Second Album (Curved Air album)

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Second Album
Studio album by Curved Air
Released September 9th 1971
Recorded Island Studios, Morgan Studios
Genre Progressive rock, art rock
Length 40:25
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Curved Air, Colin Caldwell
Curved Air chronology
Second Album
Alternative cover
US album cover
18 seconds (of 3:35)

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Second Album was the second album released by British rock group Curved Air. It reached No. 11 in the UK Charts on 9 October 1971, and "Back Street Luv" became a UK No. 4 chart hit on 7 August 1971.[1]

Both variations of the album cover include a rainbow, a reference to the album A Rainbow in Curved Air, from which the band took their name.[2]

Background and recording[edit]

The content and arrangement of the material reflected a sharp division in the band which would lead to their breakup the following year; all the songs on side A were composed by Darryl Way (with some assistance from Ian Eyre) with lyrics by Sonja Kristina, while all those on side B were composed by Francis Monkman.[3] Francis Monkman explained: "Basically Darryl and I respect each others' work, but we don't really see eye-to-eye on most things. And we never really got the co-writing thing together. I wanted to get my first 'epic' together, so it looks like a split forming (at the time of the "Second Album")."[4]

Unlike Curved Air's first album, Second Album was recorded when most of the songs were freshly written and had had little time to be developed over the course of touring.[5] An exception is "Young Mother", which in fact started as a song by Way, Monkman, and Pilkington-Miksa's pre-Curved Air band, Sisyphus.[4] Then titled "Young Mother in Style", it evolved into the form seen on Second Album in part through the addition of new lyrics by Sonja Kristina.

The electronics used on the album were provided by E.M.S. London, later the recording site for two tracks on Curved Air's third album, Phantasmagoria.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars [6]

Allmusic's review was largely negative, saying that the album lacks the innovation and originality of the band's other releases, replaced by "a crop of relatively straightforward but sonically flat rock songs". It further added that only "Piece of Mind" shows any of the classical influences the band was known for, and that that particular song is by modern standards "hopelessly old-fashioned", "obvious", and "hackneyed".[6]

Track listing[edit]

Side One[edit]

  1. "Young Mother" (Darryl Way, Sonja Kristina Linwood) – 5:55
  2. "Back Street Luv" (Way, Linwood, Ian Eyre) – 3:38
  3. "Jumbo" (Way, Linwood) – 4:11
  4. "You Know" (Way, Linwood) – 4:11
  5. "Puppets" (Way, Linwood) – 5:26

Side Two[edit]

  1. "Everdance" (Francis Monkman) – 3:08
  2. "Bright Summer's Day '68" (Monkman) – 2:54
  3. "Piece of Mind" (Monkman)[7] – 12:52


Other covers[edit]

Salad covered "Back Street Luv" on the 1996 Childline charity album.


  1. ^ UK Chart Stats
  2. ^ "allmusic ((( Curved Air > Biography )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  3. ^ Joynson, Vernon (1995). The Tapestry of Delights. London: Borderline Books.
  4. ^ a b Wynne, Richard. (1999) "Francis Monkman". The Official Curved Air Website.
  5. ^ "Cherry Red TV interview". Cherry Red Records. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  6. ^ a b Thompson, Dave. Second Album - Curved Air at AllMusic. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  7. ^ includes a section from The Waste Land:

    The river sweats
    Oil and tar
    The barges drift
    With the turning tide
    Red sails
    To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.
    The barges wash
    Drifting logs
    Down Greenwich reach
    Past the Isle of Dogs.
    (from III The Fire Sermon)