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Caravan - Caravan CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.68 | 478 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars I had to wait for the CD reprint to hear how the Caravan's debut was. I have the vinyls of If I Could Do and In The Land of Grey and Pink and I've been very curious for years about this debut that was impossible to find in its original form (I think it's a valuable collector's item).

I have to say that for me it's better selling a 35 minutes CD instead of filling it with everything you can find just to give it a CD length. Quantity is not always quality and in this case putting the mono and stereo versions of the same album on CD to make it stick to about 70 minutes is an useless operation. Just a bit more interesting is the original version of Hello Hello as bonus track. This song was, if I'm not wrong, the Caravan's first hit single and re- releasing this version it has a bit of sense.

Now the album itself: the songs are more or less as I was expecting (and hoping for). Pure Caravan style with the typical vocals and the instrumental parts that I loved on the two following albums. The athmospheres are a little more psychedelic respect to the pastoral ambient of If I Could Do... and the gnomes, fairies and elves of In The Land Of Grey and Pink, but the trademark is clear.

I want to underline "Policeman", an instrumental that sounds very psych and makes me think to Steve Hillage's Arzachel. For this reason I see this album as a bridge between psych and Canterbury as well as that band was.

Another interesting track is "Cecil Rons". A dark and crazy song quite unusual for Caravan. The choral parts can be compared to Hello Hello, but the instrumentals, specially the keyboards have a connection with Syd Barrett. With the chorus they come back to more familiar territories, but this song represents a path that they abandoned quickly. Also "Where but for Caravan would I be" is quite Floydian.

In brief, it's not very different in the genre from the two following albums that I consider masterpieces, but it doesn't have heights like "For Richard" or "Nine Feet Underground". It's just a good album and an excellent debut for a band that could have been one of the greatest but we have gradually lost down the road and wasn't able to resurrect.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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