All newly remastered
Includes an illustrated book with detailed essay & interviews with Steve Gould & Mark Ashton & poster
Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the release of Beautiful Scarlet - The Recordings 1969 - 1975, a newly remastered 6-CD box set containing all the albums and singles released by the legendary band Rare Bird between 1969 and 1975 on the Charisma and Polydor labels. Formed in 1969 with the line-up of Graham Field (organ), Dave Kaffinetti (keyboards), Steve Gould (vocals, bass) and Mark Ashton (drums), Rare Bird was the first band to be released on Tony Stratton Smith's gloriously eclectic Charisma Records label (also home to 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. Although they sold a million copies worldwide, neither their debut album nor the excellent follow-up As Your Mind Flies By (released in 1970) matched the sales figures of the debut single.
The lack of commercial success led to the departure of Graham Field and Mark Ashton, so Gould and Kaffinetti formed a new line-up in 1971, adding Andy "Ced" Curtis (lead guitar), Fred Kelly (drums) and Paul Karas (bass, vocals) to the band, with Steve Gould taking on the role of second guitarist in addition to vocalist. In late 1971, Rare Bird signed with Polydor Records and recorded the excellent album Epic Forest the following year. The album was lavishly packaged, early copies included a poster and a bonus 7-inch EP with three additional tracks. In 1973, the band changed line-ups once again with the departure of Paul Karas. He was replaced by Nic Potter (previously of Van der Graaf Generator) and the band recorded the fine album Somebody's Watching that same year. The album featured guest John Wetton on bass for the track "Dollars".
Despite the band's excellent work, commercial success failed to materialize. In 1974, Andy Rae replaced Nic Potter on bass and Rare Bird recorded their final album, Born Again. The album's release led to touring, including a memorable appearance opening for labelmates Barclay James Harvest at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in June 1974, but Rare Bird disbanded the following year.
This new anthology features remastered versions of all of Rare Bird's albums and singles, with Epic Forest remastered for the first time from recently discovered first generation master tapes. The set also includes an additional previously unreleased CD featuring 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, as well as a facsimile of the rare poster that accompanied the first copies of Epic Forest.
CD 1: Rare Bird + Bonus Tracks
CD 2: As Your Mind Flies By + Bonus Tracks
CD 3: Epic Forest + Bonus Tracks
CD 4: Somebody's Watching + Bonus Tracks
CD 5: Born Again + Bonus Tracks
CD 6: Live At The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London
Reviews"This stylistic transformation can now be traced with the simple box set The Beautiful Scarlet, which includes all of the band's studio records, as well as a previously unreleased 1974 concert and twelve bonus tracks consisting of singles and studio outtakes. The two albums from the prog rock era in particular are well worth rediscovering worth rediscovering (...)." (Good Times, June/July 2021)