Mannheim 1972 [no label 2CD Torrent 80853]
Live at Mannheim, Universitaet, Mar 25 1972. Lineup: Sonja Kristina, Daryl Way, Francis Monkman, Jan Eyre and Barry de Souza. VG AUD stereo.

The tragic paucity of any other documentation of Curved Air at their peak notwithstanding, there is no reason whatsoever to subject yourself to this set. Mysteriously spread across two discs, though the second seems only to reprise the admittedly protracted encore version of "Stretch," Mannheim 1972 suffers from almost unlistenably low fidelity, a distant hissing in your ears that is occasionally broken by a piercing burst of fiddle, a trademark Kristina shriek, and the murmur of the audience members gathered around the taper.

In terms of the performance itself, the band sound like they might have been good… "Young Mother," "Sarah's Concern," "Thinking On The Floor," "Phantasmagoria," "Piece Of Mind," "Propositions" and a sadly-painful "Vivaldi" comprise the main set, and the occasional flourish that breaks through the murk leaves you yearning for a quality recording

Unfortunately, this is as good as it gets right now, and that's no good at all. - Dave Thompson

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November 17 , 2006