Curved Air

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Curved Air
Origin London, England
Genres Progressive rock
Years active1970–1976, 1984, 1988, 1990, 2008–present
Labels Warner Bros., Deram, BTM
Associated actsSisyphus, The Police, Sky
Website www.curvedair.com
Members
  • Sonja Kristina
  • Chris Harris
  • Paul Sax
  • Robert Norton
  • Andy Tween
  • George Hudson
Past members

Curved Air are a pioneering English progressive rock group formed in 1970 [1] by musicians from mixed artistic backgrounds, including classical, folk, and electronic sound. The resulting sound of the band was a mixture of progressive rock, folk rock, and fusion with classical elements. Along with High Tide and East of Eden, Curved Air were one of the first rock bands after It's a Beautiful Day, The Flock and the United States of America to feature a violin. [2] Curved Air released eight studio albums, the first three of which broke the UK Top 20, and had a hit single with "Back Street Luv" (1971) which reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart. [3]

Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid to late 1960s. Initially termed "progressive pop", the style was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. Additional elements contributed to its "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening, not dancing.

Classical music broad tradition of Western art music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period. The major time divisions of Western art music are as follows:

Folk music musical and poetic creativity of the people

Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.

Contents

Band history

Sisyphus

The group evolved out of the band Sisyphus, [4] who played one of their early gigs in the ballroom of Leith Hill Place, Surrey for a masked ball and [5] which was formed by Darryl Way (who studied violin at Dartington College and the Royal College of Music) and Francis Monkman, a member of the Royal Academy of Music. [6] [7] While wandering an outlet store of the Orange Music Electronic Company, Monkman was intrigued by the sound of Way testing his first electrically amplified violin, and the two "got to talking." [8] They discovered they had a lot in common, and in 1969 invited pianist Nick Simon who, along with bassist Rob Martin and drummer Florian Pilkington-Miksa, completed the line-up of Sisyphus. [6] "Darryl and Nick were very much into Spirit. One could cite them as a formative influence for Curved Air", Monkman later remembered. [6] Many of the early Curved Air songs were written for Sisyphus, among them "Young Mother in Style" and "Screw". [6]

Richard Darryl Way is an English rock and classical musician who was a founding member of Curved Air and co-writer of their only hit single, "Back Street Luv". He is best known as a violinist although he also plays keyboards.

Dartington College of Arts art and music college in Devon, England

Dartington College of Arts was a specialist educational institution at Dartington Hall near Totnes in Devon, southwest England, offering education in music and the arts. Courses prepared students for a career in teaching, in partnership with Rolle College of Education, Exmouth, and came to focus on a performative and multi-disciplinary approach to the arts. Its founder Principal was Peter Cox who had been involved as Warden during its former manifestation before becoming a college. It offered tertiary-level courses in postdramatic theatre, music, choreography, visual performance and performance writing. Its teaching staff were all active arts practitioners.

Royal College of Music conservatoire established by royal charter in 1882

The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire established by royal charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, UK. It offers training from the undergraduate to the doctoral level in all aspects of Western Art including performance, composition, conducting, music theory and history. The RCM also undertakes research, with particular strengths in performance practice and performance science. The college is one of the four conservatories of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and a member of Conservatoires UK. Its buildings are directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall on Prince Consort Road, next to Imperial College and among the museums and cultural centres of Albertopolis.

Sisyphus was hired to provide accompaniment for Galt McDermott's new play, Who the Murderer Was, at the Mercury Theatre in Notting Hill Gate, serving as the pit band. [2] Mark Hanau, an aspiring band manager at the time, saw the show and decided he wanted to manage Sisyphus. He felt that Sonja Kristina, an aspiring folk musician who he had seen in the London stage production of Hair , [9] was the missing ingredient in the group. On 1 January 1970, Hanau contacted her through the singer and impresario Roy Guest. She listened to a cassette of the band's music and was impressed. [10] With Kristina's joining and Nick Simon's departure, Sisyphus metamorphosed into Curved Air, named after the album A Rainbow in Curved Air by contemporary composer Terry Riley. [2] The name was suggested by Monkman who, having played in the first London performance of In C , was a great fan of Riley. [6] The band's new sound immediately came together, and the five-piece Curved Air was born, Sonja Kristina being both the band's voice and its sex symbol. [9] [11]

The Mercury Theatre was a small theatre on Ladbroke Road, Notting Hill Gate, London, notable for the productions of poetic dramas between 1933 and 1956, and as the home of the Ballet Rambert until 1987.

Notting Hill Gate street in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London

Notting Hill Gate is one of the main thoroughfares of Notting Hill, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Historically the street was a location for toll gates, from which it derives its modern name.

Sonja Kristina English musician, lead singer in Curved Air

Sonja Kristina is an English songwriter, musician and actress, best known for starring in the seminal 1960s musical, Hair, and for being the lead vocalist of the 1970s progressive rock band, Curved Air.

From formation to first breakup

Tony [Brainsby] did very well and the music press came and checked us out and liked what they saw... We played the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm several times, and each time we were further up the bill, until we were headlining.

Sonja Kristina [12]

After a series of intensive rehearsals in Martin's family home in Gloucestershire, [13] the five-piece launched a well-received U.K. tour, supporting Black Sabbath at one point. [14] The band toured with their own sound engineer, Shaun Davies (later the producer for Way's post-Curved Air band, Wolf), which allowed them to achieve a better on-stage sound mix than other groups with unusual combinations of instruments. Shaun's father, Guy Davies, made the perspex violins used by Way and later Jobson. [12] Curved Air publicist Tony Brainsby fanned the enthusiastic audience response and a bidding war for the band ensued, [12] and in summer 1970 Curved Air signed with Warner Bros., becoming the first British band on the company's roster. [2] The band received a much-publicized advance of £100,000 [15] and their debut album Air Conditioning was released in November notable for its being issued as the first commercially available LP picture disc in the UK. [5] The album reached number 8 in the UK Albums Chart, [16] preceded by a single, "It Happened Today". John Peel picked up on the band and they performed on several Peel radio Sessions and Roundhouse ‘Implosion’ events.

Gloucestershire County of England

Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

Tony Brainsby (1945-2000) was a British publicist of the 1960s. His career spanned over thirty years, in which time he represented several notable rock acts, including Curved Air, The Small Faces, Sonny and Cher, Paul McCartney and Wings, Queen, Ron Wood, David Essex, Jeff Duff, as well as actress Quinn O'Hara.

Bass player Rob Martin left due to a hand injury, and was replaced by Ian Eyre. The band released "Back Street Luv" which reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart to become the band's most successful single to date. [16] The Second Album peaked at number 11. A non-LP follow-up single, "Sarah's Concern", went by unnoticed. [2]

Back Street Luv 1971 single by Curved Air

"Back Street Luv" is a song by British rock band Curved Air, written by band members Ian Eyre, Sonja Kristina and Darryl Way. It was included into the Second Album and released as a single in July 1971 by Warner Bros. Records (K16092). On September 18 "Back Street Luv" reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart, its highest position. In 1971 Warners also released it a single in Netherlands (16092), Germany, France (16092) and Portugal (N-63-6). In 1975 a considerably more intense live version appeared on Curved Air – Live and was released as a single in the UK by Deram, but unlike the original recording it failed to make any commercial impact.

UK Singles Chart British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

Single (music) type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

The band played three U.S. tours and built a cult following there. [11] In the course of constant touring drummer Pilkington-Miksa actually became ill in late 1971 and for several months Barry de Souza (Lou Reed, Jeff Beck, Kate Bush), who band members knew from studio work, sat in for him. It was DeSouza who played with Curved Air at the 1971 Beat Club German T.V performance of "Back Street Luv", the televised version of which became well known. [6] In late 1971 Sonja Kristina joined Faces, Soft Machine, Marc Bolan and David Bedford to do a Christmas radio show for the BBC. [9]

Lou Reed American musician, recording artist, singer-songwriter

Lewis Allan Reed was an American musician, singer and songwriter. He was the lead guitarist, singer and principal songwriter for the rock band the Velvet Underground and also had a solo career that spanned five decades. The Velvet Underground were not a commercial success during their existence, but are now regarded as one of the most influential bands in the history of underground and alternative rock music.

Jeff Beck English rock guitarist

Geoffrey Arnold Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with the Yardbirds. Beck also formed the Jeff Beck Group and with Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice, he formed Beck, Bogert & Appice.

Kate Bush British recording artist

Catherine Bush is an English singer, songwriter, and record producer. Bush came to notice in 1978 when, aged 19, she topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks with her debut single "Wuthering Heights", becoming the first female artist to achieve a UK number one with a self-written song. She has since released 25 UK Top 40 singles, including the top-10 hits "The Man with the Child in His Eyes", "Babooshka", "Running Up That Hill", "Don't Give Up" and "King of the Mountain". She has released ten studio albums, all of which reached the UK Top 10, including the UK number-one albums Never for Ever (1980), Hounds of Love (1985), and the compilation The Whole Story (1986). She is the first British solo female artist to top the UK album charts and the first female artist to enter the album chart at number one.

One highlighted performance was on 7 May 1971 when Curved Air was the opening act for B.B. King and Johnny Winter at the Warehouse in New Orleans.

By the time of the third album release serious musical differences within the band emerged. According to Sonja Kristina's Cherry Red interview (2007), Francis was fascinated with overtones and natural harmonies, and "His other obsession is/was jamming... real 'out there' cosmic rock jamming. And that is not Darryl at all... He's a very disciplined perfectionist, he likes things to be as precise and exquisite as possible. Whereas Francis is completely the opposite way; he just wants to play and things just come out of the cosmos". [10] As Monkman explained,

Basically Darryl and I respect each others' work, but we don't really see eye-to-eye on most things. And we never really got the co-writing thing together. I wanted to get my first "epic" together, so it looks like a split forming at the time of the Second Album. In fact, the centre was never really solid after Rob left.

This division was reflected in the arrangement of tracks on Second Album and Phantasmagoria; side A of both albums was occupied by music composed by Darryl Way, while side B was devoted solely to Monkman's compositions, with no true collaboration between the two writers. While working in the studio the band was in a dire condition. "I remember the moment when Clifford Davis, our manager after Mark Hanau, spelled out what we were going to have to do just to get somewhere near even. We felt burned out", Monkman later said. By the end of 1972 Monkman was a self-admitted "nervous wreck" and on the verge of physical and mental breakdown. [6] He had to wear earplugs to go on the London Underground and went to a naturopath three times a week.

Phantasmagoria was recorded with bassist/guitarist Mike Wedgwood, who replaced Eyre. [17] The album's title was drawn from the Lewis Carroll poem of the same title. The album came out in April 1972 and reached number 20 in the U.K. [16]

Curved Air split up, Way formed Darryl Way's Wolf, Pilkington-Miksa joined Kiki Dee's band, and Monkman moved into session work and was later to play in, among others, the supergroup Sky.

The new Curved Air

I don't think Florian thought it would really be Curved Air any more. Do you know that the new band was to be called the Sonja Kristina Band or Kristina – Wedgwood or something, but we were informed (by management) that it would be called Curved Air!

Mike Wedgwood [18]

Having retained a good working relationship, Sonja Kristina and Mike Wedgwood formed a new band with Kirby Gregory (electric guitar), Eddie Jobson (keyboards, violin), and Jim Russell (drums). Jobson had come from a band called Fat Grapple, who had been one of Curved Air's support acts on tour. [9] The new musicians brought more direct rock energy, with young prodigy Eddie Jobson, influenced by Curved Air, kept the classical blend strongly in the mix. On the suggestion of manager Clifford Davis, they continued using the name Curved Air with the approval and support of the departing band members.

Kristina later commented:

What I wanted to do with the band at the time was get more of a rock edge to it, and Kirby's guitar playing really excited me – he was just really wild. And Jim was the same way, a very solid rock drummer. Mike and I really wanted to continue, and it was our manager Clifford Davis who said we would do a better business continuing to call the band Curved Air. So we kept the name and followed along the same pattern as before, as a writer's band. Everybody in the new band contributed material except for Jim Russell, who really wasn't a writer. Before it had mainly been Darryl and Francis, but I had managed to get some of my compositions in. [9]

Whereas all three of the original Curved Air's albums had broken the UK top 20, the new band's sole album, Air Cut , [19] failed to chart at the time but is now acknowledged to be many people's favourite Curved Air album.[ citation needed ]

Not long after the release Eddie Jobson was asked to replace Brian Eno in Roxy Music, [18] so Kirby Gregory and Jim Russell both left the group to form Stretch. Sonja Kristina recorded a demo tape for Warner Brothers but they discontinued the contract. [9] (These demos were later issued as part of the Lovechild record.) Mike Wedgwood joined Caravan. [2]

Reunion

In 1974 Chrysalis sued the band. "We had broken their contract on the advice of Clifford Davis, who said we could prove that they had not been acting in our best interests, but by then he was no longer our manager!" Monkman explained. In order to discharge an enormous unpaid VAT bill, [20] in September 1974 the band's mainstays (Kristina, Way, Monkman, and Pilkington-Miksa) reunited for a three-week tour of the UK, [5] put together by Darryl Way's manager, Miles Copeland III. The reunion interrupted Way's new band, Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, and since the bass slot for Curved Air needed filling, Way brought along the new band's bassist, Phil Kohn.

The reunion tour saw Sonja Kristina play her role as Curved Air's sex symbol far more dramatically than she had before. Between the band's previous breakup and the reunion tour she had worked as a croupier at the London Playboy Club [9] and returned to the stage with Curved Air in see through lace, feathers and beads , highlighting her sexuality. [10]

A live album and single were recorded during the lauded three week reunion tour, and they succeeded in paying off the tax bill. With their debts paid, Monkman and Pilkington-Miksa had no more reason to remain in the band. And so, Curved Air broke up for the third time in as many years. [20]

Stark Naked, the Car Thieves, and Curved Air

However, Darryl Way wanted to continue Curved Air with Sonja Kristina. Way brought in two more "Car Thieves", guitarist Mick Jacques and drummer Stewart Copeland. [20] Now more members of this new lineup came from Stark Naked and the Car Thieves than Curved Air . [20] With Darryl Way at the helm, [14] this new band often employed the same classical and folk influences as the original band and played the now classic Curved Air songs at their shows), but their core sound was rooted in pop, rhythm and blues, and hard rock. Miles Copeland III, still serving as Curved Air's manager, put the group on his own label, BTM. [21]

The band kicked off with a European tour, which started poorly. [20] Way, a notorious perfectionist, [10] [22] grew impatient with the struggling of his bandmates, especially novice drummer Copeland. [20] Then, for reasons no one could pinpoint, the musicians suddenly "clicked" with each other and the band caught fire, quickly becoming a popular and acclaimed live act. [20]

Their studio efforts were another story, however. Phil Kohn left and the band, unable to replace him in time for the sessions for Midnight Wire , relied on guest musicians to play both bass (John G Perry) and keyboards (Peter Wood). Norma Tager, a friend of Kristina’s, penned the lyrics to the "Midnight Wire" songs. [9] Kohn was later replaced by Tony Reeves, [5] formerly of Colosseum and Greenslade, but the recording sessions for both Midnight Wire and 1976's Airborne were expensive and highly stressful for everyone involved. [20] Both albums – as well as "Desiree", a single drawn from Airborne – failed to break the charts.

Finally we just played England too many times. ...we had no more new material, we didn't have much else in common, and there was little prospect of improvement. So we just decided to round off our schedule and leave it at that. Sort of 'Call me if you can think of anything.'

Stewart Copeland [20]

Citing dissatisfaction with BTM Records' inability to support Curved Air financially, Way departed. [20] Though Alex Richman from the Butts Band stepped in on keyboards, [7] the loss of the band's de facto leader was a blow. This line-up’s final release was a cover version of "Baby Please Don't Go” and although the shows were sold out and always successful the new recordings did not chart. After months of gradually losing steam, Curved Air broke up so quietly that, by Sonja Kristina's recollections, most of the music press wrote off the band's absence as a "sabbatical". [10] Copeland formed The Police, Reeves returned to work as a producer and played in semi-pro band Big Chief along with Jacques, and Kristina and Way both pursued solo careers. Kristina and Copeland maintained the close personal relationship they'd formed while bandmates and were married in 1982.

Interim

Curved Air as a group were largely inactive for the next three decades, though a handful of retrospective releases and compilations were released during this time. (Warner Bros. Records released the band's first compilation, "The Best of Curved Air", in April 1976, though it naturally only contained material from the band's four Warner Bros. albums.)

In 1984 Darryl Way asked Sonja Kristina to provide vocals to several of his solo recordings, two of which, "Renegade" and "We're Only Human", were released as a single under the Curved Air name. A third track, a cover of "O Fortuna", was released as a Sonja Kristina solo track on the b-side to "Walk on By", but was withdrawn due to objections from the Carl Orff estate. [9] Yet another track, "As Long as There's a Spark", was originally recorded by Way and Kristina, but released as a Darryl Way solo track, with Way performing the vocals himself. Way and Kristina followed these recordings with a short tour in 1988, again under the Curved Air name. [2]

In 1990 the original Kristina, Way, Monkman and Pilkington-Miksa quartet gave a one-off reunion concert at the London's Town & Country, supported by Noden's Ictus. [9] The performance, recorded by Francis Monkman, was captured on the Alive, 1990 album, released in 2000. [2]

Following the one-off reunion, guitarist Mike Gore instigated a series of jam sessions which involved three fifths of Curved Air's original lineup: Monkman, Pilkington-Miksa, and Martin. [23] In 1991 several of these jams were recorded, ultimately being released as a Monkman solo album called Jam in 2002.

2008 onwards

In early 2008, the band regrouped. [24] [25] On 4 May 2008, in a message to the Curved Air Yahoo Group, Kristina advised that the new line-up would be herself, Darryl Way (violin), Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums), Andy Christie (guitar) and Chris Harris (bass). Francis Monkman, who was originally pictured with Kristina, Way and Pilkington-Miksa for the reunion, left the project. "Unfortunately, he didn't have the same vision as the rest of us as to how (the new project) should be approached and wasn't prepared to compromise, so our ways had to part", commented Way. Sonja Kristina confirmed, "Francis was in at the beginning but had extremely different ideas from Darryl about how he wanted this new Curved Air to prepare and develop. Eventually, he withdrew. We continued with Darryl as our musical director and producer." [14] The new line-up played in Southern England, Italy and Malta in 2008.

In 2008 a CD/box set Reborn was released, with 12 re-recorded Curved Air tracks and two new songs ("Coming Home" and "The Fury"). [26] Two of the oldies, "Melinda" and "Elfin Boy", were reworked and produced by Marvin Ayres. [14] As Way explained, the band had two reasons for this: they were never satisfied with the way those tracks were originally recorded and they wanted to have the product that they owned and were in control of. "Reborn was our way of preparing for the live work", Sonja Kristina added. [14] On Friday, 13 June, Curved Air performed at the Isle Of Wight Festival [27] to a generally positive response. [28]

For the 2009 dates in Japan on 16 and 17 January at Club Citta, Kawasaki, the guitarist was Kit Morgan who replaced Christie. [29] On 9 August 2009, Eddie Jobson stood in for Darryl Way at a one-off gig in Chislehurst.

For their dates in October 2009, Way was indisposed, and Robert Norton (keyboards) and Paul Sax (violin) stood in for him. Sax had played on Sonja Kristina's 1991 album Songs from The Acid Folk and both Sax and Norton played on her 1995 album Harmonics of Love. "Robert Norton is exceptional – as is Paul Sax, a master violinist – one of the first entrants to the Yehudi Menuhin school – a passionate and brave performer very well qualified to step into Darryl's light. All the band are brilliant players and inspiring people. Chris Harris is literally our root on bass and Kit Morgan the fire on guitar. Great chemistry and communication", Sonja Kristina commented. [30] This lineup (Kristina, Pilkington-Miksa, Harris, Morgan, Sax and Norton) continued to gig as Curved Air until 2013. The band played at the London High Voltage Festival 2011 (23–24 July), alongside Spock's Beard, Jethro Tull, Dream Theater, and Queensrÿche, among others. [31]

A live album consisting of recordings from the previous UK tour, Live Atmosphere, was released on 2 April 2012.

In October 2013, Kirby Gregory returned to replace Kit Morgan on guitar. The new lineup (Kristina, Pilkington-Miksa, Harris, Gregory, Sax and Norton) initially played a couple of dates in the UK before recording a new studio album, North Star, released on 17 March 2014, supported by a 10-date tour from 1 March to 19 April with the Acoustic Strawbs and Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash.

On 4 September 2015, Curved Air played a special concert at Under The Bridge, London, to mark the 45th Anniversary of the release of Air Conditioning. The album was played in full for the first time ever. The band was joined on stage by Darryl Way for "Vivaldi" and two other songs. Ian Eyre also played bass during "Back Street Luv".

In November 2016 Kit Morgan returned to the band, replacing Kirby Gregory.

In November 2017 Florian Pilkington-Miksa announced on the Curved Air website that "Having had 9 successful and fun years playing drums in the reformed Curved Air line up since 2008, I have now decided to leave the band".

In August 2018 it was announced that Kit Morgan would no longer be able to play with the band due to problems with his back. On August 4th 2018, former Purson guitarist George Hudson made his live debut with the band on stage at The New Day Festival in Kent.

Personnel

Members

Current members
Former members
Substitute musicians

Lineups

January 1970 – April 1970April 1970 – Late 1971Late 1971 – Late 1972Late 1972 – Summer 1973
  • Sonja Kristina  – vocals
  • Rob Martin – bass guitar
  • Francis Monkman – keyboards, guitar
  • Florian Pilkington-Miksa – drums
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Francis Monkman – keyboards, guitar
  • Florian Pilkington-Miksa – drums
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Ian Eyre – bass guitar
Additional personnel
  • Barry de Souza – drums (filled in for Pilkington-Miksa - 1971)
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Francis Monkman – keyboards, guitar
  • Florian Pilkington-Miksa – drums
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Mike Wedgwood  – bass guitar, vocals, guitar
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Mike Wedgwood – bass guitar, vocals, guitar
  • Eddie Jobson  – keyboards, violin
  • Kirby Gregory  – guitar
  • Jim Russell – drums
Summer 1973Summer 1973 – September 1974September 1974 – December 1974Late 1974 – Early 1975
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Mike Wedgwood – bass guitar, vocals, guitar
  • Eddie Jobson – keyboards, violin

Disbanded

  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Phil Kohn – bass guitar
  • Francis Monkman – keyboards, guitar
  • Florian Pilkington-Miksa – drums
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Phil Kohn – bass guitar
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Stewart Copeland  – drums
  • Mick Jacques – guitars
Early 1975 – Late 1975Late 1975 – Late 1976Late 19761976–1984
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Stewart Copeland – drums
  • Mick Jacques – guitars
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Stewart Copeland – drums
  • Mick Jacques – guitars
  • Tony Reeves  – bass
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Stewart Copeland – drums
  • Mick Jacques – guitars
  • Tony Reeves – bass
  • Alex Richman – keyboards

Disbanded

19841984 – September 1990September 1990September 1990 – Early 2008
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, guitars, drum machine

Disbanded

  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Francis Monkman – keyboards, guitar
  • Florian Pilkington-Miksa – drums

Disbanded

Early 2008 – January 2009January 2009 – October 2009October 2009 – October 2013October 2013 – November 2016
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Florian Pilkington-Miksa – drums
  • Andy Christie – guitar
  • Chris Harris – bass
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Darryl Way – violin, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Florian Pilkington-Miksa – drums
  • Chris Harris – bass
  • Kit Morgan – guitar
Additional personnel
  • Eddie Jobson – keyboards, violin (filled in for Way – August 2009)
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Florian Pilkington-Miksa – drums
  • Chris Harris – bass
  • Kit Morgan – guitar
  • Robert Norton – keyboards
  • Paul Sax – violin
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Florian Pilkington-Miksa – drums
  • Chris Harris – bass
  • Robert Norton – keyboards
  • Paul Sax – violin
  • Kirby Gregory – guitar
November 2016 - November 2017November 2017 - August 2018August 2018 - Present
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Florian Pilkington-Miksa – drums
  • Chris Harris – bass
  • Robert Norton – keyboards
  • Paul Sax – violin
  • Kit Morgan – guitar
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Chris Harris – bass
  • Robert Norton – keyboards
  • Paul Sax – violin
  • Kit Morgan – guitar
  • Andy Tween – drums
  • Sonja Kristina – vocals
  • Chris Harris – bass
  • Robert Norton – keyboards
  • Paul Sax – violin
  • Andy Tween – drums
  • George Hudson – guitar

Timeline

Curved Air

Discography

Studio albums

YearTitleChart-positionsComments
UK
[32]
US DE CH
[33]
AT
1970 Air Conditioning 8
1971 Second Album 11
1972 Phantasmagoria 20
1973 Air Cut
1975 Midnight Wire
1976 Airborne
2014 North Star Studio album with 7 new songs, 3 re-workings of Curved Air songs, 1 re-working of a Sonja Kristina solo song and covers of songs by The Police, Snow Patrol and the Beatles.

Other albums

YearTitleChart-positionsComments
UK
[32]
US DE CH
[33]
AT
1975 Curved Air – Live
1976The Best of Curved Aircompilation
1990 Lovechild collection of demos recorded in 1973, some of which are by Curved Air
1995 Live at the BBC Sessions from 1970, 1971, and 1976
2000 Alive, 1990 Live recording of 1990 reunion concert
2008RebornNew recordings of songs from the first five studio albums plus two new tracks especially written by Darryl Way for the album – The Fury and Coming Home.
2010RetrospectiveAnthology 1970–2009 including three tracks by MASK
2012Live AtmosphereLive album featuring recordings made during 2010/2011 tour

Singles

YearTitleChart-positionsComments
UK
[32]
US DE CH
[33]
AT
1971It Happened Today
What Happens When You Blow Yourself Up
Vivaldi
Warner Bros. Records WB 8023 (UK) 3-track single
Warner Bros. Records 7470 (US) & 16 073 (Germany)
– both countries issued without Vivaldi
1971 Back Street Luv
Everdance
4Warner Bros. Records initially WB 8029 & later K 16092 (UK)
Warner Bros. Records 7519 (US) & K 16 092 (Germany)
1972Sarah's Concern
Phantasmagoria
Warner Bros. Records K 16164 (UK)
1974 Back Street Luv (re-issue)
It Happened Today (re-issue)
Marie Antoinette
Ultra – Vivaldi
Warner Bros. Records K 16412 (UK) 4-track EP
1975 Back Street Luv (Live version)
It Happened Today (Live version)
Deram Records DM 426 (UK)
1976Desiree
Kids to Blame
BTM Records SBT 103 (UK)
1976 Baby Please Don't Go
Broken Lady
BTM Records SBT 106 (UK)
1984Renegade
We're Only Human
Pearlkey Records PK 07350 (UK)
– credited as Curved Air '84

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