Rare Bird

Epic Forest

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When they recorded their third album, Rare Bird had recently undergone some personnel changes that had a serious effect on the band's musical direction. One of the band's two keyboardists, founding member and primary songwriter Graham Field, had left, marking an end to the group's nearly unique organ-electric piano-drums-vocals lineup. Rather than replace him with another organist, the group added guitarist/second lead vocalist Ced Curtis, with singer Steve Gould taking up guitars as well. The changes naturally steered the group toward a more conventional rock sound, and not just in the specifics of their instrumentation. The band also moved away from the progressive rock of their first two albums, and toward material that, if not exactly pop, admitted some pop influences and was certainly closer to mainstream rock. Unfortunately, the results weren't as memorable as the original, more adventurous Rare Bird records, instead sounding at times like a nondescript cross between Yes and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Those elements weren't always prominent (and are more Yes than CS&N) , but much of it was middling early-'70s British rock that wasn't quite either mainstream hard rock or progressive. [The LP came with a free three-track single, all of whose contents have been added to the 2007 CD reissue on El as bonus cuts.]

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