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CARAVAN

Caravan

 

Canterbury Scene

3.67 | 355 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars WILDE FLOWERS were a mid-sixties band that originally consisted of Wyatt, Ayers, the Hopper brothers and Richard Sinclair. This lineup would change over the coming years and the first big band to come out of it was SOFT MACHINE who were having some success along with PINK FLOYD playing at the UFO Club and Middle Earth Club in London. The last incarnation of the WILDE FLOWERS were Richard and Dave Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan.They actually were playing Soul music at that time until they realized that Psychedelic music was becoming very popular. So they changed their name to CARAVAN and this is their first album released the same year (1968) as SOFT MACHINE's "Volume One". What a great year for music ! Many consider CARAVAN's debut as the first true Canterbury Scene album.

"Place Of My Own" was one of the first songs that Pye had ever written. Drums build as the vocals come in quickly. Both stand out on this track. It's the organ's turn after 1 1/2 minutes as we get an instrumental interlude. Vocals are back after 3 minutes. "Ride" opens with percussion as gentle guitar joins in and builds. Reserved vocals join in as well. This is very mystical sounding. It kicks in at 1 1/2 minutes including organ. Contrasts continue. "Policeman" is a Richard Sinclair tune so he both sings and plays lead guitar (Pye's usual roles) while Pye takes over on bass.This also happens on Richard's other song "Grandma's Lawn". The song "Policeman" is part Psych and part Canterbury. Great tune. It also reminds me of Barrett's compositional style on "Pipers...". The lyrics poke some fun at the paranoia many drug users have.

"Love Song With Flute" features a guest appearance from Jimmy Hastings on flute. It's laid back with vocals. Vocal harmonies on this one too. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes. Nice. Flute before 3 minutes. Amazing tune. "Cecil Rons" is experimental to start followed by vocals, drums and organ. This is fairly aggressive at times. "Magic Man" is such a feel good song with lots of organ. "Grandma's Lawn" is very 60's sounding. Love this one. Some nice organ work 2 minutes in. "Where But For Caravan Would I ?" is the bands longest track at 9 minutes. It was originally a song from the WILDE FLOWER's days co-written by Brian Hopper and Pye Hastings. It was re-worked here. Strummed guitar to open before a full sound comes in quickly but it's still fairly laid back until after 2 1/2 minutes when it kicks in. Great sound ! It settles back and vocals return 5 1/2 minutes in before kicking in again at 7 1/2 minutes.

A very important album just like SOFT MACHINE's "Volume One".

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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