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Caravan - Live 1990 CD (album) cover

LIVE 1990



Canterbury Scene

2.85 | 26 ratings

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3 stars Recorded by the original lineup of the band, almost twenty years after the release of the legendary "In the Land of Grey and Pink", "Live 1990" is not a bad album by any means - but neither is as good as one could expect from a band like Caravan. In comparison, for instance, to the superb, recently re-released BBC sessions, there is something definitely missing here.

The sound, for one, is not as smooth and well-rounded as we have come to expect from the band, and the absence of Geoff Richardson's viola can be keenly felt, especially on opening track Headloss. As other reviewers have already noted, David Sinclair's usually sizzling keyboard work has a flat, somewhat tinny quality that detracts from those compositions which, like "For Richard" or "Nine Feet Underground", rely on a rich keyboard sound for effectiveness. The listener gets the overall feel that, though the band can do much better, they are in a way going through the motions.

In spite of all those drawbacks, "Live 1990" does have its plus points. The choice of songs is excellent - with the exception of "Videos of Hollywood", a pleasant but ultimately forgettable, melancholy pop song that was featured on 1982's "Back to Front" album, they all belong to the band's classic years. As a matter of fact, the album would be worth getting hold of just for the beautiful version of "Winter Wine" - probably the band's best song ever - and for Richard Sinclair's incomparable vocals, as dreamy, wistful and velvety as twenty years earlier.

Indeed, though this album is not on a par with other live offerings from the band, I'll give it three stars on account of Richard S.'s performance, and of the timeless quality of the songs featured. Even when not at their best, Caravan are always a pleasure to listen to.

Raff | 3/5 |


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