A magnificent debut album by this UK prog band.
referencing Rare Bird, LP, Album, CAS 1005, CAS. 1005
You couldn't start the Charisma label better than the debut of Rare Bird! This was their first release ever on Charisma and is was a rare example of a band with two keyboardists and no guitarists, with David Kaffinetti on electric piano and Graham Field on organ. Plus Steve Gould on bass and vocals and Mark Ashton on drums. This is the original lineup that only lasted two albums (they continued on Polydor with guitars). The album managed a European hit single with "Sympathy". It was enough for Marillion to do a cover of it many years later. But of course, there's much more to this album than that! Check out such wonderful songs as "Iceberg", "Beautiful Scarlet" and "God of War". This latter piece has a rather sinister and ominous feel, particularly with Graham Field's organ playing. Prog rock was in its infancy when this came out, but these guys sure made great prog right from the start. Steve Gould's voice is soul-influenced, like Arthur Brown's, except his voice is nowhere as wild and demented as Brown's, but he still provides great vocals. The band also threw in some pop-oriented pieces too like "Bird on a Wing", "Nature's Fruit" and "You Went Away". "Times" is their attempt at '50s rock and roll. It's obvious that this group wanted more pop-oriented material in order for some radio airplay, which "Sympathy" became that hit and prog which was where their hearts were. "Sympathy" remarkably has lyrics completely relevant to this day. And by the way, the single version of this features a great B-side, "Devil's High Concern" (which luckily the recent CD reissue features as a bonus cut).
Rare Bird sure started it off right with a great debut album, and this is a great one to have in your collection.
Charisma founded by Tony Stratton-Smith had some great artists on their label with a mix of obscure through to well known.
Steve Gould was previously in the Fruit Machine who released three singles in 68-69. Two on the Spark label and one that was only issued in the U.S. Some excellent psych tracks most of which have turned up on various comps.
Graham Field left and formed his own band, Fields after the first two Rare Bird albums. Their self titled album is worth checking out for keyboard prog fans.