Reissue of the English prog rock group's third album with three bonus tracks added, 'Devils High Concern' (Unreleased Track From 1970), 'Sympathy' (Single Version) and 'What You Want To Know' (Different Version). 15 tracks... more » total. The record was first rele« less
Reissue of the English prog rock group's third album with three bonus tracks added, 'Devils High Concern' (Unreleased Track From 1970), 'Sympathy' (Single Version) and 'What You Want To Know' (Different Version). 15 tracks total. The record was first rele
70's Progressive Rock at its Best
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first bought the LP release of this album in 1974 and was loath to part with it in 1987 when I sold off my entire record collection and shifted into CDs. This used to be one of my clear favourites and parting with it wasn't easy. Getting it on CD with this re-release has been a really fantastic experience. Listening to it again has reinforced my earlier, long-held conviction that this group should have made it big back then. Why they never did is inexplicable. Every number on this album is worth listening to over and over again. This collection of songs will likely never go out of style, and I'd venture to say that it is not out of place even in today's prog-rock music environment. Someone should give this album some airtime. I would not be surprised in the least if the market clamours for more of it. Give it a listen. You won't regret it."
Rare Bird pure class
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Epic Forest is a fantastic cd from a superb band.This band can rock with the best, but also has a melodic side, and with the fine vocals of Steve Gould and the sublime keyboards of David Kaffinetti the quality of the music is sustained throughout.
This Album was first released in 1973, but such is the quality of the music and the musicians ,it easily stands the test of time.This CD is highly recommended!!"
New, expanded Rare Bird with a mellower, more acoustic sound
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 06/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After As Your Mind Flies By, the original Rare Bird broke up, with organist Graham Field teaming up with ex-King Crimson and future Greenslade drummer Andy McCulloch to form Fields, who released a self-entitled album in 1971. As for drummer Mark Ashton, well, he knocked around the music business, nothing apparently of interest to prog rock fans. That left the two remaining Rare Bird members, vocalist Steve Gould, and keyboardist David Kaffinetti to resurrect Rare Bird. This time they decided to include guitarists, and even Steve Gould decided to switch from bass to guitar. Andy "Ced" Curtis also helped on guitar as well as Paul Holland, with Fred Kelly on drums and Paul Karas on bass. They switched from Charisma to Polydor, and 1972's Epic Forest was the results.
OK, this out of the way, the music is less progressive than what the original guitarless lineup on Charisma has done, but they still managed to create some excellent music. The band was now going for a more West Coast-influenced rock, with some Crosby, Stills & Nash influences, but with generally more progressive arrangements than CSN. Steve Gould's vocals really seemed to be downplayed here, I suspect the other guys were handling most of the vocals. I really wished there was more of Steve Gould, since he was an excellent vocalist, and I really appreciated his vocal presence on those first two albums. This pretty much sounds like a whole new band who happened to be calling themselves Rare Bird (although as mentioned, Gould and Kaffinetti are the two in common with the original 1969-70 version). "Hey Man" shows that this isn't the old Rare Bird, although it's a catchy song and could have been a potential hit. The title track is the "epic" of the album showing the band can still make great prog rock. It might not be "Flight" (from As Your Mind Flies By) because of the guitars, but they sure put some great jams, before ending more in the soft rock vein. "Turning the Lights Out" is another great high point for me. Much of the music on this album ends up reminding me of their former Charisma labelmates Capability Brown (who happened to cover a couple of Rare Bird songs off their 1972 debut, From Scratch, "Beautiful Scarlet" and "Redman", Rare Bird's version of the latter would not appear until their final album, Born Again in 1974, while the former appeared on their 1969 self-entitled debut, of course). "Her Darkest Hour" is a stunning acoustic ballad, while "Title No. 1 Again (Birdman)" is a rather intense piece showing a bit of that Crosby, Stills & Nash influence.
I figured why Rare Bird went for a totally different approach after two albums was they were certain they could not continue on the same route as their debut and As Your Mind Flies By, and they probably could not top what they done on those albums, so instead they chaged their sound. And admittedly, it did not hurt the band. Don't buy this expecting another As Your Mind Flies By, but it's still a great album."
Fantastic album...sound quality could have been better
Lee J. Davito | 06/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just purchased this along with the 2CD set of their other 4 albums....which were remastered...this selection wasn't.
You'll be pleasantly surprised when you hear the 2CD set....the sound quality is rich and full....this selection is clean...it just falls short in output and fullness of sound.
This album was in fact the "epic" of Rare Bird.....their finest moment...incorporating keys and guitars for a very progressive balance of ideas. Whereas the first 2 albums were comprised of vocals, 2 keys, bass and drums....This set takes the band to a higher level.
A remastered version would be a great improvement."