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on 11 October 2010
A new name to me, but not to the inexhaustable Esoteric Recording label, who are surely the world leaders at digging out jewels from the golden age of rock music. This is an assured, musically strong album from a three piece featuring Graham Field (ex Charisma favourites Rare Bird) on Keyboards, ably backed by Andrew McCulloch (one time King Crimson studio drummer) and Alan Barry on Vocals and Guitars.

Released in late 1971, it has all the hallmarks of the age. Crisply recorded drums from the masterful McCulloch, backing the growling Hammond of leader Field. There are plenty of Bach influenced arpeggios on opener `A Friend Of Mine', Barry has a fine voice which serves the music well, there are distant echoes of Yes here and there. The shadow of the latterday Beatles looms large too as it did over so much music of the era.

With Clavinet to the fore, much of the music recalls McCulloch's subsequent band Greenslade, although of course the Keith Emerson Hammond organ influences are never far away. The album consists of ten songs, so there are no extended workouts here, and a couple of six minute pieces notwithstanding, instead a strong collection of shorter tunes. Jackson Heights (The Fifth Avenue Bus) were working in similar territory, emphasising restraint and tight melodic songs instead of an over reliance upon virtuosity. There are however many fine instrumental sections to be enjoyed not least on the excellent closer `The Eagle'.

Victims of a purge at their record label whilst recording the follow up, Fields split and their leader quit the rock business in disillusionment. This remains their only album, and a very strong one it is too.
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VINE VOICEon 19 August 2010
It is not often that you find a gem from the 70s that you think worthy of purchasing even though you have never heard of it. This is one. It is wonderful, organ, guitar, drums. A bass playing guitarist singer ( hows that Mr Lake). If you like Sppoky Tooth or Procul Harum you should love this, not that they are copies of them at all. Really good playing, they should have been massive. They also sound a bit like the Humble Pie tracks with Frampton on organ. The singer is more mellow and less bluesy/gruff than Marriot, but give your ears a blast, buy this and see what you have missed for 30 odd years.
Oh and ofcourse as you all know,the main writer and keyboard player in this band was Mr Field, one of the 2 keyboard players in Rare Bird. As he says himself in the sleeve notes...this is Rare Bird 3
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on 12 October 2010
After playing my LP album into a grey disc I have been looking for the cd version of this album since the intro of cd in 1980.
And now, 39(!!) years later, there it is!! THE album of my youth!! All the beautiful tracks remastered, giving me a huge
pleasure again. It is not been out of my cd player since it arrived. For the "oldies" among us, a lot of you will surely recognize my enthousiasm. This beautiful album by Graham Fields (where are you?) is recommended very much by me.
It will always be "A Friend of Mine". Enjoy it!
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on 5 June 2011
Bought this lp as an import circa 1971 after hearing one edited track, "While The Sun Still Shines" on a 3-disc U.S. Columbia Records Compilation. Could have been a hit single. Always loved this record, organ, drums, bass, guitar, maybe a mellotron on a track or two, and was delighted when it was reissued on CD. The re-mastering job is excellent, the orig lp is a little overdriven sound-wise, and so is the CD.
The sonic quality of the CD matches the lp perfectly. The group was founded by the same guy who had Rare Bird, "Sympathy" was a hit for them in Europe, but not in the States. Had to discover them later. I highly recommend this CD to anyone who loves the organ-driven prog-rock genre. These guys were one of the best, and better than some of the groups who got tremendously popular in that same genre. The original lp had a poster in of the record sleeve, which may have hurt it, really, an eagle and it's dead hare prey. But a great lp. I've listened to it 10 times already easily.
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on 9 June 2010
"Fields" was one-album wonder from California, who played matured acid (psychedelic) rock strongly blended with hard'n'heavy, sould and blues - a typically US product, which didn't need to be influenced by "Cream", as American soil had grown their own talents already - from "Mountain", "Grand Funk", "Blue Cheer" to lesser known "Truth and Janey", "Peacepipe", "The Flow" etc, etc.
The formula was not new: guitar (Richard Fortunato), drums (Steve Lagana) and bass (Patrick Burke) - play it really loud and scream your head off! But in this album one can enjoy great solos, slow melodies and exceptional backing vocals from Motown singers and the great voice of Brenda Holloway.
"Jump On You" is too similar to "I like the way you walk" (Aerosmith) to be just a coincidence; "Sun Would Set" is obviously under the spell of the British peers (while there were on a magic trip); and "Love Is The World" which takes the Side B of the original LP is an amazing mini-symphony.
The album was issued in 1969, but failed to chart. It is not so refined and polished, but it is true masterpiece.
P.S. Don't confuse with "Fields", solo project by Graham Field of "Rare Bird" fame
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on 12 May 2011
Having owned the vinyl LP many moons ago, I was hoping for this to be available on CD. Now at last its arrived & what a gem this is. Apart from one track this is pure gold. The epic "Over and Over again" is just stunning. Vocals are superb, and the production on the remastered tapes in excellent.
If you've never heard of them before, don't worry, get this and wallow in it-pity they only made one album, but it's a treasure!
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on 29 October 2016
Amazon have messed up their database and confused two different bands called Fields. If you are viewing "Fields - Remastered" and the first track is "Elysian Fields" then you are looking at a 1969 release by Patrick Burke, Richard Fortunato & Steven Lagana. If, however, the first track is "A Friend Of Mine" then you are looking at the 1971 release by Alan Barry, Andy McCulloch & Graham Field. The latter is the one with links to Rare Bird and King Crimson/Greenslade.
I found that if viewing the MP3 page of the 1969 "Fields - Remastered", click through to the CD version and you change to the 1971 album. If you then click back to MP3 (you will probably notice it now has a different download price) then you get to the MP3 page for the 1971 album. Magic! No doubt at some stage Amazon will sort this out - but until then just beware if clicking through to different buying options as the album may change.
BTW both albums are reasonable - the 1969 album is probably classed as Blues / Psychedelic Rock. The 1971 more heavy prog.
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on 17 February 2011
Rare Bird was never quite the same after Graham Field walked out over one of the management deal disputes that beleaguered many a 70's signing. Field nonetheless made another stab at the rock scene in 1971 for CBS with this eponymous three-piece, distinguished from his former band's twin-keyboard attack by having guitarist Alan Barry on board and by penning shorter, more upbeat material. Compositionally strong, it is meted out with accomplishment, standouts including lively opener 'A Friend of Mine', medievalish 'Three Minstrels' (replete with sweet clarinet), and busily progressive 'Over And Over Again' while gently introverted 'Slow Susan' tapped back at Rare Bird, along-side whom Fields ranks well albeit without the broader, fleshier interpretation a larger line-up afforded. The album in the bag, Fields took to the roads of Europe to promote it but returned to find the CBS London A&R team summarily replaced with Americans more disposed to Byrds than Birds. Informed that the label would no longer be honouring their deal, Graham Field called it a day, losing to classical music one of British rock's more fertile creatives.
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on 17 February 2009
If you go by some of the comments on Amazon USA you've probably have been reluctant to invest in this. Mistake. One comment said the eighteen minute closer could only be played once it was that dull. The musicianship was at best adequate and they were similar to Blue Cheer or Aum. Yes it is heavy and reminiscent of Cream without the indulgent, but what gives it the edge is the back up singers led by Brenda Holloway which to my ears aren't used enough, and the brass and string arrangements (love the cello solo!) which make the lengthy closer a cross between classic early seventies hard rock meet the stax records review with Motown backing (silly description i know! but hopefully you'll get what i mean..sort of) the production is pretty good though a little muffled on the rhythm section at times and though not essential is well worth getting, even the hooks are catchy!
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on 22 April 2016
Takes me back to the josh stick era of the 70s when the vinyl version was rarely off my bedroom Dansette turntable. Great to have it available in CD version. The original was one of the few LPs to survive the munch regretted vinyl clear out. "The Eagle" more than any other track in my collection transports me back to the early seventies . If you are a fan of Prog a Rock check this out. Truly wonderful.
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