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Caravan - Better by Far CD (album) cover

BETTER BY FAR

Caravan

 

Canterbury Scene

2.86 | 96 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

DrömmarenAdrian
4 stars I have had hard to find this record. All songs don't exist on internet, neither on Spotify or Youtube. Yesterday, though I found the vinyl at a record store on Sankt Eriksgatan and I was of course happy. Another Caravan freak had expressed his love for this record and now I have also heard Caravan's eight studio record "Better by far" from 1977. The cover picture isn't very artistiv but yet funny. The band seems to be enjoying a glorious meal in a castle hall on the front and on the back side the band has vanished. Caravan 1977 was Pye Hastings(vocals, guitars), Geoffrey Richardson(viola, guitars, flute, sitar, mandolin, vocals), Richard Coughlan(drums and percussion), Jan Schelhaas(keyboards and vocals) and Dek Messecar(bass and vocals).

I really liked this record like I have been loving almost everything I have heard from Caravan. There is very much Pye Hastings here but you also hear other vocalists in "Silver strings" for examples. The albums doesn't contain so much prog glory but it doesn't make the music bad in any way. Mostly this record is lovely. The first two songs "Feelin' alright"(7/10) and "Behind you"(7/10) are intelligent pop songs, they're nice and not lame att all. The title track "Better by far" though is quite pale(6/10) even if I think Pye does an appreciated input. "Silver strings" then is original, has almost a disco beat, but also contains weird folk stuff(8/10) and the instrumental "The last unicorn" is the albums real pearl(10/10) with beautiful flute and a magic musical landscape. Then come two more intelligent pop songs in "Give me more"(8/10) and "Man in a car"(8/10). "Let it shine" cunfluses me when it partially sounds like a German schlager tune, but it also contains great instrumentation(7/10). "Nightmare" is a lovely closer where you are allowed to enjoy the viola, as always when it takes place(8/10).

Don't listen to "Better by far" if you long for progressive music. In 1977 Caravan had been gone through a change to a less complicated music. Though I don't think that was a bad development, because Caravan still had a grand charm which I appreciate. So my rating for this record will be four stars, and I am thankful there's still a lot to exlore in the world of Caravan, and of course it's getting better for every time you listen.

DrömmarenAdrian | 4/5 |

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