MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

RARE BIRD

Rare Bird

Crossover Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Rare Bird Rare Bird album cover
3.73 | 92 ratings | 13 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


Write a review
Buy RARE BIRD Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beautiful scarlet (5:23)
2. Sympathy (2:30)
3. Nature's fruit (2:32)
4. Bird on a wing (4:13)
5. God of war (5:08)
6. Iceberg (6:46)
7. Times (3:19)
8. You went away (4:17)
9. Melanie (3:27)

Total Time: 37:35

Lyrics

Search RARE BIRD Rare Bird lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search RARE BIRD Rare Bird tabs

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

LP Command/Probe 4514 / LP Charisma CAS 1005 / LP Philips 6369 900 / CD Red Fox (1998)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
Edit this entry

RARE BIRD MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

Buy RARE BIRD Rare Bird Music


Rare BirdRare Bird
Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2007
Audio CD$9.49
$14.99 (used)
RARE BIRD Born Again PD 6506 Sterling RL LP Vinyl VG++ Cover VG+RARE BIRD Born Again PD 6506 Sterling RL LP Vinyl VG++ Cover VG+
byfrm_me
Vinyl$17.94 (used)
RARE BIRD Epic Forest 1972 Polydor PD 5530 LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG+RARE BIRD Epic Forest 1972 Polydor PD 5530 LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG+
byfrm_me
Vinyl$15.83 (used)
As Your Mind Flies By by Rare BirdAs Your Mind Flies By by Rare Bird
Red Fox
Audio CD$110.98
Born Again by Rare BirdBorn Again by Rare Bird
Red Fox
Audio CD$56.98
RARE BIRD Epic Forest LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG++ White Label Promo 1972 PD 5530RARE BIRD Epic Forest LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG++ White Label Promo 1972 PD 5530
byfrm_me
Vinyl$26.39 (used)
Third Time Around: An Introduction by Rare Bird (2004-01-06)Third Time Around: An Introduction by Rare Bird (2004-01-06)
Universal Import
Audio CD$94.14

Right Now on Ebay (logo)
RARE R&B.SONNY KNIGHT.JAIL BIRD / CONFIDENTIAL.U.S.ORIG 7".VG+ USD $57.49 Buy It Now
RARE Charlie Parker Double CD Rare Bird Swiss copy USD $1.26 [1 bids]
VA "One More Chance" LP UK Charisma 1973 Genesis / Nice / Rare Bird /Lindesfarne USD $10.98 Buy It Now
MIDNIGHT WAVE - Two wounded birds - 7 " vinyl RARE USD $7.53 Buy It Now
CHARLIE PARKER- The Bird You Never Heard CD STASH Rare/Unissued 1950s Recordings USD $29.37 Buy It Now
DOO WOP ~ HOLLYWOOD FLAMES ~ A LITTLE BIRD ~ HEAR ! RARE PROMO 45 ~ EBB USD $3.99 Buy It Now
Grateful Dead Rare Bird Chicago Repro Tour POSTER USD $3.82 Buy It Now
RICHIE FURAY " I STILL HAVE DREAMS " RARE CD ALBUM ( WOUNDED BIRD) USD $31.93 [0 bids]
39m 24s
THE TRASHMEN Surfin' Bird King of The Surf GARRETT 4002 ORIGINAL Surf Rock RARE USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 33m
RARE INDIANA HILLBILLY 45/ JOE TAYLOR & RED BIRDS "YOU CAN THROW..." CLEAN HEAR USD $30.00 Buy It Now 2h 49m
BABY BIRD - Fatherhood (CD 1995) rare cd BABY BIRD CD3 USD $3.82 [0 bids]
2h 55m
Except For The Birds Cavaliers~RARE 2007 Private Label Country Pop Rock CD USD $16.96 Buy It Now 3h
Rare Soul 45- The Corsairs/Jay "Bird" Uzzell- Sittin' On Your Doorstep- Tuff USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3h 17m
Rare Soul 45 - The Corsairs/Jay "Bird" Uzzell - Tuff Records # 1830 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3h 17m
RARE PROMO OOP The Verve Pipe CD Underneath ANDREW BIRD Fountains Of Wayne IVY ! USD $7.00 Buy It Now 4h 29m
RARE BIRD EPIC FOREST RARE VINTAGE 8 TRACK TAPE TESTED LATE NITE BARGAIN! USD $8.00 [1 bids]
5h 3m
RARE Country LP Bobby Bare - A Bird Named Yesterday ( Shrink Wrap ) RCA NM 1967 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 7h 22m
DREAMTONES~RARE~STAND BESIDE ME~PURPLE WAX~EARLY BIRD~~DOO WOP 45 USD $17.99 Buy It Now 7h 41m
Rare Bird Somebody's Watching gatefold polydor LP in excellent condition USD $22.98 [0 bids]
7h 45m
RARE BIRD Epic Forest RARE PROG WLP Promo Sterling Press 1972 Polydor LP PD 5530 USD $23.99 Buy It Now 7h 47m
FRANK ZAPPA - How's Your Bird 10" Record RED (DEL-FI Records GET 525) VERY RARE USD $39.99 Buy It Now 8h 14m
JOE DIORIO & MICK GOODRICK CD - RARE BIRDS - RAMCD 4505, ITALY, 1993, LIKE NEW USD $74.99 Buy It Now 8h 17m
Rare Pop Instr. 45 - Cat's Hard - Sweet Bird - Laurie Records # 3214 - Promo USD $5.99 Buy It Now 8h 28m
ELEK BACSIK -Bird and Dizzy ~FLYING DUTCHMAN 1082 {orig} w/Marsh, Wofford RARE USD $25.00 Buy It Now 8h 35m
Collector's Guide To Rare * by The Birds (CD, Jul-2007, MSI Music Distribution) USD $3.69 Buy It Now 8h 50m
NEW sealed Lauren Frost Words For The Birds CD RARE USD $29.69 Buy It Now 9h 34m
NEW ALLIANCE "REVELATIONS" CKU KOO BIRD WICCED ONE ULTRA RARE 1998 KC G-FUNK OOP USD $50.00 Buy It Now 11h 22m
SEALED! The Monkees - The Birds, The Bees ... Colgems ULTRA RARE! 8 TRACK 1968 USD $187.50 [9 bids]
11h 35m
YOUNG KEV "CUT THE CHECK" DON JUAN HOBO TONE CKU KOO BIRD RARE KC G-FUNK OOP! USD $14.00 Buy It Now 12h 28m
CITY AND COLOUR Fragile Bird 7" WHITE VINYL dine alone RARE UNPLAYED USD $14.99 Buy It Now 15h 30m
RARE BIRD - EPIC FOREST CD NEW+ USD $21.08 Buy It Now 15h 45m
Rare Birds Hoelderlin Audio CD USD $13.08 Buy It Now 16h 9m
PROMO WHITE LABEL / RARE BIRD AS YOUR MIND FLIES BY / JAPAN USD $79.99 Buy It Now 16h 44m
RARE BIRD AS YOUR MIND FLIES BY / GERMANY 1Y/2Y USD $79.99 Buy It Now 16h 49m
RARE BIRD - SYMPATHY - 1970 7" VG - BUY 3 7"S PAY POSTAGE FOR 1 TO ANY COUNTRY USD $3.19 Buy It Now 19h 25m
THE BIRD SCHOOL OF BEING HUMAN - RARE PROMO CD ALBUM USD $3.82 Buy It Now 19h 49m
Rare Bird Rare Bird Vinyl Record USD $20.38 Buy It Now 19h 55m
RARE BIRD:BORN AGAIN USD $10.21 Buy It Now 20h 4m
Rare 78 RPM Record W. MacBeth and Tom Collins, Listen to the Mocking Bird USD $45.00 Buy It Now 21h 51m
ORIGINAL RARE 1965 BLUES PROGRAMME-Autographed- The WHO, BIRDS + MORE USD $549.39 [3 bids]
22h 37m
Zalatnay Sarolta-Ray Phillips-Nashville Teens Little bird-Midnight RARE 7" USD $9.99 [0 bids]
23h 53m
Earth Opera Wounded Bird CD Rare Primo USD $59.99 Buy It Now 23h 59m
EX !! Rare Bird/Sympathy/1970 Charisma 7" Single USD $12.76 Buy It Now 1 day
NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS Chasing 2014 RARE EURO Promo CD album oasis USD $40.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Collector's Guide To Rare British Birds - Birds (CD Used Very Good) USD $4.69 Buy It Now 1 day
RARE BIRD TOUR DATES ORIGINAL ADVERT 16 X 12" POSTER SIZE 21 OCT 1972 USD $16.60 Buy It Now 1 day
Very Rare The Beatles : Free As A Bird CD Single (1995) USD $2.54 [0 bids]
1 day
Rare Bird - Born Again CD (2008) Prog Rock 1974 USD $10.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Charlie Parker-Rare Bird-2 CD Fat Box-The Collectors 25 Rare Concert USD $4.79 Buy It Now 1 day
BIRD LIVES ! - Ira Sullivan- 2 CD - RARE -Charlie Parker Memorial Concert 1962 USD $12.88 Buy It Now 1 day
Exotic Birds - Day After Day - 7 trk Promo Only cd w Vogue Remix - Very Rare USD $6.99 [0 bids]
1 day
BIRDS OF CHCAGO - Real Midnight. rare UK 11 track CD (Buy 3 = Free P USD $3.44 [0 bids]
1 day
RARE BIRD SELF TITLED ALBUM SLEEVE ONLY NO VINYL FOR UPGADE OR FRAMING USD $11.43 Buy It Now 1 day
Rare Vintage Vinyl-Bird-Original Motion Picture Soundtrack-Columbia C 44299-NM USD $6.00 [0 bids]
1 day
BIRDS OF PARADISE: Bossa Blue Port 45 mod jazz soul hammond exotica rare USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Lost Together by The Rembrandts (CD, Oct-2001, J-Bird Records) RARE! USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Taj Mahal Rare Bird 1970 Programme USD $3.82 Buy It Now 1 day
RARE BIRD SINGLE MADE IN SPAIN 45 PS 7 CHARISMA *SYMPATHY DEVILīS HIGH CONCERN* USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
The Collectors' Guide To Rare British Birds 0731456413921 by Birds, CD, NEW USD $7.81 Buy It Now 1 day
Rare Bird "Epic Forest" Bonus 7" Record Only with Cover / Polydor 1972 UK Prog USD $14.95 Buy It Now 1 day
RARE BIRD Somebody's Watching LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG+ 1973 PD 6502 Sterling USD $18.99 Buy It Now 1 day
RARE BIRD s/t LP Vinyl VG Cover Fair GF Probe CPLP 4514 S USD $17.99 Buy It Now 1 day
RARE BIRD Epic Forest LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG++ White Label Promo 1972 PD 5530 USD $22.49 Buy It Now 1 day
EARL LEWIS and the CHANNELS She Blew My Mind/ Breaking Up.. 45 RARE BIRD 5017 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
EARL LEWIS CHANNELS Breaking Up Is Hard To../ She Blew My Mind 45 RARE BIRD 5017 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
8 LPs Lot Hot Tuna Hummingbird Jon Butcher Axis John Palumbo Ry Cooder Rare Bird USD $16.00 [0 bids]
USD $24.00 Buy It Now
1 day
THE EMERALDS BIRD DANCE - ULTRA RARE AUSTRALIAN CASSETTE NM USD $22.32 Buy It Now 1 day
DOWN TO NOTHING Save It For The Birds CD STRAIGHT EGDE Hardcore RARE Richmond VA USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Marianne Faithfull This Little Bird Decca 6454 027 import Holland 1st press rare USD $3.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Symphony of the Birds, Johan Dalgas Frisch and Birds, MGM Records, SE 4442, RARE USD $9.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Charlie Parker RARE BIRD Okidoke Jazz LP Record USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1 day
DEEP PURPLE - EL VUELO DEL PAJARO - BIRD HAS FLOWN Rare Mexican 45 RPM 7" EP USD $40.00 Buy It Now 1 day
RARE PRIVATE PRESS LP JUDY SNOW - AQUARIAN BIRD - AQUARIANA (1980) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Rare Bird Alert [Digipak] by Steep Canyon Rangers/Steve Martin (CD, Mar-2011,... USD $16.76 Buy It Now 1 day
THE NEW WORLD - FEED THE BIRDS - RARE 7" 45 VINYL RECORD - 1969 USD $9.83 Buy It Now 1 day
RARE BIRD Sympathy 7" VINYL Theme Original De La Musique De La Publicite Chest USD $13.42 Buy It Now 1 day
Night Eyes (ORIG 1979 ALBUM) Danny Douma (CD, May-2006, Wounded Bird) RARE OOP USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Epic Forest 5013929309920 by Rare Bird, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P&H USD $14.95 Buy It Now 1 day
RARE BIRD - SYMPATHY / BEAUTIFUL SCARLET - OLD GOLD - 7" 45 rpm vinyl record USD $3.83 Buy It Now 1 day
CONWAY TWITTY IS A BLUE BIRD BLUE ORIGINAL 1960 1ST PRESSING RARE USD $8.94 [0 bids]
1 day
SUPERTRAMP - FREE AS A BIRD. 1987. RARE CASSETTE TAPE USD $9.46 Buy It Now 1 day
RARE BIRD ALERT BY MARTIN,STEVE AND TH (CD) USD $20.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Crazy Horse - Et Surtout Ne M'oublie Pas BRAZIL RARE 7" Single 1973 Red Bird USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
HOELDERLIN "RARE BIRDS" CD NEW+ USD $16.06 Buy It Now 1 day
BIRDS OF TIN MOTION MIMIC NEW CD AMBIENT ELECTRONIC MUSIC RARE MADE IN CANADA USD $29.95 Buy It Now 1 day
EARL LEWIS & THE CHANNELS She Blew My Mind 45 RARE BIRD 5017 NORTHERN SOUL MINT- USD $16.99 Buy It Now 2 days
CHARLIE PARKER THE VERY BEST OF BIRD RARE 1977 WARNER BROS PROMO 2LP SET NM USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
CD New Syndicate - Part III Rare Disco Moon Birds Amadeo O.R.S. Empire Hot R.S. USD $59.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Rare Bird Alert [Digipak] by Steve-Scrngrs Martin. USD $22.12 Buy It Now 2 days
RARE BIRD (SOMEBODY'S WATCHING) PD -6502 1973 USD $12.95 Buy It Now 2 days
The Mutton Birds - As Close As This 3-trk CD single (Shhhh!, 1999) Rare UK CDS! USD $8.93 Buy It Now 2 days
MELVINS Hung Bunny Roman Dog Bird cassette #197/500 RARE Small Doses - UNPLAYED USD $49.98 Buy It Now 2 days
RARE NUTTY SQUIRRELS 1961 HIPSTER VOCAL JAZZ LP--BIRD WATCHING--PROMO USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Rare Bird - Somebody's Watching LP VG+ PD-6502 Stereo 1973 USA Vinyl Record USD $12.60 Buy It Now 2 days
George Brassens Sings of The Birds & The Bees LP Philips PCC 618 VG 1965 RARE USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Taiwan Wakin Emil Chau 1991 Mega Rare Blue Bird English Songs Album CD FCS5935 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2 days
The Birds - Collector's Guide to Rare [New CD] Holland - Import USD $6.41 Buy It Now 2 days
The Birds - Collector's Guide to Rare [New CD] Holland - Import USD $6.33 Buy It Now 2 days
A HUNDED BIRDS Batonga *RARE 2001 USA 4-TR 12" DJ VINYL Wave Music JOE CLAUSSELL USD $39.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Charlie Parker with Miles Davis - Bird & Miles LP 1975 RARE MONO. USD $44.72 Buy It Now 2 days

More places to buy RARE BIRD music online Buy RARE BIRD & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

RARE BIRD Rare Bird ratings distribution


3.73
(92 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
15%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
53%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

RARE BIRD Rare Bird reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Great, underrated debut by this British band that featured two keyboardists, a bassist (who also handles the vocals), a drummer, but no guitarist! Instead we get two guys handling the keyboards, Graham Field on organ, and David Kaffinetti on electric piano. The rest of the band was rounded by Steve Gould on vocals and bass, and Mark Ashton on drums.

This is a historic album, for it marks the very first album to ever be released on the Charisma label. The band was said to have formed in October 1969, and to have this album released at the beginning of December 1969. Anyway, the album is best known for the song "Sympathy", which became a hit for them on mainland Europe. But you'll also find the band exploring some great prog rock such as "Beautiful Scarlet", "Iceberg", and "God of War". In between are shorter songs like "You Went Away", "Nature's Fruit", "Bird on a Wing", etc. There's a couple of songs I can live without, such as "Times" which sounds like really bad '50s music, but with the organ replacing the piano (Steve Gould tries so hard to be Little Richard here, it's not even funny, that style of music just isn't Rare Bird), and "Melanie", with lyrics a little too mushy for my liking. But the rest is a demonstration of what was great in the earliest days of prog rock. (4 1/2 stars)

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars RARE BIRD were a fantastic early British prog rock band who uniquely sported dual keyboardists (David Kaffinetti on electric piano and Graham Field on organ). Their music was powerful and creative and apparently also somewhat catchy as this album circa 1969 actually posted to the European billboard charts thanks to the hit "SYMPATHY". MARILLION fans will note that this track was re-done by them in their "Holiday In Eden" days. The surprisingly thing here is that there is no guitarist on the album with bass and lead vocals being handled by Steve Gould and drumming by Mark Ashton. The album has some fantastic numbers like "Beautiful Scarlet", "Iceberg", and the haunting "God of War". Their self titled debut album is clearly an impressive display of keyboard dominated jazz-like playing and in many ways actually reminds me of the work of CARAVAN with the darkness of ELP. Steve Gould's vocals may take a bit to get used to but I love his almost raw sound and think it fits the music stylistically.
Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Back in 1970, whilst browsing in my favorite used record store, i came across this album. Despite the ghastly sleeve art (not the cover pictured above), i turned it over and noticed "Sympathy" included in the track listings, a song i had heard many times on the radio in the office but had never really taken much notice of, despite it being a huge hit single. The photo of the band clinched it - in those days any strange album i found depicting "four hippies in a field / park / wood" was worth investigating as part of my "scene". Charisma was a label i'd not seen before, this could have been one of their first releases. After all these years this amazing album is like an old friend i dig out to play regularly, a Rare Bird indeed! I recently bought this album again on a Rare Bird four-album double CD, an Italian label VH-VHRCD001018H/B.

Though some may think a few tracks on Rare Bird's debut album sound rather poppy, there are some beautiful songs and great musicianship on this early album, the sleeve notes by Tony Stratton Smith state "Graham Field and the boys walked in off the street and laid a demo tape on me. It happens all the time. Only this time it was good, very good", quite something for the owner of a fledgling record company, a time of stiff competition, everything was a risk, especially a group with no lead guitarist -just keyboards, drums (timpani???) and bass!

"Iceberg" sets the scene - a pacy intro, an icy beach, a haunting keyboard flurry, a ragged little husky - great song! "Times" is one of those poppy ones, followed by the extremely beautifully haunting "You Went Away" - long forgotten memories of lost love come flooding back. "Melanie" brightens things up, a whimsical little song about a frustrating girl we all knew!

Side two kicks of with "Beautiful Scarlet", this song really encapsulates the Rare Bird sound, a fast intro then drifts off into a dreamy, romantic world, the lyrics on this are really beautiful, about another lost love, who you "were just happy following around..". "Sympathy" is next, the one hit single they had, about world peace - nothing's changed, there is still not enough love to go round. Incidentally the flip side of this single, "Devil's High Concern" is a fantastic heavy number which is sadly missing on my CD, i bought a copy of"Sympathy" and preferred this song on the B side!

"Nature's Fruit" is a whimsical song about hawks, mice and flirting with your secretary - could that hawk be you? "Bird on a Wing" swings in next, it's like two songs in one, swaying nicely along, then speeds up into a boogie style groove, still observing that bird theme! One of my favourite songs on the album, it floats along nicely. The last track "Gods of War" is a in totally different mood - dark, threatening (the timpani comes in here), God-like whispered chants, a shepherd boy comes into sight - meets his fate! The track heads into a frenzied fast improvised jam before closing with the opening theme - epic stuff!

I really enjoy listening to this album and can highly recommend it as a stunning debut for Rare Bird - an early Prog masterpiece and absolutely essential listening!

"Rare Bird are a rare find, innovative, original, deeply musical. They're on their own. TONY STRATTON SMITH."

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Rare Bird's debut which had been released by the group only 1 month (!) after their formation and had been obviously the very first album ever released on Charisma was in fact a very remarkable one and quite a fine example of organ-driven proto-Prog. Closest comparison coming to one's mind if listening to this album (which might admittedly sound a bit dated to some modern ears) is certainly Procol Harum due to its domination by keyboards and in fact there wasn't any real guitar player at all though Steve Gould obviously contributed as well some apart from bass and his brilliant vocals. The music on here though being in a rather easily accessible and even catchy vein had been certainly considered quite progressive those days and might still meet the standards of any admiror of early Prog nowadays and in fact there aren't any real flaws. Instead some of the songs are very good Prog pieces like "Beautiful Scarlet", "Iceberg", and "God of War" being for sure the three highlights of this album. "Times" is a slightly odd but as well interesting one since it starts like a rock'n'roll song from the 50's moving more into Prog territory in its second half. Then there's of course their No. 1 staple hit "Sympathy" almost everybody will have heard at least once in his life I guess. The rest of the songs are shorter and more simplified ones without being any bad and quite a pleasant listen in fact. So finally I can say listening to this ancient testimony from the very first days of Prog once again after many years has been quite a nice experience for me and I think one could easily consider it a worthy addition for any collector interested in early 70's Prog.
Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars How many times did I listen to Sympathy ? Countless, I guess. It was one of the singles I purchased in 1970. And I still like it an awful lot.

But Rare Bird produced some other very pleasant and melodic music in those times. Keyboards are predominant in their early work which is fine, even if the absence of lead guitars might be disturbing. Still, the opener "Beautiful Scarlet" is rather a good song.

Of course, when you compare it with Sympathy, it is completely overshadowed by this succulent ballad. Incredible melody, sweet keyboards play, powerful vocals for one of the best slow available (as Writer Shade Of Pale, Nights In White Satin, I'm Not In Love etc.). The top of the genre, for sure.

I have never been too enthusiastic about Steve Gould's vocals. He has a warm and rasping voice which fits better soul than prog music. But compositions are pleasant and Natures Fruit is another good moment from this album. Very few to no tracks are bad on this debut album. Even some masterpieces will be featured. And when not reaching this status, there are some good numbers like Bird On A Wing for instance.

Another very good number is the fully psychedelic God Of War. Very Floyd oriented (Piper and ASOS). Remember, this album has been released in 1969. The psyche mania is not yet over. Another highlight.

Same very pleasant music is displayed during Iceberg. If ever you like ELP, you would be delighted to listen to this track. Very powerful bass play, gorgeous and heavy keys : a damned good track, really. Nothing shy to the best ELP songs (excepting Tarkus and Karn Evil). Another highlight which contrasts with one of the weakest one of this album. The rocking Times does not fit very well into their repertoire. Still, I can't consider this one as poor. Good bass work, again.

The last two songs are weaker as well. A pity because otherwise, I would have rated this album with four stars.

Rare Bird is not an influent band nor a first league one. But fans of keyboards-oriented music should really pay attention to it (maybe in the form of a compilation work). This album deserves seven out of ten. Three stars.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
3 stars 01. Beautiful Scarlet Drums and keyboards totally ahead. Riff those paused and a voice that PQP, which primed good voice! Melodies absurdly sensational. Then a calmer melody for the two keyboards do the 'dirty work'. Several tonnes of soil and several of keyboards and good melodies. It's amazing how the voice is flexible, and vocalizations marry perfectly. One of the strongest opening tracks I've ever heard!

02. Sympathy Pretty! Full of beautiful vocal and moderate pace. Keyboards always very well represented. This time, bass and drums are just as marking it.

03. Nature's Fruit The battery begins one of the 'pops' most beautiful and the style of Jefferson Airplane, with Hammond doing the marking, the band playing all perfectly! Soil very different, very low base of legal, and the best, one of the coolest tunes.

04. Bird On A Wing Bird On A Wing sensational keyboards have both well placed in the song. Until the melody changes, becoming more 'hard' and full of force. A thousand keyboards making a crazy sound of very good taste. Always very well supported by beautiful melodies.

05. God Of War Initially epic but a psicodelia that had not been shown on the disc, voice whisper, I recalled the very beginning of Pink Floyd. Full of sensational weather, I go to say the highlight of the disc, the song takes almost life itself, has a melodic weight without equal.

06. Iceberg Battery almost like a volley of shots, keyboards and melodies typical of Italian bands in the same season as PFM and Le Orme. The central idea here is something well ahead of its time, difficult to say that were not as well known. It is usually never say that the pioneers are not rewarded for their merits? This track is very progressive, and I can not say if it is before or after something, because I know only the year of the disk, not the month.

07. Times That would be a strange country? I think so (laughter), great emphasis on the bottom row of Steve Gould. The initial melody of the keyboard and then also, I am not surprised, but not enough to copy. The keyboards around and bent the law by all sides of the track. And for the first time a guitar is almost lost at the end of the track.

08. You Went Away Beautiful song! From sweet and simple melody, Full of climates. And once again the vocals are the highlight, when there is need of strength, of beauty, there is. Awesome! Basically a sad ballad, which benefits from the keyboards. The hit Mike Ashton drop everything in order.

09. Melanie I think that is the hit singing the main vocal and is not ugly at all. The voice of him and is also very melodic tune. The song is a mixture of sounds, and a strange time of signing. There through several breaches of pace. A great song.

www.progshine.com

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars With its double keyboard attack, I always linked RB to Procol Harum, and their big hit Sympathy to Whiter Shade Of Pale, finding that Gould's vocals were often close to Brooker's. Of course the groups were from a different generation and Bird was guitar-less etc?. but nevertheless, the similarities stuck and when not, they sounded ELP or The Nice to me. With an exotic bird as the front artwork and another superb painted bird illustration on the inner gatefold, this was among the first Charisma release, and does it ever sound like it, as it is probably the only Charisma label album from 69.

Opening on the semi-lengthy Iceberg and a slow Hammond intro, crescendoing and exploring some wild time sigs and good interplay, the album starts well enough. But the next few tracks are too 60-ish sounding like Procol or Nice when they were out to play acid-rock, and while some tracks are good, others are appalling: Melanie (an answer to he Nice's early psych tracks, where Gould manages to sing as bad as Lee Jackson) or Nature's Fruit or Birds On A Wing. There are some real flaws that cannot be ignored. Among the better tracks are You Went Away (though it's very perfectible) or Beautiful Scarlet and the closing God Of War

But two thirds of the way into this album, you get sick of Field's Hammond dragging along lifelessly. When speaking of Hammond-driven prog rock, I never think of RB, simply because Field is not driving, pulling, steering or pushing anything - listen to his bad saturated organ solo on Bird On A Wing to understand. His listless play is miles from Lord, Emerson, Crane, Fisher and many more. The Esoteric label just released the band's studio whole discography adding photos, history, artifacts, and here even bonus tracks: both sides of the accompanying single with the non-album track Devil's High Concern, which brings some good added value to the album (although Field's organ is again questionable. Just not striking many good cords with me

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Iceberg starts with (how to define it), not so strong organ solo, while evolving slowly into faster pace. Some tracks actually reminds me "Greenslade", what about Melanie, of course, that's not only similarity, the biggest one are two, sometimes duelling, sometimes one supporting another keyboards. You either love them, or they will make listening this music unbearable. My case is first choice, I like their sound, reminding me past, almost ancient times of rock music. And even in this year it could easily sound old. Vocals are good, sometimes, can be pleasant for someone, while terrible for other. Some songs could be sung better though, but that's matter of personal taste. As normal guitars are missing, bass sound is prominent (when you know what to look for and where). It's weird combination, but it works, somehow.

4(-), so, organ solos instead of guitar ones, that's not usual thing. But we should differ old from old. Old sound is good, but old flaws are not. Times, blues organ song ?

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Signed to the famous old Charisma label along with the likes of Genesis and Van Der Graaf Generator, Rare Bird were one of the earliest purveyors of symphonic prog, utilising a double- keyboard approach, thick bass-lines, yearning vocals and galloping drums. The band excelled in creating tricksy, ever-shifting tunes and melodies with complex, inter-changing time signatures and for a brief while Rare Bird were the equal of both their label-mates Genesis and proto-proggers Procul Harum. Their eponymously-titled debut features a wonderfully dense, classic progressive rock sound, with exciting rockers interspersed with gentler, more pastoral numbers and classically-themed pieces that showcase the talented skills of organist Graham Field and synth-player Dave Kaffinetti. Highlights include the up-tempo 'Beautiful Scarlet', which kicks things off nicely with some wonderful organ-drums-bass interplay, the jazz-tinged symphonic rock of 'Iceberg' and, last but by no means least, the seminal ballad 'Sympathy', a huge-selling single(two million copies, no less) which, for a brief while, made Rare Bird a household name at the beginning of the 1970's. Those with a penchant for old- school prog, crisply-played hammond organs and soulful vocals should feel right at home. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars NOTE: The version of the album I am familiar with has Iceberg, Times, You Went Away and Melanie at the start the other songs towards the end. Perhaps my CD has the LP sides in the wrong order, or perhaps the progarchives entry is wrong. (Either way, I think the running order placing Iceberg at the start and God of War at the end is superior, since it means the album is bookended by its two best and most progressive tracks.)

With two keyboardists and no lead guitar, Rare Bird's debut album takes them into territory much like that occupied by early Procol Harum (if you take the talented Mr Trower out of the picture). But it's evident from the first track on this album, Iceberg, that they're a somewhat different proposition. As dark and mysterious as Procol themselves could get, the track also brings to play a higher level of complexity and at points starts to sound similar to early Van der Graaf Generator.

If the whole album were up to this standard, the band would have a real treat on their hand, but there are a few numbers that are simpler, more commercial, and (if I'm being brutally honest) just plain less good. Times is, to be frank, kind of lousy to start off with, but the second half of the song improves once the singing stops and the keyboard soloing kicks in in earnest. You Went Away and Melanie are similarly conflicted; the love song parts are a bit less simplistic and clumsy, but then again the improvisation parts are briefer and more tightly contained, so on the whole they're both clunkers. (Melanie, in particular, is let down by an unconvincing vocal performance that lacks the impressive intonations of the more dramatic tracks on the album.)

The second side puts things back on track as it opens with Beautiful Scarlet, that recaptures the dynamism and drama and foreboding of Iceberg. But the side lets itself down with Sympathy, apparently a hit for the band - which I can't understand, considering that it's a plodding, sappy mess of a song. I guess the "half the world hates the other half" message seemed more relevant during the Cold War. But actually, as a whole the second side holds up much better than the first: Nature's Fruit, the other short song on this side, is actually a bit more peppy and more musical interesting to boot, and I'm also personally quite fond of the pastorally-themed Bird On a Wing. And the side closer, God of War, is the first hint of the dark and Van der Graaf-haunted territory they would explore on their superior second album.

Rare Bird's debut is an extremely promising album with some dynamite tracks in the form of Iceberg and God of War, but it's badly let down by the filler material that seems to have been cooked up in a rush to get the thing finished - particularly on the first side. (After all, the band had barely formed when Tony Stratton-Smith signed them up and hustled them into the studio to lay this one down.) It's also suffered from a fairly cheap production job - perhaps not surprising considering that this was one of the very first albums Charisma put out - and, on at least the CD copy I have, a rather poor-quality transfer which sounds like it was taken directly from a vinyl copy rather than the master tapes. (That said, I've not heard the latest reissue from Esoteric so that might have superior sound quality - they've done a wonderful job on other reissues so I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't spruce this old Bird up a bit.) Still, when the band is up to scratch, they are a true delight for any proto-prog fan.

Three stars, but very, very close to being dragged down to two stars by that production job and those filler tracks.

Review by ALotOfBottle
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Rare Bird's self-titled debut is an excellent example of proto-prog in its final form. Despite a shorter song format, the band could very well be classified as symphonic prog. Their material is highly influenced by classical music with their own style of heaviness. Inspiration from their contemporaries is also very much present, namely Procol Harum and even a bit of Caravan. The psychedelic piquancy is nearly gone, appearing seldom on various jams and instrumental parts.

Rare Bird is literally a rare bird - not all that many bands at the time had the versatility of two keyboard instruments. One being Hammond organ, other electric piano. I feel like this is where this group really shines. They definitely use two keyboards to their advantage. Electric piano is used when more percussive parts are needed, while Hammond delivers lush tones we all know and love.

The album opens with "Beautiful Scarlet", which features strong vocals, great drumming and incredible keyboard parts I mentioned. The track has a rather classical feel to it with a heavy rhythm. My definite favorite from Rare Bird's debut. "Sympathy" is the song that brought fame to Rare Bird (temporary fame, that is). Again, great vocals supported by light organ touches, immensly classical-inspired. "Nature's Fruit" moves into a more rock-orientated territory. An especially interesting sound is that electric organ diffuse is followed by a smooth organ tail. This gives a very enjoyable effect. "God Of War" and "Iceberg" are kept in a very dark mood, albeit with little variety from previous tracks. "Times" is a faster tune with an up-beat tempo. Nothing really special. "You Went Away" and "Melanie" are quasi-romantic tracks, that close the album.

Overall, I think this is a pretty solid release with quite a distinct sound. This debut is very important to further development of the band. And for its times (November 1969) it is in all respects a very brave and innovative release.However, a giant amount of monotony lets it down in my opinion. Most tracks (besides one or two) are not really memorable and have not aged very well. This is especially recommended to fans of proto-prog and early stages of progressive rock (in particular symphonic prog). From me, it gets well deserved four stars!

Latest members reviews

4 stars A beautiful tail is about to be born... Rare Bird appears at the late 60's with a lot promising self-titled debut. Their music consists to Rock compositions that go from Crossover, to Progressive and Symphonic. Considering that era, when a lot of Prog Monsters were about to be born, Rare Bird p ... (read more)

Report this review (#236609) | Posted by FatalV | Thursday, September 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I had been a big fan of British Prog-rock & Canterbury Scene for years. Rare Bird is a loving band for me. This is their 1st album that I heard & in a country like India, this is a rare band. But, from the very 1st track Beautiful scarlet, they are on ! 2 keyboards are in tandem & vocals, bass ... (read more)

Report this review (#30449) | Posted by | Tuesday, November 2, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of RARE BIRD "Rare Bird"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives