Exposé Online banner

Curved Air — Midnight Wire
(Repertoire REP 5239 , 1975/2011, CD)

Curved Air — Airborne
(Repertoire REP 5248, 1976/2011, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01

Midnight Wire Cover artAirborne Cover art

The final two albums by this seminal British band, always seeming to straddle the line between many styles, have finally been brought to CD. Unlike the early albums, which were solidly committed to a progressive rock approach (oblique as it may have seemed), these later albums are a distillation of their best qualities placed into a more mainstream rock context. Those qualities include the unique vocals of Sonja Kristina, a voice that — while not operatic in the strict sense, is nonetheless powerful and expressive in a similar way. The band at this point also included the powerful violin of Darryl Way, and Stewart Copeland on the drum kit, as well as others. Kristina, Way, and guitarist Mick Jacques contribute the bulk of the songwriting. Two tracks from Midnight Wire are especially interesting: the eight-minute title track and the floating instrumental “Pipe of Dreams," both penned by Way. And on the final album there is the twelve-minute “Moonshine," a stunning opus that is as overtly progressive as anything the band did in their first formation. The rest of the material here tilts more towards mainstream rock, but with a unique flavor attributable to Kristina’s voice and Way’s violin. Both good albums, but approach them with an open mind... and if one is looking for Curved Air’s more purely progressive material, they would be better advised to start with the early albums like Airconditioning or Second Album.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 7, 2011 releases, 1975 recordings, 1976 recordings

Related artist(s): Curved Air, Sonja Kristina, Darryl Way / Wolf, Alan Skidmore, John G. Perry

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Strawbs - Déjà Fou – Ghosts was the first Strawbs record I ever heard, and I seem to remember liking it immensely from the first play; the band quickly became one of my favorites, a position they’ve held for thirty...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues