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Caravan - Caravan CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.68 | 480 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 7/10

"Caravan" is a wonderful little gem that will contribute in launching the band towards future fame and inspiration.

Some debate that Psychedelic Rock is really just a passage between Rock & Roll and Progressive Rock, but others believe that it is the golden age of music. In this period, other than all the greats like Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, the Doors, there were also an infinitude of smaller, very young bands that started their career with embracing the typical sound of Psychedelia and afterwards became part of the so called Prog Rock movement. Caravan, one of the greatest Canterbury bands, are one of these -at first- humble musicians, struggling to find some room for themselves. Their debut album was released in what was one of the greatest years for music, 1968, and relatively few people recognized this band's potential at the time.

Caravan was not a typical Psych band, even from the start: the atmospheres they created were, yes, a bit na've sounding, just like many bands at the time, but they never had that cheerfulness incorporated in the music: instead, they focused on being either dramatic, romantic, melancholic, or simply relaxing, for the quieter moments. From the start, Caravan incorporated sounds that were very similar to the future Canterbury Scene movement, for which the band played an essential role. Also from the start Caravan had more Prog than Psych within them, because of the massive use of the organ and more elaborate song structures. This seriousness of the overall sound makes the music's na've tone much less evident, but there is still a great dose of immaturity within Caravan's first album. However, the songwriting of the LP is at considerably high levels, and whether it is na've sounding or not, it becomes completely irrelevant.

Already with this first album Caravan deliver some of what will become classics of the band, especially the final track of the album, the nine minute long 'Where But For Caravan Would I?', a clever premonition of the Canterbury Scene. But some of the best songs are the more straight-forward ones, such as the dramatic and dragging 'Place of My Own', the quieter and more mysterious 'Ride', or the memorable 'Love Song For Flute'.

Overall an album that, even though showing some immaturity, is unquestionably entertaining from start to finish, a wonderful little gem that will be sure to launch Caravan to success and inspiration.

EatThatPhonebook | 4/5 |


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