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Rare Bird

Crossover Prog

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Rare Bird Born Again album cover
2.79 | 64 ratings | 7 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Body and Soul (3:10)
2. Live for Each Other (2:56)
3. Diamonds (4:08)
4. Reaching You (3:31)
5. All That I Need (3:58)
6. Redman (3:43)
7. Peace of Mind (5:24)
8. Harlem (3:23)
9. Lonely Street (3:13)
10. Last Tango in Beulah (6:27)

Total Time 39:53

Bonus tracks on 2008 remaster:
11. Don't Be Afraid (3:38)
12. Passin' Trough (4:28)

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Gould / lead vocals, guitars, bass, electric piano (10), co-producer
- Dave Kaffinetti / piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, clavinet, Korg synth, harmony vocals
- Andy Rae / bass
- Fred Kelly / drums, percussion, harmony vocals

- Kevin Lamb / harmony vocals (7,9)

Releases information

Artwork: Jan Mark

LP Polydor ‎- 2383 274 (1974, UK)

CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC2092 (2008, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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RARE BIRD Born Again ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

RARE BIRD Born Again reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I saw Rare Bird in concert in 1974 but I cannot remember much about the material played except that I wasn't bowled over by it. By then their line-up had changed, the twin keyboard attack being replaced by a much more conventional guitar led set-up. With it went a substantial change in direction - out went Prog, and in came a combination of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gerry Rafferty and Sad Cafe! Make no mistake, the musicianship on this album is of a high standard, and there are some good songs if you like an Americanised sound combining southern boogie and soft rock, but sadly, there is very little Prog about it. For me, the 3 tracks which stand out are the less Americanised ones: this is not intended as a slur on American music, but merely reflects my personal tastes I guess.

The first of these is Redman, a soft rock piano led song, which has more individuality with some lovely harmonies. With a more English sound somewhat akin to Elton John, it is ironic that native Americans form the subject matter. Peace Of Mind enters Procol Harum territory thanks to a soaring organ, but its mood swings from soft lush harmonies on the verses to sections with a much heavier Deep Purple feel, the only real Prog moment on the album. The Last Tango In Beulah is not the best melody here, but it is an original arrangement with an interesting keyboard riff which picks up and flies to a nice climax. The remainder of the album is straightforward boogie and funk, some up tempo foot tappers, and some slower more reflective ones. All are played to a high standard.

Nothing here really for the average Prog collection, hence my low rating, but it is an enjoyable album thanks to the quality of playing.

Review by Tom Ozric
3 stars 'Born Again' is a great ROCK album, but there really isn't much 'progressive' about it - Graeme Field took the prog idealism along with him when he left Rare Bird after the exciting album 'As Your Mind Flies By'. That said, the songs here are very tight, undeniably well arranged, performed, and sound fantastic. Funky elements exist in many songs, though the main focus is definately on producing quality rock music of a high standard. Steve Gould has a superb voice, and, now with guitar (not a bass, unfortunately) in hand, manages a solo here and there, Dave Kaffinetti is a very strong keyboardist, and always tries to incorporate a brief solo wherever a song allows him to, whether it be on clavinet, e-piano, organ or Korg synth, and the rhythm section of Fred Kelly and Andy Rae (drums and bass, respectively) form a solid foundation which drive the songs along in a flawless fashion. Listening through to this LP, I struggle to find any weak spots, with the strong moments (IMO) being the driving, funky 'Live For Each Other', 'All That I Need', the beautiful 'Peace of Mind' (with lovely harmonies), the blissful and mellow 'Lonely Street' (actually capturing the 'feel' of a lonely street, whether it be legitimate or metaphorically - a very touching track) and, though it may be a little overlong, 'Last Tango in Beulah' with its excellent keyboard arrangement. That's at least half the album, with the remaining tracks being fairly decent too. 3 stars.
Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars Their previous album had little to with their great organ sound and prog oriented earlier albums.

This band was really creative during their hey days, which few of us were able to share. I discovered the band in the early seventies thanks to their great hit-single "Sympathy". But their album works were really interesting as well.

IMO, the peak of their career was "As Your Mind Flies".

This album is on par (unfortunately) withy their previous "Somebody Is Watching". Very poor compositions : heartless, emotionless, progless. In a word : useless. Funky, soulish for most of the songs.

There is actually very little to remember from this album. "Piece Of Mind" starts promisingly, but turns out to be a syrupy rock ballad. Still, it is one of the few bearable songs featured on "Born Again".

The best advice is just to stay away from this dreadful album. I'm trying hard to find one single interesting song from this work. But this is like the quest for the Holy Grail. Impossible. Such a sad ending .

Still, this album might have been of some influence for a band like "Supertramp" especially if you listen to "Last Tango In Beaulah". The intro is particularly good and the keyboard play automatically reminds me of the upcoming work of this great band. The second (but last) good song here.

Unlike the title of this album, "Rare Bird" will never be born again. Unfortunately. One star.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Born Again was Rare Bird's third album on Polydor, and final album of their run; they would split up within a year or so of its release, the band having become discouraged by their lack of commercial success and popular acclaim. In the essay accompanying Beautiful Scarlet, the recent boxed set which offers tasteful remasters of this and their other albums, Steve Gould describes the album title as "wishful thinking"; far from finding the band Born Again, it saw them bowing out.

Even without the benefit of hindsight, the album title is faintly misleading; far from being a radical reimagination for Rare Bird, a last stab at a new musical direction in the hope of righting the ship (like Dave Kaffinetti's most successful band project, Spinal Tap, attempting their "jazz odyssey"), the band give one last try to the same general approach they took for all their Polydor albums, having debuted it on Epic Forest. This veers away from the proto-prog and symphonic prog of their debut and As Your Mind Flies By (their masterpiece) and instead mashes up elements of bluesy hard rock, West Coast folk rock, and perhaps a little funk, and applies progressive songwriting sensibilities to the overall package.

Once again, proceedings are softer this time around than they were on Epic Forest - the hard rock elements of Epic Forest having been toned down - and as a result this release can be seen as a companion piece to Somebody's Watching. For my part, I quite like it - it's got an air of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young jamming with Supertramp at points, with the closing song, Last Tango In Beulah, in particular sounding a little like a prototype for mid-1970s Supertramp, thanks to Kaffinetti's keyboard contribition.

On balance, it really feels like time had already passed Rare Bird by in 1974. Sure, CSNY might have been riding high in the early 1970s, by the middle of the decade they were a little past their peak, as were the Byrds and other West Coast groups whose sound influences Rare Bird here; whilst Epic Forest still felt close-ish to the zeitgeist, here on Born Again it feels like Rare Bird are digging in their heels as the rest of the musical world is passing them by. As such, it's no surprirse that the album was a flop on its original release. Equally, the passage of time has left it ripe for a reappraisal, and Esoteric's sensitive remastering job (available by itself or, more conveniently, as part of the aforementioned Beautiful Scarlet box) helps to tease out its finer points.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Kind of bad. Continuing there move from their early sound into a less successful rock band Rare Bird created Born Again. This album has the same unremarkable albums you find on the previous album without anything verging on good. What really drives this down to 2* is the song Last Tango In Bellul ... (read more)

Report this review (#2536875) | Posted by Beautiful Scarlet | Tuesday, April 20, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's been really a long long time since i've lost this album in 1979 , due to civil war in Lebanon , all my vinyl archive was lost . ever since , this album was in my mind until 2008 , i've been able to get it from a friend ! this album is really underrated , and i believe that maybe only very ... (read more)

Report this review (#371283) | Posted by trackstoni | Sunday, January 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a wonderful group of the 70's. Excellent songwriting, a solid mix which captures the essence of the band's musicianship. "Redman" beams with imagery; "Peace of Mind" with solitude. An ecclectic group with the solid progressions so predominant of the era. You can't go wrong with Epic Forest, ... (read more)

Report this review (#30469) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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