Infinitely more rewarding than their debut was Curved Air’s aptly titled Second Album. Bassist Ian Eyre replaced Robert Martin, the first in what would become an all-too-frequent occurrence for the band. The considerable musical talents of the classically-trained violinist Darryl Way and keyboardist Francis Monkman finally gel here, even though their compositions split the album’s sides. Way’s “Young Mother” opens and features some excellent synthesizer work from Monkman. The funky “Back Street Luv” b/w “Everdance” was a hit for the band the previous summer, reaching No. 5 in the UK. Sonja Kristina’s voice is unique for rock, let alone progressive rock: It’s rather formal and always up in the mix, something Renaissance would replicate a few years later. Monkman’s “Everdance” is a refreshing change, with Way’s violin well-integrated into the song; while “Piece of Mind” finally delivers the fusion of rock and classics the band initially promised. The album was well-received in the UK, perhaps this time (without picture disc) more genuinely so, reaching No. 11 on the charts. Bassist Mike Wedgwood was on board for their next album, 1972’s Phantasmagoria, which continued to refine Curved Air’s classical sound-especially on compositions like “Marie Antoinette” and “Over and Above.” The album again charted in the UK, albeit only reaching No. 20. It would be the last album with both Way and Monkman (for now, anyway), as the band would soon undergo massive personnel changes.
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Taken from The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, here is an Album of the Week to enjoy and discuss.
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"Always ready with the ray of sunshine"