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Caravan - The Battle Of Hastings CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

2.81 | 122 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars I know why you're laughing

Recorded after the band's heyday, the title "The battle of Hastings" is a play on words referring to both the Norman invasion of England, and the surname of two of the band's key members. Following disagreements about the band's direction in the early 90's, Richard Sinclair is missing from the line up, and so therefore is his usually strong influence.

"Battle of Hastings" is essentially a pop orientated album, with little in the way of prog sounds or structures. That does not make it a bad album, but don't expect the complex jazz tingled output of the Deram days. Caravan's shorter tracks have always tended to be rather whimsical, and serve as lighter intermissions between their more complex longer tracks.

Tracks such as "Liar" (which has similarities to the Russ Ballard penned Argent song of the same name), "I know why you're laughing", and "If it wasn't for your ego" are excellent, but little more than high class pop songs. Indeed, the verses of "Liar" sound like they could have been taken from an Alan Parsons project album.

One of the more interesting tracks is "Travelling ways", which features a rare appearance by Jim Leverton on lead vocals. The track sounds similar to Simon Nicol's work with Fairport Convention.

Although there is some pleasant instrumentation, in particular the flute work on several tracks, there is little in the way of instrumentals and certainly none of the lengthy breaks which characterised their early output. An album full of their short tracks will probably be of less appeal to Caravan fans, and "Battle of Hastings" was clearly directed more towards the transient, pop orientated market.

For those looking to explore the album at a budget price, the Mooncrest label Caravan compilation "Travelling man" contains all but three of the tracks on "Battle of Hastings".

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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