Air Conditioning was the November 1970 debut album by British rock group Curved Air. It reached number 8 in the UK albums chart in December, 1970. An incredible slice of early 70's prog that is marred by a slight disruption from time to time where the instruments do not all fit together, but for the most part this is groundbreaking stuff that deserves to be remembered.
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…
"Phantasmagoria" was the third album from the original Curved Air, first released in 1972. It was recorded during a period of change and upheaval, with at least one departure from the line up and internal debate about their musical direction. Nevertheless, the music remains of the highest order as befits a group that made such an enormous impact on the progressive rock scene. Vocalist supreme Sonja Kristina is heard on her compositions as ‘Marie Antoinette’ and ‘Melinda (More Or Less)’ and violinist Darryl Way cuts loose on electric violin and keyboards, notably on such interludes as ‘Ultra Vivaldi’. A host of guest musicians form a brass section to fill out the Curved Air sound.
A year after their tumultuous debut with ‘Air Conditioning’, Curved Air released their aptly titled ‘Second Album’ in September 1971. It was an instant success and shot to Number 11 in the UK album charts. It was helped along by the success of ‘Back Street Luv’, the second track that became a smash hit single - it reached Number 4 in the UK singles chart in August that year. Curved Air comprised Sonja Kristina (vocals), who also wrote ‘Young Mother’ with Darryl Way, the band’s outstanding young virtuoso violinist. With Francis Monkman on guitars and Florian Pilkington-Miksa on drums, the band was hailed as one of the most musically skilled of the Prog Rock era.
UK progressive rock legends CURVED AIR, featuring iconic vocalist Sonja Kristina, have released a new CD, North Star. North Star is the band's first album featuring new studio material since 1976. The full-length CD features a mixture of re-recordings, cover songs and seven new original compositions, all housed in a lavish digi-pack.