Hoelderlin - Rare Birds. 1977 Germany

Hoelderlin - Rare Birds. 1977 Spiegelei

CD reissues: 1994 WMMS/Music is Intelligence; 2007 EMI

Rare Birds follows the unique Genesis meets cosmic/space rock hybrid of Clowns and Clouds, with yet another difficult-to-pin-down progressive rock album. The compositions are increasingly more accessible, with a certain soft lens focus coloring their sound. Viola is clearly their defining instrument at this point. Vocals are airy and melodic. The songwriting is excellent, and given the right commercial backing, Hoelderlin would have been household names. From a prog fans standpoint (i.e. me), the album's highlight is the driving instrumental 'Necronomicon'. This is an album that has grown on me tremendously over the near 30 years I've been acquainted with it. Definitely not an "immediate" release, so something to consider if you're encountering the music for the first time.

The EMI CD is superb, with great sound, excellent liner notes, and two bonus tracks, though the latter isn't necessary from a music perspective.

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