This Bobby Martin is often confused with the one who played with Frank Zappa, not too gross a blunder for listeners whose ears have been blasted away by the sounds of progressive rock. Despite the stylistic overlap, the two fellows have quite contrasting careers, the Martin under discussion here apparently only active in a single decade, playing only one instrument in one style of music with a solitary band, Curved Air. The other Bobby Martin plays enough instruments to overwhelm the inventory crew in a music store and shows up on records involving a wide range of genres and groups.
Curved Air, for whom the bassist wrote the song "Situations," was active between 1970 and 1977, exhaling some half-dozen albums. Martin's involvement stops after a couple of years. He was replaced by Ian Ayre, who was in turn replaced by Mike Wedgewood. The group named itself after a composition by avant-garde innovator Terry Riley, an inkling of the deep thinking behind the progressive rock scene. Martin, who eventually immigrated to New York City but was involved in no further bands, was at least around long enough to claim participation in one great music industry innovation: the debut Curved Air album was the first picture disc ever released.