Fabulous Flip Sides – Darryl Way Instrumental Album Sequel

Darryl Way discusses his new instrumental album and the final Curved Air flip side of the 1970s
Publish date:
Darryl Way2 Destinations 2

GOLDMINE: Congratulations on Destinations 2, welcome back to Goldmine, and thank you again for entertaining my wife Donna and me with your instrumental music. What a variety of places you take the listener this time! Before we go there, let’s go back to the flip side of the final Curved Air single of the 1970s, which I am very partial to, as it was released on the same day as Donna and my first date. “Broken Lady” flows in 3/4 time, with a beautiful vocal delivery from Sonja Kristina, and is so nicely backdropped by your violin, along with piano and accordion.

DARRYL WAY: Thank you. “Broken Lady” was written by Sonja and Tony Reeves. I arranged and performed the string arrangement, which I remember being particularly proud of at the time. This song reflected Sonja's folk routes in a similar way that “Melinda More or Less” and “Elfin Boy” did previously and has a similar feel to those Curved Air tracks. Things were beginning to go a bit astray at that time. We were hoping that our Airborne album would be a harmonious experience, however it turned out to be almost as fraught with producer problems as our prior album, Midnight Wire. The producer left halfway through the Airborne sessions and we were left to produce some of the tracks ourselves, including “Broken Lady,” which I didn't mind at all as I had already dipped my toe into that process briefly with the band Wolf. However, petty squabbles about the direction of the band were beginning to raise their ugly head and the death knell of Curved Air was beginning to sound. Soon after Airborne was released, we split up and everyone went their separate ways, with Stewart forming The Police and Sonja and I pursuing solo careers, but still maintaining friendships for decades.

Darryl Way2 flip side

Curved Air

Flip side: Broken Lady

A side: Baby Please Don’t Go

UK debut: October 29, 1976

BTM SBT 106

Darryl Way, bottom left

Darryl Way, bottom left

GM: In 2018, you entertained my family with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in Rock and last year, at the beginning months of the pandemic, you calmed us with Destinations and told me you had begun working on a sequel. The new album opens up with the excitement of “Alhambra Knights.” Please share with us what you had in mind with each of these songs.

DW: The heavy driving rhythms on “Alhambra Knights” recalls of the palace of Alhambra in Granada, in the heart of Spain. The music eventually calms with the introduction of a Spanish guitar.

GM: Your guitar and violin blend nicely on “Mother Earth” and the keyboard opening creates a gentle atmosphere, reminding me of early 1970s Pink Floyd albums.

DS: This is a love song to the magnificent planet we live on, celebrating its beauty and diversity, but also highlighting its fragility. It's our home, the only one we've got and if we are to survive, we'll have to learn to treat it with a lot more respect.

GM: “Banquet of the Vanities” is bouncy, sonically encouraging the listener to raise a glass.

DS: Yes. It is like a medieval banquet in Verona, attended by the Montagues and the Capulets.

GM: What a Shakespearean feast. I think I might have heard Banquo’s ghost later in the piece. Then, with “Café de Paris,” it reminds me of a James Bond soundtrack with a touch of Leon Russell’s “Superstar” melody.

DS: Imagine a café on the Rue Saint-Dominique during the 1920s, filled with artists and writers from around the world, who sip their Absinthe while discussing artistic trends and later, street musicians play guitar and accordion, breaking into a spontaneous Parisian tango.

GM: The orchestration on “Choctaw Ridge” takes me back to enjoying Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” in the summer of 1967.

DS: Yes, we're deep in Mississippi, where the Spanish moss hangs off the trees in the dank, clammy humidity. By the end of the number the sultry atmosphere is shaken off with a hoedown.

GM: Oh yes, I enjoy your rapid violin work, which is why the first song that I jumped ahead to was “Hungarian Rhapsody,” as I loved the lively Dvorak and Liszt rhapsodies we played in the school orchestra in the 1970s.

DS: This piece is in two halves with a slow movement followed by the fast one that you enjoy. I used traditional Hungarian instrumentation in conjunction with rock instruments.

GM: Yes, that was exactly what I had anticipated from you, but the big surprise for me was the final song, about immigration, “Across a River Wide.” You and your wife Juliet sing on it, beautifully. I didn’t expect this vocal finale on this instrumental album. What a bonus! This takes the theme of your “Rio Grande” instrumental from the album and adds lyrics. This sounds like a number which would fit on the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soundtrack.

DS: This closing number is a dedication to all those who have had a dream of finding a better life in a far off land, “Across a river wide, the promised land awaits for me, where peace and hope reside, in a land where I can be free.” Thank you for all the Goldmine coverage of my music. I wish you and your family all the best and I hope that the Goldmine readers will enjoy listening to this album as much as I did creating it.

Bowed electric guitar photo courtesy of Darryl Way

Bowed electric guitar photo courtesy of Darryl Way

Related links:

https://www.darrylway.com/

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Goldmine 2020 Darryl Way Interview