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Fields - Fields CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.64 | 119 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
4 stars FIELDS isn't the most inspiring of names for a heavy Prog-Rock band, but this British band were named after their keyboard player, Graham Field, a founder member of Rare Bird. This self-titled album is another rare bird as it's a one-off album. Another album was recorded a year later in 1972, but their record company CBS shelved it and the album wouldn't be released until 2015 with the title, "Contrasts: Urban Roar to Country Peace". A remastered CD of the original Fields album was released in 2010 with two bonus tracks added to the original ten songs. Let's take a wander through the Fields now and have a listen.

The album opens in fine booming and bombastic style with "A Friend of Mine", a rollicking song driven by the sound of the powerful Hammond organ. As Ozzy Osbourne would say, "It's Rock & Roll!", and very good it is too. The song has something of a baroque feel to it, with the organist throwing in a few classically-inspired fugues for good measure. Onwards now to "While the Sun Shines", an uplifting number which you can feel free to enjoy while walking through Fields of golden barley in the warm sunshine. "Not So Good" is next, but it IS good! It's an emotionally appealing song designed to pull on the heartstrings. It's a deep and meaningful lyric with the dulcet tones of the singer giving it his all in an impassioned plea. We're getting all Folky now for the next song, "Three Minstrels", but this is Folk with a rockin' attitude. These guys could liven up any laid-back Folk-Rock convention with this very unconventional slice of rumbunctious Folk music. "Slow Susan" is next, and slow it is, but in a good way. It's always good to slot in a slow number every now and again in the middle of a rocking and rolling album. The organ soloist is in church fugue mode as he takes us on an inspirational journey in this lovely instrumental number. It's enough to make an atheist get all religious. If only all church organists were this good, parishioners would be flocking to church in their droves.

Side Two opens with "Over and Over Again", a rollicking song with it's powerful throbbing rhythm. It's another keyboard-driven ELP-style number, but without the stage antics and keyboard histrionics. It's just a good solid slice of heavy British Rock. There's a change of pace now with "Feeling Free", a rousing and uplifting song full of joy and happiness, just as the song title implies. Next up is "Fair-Haired Lady", a mournful but beautifully romantic ballad with the silver-toned singer pouring his heart out. It's a song which Uriah Heep might have recorded in one of their quieter reflective moments. Onto the penultimate song on the album and "A Place To Lay My Head", a nice solid slice of bluesy and soulful British Rock. And now we come to the final song and the highlight of the album, "The Eagle". The organist displays his classical credentials in fine style here with what sounds like a Bach cantata, before embarking on an impressive display of keyboard dexterity on the organ and then bringing the album to a close with a soothing and sophisticated piano piece. A beautiful piece of music to put the icing on the cake of a great album.

A good solid album full to the brim with the sound of powerful, organ-driven, heavy British Rock. If you're in the mood for some pile-driving, take-no-prisoners Rock, with a liberal helping of mellifluous melodies thrown in too, then this is the album for you. These are Fields of Gold!

Psychedelic Paul | 4/5 |


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