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Caravan - If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.24 | 930 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is an immensely likable album, which I recommend to anyone who's interested in the Canterbury scene or in the development of symphonic prog.

However, I do not consider it one of Caravan's true masterpieces - that's an honour I reserve for IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK and FOR GIRLS WHO GROW PLUMP IN THE NIGHT. Why?

Well, it seems to me this album suffers from a certain lack of punch, and also from a lack of colour. Mind you, there's nothing wrong with the drumming - just the opposite. Richard Coughlan was probably the most accomplished member of the band at this stage; he had already found his own style. But some of the organ-dominated tracks on this album sound amateurish; they seem little better than demos ('And I wish I were stoned' and 'As I feel I die', for example). Also, 'For Richard' (more than 14 minutes long, and one of the most beloved tunes in Caravan's repertoire) starts off beautifully and contains some lovely solos by prog's greatest flautist, Jimmy Hastings, but its final (and fairly heavy) guitar riff is repeated a few times too many, and with too little variation. Caravan would record more exciting versions of 'For Richard' later in their career; there's a far superior version on the excellent LIVE AT FAIRFIELD HALLS.

But let's not get too grumpy. In spite of any technical imperfections, both the title song and 'Hello hello' are marvellous examples of Caravan in a whimsical mood, while 'With an Ear to the Ground (etc.)' contains (among other things) a triumphant fuzz-box organ solo (in classic Canterbury style) by David Sinclair.

The 2001 remaster contains four bonus tracks, at least one of which ('A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett') will be of essential interest to all true Caravan freaks. The illustrated booklet is well-written and full of nostalgia-inducing photographs.

fuxi | 4/5 |


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