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Caravan - If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.25 | 927 ratings

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Lark the Starless
4 stars Which will you have? The pink or the green?

While many would consider "In the Land of Grey and Pink" as the definitive Caravan album, "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" surely gives "the pink" a run for its money. This sophomore release showcases a healthy dose of English wit and humor along with some great jazz tendencies. Although I am a novice to the Canterbury scene, I can definitely envision "If I Could..." as one of the gems of said subgenre, even without having heard many Canterbury albums. Its genuine qualities as an innovative and continually exciting album from the dawn of the 1970s leaves no doubt in my mind that it is a worthy and strong addition to one's collection. And now on to the album's contents.

The song titles are equally as thrilling as the music itself. "If I Could..." begins somewhat soft, providing a nice, whimsical calm before the later songs have their opportunity in the spotlight. "And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don't Worry" reveals the entertaining "British" sense of humor in its lyrics, with equally entertaining music in the mix. "As I Feel I Die" is one of the weaker songs in the album, but nevertheless shows the raw "heaviness" of Caravan's early music towards the end of the song. "With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It/Martinian/Only Cox/Reprise" is easily one of the stronger tracks, with catchy lyrics and music that make it practically impossible not to "groove" while you are listening. Both Richards really shine here, proving to be one of the more effective rhythm sections in prog during its heyday.

"Hello Hello" is one of the shorter songs that provides a nice, soothing interlude, along with the brief "Asforteri," before going into the "epic" of the album, "Can't Be Long Now/Francoise/For Richard/Warlock." Beginning with David Sinclair's beautiful, haunting keyboards, Pye Hasting's great voice, and the gorgeous flute playing of "Brother James," the song then turns into an aggressive jam that continues for ten more minutes, arguably the best ten minutes of the album. "Limits" ends the album in the same haunting, yet lovely manner (with that gorgeous flute playing!) that the previous song started, fading out and bringing to a close one of the more pleasant listening experiences I have had in quite some time.

I have the remastered edition "If I Could..." and along with it comes demo versions of three of the songs and a bonus song as well, "A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett." This last track is actually quite good and could very well have been included in the album. Very catchy, as is the manner of Caravan's early albums.

While the album is not necessarily a masterpiece like I thought it was before, it certainly is a great find. If you find it at a great price, I suggest you get it. Highly recommended.

1. "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" - 8/10

2. "And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don't Worry" - 8.5/10

3. "As I Feel I Die" - 7.5/10

4. "With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It/Martinian/Only Cox/Reprise" - 8.5/10

5. "Hello Hello" - 8/10

6. "Asforteri" - 8/10

7. "Can't Be Long Now/Francoise/For Richard/Warlock" - 8.5/10

8. "Limits" - 9/10

66/8 = 82.5% = 4(-) stars.

Lark the Starless | 4/5 |


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