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Thread: Rare Bird "Beautiful Scarlet: The Recordings 1969-1975" 6CD box set 4/30/2021

  1. #1

    Rare Bird "Beautiful Scarlet: The Recordings 1969-1975" 6CD box set 4/30/2021

    Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of BEAUTIFUL SCARLET – THE RECORDINGS 1969 – 1975, a newly re-mastered 6 CD boxed set featuring all of the albums and singles released by legendary band RARE BIRD on both the Charisma and Polydor labels between 1969 and 1975. Formed in 1969 with a line up featuring GRAHAM FIELD (organ), DAVE KAFFINETTI (keyboards), STEVE GOULD (vocals, bass) and MARK ASHTON (drums), RARE BIRD had the distinction of being the first act to be released on Tony Stratton Smith’s gloriously eclectic label Charisma records (also the home of GENESIS, THE NICE and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR to name but a few) and for their excellent self-titled debut album released in late 1969 and their 1970 international hit single Sympathy. Despite selling a million copies worldwide, neither their debut album or the excellent follow up AS YOUR MIND FLIES BY (issued in 1970) enjoyed the sales of their debut single.

    This new anthology features newly re-mastered versions of all of Rare Bird’s albums and singles, with EPIC FOREST being re-mastered from recently discovered first generation master tapes for the first time. The set also features an additional previously unreleased CD of the band’s entire live set recorded by Polydor Records at the Theatre Royal, London in June 1974. Also included is an illustrated booklet featuring exclusive interviews with STEVE GOULD and MARK ASHTON and a facsimile of the rare poster given with initial copies of EPIC FOREST.

    [CD1: Rare Bird (Remastered Edition) – Released In November 1969]
    1. Iceberg
    2. Times
    3. You Went Away
    4. Melanie
    5. Beautiful Scarlet
    6. Sympathy
    7. Natures Fruit
    8. Bird On A Wing
    9. God Of War
    Bonus Tracks:
    10. Devil’s High Concern
    11. Sympathy (Mono Single Version)
    (A & B-Sides Of Single)

    [CD2: As Your Mind Flies By (Remastered Edition) – Released In September 1970]
    1. Down On The Floor
    2. Hammerhead
    3. I’m Thinking
    4. Flight
    I. As Your Mind Flies By
    II. Vacuum
    III. New Yorker
    IV. Central Park
    Bonus Tracks:
    5. What You Want To Know (Mono Single Version)
    6. Hammer Head(Mono Single Version)
    (A & B-Sides Of Single)
    7. Red Man (1971 Version)
    (Recorded At Central Sound Studios, London In 1971)

    [CD3: Epic Forest (Remastered Edition) – Released In November 1972]
    1. Baby Listen
    2. Hey Man
    3. House In The City
    4. Epic Forest
    5. Turning The Lights Out
    6. Her Darkest Hour
    7. Fears Of The Night
    8. Turn It All Around
    9. Title No. 1 Again
    Bonus Tracks:
    10. Roadside Welcome
    11. Four Grey Walls
    12. You’re Lost
    (Taken From A Limited Edition 7-Inch EP Given With First Edition Of Epic Forest)

    [CD4: Somebody’s Watching (Remastered Edition) – Released In August 1973]
    1. Somebody’s Watching
    2. Third Time Around
    3. Turn Your Head
    4. More And More
    5. Hard Time
    6. Who Is The Hero
    7. High In The Morning
    8. Dollars
    9. A Few Dollars More
    Bonus Tracks:
    10. Virginia
    11. Lonely Street
    (A & B-Sides Of Single)

    [CD5: Born Again (Remastered Edition) – Released In May 1974]
    1. Body And Soul
    2. Live For Each Other
    3. Diamonds
    4. Reaching You
    5. All That I Need
    6. Redman
    7. Peace Of Mind
    8. Harlem
    9. Lonely Street
    10. Last Tango In Beulah
    Bonus Tracks:
    11. Don’t Be Afraid
    12. Passin’ Through
    (A & B-Sides Of Single)

    [CD6: Live At The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London June 1974]
    1. Somebody’s Watching *
    2. Third Time Around
    3. Hard Time *
    4. All That I Need
    5. Lonely Street *
    6. Live For Each Other *
    7. Last Tango In Beulah *
    8. Dollars *

    * Previously Unreleased

    Amazon USA
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08XCCP53F/?tag=imwan-20

    Amazon UK
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08XCCP53F/?tag=imwan-21

  2. #2
    Profondo Giallo Crystal Plumage's Avatar
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    I only have the first two on Esoteric. I like them, but they're not THAT special to me. Still it's always good news to hear about releases of obscure stuff.
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    Very excited for this release. I first heard "Epic Forest", loved it. Then bought "As Your Mind Flies By". Also loved it. Two very different albums by two different line ups. Some folks prefer one to the other. I think they are both very different albums and both excellent.

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    Tempted 'cause I only have the first two on Vinyl. And I love boxy sets...

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    Member Camelogue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian imig View Post
    Very excited for this release. I first heard "Epic Forest", loved it. Then bought "As Your Mind Flies By". Also loved it. Two very different albums by two different line ups. Some folks prefer one to the other. I think they are both very different albums and both excellent.



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    I mentioned it in another thread and there was some discussion, but it (and the band) probably deserves more attention.

    The first two Charisma albums are (mostly) terrific, with a very distinctive sound. Epic Forest was softer, from memory, but quite good. I did not like what I heard from the two which followed.

    I also really like the Fields album that was on CBS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    I mentioned it in another thread and there was some discussion, but it (and the band) probably deserves more attention.

    The first two Charisma albums are (mostly) terrific, with a very distinctive sound. Epic Forest was softer, from memory, but quite good. I did not like what I heard from the two which followed.

    I also really like the Fields album that was on CBS.
    The second Fields Album is also really good.

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    I love all eras of this band but already own the first four albums on CD. Really can't justify $60+ for Born Again and the probably not revelatory live set. Great deal though if you like them but currently only own one or two...

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    That evening at the Theatre Royal must be the same one that produced Barclay James Harvest's Live album, the two bands touring together at the time. The intention must have been to also release a live album by Rare Bird. I wonder why that didn't happen.

    Anyway great name, very interesting, half forgotten band and I've only got a couple of their albums on vinyl - so I'm very glad that Esoteric have put everything together in one place and I will certainly be buying it.

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    There's film footage of Rare Bird at Drury Lane too, same as there is Barclay James Harvest. As for why it wasn't released? Well, Barclay James Harvest were a band on the rise- that 1974 BJH double live album was ultimately their first ever to chart in the UK- and Rare Bird weren't.


    Quite different compared to the Charisma albums.

    The speed issue with the UK version of the first album has been mentioned before. I doubt very much it's been corrected, sadly. Whatever, it's a great album. I never thought much of 'Times' or 'Melanie', though.
    Last edited by JJ88; 03-09-2021 at 04:45 AM.

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    They had both been dropped by the labels that first signed them and so were pretty much in the same boat, though, weren't they? They both needed to re-invent themselves and sell some records. I haven't listened to Somebody's Watching or Born Again (note the title) and look forward to when this box is out but BJH did pull that off with Everyone is Everybody Else. So perhaps they looked a better prospect to Polydor?

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    No, by this time Rare Bird already had a few albums under their belt on Polydor. BJH had only just been signed by Polydor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    I love all eras of this band but already own the first four albums on CD. Really can't justify $60+ for Born Again and the probably not revelatory live set. Great deal though if you like them but currently only own one or two...
    Same here. I did get excited for a moment when I saw there would be live material, but from the Born Again era? Nah.

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    Good band, especially their first three albums. Zaragon featured parts of their "Flight" suite in this episode:

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by helicase View Post
    Same here. I did get excited for a moment when I saw there would be live material, but from the Born Again era? Nah.
    Some great material on that album.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhAANxsjvyw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iQqz885ccI

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    Listened to my vinyl copy of Epic Forest last night to remind myself of just how good Rare Bird were. Then listened to my vinyl copy of Everyone is Everybody else to remind myself of just how good BJH were.

    Now there's a gig I'd have loved to have gone to, Rare Bird and BJH in the same place on the same evening. I suppose we'll never know how they arranged this, did they alternate who finished the evening? Anyway very much looking forward to a real RB splurge when the box set comes out.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBTPassenger View Post
    That evening at the Theatre Royal must be the same one that produced Barclay James Harvest's Live album, the two bands touring together at the time.
    You have to admire Rare Bird's rare restraint in not playing their one big hit during this concert!

    I think I've only heard their recording of Sympathy once, on that Supersonic Fairytales box set, but I've heard Marillion's cover of it many times. I don't own ANY Rare Bird, so I might go for this set.
    "Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart...not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"

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    bump

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    I guess I have a first edition of Epic Forest on vinyl.
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    Interesting interview with a couple of the members of Rare Bird in the new issue of Prog. They blame themselves for not making a success of it.

    I've ordered the box set from Cherry Red, £31. For some reason it is £44.99 on Amazon.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by yesstiles View Post
    Agreed. For me, it’s a bit of a bounce-back after the extremely lackluster Somebody’s Watching. I won’t say “return to form” as it’s straight-up pop rock. But they’re trying! The songs are good and well-written and Steve Gould is in excellent voice. Check out “Harlem,” he sings the Hell out of that one! “Last Tango in Beulah” is one of my favorite songs by them. I believe the backing track is just keyboards, and the way the different layers of keys (piano, electric piano, Clavinet, organ and synth) layer on one another is really cool. Excellent song, superbly arranged.
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    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    Agreed. For me, it’s a bit of a bounce-back after the extremely lackluster Somebody’s Watching. I won’t say “return to form” as it’s straight-up pop rock. But they’re trying! The songs are good and well-written and Steve Gould is in excellent voice. Check out “Harlem,” he sings the Hell out of that one! “Last Tango in Beulah” is one of my favorite songs by them. I believe the backing track is just keyboards, and the way the different layers of keys (piano, electric piano, Clavinet, organ and synth) layer on one another is really cool. Excellent song, superbly arranged.
    OoOo! You know how I love them keyboards. I'll have to check that out as I know nothing by Rare Bird after AYMFB, which I love. Maybe I'll pick up this set if I see it on the cheap.

  23. #23
    ↑You need Epic Forest as well. It’s kind of weird hearing such a guitar-based album coming right on the heels of two LPs with zero guitars but again, the songs are first-rate and Steve Gould sings superbly. Better yet, we get Paul Karas on bass, who duets with Steve on a lot of the songs and also has a winner of a voice. They have great vocal chemistry together, and I wish he lasted longer with the band.
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  24. #24
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    ↑You need Epic Forest as well. It’s kind of weird hearing such a guitar-based album coming right on the heels of two LPs with zero guitars but again, the songs are first-rate and Steve Gould sings superbly. Better yet, we get Paul Karas on bass, who duets with Steve on a lot of the songs and also has a winner of a voice. They have great vocal chemistry together, and I wish he lasted longer with the band.
    It's in the box set, so I'll go ahead and order one.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by helicase View Post
    Same here. I did get excited for a moment when I saw there would be live material, but from the Born Again era? Nah.
    Already have all of them, except the live one. Still, I think the box is worth getting for the bonuses alone .. with the live album it is a must ... for me of course
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