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|Audio CD, Import, August 24, 2018||
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Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of an expanded 2 disc edition of the acclaimed Curved Air album "Second Album". Released in 1971 the album featured a line-up of Sonja Kristina (vocals, acoustic guitar), Darryl Way (violin, piano), Francis Monkman (guitar, keyboards, VCS3), Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums) and new member Ian Eyre (bass).The album featured the classic hit single 'Back Street Luv' along with such classic tracks as 'Young Mother', 'Jumbo', 'Puppets', 'Everdance' and 'Piece Of Mind' and was an acclaimed hit album in the UK and Europe. This expanded two-disc CD / DVD edition of "Second Album" includes five bonus tracks taken from a BBC Radio John Peel session in January 1971 and the entire live performance recorded for the BBC's John Peel's Sunday Concert in March 1971. The release has been re-mastered by Francis Monkman and also includes an additional DVD (NTSC / Region Free) featuring a recently discovered and previously unreleased promotional film from 1971, Warner Brothers presents Curved Air, featuring the tracks 'It Happened Today', 'Vivaldi' and 'Screw', along with the band's appearance filmed for the French TV show Pop Deux in July 1971 and their performances for the German TV show Beat Club the same year."Second Album" restores the original album artwork and features a lavishly illustrated booklet with an essay by Malcolm Dome featuring exclusive interviews with Sonja Kristina, Darryl Way and Francis Monkman.
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The 3 star is for the crappy media.
It is so rooted in the period that it may be hit or miss for younger folks, but on the other hand it is such strong music it may still crash through 35 years of music evolution to some degree as it did strongly for me after 10 years of music evolution by the time i heard it the first time.
As far as her voice, yes, when i first heard it, i was comparing everything to mainstream production values and i though it sounded odd and vaguely weak. But the musical virtuosity and the more kinetic tracks like "Everdance" (pretty sure it is called that, even tho Amazon has it listed as "Everydance") hooked me long enough to just let the album play on a number of times. The song on the other side of that album that tricked me into letting that side play was "Bright Summer's Day '68", previously described as silly in here, but to me it was a wonderful blend of happy bouncy bluesy music with a light-hearted casual singing style about all kinds of awful things that happen, with cool conscious-penetrating filtered voice inserts, etc. A real delight. Backstreet Luv is brooding and musically takes you down to an alley-level feeling even though it is progressive and not derivative. Her voice is alternatively creepy and kind of sexy-lecturing-unison.
But after hearing the whole album a few times, the other songs really started getting under my skin and wouldn't get out of my head, and a big part of it was her voice. Of course, i've since been exposed to the whole range of musical expression, of which bands like Jethro Tull and Genesis are but a tiny sliver. Against the whole backdrop of it all, Sonja Kristina had a wonderful quirky jazzy breathy sexy slightly-disjoint delivery that fits perfectly into this kind of music. It would absolutely kill it to have someone more traditionally technical singing these parts.
Even "the slow song" that i skipped right over many times at first (because i was 19 and had way too short of an attention span for a SLOW song) wormed deep into my subconscious and years later, even today, though i haven't heard that record in decades, i still think the dreamy, floating "Jumbo" is one of THE most haunting, subtle, emotionally yearning while simultaneously disconnecting pieces i've ever heard, and nothing has ever come as close for me to capturing the feeling of reflection and ambivalence and travel weariness and fondness for home while on a long jet flight as this song. It is amazing.