Rare Bird came together in October 1969 when organist Graham Field, keyboardist Dave Kaffinetti, drummer Mark Ashton, and vocalist Steve Gould envisioned a two-keyboard rock sound without guitars. They released their debut before the end of the year, featuring the minor radio hit "Sympathy." The next year they released As Your Mind Flies By, a dark and heavier album that put further emphasis on Gould's melodramatic singing style. Field and Ashton left the group before Epic Forest, which saw new drummer Fred Kelly bring in guitarist Andy Curtis to revamp their sound into a more folk-oriented direction. Gould also picked up the guitar at this point, and the music became much more about their guitar interplay than anything else. By 1973's Somebody's Watching, interest had waned in their efforts, leaving the group with a dwindling fan base. Still, they managed to release one more album, 1974's Born Again, which featured an entirely different sound than the progressive rock of their first two albums. The band's demise was followed by a collection, Sympathy, which took its material from the first two albums only.