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Rare Bird - Sympathy CD (album) cover


Rare Bird


Crossover Prog

3.38 | 28 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars What's the purpose of this album? Back in the 1970s, Charisma Records had a compilation division called Charisma Perspective, in which RARE BIRD's "Sympathy" was released on, back in 1976 (1990 was the year of Caroline CD reissue). There is nothing wrong with the music itself, but what's the purpose of compiling material from only their first two albums, "Rare Bird" (1969) and "As Your Mind Flies By" (1970)? I understand RARE BIRD moved to Polydor after those two albums (with a major linup change, with only keyboardist David Kaffinetti and vocalist/bassist Steve Gould staying), so Charisma couldn't possible compile material from Epic Forest, "Somebody's Watching" or "Born Again". It would be much easier to just buy those first two albums, as they are excellent demonstrations of keyboard-dominated prog (without guitars).

The material from their 1969 debut featured on "Sympathy" include "Sympathy", "Beautiful Scarlet", "Nature's Fruit", "Bird on a Wing", and "You Went Away". For the most part, they wanted to focus on the more pop-oriented side of that album (except for "Beautiful Scarlet", which is one of the more progressive and adventurous songs on that album), rather than stuff like "Iceberg" and "God of War" (which are more or less in the vein of "Beautiful Scarlet"). As for "As Your Mind Flies By", songs featured include part of "Flight", "What You Want To Know", the mindblowing, but short "Hammerhead", and "I'm Thinking", which shows RARE BIRD had quite matured since their debut, and you aren't faced with such idiotic songs as "Times" or "Melanie". I don't know why Charisma has the habit of giving us compilations focusing only two albums (they did that for Capability Brown, with their 1976 comp album Liar which also focused on only two albums - as that band only released two albums and broke up). While the music on "Sympathy" isn't bad (that's why I give it a four star rating), if you already have their first two albums, this really isn't necessary.

Proghead | 4/5 |


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