Air Conditioning (album)

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For other uses, see Air conditioning.
Air Conditioning
Picture disc "A'" side.
Studio album by Curved Air
Released November 1970
Recorded July 1970
Island Studios
Genre Progressive rock, art rock
Length 44:34[1]
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Mark Edwards
Curved Air chronology
Air Conditioning
(1970)
Second Album
(1971)

Air Conditioning was the November 1970 debut album by British rock group Curved Air. It reached number 8 in the UK albums chart in December, 1970.[2]

On the picture disc (subsequently used as the album cover) the album title was shown as "Airconditioning", while the subsequent green label issue had it as "Air Conditioning".

Background and recording[edit]

Though Sonja Kristina is credited as the sole lyricist of "It Happened Today", in a series of interviews conducted from late 1998 through March 1999, Francis Monkman claimed to have conceived the song's title and basic lyrical concept.[3] Kristina concurred that Monkman came up with the title but asserts that the lyric "isn't really about anything specific."[4] In contrast, though "Propositions" is credited solely to Monkman, he denies having written the lyrics and suggests that they were written by Kristina. He explained the inspiration for the song's music: "I was a great fan of Terry Riley (having played in the 1st London performance of "In C" in 1968) and was very impressed by "A Rainbow in Curved Air". Then I had a kind of "musical vision" of a high-energy rock sound going into a Terry-like tape-loop improvisation. That became "Propositions"..."[3]

Both music and lyrics for "Situations" were written jointly by Darryl Way and Rob Martin. Martin recalled that their collaboration on the song was so tight that often each melody was produced alternately by first one composer, then the other.

The lyric of "Hide and Seek" describes a post-apocalyptic scenario in which a lone survivor searches in vain for another living person; Sonja Kristina has stated that this lyric can be taken literally or symbolically. She commented, "It's a nightmare, the sort of thing when you dream about being left in an empty city."[4]

Kristina's vocal on "Blind Man" was inspired by Donovan's performance on "Hurdy Gurdy Man".[4]

Picture disc[edit]

The album was the first vinyl picture disc[5] as a limited edition of 10,000.[6] Picture disc technology was in its infancy and this resulted in a level of surface noise. The disc was re-issued in conventional album format (the "Green Label" edition), with a photo of the original picture disc on the album cover.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.0/5 stars [7]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "It Happened Today" (Francis Monkman, Sonja Kristina Linwood) – 4:55
  2. "Stretch" (Darryl Way, Monkman) – 4:05
  3. "Screw" (Way, Linwood) – 4:03
  4. "Blind Man" (Way, Rob Martin) – 3:32
  5. "Vivaldi" (Way) – 7:26

Side two[edit]

  1. "Hide and Seek" (Way, Linwood) – 6:15
  2. "Propositions" (Monkman) – 3:04
  3. "Rob One" (Martin) – 3:22
  4. "Situations" (Way, Martin) – 6:17
  5. "Vivaldi (With Cannons)" (Way, Monkman) – 1:35

One other song was recorded and released only on singles:

  1. "What Happens When You Blow Yourself Up" (Monkman, Linwood) – 3:34

Personnel[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "It Happened Today" b/w "Vivaldi" / "What Happens When You Blow Yourself Up" (UK release)
  • "It Happened Today" b/w "What Happens When You Blow Yourself Up" (North American release)
  • "It Happened Today" b/w "It Happened Today" (promo issue)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CURVED AIR Air Conditioning music reviews and MP3". www.progarchives.com. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats - Curved Air - Air Conditioning". www.chartstats.com. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  3. ^ a b Wynne, Richard. (1999) "Francis Monkman" (via link to "Francis". The Official Curved Air Website.
  4. ^ a b c Welch, Chris (April 2011). "Curved Air - Airconditioning". In Airconditioning [CD booklet]. London: Blue Mountain Music.
  5. ^ "Curved Air Home Page". www.curvedair.com. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  6. ^ "Curved Air - Airconditioning (12", Pic) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  7. ^ "allmusic ((( Air Conditioning > Overview )))". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-12-22.