Rare Bird - As Your Mind Flies By 1970

AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene  

The legendary Charisma label's first signing was a Rare Bird indeed, a prog rock band without a guitarist in sight. The quartet's 1970 debut eponymous album launched the label, while "Sympathy" gave it its first hit. As Your Mind Flies By soared into the shops later that year, sadly the original lineup's swan song. Boasting the rhythm section of lead singer/bassist Steve Gould and drummer Mark Ashton, and keyboardists Dave Kaffinetti and Graham Field on electric piano and organ, the group was far removed from the showboating likes of Yes and ELP. Obviously, however, the group were keyboard driven, and boasting a surprising diversity of sound and style. The gentle, dreamy "Down on the Floor," for instance, is offered up in Baroque fashion, with the keyboards imitating harpsichords. In contrast, the triumphant "Hammerhead" was a heavy hitting hard rocker, interlaced with airy flute passages and what sounds like, but isn't, wah-wah and soaring guitar solos. In places, "I'm Thinking" was almost pop-flecked, and slips around a number of styles, all of which perfectly dovetail Gould's blues belting vocals. The opening "What You Want to Know" even boasts a riff ripped straight from "Sympathy from the Devil," another power-packed bluesy number with a difference. But it was the epic, side-length "Flight" that really sent Rare Bird soaring. Here the band showcased its distinctiveness, as the almost-20-minute song courses along Gould and Ashton's driving rhythm. Divided into four sections, the piece takes to the sky on a series of stunning arpeggios, quickens, then darkens. Organs burst out of the shadows, a church choir sails in, a phenomenal dual takes place between the surf guitar-ing electric piano and the psych-mad organ, before the Bird flitters into experimental avant-garde territory, then brings it all home with a flourish of vocals and organ. This reissue lovingly remasters the original set, and adds a pair of mono versions of the album's tracks, as well as the haunting and previously unreleased "Red Man."

Esoteric Records ECLEC 2002 ( Release Date September 10, 2007 )

1 What You Want to Know               5:57    
2 Down on the Floor                   2:35    
3 Hammerhead                           3:31    
4 I'm Thinking                           5:35    
5 Flight: As Your Mind Flies By
 / Vacuum / New Yorker / Central Park          19:43    
6 What You Want To Know (Mono Single Version) 5:57    
7 Hammerhead (Mono Single Version)           3:23    
8 Red Man (Bonus track)                          3:39


Line Up:

Dave Kaffinetti - Keyboards, Piano (Electric), Synthesizer
Graham Field - Organ, Keyboards
Mark Ashton - Drums, Vocals
Steve Gould -      Bass, Guitar, Guitar (Bass), Saxophone, Vocals

Free Text:
 Rare Bird - As Your Mind Flies By 1970
First posted by Val on B H&H

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