Saturday, March 25, 2006

Rare Bird - As Your Mind Flies By (1970)

Rare Bird formed in London in October 1969 and began rehearsing in a room at organist's Graham Field's London apartment. Indeed Field and keyboardist Dave Kaffinetti played a key role in conceiving the group's then novel two keyboard sound. Gould (ex-Fruit Machine) proved to be a powerful vocalist and their drummer was former Turnstyle member Mark Ashton.

Within a few weeks the group was offered a residency at London's Marquee and before the end of the year they'd issued a much acclaimed debut album, which got to No 117 in the US Charts. This included the atmospheric Sympathy, which would prove to be a minor hit here in the UK, but it was very popular on the Continent too. The final cut, God Of War, was both atmospheric and innovative in its use of percussion, whilst You Went Away and Beautiful Scarlet featured powerful vocals and good keyboards.

As Your Mind Flies By was another fine album of keyboard-driven rock punctuated by Steve Gould's often melodramatic vocals. The whole of Side 2 was taken up by the ambitious four movement track, Flight, but the whole of Side 1 is recommended listening too. The group's line-up was expanded for Epic Forest (which was varied ranging from the heavy riffing of Hey Man to mellower numbers like House In The City and Fears Of The Night) but somehow they failed to maintain any sort of momentum over here, although they remained very popular on the Continent.

Their second 45 'A' side, What You Want To Know, later resurfaced on the One More Chance compilation.

Fred Kelly had earlier been involved in the Astral Navigations Thundermother project. Tapestry Of Delights

Second album for RARE BIRD marking a wonderful contribution to the progressive rock genre. Without a question fans of organ and keyboard driven prog rock will love the music of RARE BIRD. Their arrangements although centred around the keyboard work of David Kaffinetti offers some great drumming and bass interplay. Steve Gould’s melodramatic vocals are a tad bit raw but I think fit the music perfectly and give it a nice degree of grit. Prog heads will love the side long 20 min long track "Flight" an ambitious four-movement track which surprisingly does not overshadow side 1 which is littered as well with 4 fantastic tracks. For me the sound of RARE BIRD is a scientific cross of URIAH HEEP, T2 and ELP. "As You Mind Flies By" is pretty much a masterpiece and is an essential recording ! loserboy Prog Archives



Progrocktv said...

Thanks for posting these!

Also keyboardist David Kaffinetti went on to play keyboards as "Viv Savage" in the movie THIS IS SPINAL TAP!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this very nice group!
I like forgotten progressive legends, but I have already this three CD. Do you can help me to find another studio albums?
BBT and all the best!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I did get DL this CD and unzip: I see only 5 tracks.
Track listing for CD:
1. What you want to know
2. Down on the floor
3. Hammerhead
4. I'm thinking
5. Flight
6. As your mind flies by
7. Vacuum
8. New York
9. Central Park

4 tracks missed, I dont understand...

Anonymous said...

Track #5 content four parts, I found some information.
Thanks again, Lisa!

Anonymous said...

Too bad you don't have the original LP cover- it's beautiful!


digitalseance said...



A wonderful album tho', brilliant...

maybe next time