(All Album Reviews by Phil Jackson)
Released in the same year as their eponymous debut (1970), As Your Mind Flies By is a more ambitious album than its predecessor. The centre piece ‘Flight’ occupied all of side two of the album. The playing is more assured and the concept more coherent than on the most ambitious piece on Rare Bird (the occasionally striking but ultimately disjointed “Iceberg”) and the quasi classical structures work well in the introduction which takes a direction reminiscent of label mates The Nice. It’s not prefect by any means (with similarities to Gracious in some respects) and you can even tolerate the quotation from Ravel’s “Bolero”! In truth Rare Bird was never really comfortable as a prog rock band and their ear for a good melody on “What You Want To Know” indicated the direction they would later take. Indeed one of the bonus songs “Red Man” would later crop up on their last album Born Again. There’s a folky tinge to “Down on the Floor” recalling early Genesis, “Hammerhead” has bass pedals delivering the heavy ‘riff’ and a lot packed into its 3:30 recalling Charisma label mates VDGG- definitely one of Rare Bird’s most interesting compositions! “I’m Thinking” has a nice ‘classic’ intro and some Bach like runs on the organ before resolving itself as a lovely contemplative and soulful ballad.
(ECLEC2001 and 2002)
(Cherry Red Records)