranks high among the classic tracks of British
progressive rock (here Jobson comes very close to Monkman's virtuosity
at the piano). Side two of the original LP comprised a string of more
straightforward rock numbers in the vein of Babe Ruth. Less striking, it
pictured a group trying to widen its audience without sounding
convinced it was the right thing to do. The album closer, "Easy," a
lusher ballad, was nonetheless a good song. The only LP released by this
lineup and the only Curved Air album with Jobson on it (he would join
Roxy Music right after its completion), Air Cut is mostly remembered for
introducing the future member of UK, Jethro Tull, and many other prog
rock-related bands.

by François Couture, AMG

1. The Purple Speed Queen
2. Elfin Boy
3. Metamorphosis
4. World
5. Armin
6. U.H.F.
7. Two-Three-Two
8. Easy


CD05: Curved Air - Live (1975)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans Included | 1995 | Repertoire, REP 4514-WV | ~ 333 or 133 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
Although it was certainly recorded a couple of years too late to catch Curved Air in
their prime, still 1975's Live offers a valuable historical footnote to
the band's career. Dating from the fall 1974 reunion of the classic
Sonja Kristina/Darryl Way/Francis Monkman/Florian Pilkington-Misk line
up, Live was recorded in Cardiff and Bristol, England, that December,
and serves up a 48 minute sampling of a live set that remained locked in
the treasured trilogy of albums cut between 1970-73.

Highlights abound, from the opening strut of "It Happened Today",
through a "Marie Antoinette" that is as dramatic as it is virtuosi, and
onto a fiery "Everdance" that leaves even the shimmering original in the
dust. Kristina herself is possibly in her best voice ever, while the
instrumentation rides roughshod over the once-prevalent belief that
Curved Air were at their best in the studio - Way's first album-era
"Vivaldi" is nothing short of superlative (catch the "Sailor's Hornpipe"
a few minutes in... and try to keep up with it!), while a brutal
"Propositions" will take your breath away.

The separate sections that comprise "Marie Antionette" are more clearly
defined than ever they were on Phantasmagoria, while "Back Street Luv"
is simply astonishing, guitars and vocals combining to create a
battlefield that bleeds emotion and energy in equal quantities. That
song always meant a lot to Curved Air - the band's first (and only) hit
single, in 1971, it was responsible for raising them out of the club
circuit and into the realm of mainstream attractions. The sheer passion
with which Kristina wraps herself around the lyric is no less than it...
and Curved Air themselves... deserves.

by Dave Thompson, AMG

01. It Happened Today
02. Marie Antoinette
03. Back Street Luv
04. Propositions
05. Young Mother
06. Vivaldi
07. Everdance


CD06: Curved Air - Live (1975) [Japanese Press]
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Covers Included | 2002 | Arcangelo, ARC-7019 | ~ 365 or 123 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog

01. It Happened Today
02. Marie Antoinette
03. Back Street Luv
04. Propositions
05. Young Mother
06. Vivaldi
07. Everdanc


CD07: Curved Air - Midnight Wire (1975)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Covers Included | 2006 | Arcangelo, ARC-7156 | ~ 256 or 92 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
This debut album of the third incarnation of Curved Air is one of the most unusual
approaches to music-making; it focuses its mood on humbleness rather
than blaring flashiness and on soft passion rather than obvious passion.
This is undoubtably Curved Air's best mood album,and as far as
essential creativity goes,this is tremendously high-ranking in the
hierarchy of the world's music. All this and more from a group that was
supposedly on the verge of total disintegration and disillusionment. The
group at this point consisted of Darryl Way(Violin,piano),Stewart
Copeland(Drums),Mick Jacques(Guitars),and Sonja Kristina(Vocals).
Sonja's vocals are so intense,passionate,and full of emotion that many,I
have observed,are overwhelmed and are unable to appreciate their
beauty. Darryl plays incredible violin,both as lovely as harp and as
upbeat as guitar; he is a true master of the instrument. Jacques has a
knack for playing a very grooving guitar,but also plays some very
powerful stuff. Stewart's drums are varied-at times jazzy,at others
shocking,but always good. Curved Air is also supported by excellent
sessionists. Although both the keyboardist and John Perry,the
bassist,are noteworthy,it is lyricist Norma Tager who earns the most
attention. Norma Tager's lyrics are wonderful, epic portrayals of what
we think of as dull and typical lives. Darryl dominates the group's
songwriting in terms of both quality and quantity. His compositions
include "Day Breaks My Heart", outwardly sad and mourning,yet inwardly a
testament to the fact that there is a reason that a heart can be
broken;"Orange Street Blues",an amazingly fun yet phenomenally
sophisticated rocker;and "Midnight Wire",a 7 minute epic of intense
emotion. Dark,powerful,tragic,intense, soft-a true masterpiece. "The
Fool",a co-write between Darryl and Mick,is a crafty take into the world
of folk music while remaining true to the style of the group and album.
"Dance of Love",by the same composers,is a bit pop-ish but has
incredible vocals by Sonja- terrifically passionate and trembling-and a
beautiful violin solo from Darryl. Mick Jacques's own composition is a
rather trippy and fascinating instrumental called "Pipe of Dreams".
Sonja also manages to get one of her compositions on the album,an
intensely passionate song called "Woman on a One Night Stand". This song
is not only one of Sonja's most elaborate creations,but also one of her
most breathtaking with its unpredictable vocals,haunting guitar,and
devil-may-care violin. This album keeps Curved Air's usual
genius-conceived mix of hard rock,soft rock, progressive,and
classical,yet also steps outside the boundaries of anything that has
ever been done before. Using a relatively small and untried band,they
nonetheless succeed in creating a masterful album. An essential for
Curved Air lovers,and an album which anyone with taste should at least
brifly consider.

By Robert, Amazon

1. Woman On A Night Stand
2. Day Breaks My Heart
3. Fool
4. Pipe Of Dreams
5. Orange Street Blues
6. Dance Of Love
7. Midnight Wire

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CD08: Curved Air - Airborne (1976)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans Included | 1994 | Repertoire, REP 4493-WY | ~ 288 or 289 or 108 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
The final Curved Air album before the band's late-1976 split is a somewhat
under-rated effort, an album that may not be able to hold a candle to
the superlative triumphs of their first three records, but still a
strong summation of all that made the group so important in the first
place. With founders Sonja Kristina and Darryl Way flanked by former
Greenslade bassist Tony Reeves, future Police drummer Stewart Copeland,
and guitarist Mick Jacques, Airborne kicks off with the delicious
"Desiree" -- the band's last genuine chance of restoring former chart
glories -- and peaks later with the moving "Heaven (Never Seemed So Far
Away." Those two tracks, at least, would not have looked out of place on
any of the band's better-feted releases. The rocky "Touch of Tequila,"
too, is a highlight and, if the album elsewhere sinks towards a
more-or-less identikit mid-'70s rock rut ("Broken Lady," "Hot and
Bothered") Kristina and Way, at least, retain enough of their old
identity to ensure things never scrape the bottom of the barrel. Indeed,
had the band's manic reinvention of "Baby Please Don't Go," a non-album
single drawn from the same sessions, only been added to Airborne in
favor of either of those turkeys, a mere "listenable" album would have
been transformed into something altogether grander.

by Dave Thompson, AMG

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)
10. Baby Please Don't Go (2:31)


CD09: Curved Air - Lovechild (1990)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans Included | Castle, CLACD 342 | ~ 210 or 93 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog

01 Exsultate Jubilate 0:43
02 Lovechild 4:54
03 Seasons 8:40
04 The Flasher 4:13
05 Joan 1:24
06 The Dancer 3:56
07 The Widow 3:52
08 Paris By Night 6:43


CD10: Curved Air - Live At The BBC (1995)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans Included | Band of Joy, BOJCD014 | ~ 490 or 192 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
With eight recordings from their early 1970-71 days, and a final five tracks from a
January 1976 performance, Live at the BBC is typical of BBC rock
compilations, with alternate live radio versions that serious fans will
find highly enjoyable, though more casual admirers will find the
material unnecessary. The sound is very good throughout, and the band's
blend of rock, classical-influence progressive arrangements, and some
folky sensibilities is accomplished, though it's a bit idiosyncratically
pretentious. As might be expected, the dominant ingredients are Sonja
Kristina's dramatic, at times overarching vocals, and Darryl Way's
aggressive, at times slashing violin. Songs from the first album
dominate the 1970-71 recordings (cut at three separate sessions), with
six of those eight numbers coming from the band's debut, Air
Conditioning. The five tracks from the '76 session document a later,
more conventional, and less interesting phase of the band, although they
do include future Police-man Stewart Copeland on drums.

by Richie Unterberger, AMG

01 - Vivaldi (6:25)
02 - Propositions (5:23)
03 - It Happened Today (4:39)
04 - Young Mother In Style (5:14)
05 - Situations (5:38)
06 - Blind Man (2:45)
07 - Thinking On The Floor (4:01)
08 - Stretch (4:34)
09 - Stark Naked (5:44)
10 - Woman On A One Night Stand (5:43)
11 - Midnight Wire (6:20)
12 - Hot 'N Bothered (3:02)
13 - The Fool (6:43)


CD11: Curved Air - Reborn (2008)
EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans Included | ~ 495 or 179 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
There are some bands that you just can’t leave alone. I have such an attachment to
1970s classical progrockers, Curved Air, mainly because they opened up a
window to a new and exciting musical world back in 1971 but partly
because of Sonja Kristina.

I have followed this band through thick and thin, I have every album
they have ever released including all ‘Live at the BBC’ type
compilations, the reunion albums and a cassette copy of ‘Lovechild’, the
sessions that followed ‘Air Cut’ but which were never formerly
released. Many of them are not that good but when you’re dealing with
this type of joined-at-the-hip type band nothing is ever that bad. And
so this brings me to ‘Reborn’.

‘Reborn’ is the latest release from a partly re-formed Curved Air
comprising original members Darryl Way (Violin & Keyboards), Sonja
Kristina (vocals) and Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums) with guitar and
bass backup and is only available from their official website. So, have I
bought a copy? What do you think?

Despite the fact that it is little more than a set of reinterpretations
of old material by a band dangerously close to middle-age, I have taken
the plunge and so now have a total of five different versions of ‘Back
Street Luv’ in my collection (two on this album alone). Where will it
all end?

Actually, I have been pleasantly surprised by ‘Reborn’. One of my
grouses about the original early 70s albums is that the recording
quality is pretty poor but as these re-workings stay fairly close to the
originals, they show how they should’ve sounded given today’s
technology. Darryl Way’s violin playing is still wonderful and Florian’s
inventive drums now sound like real drums rather than soggy cardboard
boxes and saucepan lids. But it is Sonja’s older, deeper register vocals
that have surprised me the most. Whilst not re-capturing the untamed
energy of youth, she has left behind her mid 70s raucousness and
carefully not attempted to over sing. This has produced a beautifully
balanced performance that sounds in part eerily close to the originals
but with the added emotional weight of er...maturity.

I still can’t get to grips with ‘Marie Antoinette’ which even now drags
its feet but the new versions of some of their oldest material, ‘Screw’
and especially ‘Young Mother’ gave me the shivers. Mercifully Way’s
party-piece, ‘Vivaldi’ has been pared down from its previous excess and
given a sort of semi-dance treatment which makes it eminently more
listenable. There are also a couple of brand new songs that sound
remarkably like they could’ve been recorded in about 1972 and are almost
worth the price of the CD alone.

Thankfully, for a Curved Air Aficionado like me and considering some of
the substandard stuff I’ve bought over the years, this is one of their
better releases and one that I have been playing constantly. Yes,
recommended! Go buy it now!

by music obsessive

01. Stretch (5:16)
02. Back Street Luv (4:51)
03. Marie Antoinette (6:15)
04. It Happened Today (5:12)
05. Screw (4:01)
06. Melinda (More Or Less) (3:49)
07. Hide And Seek (6:22)
08. Midnight Wire (8:07)
09. Elfin Boy (4:44)
10. Young Mother (5:41)
11. Coming Home (4:51)
12. The Fury (5:20)
13. Vivaldi (4:34)
14. Back Street Luv (Dance Remix) (5:32)


CD12-13: Curved Air - Retrospective. The Anthology 1970 - 2009 (2010)
2CD | EAC Rip | Flac(Image) + Cue + Log & MP3 CBR 320Kbps
Scans Included | Repertoire, REPUK 1086 | ~ 1012 or 385 Mb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
It's hardly surprising that music was the most important thing in the world for us
when I was at secondary school, as not only did I attend an all boys'
grammar school, but my period there covered the years 1969 - 1974,
virtually the exact era of the beginning and end of classic rock /
progressive rock. If you weren't seen carrying an album under your arm
(the more obscure the better!) you weren't part of the crowd. Just think
of all the classic rock and prog rock albums that were released during
those five years. I didn't really get into it until the second half of
the period when the weekly discovery of bands, both new and by then
already established, seemed an endless activity. In truth there were
probably far less bands than there are these days. Maybe a dozen real
superstars, a couple of dozen second division bands and forty / fifty
who were usually making up the numbers at the era's many festivals.
Curved Air were probably somewhere towards the bottom of the second
In many ways however the band epitomised the era for me. They were
already established when I first heard of them having released their
first four albums, the first of which was the first ever picture disc,
apart from the hit single 'Back Street Luv' I never really heard much by
them although a friend had bought Phantasmagoria and swore by it,
several times offering to lend it to me, but I never took him up on the
There was actually something faintly exotic about such bands that your
mates loved, but you never saw on TV and rarely heard on the radio; and
of course to make them even more exotic and unusual Curved Air had an
electric violin - and Sonja Kristina. Like nearly all bands of the era
CA went through a series of line up changes as the 70's progressed, lost
momentum and audience interest (including mine as I left school and
punk was dominant) and finally broke up before the end of the decade.

It was only as an adult many years later that I actually purchased
Curved Air's first three albums on cd and it was some time before I
managed to add the fourth album, Air Cut, as that was extremely
difficult to find. Feeling I now had all the essential material by the
band I didn't really have the inclination to seek out the subsequent
couple of mid seventies releases or the live album. I must say that the
first three albums were amongst the worst sounding cds in my entire
collection. When nearly every band from this era has had their albums
re-mastered and re-released often with bonus tracks CA appeared to have
been forgotten, as for years we only had the poor sounding original
recordings, nor were there any bonus tracks and the packaging, apart
from the inclusion of the lyrics, was very basic indeed.

So I was extremely interested when I saw that this anthology was going
to be released. I wondered whether it would be worth making valuable
room on my cd shelves by trading my four albums in and replacing them
with this compilation.

The first thing was to see what had been included and what hadn't,
always a major concern on anthologies, especially with bands like CA who
had few obvious `hits.' Undoubtedly as with many progressive rock bands
of this era, each album had some experimental stuff that was often
little more than filler and a good compilation would filter out some of
this. By and large this compilation does a good job featuring excellent
tracks from those first four albums such as 'It Happened Today,' 'The
Purple Speed Queen,' 'Easy' and of course 'Back Street Luv.' There are
also the prog rock epics 'Piece of Mind', 'Metamorphosis' and the
instumental 'Vivaldi' (the latter for some reason placed out of
chronological sequence). However I was concerned when I saw that the
studio version of 'Marie Antoinette,' my favourite song by the band, had
been omitted in favour of the version from the later live album. On
first hearing I wasn't sure as the track was a lot more `robust' than
the studio version, with Sonja's vocals being noticeably harsher
compated to her ealier smoother delivery; however after a few listens I
think it was a good choice. 'Marie A' is actually a really great example
of a superb rock / prog track with its changing tempos, a slow eerie
beginning and the explosion to the faster martial rhythm of `the rabble
have gone insane section.' The live version of this transformation
section beats the studio version into a cocked hat, and is one of the
finest examples of light and shade (essential to most great rock music)
anywhere in rock.
I would however have replaced 'Whose Shoulder Are You Looking Ove
Anyway?,' one of those experimental tracks which just features Sonja's
processed voice and a synthesiser, and is in my view a waste of three
minutes, with something else; either 'Stretch,' 'Situations' (from Air
Conditioning), 'Everdance,' 'Bright Summer's Day 68,' (from Second
Album), 'Not Quite the Same,' 'Phantasmagoria,' (Phantasmagoria), 'UHF,'
'Two Three Four' (Air Cut) or even the studio version of 'Marie
Antoinette,' any of which would have been much more worthwhile. This I
feel is quite a flaw on the first disc.
The four tracks from two of the albums I hadn't bothered with before,
1975's Midnight Wire and the 1973 recorded but 1990 released, Love Child
are all good and stand comparison with the earlier material, but by the
two tracks from the 1976 Airborne it is clear the band were running out
of steam, neither song being particularly memorable. There are also
three Sonja Kristina / Mask tracks, and whilst these are presumably
included for the sake of a comprehensive overview, I would have
sacrificed all three for any of those earlier listed omissions.

So all in all a very good, but as far this listener is concerned, not a
perfect compilation. However unlike the original album releases it does
come with excellent photos and liner notes, although we have now lost
the lyrics! Perhaps most importantly, the sound on the tracks from those
first three albums is far, far better, and one of the few examples
where the much vaunted re-mastering we are constantly lured into
purchasing makes a real audible difference.

By D. Wright, Amazon
Tracklist CD1:

01. It Happened Today (4:56)
02. Screw (4:02)
03. Blind Man (3:33)
04. Hide And Seek (6:19)
05. Rob One (3:26)
06. Young Mother (5:56)
07. Back Street Luv (3:38)
08. Jumbo (4:09)
09. Puppets (5:29)
10. Piece Of Mind (12:54)
11. Whose Shoulder Are You Looking Over Anyway (3:25)
12. Melinda (More Or Less) (3:25)
13. Over And Above (8:33)

Tracklist CD2:

01. The Purple Speed Queen (3:30)
02. Elfin Boy (4:15)
03. Metamorphosis (10:41)
04. Easy (6:40)
05. The Dancer (3:56)
06. Dance Of Love (4:35)
07. Love Child (4:53)
08. Woman On A One Night Stand (4:58)
09. Desiree (3:14)
10. Broken Lady (3:16)
11. Marie Antoinette (6:53)
12. Vivaldi (7:32)

Bonus Tracks:

(Sonja Kristina with MASK)
13. Lambent Spire (6:44)
14. Space In Between (4:32)
15. Beloved (4:08)


DVD01: Curved Air - Masters From The Vaults 1972 (2002) Repost
DVD: PAL 720x576 (4:3), 5023 Kbps| AC-3, 6ch, 448Kbps -> 3.56 Gb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
The last record of the classic Monkman/Way/Pilkington-Miksa/Kristina/Wedgwood line-up
and, as always, a missed opportunity. Vivaldi, Darryl's interminable
instrumental, was OK on stage, but dies on the small screen but Melinda
fares much better, with Sonja playing nice running clawhammer guitar.
Marie Antoinette is the best of the bunch, with clever playing by all
and good vocals from Mike and Sonja. High points? As always, Florian's
drumming is a treat, a presentation of time-keeping and flair, and Mike
is good throughout. Sonja is always first-class except when she gets
carried away and growls: and Darryl and Francis are, of course, talented
and exceptional musicians. Why do they always choose the less exciting
songs for video?!
Still, the bottonm line is that it's good to see this gang of excellent
musicians in the heady days when you could see five top bands playing
their own music in five consecutive nights. Not so now. Curved Air
carved out their own niche and nobody has quite filled it. Good.

By Mr. Thomas Thatcher, Amazon

CURVED AIR (Belgian TV) 1972
1. Marie Antoinette
2. Propositions
3. Melinda More Or Less

Total Time : ca. 30 minutes
Daryl Way Interview (ca.10 min)
Masters From The Vaults (ca.16 min)
Classic Rock Showcase (ca. 43 min)


DVD02: Curved Air - Music In Review (2008)
DVD: NTSC 720 x 480 (16:9), 5300 Kbps | AC-3, 2 ch, 192Kbps -> 3.58 Gb
Progressive Rock / Eclectic Prog
Although there is not a lot of extra archive footage than on Master from the Vaults we
finally see a recording of what all Curved Air fans really want - Back
Street Luv!
A very good archive performance enhanced with new interviews with the original members of the band.
Drops down by one star only because there is only one new track - surely
someone, somewhere must have viewable performances of other songs. I
live in hope!

By M. J. Staff, Amazon

1. Marie Antoinette
2. Propositions
3. Melinda More Or Less
( Studio Hamburg) 1971
5. Back Street Luv
( Studio Hamburg) 1970
6. It Happened Today

All thanks go to the original releasers

Curved Air - Discography and Video (1970 - 2010):
Disponible sólo a los usuarios

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