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Caravan - Caravan & The New Symphonia CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.96 | 232 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars All hands to the pumps!

Make sure if you're buying this album you go for the remastered and expanded edition. Unlike most re-masters the additional tracks, rather than being tagged on at the end, have been placed in their correct positions as they originally were performed on the night, This transforms the album from a brief summary of the concert to over an hour of wonderful indulgence.

The preparations for the collaboration with the New Symphonia Orchestra had been troublesome, and are well documented in the accompanying sleeve-notes. The recorded results are however superb. "Virgin on the ridiculous" and "For Richard" particularly benefit from the orchestration, the former featuring a lilting strings introduction and an all hands to the pumps middle section. This has to be one of Caravan's most exciting and innovative pieces. The classic "For Richard" (performed at every Caravan concert ever?) builds to even more of a cacophony of sound than the many other live versions available. At times it sounds as if band and orchestra are veering towards chaos, but things always remain just within control and they all meet again at the end with perfect timing!

The additional tracks were mainly performed prior to the orchestra taking the stage, and thus have been inserted towards the start of the album. They are more conventional live Caravan, but do help to give the album the feel of being a complete concert.

With the commendable attention to detail on all the recent Caravan remasters, it is perhaps churlish to point out the discrepancy in the track numbering between the CD and the sleeve caused by the introduction being listed as a separate track, but it does make it somewhat irritating when selecting a track!

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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