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Rare Bird

Crossover Prog

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Rare Bird Sympathy/Devil's High Concern album cover
3.78 | 10 ratings | 3 reviews | 50% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A-side "Sympathy"
2. B-side "Devil's High Concern"

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Ashton / drums, lead & backing vocals
- Graham Field / Hammond organ
- Steve Gould / guitar, bass, vocals
- Dave Kaffinetti / electric piano, synthesizers

Releases information

CHARISMA CB.120 45 rpm

Thanks to mystic fred for the addition
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Buy RARE BIRD Sympathy/Devil's High Concern Music

RARE BIRD Sympathy/Devil's High Concern ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RARE BIRD Sympathy/Devil's High Concern reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Sympathy" was a very popular single release which swept up the charts in 1970, but the reason it is listed here is the amazing short but sweet song "Devil's High Concern" which was only released on the 'B' side of this single - an amazing piece of Prog, how it came to be left off their first or second album is a mystery, though there could be technical reasons for this.

If you heard the first album you'll know "Sympathy", so on to "The Devil's High Concern", which kicks in with a solid drum beat, and quickly heads into the extremely catchy "aaargh got me on the run- i realise the devil's after me.." chorus, marching style drum beats and some fast keyboard solos, it all ends too quickly, i'm sure something more could have been done with this great little song, but there it ends....

"if you realise the danger that the Devil's lurking near, these are the secret sources of my fear..."

I would say an essential Rare Bird collectors item, as I don't remember seeing this included on any compilation albums, the aforementioned 'B' side is worth tracking down, it's that good!

Review by Guillermo
3 stars RARE BIRD maybe was a "One Hit Wonder" band in some places like in my country, "Sympathy" was played a lot in some of the radio stations in my city. One of my brothers had it in an EP released here in the Philips Records label (not in the Charisma Records label) with other three songs which I can`t remember now. The EP was lost a long time ago, and curiously, my brother can`t remember the song now, even when I played it on youtube to him once sometime ago!

RARE BIRD maybe was a somewhat "atypical" band for the Pop Rock record market, because (like PROCOL HARUM) they had two keyboard players, But "Sympathy" is a slow song, with a good melody sung by the singers and played at the same time with the organ. It really is a "serious" and "sad" song that was successful maybe more due to the content of the lyrics. Another very characteristic thing from this band was that they had two very good lead singers (drummer Mike Ashton and bassist-guitarist Steve Gould). This song is more Prog Rock influenced than the song which was destined for the "B" side, titled "Devil's High Concern", which is more a fast Rock song with a distorted electric piano playing a very good solo similar in sound to the one used by Jon Lord with DEEP PURPLE. It seems that this song was only originally released in the "B" side of this single and was not released in their first album.

Historical fact: RARE BIRD was the band which recommended GENESIS to Charisma Records`s boss, the late Tony Stratton-Smith, in 1970. RARE BIRD sometimes played at some of the same gigs with GENESIS in the same bill.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars I am not a big collector of singles, but I knew I needed this one. Anyways, this is Rare Bird's first single, which came after the release of their debut album. "Sympathy" because something of a hit in certain parts of the woods, but not in my neck of the woods. For a song dating from 1969 I'm a bit surprised at the relevance of the lyrics, although of course this written during the Vietnam War-era. But what makes the purchase of this single essential is the non-album B-side "Devil's High Concern". I own the LP of their debut, looked like there was enough room to cram this song on, so why didn't they? A great organ-driven piece that's high paced, sounding like, well, classic Rare Bird. I especially dig those organ solos from Graham Field. Really it's too bad many never got to hear this, although Esoteric includes this great song as a bonus cut, so you don't have to search for a single.

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