Live and promotional material from 1971 gets its first official release.
Curved Air’s 1971 Second Album has been remastered, and it comes with this 75-minute DVD. In 1970 Warner Brothers were quick to invest in this new progressive thing, reputedly stumping up $90,000 to sign Curved Air, who went on to make a 16-minute promo film of songs from their debut Air Conditioning. It’s fascinating and very much of its time, with It Happened Today accompanied by newspaper and magazine headlines and collages. At one point Francis Monkman looms dramatically over Sonja Kristina, engaged in guitar heroics, but then the camera pans back to reveal that he’s standing on a chair. Screw is also literal in its visuals, featuring a skull being slowly hand-drilled in the foreground. They were a particularly eclectic band, going from pop melody on Back Street Luv (there’s an excellent version here from the German TV show Beat Club) to Vivaldi, Darryl Way’s classical/ freakout violin showcase (of which there are three versions in total here) to Monkman’s loopy electronics. The latter’s super-speed keyboard solo in a live performance for French TV in Paris is a clear homage to composer Terry Riley, whose Rainbow In Curved Air gave the band their name. MB