Wednesday, July 02, 2008

by Brian Andrew Marek #10

Rare Bird "Last Tango in Beulah: The Best of 1972-1974"

If you're anything like me, and I know I am, you love Rare Bird's first two albums and consider the rest of their career to be a complete disappointment. They lost organist Graham Field and, with him, much of their originality and ambition. Out went classicism and dual keyboard interplay, in came funk and guitars, and while I have nothing against funk or guitars in the right hands, they just meant a drift towards generic AOR mediocrity for Kaffanetti, Gould and company. Meanwhile Graham - clearly the real brains (or at least the artistic conscience) behind the original Rare Bird - put out one album of rathered good (if mannered) prog rock with the almost eponymous Fields and vanished. Sigh.

But the real kick in the pants is that the three Rare Bird albums after "As Your Mind Flies By" each boast at least a song or two that are worth listening to - but not worth sitting through up to half an hour of tepid lite-funk for. So that's where this compilation comes in - the cream of the crap, if you will. About seventy minutes of latter day Rare Bird that can sit, if not proudly, at least compactly next to your treasured copies of their first two masterpieces.

Apologies if my choices were too generous or, conversely, if I missed your fave rave.

An additional note - I've seen a few comments here recently that, if I'm not just reading too much into them, seem to suggest that my posts here are some kind of desecration to the spirit of Time Has Told Me, presumably because my music choices have not been of a folky or singer/songwriter nature.

Well, I figured it'd be alright because this already struck me as a rather eclectic blog, and I've been turned on to some of these very same band's other albums by it, as well as a wealth of other musical gems in ALL styles. This blog has, in all seriousness, routinely left me saying, "oh my God, how did I live without this album all those years?" It was my first music blog, it remains my favorite, and now that I'm giving back (I hate that expression, it sounds so "corporate community outreach"), it's where I'm doing most of my posting (not counting my own MySpace blog). I'd never want to do it any disservice.

Besides, clearly Lizardson wouldn't be approving my posts for feature in the blog if he didn't feel I was offering something valid - he does not, from what I can tell, post every contribution willy-nilly to the main blog. Sometimes he just approves the comment for reading on the "recommendations" page but does not post it to the main blog. Long story short, if it's up there on the big screen with the pretty picture, Lizardson must've been alright with it.

So, please, if you ain't pickin' up what I'm layin' down, move on to the next entry. Or ask for a refund!


Thanks always Brian,
THTM is not only for folk music lovers.
I know lot's of people loves your posts.
Keep up!!


Anonymous Jan said...

Hi Brian (and Lizardson) Your posts are good for me.
Your comments on Rare Bird are for me 'What Time has Told me'. I really like a lot of posts on this blog and your posts make it even better. So thanks to the both of you!

Jan, Netherlands.

02 July, 2008 17:04  
Blogger JAlberto said...

Gracias por este post, voy a bajarlo y recordar viejos tiempos. Un abrazo desde Chile

03 July, 2008 06:02  
Blogger JAlberto said...

Hermoso recuerdo, un abrazo desde Chile

03 July, 2008 06:02  
Blogger Tim said...

Graham (Stans)field didn't disappear. At some point in the 80s he started working as Arts Administrator for Poole Arts Centre in Dorset (now The Lighthouse). I know this because from 1986 to 1988 he taught me Arts Admin as part of my drama A-level course at Poole College (and got us into a few gigs at the centre for free too!)
I remember he claimed to have discovered Genesis, during his prog days. Can anyone confirm if this is true? Obviously a certain Mr King claims it was him and it would be great to take that away from him.

04 July, 2008 05:59  
Anonymous Brian Andrew Marek said...

Tim: Thanks for the comments! I didn't mean to imply Graham fell off the face of the Earth or anything, simply that he wasn't performing or recording anymore. That's neat that he was a teacher of yours - makes me kinda wish I'd gone to college and lived in England, ha! I did know about his Arts Administrator gig thanks to a Rare Bird web site with some recent comments from the man hisself.

05 July, 2008 03:02  

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