Exposé Online banner

Sonja Kristina — Anthology
(Curved Air Records , 2017, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-11-29

Anthology Cover art

Most will know Sonja Kristina from her many years as the singer and de-facto bandleader of Curved Air, the British progressive rock band that broke many barriers in the early 70s and continues to this day. What many may not know is that, prior to her involvement in Curved Air, she was active in the late-sixties nascent British folk revival, having been performing with her guitar in folk clubs for a good five years prior, and had even performed with the early Strawbs for a short time. Sadly no recordings from this early period exist (or maybe they do, but nobody is letting them out). Sonja’s fortunes changed directions in 1968 when she auditioned for the London production of Hair, and subsequently landed the gig. After that production ran its course, she was invited to join a recently formed band called Sisyphus, which subsequently became Curved Air, and the rest is history. Curved Air released four albums on Warner Brothers and then split, and has regrouped off and on many times over the years. This long overdue Anthology focuses on Sonja’s music from the in-between times when Curved Air was not a going concern, mostly during the 80s and 90s, a period when she released numerous long-players, CDs and a handful of non-LP singles as well.

Disc one opens with a re-recorded version of “Frank Mills,” a song she performed and recorded when Hair first opened in London; this 2017 version is exclusive to this compilation. There is only one Curved Air song here, “Love Child” from the album of the same name, recorded by the Air Cut version of the band that went unreleased for decades. Her landmark 1991 release Songs from the Acid Folk is well represented, featuring nine of that album’s twelve original cuts, including “Rollercoaster,” “This Is Not a Sanctuary,” “Anna” and a revisited version of “Melinda (More or Less).” Four more cuts are drawn from her self-titled debut album from 1980, and a couple more from the 1994 album Cloud 10 / Harmonics of Love. Also featured are otherwise-difficult-to-find tracks like “The Passion” from Excalibur 4: The Dark Age of the Dragon, “I Don’t Believe a Word” from the Motörhead tribute Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing, the A-side of her 1985 single-only “O Fortuna,” and another 2017 exclusive track “Ces’t la Vie” as a tribute to the late Greg Lake. The booklet notes, written by Sonja herself, give first hand accounts and background on most of the selected cuts. This is an outstanding compilation, ready made for those who only know her work with Curved Air. Anthology opens a whole new world.


Filed under: Archives, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Sonja Kristina Linwood

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Magma - "Les Voix" - Concert 1992 Douarnenez – Magma's Christian Vander has decided to follow in the footsteps of Frank Zappa, Andy Latimer, and others in an effort to fight the bootleggers, and has started his own record label AKT to release...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues