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Caravan - Caravan CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.69 | 526 ratings

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3 stars At the time of its release a newspaper has commented, "Neither the sleeve picture nor the notes help the group's image, but on its own merits the album deserves high Top 40 ratings." Caravan were not the first to arrive on the Canterbury scene, Richard Coughlan (drums), David Sinclair (keyboards) and Pye Hastings (guitar/vocals) had all arrived from the Canterbury pioneer, Wilde Flowers. They were hard-pressed to establish a name among the likes of Soft Machine and Delivery, but nevertheless their first album was a promising start to what would become a band producing the most consistently interesting music of the period.

An overall echoing sound, perhaps more distinctive on the mono recording is the work of Tony Cox who as Hastings recalls, "[Tony] wouldn't let us attend the mixing on the grounds that if there were five people in the control room it would take five times as long to mix. I think he wanted total control." However, in stereo, the album is still quite a crisp and clean sound.

Opening with "Place of My Own", Pye's creation was impressive enough to establish their music contract and provides a good opener for the album. Caravan frequently indulge in light-hearted lyrically content, often with dreamy guitar/keyboard interludes. "Ride" and "Policeman" are good examples of this whimsical style that Caravan enjoyed. "Love song with Flute" had Pye's brother Jimmy appear on the flute. "Jimmy had never heard "Love song with Flute" before and came up with the solo out of thin air on the first take." recalls Pye.

The psychedelic influence is present on "Cecil Rons", "Magic Man" and "Grandma's Lawn" while "Where but for Caravan would I?" is their first at a longer and more complex piece with ex-Wilde Flowers colleague Brian Hopper. Whatever influenced the album is quite well hidden beneath the layers of sound, well-constructed tunes and clear desire to ascertain their own music.

With the CD comes the mono and stereo recordings and a bonus track ("Hello Hello") along with the rewarding sound that belongs exclusively to Caravan.

Verisimilitude | 3/5 |


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