was a progressive rock band
founded in 1969. They were formed in England
, but had more success in other European
countries than they did at home. They are mostly remembered for the haunting, organ based track "Sympathy".
The band's initial line-up was as below, although there would be changes by the time they came to work on their third album
. The first two members listed were a constant throughout the lifetime of the band.
- Steve Gould (lead vocals & bass, rhythm guitar) - b. 25 March, 1950, Battersea, South West London
- Dave Kaffinetti (pianos & assorted keyboards) - b. 17 April 1946, Folkestone, Kent
- Graham Field (organ & assorted keyboards) - b. 3 May 1946, Beaminster, West Dorset
- Mark Ashton (drums & backing vocals) - b. 23 June 1949, Bridge, Kent
The history of Rare Bird began when Graham Field placed an ad for a pianist in a musical periodical. He got thirty replies and formed a group called "Lunch", which only existed to sort out a decent drummer, pianist, singer and bass player. Eventually he met Dave Kaffinetti in November 1968, and together they formulated the basic ideas for Rare Bird. In August 1969, they finally found the ideal rhythm section in Steve Gould and Mark Ashton. Two weeks later, they had signed management and agency contracts, and three weeks later, were in the studio recording their debut album. With Van der Graaf Generator and The Nice, they were one of the very first bands that signed to Charisma Records, the record-label that Tony Stratton-Smith had founded.
Other members included Fred Kelly, Ced Curtis, Paul Holland, and Paul Karas on the Epic Forest album with Andy Curtis and Fred Kelly on the album Somebody's Watching.
The band split up in the mid 1970s.
- Rare Bird (UK:Charisma, U.S.:Command/Probe, 1969)
- As Your Mind Flies By (UK:Charisma, U.S.:ABC, 1970)
- Epic Forest (Polydor, 1972)
- Somebody's Watching (Polydor, 1973)
- Born Again (Polydor, 1974)
- Rare Bird (Polydor, 1975)
- Sympathy (UK chart #27, 14th February 1970)
- Sympathy (Blue Plate, (1976)
- Polydor Special (Polydor, 1977)
- Third Time Around: An Introduction To Rare Bird (Universal, 2003)