Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Rare Bird - Born Again CD (album) cover


Rare Bird


Crossover Prog

2.79 | 64 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
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.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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

Share this RARE BIRD review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

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.