Curved Air – were just one of many early seventies prog-rock bands who attempted, and succeeded in combining Classical and Rock instruments and songs. The incredible voice of Sonja Kristina meant that they kept bubbling under in the charts. I only have their first two albums – I sort of lost interest, and besides there were so many other incredible albums in the early Seventies. Air Conditioning was their debut in 1970. The opener ‘It Happened Today’ was a minor hit single; apart from that the album is rather overblown with ridiculously fast violins racing to…well, nowhere special. Better was the follow-up Second Album, maybe because the vocals were higher in the mix and the violins reined back a bit – and for me, the best thing about Curved Air was Sonja’s remarkable voice. Just a word about this (continuing) attempt to mix rock and classical – the mistake is to imagine that there is any difference at all; it is all music – but the best at combining two different streams were Barclay James Harvest (see B). Anyway, this record was pretty good – best rracks ‘Young Mother’ and the big hit ‘Backstreet Love’ – a few other tracks hit the mark too; ‘Jumbo’ and ‘Bright Summer Day’ are all great too. A delightful record. And now I ask myself why I stopped at record number two? But all decisions, especially which album to buy with limited resources, are arbitrary in the end.
Daddy G – I may have mentioned it before, but my daughter Laura is just as obsessed with music as I am (well almost). But she loves Dance Music – the disease started with her with Madonna (who I have never really got). Anyway, she regularly buys me CDs of her favourite artists (trying to convert me no doubt). Some I really love but some not so. This one is DJ Kicks – and it is a reggae dub album, quite reminiscent of Bob Marley (see M) and it is pretty good really. The thing about Reggae is the infectious beat; it just takes you over. But as you know I am really a wordsman, and unfortunately most ‘Dance Music’ pretty well dispenses with words, or they are so unimportant and repetitious. Anyway, unfamiliar as I am with the genre – I didn’t understand that this was a ‘remix’ album. Daddy G has taken tracks from Tricky, Massive Attack and a few others and has changed them by remixing and adding beats or whatever. The whole thing hangs together quite well really, though it does get a bit boring over time. The thing about music is that so much of it is about the time and place when you first heard it, when you were receptive to it, when you felt part of the culture of it all. This album is quite pleasant to listen to now and then, but only now and then really.
Roger Daltrey – only the one album, self-titled. I never had this on CD, but did manage to copy it (poorly) from the album. I remember it was quite good, lots of Leo Sayer (who was then unknown) written songs on it. Actually, I fell in love with the cover photo of Roger with full afro curly hair. I had mine permed because of it. I never looked as good….hahaha.
Alun Davies – Now this is a real rarity. As far as I can ascertain he only made the one record on his own; Daydo – but what a record. Alun was Cat Stevens (see S) guitarist on all those early Seventies albums of his. He came form a folk background and Daydo is very folky – not a bad thing. The record has a charm all of its own; a pleasant voice, great playing and a good choice of songs. I have always loved it. Best songs – the first three; ‘Market Place’, ‘Old Bourbon Street’ and ‘Portobello Road’ but ‘Vale of Tears’ is excellent too. A lovely rarity – not easily available – in fact I’ve just bought it as a German import on CD. My record was a scratchy copy from record to LP – so nice to have it properly, even if – like most of them -it will only be played rarely.
Ray Davis – the Kinks front man. An undoubted great songwriter and singer – and I did love the Kinks as a teenager – but somehow in my buying choices they have always slipped through my greedy little fingers. Just one from Ray; Working Mans Café – a free CD with Daily Mail I think, from early this Century. And it is good – in places, and yet it still fails to really grab me. A shame as re-playing it I like the lyrics and the arrangements and his voice. Oh Well.