Saturday, July 28, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 231 SONG #262

Day 231:  A song from one of my favourite albums

Curved Air is one of the British bands from the early seventies that has been labeled "progressive rock". They have chosen their name with respect to Terry Riley's composition "A Rainbow in Curved Air". Their third album "Phantasmagoria" is among my fav albums of all times. It is named after a poem by Lewis Carroll. This is art rock at its best, fine tunes, excellent musicianship, musicians that have control over their instruments and not the other way round, unpretentious, no compositions that try to emulate "classical forms" like symphonies. The members of the band came from a variety of musical backgrounds, classical music, avantgarde, folk and rock, and these elments blend harmoniously on that very album. The album features, among others Sonja Kristina, the only stable member in all the different line-ups of the band and Francis Monkman, who has written the title track. Monkman, a member of The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, was part of the Eno/Manzanera-project 801 (already featured on this here blog). Curved Air have been one of the first "Rock" bands to use the violin, played here by Darryl Way, one of the founding members of the group. The band split up after the release of Phantasmagoria and started with a new line-up in 1973 to record just one album and split up again. On that 1973 line-up, Eddie Jobson played the violin, who, in the same year, came to replace Brian Eno in Roxy Music. Jobson stayed with RM for three albums (Stranded, Country Life, Siren) and played with Frank Zappa in 1976/77 and Jethro Tull in the early 80ies (and every musician that has qualified to play in Zappa's band has my respect, for sure). Here are four songs: 1) Phantasmagoria - the video featured on the Austrian TV-Show "Spotlight" from 1972 - my Austrian friends for sure will know the tv-presenter! 2-3) Melinda (More or Less) from the same album plus live version, song written by lead-singer Sonja Kristina Linwood, and, finally, 4) A Rainbow in Curved Air, the composition by Terry Riley from which the band's name was derived.

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