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Caravan - Caravan CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.68 | 477 ratings

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5 stars I honestly can't see why this album is so lowly rated. For me, it's undoubtedly a 5-star album - one of my Canterbury favourites and right up there with their magnum opus "In The Land Of Grey And Pink", "Caravan" is where it all began for the band. An excellent psychedelic rock album, with flavours of progressive rock to come. Very ahead of its time for 1968!

The album begins with "Place Of My Own", probably my favourite song on here. The lyrics and vocals performed by Pye Hastings just captivate you immediately along with those hypnotic keyboard textures that continue throughout the album. "Ride" is probably the most psychedelic song on the album. Very trance-like with arabic percussion by Richard Coughlan and confusing lyrics teamed with droning, echoey backing harmonies. Another brilliant track, only hindered by the production (the loudness of the organ solo overloading the rest of the track in particular). "Policeman" is a great little song you could imagine a maturing band jamming out in a "smoky" room, but this song has some great quality to it. The instruments all complement each other splendidly and the piece contains sophisticated chord progressions that work beautifully - amazing for a group their age.

"Love Song With Flute" is yet another Caravan classic for me. Love the melodies, lyrics and laid-back chords, and as always Pye's vocal delivery. Great harmonies on the line "I'm needing you" leading into a flute solo overshadowed by their later piccolo solo on "Golf Girl" but still more than creditable. Essential to the album. "Cecil Rons" is a delicious contrast to the melodic "Love Song", introduces more harmonic minor, dissonant, and off-beat lines, with all of the instruments played much harsher for the better, showing their versatility on this short work. Just incredible, and I'd love to have heard another one like it in Caravan's repertoire. "Magic Man" is one of the hits on the album (if you could call it that) and so relaxing. The atmosphere constructed by the gentle electric guitar strums, Coughlan's rim shots, and David's wah-wah organ, with more spectacular melodies.

"Grandma's Lawn" is another great song, but perhaps sonically weaker, although it proves to be one of the best on paper. Comparable to "Policeman", but with slightly worse lyrics (or in the least trying to fulfil a different purpose). Still keeps the album's consistency and ends on a very low resonant vocal note. The final song "Where But For Caravan Would I?" is obviously one of the best tracks on the album, and the most progressive. Spanning almost 10 minutes and predominantly played in the hypnotic, rocking 11/8 metre, a very important precursor to progressive music. The great chord progressions and alluring melodies are still very much present in here, with devastating climaxes and organ solos. The track develops after a long trance into a more suitable 12/8 to fit the excellent harmonies. The youthfulness yet sophistication on here is just electric and glorious! The best closing track to any Canterbury album in my opinion too.

A: A very ahead of its time work by the (relatively) new band "Caravan", showing their experimentations with music, but still managing to produce a signature style on each instrument. Very impressive at 20 or so years old and some of the greatest music I have ever heard! :P

Place Of My Own: ***** Ride: ***** Policeman: ***** Love Song With Flute: ***** Magic Man: ***** Grandma's Lawn: **** Where But For Caravan Would I?: *****

Xonty | 5/5 |


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