Group Members: Eddie Jobson, Stewart Copeland, Darryl Way, Sonja Kristina, Francis Monkman, John G. Perry, Ian Eyre, Mick Jacques, Philip Kohn, Florian Pilkington Miksa, Tony Reeves, Jim Russell, Mike Wedgewood, Kirby Gregory, Bobby Martin
Styles: Prog-Rock/Art Rock
The British progressive rock outfit Curved Air formed in London in early 1970, emerging from the remnants of the classically-influenced Sisyphus. Founded by violinist Darryl Way (a graduate of London's Royal College of Music) and keyboardist Francis Monkman, the group also included vocalist Sonja Kristina, bassist Bobbie Martin and drummer Florian Pilkington-Miksa; after building a following on the UK club circuit, Curved Air signed to Warner Bros., netting a much-publicized advance of 100, 000 pounds for their debut Air Conditioning. One of rock's first picture-disc releases, it reached the U.K. Top Ten in late 1970. Martin was replaced soon after by Ian Erye.
Curved Air's sophomore effort Second Album appeared in 1971; a headlining British tour followed, and soon the single "Back Street Luv" climbed into the Top Five. However, 1972's Phantamasgoria, recorded with new bassist Mike Wedgewood replacing Erye, barely scraped into the Top 20; internal differences began tearing the group apart, and soon both Way and Monkman exited, replaced by teen prodigies Kirby Gregory and Eddie Jobson. The new line-up recorded 1973's Air Cut, but within months Jobson had signed on with Roxy Music while Kristina joined the cast of the musical Hair, and the group effectively disbanded.
However, an outstanding tax bill forced Curved Air back into duty in 1974; a line-up of Way, Monkman, Kristina and Pilkington-Miksa mounted a tour which yielded 1975's Live LP, its release followed by the departures of Monkman and Pilkington-Miksa. With new drummer Stewart Copeland, later to gain renown in the Police, the revamped Curved Air recorded two final albums, 1975's Midnight Wire and 1976's
Airborne, before disbanding for good in 1977.
- Jason Ankeny (All Music Guide)