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Caravan - The HTD Years CD (album) cover

THE HTD YEARS

Caravan

Canterbury Scene


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Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Doing it all over again

"The HTD years" is one of a number of budget priced compilations which glean their material from Caravan's time on that label. While with HTD, Caravan recorded several pop rock style albums, such as "All over you" and "Battle of Hastings". HTD also released the "lost" album "Cool water" which had lain unreleased for some years. The tracks have since been plundered for compilations on a regular basis. These albums were generally far lighter and more whimsical than the jazz influenced prog of Caravan's early Deram label releases. A number of the tracks, including re-workings of older songs such as "land of grey and pink" and "If I could do it all over again" which appeared on the "All over you" and "All over you too" albums, have been gathered here along with three unreleased live tracks from the 1997 Astoria concert.

The result is a pleasant, if sometimes lightweight collection which rarely ventures beyond straight forward pop rock, and simple but enjoyable melodies.

The main interest though is the unreleased live material. Two of these tracks, "Travelling ways" and "It's a sad, sad affair" are from the same gig which was released as the live album "Canterbury comes to London". These songs fit in well on the compilation, since they continue the light wispy nature of the music. The third, "L-auberge du sangliers" (originally from "For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night") is an unreleased live recording from the early 70's. This superb piece is in reality pretty much the whole "A hunting we shall go" suite.

In summary, an enjoyable compilation of Caravan's later years, but light on the lengthy jazz prog of their early years. While the previously unreleased recordings are interesting, they do not render this set essential by any means.

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Posted Monday, December 18, 2006 | Review Permalink

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