Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Progressive Rock Encyclopedia: C (Part 7): (Crucis & Curved Air)

Crucis were a not so famous Argentinian band, formed in Buenos Aires in the mid '70's.
They were a 4-member-band, all of them locals with the only exception of their drummer (Gonzalo Farrugia) who was from Uruguay. They were active from 1974 until 1977 and they released 2 records: 'Crucis' (1976), and 'Los Delirios Del Mariscal' (1977).
   Their music is a typical '70's example, with emphasis on the keyboards. Their compositions are interesting, with surprising breaks, and more often instrumental. There are also some songs of course, with Spanish lyrics. Their second album is considered to be their best, because of the "maturer" sound, the longer and more sophisticated compositions, and the Jazz-Rock influences.
 In the following video you can listen to the instrumental piece 'Los Delirios Del Mariscal'.

                                           CURVED AIR
   Curved Air were formed in 1970 in England by musicians from mixed artistic backgrounds. This fact had  a major effect in their style and sound. Their music was a mixture of Progressive Rock, Folk Rock and Fusion, featuring many classical elements.
    Their first line-up was featuring Sonja Kristina (Vocals), Darryl Way (Violin), Francis Monkman (Keyboards) and Florian Pikkington (Drums). Along with 'High Tide' and 'East of Eden' they were the first British Rock bands to feature a violin in their sound. (But not the first in general, because "It's a Beautiful Day" and "The United States of America', both American bands, were the first to try it).
   Their first album 'Air Conditioning' was released in 1970, and reached at No.8 in the British album charts.
The next year (1972) 'Second Album' was released, which was a "maturer" and less experimental album. In 1972 'Phantasmagoria' was released, which was maybe their best work. In this album they added one more member to the band, the Bass player Mike Wedgwood.
After 'Phantasmagoria' and the long tour which followed, they almost split up. There were many problems among the members of the band, and as a result Darryl Way quit and he was replaced by Eddie Jobson (Violin). After the release of 'Air Cut' (1973) 2 more members quit the band: Mike Wedgwood (joined Caravan) and Eddie Jobson (joined Roxy Music).
  Although they had practically broken-up, Kristina made an effort to 'resurrect' the band. So she gathered the original line up, and with the addition of Stuart Coppeland on Drums (later became famous with Police), they released the albums 'Midnight Wire' (1976) and 'Airborne' (1977) which was their last official release.
   In 1990 they made a reunion for a concert in London, and from that concert the album 'Alive 1990' came out. Later the same year the album 'Lovechild' was released, which was containing unreleased material.
   In 2008 they made another reunion, and they are just giving concerts so far, without any new record on the horizon...
In the following video you can see the song "Marie Antoinette" performed live for the Belgian TV in 1972.