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Air Conditioning

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iTunes Review

Though Curved Air never broke through to the level of fame attained by the likes of Yes or Genesis, the band caused quite a stir on the British prog-rock scene when it emerged in the early ‘70s. A major factor in the U.K. success of its 1970 debut album was the charismatic presence of Sonja Kristina, one of the first female prog vocalists. Curved Air was also among the first rock bands to prominently feature a violinist; Darryl Way’s work here is a crucial element, whether he’s going toe-to-toe with Francis Monkman’s lead guitar lines on the hard-edged “Stretch” or laying down elegant, classical-influenced melodies on the winningly understated “Blind Man,” which veers closer to Left Banke–style baroque pop than prog. Speaking of classical influences, Way’s near-maniacal sawing on “Vivaldi,” an instrumental homage to the Italian composer, remains one of progressive rock’s most gloriously unhinged moments. It also hints at the rawness and visceral quality running through Air Conditioning that help it stand apart from the contemporaneous proggy pack.

Customer Reviews

1st Album

This album was originally released on a picture disc to make it sell. Apparently the record used to wear out quickly. This meaning that you had to buy a new copy if you liked the record. Having said all that Airconditioning has some great songs on it. Stretch and Propositions are the stand out tracks. Blind Man is the slow song ( a Curced Air hallmark) and Vivaldi is the classic Curved Air track. It would be nice if I-Tunes added the missing Curved Air albums and filled in the gaps on the current albums that are available.

a bit dated

i find this record not as pleasing as second album or phantasmagoria. best tracks are rob one and situations. much of it sounds like jefferson airplane circa 1968.


Formed: 1970

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

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...
Full Bio
Air Conditioning, Curved Air
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