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Caravan - A Hunting We Shall Go: Live in 1974 CD (album) cover



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2 stars A Hunting We Shall Go, Caravan, 1974

Rather lightweight live album, only thirty four minutes long, three songs and some painful applause herding for an encore. The line-up is essentially the Girls line-up, though John G. Perry's been replaced by an also-excellent Mike Wedgwood. The production is clear but the mix misjudged: the admittedly nicely brought out bass sound dwarfs all other elements. In particular, Pye Hastings' guitar is very low, the drums never seem to match the bass volume.

Regarding the content, we have the minor classic suite A Hunting We Shall Go and Hoedown off For Girls plus the fairly seminal For Richard. A Hunting We Shall Go, despite some brief bits of curious improvisation, feels a bit pale and pasty without the superb For Girls production and frills. The riff is still magnificent.

For Richard is translated brilliantly to the new line-up. Richardson's viola really changes the flavour of the piece to something a little more pastoral while the bass-heavy mix keeps it powerful and punchy as ever. Pye Hastings' vocals are fleeting but delightful. In the nearly 20 minutes running time, we see the whole plethora of cool, loose improvisations and tight, light-hearted rock music that defines Caravan taken over wholesale by a fresh line-up with a star soloist. Hoedown is the encore... lively tune but not really a show-stopper. Caravan bring out the participational elements of that song in a trite, amusing, ironic way with a calculated lack of charisma. Changed more drastically than hunting from the studio version, with Hastings' echoey guitar and Richard Coughlan's drums holding things down and various cutesy improvisations from the band's major instrumentalists.

Hard to see what appeal this album will have for those who aren't devotees of Caravan and even those who are don't really need this. Still, the For Richard take on here is grade A live album stuff. Only two stars for the whole package, maybe a three for the performances; more than half of the stuff here could be part of an easily five star Caravan live album.

Rating: Two Stars but quite good/15 Favourite Track: For Richard

Report this review (#288766)
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars A live recording from 1974 released 34 years later.

Caravan has a very good name which anyone can make some good money out of. Release a live recording and you make money. If the live recording also have a good sound, the better. This recording has also been lifted from a radio recording. Perfect.

What we get here is three songs and the usual suspects which also features on numerous other Caravan live albums. The likes of Hoedown and For Richard. I also believe the opening song A Hunting We Shall Go is also present on other live albums. The songs are very well delivered although A Hunting We Shall Go is cut rather short.

The songs are great and my review is not a reflection of that. If you can live with the rather cut short A Hunting We Shall Go and the pretty derogatory to Caravan herding back the leaving audience for the encore Hoedown, you will be fine with this album. You get the great For Richard here. By anger is the inclusion of this herding back the leaving audience incident on this album. Caravan does not deserve to have their name tarnished by having this on an album. Caravan was and still is a great band. Please don't insult them and don't insult those of us who really enjoy this band. My other complaint is that there are many other better live albums than this one on the market and it is safe to bypass this one when looking for Caravan live albums. Hence my rather sparse stars.

2 stars

Report this review (#572757)
Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars This *album* was recorded at Ebbets Field, Denver, Colorado, on November 13th 1974 during their first tour of Canada and the USA. There is absolutely nothing new here and this is with no doubt something for fans and collectors only. Three tracks for a duration of about 34 minutes, "For Richard" being the main course as the longest track; add the title track and a stand-alone version of Hoedown, where the band learns their audience how to clap the 7/4 clave; fun but nothing more. All in all just enough to satisfy the completists; it is actually even unbelievable that a label decided to release this oddity anew on LP ..... in 2011, 37 years ahead of its performance! It may say a lot about the popularity and impact of an unequalled band!
Report this review (#805897)
Posted Friday, August 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars This live release - it's over half an hour long but only three tracks, so might be better thought of as a long EP rather than a full album - is sourced from a radio broadcast from Caravan's 1974 North American tour. It's a perfectly solid selection of Caravan tunes, but at the same time between Live at the Fairfield Halls and Caravan & the New Symphonia we're already pretty well-served for live Caravan material of this general vintage - indeed, all three of these tracks are represented on both of those releases (if you go with the expanded version of New Symphonia - which I personally recommend).

As such, whilst this selection is perfectly pleasant (and the version of For Richard here is magnificent), this is rather inessential. I certainly wouldn't think it's necessarily worth tracking down on its own unless you simply can't get enough live Caravan - and if that's the case, then you'd be better off saving your pennies for the Who Do We Think We Are? boxed set, which not only includes this but also has a range of other, arguably more interesting live treasures to offer up.

Report this review (#2587955)
Posted Saturday, August 21, 2021 | Review Permalink

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