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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

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4 stars Received with great acclaim after its release in September 1970, Caravan found themselves playing in Holland alongside bands such as Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Flock, Frank Zappa, Santana, Quintessence, Skin Alley and many others. Here Caravan begin from the established sound of Caravan (1968) and in particular "Place of My Own" and continue to generate well-layered melodies between David Sinclair's keyboards, Coughlan's innovative drumming and Hasting's melodies. Pye's brother Jimmy makes another return on the sax and flute adding to their successful sound.

The tracks become more complicated and delicate, interchanging with subtle ease. "And I wish I were stoned" rallies Caravan's auspicious ambition within its lyrics.

"Once I had a dream, nothing else to do.

Sat and played my mind in time with all of you"

Can't be long now/ Françoise/ For Richard/ Warlock is one of Caravan's great songs and an important piece in Canterbury music history. Jimmy's flute work is fantastic and Richard Sinclair interludes with more robust sounding bass lines. Perhaps only the capricious nature of Caravan, particularly David Sinclair's keyboard/organ playing or Jimmy's flute, could stop someone from wanting this very energetic and inspired album.

Report this review (#21295)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
5 stars As I Feel I Die if I don't re-listen to this album every week or so for the last 20 Years. Everybody mentions For Richard but the suite on the first side has nothing to envy it and As I Feel is also a real masterpiece - those are the works of the Sinclair cousins as Pye Hastings wrote the poppier stuff. But the real treat is on the remastered version as The gift: A Day In The Life of Maurice Haylett is a gem that should have made this album flawless but this last one was already one of the longest around for the times. This number shows over five and a half minutes what Caravan can do and this is definitely the works of masters in their own rights.
Report this review (#21296)
Posted Thursday, February 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Richard is born

Considering this album was originally released in 1970, it still sounds astonishingly fresh.

The title track was a surprise hit single at the time, but it is not really representative of the band, or indeed the album. The distinctive vocals and Canterbury keyboards are already present, especially on tracks like "And I wish I were stoned/Don't worry". Caravan found their direction on this album, and subsequent releases explored a similar vein.

The track "For Richard (etc.)" first appeared on this album. It has of course gone on to become arguably the band's best known and most popular song, appearing on a plethora of live albums, and being performed (I believe) at every gig they have done since. There is a strong jazz influence on parts of the track, but that never overpowers the prevailing prog structure.

It was only because there were so many other innovative and exciting bands around at the same time, that Caravan never went on to achieve the success they deserved, and that this album undoubtedly warranted. They did enjoy a level of success with subsequent albums such as "In the Land of Grey and Pink", but this album remains something of a hidden diamond.

The remastered version issued in 2001 sounds as if it was recorded yesterday such is the quality of the sound, and includes 4 rewarding bonus tracks.

Report this review (#21286)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars For those who love the Cantebury style of Prog will simply love this album to death. This marks CARAVAN's second album and a masterpiece in progressive rock history. This album contains that drooling organ we have all come to love along with the excellent musicianship and songwriting of CARAVAN. Of course this album contains the classic 14 min epic track "For Richard" which explores some pretty trippy yet progressive ground.
Report this review (#21287)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
Dick Heath
Jazz-Rock Specialist
5 stars Check out in particular, the series of Caravan remasters from Deram/Decca all with extra tracks, released about 18 months ago. This latest IICDIAOAIDIAOY release shows what very good quality remastering can do (technically ranking above the my previous high point, the remastered Deep Purple "In Rock"). The aural clean up has everything sounding fresh and crystal clear, and there are points through the album when I could swear this was a brand new recording rather than something 30 years old - that is but for the psychedelic-Canterbury whimsy of the lyrics.

Musically this album is one of the high points of Caravan's career: great tunes, arrangements and playing, equal or even better than "Grey & Pink". It is also the Caravan album which suggested they might have considered giving Soft Machine a run for their money playing more jazz (rock)-based music - just about abandoned by "Grey & Pink". The bonus tracks, including a couple of demos, add to whole and not useless baggage.

Report this review (#21289)
Posted Monday, April 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It was about 1978 when I first got this album. You know that fun part of buying back on the albums you happened to miss along the way, when money permitted! This is a stunning album and at times perhaps their most complicated because it runs more or less continuous throughout. Arguably their most popular track ' For Richard' on side two ( on er.. vinyl) The shortest track right at the end is probably my favourite, simply entitled ' Limits'
Report this review (#21297)
Posted Friday, July 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Caravan's second album signals the band's moment of plain maturity just achieved. Destined to become an undisputed classic of Canterbury prog, "If I Could." stands out as an album that comprises an excellent material craftily performed: the pristine melodic sense that made Caravan the most accessible Canterbury act is refurbished with inventively superlative arrangements all throughout the album's repertoire. Before I go on, let me state that this my all-time fave Caravan recording. The funny title track kicks off the album, as an exercise in jazz-pop in a 7/8 pattern: a proper sense of joy that does not anticipate the density of the following numbers - 'And I Wish I Were Stoned' and 'As I Feel I Die' are both constructed under the logic of an initial serene introspective section and a groovier, jazzier second section that releases some kind of emotional explosion that seemed to be kept off during the serene part. None of these explosive passages are metallic or incendiary: the explosion is more focused on enthusiasm, humor and jazz-rock textures than on anger. This same pattern is reiterated in 'With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It', only in this particular case the density is developed into a more eerie level: definitely, one of the highlights of an album full of so very good songs. After all this display of structural complexity the poppy tune 'Hello Hello' is welcome as resource of relief and refreshing fun by the listener: its catchy melodic line is wisely portrayed on a 7/4 pattern. It won't be long before 'For Richard' - the prototypical Caravan song - hits the listener's heart and takes it by storm with its successive captivating motifs, fluidly linked together in a majestic amalgam. This is just as epic as Canterbury - a non-symphonic prog trend per se - could ever be!! 'For Richard' is preceded and followed by brief pieces: 'Asforteri' is a weird tribal sequence that actually might have been developed as an interesting longer track in a parallel prog universe, while the closure 'Limits' is a delicious bossanova oriented ballad that soon fades out as the sun in a springtime sunset. Well, enough for the album's official repertoire. Now, although a whole is more than a mere sum of its parts, I feel it would be unfair of me not to mention that each individual member's amazing musicianship is responsible for the amazing brightness that is comprised in "If I Could." - Richard Sinclair's bass playing is both intricate and immaculate, clearly featured without having to steal the limelight; Coughlan exhibits his percussive mastery with a touch of distinction; and David Sinclair is an exquisite maestro who makes his organ and piano parts shine strongly with a sense of delicateness. If only guitarist/vocalist Pye Hastings had been confident enough to play more solos..., but around there always was Pye's brother Jimmy, ready to guest with an extra horn or flute solo. The CD edition includes 4 bonus tracks: three of them are demo versions of some of the previous numbers, while the newcomer 'A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett' is pretty reminiscent of 'And I Wish I Were Stoned' in structure. The way I see it, these bonus tracks serve mainly the purpose of emphasizing the most fundamental truth about this album: it's a masterpiece!!
Report this review (#21299)
Posted Sunday, October 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Whereas the first album was still an attempt at establishing the own style, "If I Could..." was already a true masterpiece. Perfectly harmonized compositions enchant with the refined, immaculate and multi theme form. The record is kept in the atmosphere of pensiveness and melancholy yet it is not lack hard-rock pieces. A particular attention should be paid to the composition consisting of a few parts or else suite: "Can't Be Long Now/Francoise/For Richard/Warlock" (later referred to in short as: "For Richard"). It is a masterpiece on the verge of jazz and rock, in most of its part instrumental, with excellent solos played on organs, flute and saxophone. Perfect construction and well thought arrangement. The record also charms with the piece "And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don't Worry" with organs as the main solo instrument as well as with melodious songs kept almost in the pop spirit: "Hello, Hello" and the title song.
Report this review (#21301)
Posted Thursday, January 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars 1970 was a seminal year for the Canterbury scene: it saw the release of both Soft Machine's Third and Caravan's a bit lenghty If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You. The Latter was a milestone of more pop-oriented prog-rock with the lenghty pieces like "Wish I Were Stoned" & "W/ yer Ear on the Ground" - not to mention songs like "Asforteri" or "Hello Hello"... If I Could Do It... was an example of both pop- oriented prog & prog-oriented pop at it's best - dig that!
Report this review (#21302)
Posted Saturday, January 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars David Sinclair's keyboards do it for me. Sure, Banks, Wakeman and Emerson are the ones you'll probably pick as the top three players in the field, but for me Sinclair is king. At times, his keyboard sounds like a fuzzed out guitar, (the title track, "And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don't Worry" Hello Hello", etc.) His keyboards are so unique I can't think of another player who sounds like him. But enough gushing on Sinclair. This album begins a run of four must have albums for the fan of canterbury and I'd say this one would be a good start for anyone who would like to explore the scene for the first time. Every song is unmistakably English, with phenomenal musicanship, wonderful singing, very, very clever lyrics that are at times funny and a sound that is wholly original, (I can't think of one band that even tries to sound like them and pull it off credibly). This album contains three out and out classics, "As I Feel I Die" with Pye Hasting's delicate vocals, Richard Sinclair's subtle bass line just under the surface that comes out three minutes in and just WOWS me and then that keyboard fuzzing out over the bass jamming, UTTERLY FANTASTIC!!!, "With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It" starts out with a catchy refrain, but then gallops into a perfect little ditty with neat keyboards, tempo changes then segways into my favorite fuzzed out Sinclair keyboard solo, ahhh...absolute heaven, god almighty it is just perfect, then to make things even more incredible a beautiful flute playing just over Pye's precious singing, one of the greatest unsung songs ever!, then the classic "For Richard", which is probably the most known song by the band, 14 minutes of jamming Jazz/Canterbury that has to be heard. As you probably figured, I like this record. It's definately an album of it's time, which might turn some people off, but if you can look past that and just immerse yourself inside the music, I'm sure you'll come out thinking it's wonderful, whimsical, clever, but very challenging. A true classic and only their second album, more wonderment lay ahead!
Report this review (#46511)
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4.69/5.00

I gave 4.7/5.0 for "In the land of grey and pink", and really both albums are awesome (even if "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" may be more difficult to reach).

"If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" is not an easy album to listen to. If I was totally blown away by "Nine feet underground" on "In the land of grey and pink" it took AT LEAST 4-5 listening of this one before understanding how great it is. The first song - theme song - is funny, with some humour and crazy 60's rhythm. The second song - And I wish I were stoned - Don't worry - is probably one of the greatest Canterbury song ever, but it took some time for me to really understand its power. It is melodious, harmonius, somehow very soft;at some point the keyboards are there but this is really an emotional song I would say. "As I feel I die " is simply crazy... The guitar is huge, the rhythm also... But, clearly, my favorite song is " With an ear to the ground you can make it / Martinian / Only cox / Reprise". This song is AWESOME, with great Camel-like rhythm (good for you if you like early Camel!) and huge keyboards. This is Canterbury music at its best.

Report this review (#51291)
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Album of CARAVAN released in 1970 "If I Could Do It All Over Again,I'd Do It All Over You". Work that establishes peculiar soft psychedelically taste.The thrill by a jazzy performance has tightened the entire album. A noble tasting is exactly CARAVAN.I love this album very much.Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music.
Report this review (#52737)
Posted Saturday, October 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars On the 4-star 5-star borderline.

There are three definite 5 star tracks on this album, being 'And I wish I were Stoned', 'With an Ear to the Ground.' and 'Can't be Long Now-For Richard', who's texture and drum work among the best. But I can't bring myself to marking this as five stars. More of a CAMEL man myself.

Excellent addition to any prog collection.

George Evans, UK.

Report this review (#69123)
Posted Sunday, February 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a GOOD Caravan album. Very clever compositions, good playing and even reaches similiar extatic points as Colosseum in Valentain suite. Also very deep and gentle moments. Great lyrics. All the time good listening. You just cannot stop. I would even rank this higher than the next, more produced album: In The Land Of Grey And Pink, which is great too.

They call this Canterbury Scene music. The thing that these boys came from Canterbury and did listen to jazz at Robert Wyatt's mothers mansion don't link their music to a same genre with the Soft Machine and other more psychedelic jazz oriented efforts. Caravan is pure prog with some jazz instruments and some swing. Soft Machine is jazzy psychedelia without rhythm. Very different!

This is a must for a serious prog listener. 4 stars.

Report this review (#74707)
Posted Wednesday, April 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars In a way, this is an even better effort than the band's most celebrated work, its follow-up "In the Land of Grey and Pink". However, unlike the latter, it's less immediate and more of a steady grower. Then, when it's truly and well grown on you, you'll be hopelessly addicted. The remastered version (featuring the stunning, unreleased "A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett") sounds as fresh as it had been recorded last year and not almost 36 years ago. This is prog at its best, impeccably sung and played, complex and challenging, yet at the same time witty and light- hearted, without the pretentiousness typical of some of the better-known bands.

The best way to listen to this album is to put on your headphones and wallow in the beautiful vocal harmonies, intricate bass lines and magnificent keyboard work. The opening title-track is an infectious, '60s-style ditty sung by both vocalists, the deeper-voiced Richard Sinclair repeating the line "Who do you think you are?" while the higher, graceful voice of guitarist Pye Hastings sings the verse. Most of the following tracks, though varying in length, are structured as mini-suites, with at least two movements (and accordingly long titles, which I will never be able to remember in spite of my passably good memory). "And I Wish I Were Stoned" starts off as a wistful melody, then becomes increasingly brisk and jazzy. "As I Feel I Die", one of the highpoints of the album, has much the same structure, with a slow intro featuring great vocals from Hastings (who is not my favourite Caravan vocalist, though I have to give him his due), then culminating in a rousing instrumental duel between the two Sinclair cousins, Dave's incendiary keyboards and Richard's complex, fluid bass. "With an Ear to the Ground", the second longest track on the album, sees more spectacular work from David S. (a keyboard unsung hero if ever there was one), backed by one of the tightest rythm sections ever.

"Hello Hello" is a lesson in how to write a song that's both hummable and intelligent, with the added bonus of one of the strangest percussive accompaniments ever (eat your heart out, Jamie Muir!), a pair of hedge clippers wielded by none other than Richard Sinclair himself, who also sings lead vocals. In fact, if I were to name one flaw of this otherwise flawless album, is that Sinclair sings too little... There are two versions of this song on the remastered CD, and on the second (an unreleased demo version) Richard's vocals are so forceful and intense that I get even stronger shivers down my spine than usual. The short, delightful "Asforteri" leads the way for the album's pièce de resistance, the 14-minute-plus "For Richard" (which of the two, I wonder?), where David S. gives a stunning demonstration of his impressive skills as an organ player, while Richard S. (while unfortunately remaining silent) provides a solid yet intricate rythmic background. The track ends with a rare, short yet tasteful guitar solo by Pye Hastings - an unlikely guitar hero, perhaps, but an excellent player indeed.

What else can I say? An utterly magnificent album by one of the truly great bands, too often forgotten in "best of" polls. Go and get it - you won't regret it for a minute.

Report this review (#75581)
Posted Thursday, April 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
The Wizard
5 stars This is my favorite Caravan album. It has every: the whimsical atmosphere, driving jazz rock, great playing and wonderful singing. Much of this album is dominated by Pye Hastings, he does most of the singing and writing. He proves himself a great hook- writer, making the music somewhat poppy. But progressive and jazz rock tendencies are in full force here. And so is the recognizable Caravan sound. You can tell by the tongue-in-cheek album title (what crazy bunch of loonies these guys are) that this is pure Caravan and your in for a ride of British lunacy and tight jazz rock.

The atmosphere that Caravan create manages to be both mellow (and even trippy) yet have a powerful jazz-rock drive. Yet it is rarely heavy, which is very interesting to hear. Of course in typical Canterbury fashion, the organs are distorted and of course play almost all the solos and are very up front. These guys rock out-but in a very strange way. There is also still a very psychedelic element to the sound also, trippy sound effects and organs wahs are prominent here.

Richard Sinclair mostly plays an excellent funky bass, but doesnt open his mouth too much. But his bass playing is a very important part of the bands sound and never fails to entertain. Pye Hastings does most of the singing and his voice could be compared to Robert Wyatt. It's very innocent and pure, full of optimism. Sinclair's is lower and more humorous, and could be compared to Kevin Ayers. Richard Coughlan plays a mean drum kit with much power and precision. His cymbals at the beginning of 'As I feel I Die' are wonderful and his cool percussion effects on 'Hello, Hello' give John Muir a run for his money.

Jimmy's woodwind work is also an excellent addition to the bands sound. In the mellow parts he is essential for the atmosphere. In the jazzy suite 'For Richard' he is a vital and his solos are full of energy. Same with organ ace David Sinclair, who does about 70% of the records soloing but makes each one sound fresh. He produces lots of cool effects on his organ to, but instead of toying around he uses them well in the song. Pye Hasting's guitar mostly plays rhythm, only soloing in 'I wish I were stoned' and 'For Richard' his solos are tasteful, but he excels as a tight rhythm player playing jazzy chords.

This record also shows the band playing great melodies. Even in the fast jazz sections, melody is not abused. This and Pye Hasting's great hooks make this album a surprisingly easy listen. But experimentation and progression is rampant, while pretension is not. I'm confused as to why this band was not commercially successful. The title track and 'Hello, Hello' would have made great singes, and are still very experimental. 'If I could do it over again..' is somewhat similar to fellow Canterbury gods The Soft Machine's 'We did it again', with it's repeating figures. 'Hello, Hello' manages to be short and accessible while packing lots of great ideas.

The lyrics here are beautiful and heartfelt at times, and at others hilarious and British. 'And I wish I were stoned', a lovely song, has great lyrics like:

"Got down in the road Crossed my heart and cried When you told me how you'd love To live and not to die"

The delivery is also great. A positive and optimistic atmosphere runs amok here, and you can't help but to sing along to these great lyrics. I find that this record is almost guaranteed to make me feel happy and glad.

Many of the songs like an 'Ear to the Ground', 'As I Feel I die', and 'For Richard' Begin mellow and atmospheric which prominent organ and woodwind, then seamlessly transfer to exciting jazz rocks which cant help but to tap your toe to. There are changes of moods and melodies happening all the time, especially in 'Ear to the Ground' and 'I Wish I were stoned'.

In conclusion, this record is a pure Canterbury masterpiece. It has all of the Canterbury essentials and more and it's wonderfully listenable and free on pretension. You can tell these guys had fun making this record that is so complex yet well, fun! So get this, as soon as you can, it's the perfectly place to start exploring Canterbury.

Report this review (#83817)
Posted Saturday, July 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I discovered Caravan with the album 'In The Land Of The Grey And Pink' (Land), about a half a year ago I think. At first, the music did not convince me. Too much vocals, not enough instrumental excitement, a weak classic- camel copy etc. But in a short time, my thoughts changed. After a few more spins, 'Land' became a favorite album in my collection. Especially the long piece 'Nine Feet Underground' is pure enjoyment. What I like mostly about this band is the organ-sound David Sinclair is doing his solo's on. Mike Rathledge of Soft Machine also used this kind of sound, as did the Dutch band Supersister and so on. I discovered I was missing an essential album of Caravan, namely, their second album, 'If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You'.

To be honest, I really love this album. I love it more than 'Land' because it contains more songs, and the 14- minute during 'For Richard' is absolutely unbeatable. What a great jam! It's just as good as 'Nine Feet Underground', for sure. Caravan was also good in writing short, catchy, radio-friendly songs such as the title track, and 'Hello Hello' (features David Sinclair on vocals). Let's not forget another epic on the album: 'With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It...' The voice of Richard Sinclair sound very much like Robert Wyatt from Soft Machine. Well, they're both from the Canterbury-scene, it's a special town, that's clear.

This album belongs to my ten favorite prog-albums now. Albums like 'Waterloo Lily' and 'Girls Who Plump Out In The Night' are ones I have yet to discover. Way to go! Magnificent album.

Report this review (#86790)
Posted Saturday, August 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars The was CARAVAN's second album and it's one of the finest examples of Canterbury music that you will find. In fact this might be my favourite Canterbury album and it is my favourite CARAVAN record.

The album starts off with the title track an amusing double entendre that they would use more often in the future. "If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You" is a light, upbeat, feel good song with a really good organ solo before 1 1/2 minutes. How catchy is this song ?! "And I Wish I Were Stoned / Don't Worry" features some good harmonies, more great organ and drum work, but it's the guitar solo that steals the show before 5 minutes.There is such an amazing jam on this song as well.This is just such a charming track. "As I Feel I Die" opens slowly with vocals until the tempo picks up around 2 minutes with an extended organ solo before 3 minutes and more fabulous drumming, great interplay ! "With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It/Martinian / Only Cox / Reprise" has a lot of changes in tempo with organ, flute and drums leading the way. Gotta like the fuzz organ before 3 minutes. "Hello Hello" was released as a single and has a sixties feel at times and those whimsical vocals too. "Asforteri" builds slowly throughout. "Can't Be Long Now / Francoise / For Richard / Warlock" is the longest song and an instrumental that also builds to an energetic beat driven song with sax. The "For Richard" section is an instrumental jam that i'm pretty sure was inspired by God ! Amazing ! How nasty is the organ 10 1/2 minutes in. The final track "Limits" is a short vocal tune ending with flute.The first bonus song you would swear was part of the original release, it's an awesome song called "A Day In The Life Of Maurice Haylett". I love the cover of this album, the humour, and the way these guys can play. Without a doubt a masterpiece of Canterbury music.

Report this review (#99168)
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an immensely likable album, which I recommend to anyone who's interested in the Canterbury scene or in the development of symphonic prog.

However, I do not consider it one of Caravan's true masterpieces - that's an honour I reserve for IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK and FOR GIRLS WHO GROW PLUMP IN THE NIGHT. Why?

Well, it seems to me this album suffers from a certain lack of punch, and also from a lack of colour. Mind you, there's nothing wrong with the drumming - just the opposite. Richard Coughlan was probably the most accomplished member of the band at this stage; he had already found his own style. But some of the organ-dominated tracks on this album sound amateurish; they seem little better than demos ('And I wish I were stoned' and 'As I feel I die', for example). Also, 'For Richard' (more than 14 minutes long, and one of the most beloved tunes in Caravan's repertoire) starts off beautifully and contains some lovely solos by prog's greatest flautist, Jimmy Hastings, but its final (and fairly heavy) guitar riff is repeated a few times too many, and with too little variation. Caravan would record more exciting versions of 'For Richard' later in their career; there's a far superior version on the excellent LIVE AT FAIRFIELD HALLS.

But let's not get too grumpy. In spite of any technical imperfections, both the title song and 'Hello hello' are marvellous examples of Caravan in a whimsical mood, while 'With an Ear to the Ground (etc.)' contains (among other things) a triumphant fuzz-box organ solo (in classic Canterbury style) by David Sinclair.

The 2001 remaster contains four bonus tracks, at least one of which ('A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett') will be of essential interest to all true Caravan freaks. The illustrated booklet is well-written and full of nostalgia-inducing photographs.

Report this review (#102033)
Posted Thursday, December 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars First what I heard from Caravan was this album, their second ,and my favourite one among their numerous releases. From the very first beat it offered that sophisticated Canterbury sound, not so forceful , somehow more gentle prog but very persuasive and expressed through superb musicianship. On the first side of the record definitely dominates 'And I Wish I Were Stoned' with its tuneful melody, while on the side two that would be 'Cant Be Long Now'. All the material on this album was written by band members, and in playing it they had support in wind instruments (sax and flute) by 'brother James' (Hastings) whose contribution was not of complementary kind, but consistent one and superb in every way. Although my interest in Caravan music reached somewhere till 'Blind Dog At St. Dunstan' album, my praise of this band begins and finishes with this one.
Report this review (#125770)
Posted Thursday, June 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars.

One of the pinnacale releases from Canterbury sound pioneers Caravan. For their sophomore album Caravan took a very different approach, which they'd continue to do throughout the span of their prime. This release marks the beginning of a more progressive and ambitious sound. An important departure from the still excellent debut release.

The highlights here are pretty much all of the longer tracks, especially As I Feel I Die and Can't be long now / Françoise / For Richard / Warlock, and really any moment on the album where Dave Sinclair is soloing, as he sounds good as ever here. The legendary For Richard became one of the staple performances at live concerts, which lead to very long and interesting live versions of the song. The shorter tracks leave nothing to be desired either really, even though they're not quite as interesting to the prog fan. The short title track and Hello Hello both exhibit just as well the great keyboard playing of Dave Sinclair at his best.

I highly recommend this album to any fans of Caravan, the Canterbury sound, or anyone looking to get into the Canterbury sound. Though personally I much prefer their next release In the Land of Grey and Pink, my favorite Caravan album and a great introduction to the interesting and unique pocket of music that is Canterbury.

Report this review (#127213)
Posted Saturday, June 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 1. If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd do It All Over You::::: This Song gives me a good feeling when ever I listen to it. Completely Canterbury Stylee; Poppy, jazzy, trippy, and great distorted organ solo by David Sinclair. Very good opener.

2. And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don't worry::::::: The first thing I notice on this song is the nice mellow bass, yet then before you know it, the trademark organ solo really inflates the intenseity of this song. Great song. Long Song. Great drums, great guitar solo also. Then: here come the warm vocals: "Don't worry about me". I like the way Don't Worry sounds, as well as the way it stars (after the climax of And I Wish I Were Stoned). Ends with a trippy drum solo.

3. As I feel I die::::::::: Real mellow, very hard to describe the feel of the song, which is a very good thing. After a while the song becomes very upbeat, pounding drumms, siren keyboards, presented in a fast way that makes me want to shout GO. Here Comes The Warm Organ; blareing, ringing, complex bass work, frantic rhythm guitar gives it a psychedelic feel, upbeat drums; all mixed together rambling, exploding. But then it ends semi instantly.

5. Hello Hello:::::::: With Sinclair on lead vocals you know you can't go wrong, especially with the first three classic Caravan Albums, and Hatfield & The Norths two albums. I actuallythink alot of this song, pretty good especially at the end when things start to go crazy.

6. Asforteri::::::: Short and sweet, great vocals from Sinclair and Hastings.

8. Limits:::::::Another short song. Reminds me of the end credits of the album, even more so after the previous track Can't Be Long Now / Françoise / For Richard / Warlock, which is by-far the best song(s) on the album. Towards the end of the song/album there is a very beautiful flute solo, which is a very good closer to a very wonderful, well produced album, and one of the Canterbury Scene's most treasured jewels.

Report this review (#137041)
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Some albums have special memories for us. Some albums bring back memories and times, places, and people from our pasts, other albums bring back more immediate memories. Some memories are good, some are not so good. Music, like smell, can trigger rather intense memory recollection. This album by Caravan brings back memories not so long ago of a wide eyed American visiting the cradle of western civilization while enjoying the hospitality, not to mention the record collection of a certain beloved collaborator here. Caravan for me was a group that was essential enough to pick up an album from so I could be familiar with. Like most I got the most 'acclaimed' of them. The excellent 'In the Land of Grey and Pink'. Great album but nothing that really ..really grabbed me. However Raffaella is a big ...errr. a huge Caravan fan and while with her I got a chance to explore the albums. This album...of all them grabbed me hard.. and in these last 6 months... has just never let go. So much so that this album has moved into my mental top 10 prog albums list. This album became an inside joke for us for every time we listened to one of her Dream Theater albums (yes she nearly has them all and I listened to all of them) we both would cry .... next is Caravan.. the ANTI Dream Theater. Listening to Dream Theater then Caravan is a stark example of musicians playing instruments versus musicians making music.

The album begins with the title track with has a catchy vocal line repeated through out the length of the song by Richard Sinclair. I dare you to listen to this and not be driven to sing 'Who do you...think .. you are'.Simply catchy as all hell. Nice trademark Canterbury organ solo by David Sinclair. Next up we have 'And I wish I were Stoned-Don't Worry' with wonderful singing and vocal melodies by Hasting and Richard Sinclair. There is really is something about Richard Sinclair's voice that grabs me. Hell I think I mayeven have a man crush on him. "As I feel I die' follows which featured Pye Hastings on the vocals which has a an extended vocal begining before the group falls in with a mid paced skipping rhythm. Nice organ solo on this which really is the hghlight of the song. For me at least the real meat of the album has arrived and where the fun really starts. 'With an Ear to the ground' is an extend voyage into jazzy improv with David Sinclair getting a nice showcase... it has a real sense of atmosphere especially pronounced with the piano section over the last minute and a half of the track I love the way the song ends funny as that might sounds. Next up... is a song that ... I just love. 'Hello Hello'. Hear we get Richards voice in it's full glory. A short song in between the two instrumental monsters.. and his voice is just so relaxing and pleasant to the ears. Great song. Next up is THE definitive Caravan song.. forget 9 Feet Underground.'For Richard' still closes Caravan shows and simply blew me away the first time I heard it. After a long soft vocal intro band ...explodes behind an angry organ bouncy riff than Richard picks up on the bass while David goes off into an extended organ solo. Jimmy Hastings picks up when David finishes with a great sax solo. Pye gets a good solo in there as well. Anyhow..great riffs and great playiing galore with space for all the have a moment in the sun. A simply fabulous track and one I love to play along with on my bass. Simply a great piece of music. Limits closes the album but to be honest I am always in ecstasy from hearing For Richard and I so don't even remember much about it hahahahah.

Music that is tasteful, full of humour, great vocal melodies, fabulous organ and bass playing. For me 5 stars and for the site 5 stars. If you are a prog fan.. you should own this album. An essential album from an essential prog group. Highly recommended. The album has a special meaning for me....who knows... maybe it will for you as well

Report this review (#138512)
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Green is good, but Pink is better...

The classic Canterbury sound is all over this baby. A decent mix of jazzy rock music with perfect chops, good arrangements and a sense of playfulness and humor. The closest reference I have to music like this is Supersister but I think Caravan is generally more respected and thought of as more serious. The tracks abound with vocal harmonies, tight rhythm sections, and guitars and keys that occasionally sound dated but possess the spirit of exploration. Keys and flutes provide additional ambiance throughout. Things start a bit slow but halfway through "As I Feel I Die" we are officially cookin with stern bass lines, hard hitting percussion, intense guitar and keys. "With an Ear to the Ground" has some amazing keyboard runs and spacious sections with flute and soft volume. The highlight and centerpiece is the 14-plus minute epic "Can't Be Long Now" where they finally begin to show some of the pizzazz that makes their next album so spectacular. Much more lively and progressive with 4 different sections. Excellent saxophone and flutes, amazing improvisations by everyone. But most importantly there is a real spirit of adventure on this long track with changing moods and directions. By far the best track on the album. "Limits" brings things back to earth with a soft piece ending in a fading flute solo. I am with those who favor "Grey and Pink" over this album on the whole but this is still a good album recommended to any Canterbury fan. The Decca remastered CD edition includes generous bonus tracks and a nice booklet with running biography.

Report this review (#149327)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars One top-notch song to go with a collection of other solid tunes, If... certainly delivers the classic Caravan playfulness, but only partly provides the quality jazz-infused, hippie-tinged rock that I respect most from them.

The highlight: For Richard (or at least that's how most people on ProgArchives refer to it). This is certainly one of my top Canterbury (and jazz fusion, for that matter) songs out there. It begins with a somber, light tone that gradually builds until the fuzz organ sets the new tempo, and off we go! Then we are treated to a tremendous groove: interesting and lively bass and drums, with tons of room for enjoyable sax, organ, and flute solos. The best is saved for last, with a killer groove over which Hastings on guitar and Sinclair on bass really cut loose. Just excellent, tight jazzy-rock, with a unique Caravan touch.

The rest of the album cannot compare in my mind, and some even sound downright childish (though certainly nothing bad). And I Wish I Were Stoned is a great hippie tune that both has some nice crescendos as well as very catchy melodies--another high point for the album. Caravan also have some shorter tracks that are playful yet experiment a bit with different time signatures (title track, Hello Hello, As I Feel I Die). The rest of the album does little to interest me, though there's nothing especially bad or irritating.

Overall, a solid album from Caravan, but only one song that is truly remarkable. Except for For Richard (and possibly ...Stoned), If... just sounds a bit too dated for me to personally appreciate, but that says little about its overall quality. As other reviewers have noted, this will take some time to grow, and for those who are loyal to their next album, this one will always pale in comparison.

Report this review (#156744)
Posted Wednesday, December 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars After their fully psychedelic debut album, Caravan is slowly reaching what's going to be their definite sound (or genre). Even if there will still be a psyche touch in here.

There are several good moments on this album of which And I Wish . is the first one. Great dual song : quiet vocal parts and a more rocking and sublime electric guitar solo. This works pretty well. This structure will also be repeated during As I Feel Die which doesn't sound very optimistic to say the least. A bit depressing, even.

One can appreciate the great organ play of David Sinclair during the first long suite on this album. The interplay with his cousin Richard on bass is a very fine moment. As the work of brother James on the flute. It ends up in a sweet mood which Genesis will re-use at the end of Dancing Out With The Moonlit Knight. A highlight. Which is not the case of the jazzy oriented Hello Hello.

The second long suite also offers some nice rhythm changes throughout its forteen minutes. It starts on a very, very quiet mood (but this is a Caravan TM) and will develop gently towards a stronger and jazzy instrumental break. Flute (very melodic) and keys deserve a special mention. The finale is a bit harder and repetitive.

The remastered edition features several bonus tracks of which A Day In The Life Of Maurice Haylett. Bizarrely it didn't make the album cut. IMO, it could replaced easily the short tracks as well as Hello Hello. But since it is available now, justice is done.

This album is not my favourite one. It is a good one and therefore I rate it with three stars.

Report this review (#158428)
Posted Saturday, January 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is such a good album, and I´ve really enjoyed listening to it repeatedly before writing this review. This is when Canterbury is best. I really think Caravan has their own style even within the Canterbury movement, but especially on the whole prog scene. No one sounds like this. Caravan are on top of that outstanding musicians and their compositions are really strong.

The music is prog rock with hints of jazz, but the jazz parts are never allowed to take over. There are two singers with very different voices which is really good for the diversity in the music. The keyboards on the album are outstanding courtesy of David Sinclair. That man just has a really great sense of melody and rythm. His playing is so cool and never too technical. I have to note his solo in With an ear to the ground you can make it / Martinian / Only cox / Reprise, which is so melodic and beautiful. There are some great soloing in Can't be long now / Françoise / For Richard / Warlock as well, both on keyboards and sax. Really nice.

The sound quality is really good considering this was 1970, everything about this band just smells of class. There are some sax and flute playing on the album, which adds also adds to the diversity of the album.

I must say that I had a hard time getting into the album after having heard the successor to this album. In the Land of Grey and Pink is a masterpiece and even though If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You is pretty much in the same vein, it´s not as perfect as In the Land of Grey and Pink and I find it a bit harder to get into. It still is an excellent album, that I would like to recommend to everyone reading this. Give it some time it will grow on you. I had a hard time chosing between 4 or 5 stars here, but in the end this is not as perfect as the successor which I gave 5 stars so a BIG 4 star album this is.

Highly recommendable.

NOTE: Well I´ve grown in love with this album even more since I wrote my review and I must say that I feel it deserves 5 stars now. So I have upgraded my rating from 4 stars to 5 stars. This is a Canterbury masterpiece.

Report this review (#159013)
Posted Saturday, January 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Canterbury, as it's approached by Caravan, is a strange pleasure. Characteristic as the genre may sound, I still find it desperately lacking in identity. And that applies to this album as well. You can often label albums or song with emotional tags such as 'aggressive', 'pastoral' or 'joyful'. If I Could Do It All Over is all that, and none of the above. It's a safe ride between such 'dramatic' emotions as wistful melancholy and mild amusement. And underneath this polished surface: a bunch of musicians bubbling with sprightly energy and talent. What to make of this?

If I had the answer I'm sure I'd enjoy this album a lot more. There's no doubt that the album shows examples of great improvisations and that laid-back, mid-tempo and jazzy feeling that oozes Canterbury from start to finish. But being slightly impatient and restless in nature, the drawn out parts of the many long numbers here grow into one continuous blur after a while, in a hazy bar-like way that pleases some, but not me. On the other side, Caravan has a way of blending these floating free-form bits with something completely different. There are the solid, simple, almost angular riffs of organ, bass and guitar adding a poppier tone now and then, like in the title song. These have a way of annoying me as well, lumbering along in a sweet and sticky way. I want more of the middle-ground, like on the excellent Hello Hello. A relatively simple bass theme acts as the base of the song, lashing out in various discrete solos, strange percussion and effects in the style I want and expect from a Canterbury band. It's not the longest or the most varied tune, but it still it's one of those that reach out the most along with for example As I Feel I Die. It starts out mellow, with enchanting vocals, smooth keys and delicately applied, gradually building drums. The song kicks in with a surprisingly direct, almost sharp drum beat and a sprawling bass on which the obligatory 'Canterbury' organ delivers its trademark sounds. Another song that keeps me interested throughout its length.

One might say that the problem I have with the album is the battle between poppy, whimsical parts and the behemoths that are the very, very long improvisations. They are dense in a '70s way: fuzzy, far from crisp and delicate and almost overpowering as the solos kick in time after time. The solos are very good however, and especially the various flute parts can make me feel enormously pleased.

In comparison to In The Land Of Grey and Pink (which is the other Caravan album in my collection) this is a slightly darker, denser effort from the band. Where the whimsicality of songs like Golf Girl and Love To Love You feels very dominant on ITLOGAP, music is what matters here. It takes more time, as it's quite frankly a complex, multifaceted album. But I like it more than the supposed masterpiece. I find If I Could Do It All Over Again full of minor flaws and full of minor gems, and as such it's very hard to brake down. It's solid, but I can't say I find much more.

3 stars.


Report this review (#173947)
Posted Saturday, June 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album really deserves 4.5 stars. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get into the Canterbury Scene. One of Caravan's finest.

If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You - This is a light and jazzy song, with an interesting beat with the overlapping vocals.

And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don't Worry - This is one of my favorite songs on the album. It is quite catchy, especially the chorus. It is a simple but relaxing tune.

As I Feel I Die - The song starts out slow and reminiscent of the Beatles song She's Leaving Home. It speeds up into a jazz rock track. The drums are very good on this song.

With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It/Martinian/Only Cox/Reprise - The keyboards on this track are great. It's not a very memorable track though.

Hello Hello - The rhythm section gets an applause on this track. The harmonies are very nice too.

Asforteri 25 - The background melody in this song combined with the vocals makes it a pleasant short track.

Can't Be Long Now/Francoise/For Richard/Warlock - The beginning is a great flute melody. Then, at a faster tempo, there's the classic Canterbury jazzy sound with organ and guitar. The sax solo is also amazing. When the flute comes back in, it is an excellent combination. For the last part of the track, it's back to the standard Caravan jazz rock.

Limits - A nice little ending track with some flute. Nothing extraordinary, but it's alright.

Report this review (#184318)
Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I had long been into 70s rock music and prog rock when I listened to this album for the first time. It remains one of the biggest shock I ever had. At the time, I could not imagine an album from an obscure band could rival with the classic album of King Crimson or Yes. How wrong could I be ! This is one of my top ten favourite rock album, and one of my top 3 prog rock album. Definitely Caravan's best, although the first and Land of Grey and Pink also have their merits. There are several distinctive features in this album. Firstly, it sounds like a single musical piece, and not like a series of song. It is not only that they are woven together, or that a theme echoes in several songs, it is just that you never can say where a song ends or when it begins, with plentiful of rythm and instrumental variations. Surprise is indeed another notable feature of this album. You must have listened to the album a few dozen times before you can predict what's gonna happen. Melody is striking too. Unlike many prog rock achievements, If I could do it... always remains close to pop music. It even sounds cheerful at times. Finally, lightness is the reason why this album is a step ahead of the prog rock bunch. It is never aggressive, or heavy, and yet full of energy (lightness in itself is not a quality, but it is strikingly scarce in prog rock). If your CD shelf is at least 4 inches wide, If I Could Do it... ought to be in it !
Report this review (#187751)
Posted Sunday, November 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I gave the seminal and fundamental 1970 year "OSCAR" of best releases to Gracious "s/t" (see review) and VDGG "H to he...". 1970 is a crucial year as styles were being created. Thanks to P.A. I checked this 1970 CARAVAN. To me, to a development of prog genre context, " If I could do..." is not a very significant album. I know it's an important album, but my ratings are considering innovative - ground break prog rock (take "in the court of Crimson King" as parameter). Emotions, taste, mood etc. affects us to rate, so forgive me for different point of view, anyway see why I choose the "oscar" :

GENESIS "Tresspass" (4 ****); YES "Time and a word" (2 **); VAN DER GRAAF " H to hE who am I..." (5 *****); GRACIOUS "S/T" (5 *****); PINK FLOYD "Atom Heart mother" (2 **) ironically, I guess this was the selling top chart of 1970; JETHRO TULL "benefit" (3 ***) I must listen it again !; ELP "s/t debut" (3 ***1/2 stars); KC "in the wake of poseidon" (3 ***); GENTLE GIANT "S/T debut" (3 ***) the first track "The Giant" is wonderful and pay the record that overall is uneven - I'm triying to be not biased as GG is my favorite band; CURVED AIR " air conditioning" (2 **); EGG "S/T" 3 (***1/2 stars); MARSUPILAMI "S/T" 3 (*** 1/2 stars) WOW album; WEB " I spider" (3 *** 1/2 stars) INCREDIBLE album; VDGG "the least we can do..." (4 ****) ; CARAVAN "If I could do it all over?" (3 ***).

1970 progre related albums : ATOMIC ROOSTER "death walks..." 4 ****; BJH "S/T debut" 4 **** (this and the next are fantastic); DEEP PURPLE "in rock" 5 ***** ( a ground break record); TRAFFIC " Joe Barleycom must die" 4 ****; SUPERTRAMP "S/T debut" 3 *** 1/2 stars (amazing, as the next 1971 "undebely stamped is very weak *1/2).

Of course this 1970 prog albums list is uncompleted, it's missing SOFT MACHINE "third" (I don't remember the album so well to form opinion), RENAISSANCE, JADE WARRIOR, THE NICE (I had the live double 1969, it was very disappointing at the time, so I traded it more than 20 years ago and stopped with THE NICE), BEGGARS OPERA "act one" , STRAWBS "dragonfly," CRESSIDA "S/T", etc. I did not had the chance to listen.

In "If I could do..." Sinclair Canterbury organ solos are the most remarkable in prog innovative aspects found in "with an ear... " and "For Richard" tracks. The other tracks are cool but more in a psychedelic and song context.

In a prog Conterbury context I consider EGG "s/t" more relevant to prog genre elaboration, principally if you consider the two 1969 single compact EGG compositions "Seven is a jolly good time" and "You are all princess" (Deran label catalogue number DM269) that are very prog (Stravinsky was a particular influence according to "See for miles" vinyl edition liner notes).Wish me, EGG remained in this catchy vein instead of changing to a more experimental music with "civil surface". Otherwise, I know that the 1971 "nine feet underground" from Caravan album "in the land of grey and pink" is a fantastic and very important composition (source for Camel) in prog innovative aspect.

Report this review (#220667)
Posted Thursday, June 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album has it's moments, blending the Canterbury style with rockier elements. At some points the albums melodies seem to sound like Emerson, Lake & Palmer went to Canterbury, but it's no big deal, cause who doesn't like ELP?

This album is very good, I must say, featuring my favorite Caravan track, And I wish I were stoned. The album opens with a "cute" song, which goes by the name of the album. It has a very child-like feeling to it, but the complex time signature and many harmonies make it feel like, you're in prog heaven.

And I wish I were stoned, ahhh.... This song is amazing in every aspect of it, working by the "soft-verse loud-chorus" thing Nirvana "invented". The verses are in 5/4 and the choruses (plural for chorus?) are in 3/4, giving the song a complex yet stable time signature.

There are some songs like Hello Hello and As I feel I die that really sound childish, but not in a bad way, in a very good way, actually. They have their moments though, they definitely have their moments.

The long songs on this album are excellent. They feel like, every part is heaven, and then again, heaven, over., over and over again. The songs give a feel of what Caravan is about! Not just childlike songs, masterpieces written by geniuses (and the kiddy songs are pretty good too).

If I could do it all over again I'd do it all over you is most definitely recommended to every Canterbury fan out there, especially heavy fans of In the Land of Grey and Pink. 4/5!

Report this review (#230034)
Posted Wednesday, August 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars...

Legendary UK band,found in 1968 and being the other half of the disbanded ''The Wilde Flowers'',the other one being ''Soft Machine''.Original members were Pye Hastings,Richard Coughlan,Richard Sinclair and Dave Sinclair.They were the first band from UK to sign with MGM/Verve and released on this label their eponymous debut in 1969,a good album deep rooted in psychedelia as well as English folk music.Verve soon closed their rock department and CARAVAN,under new manager Terry Smith , moved to UK label Decca Records.

A year later CARAVAN published their sophomore work,presented here,which was undoubtfully a big step forward compared to their debut.The psychedelic and slight folk elements are again present and obvious,but this time they are supported by jazzy structures and a richer musicianship.Most of the compositions feature strong doses of Pye Hastings'/Richard Sinclair's sweet vocals surrounded by the psych passages of the dated-sounding Hammond organ and the trully strong rhythm section with intense drumming and difficult jazzy bass lines.Moving forward by listening to this work,the instrumental parts are increasing,delivering somewhat improvisational musicianship with excellent melodic guitars and really frenetic jazzy bass and drums in a very delicate way and even some light flutes and saxes pop out here and there,played by Hasting's brother Jimmy.CARAVAN seemed to have established their own sound with this release,which meant to be a historical one for the sound of Canterbury rock.Strongly recommended to anyone deep into both psychedelia and prog rock.

Report this review (#233404)
Posted Friday, August 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Sometimes, expectations can vary (in fact, results of those expectations may vary). After their masterpiece, "In the Land of Pink & Grey", I heard a lot about this album. And was surprised by first song (which serves as intro track here I suppose), but sadly, I was surprised badly. Absolutely nothing that I expected. This is bad side of expectations, you can feel cheated (which is entirely not true, because music itself is innocent). Weird intro yes, good one ? No. Don't fit me in entire composition (even this is playful album, it's still more 60s, than "In the...").

Fortunately, And I wish I were stoned - Don't worry saves the day. Combination of keyboard driven (sometimes driving force is in background), with so called "a shadow from the past, good memory on your days, spent playing in the sun". And even I never did this stone business , I can appreciate this. In the middle, keyboard changes and we can hear typical sound of "Land of...". I'm glad, that this is different, yet still good than their other one I know, previously mentioned successor. Of course, jamming outro is here too. but this album sounds kinda pastoral, with many quite parts, jamming parts, weird parts, parts that I didn't understand yet, parts that I'll never understand. Simply many parts. While "Grey & Pink" is quite the same, there is different approach to listeners ear.

4(+), something beyond my reach. Yet. Candidate on 5 star, later.

Report this review (#239137)
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Very, very Cantebury.

While I've heard a couple of Gong albums before this one (both are great by the way), I feel that Caravan's IF I COULD DO IT... album represents what I think of first when I think of the Cantebury scene. All tracks are loaded with rich, pastoral organs, subtle guitar lines and a propulsive rhythm section. Add that with joyous, tasteful vocals, extended organ solos, witty lyrics and the occasional woodwind and you've got one of the most delightful musical experiences.

The structures here may teeter towards pop music a bit, but something about the music makes this album rise above the typical pop range. I'd say about 40-60% of the music is in some sort of weird time signature e.g. the entirety of the title track is in a seven. I tend to think that this factor is only one of the reasons why this is more than just pop, and maybe the soundscapes and textures have more to do with how deep the album sounds.

There's only a few boring spots, most of them coming from the ''For Richard'' suite, but the fuzzy organ thing at the end (I believe it's the ''Warlock'' section) makes up for any previous shortcomings. ''Hello, Hello'' and the title track are nice, delectable little tunes that are short enough for numerous repeated listenings. It is ''And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don't Worry'' that exemplifies what the album is all about and what heights Caravan are capable of achieving. Even a little sleeper track like ''Asforteri'' doesn't sound weak to my ears. Getting past the quiet beginnings of both ''As I Feel I Die'' and ''With An Ear to the Ground...'' is hard, but the ''eruptions'' (the band really doesn't get too loud) right after are just splendid and set the pace for the remainder of the song.

I'd say this a great place to start if you want to know what Caravan are all about. Psych, pop, rock, fusion and pastorals musics blended perfectly into a thing that is nice enough for traditional progsters but will have things that virtually anyone can get into.

Report this review (#244274)
Posted Sunday, October 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have had a major battle with this album. I first thought it was something wrong with me. But no, I am fine. The problem is this album.

Caravan has arrived on their success formula on this, their second album. A mix of Wilde Flowers, jazz and pop. The Canterbury sound in other words. The opening song, the title track is cheesy as heck and more like a BBC jingle. That put me off. The rest of the album is thankfully more like a mix of pop and jazz; the Canterbury sound.

The music varies between whimsical pop and long improvised jazz pieces. Some of the tunes are pretty cheesy too. My gripe here is that I do not think the songs are as strong on this album as on the following albums. I directly dislike a couple of tunes here. I love the sound though. The bonus tracks are also not as strong as the original album. I therefore cannot give it four stars and I almost hate myself for talking bad about a band I really admire. Honesty hurts.

3.75 stars

Report this review (#250713)
Posted Sunday, November 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars One of the amazing phenomena of the early 70's is the endless variety in progressive rock aromas all over Europe: RPI, Kraut, UK Sympho and Space-Rock,... It's just a few examples of subgenres that all accommodated a broad diversity of bands, sometimes as far from each other as the subs themselves. The creative energy of those years must be unsurpassed in rock history!

One of the instantly recognizable sounds is the Canterbury style, with Caravan as a typical exponent of this soft-jazz tinged psychedelic rock, with its charming woolly sound, dreamy vocals and dirty grinding organs. Especially that last feature is the one that brings prog heaven on earth for me. It adds tension and edge to this dominantly pleasant, pastoral and harmonious music.

Compared to the symphonic Prog, the songwriting is fairly straightforward and poppy, and the instrumental parts are rather jammy in nature. Combined with the infectious grooves on this album, it creates a very loose and charming vibe, quite psychedelic at times, but always cool, relaxed and genuine. Only the vocals are a less satisfying element. There isn't anything wrong with the vocal melodies as such but the voices seem a bit subdued at times. The next album would bring a large improvement in that area.

I admit I'm fairly new to this whole Canterbury scene, with only the more spacey Gong and Soft Machine's Third as long-standing acquaintances. So far I haven't found my 5 star album yet, but given the vocals I doubt whether this one will be a contender for it. 3.5 stars

Report this review (#283702)
Posted Thursday, May 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars A fantastic Caravan album that is one of the best Canterbury albums of 1970. The music is inventive and there are enormous amounts of virtuosos musicianship throughout. The highlights are in abundance and have impacted the band for years, still remaining in recent concert set lists. This is vibrant music with an uplifting bright feel. The musicians are tight and the songs are infectious, and it all feel very progressive with creative time sig structures and some of the best lyrics the band have generated.

Of course with Caravan there is always a feeling of whimsy in the lyrics and themes and all is performed with a sense of fun. The band have so much fun that the listener is also able to enjoy the experience.

The title track is a classic, "If I could do it all over again, I'd do it all over you" and only has a running time of about 3 minutes. The more lengthy And I wish I were stoned - Don't worry, clocking 8 minutes 21, is definitely an ear opener with some innovative instrumentals from the talented guitarist extraordinare Pye Hastings and David Sinclair on keys. As with all classic Caravan albums this one has the obligatory medley of songs jammed onto one track such as With an ear to the ground you can make it / Martinian / Only cox / Reprise, almost 10 minutes o prog bliss. But the real piece de resistance is the treasure all caravan fans adore, Can't be long now / Françoise / For Richard / Warlock, a 14 minute maelstrom of catchy choruses and mind blowing keyboards.

That is enough to warrant a 4 star rating and I would suggest all Canterbury fans obtain this master work as soon as they can.

Report this review (#285474)
Posted Monday, June 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You is the first of two absolute masterpieces by Caravan (the other being In the Land of Grey and Pink. This, their second album, really sets their sound in full swing, with the best lineup the band ever had, with the wonderful Richard Sinclair on bass and vocals, David Sinclair on keys, Pye Hastings on guitar and vocals, Richard Coughlan on drums, and Brother James (Jimmy Hastings, if my guess is right) on sax and flute. This is probably my personal favorite Caravan album, just beating out their next. Everything falls into place so well, and the band gives us a good blend of music. We're given three longer tracks, including the fan favorite "For Richard" as well as several shorter tracks, displaying Caravan's ability to condense their sound down into a highly concentrated three or four minutes of excellence. One of my favorite examples of their shorter tunes is "Hello, Hello". The music is fun and well composed, and the lyrics are a lot of fun. Richard Sinclair is one of my favorite vocalists in prog, and in music in general for that matter. Dave Sinclair is right up there as one of my favorite keyboard players as well.

This album is one of the two Caravan albums which I find most absolutely essential. I highly recommend this one and their next to just about anyone. The music isn't overly complicated, nor is it "out there" at all. They're just a great bunch of musicians making great, accessible music for everyone to enjoy.

Edit: About the bonus tracks, the first (A Day In the Life of Maurice Haylett) is my favorite. The other three are alternate versions of tracks already on the album, this one's something else.

Report this review (#290246)
Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Here you get the 'classic' Caravan sound, with the keyboard sounding like a weird guitar, awesome bass and drum playing, good rythm sections coming from the guitarist, and of course, funny and excellent vocals. Isn't it what we like about Caravan? The way it always sound happy, in a weird way? Oh, and let's not forget the occasionnal flute playing that brings a little touch of magic. The best moment of the album to me would be ''With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It/Martinian/Only Cox/Reprise''. The keyboard solo, supported by genious bass (Richard Sinclair's typical ingeniosity) and epic drums (good ol' rolls and ''flams'').

This is one of my all-time favorites! The production keeps the product interesting, even 40 years later. Not so easy to get at first, but what a pleasant thing to hear! Far better than ''In the Land of Grey and Pink'', wich is in my opinion unequal, sometimes too pop/folk to be considered progressive rock.

A true masterpiece of Prog, especially in the Canterbury genre!

Report this review (#297461)
Posted Saturday, September 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Second Caravan's album (released in 1970 already) is their step to early Canterbury sound,which for some years will become kind of genre's standard.

Melodic and dreamy pop/rock mixed with psychedelia and jazzy arrangements. Possibly, atmosphere there is as much important as sound itself. For me this album, being in all strong release, is kind of mixed bag. Half of compositions are great, and another are just average. Long improvs are ok when they have some sense, demonstrates some complex musicianship or interesting music ideas.

There o this album,where complexity is far not a main characteristics, sometimes psychedelic pop compositions with long improvs sound as kind of early psychedelic pop attributes, not Canterbury sound. To be honest. I always prefer second step of Canterbury historical evolution, the time of complex jazz fusion long compositions and high level of musicianship (read- Soft Machine from Third,etc).

Main this album's interactivity for me is its melancholic melodies in combination with jazzy arrangements. There is some kind of magic in best album's songs, they bring this release in forefront of early Canterbury scene. But I prefer "In the Land of Pink & Grey" to this release as better example of Caravan's music, and I really prefer later Soft Machine music (in part as Caravan's off-spring) for sure.

Still one of great early Canterbury release though.

Report this review (#303622)
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I find this one rather addictive. Apparently it's known as the epitome of Canterbury rock, so if you are into that genre or symphonic rock, I thoroughly recommend it. There's quite a mixture of psychedelic rock, jazz and folk on this album.

The organ playing is very distinctive throughout, with lot's of solos and the guitar parts are more subtle. Some nice vocals with harmonies and plenty of melodic charm. Most of the songs run into eachother and I love the way some parts blend together.

I particularly love "And I Wish I Were Stoned" which is very folky as well as "Hello Hello". Most of the solo parts are very Jazzy and the longest track "For Richard" is also a favourite of mine. It's a bit hypnotic especially when the drums and bass kick in. It keeps me hooked and never loses my attention.

This was my first encounter with Caravan. Some say that the following "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" album is better but I'm yet to decide. Anyway I'm going for 4 and a half stars.

Report this review (#335688)
Posted Friday, November 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars It is rare that you find an album that you can listen to over and over and not feel an ounce of monotony or boredom. This is one of those albums. The performance and writing is utterly flawless. Whether it's long instrumental jam sections as found in As I Feel I Die and For Richard Medley, whimsical pop tracks If I Could Do It All Over Again... and Hello Hello or feature length pieces And I Wish I Were Stoned and With An Ear To The Ground... Richard and David Sinclair's playing and writing brings Caravan's sound to it's very peak all over this record with Pye Hastings vocals and guitar adding to the sound in great ways. Soft Machines Third is one of the most remembered Canterbury records but this gem seems often left behind. But it is a true masterpiece and a must-hear record for any fan of Canterbury Scene this contains one of the finest examples of what this set of musicians were really capable.

A 5 star album that really is essential listening for anybody who wants to know what Canterbury scene is all about.

Report this review (#370220)
Posted Sunday, January 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars These blokes could really lock into a groove, of that there's no doubt. But it's not as good as 'In the Land of Grey and Pink' by any stretch of the imagination.

The somewhat lifeless vocals of Pye Hastings rubs me up the wrong way. They're nice enough but they're so powder puff soft.

'As I Feel' cheers me up immensely - now this is more like it - Dave Sinclair's keyboards go 'tonto' reminding me very much of 'Egg' in their prime. A thoroughly uplifting tune which may remind some listeners of 'The Doors'

Damn! it's just all too NICE. Thats my big problem with this album. Stop being so friendly!!! 'Hello Hello' is my favourite song on this album - where everything comes together beautifully - the soft vocals, odd time signature, unusual tune and that superb keyboard that sounds like Rolf Harris's stylophone. If truth be told, this album's actually pretty good. I just wanted to kick lumps out of it but don't have the ammunition to do so. A good solid effort with special 'hats off' to Dave Sinclair.

I still prefer the follow up though.

Report this review (#402963)
Posted Friday, February 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars In general I'm used to relisten to an album when I write a review. This is one of the few cases in which I can review basing on my memory only. This is one of the two Caravan's masterpieces, the other IMO is In The Land Of Grey And Pink. What makes those two albums special in the Caravan's discography is the mixture of pastoral and psychedelic moments. The picture on this album's sleeve is a clear example: the four guys in a green wood are not too psych and not too hippy. It gives a hint about the kind of music that the album contains.

The title track, as well as Golf Girl on the following album is a nice opener which doesn't pretend anything. It has an unusual tempo, quite jazzy, and a link with the British Glam until the keyboard solo that's an excellent example of Caravan's music. The Caravan sounds in this period are acid, specially keyboards and guitar but are frequently mitigated by Jimmy Hasting's flute.

I remember a thread about music very "English" on which Genesis were elected as the most "English" band ever. "Don't Worry" is a very English song. The vocals and choirs are one of the distinctive tracts of this Caravan period. They and the keyboard are the pastoral element and the acid role is taken by the guitar. This song has different parts. My favourite is the second half.

"As I Feel I Die" is one of the most psychedelic and pastoral at the same moment songs. It starts very quiet with keyboards and vocals, but after few minutes bass and drums start a riff in I think 5/4 if I'm not wrong. It goes acid but jazzy at the same time. Another great number of this album. Also the sudden end is very appropriate. I can't imagine this track fading out.

"With An Ear To The Ground" is another very "English" moment. It's an anticipation of songs like Winter Wine or the epic Nine Feet Underground as it contains all the elements that will make those two songs great. So it's a great song as well. Only the last two minutes of piano are a bit boring respect to the rest of the song.

"Hello Hello" is a classic, instead. Released with several titles and recorded several times in this version it reaches its completeness.

After a short and nice pastoral filler as "Asforteri" the epic in four movements arrives. Each part has its title but I've always perceived it as a single song. I remember a reviewer on a magazine about 30 years ago. He was reviewing "Caravan and the Big Symphonia" and he thought that For Richard was a new song dedicated to the actual "betrayer" Richard Sinclair"... Well, in this track we have a great flute performance of Jimmy Hastings. The thing which impressed me first is the high volume keyboard intro just after the flute has finished its part. The uptime quasi-latin tempo on which the acid guitar plays a melody without adding non-needed notes followed by the sax solo....what a track!

"Limits" is a short closer. Very nice and jazzy with some psych noises and gimmicks in the end.

I can't rate this less than 5 stars. Unfortunately, Caravan will be able to repeat themselves only with In The Land...then their quality will slightly decrease till to the poor The Album and Back to Front.

Report this review (#419655)
Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Psssst!.... the green one is better than the pink one"........

Caravan's second album is full of psych-pop, organ-rock and fancy jamming in 7/8. It's not samey though; the band are capable of delivering a wide variety of moods and styles, and perhaps more successfully than that, a wide variety of heavily syncopated rhythms. The nature of their music just invites the listener to groove to it, yet it carries a sense of intelligent, structured song-writing that is sometimes missing on psychedelic records.

The short numbers are not filler tracks for once (this is probably what makes 'If I Could Do It Again...' more fulfilling than 'In The Land of Grey and Pink'). They are beautiful, cool songs with a great grasp of those 5/8, 7/8 and 11/8 time signatures (goes without saying for Caravan) and even catchier melodies than the longer pieces. What those extended songs do however, is create moods for us to jam along to, and sometimes it's fantastic that these romps last for a long time. These guys seem to always have a talent for changing the feel of the music just before the moment where it starts to get boring.

Highlights for me include 'As I Feel I Die', probably the most rocking song on the album, with a very hot organ solo reminiscent of Jimmy Smith; 'With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It', which has lots of cool interludes that carry you somewhere afar; and of course the 'For Richard...' suite. This piece starts atmospherically before blasting you with the best riff on the album (which is actually in 4/4!) and then going through various jazz-noodles before closing with some Uriah Heep style hard rock. But do not misinterpret my praising of these amazing tracks, the entire album is of a very high quality.

I like the structure of this album; not using the bigger pieces to open or close but rather, wedging them right in the depths of the record for the listener to rummage through and find. It makes you sit through the little pop songs, which, as I said, are brilliant. In this way, the album feels longer and more varied than it's follow-up. Although nothing on here is perhaps as good as 'Nine Feet Underground', none of it is mediocre either, like side one of 'In The Land of Grey and Pink' is. People are divided on which album is better, which is why they have similar ratings. Only a fool would not get both, but be sure to get this, the underdog, first.

Report this review (#426723)
Posted Saturday, April 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars "If I Could Do It All Over Again" is a good album by Caravan with some very powerful jazz influences present throughout the general progressive poppy attitude.

I always found most of the vocals on this album to be quite annoying because of their high-pitched nasal sound. The music here is fantastic though; very progressive yet poppy British sounding music with a very heavy jazz influence that is obvious upon even the first listen, which makes this album along with Caravan's other albums an interesting listen. The biggest stand out track on this album for me would be "Can't be long now / Françoise / For Richard / Warlock" because it progresses wonderfully throughout the various parts. There is plenty of fantastic soloing, which is to be expected, but the track also is quite gloomy sounding for what I'm used to with Caravan. The whole track is very smooth in its jazziness, and any fans of jazz-rock or fusion would most likely enjoy this piece. Another stand out track would be "With an ear to the ground you can make it / Martinian / Only cox / Reprise" which roughly follows the same format, but executes it just as well, but I'm sure I only feel this way because I lean more towards the jazz-fusion fan base.

This is definitely a recommended album for fans of jazz influenced progressive rock, even though I feel like Caravan's "In The Land of Grey and Pink" is much better.

Report this review (#431131)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars An astonishing improvement from their first album!

After releasing their eponymous debut album in 1968, their label Verve decided to close down their rock and pop division. As such, the band had to wait two years before finally becoming signed to Decca, and releasing their second album. Their first album was fun listening, and certainly quite underrated, but now Caravan were poised to write some of the best and most iconic albums to come out of the Canterbury scene. In fact, the next four albums in this series are worthy of 5 stars in my opinion. With one of the best titles for an album, 'If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You' is not as hippy-esque as the cover photograph would make you believe.

We start with the title track If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You, which is the first in Caravan's list of songs with double entendres as titles. This is also the first in a series of short, fun tracks written entirely in 7/8, from Caravan, this list containing Love To Love You, Hello Hello and Hoedown. Needless to say, Caravan get off to a fun start in this great track. The 7/8 time signature is subtle and you wouldn't notice it unless your looking for it, which is a difficult achievement for any band to accomplish (yet Caravan would do this over and over). A short song that is very progressive.

The next track is in fact two joined together. And I Wish I Were Stoned starts off this medley with bizarre lyrics and a good melody. By itself, this song could have easily belonged on the first album, but at around the 4 minute mark, the track launches into a different melody and even a guitar solo! This very much draws our attention to the beginning of Don't Worry. In my opinion, this is the better song of the two. As the song progresses, the song gets louder and louder, and the dynamics are just right. The song itself is also very catchy. After the song finishes, a seemingly impromptu drum solo enters our left channel, stays for a while then leaves through the right channel. Something about having a 40 second ending that has no relevence to the rest of the song reminds me very much of Genesis' In The Cage even though these two songs are worlds apart.

As I Feel I Die is Caravan showing that they are not one-trick ponies, and they can stop being fun and carefree at points. This song is quite dark, with haunting lyrics and a very serious melody played at breakneck speed at later points. The second half of the song is entirely devoted to a signature David Sinclair keyboard solo, which ends very abrubtly at the 5 minute mark.

In my opinion, the next track is the most progressive on the album. This is the first in a list of Caravan tracks with multiple parts that have silly names. I generally refer to this as the With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It medley. This song is progressive because it indeed has many different sounding parts all with verses that are unsimilar to each other. Beginning at the 3 minute mark, there is a sensational keyboard solo, followed by guest Jimmy Hastings on the flute. This piece goes through an astonishing number of moods in 10 minutes, but when you analyse it, it seems simpler than it appears to be. To this day, I'm always surprised at how good this song is, and parts I never payed attention to before suddenly come to life. A blissfully progressive number indeed.

Hello Hello is a short ballad with a 7/8 rhythm and lyrics to mirror Winter Wine from the next album. Compared to other tracks on the album, this is a relatively simple piece, but it is nonetheless enjoyable, with a catchy melody and good keyboard solo. The snare heavy coda is quite good too.

Asforteri is the weirdest thing on the record. At just 1:22, this track sounds nothing like the others on the record. With a simple thumping beat, this track employs a cappella singing over a bizarre melody. This isn't an awful track, but it is very very strange.

Next up is arguably the best-known Caravan track, For Richard, which has apparently been played at each Caravan gig since it's inception. This is an epic, sprawling track lasting an astonishing 14 minutes. However, this track in all its awesomeness is not as progressive as you might hope. From the outset, you should know that this track is basically a sombre 3:30 song followed by a 10 minute jazz-rock instrumental, and might not instantly be to the taste of people who haven't heard the Canterbury scene before. It's quite easy to say that this is nothing like Yes, Genesis or ELP. With that now said, the music itself here is quite spectacular. The opening is very moody, with the cryptic lyrics sounding very quiet. It's a slow start, but at 3:39, the real music begins. After this, we have a long instrumental that flows beautifully for it's duration. Upon the first listen or two, this instrumental may sound repetitive, but the more you listen to it, the more you'll find tightly written parts that the otherwise extremely loose instrumental together. I have managed to dissect this piece so that you too may understand its intricacies. At 3:39 the first theme is played like a siren, but is then shifted to the bassline until 5:51 where it is discarded in favour of a new theme. The music here is very lively and exciting. After 5:51 the music becomes more subdued, and more melancholy. The keyboards are now replaced by Jimmy Hastings playing the flute with astounding results. The most notable point in this section is 7:57 when the music cuts out for a short bass guitar solo. Afterwards, the music returns but now Hastings is playing the sax with equally amazing skill. At 9:47, we are suddenly greeted with the riff we heard at 5:51 which leads us into an entirely new section. This new section sounds more upbeat and lasts until 10:58, where we enter the final act of the song. The final section is a repeating riff in 15/8 with other instruments soloing on top, until the dramatic close to the song. I hope that by reviewing this track piece by piece, I have perhaps helped you understand it a bit more.

The final track Limits is a short encore, with a beautiful melody and wonderful flute work from brother Jimmy.

To those of you arriving from Yesworld or Van Der Graaf Generatorland, your going to be very shocked at what you hear on this record, and there's a chance you won't like it at first, but the whole idea of progressive rock is to be open minded, and you should give this record a few more listens before you write it off completely. To be honest, if you are from these camps, you should try 'For Girls That Grow Plump In The Night' instead because that has a wonderful symphonic instrumental on there. This record shows Caravan getting into their stride, and without a duff track on the record, this easily deserves 5 stars. The best was still to come though!

Report this review (#442640)
Posted Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Caravan's second album shows a startling amount of growth since their debut. In the two years since they issued that psych-pop charmer they'd honed their craft, improved their songwriting, developed a taste for epics, started flirting with a little jazz-rock (perhaps inspired by the success of their pals in the Soft Machine), and become the tight unit seen on this album. The band had gone from the psychedelic followers of their debut to innovators in their own right, presenting a Canterburified vision of psychedelic jazz-influenced prog with a more mellow and sunnier attitude than the Softs, with the occasional outbreak of more energetic playing. The end result was good enough that a few months before recording the album Frank Zappa (who was acting as compere at a festival Caravan were performing at, due to a snafu with the Mothers' work visas) spontaneously joined them onstage for a jam - and when your band is good enough that Zappa is that keen to play with you, you know you've arrived.

The highlight of the album is usually said to be "For Richard", and I can't disagree with that, but then I can't find any songs on here that fall particularly short of its standards. One for when you need to relax a bit, maybe, but still a masterpiece of the early Canterbury sound.

Report this review (#458178)
Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#490984)
Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog Sothoth
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Still trapped in 1970, I figure it's time to review one of the biggies as far as acclaim is concerned. Being a huge fan of the girl who went plump in the night (love the album too), I figured this would be a no-brainer as far as my next exploration of the mighty Caravan was concerned. I have to be honest in that the first time I put this on, I fell asleep at some point during the second track, although it could've been the third for all I know. Damn. My second listen was better, and yet halfway though I was screaming "I need a jumbo mug of coffee NOW or I'm gonna DIE!!", and practically reeling in frustration. You see, I HAD to love this album. I mean, it has the greatest title in the history of music, and the cover itself was groovy with that trippy font. I wanted to hang with those dudes 'cause they seemed like a cool bunch. Yet as I kept listening to it I yearned for Cthulhu, hoedowns and oral sex (not all three at once or I'd be an utterly awful mess). Around the fourth time or so, I began to see the Light, and it was good.

I still can't bring myself to proclaim it a masterpiece, but I at least understand the love it gets. It's certainly an innovative bugger with fantastic musicianship and a welcome unpretentious attitude, but for those first few listens I was clearly missing the 'fire' I got by the bucketload from "For Girls...". It just had this soothing mellow quality as a whole that lulled me into a lethargic state. At first, if I had this on in the car I could've parked in the neighbor's driveway and passed out on the wheel without even realizing it. But it's a grower. Now, this release actually peps me up and gives me that sense of "life is good" to wave at the people next door, who usually respond by muttering something about potholes in the street or crazy neighbors.

The album starts off in cute trippy fashion involving repetitive verses sung by gentle voiced chaps held together by a 7/8 time signature, or something akin to that. There's a bit of groovin' & soloing by this distorted keyboard that show up quite a lot throughout the album. It's cool, but being a guitar enthusiast I wish there were a few more guitar leads taking the place of some of these keyboards that seem to ape guitar solos at times. Not to say there's none, because they do pop from time to time to give me a jolt. I just had to get used to the style the band was going for here in 1970.

"And I Wish I Were Stoned" keeps the happy-on-shrooms flag waving and even throws in a good bit of guitar at the right time before the tune hits its second half. I certainly can't knock the lyrics, since I say that a few times a week even to this day. I suppose I say "don't worry" at times as well, being married & all.

"As I Feel I Die" starts off reeeeall mellow before launching into this jazz-tastic piece that moves like a jackrabbit on fire, and yet still feels somehow calm and soothing. The band sure is tight though, which does bring out an interesting point. Caravan has this ability to sound loose and free-wheeling, but technically it's got some serious structure and complexity. Few 'jam bands' could ever pull this sort of thing off without sounding like, for lack of a better word, crap.

"With An Ear To The Ground..." is probably my favorite tune off the album. That whole "Waiting for the band to come" line is catchy as hell and for some reason reminds me of John wailing "Waiting for the van to come!" during "I Am The Walrus". Don't ask why. I also dig the fuzzy keyboard solo here; it rocks out pretty cool. Then there are some sweet vocal harmonies that suit the singers quite well. Quite pretty. The atmospheric ending is a nice touch as well. In retrospect, I kinda 'love' this song.

"Hello Hello" is another one of those non-danceable pop-prog numbers, and that's ok by me. Playing that bass lick would drive me bonkers after awhile.

Bookended by a couple of vaguely interesting interludes, the famous "For Richard" starts off like a quiet little dreamy thing before it erupts with that WILD riff and taking off into the land of solos and more solos. Great ones too. Hat's off to Jimmy. The song is a gas for much of its running time, but does go on just a little bit too long for my taste, although it's nice to have the guitar make a loud entrance for a near the denouement.

So yeah, the Canterbury style is a much needed respite from some of the downer and heavy rock being churned out in 1970. This album still gives me images of those women in flower dresses you see frolicking across meadows in maxi pad ads I grew up seeing on TV. I'm guessing it's due to the wistful, airy yet 'always moving' vibe I get when listening to it, and I can imagine those dudes on the cover have to be looking at 'something' out there in the field.

Report this review (#577753)
Posted Monday, November 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Canterbury Sound (or School) is a branch of the Progressive very strange: for the fans exist, for the musicians involved... No. Because, at least in its true form, is an expression of all the musicians who came from Canterbury, such as training. But Caravan is "Canterbury" for sound, not for music. Because the music is a sort of Psychedelic Symphonic Rock Prog... A strange definition for music: it's like Yes and King Crimson were one band and they played songs written by Peter Hammill!!!

This " If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" is a great album with good Rock atmospheres and Psychedelic sound with Symphonic threatnent, so that the music is good in Rock field but not in Jazz Rock field (as other Canterbury bands) but sure this type of music is good also today.

In definitive Caravan is a good band, today as in 70's. And if Symphonic Prog please you as Canterbury School, I think that "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" is an album that please you.

Report this review (#613699)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After all the raves for In the Land of Grey and Pink I bought it and love it. Truly thought it couldn't get any better than that, but recent explorations within the Canterbury Scene keep turning up gem after gem--and here is another one! Though the album starts off with a couple lighter tunes (shades of things to come), I find this album much more pleasant, pleasurable, musical, and melodic, and definitely more breadth in the emotional spectrum than Pink and Grey or Plump in the Night. My only reservation is that because I do think Richard's voice is quite good--despite his hippy stream-of-consciousness style--on this album he hasn't quite developed his confidence or up-front 'leading man' presence yet. That begins with Pink and Grey.

Why is it that so often the earlier into a band's career I explore the more I like them, the more I get the?

5 star songs: "As I Feel Die," "With an Ear to the Ground...," "Can't Be Long Now; Francoise, For Richard," and "Limits."

Report this review (#623177)
Posted Monday, January 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8/10

"If I Could Do It..." is a wonderful hymn to youth and innocence, at the same time being highly progressive and ambitious.

One of the greatest Canterbury bands, Caravan, created with their second album, "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" one of the most symbolic and memorable works of the genre. It is highly melodic, easy to listen, but also very ambitious and highly progressive. Caravan have clearly abandoned the immature sounds of the debut and reached a whole new level of songwriting and musical philosophy.

Caravan's Psychedelic sound is all gone on this new 1970 album: the organ and the guitars are now always hand in hand, the musicianship is more elaborate, the overall sound is of a pretty noticeable change. The structure of these songs also are much more complex and studied, making this record one that leaves all innocence behind and goes towards the epic pathways of Progressive. This however is not exactly an album of the Canterbury Scene quite yet, even though it already has plenty typical elements of the genre: it has that sense of romanticism Caravan in particular are famous for, and as a consequence also the whole Canterbury scene is, but it doesn't have such elaborate songwriting, which is not a bad thing, because they are on this particular record much more accessible and memorable than almost anybody else from Canterbury. For example, it's miles away from the cold avant- garde of the Soft Machine, or the spacey themes of Gong. "In the Land Of Grey and Pink", the following Caravan album, will still be of this sort of nature -with a lot of melody-, but that time around it will have much more ambition and sophistications, being that their supreme masterpiece. But "If I Could Do It All?" still is a beautiful dedication to youth and innocence, inserted in a much more intricate, Progressive style. This is what Canterbury's magic lies in.

Some of the more memorable moments include the beautiful "I Wish I Were Stoned", which, from it's nine minutes, donates some space in the final minutes for it's other side, "Don't Worry". Together, these two parts create what is in my opinion the greatest song of the album, having great, catchy melodies, great song structure, and fantastic musicianship all together. There are the shorter, poppier songs like "Hello Hello", and the build-up of "As I Feel I Die", but also the highly ambitious ones, like the most Progressive song of the album, the final fourteen minute suite, "For Richard", an instrumental that has no specific form but constantly shifts, builds, explodes, and tones down. No wonder it is considered one of the best Caravan tracks. The other suite is the middle one, "With an Ear To The Ground You Can Make It", the least memorable of them but still very powerful from every point of view.

"If I Could Do It?" is a wonderful example of a Canterbury album of a band that still has to fully blossom, but still looks quite exemplar and is already faithful to a few canons, without on the other hand bending some rules.

Report this review (#640138)
Posted Friday, February 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Thank you Caravan for you fantastic music, weird but just a little, mostly amazing and very nice. What I like so much is the bright feeling and the happy distinct guitar. This is the third record I acquire and it gets my thumbs up. Caravan is such a prog band even not-proggers can enjoy beacuse of its nice bright melodies but they were also very obscure, far away from top hits and rock star levels.

My favourite tracks here is: "And I wish I were stoned don't worry", "As I feel I die" and "Cant belong now/Francoise/For Richard/Warlock". I think these tracks show us real magic and a perfect harmony between obsession, virtuosity and love. What they could have developed and what they had done on their next album was strong melodies that carry the music forwards. On this plate the feeling of jams is something annoying. But this is undeniably feel-good music for every prog lover. For me this record is a 8/10 or even a 9/10 but not a masterpiece. Caravans music shows the world what you can do if your music mind is open for take rock music to another level. Also I think this is the band that fits the genre Canterbury best. It's not symphonic, not space-[&*!#], not folk, not metal and not too experimental but little jazzy, soft avante-garde and has a bunch of crossover tendencies.

Report this review (#951206)
Posted Sunday, April 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars The masters of melodious music from Canterbury have struck gold only two albums in. As my first exposure to anything Canterbury (and a song from this album no less), Caravan has continued again and again to impress me with what they can come up with with only a few chords. The impression has since extended to other bands from the Scene but I digress . . . If the album title does not snag your interest, the quirky s/t opener track certainly must. Very much in the nature of their first album, except this song adds a bit more complexity to the harmonizing vocals. The following number, "And I Wish I Were Stoned", is a peaceful two-part song structured perfectly for their intended audience. "As I Feel I Die" is where things get serious, and now we have a third element to the album thus far, as well as splendid keyboard work. The first suite to grace the Caravan discography, "With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It", takes their music to another level of appreciation. Sections that flow seamlessly into one another is no new song archetype for us prog-heads, but the normality of these layouts is irrelevant here because Caravan delivers with soaring melodies and wondrous vocals, and a few jams here and there. Side 2 opens with the single hit "Hello Hello", impossible for any Caravan fan not to like. The interestingly short "Asforteri" track achieves so much with so very little and is, in my mind, the amazing prelude to what will be the band's first epic. "For Richard", my first exposure to Caravan and Canterbury, opens with the most relaxing and ethereal chords I have ever heard, but is soon eclipsed by one of the most epic build-ups I have ever heard, only to be blown up into the best jam/solo sesh I have ever heard. Indeed, this is one of my favorite songs of all time. There is also a section worth mentioning, roughly ten minutes in that completely blows the mind and teleports you to a different world of sensational music. "Limits" is, honestly, not needed but hey, more music is more music and with Caravan that is rarely a bad thing (for a time). I'd also recommend the bonus track "A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett", which is similar to "As I Feel I Die" as far as structure and tone are concerned. It's catchy and awesome. There. You have your perfect album.
Report this review (#1139217)
Posted Thursday, February 27, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars Very few albums sweep me up and whisk me away. This is one of them. Trippy, but not with sound effects, trippy because of song structure and feel. Seriously, this album had my undivided attention at first listen. 1970 saw psychedelia starting to give way to prog rock and If I Could.. is a perfect representation of that.

If I Could Do It All Over Again I Would Do It All Over You opens this album with a quirky fun English pop song with catchy verses and a nice jazzy jam in the middle, very good but quite unlike the rest of the album.

And I Wish I Were Stoned, Don't Worry is a actually two songs fused together. This one has that really nice ethereal feel that then turns into what should have been an anthem for the counterculture during the pre chorus and chorus. It then segues into Don't Worry an incredible ending to a great tune. Out of nowhere we get a drum beat for the outro, cool twist.

Next up is As I Feel I Die, a very mellow first 2 minutes that blasts into a couple of jazzy verses and into an all out jazz rock jam with Dave Sinclair leading the way and then stops on a dime. Amazing.

With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It, Then comes Pye Hastings voice, very low in the mix asking "Would You Like To Ride With Me While You're waiting for the band to come?" before rocking that theme and then we get the first taste of Dave Sinclairs distorted organ sound ala "Nine Feet Underground." Around the 4:30 mark we are treated with James Hastings' truly wonderful flute playing that soars and flutters around the verses before we reprise the opening themes and then float away with an echoed, piano line gently fading out. Epic track.

Hello Hello is a nice quirky English song a little more tightly structured with interesting lyrics about hearing someone sing yet not able to find him. A lot of fun with great bass.

Asforteri is a nice interlude before we launch into the best part of the album..

Can't Be Long Now - Francoise - for Richard - Warlock, I don't know why everyone calls this just "For Richard" what about the rest of the titles? Oh well, who cares, the whole thing is great. Very ethereal start with Pye singing and brother James fluttering a way on the flute beautifully before getting SLAMMED with the opening riff from "for Richard" then its pure Canterbury jazz rock bliss with great sax playing from James giving way to Dave Sinclair going back to James but this time on flute then back to sax before launching into the Sabbath like riffs (well sort of) of Warlock. An outstanding piece of music on an already strong record.

Limits ends things with a nice little jazzy melody and a couple of vocal lines "If your world is big enough for you, don't go spoiling it for someone else.

If you get the 2001 version you'll get the excellent "A Day In The Life Of Maurice Haylett." which fits in perfectly with the rest of this record with a similar song structure with crazy lyrics and a nice jazz jam.

Highly recommended. A VERY underrated album.

Report this review (#1395784)
Posted Thursday, April 9, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars Of all the bands I've found out about solely through the crazy world of progressive rock, Caravan would rank near the top. They were probably the most melodic of all the bands lumped in the Canterbury genre, and very accessible here, leaning more towards a 1960s rock sound than the jazzier influences of most Canterbury bands.

I don't think there's a weak moment on this album. 'As I Feel I Die', and 'And I Wish I Was Stoned / Don't Worry', and 'With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It' are classics of the genre - the later in particular being a favorite of mine, and the epic 'Can't Be Long Now' is one of my favorite 10+ minute long progressive rock songs. The sax on this track still gives me chills after all these years. Hell, even the tracks that barely clock in at a minute long - the quirky 'Asforteri' and bossa nova-influenced 'Limits' - seem essential on an album of this quality rather than throwaways or filler. I like everything Caravan released from the self-titled debut up to and including Cunning Stunts (parts of, anyway), but to me this represents their best single release, slightly ahead of In the Land of Grey and Pink.

Report this review (#1518222)
Posted Friday, January 22, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars I personally find myself liking this work of Caravan a lot more than "In The Land Of Grey And Pink". It is to me a much more consistent and interesting record, making better use of incredible talents of Caravan's musicians. Although still lacking in places (I generally feel like the band didn't use their virtuosic abilities to their advantage), this album is very good. Great bass lines, odd time signatures, strong jazz influences, psychedelic work-outs, lush organ - all of the ingredients are there. The first album that really had that real taste of Caravan. The band was definitely in its creative peak. The overall feel of "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" leaves the impression of a smooth and fresh work from a highly accomplished band that is not afraid to experiment. Highly recommended, an essential Canterbury scene album!
Report this review (#1530182)
Posted Thursday, February 18, 2016 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars As the 60s abruptly became the 70s, the psychedelia of the former era was transmogrifying into something more sophisticated. With the prog rock explosive nature of 1969 occurring with bands like East Of Eden and King Crimson forever changing the rock history books, bands who came before who were more focused on the psychedelic pop aspects of the scene rather than the sophisticated compositions of what would develop suddenly found themselves upping their game manyfold and the creative expressions were sudden and highly effective. CARAVAN was one such band that was one half of The Wilde Flowers, with the other half, of course, being The Soft Machine. While Soft Machine started out on a similar trajectory as their counterparts, they seemed determined to race full speed ahead into the world of jazz and upon every subsequent release jettisoned the rock aspects of their music. CARAVAN had the complete opposite approach. They simply took the psychedelic pop rock features on their debut album and upped the sophistication several times over and focused MORE on the rock instead of less. The results equated in being one of the most exciting releases to exist in the progressive rock work in the early year of 1970.

IF I COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, I'D DO IT ALL OVER YOU is only the second album by the mighty Canterbury Scene innovators CARAVAN, but it is in my opinion their absolute best album that took all the best features of the 60s and adopted the new developments that were quickly becoming the 70s. There is a perfect balance between old and new on this one and this album is the perfect marriage of the two eras in equal proportionality. The title track starts things out innocently enough with a catchy repetition of the words that make up the whimsical title track. This album captures the perfect period sound with catchy melodies that incorporates lots of organ runs and a plethora of rock and jazz instrumentation including not only the usual rock instruments but also sax, flute, claves, bongos, congas and other such oddities like hedge clippers and assorted ashtrays :O While the catchy passages and rich palette of musical timbres create a delightful listening experience, what really puts this album into the realms of true masterpieces is the intricate and well-designed compositions that keep the listener enthralled and ecstatic throughout the album's playing time.

While the title track reels the listener in with its catchy and psychedelic tribute to the 60s, the second track "And I Wish I Were Stoned / Don't Worry" creates a multi-part 8:12 track that takes the nihilism of the shattered utopian dreams of the 60s and seeks a route through escapism. The pinnacle of this leap into the progasphere comes full force on the penultimate 14:17 track "Can't Be Long Now / Françoise / For Richard / Warlock" that pulls out all the prog punches. While the sections and components of these tracks encompass the same types of psychedelic pop tendencies, it's how they are all sewn together and how well each passage flows from one segment to the other.

Far from being random, the different sections recur in logical formations where themes develop and appropriately move on and then are revisited. The general gist is that one track is a normal song length and then the next one that is progressive and lengthy serving with mini-suites that build up into a larger whole. IF I COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, I'D DO IT ALL OVER YOU simply covers all grounds of the era. It includes a healthy dose of the psychedelic scene of the era, smooths things over with pop sensibilities and dresses it all up with progressive rock workouts and jam band excursions that include jazzy improvisational techniques. Nothing outlasts its welcome and even 45 years after its release still evokes a sense of excitement when listening to it. This truly is not only one of the best CARAVAN albums but a cornerstone of the early progressive rock scene as well. This is simply a major mandatory edition to any prog lover's world. Perfect in every way.

Report this review (#1596060)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2016 | Review Permalink

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