Over a meal in a French restaurant, Sy poses a conundrum to his fellow diners: Is the essence of life comic or tragic? For the sake of argument, he tells a story, which the others then embellish to illustrate their takes on life. The story starts as follows: A young Manhattan couple, Park Avenue princess Laurel and tippling actor Lee, throw a dinner party to impress Lee's would-be producer when their long-lost friend Melinda appears at their front door, bedraggled and woebegone. In the tragic version of what happens next, the beautiful intruder is a disturbed woman who got bored with her Midwestern doctor-husband and dumped him for a photographer.
"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.