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FIELDS

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Fields biography
A trio formed from diverse musicians from other groups such as KING CRIMSON and RARE BIRD, which managed one sole album. FIELDS is named after Graham Field, founding member of RARE BIRD and was responsible for many of the better tracks of the first two albums. After his departure RARE BIRD will change sound rather drastically veering towards a faster tempo rock with funky grooves. As for FIELDS, this is a keyboard-led trio with bassist Alan Barry singing but also playing guitars (although very discreet) but also adding some Mellotron lines. Rounding up that trio is Andy Mc McCullough who had played on KC's Lizard album and we will find him holding the drums stool for GREENSLADE later that year.

RARE BIRD fans and 70's prog completist will enjoy FIELDS.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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FIELDS discography


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3.47 | 51 ratings
Fields
1971

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FIELDS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fields by FIELDS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.47 | 51 ratings

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Fields
Fields Heavy Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 2010 saw a nice remaster of this disc from Esoteric including an account of keyboardist Graham Field's messy and sordid affairs with various record companies [for both Rare Bird and this project] during the turbulent period that was the early 1970s. No huge surprise that a quality prog band, even in 1971, would have to struggle just to stay afloat and as with so many of them, it's a miracle the album saw any daylight at all-- "..in circumstances like this records don't get released, they escape", recalls Field quoting an industry friend. Eventually he dropped the rock scene entirely, drummer Andy McCulloch hooked-up with Dave Greenslade and bassist/guitarist Alan Barry became a session man. But not before laying down a damn fine little set of prog that could be compared to peers Quatermass, Argent, Greenslade, Rooster now&then, maybe early ELP, with heavy duty organ-rich artrock, walls of sound and soulful performances from this mere trio.

The songs themselves are fine if forgettable, Graham Field finding no 'Sympathy' here and in need of a good producer to sharpen the material, clean up the sound and keep the focal point. However his keys are outstanding (at times even mimicking a synth) as on very good Bach-rocker 'A Friend of Mine'. Off-kilter radio/post-hippie claptrap 'While the Sun Still Shines' passes while hysterically cynical 'Not So Good' moans of cultural decay, leaving 'Three Minstrels' in its wake, funereal 'Slow Susan' tailed by tasty jam 'Over and Over Again' filled with Field's chops on organ and the tight backup of McCulloch/Barry. Gospels 'Feeling Free' & 'A Place to Lay My Head' are almost Joe Cocker-like in their evangelism, and 'The Eagle' finishes on a very prog note featuring a brief salute to Pachelbel and a slight suggestion of Genesis; an outstanding arrangement and the instrumental highlight of the LP. Really very nice, especially for these bunch of grunts.

Surely there are fumbles here; nasty, bitter hunks of offal; varietal cuts of questionable edibility. On top of that, only about half the stuff is really good. But if you like a nice slab of headcheese or blood sausage now&then, Graham Field's band were respectable heavy proggers in the most dangerous and unpredictable way. Which is of course the best way.

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 Fields by FIELDS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.47 | 51 ratings

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Fields
Fields Heavy Prog

Review by Steven in Atlanta

4 stars Now here's a curio ripe for a revisit.

Quickly, Fields was Rare Bird's main keyboard man Graham Field's first (last?) post-Bird project. Bringing at least a little of the early Rare Bird vibe along for the ride, albeit with one keyboardist rather than two, bassist/guitarist/composer/vocalist Alan Barry and drummer Andy McCulloch (between stints in Crimson and Greenslade) shore up the incredibly full sound for a very unique and melodic prog album.

Field and McCulloch shine like you'd expect, but it's Barry who impresses the most here. His pitch-perfect tenor sails over all these great songs and provides a real nice mechanism for exploiting these beautiful melodies. I'd love to know whatever became of Alan Barry after such a powerful performance here. Barry's previous stints as session man for Gordon Haskell's It Is and It Isn't album and as part of one the Giles brothers' pre-GG&F bands are pretty much all I can find on this guy's skimpy resume.

Like another well known keyboard-based 3-piece band, Refugee, Fields only managed this one album before imploding. It's been long out of print but worthy of a search for all keyboard-obsessed melodic, yet heavy prog nuts out there - you know who you are!

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 Fields by FIELDS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.47 | 51 ratings

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Fields
Fields Heavy Prog

Review by manofmystery

4 stars Tis a crime that this absolute joy of an album is somehow overlooked by the majority of prog heads! Each and every song will delight the eardrums as the albums songs seem to float around you. There is nothing particularly flashy about the music itself, just quality track after quality track. While they are listed as Heavy Prog I'd say they'd have to on the light end of that subgenre and their music is accessible to anyone carrying an appreciation for the prog of the 70s (and who here doesn't). There is one stand out highlight on this album that rises just a cut above the already excellent quality of the other track, that being the final track The Eagle which is just a fantastic resculpting of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major. This should serve as an example to all of how to add onto such a classic without losing anything from the original piece. I encourage all from far and wide to search far and wide to find themselves a copy of this sadly forgotten gem. Fields recieves 4.25 out of 5.

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 Fields by FIELDS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.47 | 51 ratings

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Fields
Fields Heavy Prog

Review by bristolstc

5 stars It IS rubbish to slam this most wonderful album! I am glad some people can appreciate what IS a forgotten masterpiece by this threesome. Graham Field was of course a founding member of Rare Bird, but if you expect the same kind of abrasive proto metal only with organ doing all of it that Rare Bird did (and did pretty well) you may be shocked. Field is augmented by great ex King Crimson drummer Andy McCullough and the brilliant Alan Barry on vocals/guitars/bass for what is a lost masterpiece of melodic, thoughtful, and engaging progressive rock. You may expect this album to be an ELP type no guitar and organ bashing affair- it most certainly is not. The heavy organ passages are tasteful and really imaginative while every song on the album is soaring and melodic. Alan Barry's high pitched strong and melodic voice begs comparison with Jon Anderson or a higher pitched Gary Brooker and the Procol Harum influence is quite strong on nearly every track. The sparingly used guitar passages are very nicely executed and not one track on this album is a weak link. For pop influenced melodic progrock this is one of the top 3 or 4 and still less expensive than some other great ones. Favourite tracks here include the majestic opener 'A Friend Of Mine," the folk-tinged "Three Minstrels", and the very catchy "While The Sun Still Shines." This is a very adventurous and also very friendly album with a warm, soothing atmosphere to most of it and exciting musicianship and great vocals to the fore. If you like keyboard oriented progressive rock with emphasis on melody this is an essential album and may surprise you! I've always really loved this album and think it's a shame that people's descriptions of it so often take the easy way out by saying they sound like a cross between King Crimson and Rare Bird. This really is a very unique album, but the closest reference point may be somewhere between King Crimson and Thunderclap Newman mainly because of similar late 60s/early 70s pop influences. A truly wonderful and great album, this is an essential record for your collection. Original copies came with a large poster and these are particularly rare. Find this album and treasure it!

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 Fields by FIELDS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.47 | 51 ratings

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Fields
Fields Heavy Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars Some sort of supergroup that was not one. Field was from Rare Bird and McCullough was from Crimson (Lizard) and will be in Greenslade later and Barry was also from another band (I read somewhere he had played with the Giles (KC)brothers) but this did not amount to much on this vynil. I guess what was lacking was a real leader with inspiration and drive. The music is not bad , but hardly a "find"and should by no means be high on your priority list . If you are (like me) scraping the entire earth to find forgotten, lost , hidden gems of the 70's , you might want to check this out , but unless you are quite easy to please , you will not find that many satisfaction as this is second league stuff. Sufficiently apt musicians but lacking relevance in the prog rock history.

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