Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Prog Folk

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Hoelderlin Rare Birds album cover
3.65 | 52 ratings | 6 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Häktik Intergaläktik (8:33)
2. Sky-lift (4:17)
3. Before You Lay Down Rough And Thorny (7:25)
4. Rare Bird (7:45)
5. Necronomicon (6:15)
6. Sun Rays (8:55)

Total time 43:10

Bonus tracks on 2007 remaster:
7. Blackbird (Demo) (0:55)
8. You Are The One (Demo) (2:29)

Line-up / Musicians

- Pablo Weeber / guitar, vocals (3)
- Joachim Grumbkow / keyboards, vocals (4)
- Christoph Noppeney / viola, vocals
- Hans Bäär / bass
- Michael Bruchmann / drums, percussion
- Christian Grumbkow / lyrics, supervision

- Manfred von Bohr / drums (5)
- Manfred Schunke / Fx ("artificial head"), mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Christian Grumbkow

LP Spiegelei ‎- INT 160.608 (1977, Germany)

CD Music Is Intelligence ‎- WMMS 045 (1994, Germany)
CD Spiegelei ‎- 0946 3 85383 (2007, Germany) Remastered by Jens Müller-Koslowski with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy HOELDERLIN Rare Birds Music

HOELDERLIN Rare Birds ratings distribution

(52 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HOELDERLIN Rare Birds reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Fourth album from Hoelderlin with the last pair of brothers being broken, Christian Grumbkow providing the lyrics and artworks, and managing the band, his spot taken by Spanish Pablo Weeber. Released end 77, this album is the last one susceptible to interest progheads (outside the double-live album coming the following year) as they will experienced much line-up and musical direction changes after this album.

The least we can say is that not much remains from the debut or the eponymous albums, and Conny plank is not involved anymore with the group. Not that the album is bad, far from it, but the magic is gone and when hints of it are present, they are still the highlights, but do not shine the same way. By now Joachim Grumbkow is not main songwriter anymore (fairly democratic sharing of credits, actually with newer members actively contributing). The opening Intergalaktik holds some glimpse of foregone greatness, but the following Sky Lift (Bäär-penned but not quite reaching heights of C&C) is lacklustre, while Rough And Thorny (penned by newcoming Weeber) is still worthy of the previous album and works well because of Noppeney's violin.

The second side of the vinyl is opened by the title track, which just another average Hoelderlin track but followed by the brilliant instrumental track Necronomicon (penned by Weber), which is a real scorcher and the album's highlight. The magnificent ambiances (reminiscent of the eponymous second) of the slightly fusion-esque aerial theme are quite enthralling, while the closing Sun Rays is yet another typical track of theirs, which means nothing exceptional by the time of this album's release even if the closing three minutes are worth the detour.

Clearly with every new album Hoelderlin was losing original members, inspiration and most likely a bit of faith as well. Although still a worthy prog album, much worth the occasional spin, this was to be their final prog offering, with its share of moments (but also weaknesses), but the-times-they-are-changin-again!!

Review by Tom Ozric
5 stars Hoelderlin were a German band who started out firmly with a prog-folk styling, but by their 3rd release (Clowns and Clouds) gave in to a more symphonic-prog direction (some could say that they took the easy way out by changing to this style). 'Rare Birds' is their 4th release and really hits this prog listener somewhere deep inside. The main keyboard utilised on this LP is a string synth, and IMO, it is used to great effect and compliments the arrangements perfectly (i.e. - it wouldn't sound the same with a mellotron, believe it or not !). The production is quite clear and well balanced - very professional. Almost straight away, the terrific opening track, 'Haktik Intergalaktik', starts with an immediately noticeable odd-time riff, with lovely viola playing from Christoph (Nops) Noppeney, and a tight, precise rhythm section (the Bass-guitar sports a lovely tone) - we are up and away. Quaint vocals from Nops, great progressions throughout, a brief interlude which I find is most touching, and great guitaring till the end. 'Sky-Lift' offers us a laid-back, fusiony feel with some tight playing all around. 'Before You Lay Down/Rough and Thorny' is again a smooth, jammy piece with a most blissed out end section. Side 2 begins with the title song, 'Rare Bird', and is a beautiful example of 'head music', the song is built around piano and string synth, with minimal drumming (just a bass drum, from memory), totally mellow, deep and profound, with a dramatic middle section - very dreamy, without question. 'Necronomicon' is a superb instrumental, starting out with an almost sinister undercurrent, and giving way to some stormy playing - especially a great semi-tone riff in 5/4 in the middle. The closing track, 'Sun Rays' is probably the weakest composition on offer here, and quite lengthy, but still holds the attention. Overall, a fantastic album from these highly skilled and talented musicians, and quite worthy of attention. Personally it commands the full 5 star rating, I have to give in - it's gorgeous !!
Review by Warthur
3 stars Hoelderlin had well and truly moved on from their earlier progressive folk direction by the time they produced Rare Birds, which is in an accessible symphonic prog style not miles away from the sort of material Happy the Man or Camel were producing at around this time, though with a much greater focus on vocals (courtesy mainly of Christoph Noppeney). The result is an album which is pleasant enough, with occasional pastoral moments reminiscent of the best of Genesis, but it's not particularly distinctive or exceptional - if you didn't know it were Hoelderlin playing this, you might guess dozens of other European prog bands before hitting on them. It's an interesting album, but rather soulless and anonymous.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is exactly the kind of seventies progrock I want to hear. I only recently discovered this band. They craft perfect eclectic progressive rock with psychedelic and canterbury- stylistics. The band is labeled as progfolk, and although there's some folk-influences, it's mostly progfusionrock. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1891908) | Posted by Kingsnake | Wednesday, March 7, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "Rare birds" is the German group Hoelderlin (Hölderlin)'s fourth studio record and it was released in 1977 and featured Hans Bäär(bass), Michael Burchmann (drums), Christian Grumbkow(lyrics), Joachim Grumbkow(keyboards, vocals), Christoph Noppeney (viola, vocals), Pablo Weeber (guitar, vocals) ... (read more)

Report this review (#989814) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Sunday, June 30, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars A nice album not more. The band show their abilty to play, and it shows that they are good musicians. But the melodies are not quite good to lift the music into some highs. More of a background music the album give some OK tracks but not anything special. ... (read more)

Report this review (#3506) | Posted by Winters | Friday, March 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of HOELDERLIN "Rare Birds"

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


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: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.