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5 stars Possibly the best lp Caravan ever recorded. Very English sounding. Don't be put off by the schoolboy humour of Golf Girl. In fact, I would recommend beginning with side 2 of the original lp > Nine Feet Underground. Play LOUD and OFTEN!
Report this review (#21331)
Posted Sunday, January 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This, I think it can be agreed, is the very best Caravan album. It is also the one from which anyone interested in Caravan should begin. In my own personal opinion, it leaves all other Caravan albums in the dust. Probably this is due to the dominance of Richard Sinclair, both his compositions and his vocals (I find Richard's songs and vocals to be more compelling than Pye's). Winter Wine is, I think, Caravan's very best song (Nine Feet Underground comes second).
Report this review (#21334)
Posted Monday, February 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars busy schedule and the ever increasing popularity of Caravan did not deter them from adding to their repertoire. In the Land of Grey and Pink is Caravan at their peak, producing a cocktail of simple northern-English pop and complex progressive rock.

Richard Sinclair's "Golf Girl" hits you with its catchy tune and baffling lyrics, but the real treat comes from his second song "Winter Wine". A song of fairy tales and dreams it initially went under the working title of "It's likely to have a name next week" and was also without lyrics for a long time, the vocal melody being hummed by Richard.

"We tended to come up with the music first and the lyrics were usually the last thing to be finished," explains Pye. "I think that "Winter Wine" is probably the finest song Richard Sinclair has ever written."

Pye's own contribution was through "Love to Love You", after having written most of the material in the previous albums he only wrote the one song on In the Land of Grey and Pink, which could be considered a Caravan version of a pop single. Pye's brother Jimmy is again brilliant with the flute and a piccolo solo in Golf Girl.

"In the Land of Grey and Pink" is my favourite and most enduring song by Caravan. including a bubble blowing solo by Richard. It has become a song to sing along to after a good night out with friends and without a doubt the mysterious, mischievous and upbeat sound that you expect of Caravan.

The 22 minute side-two opus that is Nine Feet Underground was recorded in five distinct sections and skilfully edited by David Hitchcock and Dave Grinsted. Considered a successor to "For Richard" (If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You), the bizarre names given to each movement such as "Dance of the Seven Paper Hankies" and "Hold Grandad By The Nose" added to the albums mystique.

In the Land of Grey and Pink being polished off by a Tolkien-esque illustration by Anne-Marie Anderson as the album art and the CD containing 5 bonus tracks, including the first version of "Golf Girl" and two previously unreleased tracks this is a must have. I'd recommend anyone such a Canterbury classic from what at the time was an underrated album from an underrated band. Caravan!

Report this review (#21335)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
5 stars A few people suggested to me that there was only Nine Feet worthwhile on this album and I kindly suggested them to listen with new ears to Winter Wine. They came back to tell me that there was two great numbers on this album and I told them to listen up to the title track as they were mistaken, Again they came back to me to say how wrong they had been so I told them that Golf girl was also delicious and the last number was a typical Hastings number (as the rest of the album is mainly the Sinclair cousins). Again a real treat on the remaster as The Word is a real number with an almost finished quality that ranks with Winter Wine. The lyrics on this album are simply stupendous and rank as some the most quintessential English texts ever put on music.
Report this review (#21337)
Posted Thursday, February 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I first discovered this album in 1972 upon a recommendation from my brother. This is simply the most stunning rock album in my collection - now over 2,000 albums. It is the only album I know that I can play at any time and know that I will enjoy it. Winter Wine - just brilliant; moody, ecclectic and brilliant melodies. Nine Feet underground - sit down, dim the lights and relax for 22 minutes of sheer pleasure. Do try and get a viyl version and play it on decent turntable. This cannot be beaten for pure and original sound quality.
Report this review (#21339)
Posted Friday, February 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I guess if there was 1 album to totally represent the quintessential Canterbury progressive rock album of all times one would have to look to "In The Land Of Grey & Pink". David Sinclair's wandering keyboard solo's dominate this album with it's wild collection of prog, jazz and psychy elements. Of course the most talked about CARAVAN track "Nine Feet Underground" (22 Mins) epic track adorns the second side of this masterpiece. Once again GENESIS' producer David Hitchcock was brought in to engineer this album with CARAVAN (so too was "Waterloo Lily"). What I still find amazing is that at the time of release (1971) this album did not ever reach any mentionable UK or USA chart position, unlike neighboring albums like TULL's "Aqualung" (4), SOFT MACHINE's "3rd" (18) or CRIMSON's "Larks Tongues In Aspect" (20). The funny thing is that I personally rate "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" in the same lustrous light as those other great albums. In fact I read somewhere that only last year this album finally reached gold status! Without a question the first few CARAVAN albums are killer prog rock and need to be in your collection.
Report this review (#21307)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is one of the best Caravan's albums I own. The genre involved is Canterbury progressive rock: they have such a typical keyboards sound which very few other bands can imitate. The lead vocals are really outstanding. The songs are catchy and rather loaded. Listen to the drums and bass: they are delightful! The guitar sound is not extremely refined: anyway Caravan is not a guitar oriented band. the Flute, piano, saxes, organ, mellotron, piccolo and percussions brilliantly embellish the overall sound and textures; everything form a solid ensemble which is often characterized by melodic & instrumental structures. If you like "Hatfield and the North" and early Camel, then you'll like this record. There are couples of more ordinary tracks, like "Golf girl", "Love to love you" and some parts on "Nine feet underground".

Rating: 4.5 stars

Report this review (#21349)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Sorry if I'm going against the stream!! Don't get me wrong, this album (along with "MoonMadness" by Camel and some years later the debut album by "Recordando O Vale Das Macas") represents the standard reference for this particular music genre defined as "Light Canterbury" )...nevertheless (except on the splendid Light Canterbury music from Hatfield and The North or in some circumstances considering also the stuff from the German Band Rousseau) usually I don't get crazy for this genre very much!! The main track of the album is entitled "Nine feet underground", a suite characterized by a leading guitar excursion, sometimes a bit repetitive and with an excessive use of pentatonic scales or anyway similar harmonic solutions... there are interesting breaks through in between, but at the end the melodic lines are not kept in mind (unlike the light Canterburian albums by Camel) by any listener and this fact affects my opinion. Moreover the other songs are weaker and not always inspiring (listen to "Golf Girl" and you understand what I mean)...nevertheless this album "signed on" a new chapter of Progressive Music, being very important as a standard reference at that time!!

Essential for the reasons I have explained above, but not exceptional!!

Report this review (#21324)
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've been neglecting this album too much. In the Land of Grey and Pink is for sure a well-bulked album with tonus and potential. A little bit of everything is hided here. 'Golf Girl' is light-hearted and funny. Music for 60's romantic french comedies (De Funès or Bardot maybe?). It's actually inspired by a real story. 'Winter Wine' takes you lyrically to the knights and dragons, while the music share ressemblance to the Moody Blues in their late 70's work. 'Love to love you' is definitely one of my favorite song of all-time. It's fresh, happy, reckless and I wonder why the Austin Power's movies didn't pick this one yet. The feel is perfect for those 'groovy' movies! I can easily see Mike Myers dancing in the streets of London signing this baby...Anyway, my favorite of the album is for sure the title song. This song is a deep breath of fantasy and carefree attitude. And IT FEELS GOOD.If you imagine what the song says, you're in mental vacation immediately. It's a fantasy land that Caravan is drawing perfectly with the eyes of a child. At last, the musicianship of Caravan reaches superior levels with the UNCANNY 22 minutes of 'Nine Feet Underground'. An epic moment held by the organ of David Sinclair. The song takes it's time to move around a relatively obscure theme. This song is why a Howe-Zappa-Chong- looking dude recommended me the album. 'Hey man, listen to the last track man, it's a chef d'oeuvre'. He was right. Despite the fact that I didn't listen enough to fully catch the scent of the song, I get the feeling that I will like it as more as I listen to. I don't like the Canterbury scene but I do feel a lot of sympathy for Caravan now. A huge embrace to my Caravan mates because you made my day.
Report this review (#21325)
Posted Tuesday, May 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Probanly the most complete example of the versatility and musical skill that make Caravan "the" progreseive rock band of the 20th century. Unauthorized Breakfast Item carries them into the 21st. Still touring. still improving. Catch Caravn live and let them do it all over you again and again and again ...
Report this review (#21308)
Posted Monday, May 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
Founding Moderator
3 stars I'm going to deliberately get myself in a lot of trouble...

First, either I'm missing something pretty obvious (which is unlikely), or "the emperor has no clothes" (or, at least, only some basic jeans and a t-shirt). Yes, this album is fairly early as prog goes and thus deserves some respect and, yes, there is alot of creativity going on here and, yes, the musicianship overall is quite good (especially for its time) and, yes, Sinclair's voice is pretty and soothing and, yes, the album is unquestionably great fun to listen to...but "essential?" "Masterpiece?!?!" Mmmm...not even close. "Golf Girl" is a cute, fun song. "Winter Wine" is a very nice composition, with some beautiful changes. "Love to Love You" might have been a great parody if the band were not taking itself so seriously. "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is another pretty composition.

Now, about "Nine Feet Underground"... Although there are snippets of true creativity (especially for its time), there is far too much "repetition" (the band gets "locked" for too long into one groove), and thus it feels largely "uninspired." And although the "homage" to Cream in the final four minutes is nicely done, the whole thing sounds more like an extended jam session than a truly cohesive composition.

Now for the part where everyone throws their old ABBA CDs at me...

Over one-third of the "Nine Feet" suite reminded me suspiciously of Traffic - right down to a long section that sounds suspiciously like "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys." Then I checked the history: Traffic predates Caravan by a year. And although "Low Spark" came out the same year as "In the Land" (and thus the two compositions may have been contemporaneous but un-influenced by each other), "John Barleycorn" came out a year before "In the Land," and there are numerous "snippets" on "In the Land" which sound suspiciously like sections of songs on "Barleycorn"...

It may be that the two groups were influencing (and influenced by) each other. Indeed, there is almost no question in my mind that that is the case. (Which makes me wonder: if Caravan is considered "prog" - and included on this site - why is Traffic not on this site?)

Ultimately, I liked "In the Land of Grey and Pink" and, as stated, I found it great fun to listen to, and will undoubtedly do so again. Indeed, I might even give it an extra half- star if I could. But given my reservations (for the reasons noted), I am not even sure whether this is an "excellent addition to any prog rock collection," much less a "masterpiece."

Report this review (#21310)
Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Amusing titles orgy!

"In the land of Grey and Pink" is one of Caravan's finest albums, possibly THE finest. While the centrepiece is the side long "Nine feet underground", the complete album offers a melodic and coherent 40 minutes.

"Golf girl" and the title track are whimsical almost pop tracks, the former having fairly basic double entendres. They bookend a couple of fine Caravan pieces to form an excellent first half. "Winter wine" in particular is a classic Caravan track, with that unique keyboard sound, a lovely melody and a totally relaxed feel.

"Nine feet underground" is nominally in 8 parts, but it's very much a single piece. Being largely instrumental, the band clearly had fun naming the sub-sections, with titles such as "Hold Grandad by the nose", and " Dance of the seven paper hankies". The track weaves through various themes, with a mainly rock orientation, occasional wandering into more jazz like freeform areas, but always tight.

For this album, Pye Hastings, who had written most of the material for the first two albums, took a back seat. Although the credits are in true democratic fashion attributed to the four principle band members, Dave and Richard Sinclair actually did most of the writing. Credit is also due to David Hitchcock and Dave Grinsted who edited together the FIVE original sections of "Nine feet.." into the masterpiece it became.

A truly superb album, worthy of any music collection (prog or otherwise!).

The Decca remastered CD has 5 bonus tracks, three of which are early versions of songs or parts of songs which appeared on the finished album. There's also an early version of "Aristocracy" which later appeared in somewhat different form on "Waterloo lily" plus a previously unheard track "I don't know it's name (alias "the word")".

Report this review (#21312)
Posted Saturday, September 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Final album with the original lineup of Richard and David Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlin. For many, this album represents not only CARAVAN at their finest, but one of the finest the Canterbury scene has to offer, and I really can't disagree on that. I also really dig that Tolkien-esque cover, I wish I was living in one of those tiny houses like you see on that cover. "Golf Girl" features some rather silly lyrics, sung by Richard Sinclair. It's the rare time a Mellotron was used on a CARAVAN album, I'm pretty sure the Mellotron didn't belong to David Sinclair, but it's pretty obvious the model of tron being used was the Mark II. I love how the album starts off with a trombone, with silly lyrics about being dressed in a PVC raincoat because it was raining golfballs. "Winter Wine" is one of my favorite, with rather mystical lyrics, again Richard Sinclair handling the vocals. David Sinclair provided some great fuzzed organ solos in this song as well. Pye Hastings sung "Love to Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)" which is a short pop-oriented number, and they obviously meant that song for radio airplay. The side length "Nine Feet Underground" is largely instrumental, with only the occasional vocal passages. It's without a doubt David Sinclair's time to shine, as he gives plenty of organ solos. This is truly a great and classic album, and for those who like this kind of much, get this album.
Report this review (#21313)
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The cover of this record refers to Tolkien and such is the atmosphere depicted in those enchanting compositions. This LP is commonly described as the best album recorded by Caravan. And sure there aren't any weak links there. Dynamic "Golf Girl" with solos on the trombone and flute piccolo, ballades like "Winter Wine" with an acoustic beginning and jazz keyboard, fast "Love to Love You" with a solo on the flute and finally a pop piece "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" with solos on the piano and guitar which come on the A side of the vinyl long play. But it is the B side that is the most important here: a 23 minute suite "Nine Feet Underground" played with jazz imaginativeness and rock spirit, well thought (no part is too long) and carefully arranged, and yet still leaving some space for improvisation is a paragon example of the style of Caravan. Perfect performance of David Sinclair on the keyboard and Jimmy Hastings on the saxophone. CD includes also some interesting bonuses, among others: different mix of the two last parts of the suite. In my opinion better that original.
Report this review (#21314)
Posted Thursday, January 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ah, In The Land Of Grey And Pink. I believe this was my first excursion into the world of Canterbury. Honestly, this seems like the ideal world for me - it's a silly, goofy, intelligent, naive and carefree place where little hippies drink their tea with a constant smile on their face while enjoying the sunny view (not that I've ever been to Canterbury, but the music does paint this image quite vividly). Caravan as a band is totally devoid of pretentiousness which makes this all the more entertaining, but understandably their approach might alienate some "hard-core" proggers who need their music to be serious and potentially dry. However, do not let this tag scare you, Caravan are certainly capable of pleasing the most demanding listeners as well as creating memorable, real compositions instead of relying on plain silliness. "Nine Feet Underground" is the perfect example of this. Quite possibly Caravan's "magnum opus", this epic composition showcases all the things that I love about them, it's mostly dominated by the legendary fuzz-organ, with TONS of extended soloing and jamming, but it's still a perfectly balanced composition with those melancholic, nostalgic overtones that the English folks seem to master like no one else. The first side is comprised of shorter, infectious pop songs with whimsical lyrics. While they don't necessarily reach the level of "Nine Feet...", they're still mightily fine songs on their own. I can't emphasise enough how good - and most importantly FUN - this album is. That said, I still think their previous effort was just a tiny bit better, but that's another story, I guess. Join the Caravan! 4,5 stars
Report this review (#21340)
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an epic progressive album, even though less known than others at the time. It combines a structured approach with jazzy improvization and a Mony-Pythonesque humor characteristic of Canterbury style prog. The keyboards dominate and they are played in the most relaxed, yet expressive manner by David Sinclair. The flute adds a pastoral, almost classical touch in the quieter passages. The are some intense moments, but overall, the album has a flowing feel to it. The best songs are Winter Wine, an almost symphonic prog piece, and the 20+ minute epic Nine Feet Underground, featuring some great organ playing and interesting melodic ideas. Golf Girl is a quirky little progressive pop piece, but it works very well. I'd give it a 4.5 really, I don't think it is a masterpiece because of some weaker material. But a great album nevertheless, very charming in a typical English way. I couldn't recommend it higher for fans of the old school progressive rock.
Report this review (#21341)
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is Caravan's most memorable album. Great tunes, great playing, wonderful cover art - in a word, perfection! I bought this album in 2003, and it gets more playing at my CD player than other recent buys. Highlights: "Winter Wine", "In the Land of Grey and Pink", and, of course, "Nigel Blows a Tune" (every prog rock epic should be as good as this one). Listen carefully to the marvellous work of Richard Sinclair, both on bass and on vocals, and, of course, the great David Sinclair (who actually plays progressive keyboards instead of adopt a "see how great I am" attitude - which is common on most keyboard players, like Rick Wakeman or Keith Emerson). And I agree with Jan: this is one of the albums I would take to a deserted island. Stop reading and buy one, if you don't have "In the Land of Grey and Pink".
Report this review (#21343)
Posted Sunday, March 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
5 stars The perfect Caravan album, written I suspect, with the assistance of a fair amount of "punkweed" or similar. The lyrics are full of wierd quirks, the singing, shared by Richard sinclair and Pye Hastings, captures the mood of the album well and the music is beautifully constructed and executed. Dave Sinclair is a masterful keyboards player who avoids the excesses of the Emerson/Wakeman school and they use a number of brass and woodwind instruments to compensate for the lack of a conventional lead guitarist. No track stands out - they are uniformly excellent, though the mood varies somewhat from the gentle Winter Wine to the repetitive chorus of Love to Love You. The title track is a masterpiece with clear drug influences; how else could you come up with "they'll be coming back again, those nasty grumbly- grimblies, oh they're climbing down your chimney, yes they're trying to get in"? The second side is one long piece, subdivided into pieces with some of the silliest titles ever, yet this just Caravan not taking themselves too seriously. It all progresses and hangs together well and is one of the great pieces of prog rock. As is the album! If you have a really decent turntable, buy it on vinyl (but be prepared to pay £20+!) for the artwork and the superb sound quality.
Report this review (#21344)
Posted Sunday, March 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars An utterly charming prog classic. Released in 1971, 'In The Land Of Grey And Pink' is the ultimate archetype of the so-called "Canterbury" branch of prog: whimsical lyrics, surreal imagery, hints of '60s psych, consistently mellow tone with only occasional outbursts, an adventurous approach to writing/performing/arranging while remaining true to the traditional late '60s/early '70s rock mindset.and a good dose of humor. This album is not only a Canterbury classic, but it's the best Caravan album I have yet to hear. After digesting 'Waterloo Lily', 'For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night', the tiring 'Caravan And The New Symphonia' and the weak 'Cunning Stunts', I wondered if Caravan were maybe a little overrated. Having enjoyed lots of 'Waterloo.' and 'For Girls.', it still seemed Caravan were playing it too safe, considering their wealth of talent. But I GET IT now. This is one infectious album, one that brings a smile to my face with every listen. It is now an open-the-windows, turn-it-up-loud springtime tradition. A carefree escape. I can't believe I went so long without hearing this album. Finally finding 'In The Land Of Grey And Pink' after all this time is like unearthing some lost Camel album from the '70s. There are similarities to those humpbacked legends, and with each song holding its own aura, accentuated by brilliant songwriting, adventurous choices and tasteful performances, there's a zen to this album that I look forward to returning to again and again.

If the quaint and wonderful bounce of "Golf Girl" isn't the prefect cure for a miserable's hard not to just let go with this light and silly tune, and the rhythm section gives it a nice pulsing momentum. The tone becomes a bit more serious, if not still fanciful, with the fantasy trip of "Winter Wine". A dark aura creeps in, with a charismatic vocal pulling things along. Some excellent syncopation and dynamic interplay occurs between the rhythm section and the more buoyant keyboards/guitar. A gorgeous and mildly aggressive keyboard solo puts the song over the top into "classic" status. "Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)" is the requisite pop tune found on every Caravan album. It's a nice, harmless, '60s-rooted piece, nothing spectacular but certainly important in the well-rounded personality of this album. The title track comes next, putting out a similar atmosphere as "Winter Wine". Well- considered drum grooves are brought forth easily from the sticks and hands of Richard Coughlan. The vocal is beautiful and expressive, mimicked nicely by David Sinclair when the time comes for the keyboard spotlight. Finally, the sprawling "Nine Feet Underground" appears, which doesn't rush to the finish line, considering its lengthy 22 minutes. This is not an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink type of prog epic, rather it seems like a short song that was elongated to set a peculiar mood. Every piece is linked easily and patiently. Every segment works, especially the purposeful jamming heard throughout its latter half and the heavy guitar riff that kicks the song into its climactic conclusion. A perfect ending to what can only be called a perfect album.

Report this review (#21348)
Posted Friday, May 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
con safo
4 stars A perfect representation of the canterbury scene, and a staple album for anyone interested in the genre. Caravan were at their peak with this album, and it contains some memorable moments and superb instrumentation. The album begins with "Golf Girl," a lighthearted song with far fetched lyrics and great mellotron work. "Winter Wine" is one of the best songs on the album, very melodic and fantasy-oriented, this song truly takes you places. The next song, however, i could have lived without. "Love to Love you" is a very happy, upbeat song, which in my opinion, takes you out of the whole experience. The title track does make up for this slight fault though, with some great acoustic work and interesting lyrics. The centerpeice of the album "Nine Feet Underground" is a side long, mainly instrumental track. David Sinclair has numerous fantastic organ solos, intertwining with Pye Hastings guitar, creating a truly awesome sound. I cannot say enough about In The Land of Grey and Pink, it is an experience not to be missed by any prog fan, and a great intro into the canterbury scene. 4.5/5 -con safo
Report this review (#21350)
Posted Monday, May 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Even after years of negativity toward Caravan I now hold In The Land Of Grey And pink in some sort of minor esteem. While listening passively it certainly can appear that the band have very little to offer but once inside and delving across the landscape of their idiosyncratic stylings the band have a special aura and a unique brand of progressive rock, and a trait that ties them to the famous Canterbury scene. A stone faced dead pan humour with a mind to explore whether musically or lyrically. Musically the band prog along at a minimalistic rate but it is the lyrics and stories that catch the attention, and only then does the music come into play. "Golf Girl" is so obscenely ridiculous it is simply excellent, and no doubt laced with sexual innuendo. The music on In The Land Of Grey And Pink almost lacks an urgency but I feel this is the bands muse. They roll along slowly at a stoned out pace that enraptures the listener to fuse into the songs and concept of the entire album, even if there lacks one, and by the time the first side of the album was over (after numerous plays I must add) I was thoroughly enjoying the world of Caravan and their music. The title track is all quirky and hazy and just like what you would imagine from the cover artwork. The lengthy B side is a triumphant piece of extended workouts under the title "Nine Feet Underground" as it changes tone and atmosphere through out the eight sub pieces, a hint of fellow Canterbury heads Soft Machine came to mind on a piece, but Caravan weave plenty of wild noises on this suite. For their time they were surely a breath of fresh air, this can be easy to forget. Even now it has a fresh sense to it even if the production tends to be static, but a fine example of what the Canterbury scene had to offer in a rock world that was becoming rather generic in the early seventies.
Report this review (#21351)
Posted Monday, May 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I remember buying "Grey and Pink" back in '71 'cos I thought the album cover was so cool. Then I listened to the music and I was blown away by it. For about 3 years I played it non- stop. Never got to see the band and never bought another Caravan album. The musicanmanship is really ace for a band of that era. especially Richard Sinclair's bass playing - miles ahead of it's time - some really good bass line's. I can't single out anything - yeah "Golf Girl" is a bit naff but, hey, they were having fun too. "Nine feet" is, of course , a classic of it's time - forget the influences - it's a work of prog genius, not to have been repeated except possibly on SM's "Third" (also a master of it's time). A year ago I bought the CD (the LP was well worn out) and I've been blow away all over again.
Report this review (#36074)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Great!Superb! Hats off to Caravan. This album made me love Caravan as one of my favorite bands. Every song from beginning to end is great. This album is truly a masterpiece. I recommend it to anyone who appreciates good music. It's wierd thing about this album that Golf Girl and In the Land of Grey and Pink sound almost like the same song but yet, you can distinguish by a mile about how different they are. Love To Love You is also a song that reminds me of a psychedelic 60's groove with a canterbury taste
Report this review (#38430)
Posted Sunday, July 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Caravan's IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK (1971), is generally considered to be their best work, and the crowning achievement of the Canterbury Scene as a whole. The gorgeous cover extols the albums mood right from the get-go, one of calm and laid back tranquility. This album represents all that Caravan was, and all that they had been building towards since their inception in 1968. On no other album can one find such a masterful balancing of British-pop sensibilities and all out jazz-rock. The album is woven out of the aforementioned jazz and pop, as well as rock, folk and psychedelic influences. Richard Sinclair light and airy voice (a bit too twee for some) has never sounded better. David Sinclair's trademark organ is the basic driving instrument of the album, but Pye Hastings gets adequate breaks to showcase his skills on electric guitar (especially in the improvisation setting). Richard Coughlan's drums are nothing memorable, but prove more than competent, and keep the proceeds moving. On this album they are joined by collaborator Jimmy Hastings (who appears on many Caravan albums) on flute and sax, which definitely give some passages a jazz feel, while others folk.

The album is split into to sides, Side A being made of four (relatively) poppy numbers, while Side B features the promethean "Nine Feet Underground", a side-long jazz improvisation. Side A begins with the bouncy "Golf Girl", which features Richard Sinclair's trademark 'British humor' lyrics. The lyrics are a bit to silly and droll for some, but a large part of the Canterbury sound is humorous, and they work particularly well on this track. "Gold Girl" features an excellent flute and piccolo solo by Jimmy Hastings. The next piece, "Winter Wine" is the real highlight of Side A. This dreamy track features fantasy lyrics, with Richard Sinclair's voice lightly dropping over the music. This is most 'symphonic' piece on the album, and is a real treat. It features an excellent organ and guitar break before returning to the initial vocal melody, though in a faster rhythm. Pye Hasting's "Love to You" is a bit of a throwaway track. It is a very poppy (for Caravan's standards) love song, and is closer to their later work than their monumental early Canterbury sound. Pye Hastings sings vocals on this track, and has a much higher (and less distinctive) voice than Richard. Luckily the song ends with some entertaining flute work. The title track, "In the Land of Grey and Pink" musically is somewhat similar to the opener, but with much more surreal and entertaining lyrics and more adventurous arranging. Side B is filled with the 22:44 minute piece, "Nine Feet Underground". This is a slow, jazzy piece which methodically moves from theme to theme effortlessly with Richard Sinclair's vocals added for effect on occasion. Like most Canterbury-Jazz pieces, this one is built on improvisation as well as loose musical ideas which are tied together through excellent transitions. The piece shifts between organ, saxophone and electric guitar solos. At first this 22 minute track can come off as a bit underwhelming and undeserving of its length, and they do dwell on musical ideas for longer than they deserve. But with repeated listens, one can truly absorb the fluid beauty of the piece. It's the definition of smooth when it comes to Canterbury, (unlike the more jagged Soft Machine or Egg). It even ends with a not so subtle Cream tribute, quoting the riff line from "Sunshine of Your Love". "Nine Feet Underground" is a reserved piece that rewards repeated listens, and is highly recommended for fans of jazz.

All in all, this album marked the height of Caravan as a Canterbury band. After this release, Dave Sinclair would depart for Matching Mole, and the band would move in a more straightforward rock direction on later albums. But for now, IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK is an unparalleled and underappreciated masterpiece of Canterbury music - 5 STARS.

Report this review (#39389)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars As I said earlier in my review of their great live album 'Live At Fairfield Halls' (1974; re- issued in 2002), Caravan's performance got that extra that made them my all time favourite (Canterbury-) band with the introduction of the viola of Geoff Richardson in 1973, but creatively they were at their peak in 1971 with 'In the Land of Grey and Pink'. On this lp, they created the perfect mixture of prog, jazz en light psychedelic "chamber rock" we call 'Canterbury music'. Beautifull melodic and humoresque compositions, with wandering keyboard solo's by David Sinclair of the kind that made the seventies legendary, directed in a friendly way by the percussion of underrated all time member Richard Coughlan. Also characteristic are the flute of all time contributor but not member Jimmy Hastings, and the friendly singing of Richard Sinclair. This is music that really makes me feel happy; especially during the highlight of this album, their 22:40 minute magnum opus 'Nine Feet Underground', where David Sinclair, his organ and Richard Coughlan are at their best. I think one of the saddest things in prog history is that Geoff Richardson wasn't already there to add his violin to this perfomance of this epic masterpiece, 'cause otherwise... Nevertheless, this is Canterbury at his top, and together with 'If I Could Do It All Over Again, ...' (1970), 'Waterloo Lily' (1971) (which is a little bit more jazzy) and 'For Girls Who Grow Plump In the Night (1973) (which is more symphonic), this album represents the most creative years of Caravan. Unfortunally, after 'Cunning Stunts' (1975; already a bit too poppy) they stopped making music, and started making songs instead - as for some untill yet scientifically unexplained reason most great prog bands from the seventies did around that time. If you like to explore the finest Caravan has to offer, start with this one or with the 1974 live album; if you like it, go further with the other ones I mentioned above, and if you stay curious, buy their epinomous first lp, which is a little bit more psychedelic, and still very 1968. By the way: all cd's from this period are re-issued in 2001: remastered, and with some unique bonus tracks that made me buy them all again. Five stars; if Geoff Richardson had already been there, I would have given six.
Report this review (#39679)
Posted Sunday, July 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A great fun sort of album, quite laid-back, with funny lyrics. Nice simple to digest accoustic music, with accoustic guitars, piano, flute and soft delicate trembling bass and drums. The vocals are sometimes a bit comparable to the Moodie Blues, and Camel (Sinclair also played in Camel for a while).

The first part of the album consist of 4 songs, all very rhytmic and fast, and great fun to listen to. Winter Wine is probably the best song on the first side, with a Camelesque instrumental section, very sweet. Side two is a number of 8 short songs molded into one, great mostly instrumental experience. A very sweet song, with some good guitar solo's, and again a very Camel-like sound.

This album defines the slow fun melodic side of Canterbury music, and is for me a Hallmark album of the genre, hence the four stars, maybe not a masterpiece of progressive rock, but it clearly is a masterpiece of Canterbury music.

Report this review (#39854)
Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The cover of this album could be the right one for a progressive rock encyclopaedia! It describes a "tolkienesque" landscape and its colours grey and pink the dynamism and the prolific ideas of Caravan in particular and of the progressive movement in general. The songs are the highest peak for Caravan, expecially for the beautiful and deep voice of Richard Sinclair and that modern arrangement. I'm thinking about my favourite songs Winter Wine and the title track which are of an impressive beauty! This is The sure masterpiece for Caravan and a masterpiece to venerate by all prog listener!
Report this review (#44227)
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Significant group of the Canterbury sound that, from natural aposentos, combined elements jazz, pop, British rock, folk and psicodelia in pieces of progressive, regusto sarcastic and rich power imaginería. It is a disc without waste that intermingles the instrumental wisdom of the Keyboard player Dave Sinclair, the guitars of Richard Sinclair (also bearish) and Pye Hastings, the rythmical ability of the battery Richard Coughlan and the wind sparkles of Jimmy Hastings. The calm vocalidad of Richard Sinclair helps much to obtain that etérea, calm, magical and primaveral tonality. The songs, in spite of their progressive anchorage, must to much to the past of their components (members of the group beat The Wilde Flowers) and their search of suitable melodía pop, appreciated in wonderful subjects like "Golf Girl", "Winter glorious Wine" or "the Love I love you (and tonight pigs will fly)" (the popera song sung by the sweet voice of Pye Hastings) and "In the land of congregation and pink". The expensive b of the original Lp basically included one long and exceptional suite of eclectic rates compound by the teclista David Sinclair (their sounds to the keyboards were fundamental part of the music of the group). His varied sonic passages they exemplify the talent of this excellent British formation well.
Report this review (#45522)
Posted Sunday, September 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars You have to be in the right mood to listen to this album, and that's one of light hearted nostalgia. Caravan do (or did) take their music seriously but they clearly have a sense of humour, and there's nothing wrong in that. Nice to hear a band that doesn't take itself too seriously. It's all too obvious though this was music created in the early 70's.

Side 1as was comprised four songs; "Golf Girl" is an amusing ditty about meeting a girl on you've guessed it a golf course, who then goes on to become the singer's wife; "Winter Wine" is a nice warming number; "Love to Love You" is pleasant but forgettable; and then the title track, "In the Land of Grey and Pink" which to my ears reminds me of the theme song to one of those '70s BBC kids programmes that Derek Griffiths used to present. The vocalist - sorry I'm not sure if its Richard Sinclair or Pye Hastings - has a pleasant but not great voice, he's aware of his limitations and clearly enjoys himself as he gargles "..down the drain." below what he can comfortably manage on the title track. Side 2 is the meat of the album, a 22 minute long track, "Nine Feet Underground" divided into several parts, ranging in mood and texture, never losing this listener's interest. The final sections have a riff that's almost straight out of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" - just shows how different music can sound with a different tempo, a different timbre.

The bonus tracks on this CD are mildly interesting but don't really add anything (did we really need an alternative version of "Golf Girl"?)

I've given this 3 stars but it don't take that as damning with faint praise - this is a thoroughly enjoyable album, but as another reviewer notes it's goofy, whimsical fun rather than a masterpiece.

Report this review (#46510)
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4.7/5.0

This is high-quality symphonic progressive music. I don't really like the Canterbury definition; to me this is simply brilliant symphonic progressive music.

The first four songs are really good, but clearly the main track here is "Nine feet underground", a 22 minutes masterpiece with huge keyboards and crazy melodies. Strangely enough, while listening to songs like Golf Girl or In the land of grey and pink I recognized some early Camel style while this last song sounds more like Camel's Snowgoose or Moonmadness, with never-ending style rythm and a very subtle jazzy touch.

If you are an early Camel fan, you will love this album!

Report this review (#49759)
Posted Sunday, October 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars According to many reviews, this is supposed to be a "masterpiece" of Canterbury scene and the best CARAVAN album, but I don't see exactly why is that so. The album is extremely pleasant listen though, with dominant sound of keyboards (notably organ and Mellotron) and flute. The fans of CAMEL would find many similarities in style. Actually, I would say that the whole CAMEL concept was devised around the sound of the keyboards from this album, making them (ie CAMEL) fall in comparison in terms of originality. IMO, there is a brilliant and masterfully composed and played song on "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" and that is "Winter Wine" - the top of prog music. The rest is good but nowhere near the "5 stars" ratings, with the most adventurous side-long suite "Nine Feet Underground", which is interesting but fails to captivate a listener due to its inconsistency and few "filler" parts. In spite of my rating, it is still a fine addition to your prog collection, just not a perfect work for me.
Report this review (#51877)
Posted Saturday, October 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars An album with a very rare atmosphere. When I listen to this record I feel myself a bit of a hippie. This record sounds a bit mellow and maybe therefore it is very catchy to me. Listen to this record and hang loose. I just like the mood in "Golf Girl" and " In the land of grey and pink". Nice playing by Richard Synclair on the bass guitar, I'ts really catchy playing. I think this is still one of the best Canterbury styled records ever made.
Report this review (#52728)
Posted Saturday, October 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A pure, unadulterated prog masterpiece - there's no other way about it. Although some reviewers were somehow disappointed by this album, for me it was love at first listen. However, it's true that Caravan's highly individual take on prog may be an acquired taste for some. For one thing, their sound (particularly on this album) is profoundly, quintessentially English, down to the often nonsensical lyrics and quirky cover art - and, last but certainly not least, Richard Sinclair's soothing but haunting voice, which made me think at first of a gentler, more cultivated version of Greg Lake's inimitably English tones (this before I realised what a magnificent singer he is, truly one of the best in prog and elsewhere). In fact, Sinclair stamps his presence over this album, both as a singer and a composer: it is no coincidence that the weakest track, the poppy "Love to Love You", is the only one to feature Pye Hasting's higher-pitcher vocals (really not my cup of tea, though Pye's not a bad singer by any means). A couple of numbers on this record (notably the initial "Golf Girl" and the aforementioned "Love to Love You") are definitely easier listening than your average 20-minute-long prog epic. All these factors together can lead to disappointed reactions on the part of those who only think of prog along the lines of Genesis, Yes and ELP. Caravan are different, and the sound of Canterbury bands is clearly not for everyone: nevertheless, this album is undeniably a landmark of progressive rock music.

In my opinion, the album's highlights are the mostly instrumental, five-part suite "Nine Feet Underground" and the absolutely gorgeous, wistful "Winter Wine", with stunning vocals by Richard Sinclair and a middle section featuring some great lyrics about dreams being over all too soon. The title-track covers instead a sort of middle ground between the "serious" and the "poppier" vein of the band. The remastered version of the album, besides the five original songs, also features a new mix of "Disassociation 100% Proof" and four previously unreleased tracks. These include the quirky "Aristocracy", the melancholy "I Don't Know Its Name" (aka "Frozen Rose") and early versions of "Golf Girl" and "Winter Wine", the former having different lyrics and telling the story of Richard Sinclair's first meeting with his future wife, the latter having no words at all (and even no title, as it's called "It's Likely to Have a Name Next Week").

A final word about the cover, which obviously features the colours mentioned in the album's title (a very tasteful combination, I have to say). Many critics have defined it as "Tolkienesque": being a Tolkien fan and scholar, I think Tolkien would probably have found it a bit too weird for his taste - though it definitely adds to the overall feel of this magnificent album.

Report this review (#54899)
Posted Sunday, November 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the cleverest prog albums of all time. It's funny, whimsical, thoughtful rock, dominated by Dave Sinclair's keyboards and sung by Pye Hastings and Richard Sinclair in their contrasting styles. Side one is made up of 4 superb tracks and the whole of side 2 is a 20 minute masterpiece comparable to Close to the Edge. Winter Wine and In the Land of Grey and Pink define the Canterbury style. Their best album by far and anything less than 5 stars is an insult.
Report this review (#55922)
Posted Friday, November 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars In my collection (of hundreds of prog-CDs), this is definetelly the number one, so do I have to say more? CARAVAN is relaxing but still inspiring music, which makes you always feel happy. I love "Winter wine", a very moody and sad song, which on its saddest moment ironically reminds you, how "life's too short to be sad". I'm not that emonational that it'd make me cry, but still... As mentioned in many previous reviews, "Golf girl" is a hit, and without underestimating "Winter Wine" and "Hello hello" (from "If I could do it again..."), I'd say it's the best CARAVAN ever. So even only because of those, well, it's 5 stars.

As my friend once asked, "aren't they actually quite lousy musicians?", I'd partly agree with him. I don't really like much Pye's guitar work, but that is actually quite interesting how Pye's crusty playing makes David Sinclair's keyboards sound even more wounderful. Though Pye's voice coheres pretty well with CARAVANs moody joyfulness, I still don't consider him as a good singer eather. (So David's departure was actually a big loss for the band, but even without him, CARAVAN has gone on...)

The main reason for why "Grey and Pink" can be considered as an essential work is that it makes you feel. It's just sad enough to make you feel clad, or vice versa - and I'm not talking about lyrics, but more of their soundscape and compositional style. It's possible to ignore "Grey and Pink", but impossible to hate it - and if you like it, you really love it (and tonight pigs will fly...).

Report this review (#56686)
Posted Thursday, November 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the top Canterbury album on the top 100 list by quite a few places (42 at time of writing). It seems I'm here to help it along.

Golf girl - Not prog at all, but hey, it's fun and it sounds good. Not fantastic or anything, but very solid. Bound to scare off plenty of people looking for pure prog on the album. 9/10.

Winter wine - After the slight delay, they jump right into the prog and it sounds fantastic. The standard difficulty between figuring out who is doing the solo (be it P. Hastins or D. Sinclair) takes place often and it's certainly not complaint worthy. Some will tell you this is the only good song on the first side of the album. That's not true, but it's still the best one. 10/10.

Lovely to love you - The concept for this is terrifying. Three minute pop song with not much going on? Bleh. But surprisingly, it's quite good, similar in vein to the first track. Again, not fantastic, but pretty good nonetheless. The flute towards the end is a bunch of fun. 7/10.

In the land of grey and pink - I don't know why they made the title track the second shortest song on here, but whatever. This is kind of like a combination the sound (and average of the lengths) of the first and third tracks... except it's about drugs instead. I love the art though. Once again, it's split between the first and third tracks... 8/10.

Nine feet underground - Essentially, this is 80% semi-pointless soloing, with the occasional vocals making up other parts of the song. But to quote Elzar, who was quoting Emeril anyway, "Bam!". I love that kind of thing. This is quite a piece of work and something I feel like I could listen to all day long. For that compliment to come about a nearly 23 minute long epic, that's saying something. 10/10 for this masterpiece.

I was originally going to give this a four, but decided it was too good for that. So I'll hand it a five. Get ahold of it as soon as possible.

Report this review (#56899)
Posted Friday, November 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars So much have been said about this album! What I love about it is that it has a groove that's quite uncommon in progrock (I'm thinking of "Nine Feet Underground", a 22 minute long pleasure). "Winter Wine" is also spectacular of course. I don't think Caravan is very typical for the Canterbury kind of fusion-rock. This is more accessible, and I would definitely recommend "In the Land of Grey and Pink" or "If I could do it all over again I'd do it all over You" to new prog-listeners. Not that it is simple, just very very good!!! My first 5 stars.
Report this review (#59702)
Posted Thursday, December 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Great album! A real masterpiece!! Very smooth and moody album. They have a very british unique sound.Very moody and delightful. I dont know what the sound they take for the keyboards all over the album but it is surely very good. I discover this album last month and i am a progressive rock maniac since 1980..... Thanks to progarchives ....again!!! Discovered so many good prog bands old and new on this site... cost me a lot......
Report this review (#60209)
Posted Monday, December 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not quite a perfect album, but very good nevertheless. Hearing that they were related to Camel (a truly awesome band), I decided to buy 'If I Could do it Again, I'd do it all over You', and was slightly disappointed, but reviews that Caravan were still finding their sound. After listening to the title track, I decided I must have 'In the Land of Grey and Pink', and was pleasantly surprised.

This has a better sound that 'IICDIAOA, IDIAOY', even though it has a slightly poppy song (Golf Girl), but is very catchy and has a very nice combination of instruments and sounds, giving very pleasant texture and depth. 'Winter Wine' is a very melodic piece with very nice drumming, slightly drifting away from the Canterbury sound (I particularly like the lyrics!) 'Love to Love You' is quite catchy, but not very notable. The last two tracks are of superlative quality, only to be selected by Britain's finest butler for the celebratory ear-fest. Some quite brilliant playing.

This is the definitive CARAVAN sound, and no fan of Canterbury should miss out on it.

Report this review (#69247)
Posted Monday, February 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Masterpiece of progressive rock and modern music. Prominent work of styles only. All musicians (composers) have exerted maximum of capability. Organist of David Sinclair, it has showed, that it belongs to fairest soloists of progressive rock. It is possible to hear beautiful in first part unusually and melodious work, decorate ingenious improvisations of musicians . Whatever say about suite from second album part . First of all, it belongs to hear her (it) and survive . Then, everything such is not already just. My proposal it 6 stars

Report this review (#70846)
Posted Wednesday, March 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars In the land of grey and pink I would love to drink a glass of winter wine with a golf girl and then three cups of tea (and the pigs may fly). Then you could bury me nine feet underground.

Seriously, it is IMHO the greatest achievement of Caravan. because of the presence of Richard Sinclair with his clear voice. This is a perfect mixture of jazz, folk, pop and symphonic sounds (especially final track). The absence of synthesisers does not make it sound old fashioned, since the tunes are great and it is perfectly composed and arranged (especially subtle flute parts and backing vocals in the background). This album sound is mostly acoustic, without brutal guitar parts, and Hammond and electric piano are just melodic instruments, not the base for massive sound of ELP.

Brilliant album, needless to say more.

Report this review (#75950)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars An overall good album, but with a few weak points. However, a band with Richard Sinclair singing can hardly go wrong with people who like more relaxed, mellow music.

The greatest thing about this album and all of the Canterbury Scene I've heard so far is that the music is terribly relaxed, easing and nice to the ears, but is terribly inventive. I'd even go as far to say that Canterbury artists are able to create progressive music without sounding terribly complex which is quite a feat of them.

"Golf Girl" is an okay track with a nice intro, and varying accompanying music during the verses and choruses. It ends with a nice flute solo. However, to me, the rhythm guitar here I find far too similar to the one on In The Land... (which I presume came first) and it gives the song a bit of an unoriginal feel.


Slightly harder music's available on "Winter Wine", which is a faster-paced songs containing lyrics that you really don't want your gangster homies to hear. I wonder how the rhythm guitar plays the melody of the vocals with chords somehow. The song drags a little bit and lacks instrumental pieces in between and Sinclair's voice is a bit bland at several moments. However, the good moments make up a lot for this along with the instrumemental part. The ending's absolutely gorgeous, with that guitar or woman chanting in the background.


Seriously avoid "Love To Love You". It's a happy dilly silly song with annoying vocals, and an uninteresting riff that gets repeated all the time. A very weak point of the album, this sounds like any other song.


"In The Land Of Grey And Pink" is a song you can listen to on the archives and probably will get you hooked immediately. The lyrics and vocals are charming, the guitar chords and rhythm enchanting and the piano solo is so terrific that this song will excite even a non-progger. Truly great.


Next is "Nine Feet Underground". The first few times I listened to it it sounded like some guy playing his guitar almost non-stop while a bunch of robots just repeated the same thing, occasionaly interrupted by some guy playing decent vocals, and sometimes you'd catch a nice riff. However, listen better and you can't quite get enough of it and will notice all the other solo parts too - although there might be too much of them. It's a good epic, but misses both the quality and appeal of the song "In The Land..." and the stuff that catches you of all other epics. The guitar also is too present for the song to be good background music. A hard call, but it still is very good.


"Frozen Rose", a bonus (under the name "I Don't Know Its Name (Alias The Word)" actually is another song with that great voice of Sinclair singing a sweet melody, sometimes making place for instrumental piece. Very good.



It actually is essential, but there are too much weak points.

Report this review (#76587)
Posted Friday, April 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Where most progressive rock bands have such telling characteristics like being deep and profound, musically complex and mystifying, Caravan sounds like a member of the minority where the sound is (and I'm trying to be as descriptive here as possible) - a fleeting, joyous sonic carnival. This is the characteristic that shines through on their 1973 album: In The Land Of Gray And Pink.

Let's play word-relation for a while. What is the one word that pops into my head when I listen to this record? Gypsies. yes. definitely "gypsies". Now maybe that's just an effect of the band's name being what it is, but then again. the use of woodwinds, the whimsical and carefree ambiance throughout. no, it just isn't the band's name.

This album does not have one ounce of heaviness on it. Well, maybe an ounce, but that's it. The first half of the album - the first four of the five songs - is a lighthearted affair that starts with the blissful "Golf Girl", which introduces us to Caravan's relatively unconventional musical style as well as their penchant for creating a really catchy melody. Prog-pop anyone?

This is the general feel that continues on for a couple more songs, until it reaches its peak on the title track, which is the perfect example of what most people describe the Canterbury sound to be - having a certain dreaminess and psychedelia as well as enigmatic lyrics, and a touch of jazz. Watch out for the piano work on this song - it is a beauty.

The final track, Nine Feet Underground, is for me simply a masterpiece. More than half of it is a instrumental mix of haunting melodies and perplexing harmonies; and, although it goes on for almost 23 minutes, it still leaves you wanting for more far after it ends. On this musical masterclass, the band is able to showcase their heavier and more ominous side, taking influences from hard rock among other things.

In The Land of Grey and Pink is definitely an album I'd recommend as 1) Progressive Rock for people who don't like Progressive Rock; or, 2) Progressive Rock for Beginners. It's accessible without shoving itself down the listener's throats like most mainstream pop tracks... but that's not saying you wouldn't actually want it to be shoved down your throat... because that's just how good this is.

Report this review (#79009)
Posted Monday, May 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I simply love this masterpiece! I love Sinclair's piano (you can listen it also with Matching Mole, Hatfield & the North and Robert Wyatt), and I love the cover of this album...Therefore I can't give it less than 5 stars! The title track is a neoromantic song, tha describe a fantastic world, I can compare it with "in the court of the crimson king" by King Crimson..."golf girl" is another good song but is with "nne feet underground" that the band express their personal style at the best (and also their skills above all on the piano)! It's a perfect suite, and also a perfect piano solo, following the progressive canons and symbolize (in my opinion) the Canterbury sound itself.
Report this review (#79520)
Posted Saturday, May 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars All the songs on this album are very good apart from one. Nine Feet Underground. This massive track completely wrecks this otherwise brilliant album. It is just a seemingly endless, painful ramble. It just goes on and on with these almost dissonant guitar parts. Oooh i hate it so much.

On the up side all other tracks are very good indeed. Golf Girl is just a lovely track. Brilliant vocals great rhtythm and a really good flute part. Winter Wine is quite beautiful with David Sinclair's vocals shining through brilliantly. Love To Love You is fun if quite forgettable and In The Land Of Grey And Pink is undoudtably the best track on the album. Great melody, rhythm lyrics just brilliant.

However with Nine Feet Underground taking up roughly half the album it can by no means be considered a masterpiece. I give it three stars because Nine Feet Underground is so very long and utterly awful.

Report this review (#79744)
Posted Monday, May 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Nine Feet Underground", is one of the best prog epic i've heard in my life !!!!! Only 3 other epic beats that one IMO and they are, "Close To The Edge" and "The Gates of Delirium" by Yes and "Supper's Ready" by Genesis.

So, this album is everything i like about prog music, a incredibly amazingly beautiful cover, a great song as a opener, "Golf girl" with a mellotron solo, cool ! A wonderful, beautiful and groovy 7+ min song, "Winter wine". Then you ave, "Love to Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)" very good song too, even if it is a more simple song. Next is the groovy title track with a very good keyboards solo, "In the Land of Grey and Pink" and in the end, the piece of resistance, "Nine Feet Underground" with amazing keyboards solos all over the track. By the way, i can listen to "Nine Feet Underground" in loop all night long without being board, there is so much incredible keyboards solo in that song that for me, it is impossible to get tired of earing a song like "Nine Feet Underground" :)

5 stars, essential: a masterpiece of progressive music. If you don't own that album, shame on you, you are missing one hell of a musical trip !!! ;)

Report this review (#79756)
Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the best progressive albums of all time! Without doubt! The boys of Canterbury show how the progressive rock is a inventive kind of music. The suite "Nine Feet" is pure genius of David Sinclair and compª. Hear this ever and ever loud! Hear the feeling of bass/drums, the rytmic guitar and, of course, the esplendid David Sinclair. This song is one of the best in prog world. Other highlight is "Winter Wine": very british with a beautiful and elegant vocals of Rick Sinclair. The other songs is pure sixteen feel with humour and good, good taste. Caravan: one of underrated band in the world. Now is time to give to the boys of Canterbury a word of respect and gratitude for all her made in the past.
Report this review (#80008)
Posted Thursday, June 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars A good early prog album, the best by Caravan. People often call this album a masterpiece of progressive music. However, it's not really all that progressive, but it is still amazing. the drum beats and bass lines are fairly simplistic while the guitar and keyboard solos are wild, dexterous, and thoroughly enjoyable. The lyrics are incredibly british sounding sometimes like he was trying a parody. But theres nothing to really get upset about here. Winter wine and in the land of... are the best on the first side. The epic and incredible track "Nine feet underground" takes up the whole second side of the lp and is totally worth it. I even played that tune for my friends (who hate prog, unless they dont know they are listening to it) without telling them what it was and they all got into it after a few minutes. Great solo work by both sinclair and hastings, coughlans drumming is persistent and his drum fills are rampant, quick, and intelligent.
Report this review (#80753)
Posted Friday, June 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars From the opening notes of the humorous "Golf Girl" played on the horn by Jimmy Hastings, to the very end of the side-long epic "Nine Feet Underground", there isn't a bit of filler material here. The best Caravan album, hands down. Possibly the best album of 1971.
Report this review (#81618)
Posted Wednesday, June 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the Land of Grey and Pink- This is a very energetic album with great instrumentation and catchy lyrics. Caravan writes humorous lyrics and catchy little folk tunes on this album wich really compliment the overall concept of this album. People have been putting this album down for having meaningless lyrics. Well who really cares! Not every band is going to rival Jethro Tull in the lyric department but you can still enjoy the album for what it is and not what it isn't. For making music that is catchy and humorous I am going to give in the Land of Grey and Pink 5 stars. Nine Feet Underground is an epic song that stays fresh from start to finish and contains some great keys from David Sinclair. Winter Wine is a cool acoustic song that contains some strange but fun lyrics. I friggin love Golf Girl for its English charm and even stereotypes. Playing golf and drinking tea eh? Great stuff. This is a classic prog album from a lesser known band during the 70s. if you want to listen to some happy music instead of the other depressing albums of the prog scene then check out In the Land of Grey and Pink by Caravan.
Report this review (#86217)
Posted Tuesday, August 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars A Masterpiece.

Thirty six years ago in a studio in West Hampstead, London one of ther finest ever pieces of prog music was conceived and recorded.

This is probably one of the most consistent albums you will find with the 20 minute opus "Nine Feet Underground" an endurable classic being the highlight.

Although keyboard dominated (Dave Sinclair) this album features strong musicianship from all band members. Just listen to Richard Sinclair's roaming bass and Richard Coughlam's drumming holding it all together. If you buy only one Caravan album (and you are depriving yourself of other great Caravan music if you do) then buy this.


Report this review (#93057)
Posted Monday, October 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the first Caravan album I heard, I was very pleased. This album goes to show that progressive rock doesn't have to be abstract, weird, unorganized (things like 15/16 time and stuff), it's very simple, positive, happy music. Each track is excellent in every way. Though Golf Girl, and IN the Land of Grey and Pink sound almost identical, they both have their differences which makes them great tracks. Theres not much I can say about these albums that hasn't been said before. IF you want nice cheery music (not cheery like 70's pop), then pick up this album, you won't be disappointed.
Report this review (#96096)
Posted Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Richard Sinclair's voice alone would make this record great, as it is we are presented with one of progs best ever sets. Even " Nine feet underground" which makes up side two is consistently good. Side one of the Vinyl release got played more than side two, but now it is on a cd the whole record gets played a great deal (by me). "Golf girl " is a great opening number displaying the pleasant Wimsey that seems to be Richards stock in trade (see Hatfield and the North)."Winter wine " is one of Caravan's best ever songs and deserves a place in your collection. "Love to love you " is the weakest cut on this excellent set but is still firmly on the pleasant side. "in the land of Grey and pink" is another great track full of clever if whimsical lyrics and delivers beautifully. If there is any criticism its that this album is a little light weight and doesnt take itself to seriously. However It makes a nice change to simply enjoy an LP and music for its own sake on occasions. Side two is more involved and jazzy. This record certainly gets four stars and deserves around 4.4 , a very pleasant addition to any collection and one that all the women in my life have loved.
Report this review (#96451)
Posted Wednesday, November 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Caravan's mature style can roughly be described as follows: upbeat pop/rock songs and gentle ballads, interspersed with fairly simple bass riffs over which Pye Hastings (electric guitar), Jimmy Hastings (flute), David Sinclair (typically Canterbury "fuzz-box" organ) and/or others improvise their extended solos. Even a 23-minute suite such as "Nine feet underground" does not deviate from this basic pattern.

For some proggers with Oh So Sophisticated Tastes such a style may seem a little simplistic. Pye Hastings' songs are too chirpy, the band's suites aren't intricate enough and the instrumental solos are too placid.

Well, I too like complicated music, but I find Caravan an incredibly likable and irresistible bunch. Virtually all the melodies on GREY AND PINK sound fresh and charming. The instrumental solos (splendidly accompanied by Richard Sinclair on bass and by Richard Coughlan, a superb drummer) are exhilerating, and they all reach proper climaxes. Over the past thirty years I've played this album innumerable times, and I invariably enjoyed it. Caravan may be a rather modest band, but this album deserves to be heard.

Report this review (#97578)
Posted Wednesday, November 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of my greatest discoveries!

Through many, many playings, this album has brought me much joy.

The pinnacle of the Canterbury genre, it's in a class of it's own.

The Sinclair cousins Dave and Richard do most of the writing, a tradition unfortunately not followed by other Caravan records. Golf Girl has the signature whimsical feel of the Canterbury bands, with a very nice rythm. Winter Wine is, along with Nine Feet Underground, the best track. The lyrics are so perfect you may think you are listening to a Ian Anderson song. The one Hastings song is of course a poppy, but catchy little tune. Doesn't really fit in with the rest of the album, kind of like More Fool Me on SEBTP. The title track I was exposed to on this site, which led me to buy the Deram remaster (Highly recommended!!) Gives a psychedelic atmosphere, like another reviewer said, going hand in hand with the epic artwork. Nine Feet Underground took dozens of listens for me to fully appreciate it, but after that there was no turning back. Some of the most inventive and satisfyng solos I've ever heard, Sinclairs hammond is definitely a treat.

Pick up this album for a introduction into the wonderful world of Canterbury.

Report this review (#101425)
Posted Saturday, December 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Radio Luxembourg (a 'pirate' UK radion station, long since defunct) used to play this album a lot and I'd be listening under the bedclothes (hey I was a kid OK?). I guess I didnt really get some of the references but it slways sounded humorous and fun.

And it still does. I'm glas to have this in my CD collection. A little bit of "Golf Girl" or "In The Land of Grey and Pink" is guaranteed to bring a smile to my face. Someof the longer, les quirky tracks are just great music. I particularly love the disnctive distorted keyboard sounds.

Great, naive, magic

Report this review (#102053)
Posted Thursday, December 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
5 stars Back in the late 80's (a prog-head in the making) I discovered this album - thanks to 'Neil's Heavy Concept Album', and I wasn't to know that this started a strong affinity with what was dubbed 'The Canterbury Scene'. Starting with the whimsical 'Golf Girl' (covered by The Young One's Neil - with a twist) featuring quirky lyrics and a great Mellotron solo (you're not supposed to play a 'tron like that), already difficult to dislike. Next, Winter Wine features one of the BEST EVER fuzzed-out organ passages (courtesy of the amazing David Sinclair), and bassist Richard Sinclair lettin' it rip. The track also displays folky characteristics. Love to Love You is Pye's little pop-song that is quite twee, but at least it's in 7/8. The title song is a beauty, as can be heard here, with a lovely piano solo and even better fuzz-organ solo. Side 2 is their near-23 minute magnum-opus 'Nine Feet Underground' - way too difficult for me to explain without breaking down its molecular structure and boring everyone to tears - just listen to it. Dreamy, blissful, carefree, wonderful music with some of the most tasteful organ playing around. The Dutch band 'Supersister' aren't far behind.
Report this review (#102063)
Posted Thursday, December 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best Cravan and the best Canterbury album! Caravan is not heavy or complicated. It's just pure muwsic. Golf Girl is a very nice track with lots of good fellings in it. Winter Wine is my favourite. Starts gently and stays that way,some great melodies here. Love To Love You remainds me of Wild Thing. Not the animal playing, but the riff. In The Land Of Grey and Pink should be in the Lords Of The Rings soundtrack. It's a nice tune with lyrics about hobbits I think. And here we are. With the almost 23 minute suite. Long track, but not borin at all. If you like Caravan, if you like Canterbury Scene, than you will enjoy this one. If you don't know it's your favourite track:) Long live Canterbury Scene, Long live Caravan!
Report this review (#104595)
Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars A great album from a great band..

The definite highlight of the album is the 22 minute epic "Nine Feet Underground". It is such a powerful song that it kind of outshines the other 4 songs on the album, but this is not to be taken badly; there is no way that I would qualify any song on this album as "bad" or even "ok". Each song in the land of grey and pink is great, and they sum up to a masterpiece of Canterbury music.

Perhaps the best thing about Caravan's music is its easy listening and positivity. Itdoesn't change in this album; a very enjoyable listen from start to finish, with a superb quality ending epic. 5 stars, highly recommended to anyone!

Report this review (#107399)
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars What an album by Caravan. ¨Golf Girl¨ is the first track and at first it sounds a little simple but quickly u get caught by Richard Sinclair´s haunting vocals and an awesome yet simple structure, ¨Winter Wine¨ is a beautiful track featuring excellent guitar work by Pye Hastings, definitely one of the best songs on the album, the third track ¨Love to Love You¨ is a nice silly song that that will grow on you each time u hear it, the fourth track is ¨In The Land of Grey and Pink¨and it is an awesome song that very much describes this album, funny awesome lyrics here and then it comes, the Caravan epic ¨Nine Feet Underground ¨ a song that could make this album gain five stars on it´s own

Overall this may very well be the most representative album of the Canterbury scene, an album full of great music, lyrics and an album very very fun to listen.

Report this review (#108068)
Posted Friday, January 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Being one of the first albums i bought in my life, "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is pretty hard for me to try to review objectively, but seeing as how many seem to have given the same rating that i am about to give, it seems that i was onto something after all.

The absolutely biggest draw of both "In the land.." and it's predecessor is, in my opinion, the talents of keyboardist David Sinclair. It is not likely that anyone used to Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman will raise their eybrows on account of his speed, but if you're a fan of the fuzz organ, then this album is a goldmine. Caravan is not only about Dave's soloing, however, there is great playing provided by all band members, drummer Richard Coughlan and bassist/vocalist Richard Sinclair provide an extremely tight rythm section, and while Pye Hastings isn't the most prominent guitar player, there's certainly nothing to complain about.

I am not a big Jazz fan, and to give an album 5 stars purely on account on impeccable musicianship would be very uncharacteristic of me, so there must be something more to it, right? Well, this is a very happy album (that seems to be the the common denominator for all Canterbury-style albums, they are fun and happy) and plays like a perfect soundtrack for any sunny day when the whole world seems to smile at you.

If i were to review "In the land of grey and pink" objectively, i would probably take away one star on account of the centerpiece track "nine feet underground" lacking direction and musical inspiration in parts, dragging on for too long in the same groove. But music is not science, and ever since i learned to fully appreciate the song, it's managed to send me to musical heaven every single time i've listened to it.

Not to forget, of course, is the superb artwork which is just one of the finest album covers i've ever seen, and really adds to the overall feel of the album.

As with most albums that one might consider masterpieces, "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is not completely flawless. "Golf girl", while certainly not a bad song, somehow feels a bit clumsy and "blunt" compared to the rest of the album, which flows faultlessly from start to finish. I i could, i would have replaced "Golf Girl" with the track "Frozen rose", whch appears under the name "I don't know its name (alias the word)" on the superb Decca/Deram remaster of the album. So be sure to pick that up, if you're planning on getting the album.

Don't listen to this album with the hopes of learning what the meaning behind "it all" is, or that all your problems will go away forever. It may not be as deep lyrically as "Thick as a brick" or revolutionary like "in the court of the crimson king", but it is an incredibly, incredibly enjoyable album, and it will give you many hours of musical bliss if you open your ears, and have a weakness for fuzzy organs. (And don't we all love a fuzzy organ...)

Report this review (#111532)
Posted Saturday, February 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars I actually prefer "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" slightly more than this one, but that's neither here nor there because I love them both.

"Golf Girl" has got to be one of the most charming songs ever ! A prog song about golf ? This is a cool song with some trumpet and mellotron added for our enjoyment. "Winter Wine" is such a good track and it opens with acoustic guitar and vocals. It picks up a minute in as organ and drums create a beautiful sound.This song has a sixties feel to it later on in my opinion. "Love To Love You (and tonight pigs will fly)" has a really catchy sound with piano and flute. "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" features Richard's whimsical vocals. This song also has a good beat with piano and organ. "Nine Foot Underground" is the side long epic that is divided into 8 parts. There is some mellotron as well as lots of fuzz organ. This is simply one amazing song that I never tire of. I like the mood shifts as well, especially at about 11 minutes in when it gets mellow to almost haunting.

This record is like a breath of fresh air and a ray of sunshine all rolled into one.

Report this review (#113632)
Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I dont think I understand Caravan fully, indeed I struggle with Canterbury genrally, or at least what I have heard of the sub genre so far. 'In the Land of Grey and Pink' is a highly respected album, and I've been listening to it on and off for about a year now. I thought a review was in order.

It seems that Caravan have a wry sense of humour, which I fully approve of, but it may be that I've been listening to symphonic prog for to long, because for me prog is no laughing matter ;-) I'm listening to 'Golf Girl' now as I write, and I concede I'm taking in elements of it that I hadn't noticed before. Perhaps thats how Canterbury works; answers on a post card please. It's a silly song, but there are some lovely things going on; nice organ riffs, good flute, and a funky rhythim.

Now, 'Winter Wine' is one of two songs on this album, which for me really earn it its three stars. Sinclairs pure voice works perfectly on WW. The intro is beautiful, and the song develops nicely into a jam, with a good organ solo, and some wonderfull key changes which perhaps charecterise Caravan when they are playing longer pieces. Maybe, I wouldn't know...

'Love to Love you (and tonight pigs will fly)' is another 'silly' song, but pleasant enough as it bounces along in 7/4, with a memorable riff.

The title track is ok, but doesn't really blow me away, although it does have a very nice piano based middle section.

'Nine Feet underground' is more of what I want to hear. Long jams, build ups to dramatic key changes, organ solos. At 24 minutes long some may say this track is much longer than it needs to be, and I would accept this POV, but I have to say it's never bored me. Bring it on!

In short there is nothing really wrong with what Caravan are doing here. The musicanship is very good, and 'ITLOGAP' is brilliantly produced. I think I just want to hear more jamming and instrumental material from a band I know little about, but who are obviously greatly admired.

Report this review (#114837)
Posted Sunday, March 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Together with BJH's "Time Honoured Ghosts" and Camel's "Moonmadness", Caravan's "In the Land of Grey and Pink", completes the trio of what I would call my favourite three, seminal albums.

Like the other two bands, Caravan have been with me since my early teens; their music always inspirational, but probably never so much so as on this album, "In The Land of Grey and Pink". Their third album, it is one of three in a four year period that most Caravan fans pick out as their best, the other two being 1970's "if I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You" and 1973's "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night".

Caravan are still playing and recording to this day despite having suffered many line-up changes in the 40 years of their existence: the only ever-present member being its inspirational leader, Pye Hastings. Pye's sweet voice is a hallmark of the Caravan sound, whatever reincarnation of the band you listen to. On this album the band also comprised the cousins Richard and David Sinclair (on bass and keyboards) and Richard Coughlan on drums. Significantly, the band also brought in Pye's brother Jimmy for this album and his contributions on flute, tenor sax and piccolo are a significant factor in the overall mystique of the soundscape created. David Sinclair's keyboards are another big factor in this; the music on this album is almost like a painting; different songs corresponding to different areas of the canvas, but clearly all being a significant part of the overall picture, such is the nuance of the musical thread running through the album.

The album is made up of 5 separate pieces: four are relatively short whilst the final one, "Nine feet Underground", is a relatively lengthy composition of over 22 minutes which originally took up the whole of side 2 of the LP. The complexity of this piece, together with the interweaving of similar complexities and soundscapes into the shorter pieces, have led to Caravan being labelled as a progressive-rock band. Certainly, for my money, this album is better than anything more famous prog-rock bands such as Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd ever produced.

Melody is a strong feature throughout: even during "Nine Feet Underground", there is plenty to hum or whistle along to. And by the time you get to it, your voice is already warm as you've sung along to some gorgeous songs - the boppy, tongue-in-cheek love song "Golf Girl", "Winter Wine", "Love to Love You" and the title track itself, "In the land of Grey and Pink". This is unashamedly about the pleasures of taking drugs and it is one of life's little mysteries to me why I, who have never taken drugs (and I wasn't even a boy scout!) should so much enjoy music either about drugs or obviously composed under the influence: Caravan, Hawkwind, Steve Hilllage, Spirit and many more.

A truly great album!

Report this review (#116401)
Posted Monday, March 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris H
5 stars The pinnacle of the Canterbury Scene!

With Caravan's 1971 release "In The Land Of Grey And Pink", the Canterbury genre of music peaked and then was born again. Of course, since it is the true gem of the genre, it contains all of the necessary elements for an amazing Canterbury album, such as the psychedelic surrealism and the funny and goofy approach to writing lyrics. Another thing that makes this album the Canterbury crown is the use of the organ. Never has a keyed instrument sounded more raw and original than David Sinclair's did on this album. The fuzz organ provides an amazing outlet for some incredible soloing along the course of the album, but the rest of the band is tight as well. The rhythm section is at it's finest and the average skills Pye Hastings are showcased very nicely here, even though the occasional awkward moment is stumbled upon.

Before we go song by song, I must say that if you are expecting some deep lyrics that showcase the inner mechanisms of the human mind at work, these won't suffice. However the set of lyrics on this album are incredible in their own way, providing a perfect blend of poppy and happy melodies with an occasional psychedelic twist.

"Golf Girl" is an uplifting song to start the album, very upbeat and melodic with an awesome organ going in the background to set the tone. One thing I love about the song is how the accompanying rhythms change for every chorus repeat instead of the same old boring repeats used by virtually every other performing artist. Incredible intro as well, must give that a nod. "Winter Wine" presents the age old Caravan related question, "who the heck is playing the solo?", but as we all figured out 30 years later, it is the fizz organ of Dave Sinclair, not the guitars of Pye Hastings. A little bit heavier in melody, but still very upbeat and tap-your-feet-to kind of music. The crystal-clear voice of D. Sinclair is the icing on the cake for this song, and a true masterpiece in itself.

Here's the concept for the next track. 3 minutes of pop. What's this? Oh what the heck, it is still a listen worthy song, no matter the concept or outcome! "Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly") a perfectly acceptable song, what with it's poppy lyrics and whimsical air. Keeping the album rolling in 7/4 time signature for a little is never a bad thing, is it? The title track, "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" follows up in a fine fashion. Keeping in tradition, only good things can be said about the song! The hippie references and humorous noises and sounds during the song are all well and good, but what really blows me away is Mr. Sinclair's amazing fingers or fury, once again. His keyboard dominance cannot be matched, at least in this era or to my ears.

The B-side of the original LP is their epic of the album, the 22+ minute "Nine Feet Underground", which is composed of 8 smaller pieces that flow together to create a massive piece of music. As many have said before me, it is evident that band had way too much fun naming these pieces. just have a look see! "Nigel Blows A Tune" is the first part, and the organ takes the stage while the rhythm section hums away relentlessly. "Love's A Friend" sees an organ transformation, hitting the blues/heavy distortion side of things. The funky bass guitars and melodic leads make this a staple section of Canterbury rock. "Make It 76" and the beginning through middle of "Dance Of The Seven Paper Hankies" are a little softer and a little more laid-back, tracks meant to showcase once again the organ talents of Sinclair. The ending of "Dance Of The Seven Paper Hankies" throws the melodies out the windows and slams percussion instruments all the way through "Hold Grandad By The Nose". "Disassociation" slows everybody down for a little breather and gives the mood back to the song. Once again, the organ propels the song into a massive force of nature, and the build-up is setting the tone for the almost-too-heavy-for-Canterbury "100% Proof". And with this amazing, hard-hitting piece, my personal favorite journey through the Canterbury genre has come to an end.

Like I said right from the top, this is the defining album of the genre. An incredibly fun album to listen to, I would recommend this album to everybody I know. Start with this album if you haven't experienced Caravan yet, if you haven't been introduced to the world of Canterbury yet, or if you are just looking for an album that is very musically intelligent yet fun at the same time, all while staying clean and interesting.

You simply cannot go wrong here, 5 stars over and over!

Report this review (#118096)
Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Summer Prog! Canterbury folk prog at its best.

I love this album, it always put me in great mood. I feel like dancing everytime. And that doesnt happen much when I listen to music. The part that I enjoy mostly in this album is the bass. Its crazy and it just feels so alive. Its all over the place and controlled at the same time.

"Standing on a golf course, dressed in PVC, I chanced upon a golf girl selling cups of tea"

The lead vocal reminds me somewhat of Belle & Sebastians vocal, it got the same feel to it. Kind of lazy and extremly comfortable.

The album have some longer parts and some more pop oriented small songs, but the album flow good and you never get bored. The highlight of the album is the ending track Nine Feet Underground, a 22 min classic prog track.

Many people I have met have said that Caravan is to weak and tame and thats what was my first thought aswell. I gave it a second chance and got hooked.

Report this review (#118196)
Posted Thursday, April 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Standing on a golf course, dressed in PVC...

... is probably the most often quoted line from this album among those who know it. As such it is the first line by Caravan I ever read, and not surprisingly, also the first line I heard - right after the trumpet blows the final note of the Golf Girl track. The beginning of a funny, Canterbury style album full of humour.

The mix of late 60s, early 70s pop and progressive rock elements on this album is very appealing, but also makes it a bit difficult to see it as a full blown prog album. Luckily the brilliant musicianship, and the great vocals (not only lyrics wise - some people know how to sing!) still make it very enjoyable to my ears. Addictive almost, the first week I've had it I played it from WinAmp nine times, and multiple times on the road as well.

The poppy opener Golf Girl has some interesting proggy instrumental breaks, and there's a lot of instruments to be heard. A catchy track that sticks in your head, and is followed by the more progressive Winter Wine. By coincidence, I came across a forum discussion about whether this track contains a guitar or an organ solo, and I must admit that it is very hard to hear that it's an organ at first. The vocal line in this track sometimes reminds me of the Moody Blues.

The following Love To Love You is almost a 60s pop song, if a decision would have had to be made between this and Golf Girl as the first single I would have put my money on this one. It's enjoyable, but not the proggiest on this album. It does get an extra credit for the subtitle (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) though.

The title track is just great - lyrics wise and music wise. Is that another organ solo? Some of the vocal 'effects' in this song remind me of Gong's Pothead Pixies - checking the time lines of Canterbury might reveal who influenced who, but the first part of Gong's trilogy was released in the same year as this one, so we cannot be completely sure. And who cares anyway?

To top it all of, we get a 22 minute epic, which consists of 8 movements if we believe the subtitles, but is said to be actually constructed out of 5 individual pieces. Who can tell - it's a great, almost completely instrumental piece.

All in all, a very enjoyable album for someone like me, who has discovered Canterbury only less than a year ago. The large contribution of 'standard' late 60s and early 70s mainstream pop-rock prevent me from seeing this as a prog masterpiece, but it's definitely an essential piece in the history of Canterbury. Alas, 4 stars it is....

Report this review (#118731)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Over-rated but nice

Summary (so you don't have to read the hatchet job on the tracks ;0):

A harmless collection of 4 quaint and quirky light English folk-flavoured songs (it's hard to avoid the term "whimsical"), with details that only serve to make you think of other bands that did it better, and a sprawling monstrosity of a jam that qualifies for Prog Rock only because of its length and tidiness.

Safe to ignore for the "serious" Prog Rock collector - but nice enough to warrant a listen, and a collectable item for hardcore Camel fans - particularly the Sinclair-era material.

The Hatchet Job

See, when I listen to Prog Rock, I expect certain things; An avoidance of common song structure, avoidance of basic pop drum beats, and composition rather than jamming.

All of those three things are present here in abundance - and while they may also be found in magnificent albums like Pink Floyd's "Piper At The Gates of Dawn", the latter at least journeys into unchartered territory on a regular basis and displays precocious mastery of compositional forms that are new as far as rock is concerned.

Golf Girl

A reasonably catchy slice of verse/chorus pop with the distinctive "10 pence, 10 pence, 50 pence, £1" pop beat and archetypal late 1960s/early 1970s instrumental section - a jam around 2 chords - albeit with some tasty flute playing. Warning - the intro is rank cheese.

Winter Wine

A charming folk-like tune with essence of Roy Harper, that launches into a laid-back if somewhat insignificant feeling 1970s flavoured rock song that really lacks the power to deliver the lyrics. The melodies are premonitions of Camel even before Sinclair's arrival, underscored by the occasional soft-sixth harmonies, and appear to be rooted in the Moody Blues. The instrumental section is another jam around two chords and is very pleasant indeed with some imaginative guitar playing that is laced with hints of what Andy Latimer was to achieve, but with the notable absence of Pete Bardens organ interplay - the keyboards here being fully relegated to the rhythm section.

Love to Love You

A really horrible pop song based on "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen - maybe it's a parody, but even the 7/4 time signature, outrageous lyrics and flute don't save this atrocity.

In the land of grey and pink

Completing the pop side is this jaunty little tune - back comes the "10 pence, 10 pence, 50 pence, £1" beat with incessant 8ths. The most interesting thing about this song is Sinclair excercising his surprisingly wide vocal range and wibbly Daevid Allen-alike vocals, and the pretty tinkly piano interlude. Oh, and the instrumental break cleverly utilises a 3rd chord...

Nine Feet Underground

A collection of 8 short pieces - so not really a 20+ minute epic at all.

We kick off with, yes, a jam around 2 chords, entitled "Nigel Blows a Tune". I wouldn't go as far as to say it blows, but it's not very exciting or energetic, sitting safely around scales and the established tonal base in a pleasant but non-stimulating manner.

Around 5:42 (presumably the "Love's a Friend" section) the music changes to something you can swing your pants to - some archetypal 1970s dancey rock based around, no - not 2, but one single chord for the verse, with a change to a short progression for the chorus, and the predictable jammed instrumental.

At 9:02, and smacking heavily of a drop-in, is the next section - a new instrumental piece based around a short falling riff. Very funky, with strong flavours of Santana... what's next?

Everything grinds practically to a halt at 10:46 for a nice ambient section - the closest thing we've had to Prog Rock thus far. A minute and 10 seconds later, there's new music based around the falling riff motif, with a shuffling Latin-flavoured disco beat and that non-stop pentatonic noodling guitar - which is getting a bit annoying by now.

Another section begins rudely at 14:13 - a complete and utter change into a simple 2 chord jam that lasts two minutes but feels like 10.

This gives way to a song section with the falling riff pattern - and this is a really lovely song, with poignant flute and keyboard decorations that begins to feel more like Prog - but for the repetition. There's a nice Floyd-like instrumental break, which is, alas, far too short.

Another painful drop-in around 19:30 reveals a nice rocking section that appears to be heavily based on "Sunshine of Your Love" with little bits of "You Really Got Me" thrown in for good measure - before dropping into a single-chord jam with the same old pentatonic licks raising a real yawn.

At least they tidied up the ending.

If you got this far, then it only remains for me to re-iterate: An interesting relic of the early 1970s, and worth a listen - but there's plenty of real Prog around for you to spend your money on. If you like psychedelia and jam-bands, then this comes highly recommended - the jamming is, at least, tidy, organised and not a completely wasted drug-fest.

Report this review (#125415)
Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Golf girl starts this one of real mellow, vocals fit perfectly in the music, horns, piano, drums, organ, flute. When I first heard this album I was mindblown, especially the first song Golf Girl. Next comes Winter Wine which is also great singing, complexity, and drumming. Love To Love You is the third number and is the most catchiest one of the bunch, once again a flute solo by Jimmy Hastings which leads us to The Land Of Grey And Pink, which is the most Rockish with a beautiful piano solo by David Sinclair, includes nice bass work by Richard Sinclair, and a nice organ solo towards the end, this song tells a great fun story with references to smoking marijuana, but then again it was 1971...after listening to side one you will feel Nine Feet Underground, obviously the masterpeice on this album, capturing a prime example of what the Canterbury Collective was all about.
Report this review (#125501)
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another classic album for which so much has been written, most of it glowing. I have to concur while acknowledging there is some truth to those who say Caravan is pretty safe music for hard core proggers.

Nonetheless this album is a joy. Pop, rock, jazz is all here swirled into one delightful work that has a very hippie vibe and a strong sense of humor. While it refuses to take itself too seriously there is little argument that these songs are very well constructed and the ensemble playing is just fantastic from all the musicians. The sound is also killer for 1970 when this was recorded. All of the instruments are heard very clearly and the mix is near perfect on the remastered CD.

"Golf Girl" and "Love to Love You" is the ammo for the critics contending this is pop music with light prog touches. These are very catchy songs that will get anyone bouncing around. But the latter especially is not to the quality of the other songs and should have been replaced with something else, perhaps the excellent bonus track "I don't know its name." The title track and "Winter Wine" are still very sweet but are also such solid, gorgeous songs that really build a strong fantasy mood they were shooting for. Winter Wine has always been a favorite of mine, the perfect acoustic opening before the thumping bass kicks in but always remaining sort of lilting and light. The lyrics conjure images of a utopia that might have been. One look at the amazing gatefold album cover is enough to get anyone in the fantasy mode! The title track feels the same as Winter Wine to me, just blissed out longing for a simple life along with the delicious instrumental interplay. I'm a big fan of whimsy and it's all over this song in the vocal and in the perfect solos. All the while you have tight acoustic rhythm guitar which is such a nice touch.

The nearly 23 minute "Nine Feet Underground" is the big kettle of fish that prog fans will point to as proof of this album's validity. It's a very good song that ebbs and flows but consistently features stellar playing and painstaking arrangements. Just kick back and marvel at the amazing drum fills and solid bass lines cooking near the 13-14 minute mark. Nice soloing, great vintage keyboards, flutes, mellotron. There's so much here to enjoy. This whole album really makes me wish I was at an after-party with them in 1970. I'm guessing a good time was had by all.

While not quite masterpiece status on my shelf this is an excellent album by any stretch and is recommended to everyone. The 2001 remaster I have features a very nice history in the booklet and a level of sound quality that will please the fussiest audiophiles. It also comes with five bonus tracks.

Report this review (#129737)
Posted Saturday, July 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Masterpiece of progressive rock and modern music. Prominent work of styles only. All musicians (composers) have exerted maximum of capability. Organist of David Sinclair, it has showed, that it belongs to fairest soloists of progressive rock. It is possible to hear beautiful in first part unusually and melodious work, decorate ingenious improvisations of musicians . Whatever say about suite from second album part . First of all, it belongs to hear her (it) and survive . Then, everything such is not already just. My proposal it 6 stars

Report this review (#130191)
Posted Wednesday, July 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars In the Land of Grey Pink is a nice album, and at times it seems it is not much more than that. It's a great, fun, upbeat, optimistic album, full of light, jovial melodies, what may seem as trivial lyrics, and catchy acoustic guitar segments. Musically it strays from more intricate sections, to really proudly simple songs, to jazzy, drawn out jams. There's a healthy portion of each style, but if one were to be chosen as the herald of the album, it would undoubtedly be the naive, loving, simplistic rockers.

Not many albums can be so explicitly and proudly simple and trivial and still be excellent. But the way Caravan pulls it off is magnificent, throwing in the jazz allusions at key moments, and adding an unexpected complex arrangements just when the simplicity was about to grow tiresome. Serene guitar, occasional horn cameos, inspired and bright keyboard solos, and steady, but not boring drums occupy the forty minutes of music. The bonus tracks are excellent, as well, and any of the new songs would have fit perfectly anywhere on Grey and Pink. Production and sound quality on the re-master are exceptionally good, and the biography of the booklet is very comprehensive, and very detailed.

However, fans of prog metal, and Rush-like highly strung prog, whose patience wanes when tested by popular rock - even very good popular rock - must steer clear of this release. The constant sunshine that this album brings may turn people off, and the extended solos may seem without direction to some. The bright, bouncy atmosphere may not feel very interesting to some. But after many listens, and much consideration, it is clear this album is excellent.

Report this review (#134275)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars CARAVAN's In The Land of Grey and Pink is probably my favorite Caravan - and Canterbury - album, and certainly one of the best. It was my introduction to Canterbury music, and after the first listen I eagerly pulled out the rest of my dad's old Caravan LPs.

This album is different than a lot of prog albums in that you can enjoy and appreciate it at first listen. All of the songs are fun and accessible, while still remaining distinctly progressive and jazzy.

The band makes great use of David Sinclair's good ol' Hammond and Richard Sinclair's dreamy, British vocals (he's one of the few singers who can actually sing well in an accent). To run down the tracks...

1. Golf Girl - a fun, silly song with nice horn, a funky, bassy melody, and some flute & piano kicking in at the end. In of itself it's nothing amazing, but is still essential to the overall feel of the album.

2. Winter Wine - this song is a real treat. It has a nice acoustic into, a lovely melody with a cool bass line, and one of my all time favorite Hammond solos!

3. Love to Love You - this is the only song not composed by the Sinclair cousins, and it shows. Pye Hastings wrote and sang this little vocal ditty which always makes me imagine Hastings frolicking in a meadow. Nothing great, but certainly not awful.

4. In the Land of Grey and Pink - the title track features the return of Richard's voice! Rejoice! A very nonsensical song (lyrically speaking), featuring a dreamy, laid-back piano & Hammond solo by David and a nice bit of guitar to cap off side A.

5. 9 Feet Underground - Caravan's *real* side-long epic. (For Richard is a paltry 14 minutes). If someone ever asks me what a Hammond organ is, I'll immediately point them to this track. This track is 22:43 of great music. It shifts effortlessly through many themes, avoiding the all too common error of bundling a bunch of similar short songs together and calling it an epic. It even ends with the catchy Sunshine of Your Love riff, which (somehow) doesn't sound cliché or cheesy!

This is truly a masterpiece of progressive music, if only for tracks 2 & 5, and to a lesser extent, 4. Every aspiring or current prog fan needs to listen to this album before reaching that stage of prog nirvana. Seriously, if you haven't give this one a spin in a while, do so! If you don't own it, buy it. Now!

If you liked this album, I'd recommend checking out both Hatfield and the North disks (Richard Sinclair on vocals/bass), Matching Mole (David Sinclair), and Camel's Rain Dances, Breathless, and especially A Live Record (all have Richard on bass/vocals).

Report this review (#134868)
Posted Saturday, August 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have to confes that i havent hade this album very long litle over a week, but with some albums you can yust feel after a few lisen that its something very special, but im not suprised since i have seen this album mentioned many times as a real prog gem and i can yust agree. But it dident start like that a long time ago over a year i think i saw a video of Golf Girl on youtube and i didetn like it at all, i tought no way i gona start lisen to this horible prog pop, but then 1 day bought Hatfield and the north and after geting in too and likeing that one very much and seeing it was the same vocalist bass player as in the early the caravan albums i tought i might give Caravan another try and then sudently i liked Golf girl the only song i hade heard when i bought the album, so i found the album in a good Music shop i often visit that got loades of prog albums. And it was love right away this is not the type of prog that is hard to get into sure you like it more and more every lisen but its pretty accesible right from start atleast for me only 5 songs it stars up very nice with Gold girl a sweet prog pop song very catchy, Winter wine is a real good one very nice organ work, Caravan is a very organ driven band the guitar always stay back, anyway realy good vocals and lyrics from Richard Sinclair. Song 3 Love to love you no doubt the weakest on the album a simpel love song a typical psycadelic sounding one its good but nothing special compered to the rest, the title track is a cool wierd song about smoking weed very nice typcial whimsical canterbury lyrics, the orginal album ends with the masterpice of the album Nine feet under ground and to be honest its one of the best 20min+ prog epics i have ever heard simply amazing what a great organ sound and what amazing organ solos, this is one of thos song that feels so much shorter then it realy is it feels more liek 5-10min then 22+ every thing yust fit toghter prefectly not 1 week spot not 1 wasted second, im lisening to it now and the intro gives me goose bumps, it goes trough 8 difrent movements but it feels more like one song and not pasted toghter like suppers ready. I got the 2001 remaster wich also got some realy sweet bonus tracks I dont know its name is a song in the same style as Winter wine very good, Arisocracy a shorter pop prog song and its allso very good, its likely to have a name next week is the orginal instrumental version of winter wine Richard humns litle at the start then it goes instrumental not much to say the one with vocals is beter, Group gilr is the orginal Golf girl with litle difrent lyrics more personal about how Richard meet his wife the last bonus track is the 2 last movments of Nine feet underground with a new mix the only difrence i can hear is that the guitar sounds rawer on the closing 100% proof. This is a prog rock landmark that shuld be in every seriús prog rock collection very recomended. Its a great starting album for caravan newbies and it have made me looking forward to buy the rest of thiere collection.
Report this review (#137143)
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
5 stars With the perfect mix of psychedelia, cleverness, composition, and improvisation, "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is the watershed album for the whole Canterbury movement. A fun, flowing work, its approach was all too seldom followed, even by Caravan itself and, truth be told, there isn't really another album from the scene that I can wholly endorse. So this may be more representative of how I wish Canterbury would be than what it actually was.

While the lyrics are occasionally smug and twee as typical for bands of this ilk, they also contain succinct philosophical statements, especially in "Winter Wine", the album's best song. In this beautiful piece, as well as throughout the album, the playing and arrangements more than compensate for any untoward silliness. Even "Golf Girl" and "Love to Love You" are simply too jaunty to be dismissed, while the title cut features great rhythms on acoustic guitar and wind playing by Jimmy Hastings. As for "Nine Feet Underground", the sheer melodic inventiveness and versatility of the band are consistently engaging. It is here that David Sinclair gets to shine on organ, trading off with Pye Hastings' lead guitar excursions and Jimmy Hastings' sax. The support of the two Richards on bass and drums is noteworthy without being obtrusive. The transitions between segments add to the sense that everything has been well thought out and constructed.

This is an album that can be respected and loved far beyond the confines of the Canterbury scene, and not just in some fantasy land of grey and pink. Essential in any prog rock library.

Report this review (#137476)
Posted Sunday, September 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ah, "In The Land Of Grey And Pink", one of my favorite albums ever! It also has one of my favorite covers giving you an absolute idea what's inside music-wise. The other album cover that does that for me is Genesis's 'Wind and Wuthering'. The album starts with their most whimsical song, "Golf Girl" has Richard Sinclair's warm and deep voice telling a cute story over what may sound like a simple few chords, but I beg to differ, it's a bit more complicated then it sounds. A great opener! Again Richard shines on the classic "Winter Wine" a total stunner of a song. With his brother David's monumental fuzzed-out keys, Coughlin's wonderful drumming and Richard's phenomenal bass it's one of THEE classic Canterbury songs, just the singing alone gives me goosebumps. I have a soft spot for the next track, "Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)". I played this once for my then six-year old daughter. She's nine now and it's on her iPod. How's that! Again, a simple song that's quite not, AND with humorous lyrics, (a Canterbury prog trademark if there ever was one). "In The Land of Grey and Pink" is another whimsical ditty that has a very complicated beat. Go ahead and try to tap your toes, it's not easy...yet, the way it's played you would think it was just a minor song. Plus, those lyrics...ah, pure Canterbury. Now we get to the one track that every prog fan in the land must hear at least once. "Nine Feet Underground" has everything a fan of prog is after, killer melody, mind-blowing instrumentals, calm lows and epic highs. It's everything I love about this genre. It's so pure and original. There's times where I'd swear this track can out duel "Supper's Ready" and "Close To The Edge" for best side-long epic ever. It all depends on the mood. Where "Supper's Ready" tells an epic story and "Close To The Edge" takes you to an epic place, "Nine Feet Underground" doesn't want to take you or tell you, rather it wants you to feel it. It has more of an earthy groove. It's a definate child of the early 70's when it wasn't all about the band or the musician, it was about the feeling. That's pretty much how I feel about this song and the whole album in general. I feel really GOOD when listening to this masterpiece of an album. They don't show off. They just play. And no one does Canterbury better then Caravan. Whew! Oh, and the re-mastered version has a track, "I Don't Know It's Name (alias 'The Word') which would have fitted in nicely on this album. Folks, if you are contemplating buying a Canterbury album ever, make it this one first. It has it all and then some. I wish I could give it 6 stars...Oh yeah!!!!
Report this review (#139919)
Posted Saturday, September 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars At first glance, this is an amusing yet shallow album, but look a little deeper and here is an album that can be appreciated on more than one level. No individual musician stands out to me as being especially outstanding, but all together they create a sound that most of the time can be considered pleasant. I really like the vocals as well, being reminiscent somewhat of The Beatles.

'Golf Girl' is maybe the most Beatles-ish track, with some fun, almost psychedelic lyrics, and some interesting chord progressions. 'Winter Wine' is a more sombre song, with some rather spooky melodies, but still retains the charm of the first track. 'Love to Love You' is a higlight, and has a very catchy sing-along chorus, and more amusing lyrics. The title track is my personal favourite, with its drugged up lyrics, and amusing vocal harmonies, letting you know that this is indeed a very ENGLISH band, and nothing like the prog you'd expect from the other side of the Atlantic. Also interesting is the fact that the lyrics are very much alike to the comic poet Edward Lear (check out his poem, 'The Jumblies' for a good example). The closing epic is 'Nine Feet Underground', which seems to be the main atraction for many reviewers, but not for me. It's a good track and works well as background music, but just doesn't capture me like the other songs. There is too much jazz influence for me maybe. The band seems to focus too much on their (admittedly competent) jamming, and not enough on the vocal sections, which they do a lot better IMHO.

Maybe if all the tracks were more like the title song, and 'Love to Love You' this would be a five star album, but the rest of the album just doesn't amaze me, but it is all of above average quality. 3 stars, although i highly recomend it.

Report this review (#144856)
Posted Monday, October 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A quite well-known album (At least around here) featuring some very intricate and lovely melodies. One of the ''happier'' albums of this era.

I am quite unfamiliar with Caravan aside from this album. Of course, since the quality of these 5 recordings are quite high, I'll need to check out some more albums before I rate the band as a whole. But let me tell you this; this album is truly stunning! Great musicianship, fun and thoughtful lyrics, and of course the sweet melodies.

The bulk of the work here is very well written. The opening 'Golf Girl' is a quite commercial yet very satisfactory number, and after the quite humorous verses a great flute solo pops up. 'Winter Wine' is a beautiful, slow-paced prog number. Standing at 7 minutes, it's the second longest composition on the album. The introduction features sweet vocals and a lovely little acoustic guitar, before charging into the rest of the more proggy verses. In the middle of this song is an extremely delicious keyboard solo. Grade A stuff right there!

'Pigs Will Fly', undeniably the low-point of the album, is an overtly cheery tune that I'm not too fond of. It's got a great drum rhythm though, however the vocals are not on par with those on the rest of album. The succesing song, the title track, is a beautiful song reminiscent of Golf Girl. Intricate acoustic guitars and absolutely great lyrics! There's a lovely piano solo as well. Superb song.

'Nine Feet Underground', the albums 22 minute long showcase is, like many other epics, split into several parts, aptly named quite humorously. It's a beast, with stunning soloing throughout and wonderful chord sequences in all parts. However it tends to drag a bit in the middle part, and it feels as if though most of the focus was laid at the beginning and closing sections. Great keyboard work and singing throughout, it flows very well and could very well stand up there with the rest of highly praised epics.

All in all, In The Land of Grey And Pink is a very consistent album, and aside from 'Pigs Will Fly' it's undeniably very proggy. Great Canterbury material, recommended to anyone who enjoys a great, fun prog album. Four stars!

Report this review (#146558)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars "In The Land of Grey And Pink" is one of the seminal albums from the Canterbury scene, and one of my favourite progressive albums os of all time. The album begins with the delightfully surreal almost folk-like pop song "Golf Girl", which tells the tale of a young man buying cups of tea from a PVC clad girl named Pat. The second track "Winter Wine" is a beautiful acoustic guitar driven song, which really helps to display the melodic and unique vocal qualities that this band possessed. It also shows the truly progressive side of the band, with tempo and timbre changes throughout the song. The third track "Love to Love You" is often overlooked by people who listen to this album, but this is actually a high point of the album, with it's cowbell sections and cooperative keyboard and guitar riff, complemented excellently once again by Caravan's ingenious vocal harmonies. "In The Land of Grey And Pink" is the best short song on the album, a true classic for any prog fan whoever you may be, whether it's the psychedelic lyrics or indeed the reserved yet brilliant sounding instrumental parts, I honestly can't see any prog fan disliking this one. The album's final track "Nine Feet Underground" is a twenty two minute long epic, which in my opinion drags slightly, but it is still a great piece of music and a necessary listen to any fan of the Canterbury genre. All and all this is an excellent album, and a necessity for any fan of 70's prog.
Report this review (#146799)
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very good album, Nine Feet Underground is a fantastic song, by far the best song on here. The other songs are good, but not great. Golf Girl is a very English mellow pop tune about having sex with a girl who sells lemonade on a golf course (how could anyone not like a song about that), Winter Wine and the title track are jazzy fantasy based tunes that have some nice melodies but aren't very memorable. Love to Love You also a decent track, but Nine Feet Underground is one of the greatest epics ever. The jazzy melodies and solos are just so euphoric and the keyboard tone so plush and the lyrics are epic, "Will the day be warm and bright, or will it snow, there are people waiting, who really want to know" Classic. Pulled up by the strength of Nine Feet Underground, this album gets 4 stars, seeing as it takes up half the album anyway. Recomended.
Report this review (#152139)
Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars In The Land Of Pink And Grey is my first entry into, not only Caravan, but also into the so called Cantebury Sound. I missed it all for a long time since those imported records were far too expensive in the 70´s, specially if you were a teen student with very little income. There was so much going on at the time that I couldn´t afford to hear it all, much less buy everything. So only recently I was able to and decided to listen to that band. And I was quite surprised: thsi CD sounded very simple and even silly at first. But after a few spins I discover their subtle intrincacies and beauty and found myself enjoying it more and more. Their blend of prog, folk, jazz and even traditional english pop is very unique. Their whimsical tunes seems to annoy some people, but you can´t deny they have sense of humor and that´s a good thing.

For my part I think In The Land Of Pink And Grey is an excellent prog album. Not a masterpiece, really, but still excellent. It stood well the test of time. Some songs are, of course, better than the others. The highlights for me are the title Track, Winter Wine and the long suite Six Feet Under. Golf Girl and Love To Love are quite funny and well done, too, but not as good as the others. Sometimes I hear a hint of Camel here and there. On the other hand, the extra tracks are all very fine and fit perfectly on the record´s overall sound. The production is good for the time and the musicians are all very skilled and creative. There are no symphonic prog here, but that was never their goal anyway. Progressive music is much more than that.

Conclusion: all in all, an excellent, very enjoyable work by Caravan. Nothing groundbreaking here, but still unique and good to hear. I´m glad I got this CD and I recommend it to anyone who likes good music in general and don´t expect anything too bombastic. 4 solid stars

Report this review (#153118)
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This reviewer is decidedly disadvantaged by not having had the opportunity to listen to this band or to this great recording in the context of the time of this recording's initial release in 1971. It may or may not be fair to compare this recording against other progressive styles which were developing in 1971, but it is frankly inconceivable and impossible to evaluate any recording in a vacuum. In this respect, therefore, it is necessary to consider what other bands were doing in 1971 in the evaluation of this recording. 1971 was the year of Yes' Fragile LP, King Crimson's Lizard, ELP's Tarkus and Genesis' Nursery Cryme. Is it really fair to review the "progressiveness" of this Canterbury recording against symphonic and eclectic prog? I'm not sure. What I can say with certainty is that one must have some basis of comparison. Quite clearly, each of the Canterbury bands themselves had a distinctive style. Is it fair to compare a Caravan recording to Soft Machine, Gong, Egg or any of the others? I think the same argument applies as it does to comparing this recording across "subgenres" because of the tremendous diversity that exists even within the alleged "Canterbury Sound" . Be that as it may, this recording features beautiful singing, excellent musicianship by all, and in my opinion, a sense of cohesiveness lacking from other Canterbury releases of the period. I do not think the music is as progressive as period Yes, King Crimson, ELP or Genesis. In fact, there is at times a decidedlly "retro" feel in terms of some of the psychedelic instrumental and vocal motifs that pervade this recording and some drug references are present in the lyrics. But then again, the late 60's and early 70's were a transitional period and this recording is a sign of the times. "Golf Girl" is a charming little ditty about flirtation with a guy who buys three cups of tea from a young lady on a golf course. I'm not sure if the lyrics after he buys his tea are "later on the golf course.... she protected me" or a subtle word play of "layed her on the golf course... she protected me" (either makes sense) as might be typical of the free sprit of the times. "April Wine" is the first of two true early progressive pieces on the recording but with a fine thread of psychedelia lingering on from the 1960s. " Love to Love You" is a poppish period song with a catchy beat, but nothing really progressive going on here. Interestingly, the title track is probably the weakest link on the record, but progressive as well as psychedelic elements are present. The epic 22+ minute "Nine Feet Underground" is a great piece of earlier progressive rock. David Sinclair's keyboard play is a highlight of the entire recording. Pye Hastings' guitar work is tasteful and refreshingly restrained as compared with the self-indulgent offerings of many others of the day. Contributions by the other band members are solid. I can understand why there are so many accolades for this recording- it is well put together musically and it still sounds great. There isn't, however, a lot of virtuosic play, and, there is a substantial carry-over of late 1960s psychedelia in the music along with some poppish elements that raise some questions about just how progressive some of the material is. Certainly, a lot of new musical territory was not charted on this recording as compared with what Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Genesis or even what Soft Machine and Gong were doing around this time. There is, despite this, a unique charm to this recording that is absent from much of the work of the other bands mentioned, and it remains, to this day, a representative of the "Canterbury Sound" (whatever that was or is remains debatable). I don't know that this recording make quite the impact of the recordings cited above and in that regard, I don't view it as essential. It is, however, an excellent effort altogether that rates no less than four stars, and, probably a fraction more.
Report this review (#155165)
Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars What a fun and charming album! I need to journey on the lighter side of prog once in a while, and I can scarcely find a better album to lead me there than In the Land of Grey and Pink. Of course, there is plenty of serious musicianship and quality compositions to be found as well, otherwise it would be just more bubble-gum pop. Therein lies the real appeal of this album: the ability to incorporate goofy lyrics and playful tunes with relatively full compositions and entertaining individual performances. Don't get me wrong--I don't believe any of these guys would qualify as virtuosos, but by this time in their careers they had coalesced into a very tight band.

Golf Girl, Love to Love You, In the Land of Grey and Pink. These are the poppy tunes that may have the effect of turning off overly serious proggers. They did for me as well for quite some time, until I got past the lyrics and listened to the tasteful playing, most notably from Sinclair on keys and Caughlin on drums. From flirting on the golf course to picking and smoking punkweed, these are all very playful and fun, with Love to Love You probably being the lowest point on the album.

Winter Wine, Nine Feet Underground. If the entire album was like the above pop-oriented tunes, I would lose interest quickly, but the two extended pieces provide an excellent balance of composition and tight playing. Winter Wine is a wonderfully nostalgic song, full of excellent drum fills and shimmering organ, all to a longing melody. The highlight of the album is Nine Feet Underground, which is basically a series of catchy melodies (only two with vocals) that segue reasonably well into each other. The piece works largely because the melodies are diverse and catchy enough, with plenty of tight playing by Caravan. It feels cohesive to my ears because it starts with an irresistably bright tune that extends for over five minutes and concludes by saving the best for last--a quite surprisingly guitar-driven rocker. I didn't know Caravan had it in them! If you like tasteful jamming, full of great interplay between fuzz organ and piano, well-supported by an energetic rhythm section, you can't do much better than this jazzy epic.

Just look at the trippy cover and allow yourself to be immersed in the happy escape, unencumbered by the troubles of the world, that Caravan has made with seemingly to little effort and so much fun. Then you will appreciate this high point of one of Canterbury's signature acts.

Report this review (#156714)
Posted Wednesday, December 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The great band Caravan's third offering is a beautiful record that invites you to relax, take some tea and join the trip. This is a happy album, even joyous, and eagerly celebrates all things sweet, giddy and fun. A lovely, carefree release at a time when the majority of rock bands were trying to either impress or depress. In the Land of Grey and Pink is melodious, unassuming and gently recorded. And the songs... let's just say these guys could write. Jimmy Hasting's piccolo and brass give life to 'Golf Girl', but it's 'Winter Wine' that really sets the standard this group consistently lived up to, adding the grey to a land otherwise pink, and culminates in a vamp guaranteed to bring any house down. Viewed in the context of "Prog", Caravan may seem naive and dated but when heard as an ingenious set of popular music, this album begins to reveal its rewards. And as with all great pop records - Sgt. Pepper's, Pet Sounds, Dark Side, Ziggy, Graceland - Grey and Pink was and is progressive. The whimsical title cut skips along past some very big mushrooms and the second half is 22-minute epic 'Nine Feet Underground' with tons of twisting changes, jazz, riff-rock, and more vamping to die for.

Comforting and friendly but always musical, this is a special record, to be cherished, protected and passed down.

Report this review (#157417)
Posted Tuesday, January 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I had only heard the name Caravan and never listened to their music prior to visiting Prog Archives. I was under the impression that Caravan played folk rock. I was dead wrong and I´m very glad for that, as I am not the greatest fan of that genre ( With a few exceptions). As I understand In the Land of Grey and Pink is considered their masterpiece and therefore I started with that album from their discography. This has been a very nice surprise for me as I have discovered that Caravan is a really great band, and I do agree that this is their masterpiece ( after listening to all their other albums). But it is not only Caravan´s masterpiece it´s a masterpiece of progressive music as well. Do not miss this one if you are into prog rock.

I don´t know much about the Canterbury scene, but what I understand is that it´s prog rock with jazz hints and long instrumental parts. This is very true for In the Land of Grey and Pink even though the jazz elements are hidden well. In fact the jazz elements are so subtle that even someone like me who is not particularly excited about jazz, likes this.

The instrumentation are guitar, bass, drums and a very omnipresent organ. Some flute and sax is also present, but not much. The musicians are outstanding and delivers a very personal performance. Sinclair has got a very smooth almost sleepy voice that sooths my ears. I really think his voice suits Caravan extremely well and it is a shame he wasn´t with them for very long. If you are interested he can also be heard in the band Hatfield and the North.

From Golf Girl to the ending of Nine feet underground I am enchanted by the beautiful tones flowing towards my ears. My favorite on the album is Winter Wine even though Nine feet underground is something really special with all the beautiful organ playing throughout that song. Imagine an almost 23 minute long song which mostly consists of one long long organ solo. Does it sound boring. Believe me this is anything but that. It´s some of the best organ playing I have ever heard. Not particularly technical just plain beautiful. Dave Sinclair is as master of his craft.

This is highly recommendable to prog heads, and one of the albums you would like to take to that deserted Island. One of the most deserved 5 stars I have given so far.

Report this review (#157546)
Posted Thursday, January 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars So I'm throwing myself in the deep here with this album. Because this is Canterbury and that means this is my debut in this style. This is the land of grey and pink, the electric violin and the funny mouth sounds (title track). To me it's the intellectual prog style, I don't know why I feel it that way but I do. And there must be something deeper behind this style of music, maybe it's the extraordinary songtitles that are hardly ever found in one of the main stream prog styles. Or the anti-melodic and therefore intriguing music of bands like Hatfield and the North that give me the feeling that we are dealing with an entirely different kind of prog than I'm used to, a kind of prog too that's beyond my comprehension. I don't mind really, it's simply a fact and I'm not ashamed about it.

And in some way or another I'm also with this album looking for the things I love in music: great compositions and lovely melodies. Actually I was quite surprised there was some of that to be found on this album. And since I'm also a great fan of epics with on and on going instrumental music Nine feet underground was almost really my cup of tea. Who would have thought that ? I didn't ! Anyway, the rest was more or less what I expected; just Winter wine was also nice for my taste.

So in a way I can understand why the true fans of this prog style are enthusiastic about this album. This isn't bad at all and if I try to immerse myself in this style I think I even give this 4 stars but it will probably the only Canterbury album that achieves that for me. And it's actually 3.6, that's the best I can do.

Report this review (#157920)
Posted Monday, January 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I wonder why so many people evaluate this album as an absolute classic, after several listenings I can't consider it more than a minor collection of easy, happy, hippie-like basic pop compositions with naive, ephemeral, optimistic melodies and with emphasis on light flower-psychedelica. Gold Girl starts the album with a soft pop ballad featuring subtle, discreet keys parts, warm Mellotron / flute leads, brass parts and a ridiculously funny, childish melody. The atmosphere is rather jazzy and groovy at the end of the composition. Winter wine is a collision between a sunny naive pop ballad and honest jazzy-psychedelic interludes in a really old fashioned style. Love to love you is an aweful commercial silly pop ballad for the radio. Nine feet underground is a pop groovy (mostly) instrumental piece with good technical sections but it delivers atrociously cheesy harmonies..ok that's just enough for my ears. Easy sounding, mainstream effort and not seriously progressive outside of a few keyboards / guitar duets. Nothing important about this album, it could be lost in time. For an introduction to the genre, Soft Machine, Matching Mole are much better.
Report this review (#157983)
Posted Monday, January 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars When i first listened to this album, I wasn't terribly impressed. However, it's grown on me. Pye Hastings has a soft tone to both voice and guitar that takes you away to the fantasy dreamworld of grey and pink. David Sinclair uses his canterbury-tone organ to maximum effect. Richard Sinclair and Richard Coughlan make a tight rhythm section, neither very talented, but they serve to move the vehicle of Hastings' songwriting onward and upward.

Golf Girl: A nice horn intro from Jimmy Hastings, brother of Pye who is classically trained on many wind instruments. the lyrics tell a silly story, typical of Caravan, and this song is very good in its simplicity. The chords work so well you'd think it would be very complicated, but its not a difficult song to play at all. The organ solo in the middle is quite good, and the horn brings us into a key change, repeating the whole story again, and ending with a fluttering flute solo again from Jimmy. He puts Gabriel, Anderson and Latimer to the test with this solo.

Winter Wine: This song, more than any of the other ones, conjures images of faraway places and puts such a mystical, fantastic feeling into my heart when I listen to it, its probably my favorite Caravan tune. The delicate acoustics from Hastings set the mood, as does his voice. the backing vocals help to create the mystical aura. The pace picks up for a bit, and settles down again as an angelic voice croons behind Pye's lead voice, and the tinkling piano accompanies perfectly. this leads perfectly into the organ solo, another masterwork from Sinclair, a very underrated keyboardist. the drums pick up again, and then the singing leads us to the magical outro.

Love to Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly): Here's the one song I don't like as much as the rest, and the reason why this album only gets 4 stars. The intro and main riff is in 7/4, and thats cool, but the lyrics and melody are a bit to sappy, but I suppose taken in stride with the rest of Caravan's oddities, its ok. Plus the flute solo in the background near the end is cool, as is Coughlan's great drum work.

In the Land of Grey and Pink: A combination of the bounciness of Golf Girl and the mysticality of Winter Wine, this song is another Caravan classic. The reggae-like guitar chords make for a unique feel, as does Pye's voice. the lyrics evoke images of the strange creatures that might live in the Land of Grey and Pink, and what they do. the organ in the background fills out the sound, and the bass is quite audible and jumping around. the delicate piano solo in the middle is unexpected and gorgeous, as is the lip bubbling noises, and then the classic organ kicks in. with a reprise of the vocal part and the intro, we are led to the end of side two with some cool acoustic musings from Pye.

Nine Feet underground: the most talked about Caravan song, this song does not fail to deliver. Immediatly kicking off into a keyboard solo from Sinclair, it tells you right away: this is gonna kick butt. the solo goes on for a bit before slowing turning into a great sax solo from Jimmy Hastings, Jack of all Trades, but then Sinclair jumps right back in with that classic organ sound. all this time, Pye is content to strum the chords, with the Rhythm section gets to do some funky stuff, with the bass line jumping about. It seems like David is soloing on 2 different organs, because the tone frequently changes and also switches speakers. at a little before the 6 minute mark, the solo ends and a steady riff starts up, followed by some singing with the organ mimicing the vocal melody. no matter how many times that trick is used, I will never get tired of it. however, the vocal section is shortlived, and we get sent right back into another amazing organ solo, followed by a reprise of the chorus. now the song slows down a bit and gets funky. the organ continues to be fantastic, I just cannot say enough about David Sinclair. Without him, this song wouldn't be as incredible as it is. now it slows down alot, with low piano chords setting the mood, a little more spacey. I have never been able to say when one subtitled section begins and another ends, but its not that important for this song. the organ soon begins to (yup, you guessed it) solo once more, a little more restrained now. now it jumps into 6/8 time, and the organ continues to solo, while the bass jumps acrobatically around. the drums are also quite talented, but I cannot hear what Pye is doing at this exact moment in the song. it moves from this into a darker, slightly heavier section featuring (insert organ solo here). this is followed by a piano-based vocal section with organ soloing lightly in the background. I guess this would be either disassociation or 100% proof, but I don't know. the song ends with this riff repeated many times on the guitar, organ and bass. the ending mess is very dissonant and non-Caravan, but thats ok. the whole song goes through as many moods as the other 4 songs put together. A great epic up there with close to the edge, lizard, supper's ready, thick as a brick, plague of lighthouse keepers, etc.

Overall, a great album, not a masterpiece, but I really enjoy listening to this album as I fall asleep, its like a magical story that unfolds over 43 minutes. Very talented musicians doing what they do best.

Report this review (#158217)
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Some people might think that this album is full of jewels. That Golf Girl features great fluting, pleasant mellotron (which is true) and a subtle but nice beat. But one has to add that is sounds pretty naive, fully sixties and to be honest there is absolutely nothing to write home about this tune. And my conclusion for Love To Love You is exactly the same (except that it is by the worse number from this album).

It is not that this album isn't pleasant. It is of course typical of a genre Caravan invented. And very few bands in the musical history are so closely related to such a specific sound.

Do we need to be blown away with fine musicianship? As far as I know, it is the essence of professional musicians, even if the Sinclair cousins are gifted and this can be noticed during the title track which is just another average song. Languid, it lacks of enthusiasm IMHHO. But some might belive it is a very much inspired. All tastes are in nature. Even mine.

The band, although praised by prog fans, was never commercially successful. This album is their best- selling effort to date. It sold just over hundred thousand copies. I guess that their musical style was not captivating enough to attract more people to follow them. I had difficulties with their work while they were at their creative peak, and time hasn't changed this feeling.

The absence of a stable line-up was also difficult to digest. The musical chair game will start after this third album. Very difficult to follow, members jumping out and in again into this caravan of musicians.

So, yes, I do believe that there is one very good piece of work on this ablum. Nine feet underground. But I prefer the mighty Tull during Thick Is A Brick, the bombastic Yes while they play CTTE or the emotional Genesis during Supper's. I guess that I am not the only one.

The other good song being Winter Wine. Very good instrumental parts, but vocals sound a little uninspired and too monochord (I'll have the same problem later on with Latimer and Camel, but their symphonic music is more appealing to my ears).

A good album which means three stars. My masterpiece standards are different. But all tastes are nature, right?

Report this review (#158761)
Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is Caravan's best moment. The first tracks are full of the whimsical expression that one would expect from Caravan. The title track is an absolute gem. However, it is not till the listener listens to Nine Feet Underground. At about 19 minutes long, it could be misconstrued as overlong and bloated, but it's not. The sweeping troughs and crescendos are a triumph, highlighting the musical craftsmanship of the musicians. A constant joy to listen to.
Report this review (#160260)
Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Love the album let me start off by saying. The reason it's only deserving of four stars is that i really can't stand Golf Girl. and before the epic they chose to end the album with the listener isnt really blown away. Then it hits you and it's truly magnificent. but far from perfect. and only perfection gets 5 stars right?
Report this review (#160970)
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars A tougher album than this one must be hard to come by, at least if you're trying to review it. For the last month or so I've listened to it say...two-three times a week, and I've never felt the same for it. I'm torn between what on some days is nothing more than humorous lyrics (always puts a smile on my face), seemingly simple music and a nice mellow prog-tinged 70's experience. Other days I have no problem seeing past this faulty accusation and discover the great music actually there. Slightly folky, cheerful, well-instrumented prog rock with more twists and turns and different elements than you'd think.

So what to make of it?

Well, this isn't a masterpiece. And it won't ever be one for me. Very mood-dependent songs, and though they always cheer me up, the rare moments when I fully appreciate them are way too far apart. I do like the flutework/winds and soloing, and the way it all floats together in this relaxed, care-free way. But that's it. I don't feel challenged in any way, and I miss that very integral part of prog music.

The favourite here is Winter Wine. Darker atmosphere and great singing. Second in line is the title track. It might be due to the fact that it's the first song I heard from the band (the sample here on PA), but I think it's very representative for this album. Nine Feet Underground, the epic on this album? Well, not a favourite. I'll have to concur with some of the previous reviewers about this one's repetitive tendencies. Shines from time to time, but then again, it's 23 minutes of it.

And yes I DO enjoy the shorter arrangements. Golf Girl is great. But great in this silly, feel-good way that wanes rather quickly.

Depending on your natural mood-swings and the way you perceive things different while in those different moods this album ranges from 2 stars to 4 stars in my book. Guess I'll settle for 3 then.

//Linus W

Report this review (#163103)
Posted Monday, March 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Whow how many rewiws onthese one! Is perfect because these is an album that i know like the palm of my hand... the first prog-record i heard...several years ago and since then i have just been loving it. Is simply canterbury at its best , presentation of the genere and most emotionally closer in its simplicity. I think of it as concept album or more accuraltely something bigger a style defining (also conceptually) album The front sleeve of the discs is simple and concise : Is just a English village turned into tolkienesque landscape like it was its natural counterpart...The land of the grey and pink....the other side of the mirror... its like a declaration of intentions from the whole genere. Its were they wanted to send all their fellow englishmen, their version of british culture. O.K lest go to the music itself: Golf girl the start of the trip , strangely goofyn, humorous and totally perfect even if it is a little bit popy. But the lyrics just match the music perfect and they are very naive and intelligent: He is in golf field for so to say in the normal british land then he find these girl who sell cups of tea (dont need to remember what they put in the tea...... see Gong for details), in fact he orders three cups- drops and enter into a psychedelic land were the golf balls rain upon the people (the alice in wonderland inversion of the logic) but these land is naively enjoyed without anykind of darkness side in the look, goofying, dancing , laughing, emotionally closer to kids fun . In winter wine all the hidden sweet beatifullness behind the music come out, showing perfectly in these sometimes hard sometimes delightfull song. The lyrics are a bit confuse, but i guess it want to get a little more serious as he remembers these old essence the winter wine that moves him into a dream like a stream taking him to british wonderland, again the chorus make us clear that were in the oposite mood of the heavy metal music ( not so very far musically). Lifes too short to be sad.... these chorus althought is a little bit kind of gloomy is fuull of brightness as the synth breaks in with these marvellous psychedelic style. Just perfect.These lyrics are trying to show a fantastic dream thats ending ( you know psychedelia is passing) love to love you the weakest part of the disc but still funny and keep the declaration of intentions (take it to the bright side). The land of the grey and pink Superb! Fantastic! obviously perfect! One of the most perfect songs conceptually musically.......Is it a pop song? is it prog? is it psychedelia? just the land.... The changes are perfect, is full of groove, is also musicaly psychedelic ennancing, is also beatifull ( witha beatifullness of its own that only caravan had.... Gong is incredible but is not goofy and beatifull at the very same time). THe lyrics an the music are just one: He is descriving these paradise called the land were the punk weed grows and making a warning : take care because as were heading trought the seventies the gromblie grimblies (wich have something to do with the Memo baddies who smoked cigarretes....instead of punk weed of course), the grey men , the society is trying to [%*!#] and sell and finally destroy all the psychedelic dreaming, art. Is ending the days were we are able to live like this.....again the only option is to sleep into the other side. nine feet underground with its cementery title , is a joke and also tematically relevant. The music is very good with different changes and dreamy passages.Some are hard rocking other psychedelic and lyrical. The lyrics just point to the same issues: It was a dream? Is it real what i feel in the other side? Whats going to happen with the psychedelic movement? Will the day be warm and bright, or will it snow? There are people waiting now who really have to know Can't you feel it in the air? I wonder what it's meant to be It's the thought that can't be spared, and it brings it all back to me Yes it brings it all back to me With these incertitude and these comming back of the psychedelia , like a still vivid powerfull memory it just ends perfectly, conceptually and musically. Five stars, not less.
Report this review (#163742)
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Caravan is usually a little too whimsical for me to get into. I prefer the more mature approach of Hatfield and the North or National Health. That being said, I make an exception with this disc. In the Land of Grey and Pink is really an amazing album. It's very poppy for Canterbury music, and I find it difficult to think of this album as being in the same genre as, say, Matching Mole. Nevertheless, this is probably my favorite pop album of all time, with perhaps the exception of Love's Forever Changes.
Report this review (#170371)
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Golf girl tells the story of a man who met his future wife on a golf course,the latter selling tea,all this with a very humorous song british.The song begins with an intro to richard keyboard,giving way to singing for a while,and then follows the instrumental part consists of a flute who flies off and leaves in a bit all senses with very psychedelic influences.

Winter wine begins on a pretty quiet progressively to go up in a well brought up rhytme.It's a tasty mixture of pop, classical and progressive giving a piece very slight,very rythmmic.Richard sinclair's voice is very soft,fits perfectly with the song and seems to drag on this music.This solo organ towards the middle of pure happiness,guitar and organ merge to do more than one.The song ends soberly,as it began as a masterpiece ending.

Love to love you is the most pop song on the album,consisting mainly of singing quite happy Pye,who can seem very basic at the first listening,ending with the flute,a melody always also playful.

in the land of grey and pink,where we can once again appreciate the talent of david with this keyboard solo that leaves dreamer and makes dreaming.Then went with the guitar pye out of nowhere and this melody spellbinding as in winter wine that takes you into an imaginary world coloured grey and pink ;-).

nine feet underground is the most progressive song of the album,consisting of several pieces.Il is a tasty mixture of instrumental parts very developed consist of an alternation of keyboard and guitar accompanied by a drummer who knows very present in this piece and when his shots or chopsticks should be and when it will hear faut.On hardly any song that is there just to the junction between two pièces.The song begins with a pretty jazzy classic to continue on a long solo guitar distortion, which begins around the'3, which is simply of a unconvincing beauty.The harmonics you cut Blast and send you in 7th Heaven,which add a touch of insanity in sing.All around'10 .30, the pace becomes more cumbersome,as if time stopped a few moments. Very shortly I can assure you as the rebound is not expected,a few seconds later,the song rises again to dizzying heights, and this is again the keyboard that takes up the torchlight while two brothers are so by osmosis that has trouble differentiating between a keyboard guitar throughout the piece!The song ends with the melancholic and very british voice Richard's.

In conclusion, this album is for me the best album progressive of all time,very melodic,very rythmic everything seems to calculate the millimeter meadows,the instruments seem gather them to form one and all that crowned a voice that sounds very British and a purity incredible.For that ask to furthermore?

Report this review (#171285)
Posted Saturday, May 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My first entry to acknowledge the band .!

Caravan had been the band that I frequently heard the name but many times I tried to purchase the album I always dropped my intention due my inability to digest the music. The major concern I had with the music was the fact that they tend to be a flat music with minimum variation and non melodious song melody. I was not pretty clear really on the shape of their music. Yes I do like Canterbury and I had no issue with National Health, Soft Machine, Hatfield and The North . and in fact I love Khan "Space Shanty" really well. But when it came to Caravan, I always reluctant to purchase the CD. This was partly because my experience to purchase their live DVD without having to know the music before and I could not enjoy any segment of the DVD .. so I gave up.

When I attended Progressive Nite last month, there was a CD counter which sold this album. My colleague Didit recommended me to purchase this album and finally I agreed to have it as my first CD of the band. Again . first spin I did not truly enjoy the music .. it's probably the "country" type of music as one element of the music which made me not that interested with the music. But it then grew on me with multiple spins that I made especially I enjoy parts with intense Canterbury scene through the work of organ and guitar. My first entry in enjoying this album is when it reaches the epic "Nine Feet Underground" that consumes 22 minutes plus of music. Well, I have to admit that this epic is truly masterpiece. I do enjoy parts that remind me to the music of Khan "Space Shanty" using the intertwining guitar and keyboard solo roles. The dynamic bass guitar playing is also key to ultimate enjoyment of this album. The more I spin the CD the more I like this track and I finally play it very loud at my decent home stereo system.

From the epic I then work backward to further comprehend other compositions like "In The Land of Grey and Pink", "Winter Wine", and the poppish "Love to Love You". It finally brought me to the next stage of musical enjoyment and this album have then become one of my favorite prog albums.

Overall, this is definitely an excellent addition to any prog music collection. For those of you who enjoy Soft Machine, Hatfield and The North, Khan and other Canterbury sounds, you might enjoy this album well. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Report this review (#174420)
Posted Thursday, June 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Excellent addition to my Progressive collection , YES , in fact it is , But , while using my own judgement about this album , i felt very unsatisfied to rate it with a 4 Stars . This album with many other masterpieces of progressive rock , gave new dimensions to my dreams , i was celebrating the birth of Canterbury in 1971 without knowing that . the Sinclairs & Hastings were able to create a new genre of progressive music , WITHIN ours in the early 70's ........ Full of harmonies and amazing performances .... It doesn't matter to me ratings anymore ,,,,, I'm just following your reviews to have more details about my Friends (( the interresting bands )) and about my kids (( the good albums )) and specially to know if i was right or wrong in measuring things ,,,, AS in fact i was the only middle eastern to follow all these activities since the 60's . from Morroco to Oman .... Keep on the good work progheads , someone is watching over your opinions ///////////// --- No more ratings , but The Land of Grey , in addition to Waterloo & For Ladies are my kids , and i have to deal with them on daily basis ,,,, Specially Winter Wine , Nine feet Underground & Golf Girl ,,,,,,, It's 100% Canterbury and amazing ////////////// --- n.b = As this review cannot pass without rating , So , here we go ........ Tracks Toni
Report this review (#176003)
Posted Thursday, July 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the best prog albums ever. I love the sound of the keyboards, I love the cover and how it illustrates the music, the epic on side 2 but also the smaller tracks ('Winter Wine') on side 1, the Britisih humour and the philosophy ('Life's too short to be sad, whishing things you'll never have'). You enter a real universe (like In the Court of). One of the very first album I bought: on cassette, then on LP, then on CD, then remastered. How a band after two albums became so mature, I wonder. Remember too the scene of prog at that time (1971), just at the beginning: Yes, Genesis had not released their masterpieces yet. I could meet Pye Hastings some years ago, a great guy. Certainly an influence for 'my' band, Silver Lining. Highly recommended.
Report this review (#184844)
Posted Monday, October 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars My first attempt to rate a Canterbury Scene record really scares me off. That is because of the peculiarity of the genre and the mixed feelings this record creates. I was always very curious to find out about how this album sounds like, but I have very little knowledge of the genre and this should be taken into account. Furthermore, this is considered as a masterpiece of its kind, thus, I should be careful in the way I treat it.

While this is definitely not the case, in order to make it simple (for me), the album consists of 3 different types of songs: 'happy and light-hearted', 'nostalgic and melodic' and an epic. I have to admit I cannot easily get into the humorous approach of Golf Girl, however it could be considered a smart opening track for what is about to follow. Not really my 'cup of tea' (playing with the song lyrics) as the track keeps on a joyful tune and the solo parts do not add to the overall quality. The not so impressive start is followed by a magnificent melodic tune entitled Winter Wine. Vocals and music arrangements remind very much of Camel mid-70's sound, with very interesting keyboard and guitar solos. This mid-tempo melodic symphonic song probably involves the best vocal performance on the album; 'mild' but solid at the same time.

Back into happier tunes with Love to Love You, a 3 minute piece that introduces a pop/rock atmosphere with decent orchestration, reminding of the opening track's approach with bits of the 60's-70's 'flower power' feeling. However pleasant this might be, it fails to catch my attention for one more reason: In the Land of Grey and Pink that follows, which again introduces a nostalgic atmosphere, stepping on a very interesting bass line and several music passage changes, making this the most prog track of the record so far. Melodic vocals (with a touch of irony) are dominant while the inspired piano intervals are simply adding the extra 'spice'.

You could well feel Nine Feet Underground while listening to the ending epic. This - nearly 23 minute long - track is a great mix of symphonic music, prog and psychedelia, with numerous solo parts spreading all over its duration. What makes this song important for me is the fact that it remains interesting throughout its entirety, regardless of the vast amount of soloing time. Tunes and instruments interact all the time to provide this adventurous result which is abundant in creativity and melody.

Clearly important for the fans of the genre and interesting for the rest of us.

Report this review (#185161)
Posted Thursday, October 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is supposed to be one of the best albums from the Canterbury scene. I agree. It is most certainly Caravan's finest hour. This album also got me into the Canterbury scene so I owe it a lot. I also owe my bank a lot of money due my discovery of this album. It is a costly business of getting a more or less complete collection of Canterbury albums.

But moving on from my personal credit crunch to the music again.

In The Land Of Grey And Pink is both melodic, jazzy, spacy and pretty eccentric prog in the more melodic vein. An jazzy spaced out organ and some pretty good acoustic guitars are the main things I note here, besides of the good melodies. I also note that the album has a madcap English eccentricity around it. It has a flavour of cricket, garden shows, dull men and warm beer if you get my drift. It is an arch-typical product of England. The music is brilliant throughout. It is also an essential album for every prog-head. It is a masterpiece and I could go on and on. But never mind. Listen to the album instead of reading my ramblings about English eccentricity. Put the album on and start listening.

Report this review (#186054)
Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the classic English Prog albums, it could be discussed how progressive this one really is. "Golf Girl" and "Love to Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)" are clearly just Pop while the title track is borderline. More in the realm of Prog is "Winter Wine" and "Nine Feet Underground". The latest of these is far from the best 20-minutes composition I've heard but it's not the worst either. The shorter songs are all very good but, because of mentioned reasons, this is not a 5-star album.

My version of this comes with a bunch of bonus tracks, of which an early version of "Aristocracy" is the most interesting.

Report this review (#188587)
Posted Monday, November 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars In my opinion this album is not a masterpiece of prog, its just a good prog album. But nevertheless this album has a nice atmosphere and a very mellow sound, made by the combination of the keyboards and guitar, that reminds me a little of Camel.

Golf Girl - I just cant stand this one.This is basically a pop song and altough the melody is nice but very simple and poor and I find this one rather annoying especially the vocals because they have a major role in this song and the lyrics would be horrible if one would face them with seriousness but I think the band intended this track to be funny so its fine. 5/10

Winter Wine - This music is very good, the guitar and keyboard has a very characteristic sound and plays very well together . Altough it has vocals most of the song seems a jam. Its a fantasy music (you can tell by the lyrics) like most of the album. The vocals are not a hightlight here but they are good enough. 7,5/10

Love To Love You- This is another pop song. Its also a very light-headed track and should be faced as one. Very simple melody but this one succeeds to captivate me, it has a very nice and happy feeling. 7/10

In the Land of Grey & Pink - Another simple song and it even has some parts similar to Golf Girl but this one is much better than Golf Girl or Love to love you musically speaking. The verse/chorus structure is very simple, the song features a piano solo and a guitar solo also. The music returns to the verse/chorus and ends. Another fantasy song. 7/10

Nine Feet Underground - What can I say about this song? This is the focus of the album being the other tracks very poor.It seems as if the band only played for real in the last song. The drums are good,the gutiar is very and keyboards are also very good, although the hightlight is the guitar IMO. Most of the song sounds like a jam session but its very concise and actually very pleasant to hear. I can't say its a song that blow your mind, it isnt. But its a song musically challenging and its so long that everytime I hear it I can't remember many parts, being it praticaly instrumental and with solos lasting very much time in the same scale. But still, very good. 8/10

IMO you can hear this album while doing something else, its really not very complicated.Indeed I think that if listen to the whole album with much attention you will get sick of it because the moods and feelings can become repetitive.

My rating: 6,9/10 = 3,45/5 rounded down to 3 (this album deserves a little more than 3 but I dont think its excellent)

Report this review (#202419)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
3 stars The great albums all possess a charm of their own, and for Caravan's excellent In The Land Of Grey And Pink, charm is definitely the word. Bright, light-hearted and whimsical, but nonetheless moving and often profound, In The Land Of Grey And Lousy Acronyms is great fun and pretty much obligatory listening. The musicians aren't perhaps the most mind-bending of characters, but they can hold their own, create a coordinated piece effortlessly, and have, collectively, a distinct and individual sound coming from the light acoustic kitsch, bubbly organ tones and piano and a fun, curious rhythm section. Helped along by the winning voice of Richard Sinclair (and Pye Hastings on one track),Caravan produce a clear benchmark for the cheery side of early English prog.

Golf Girl brings the album off to a bouncy start with a memorable bass groove, neat little interludes, a bundle of fun packed in the lyrics and vocals and an absolutely gorgeous flute part from Jimmy Hastings. Dave Sinclair's mellotron and organ buzzing, complete with morse-code-imitation is in a curiously non-committal style of his own... it comes off great here, though I tend to prefer more defined organ tones.

The seven or eight minute (Richard) Sinclair-written beauty, Winter Wine, follows this warmly. Its dreaming and reminiscent lyrics are as much a highlight as the sophisticated and memorable melodies. From a pretty acoustic-and-voice intro, through more dramatic, jaunty bass-and-organ-driven parts and its whole romantic dream feel, the emotion stays (and there is one really pretty piano melody there). A strong jam based around the fuzzed organ of Dave Sinclair, moving backing harmonies and a dreamy ending keep a firm grip on the emotions... a triumph.

The parody Love To Love You is simply hilarious, and wanders on smoothly in some quirky time signature, with a load of great fills from the consistently excellent Richard Coughlan, mock-serious verse interludes, another very nice flute part and Pye Hastings' well-suited vocals and sharp, acerbic, but ultimately carefree lyrics. A personal favourite.

The title track is another pop song albeit with some odd delay in the rhythm or double-beat or something I can't quite pinpoint. Richard Coughlan provides another particularly neat and individual-sounding drum performance, and Pye Hastings somewhat broadens/expands/fattens out/whatever the term is his light guitar parts to good effect. The stoner lyrics, careful, limited organ climaxes, pretty little piano interlude and truly wibble vocal deliveries all add character, and Richard Sinclair's more prominent bass part is great.

The lengthy Nine Feet Underground, at its best, is brilliant and spine-tingling, at its worst... it's perhaps the least focussed thing on the album, and the prominence of Dave Sinclair's more light organ as the obvious lead, though neatly complimented by sax parts and a superb rhythm section, does get on the nerves during the opening bits just a little, and it's only when the jam descends into this very neat distorted guitar groove (you'll know it when you hear it) that the atmosphere takes hold, and Richard Sinclair's surreal (excellent, though) lyrics and great voice bring in the song's mood and ideas... death and being underground, and from this point the song really doesn't let up, with a number of unforgettable little jabbing rhythms as well as more focussed soloing. A few cold, menacing piano chords take us onto the most mystical, secretive and haunting section of the piece... which has, from the moment I heard it, brought this to mind

(Hesiod's Theogony... Trans. Hugh Evelyn White, 1914, ll. 295-305) And in a hollow cave she bare another monster, irresistible, in no wise like either to mortal men or to the undying gods, even the goddess fierce Echidna who is half a nymph with glancing eyes and fair cheeks, and half again a huge snake, great and awful, with speckled skin, eating raw flesh beneath the secret parts of the holy earth. And there she has a cave deep down under a hollow rock far from the deathless gods and mortal men. There, then, did the gods appoint her a glorious house to dwell in: and she keeps guard in Arima beneath the earth, grim Echidna, a nymph who dies not nor grows old all her days.

Certainly not the immediate intent of the artists, but the music is strong enough to create such reactions and associations. The menace and chaos that comes out of this is melded together by simple piano chords from Dave Sinclair and in the Dissassociation section, featuring a lush Sinclair vocal, a tragic-hero vibe (can you feel it in the air? I wonder what it's meant to be... it's the thought that can despair, and it brings it all back to me) and some of the most tasteful playing by any of the bands in the 70s prog scene. The band leap out from this resigned, but powerful, soliloquy into a jumpy rock moment with soloing from Pye Hastings and Dave Sinclair occasionally returning to a more central riff... I sort of view this as the upbeat and somewhat manic message of the various souls buried underground... light-hearted, somewhat satirical, and ending with a bang.

The CD reissue includes a few extra goodies as well as a neat attempt to show some of the stages which went into a finished Caravan song - Winter Wine as an instrumental, Golf Girl with its original set of lyrics, and a couple of excellent songs, as well as a particularly poignant mix of Dissassociation/100% Proof bit of Nine Feet Underground... worth getting if you're a Caravan fan... and nice even if you're only casually interested in their music.

So, all in all, I'd love to give this a masterpiece rating, but there's six odd minutes of jamming where not a lot happens at the start of Nine Feet Underground, and much as Dave Sinclair's organ tone is interesting, it can annoy me if I'm not in the mood for it. So, we're down to four, but with a high recommendation... great album for a bright Spring morning when you just want to enjoy a good life and good music.

Rating: Four stars Favourite Track: eh, Love To Love You... I'm such a pop fan ;)

Cutting to a three in light of the surrounding albums... not sure the pop songs, fun though they are, are quite as durable as some of their brothers from If I Could, and I'm certain the suite has nothing on L'Auberge Du Sanglier etc. other than nice vocals/lyrics. Still, emphatically, a good album but it's grown cold on me a bit faster than the surrounding ones.

Report this review (#210994)
Posted Saturday, April 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an uneven record. It stood on teh shelf quite a long time before I really tried it on, so to speak.

By all means it is a great album, not a doubt. With some brightly shinging highlights. But, also a few more dim parts. To be honest it took me about a year before I got to appriciate it properly. But as it is now, I listen to it quite often.

The very source of my disbelif in this record comes with the opening track. Golf Girl seemed to me, a silly song. With close to patheticly simple Lyrics. But as I fought my way through the song, listening to the album, it grew on me. And actually, it is a charming piece of music. Very English.

The second track though, seized me instantly. Winter Wine is an amazing track, the vocal melody is by far the best on the album. The atmosphere is mellow, close to melancholic, but far from dull. The collaboration between music and lyrics, is probably what makes this track. This lights it all up.

Then the record slips, and the clouds gather, we're in for a downer. Love to love you is a bad track, enough said. The silliness from Golf Girl is found agian, but lacks the English charm. A track that pulls the album down, a little too much.

We skip the fourth track, not too much to say. Neither bad, nor great.

But then we make it, finally, the final adventure has arrived, le grand finale. Nine feet underground is, what it makes out to be: A venture towards the suburbs of the soil. Slowly we kreep through mud, filth, keyboards, guitars, rocks, tree roots, flutes and an amazing mix of all these elements. This makes up the near 23 minutes long musical odyssey. Truly a masterpice.

Within progressive rock, the epics make up an essential part of the genre, the concepts and the entirety of the records. In the land of Grey and pink lacks this. It is a straggling creation, with higlights and lowlights. Not my favourite record. The pop-elements, and the sometimes cheesy-ness of the songs fails in capturing me. But sometimes the hair on my arms raises and i'm caught! But still, a record worth owning.

Report this review (#211005)
Posted Saturday, April 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars Review number 260!!!

The high strangeness of Caravan begins with 'Golf Girl' that is as bizarre as it sounds and not quite as silly as 'Group Girl', that features as a bonus track on the Remasters. The track encapsulates the blend of nonsense and virtuoso playing that is Canterbury prog at its best. The vocal style is laid back, feet up in the grass, non caring, and it is all complimented by meandering guitar and keyboards that soak us in the flower petals of yesteryear. Welcome to the Canterbury scene. 'Winter Wine' is a nice 7 minute foray into instrumental serenity and nice vocals. It all feels a bit psychedelic and hippy these days but it is still engaging in its upbeat positive style. 'Love to love you (and tonight pigs will fly)' is a sleeper track but a good one. The next track is a highlight - 'In the land of grey and pink' - which even features some weird burbling effects like 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' of all things. None of the lyrics make any sense but nobody cares when listening to this engaging off kilter band.

The next track is the one that everyone raves about and it is still played live in modern caravan concerts. 'Nine feet underground' is the huge 22:40 epic that is a multi movement suite that locks into an infectious guitar riff and then moves into a myriad of musical directions with an interchanging time signature. It is as good as Caravan gets played with virtuoso talent in 8 parts and bookended by memorable guitar and keyboard motifs. 'Nigel blows a tune' gets the thing going and this is followed by movement number 2 'Love's a friend' that hits a blues riff with heavy distortion. Movement number 3 is 'Make it 76' followed by the melancholy feminine 'Dance of the seven paper hankies' and then 'Hold grandad by the nose' that features heavy percussion throughout. The next piece is the organ heavy 'Honest I did!' and 'Disassociation' and all is concluded by the masculine rocker '100% proof' that blazes away until the ultimate conclusion. The softer feminine sections are balanced perfectly by the masculine rock sections akin to a symphonic suite. It is difficult to describe the music but it certainly keeps the metronome working overtime with shifting metrical patterns and songs within a song, but somehow it all comes together as one seamless epic masterwork. Sinclair, Hastings, D. Sinclair, Coughlan, J. Hastings and Grinsted have excelled on this track and they produced their magnum opus with this one track alone so it is well worth shelling out for just to experience 'Nine Feet Underground'.

Everything pales in comparison to the epic, but there are some nice moments such as the bonus tracks. They are basically different or earlier versions of the tracks on the original. 'I Don't Know Its Name', 'Aristocracy' and 'It's Likely To Have A Name Next Week' are recognizable earlier versions of tracks but it was great to hear a new version of 'Disassociation/ 100% Proof' that has a duration of 8:35 and therefore easier to digest than the track within the epic.

Overall this album is the best Caravan album and is highly recommended to any fan of the Canterbury prog genre.

Report this review (#216517)
Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is one of the big boys allegedly, a perrenial favourite flagship of those "weird nerdy nostalgic idiots who seem to wallow in Progressive Miuwzik", much to the deliriously inane attitudes of the unchallenged masses. The biggest 2009 release will be Michael Jackson funeral tribute, hypocritically by all the "deeply hurt" megastars, damn money talks, eh? So for this one we wander way back into the past, in 1971 precisely, when things were so rosy, but at times also quite bleak. Prog was still in fetal infancy, tubed to a effervescent musical culture in full-blooming explosion and England was leading the charge, Canterbury's Caravan being the first "oddball" super group (though never remotely attaining Yes, KC, Floyd, Genesis, ELP and Tull market supremacy). Armed with 2 world class vocalists in the breathtaking Richard Sinclair and mellifluous Pye Hastings, things could hardly go wrong. Add on some scintillating keyboard work from David Sinclair, on fuzzy organ (clearly the redeeming feature of Canterbury). Drummer Coughlan is no slouch either, sustaining the rolling bass of Richard Sinclair with utter ease. There are some poppy jewels here (as was so prevalent at the time) that recall a breezier era, perhaps more optimistic (or naïve) than it deserved, like the oh so Brit "Golf Girls" and the Kinks-like romper ballad "Love to Love You" (no not Donna Summer, you dorks!) On the other extreme, we have some serious instrumental workouts like on "Winter Wine", the title track and the monster 22.40 "Nine Feet Underground" where these accomplished musicians really get quirky , albeit silkily engulfed in a simple tonal spirit, ripping off extended solos without any self-doubt. For the times, it was quite a remarkable revolution, moving away from the "hit single" in 45 rpms towards an imminently upcoming Supper's Ready, Ummagumma, Thick as a Brick or Close to the Edge. I guess you had to be there (and lucky me each day, I was there!) to wallow in the massive amount of variety that existed back then, way more than today's highly compartmentalized musical scene. Anyway, back to "the Land of Grey and Pink"! This is one of those Prog anthropological albums; you absolutely need to have it while not being necessarily on your current heavy rotation list. Just like the aforementioned, In the Court and a hundred other gems, this serves also a historical perspective and not just an occasional folly in the CD player. Fans of dense organ roaming , rippling groove beats and amusing vocalized social comments would do well getting into this highly rated album when they have reached a learning stage that requires a visit back to the early years. This is the one to get after the Hatfield /National Health are all in hand and even before veering into the murkier world of that other Canterbury megalith, Soft Machine and its numerous offshoots. 4.5 distinct Hankies.
Report this review (#227584)
Posted Sunday, July 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of those albums which can cheer you up no matter how depressed you're feeling. The silly but clever lyrics, the great, unique vocal delivery, the happy-go-lucky arrangements; In the Land of Grey and Pink just oozes admirable nonchalance and cheery attitude, and it makes me smile everytime I listen to it. It also sounds very British to my ears. And that is a good thing.

I can't possibly find any weak links in the compositions, and they are superbly sequenced as well. Golf Girl is a great opener, and it just gets better when followed by Winter Wine. Love To Love You is a silly and catchy pop song which acts as a perfect moment to catch you breath for the title song and then the epic Nine Feet Underground which never gets dull even if it is nearly 23 minutes long. I find the sound of Caravan to be very unique altough other bands have used the same kind of keyboard sounds and flute in their music. The vocals of Richard Sinclair are really unique and charming.

The artwork fits the music and the atmosphere perfectly, conjuring up visions of hobbits on acid and stuff like that.

This is one of the finest albums you can listen to when you want to cheer up. 5 stars.

Report this review (#230219)
Posted Thursday, August 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars a wholesale failure of the progressive rock music, yes it is progressive rock, but if the influence is canterbury or folk, the album does not measure up, deception, the music is soft, the song is beautiful, but it is not taking off, alas ... we are waiting throughout the album. The first side is comprised of 4 songs rather short, except Winter Wine a little longer to 7 minutes. The music is really very simple, it is more than poetry, softness. In The Land Of Gray And Pink is an album with a flame sometimes jazzy signed Sinclair 2 brothers, David & Richard. There is the sax, the flute, and especially the Mellotron. sometimes gently swing it through against expected something else of an album like this.
Report this review (#230232)
Posted Thursday, August 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars I'll start review with something urgent. Not so usual, but there it's needed. It's nice to see so many people giving this album five stars, when (sad thing) there is this "Love To Love You" track. I know few people who listens to this album and are instantly skipping this track. I do it too.

So I suppose there can be masterpiece (you are so overwhelmed by your feelings that you don't see any flaw, or any bigger flaw, so you rate it with best mark. But when you hate one song of five here (even the shortest one), things are bad. I wonder what was others thinking about this song (I don't read other reviews before writing mine, because of I would be directly influenced minutes before writing and that's not right, I could be even using other's words and that's even worse), because you can 1)like it 2)hate it, or 3)don't mind it at all. When you choose first choice, you know that even you like it, it's not prog. First I hated it, but then I turned to third option, for sake of improving my way of approaching the album.

"Golf Girl" is nice introduction. I'm so glad that this was first song (and album) of Cantenbury style I've ever heard. Because when you (by accident) choose harder, more difficult to approach album as your first, things can be much worse. For example you can begin to look with despect to entire genre. Music here is (some may say weak) tender. It's the beauty of poetry. Even in this song about golfing, there is something beautiful. Maybe flute whistling solo instead of guitar. But this tea thing seems like pretty British stereotype. Nice one though.

"Winter Wine" presents us far better music and lyrics. Although I like Golf Girl (sole this idea is song which reminds fantasy topics. I'm reading lyrics now (good to understanding it at all) and what was my surprise, it's some kind of dream vision. Even better, various themes while dreaming about things he can't normally do. After some glasses of red wine. Well, maybe white, because winter is also white, but red wine is more suitable (and widespread). From 3:35 to 5:55 expect wonderful solo, last half of it is guitar solo, one of the magnificent ones which you can listen over and over again. Because of softness which is

then some unknown track which I heard that is here, but never found it. Probably something not important (childish, I know). By the way, the rest of album songs were written by Sinclairs, this one is by Pye Hasting. He has nice vocal, indeed. But writing skills on this album not so good. Well, it's worst song by my opinion here. Indeed, this song has refrain, to worse it all.

"" reminds me much of The Lord of the Rings, book version. By my opinion its intoxication is even bigger than Winter Wine, which is quite remarkable.

And final epic is one of these epics which you'll like for sure. Nothing to complain about, maybe it uses parts of previous songs (except Love and Golf), changes styles like roller coaster, one song calm, another fast and wild. And then calm again. It's probably purpose.

5 stars

Report this review (#232789)
Posted Thursday, August 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars An Alternative Side to 60's Psychedelia

Caravan's In the Land of Grey and Pink leads the Canterbury top albums list here on PA and not surprisingly was the first album in the genre I picked up. My first impression was being completely underwhelmed. The first side of the album is well-executed pastoral folky psychedelia, which is actually a type of music I enjoy quite a bit. Intentionally whimsical (how many times has that word appeared in these reviews) the music is entertaining but does very little to truly impress. There is a nice long jam that comprises the entirety of side two, but again the instrumentation is only slightly more complex typical 60's rock. At the same time, this was Caravan's 3rd record, released in 1971! So this emerges at the same time as Nursery Cryme, The Yes Album and Fragile, and already more daring sounds were coming out of Canterbury with Khan, Egg, and Soft Machine.

To be fair, this is a very good piece of music that succeeds at pretty much everything it attempts to do. The word "Prog" probably never entered the musician's minds. They were updating some of the giants of psychedelia, the Doors and the Beatles, and upping the ante on musicianship in the genre. Richard Sinclair's vocals are accessible, well sung, not the acquired taste of some of other Canterbury singers. The musicians complement each other well, the humor works, the production is appropriate. This IS a good record, clearly a successful piece of music.

But where other prog artists were putting out music that looked forward, this Caravan album is looking most definitely back at the previous decade. The prog elements are scattered, and the songs themselves lack depth beyond the simple pleasure of the humor and the mood. There are not many composed interlocking lines that are what really draw me in as a prog fan. (The very end of the sidelong jam is a pleasant exception) There are no harmony vocals. The jazziness is more in feel and rhythm than actual chord progression or true stretching of musical boundaries.

I like this album. I like this kind of sound, as it is well done here. But it is not my prog buttons that get pushed when I listen to In the Land of Grey and Pink. Over many listens, my appreciation has grown quite a bit. But I find it hard to rate this even as excellent on a prog site. 3.5 stars rounded back to the middle.

Report this review (#238148)
Posted Tuesday, September 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the Land of Grey and Pink is THE Canterbury Scene album. If you want to know what the genre is all about, then pick this album up, listen to it a few times, and you'll pretty much know. This album is that it combines humor and British silliness with long but interesting sections of excellent jazz fusion instrumentation. The songs aren't too different musically, though they're different as far as approach goes- Golf Girl is a fun, silly song that could have been written by drunks if the musicianship wasn't as good- that doesn't mean it's bad, it means it's a nice little isle of humor in an often way-too-serious genre. Winter Wine is a nice, tender long song, and Love to Love You is almost a Beatles cover- the songwriting style, the lyrics focusing on love, everything here sounds like Caravan saying "hey, let's screw the jazz stuff for three minutes and make a pop song"- and they succeed, making quite an enjoyable one. Next is the title track, which is like a compromise between Golf Girl and Winter Wine. And finally comes the 23-minute epic, Nine Feet Underground, a huge, intriguing mass of instrumentals with occasional vocal parts. However, while I like LOGAP very much, I never really listen to it much anymore, which is, I think, for a reason. It's not too varied, it uses some different ideas, but there's not much originality in the instrumentation. Also, Love to Love You is a bit corny. Though it's a really good album, it's a bit tame, there's really not much that really, REALLY grabs your attention, besides maybe a few parts in Nine Feet Underground. So, I think that it's on the border between four and three, but for being the defining album of a genre, I'll give it four.
Report this review (#247728)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I can't really make myself give this album a high rating.

I remember when it arrived, for I was actually pretty excited about it. The album art was definitely interesting, and the track listing was pretty interesting. I was especially curious about the title track and the epic at the end. And it was my first introduction to the 'Canterbury Scene'.

I put it in, and Golf Girl immediately underwhelmed me. Wasn't this Caravan, one of the pre-eminent Canterbury bands? Wasn't this In the Land of the Gray and Pink, their biggest album? The one that I have heard called "the definitive Canterbury" album? My reactions pretty much matched that straight through the album.

I realised that I had been fooled! This was no masterpiece at all! That, or I was missing something. So I gave myself some time, then listened to it again. And, listening to it, expecting a not-masterpiece, I found the music to actually be enjoyable.

After a few listens, I felt that I had reached a point where I understood the album. For sure, it wasn't about the same thing that I thought of other prog rock as being about. What we had here was five songs of varying quality that were each fun in their own way, and that sort of worked well together.

I stopped listening to it for a while, and then recently started listening to it after a long break. And my initial reaction hasn't really changed, except that I now know that my appreciation for the music probably isn't going to grow with time (or else, it will take more time). This album is fun but it is not amazing. A masterpiece? This album does not come close to the majesty of other albums that deserve that title.

Golf Girl and Love to Love You are both fun, catchy tunes, but not really much more. Winter Wine and In The Land of the Gray and Pink are similar, but I tend to think of them as more acoustic based songs. The title track itself is actually pretty good, and perhaps one of the more enduring songs off the album.

If I had heard the first four songs without knowing that the fifth was an epic, I never would have expected it to be an epic, but an epic we have, and it is mostly instrumental. Overall, I'd actually rate it pretty low on the epic scale. It's got some good music in it, but it doesn't ever really feel like it's going anywhere to me, and there aren't a lot of moments that give me a huge emotional boost. Even the musicians don't seem to be virtuoso's, so when I'm bored by it, I can't listen to it and think, "Man, that must have been hard to do." So while it is pleasant and listenable, it definitely does not rank high.

I'll end by saying that this album ranks as three stars, but as far as three star albums go, there are better you can get. But if you are looking for laid back, fun music that carries the label 'prog', this is a good album to have on hand. Unexciting, but still alright.

Report this review (#248403)
Posted Friday, November 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Caravan: In the Land of Gray and Pink

This album was my introduction to the Canterbury scene. To me the Canterbury Scene is a cross between Jazz, Pop rock of the 60's and a little bit of psychedelic music. So when people get mad at this band for being popish i just shrug and say, Well Duh. The Album starts out with a rather silly song "Golf Girl". The goofy lyrics seem to be one of Caravans call signs. The song starts off relatively simple like a standard pop song of the day but then there are some pretty neat solos near the end. I didn't like this song at all when i first bought this album but it really grew on me. "Winter Wine" is my second favorite track on this beast. It is a very warm song like this entire album is. There is also pretty cool keyboard work going on in it. "Love to Love You" the only song i would say that is strictly pop but, it contains classic funny caravan lyrics. "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is the quietest song, with an acoustic guitar and a nice piano solo. next up is the epic "Nine Feet Underground" it almost reaches 23 minutes. The band shows there jazz roots here better than on the previous tracks. It is a string of brilliant and smooth progressions with some lyrics. The majority of the song is pretty relaxed but still beautiful. The last 5 minutes the band flips on the overdrive ends the song on a hard rocking jam. I just love this epic track. "Nine Feet Underground" alone makes this a album a must have

Report this review (#260284)
Posted Sunday, January 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
5 stars Surprisingly enough this is my first Canterbury Scene album review therefore it feels important to begin with a familiar classic that everyone seems to enjoy.

I knew nothing about Caravan nor the Canterbury music scene before registering my account here on Prog Archives but the streak of praise that The Land Of Grey And Pink has received definitely peaked my interest. Still, being as suspicious as I've always have been about new music I passed this album on quite a few occasions until finally picking it up in 2006.

My attitude was quite skeptical when I listened to the album's first side. After already hearing albums by Matching Mole and Soft Machine I thought that I knew what to expect here but Golf Girl caught me completely off-guard with its English lyrical content and the soft but quirky melody. Winter Wine was an ever softer and beautiful performance but thus far I've been failing to gasp the whole progressive aspect of this music. Unfortunately neither Love To Love You nor the album's title-track did much to reassure me of anything than the fact that this was nothing but very cozy and melodically driven pop music.

It wasn't until the opening section of the album's second side that I began to realize what Caravan were truly capable of. The medley of epic proportion titled Nine Feet Underground completely swept me off my feet the first time I heard it. David Sinclair and the band create a smooth blend of their soft rock music with a clear touch of Canterbury sound that I lacked over the course of the album's first part. This whole 23 minute long journey redeemed this album's questionable prog credentials and pushed them far enough to turn The Land Of Grey And Pink into an essential progressive rock masterpiece well worth checking out. Even the first side has grown on me over the last few years and have become an obligatory introduction before I completely indulge myself into the beauty of Nine Feet Underground.

***** star songs: Nine Feet Underground (22:40)

**** star songs: Golf Girl (5:05) Winter Wine (7:46) Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) (3:06) In The Land Of Grey And Pink (4:51)

Report this review (#274071)
Posted Thursday, March 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars My first taste of Caravan music (my second was If I could do...). When I listened to it for the first time the olny thing I actually knew of them was that they were sharing some musicians with Camel. But I found something amazing, starting from the album cover. On the Vinyl edition you can spend some time looking for hidden faces in the picture. Try. The album opens with "Golf Girl". The rhythm is quite unusual and I think this song has some contact points with the British glam of that era. Looking back to "If I could do..." the two albums have very similar openings. "Winter Wine" is a masterpiece. Acoustic guitar and voice bring you to the land pictured in the cover, then Drums and Bass suddenly start the main part of the song in the most possible "progressive" way. Good guitar riffs, impressive bass line. This is one of my top ten songs of all times. "Love to love you" is as counterpart, the weakest point of the album. A pop song with apparently trivial lyrics, good for the B-side of a single. Luckily the following title track is not that bad. It's just the closure to the A side of the album and contains some interesting gimmicks. I think the "voice of a friendly gorilla" mentioned on the album's is one of them. "Nine feet underground" Is the about 23 minutes epic. It's a medley of several different parts that are in general well fading one into the other except for the explosion that changes a slow part into something different (I can't tell which of the parts are they. I suppose it's the passage from "Hold grandad by nose" and "Honest I did"). Another remarkable part is when the tempo is doubled (make it 76?) by the bass. This is one of the few epics that I can listen to for two consecutive times without getting tired of it (the other is Atom earth mother). It's in my top ten albums but the sound is very dated so I'm not sure about rating it 5 or just 4 stars. Being its average rating 4.32 I keep it high and go for 5.
Report this review (#277635)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I simply adore this record. I am an old-tyme Caravan fan. Thsi is as fun a record to listen to as just about any I know of. My confusion lies in why in the world did Dave Sinclair decide to exit the band after this, his most brilliant work up to that time? I believe Caravan were poised, by virtue of this record, to become international stars if he had stayed in the fold. Unfortunately, his exit seemed to take much of the energy they had built up and they never reached the level of popularity that other prog acts enjoyed.
Report this review (#282611)
Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Lame (pop) lyrics, boring (pop) instrumentation and unoriginal and unexciting (pop) compositions.

Caravan's 'In The Land Of Grey And Pink' is thought of by many to be the band's flagship album, and often one of the most representative canterbury albums released, even coming in at #39 of the top 100 progressive rock albums on this site as of writing this review. When buying this album, I had no knowledge of the canterbury scene and very little knowledge of Caravan, but, being interested in expanding my musical pallet, and considering the album was half price, I thought 'why not?'...

To begin with, the songs all have a very flat and boring tone to them. The songs, with the exception of the epic, all sound incredibly similar and as such, are all similarly crappy. The songs really are nothing special to me - the nonsensical lyrics seem stupid and out of place, and the playing is neither technical nor interesting.

The epic is somewhat good, although really, really stretched out. The rest of the tracks are very throwaway, and those on the CD remaster are even worse.

2/5 stars.

Report this review (#283966)
Posted Saturday, May 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars People surprise me when it comes to progressive rock. It is not unusual to find among the highest-rated albums (and in this case and at the time of this writing, the number one album in its subgenre) albums that consist of pretty much pop music, such that I would hesitate to consider them progressive rock records at all. In Absentia is like that- the highest-rated Porcupine Tree album as of today is in fact largely a pop album- it is hardly progressive rock at all. Both In Absentia and the Caravan album under evaluation here bear some progressive elements, but the Porcupine Tree album has amazing melodies, chord progressions, and instrumental passages- in other words, it is exceptional pop-rock music. In the Land of Grey and Pink, on the other hand, is a frivolous group of semi-psychedelic songs bolstered by extended soloing. Generally, the music is pleasant, but it never once moves beyond that. The first half of this album consists of four whimsical pop tunes, while the second half is essentially a 23-minute jam.

"Golf Girl" A simplistic chord progression and a bouncy rhythm supports flat and uninspired singing. The sputtering brass is goofy, but at least the flute and Mellotron solos are not.

"Winter Wine" Initially a sweet folksy tune, this becomes light rock in the vein of Camel, even using fantastical lyrics. The highlight is the excellent keyboard soloing, which, even if simple, has a great tone.

"Love to Love You (and Tonight Pigs Will Fly)" Here is a happy, cheerful tune, but a plain and undemanding one, like early material from The Who or The Beatles. It is pleasant and fun, but that's about all I can really say for it (although it does maintain a 7/4 time signature).

"In the Land of Grey and Pink" Quirky lyrics expressed through plain singing sit on top of acoustic guitar, bass and drums. This is perhaps the most complex of the four shorter songs in terms of composition. It also includes a wonderful keyboard solo similar to the one featured on "Winter Wine."

"Nine Feet Underground" Beginning immediately, this extended and multi-part jam (it isn't an epic piece) starts with enjoyable jazz- great bass playing and creative keyboard business. Vocally, it's better and more enthusiastic than anything else on the album, but for the most part, "Nine Feet Underground" is merely a string of jam sessions of varying chord progressions and timbres.

Report this review (#283999)
Posted Saturday, May 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars Recently I've bought a couple of classic albums such as Kansas' Song For America (1975), Rush's Fly By Night (1975) and this one, In The Land Of Grey And Pink (1971) by the UK band Caravan.

Caravan is a band that is very overlooked when we talk about 'Prog Rock classics', but I honestly can say that they were there all along, especially with their first 6 albums. In The Land Of Grey And Pink (1971) is their third album and by that time they were building a good base of fans and their records, though not selling million copies, were doing pretty well, thank you! This album was a breakthrough for the band in some ways, for instance, this is their first album of the band (also the only one) that has a one-side song in it, the suite 'Nine Feet Underground' with its almost 23 minutes. Yes, the band had 'The Dabsong Conshirtoe' on Cunning Stunts (1975), that is not a one-sider just because of 'The Fear And Loathing In Tollington Park', so technically, it doesn't count.

In The Land Of Grey And Pink (1971) is something that you cannot explain, it's an album that just flows so absurdly well. It's a kind of 'romanticized' Prog with beautiful melodies and Pop accents all over. Everything extremely well played and written.

I just can't really name tracks here, but 'Golf Girl' is a classic for me!

I would say that if you want to start with Caravan's music and don't know where to begin?. This is the album!

Report this review (#286149)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars An album that makes you long for summer, lingering lazily in the shadow of a tree with enough booze and smokes to keep you high for an entire week. This is an album of sunshine, smiles, peace signs and Volkswagen minibuses in dazzling hippie colours.

There is a touching melancholy to this music though. Winter Wine even has a title that could serve as a band name for a doom metal band, but be not fooled, this is light catchy flower power pop music with tasty British vocals and rising Hammond organ jams. Nine Feet Underground has the most attractive ones of those. So you might take care approaching this album if both 'pop' and 'jams' are inferior types of music for you. I can't find any fault with it though. Except Love to Love You maybe, a rather silly type of pop song. It could have fit on Hammill's Fools Mate but it obviously misses that twisted Hammill approach.

Not an exceptional but sure a recommended listen with a magnetic attraction to the hippie in each of us, and an excellent introduction into the Canterbury style.

Report this review (#286174)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I admit there are lots of album covers out there that got me hypnotized from the very first time i saw them. In The Land Of Grey And Pink is an example of that. Its pale, rose and grey colours give a glimpse of the melancholic, warm climax hidden in the musical landscapes of one of the best works from Caravan.

In five songs Pye Hastings and the Sinclair brothers mark the rules to write happy, cheerful and touching music without being fussy. Golf Girl, Love To Love You, Winter Wine and the title track are precious examples of this kind of sound build over a soft guitar and a very dynamic and tight rhythm section where the highlights are the keyboards passages and the lyrics. Furthermore, the second side of the album is filled by Nine Feet Underground, my favourite track from the band along with For Richard from the previous album. Here there is a time for every instrumental psychedelic passage they could build. Very solid jams were the keyboards are simply great, make this song a wonderful underground experience.


Report this review (#292084)
Posted Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
4 stars When dreaming about pigs that might fly, I always tend to forget the time. Then again, the land of grey and pink is such a beautiful place without any worries that it all doesn't really matter. That's kind of the general mood of this album: dreamy, warm and most of all very lighthearted. Delightful, somewhat simple songs cover up the first half, while a stunning epic completes it.

"Golf Girl" opens the album, and is just like the other songs on the first half a catchy, dreamy pop song. It being a pop song does, however, by no means indicate it's bad. In fact, all of these pop songs sound fantastic to my ears. Caravan's style here is pretty distinctive, featuring often calm and pleasant instrumentals with Richard Sinclair's benign vocals on top of it. Pye Hasting also makes a vocal appearance on the more energetic "Love To Love You" with his higher pitched vocals. Also notable is David Sinclair's very likable fuzzy organ played through a rotary speaker, which is especially evident on the folky "Winter Wine" and the epic of the album, "Nine Feet Underground". This nearly 23 minute piece is a largely instrumental piece driven by a somewhat jazzy sound and features some long jams and solos. It clearly has a much more progressive feel than that of the songs on the first half. The lyrics on "Nine Feet Underground" are just as dreamy as the introduction of this review might suggest, while the lyrics on the other songs are somewhat quirky and most of the time don't make all too much sense. I don't get the impression that the lyrics are supposed to take an important role on the album though.

I don't consider In The Land Of Grey And Pink to be a masterpiece, but nevertheless it's a great album in the least. There is nothing really to dislike about it, but keep in mind that the first half of the album might be somewhat different from your expectations of a highly regarded prog album. In my view, In The Land Of Grey And Pink easily deserves 4 stars.

Report this review (#292775)
Posted Friday, July 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars A Canterbury Classic

Many people have complaints this album is silly. Of course it's silly. All Canterbury is silly. And if you enjoy Canterbury and have yet to hear this album, then you sure are missing out. This is Canterbury at it's best right here.

A description of the music: The album begins with "Golf Girl," a simple, happy pop track with catchy beats, catchy lyrics, and several flute solos. The lyrics are also quite humorous, but as I've said, that's what Canterbury is all about. "Winter Wine" starts off as a quiet, slow ballad, but emerges into another happy, catchy pop song. It has solos with various instruments and contains some skillful drumming. "Love to Love You (and tonight pigs will fly)" has a sort of pop Beatles sound to it. A rather uninteresting track, but not bad. The title track contains perhaps the oddest lyrics of the album. The vocal melodies are great and quite catchy and its another happy pop track. "Nine Feet Underground" is an organ-dominated epic with solos and jams left and right. Only a small portion of this song is lyrics and it's almost all instrumental. It still remains constantly entertaining.


Musicianship: The flutes and keyboards are the highlights of this album. They both play great solos and present beautiful melodies. Richard Sinclair also presents amazing vocals on this album.

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are humorous, odd, and abstruse. However, if you have a sense of humour, you'll love it.

Good pop: The first 4 tracks are prog-pop at it's absolute best. There is no shortage of catchyness and virtuosity in them.


First 4 tracks somewhat similar: Not much more to say. The first four tracks all seem somewhat similar. Still, they are all great and fun to listen to (with the exception of "Love to Love You."

Song ratings: Golf Girl: 9/10 Winter Wine: 9.5/10 Love to Love You: 6/10 The title track: 9/10 Nine Feet Underground: 10/10

Recommended for: Any fan of Canterbury or anyone who is interested in becoming a fan.

My rating: 5 stars. The first 4 tracks are just about the best prog-pop can get and the final track is an amazing and constantly entertaining jam-fest. A very fun album.

Report this review (#293013)
Posted Sunday, August 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover Team
3 stars I haven't been exposed to enough of the Canterbury Scene genre to really appreciate it. I'm more into symphonic and neo prog, even heavy prog and some prog metal, but I'm willing to try out new genres. I've developed an appreciation for Gong and Robert Wyatt and have become a huge fan of Steve Hillage, but I needed to try out more. And so I sought out what many consider as the pinnacle of the Canterbury Scene genre, Caravan's In the Land of Grey and Pink.

Upon first impressions, I was struck with how nicely put together their shorter songs were. They didn't remind me of anything like the other Canterbury artists I had listened to. Golf Girl is an absolutely wonderful psych-pop number. This should have been a smash hit when this album came out, but as I understand it, Caravan had little or no marketing support from their record company. Winter Wine is also a wonderful number featuring some nice organ work. The title track is also a favorite of mine. I love the bass lines in that song.

Now onto what appears to be the song that raises this album to high accolades, the 22+ minute long Nine Feet Underground. I have to admit that I've listened to this at least a dozen times now and it still hasn't clicked with me. I'm not sure what I was expecting really. It has a "sameness" throughout it that bores me to tears. The guitar solos seem to go on forever and I just don't sense the structure others have attributed to it. Now I know they recorded this in parts and it was pieced together by their producer magnificently, but it just doesn't feel like it actually has separate "parts" like it ought to. I think it would have been better if the band had done the parts as separate numbers and expanded upon them.

This isn't a genre I'm too familiar with, but I'm hoping it will be helpful for those symphonic prog fans out there wondering what the big deal about this album is. It could very well be a big deal for you and click with you (the proof is in the number of reviews and the high rating of this album). I'm one of the minority that can't seem to really get into the so-called epic song that many praise as its crowning achievement. Maybe it will click with me some years from now, but for now, I love the shorter songs that Richard Sinclair sings on. Definitely good and worth three stars, but I can't push myself to give it anything higher.

Report this review (#293490)
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the discussion for one of the most quintessential Cantebury albums, IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK sees Caravan build on the momentum that IF I COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN... provided the previous year. Between the two sides, Caravan the two biggest facets of their unique sound.

Side One deals mostly with psychedelic pop music that carries this certain whimsy to it that gives it a charm. It's the same kind of charm that Monty Python's brand of comedy exonerates. The title track alone ought to give you a clue as to what Caravan can accomplish in their brand of pop tunes. ''Golf Girl'' and ''Winter Wine'' work just as well with the latter featuring delicate fusion-y instrumental breaks. The only sore thumb here is the Pye sung ''Love to Love You'', a slightly annoying thing.

Side Two is comprised of one epic, ''Nine Feet Underground''. It is not an epic that a traditional progster might expect, and comparisons to cuts like ''Close to the Edge'' aren't exactly proper. Instead, we get twenty-three minutes of fusion processed in the Caravan style almost like ''The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys'' is fusion processed through the Traffic sound. Singing appears sporadically, but not often and theme changes aren't common, but there. ''Nine Feet'' sound very akin to ''For Richard'' from the last album, so if you're familiar with ''For Richard'', this epic is a little softer and veers more in the Cantebury sound.

IF I COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN... seems to have more of a ''pump'' to it, so I recommend that album before GREY AND PINK. But make no mistake, GREY AND PINK is as quality of a Cantebury album if I ever heard one.

Report this review (#293588)
Posted Friday, August 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars 'In the Land of Grey and Pink' is a very charming album indeed. It forms the second of Caravan's mighty twin peaks, which both deserve equal respect in the prog world. I can never decide if I prefer the pink or green one.....

'Golf Girl' sets the tone of side one nicely; which consists of four dosings of cool, groovy psych-pop, with plenty of light-heartedness (not exactly humour, but less seriousness than your average prog group) and enough melodies to carry it. Pye's 'Love to Love You' is borderline annoying, but 'Winter Wine' has some improvisational development which counter-balances this. However I think that perhaps the title track would be less significant if it wasn't "the title track", because its similarities to 'Golf Girl' make it not really needed. Caravan have a nice, almost soothing sound, but are importantly a band that I can groove to. The chord choices are often interesting (in a good way) and this helps balance the relaxed feel. But I don't believe any number of complex syncopated interludes are even needed here, the soloing is high-quality and the lyrics are refreshingly listenable; i.e. not neglected by the band for their unimportance.

'Nine Feet Underground' can be second-guessed by its length. Any experienced progger will know that a side-long epic by a band of this style will be less of the "epic" quality and more, say, a series of connected jams and psychedelic noodles. I wasn't surprised when I discovered the 'Nine Feet...' was exactly that. Now some people on this site have criticised that fact, but I only pity them for even expecting some kind of "Close to the Edge 2". This is the Canterbury scene, and I doubt anyone has ever represented it better in a single 22 minutes and 40 seconds.

The sections that have lyrics are nice, like side 1, but the bulk of the track is instrumental jamming, and it's fantastic. The cool chord progressions are easy to get a hold of, and while some outstay their welcome, for the most part they're groovy and tasty throughout. This is the kind of stuff I like to jam with on my piano. The finale '100% Proof' (which by the way, has only a passing similarity to Cream's 'Sunshine of Your Love' and is neither plagiarism nor homage) brings the various parts to an explosive conclusion with it's electric blues riff, being probably the part of the album where the band rock out the most. By the end, it leaves one both satisfied and fatigued.

So this is Caravan as you'd expect them, but on some kind of high. It's trippy, colourful, and great fun. Not to mention very charming.

Report this review (#294280)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The thing that bothers me the most about Caravan is their inconsistency. This much loved album is the most overrated in the Canterbury scene, while their self-titled debut from 1968 is the most underrated. The first Caravan album was really the first Canterbury album and a great piece of proto-prog. In The Land Of Grey And PInk generally sounds more like an album made in 1969 rather than in 1971. It's not very 'progressive' at all really. But, nonetheless, the music here is good anyway. The band's most consistent and proggiest album would be For Girls... Of course, Richard Sinclair is not on that one. It doesn't really matter since Richard did his best singing and bass playing with Hatfield & The North anyway. His cousin Dave's fuzz-organ and piano playing is the centerpiece of this album.

What was side 1 has two very poppy numbers here. "Golf Girl" and "Love To Love You" are really good songs but they are not prog at all, even if the latter is played in an odd time signature(11/8 I think). I never really liked "Winter Wine" as much as most seem to, but it is the proggiest thing on the first half of the album regardless. I always loved the title track. For the longest time I thought the guitar solo was a Mellotron! The lyrics have nothing on Shakespeare, but I kind of like the tale of them finding "punk-weed" and smoking it till they bleed. The side-long "Nine Feet Underground" is the best thing on the whole album. But even this 'epic' sounds like two jams that are joined by an orchestral section. I never really caught on to the Cream influence at the end until I started reading reviews stating so. No wonder that was my favourite part! "Nine Feet Underground" has the best music, playing and singing of the whole album.

I have an older CD version of this without the bonus songs. So I won't really comment on them even though I have heard them. I'll just say that, IMO, they don't really add anything to the rest of the album. Pye Hastings and Dave Sinclair are much better on For Girls... than they are here. If you like fuzz on your guitars and organs, there is plenty of that here. The playing is generally not too complex or sophisticated. But the compositions don't require that style of playing to begin with. This is an album that has one foot in the '60s and the other in the '70s. Good, but not essential. 3 stars.

Report this review (#304962)
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Caravan - In the Land of Grey and Pink (1971)

Caravan is a Canterbury group originating from the Wilde Flowers, just as the Soft Machine did. As Soft Machine has proven to be a very progressive and innovative force, it strikes me as strange that Caravan became a crossover-prog group. The poppy influences are all over the place and the music is never hard-to-get-into. Besides pop, rock and some prog influences, there are also some jazz influences.

The vocals of Richard Sinclair (later to join Camel) are polished and very English. The organs of his brothers David Sinclair are gentle and slightly destorted during solo's (he's the only musician to give solo's on this album). The guitars are acoustic most of the time. The wind- instruments by Jimmy Hastings are nice, but very happy in style.

Kahn, Gong and Soft Machine all had their dark moments, but Caravan sticks to a happy feel- good sound most of the time. The atmosphere is slightly psychedelic, but in a happy fashion.

On side one we've got four songs. Golf Girl is a pop-song with good song-writing and nice lyrics about a surrealistic situation. Winter Wine is a stronger effort with great melodic compositions and good melodies. This could be considered to be then only track with real progressive influences on side one. Love to love you is a very commercial affair that only has a strange time-signature to safe the day. This song is as sweet as children's candy. In the land of grey and pink is another happy and melodic song. The songwriting is again strong, albeit not very progressive.

On side two there is Caravan's big epic, Nine feet underground. Luckily the band changes direction on side two by playing more melodic, instrumental and rockin' sections. The vocal parts are all strong and I finally get 'touched' by the music. The impact of the band is totally different and way more serious. The organ-solo's are plentyfull but I really wished they would have hired a guitar-player to give an extended solo instead. A good, but never ground-braking effort.

Conclusion. It amazes me how this album is rated as high as works as Space Shanty, Third or You. This album fails in many aspects to be really progressive or innovative and the vision of Caravan is everything but brave. At times it reminds me of 'Breathless'-era Camel. Yet, on side two the band changes directions for the better and an enjoyable, interesting and relaxing atmosphere is created. I can not reward this crossover record with more then three stars, but it is still recommend! This is the poppy-side of the Canterbury scene, but the style is still quite special with it's happy, slightly psychedelic sound.

Report this review (#310195)
Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After strong second album, Caravan continued their previous direction of pop-folk-psychedelic sound, but even improved it. No radical changes happened, but sound became less mellow,more complex and multi layered. Melodies were always band's strong side, no problems with this department on this album as well.

Just 5 songs, but the last one continues 22+ minutes, and it doesn't sound too long! Being excellent example of poppish Canterbury scene wing, band perfectly balances on this album with sound, attractive for hippy-pop music lovers and some more tolerant prog rock fans.

Having very special place between true Canterbury prog rock bands, as Soft Machine, with this album Caravan reached their highest artistic point. I could recommend this album as best Caravan music ever, this sound could be great entrance to Canterbury scene for newcomers from pop-rock or folk-rock side as well as really pleasant album for part of more tolerant Canterbury prog rock fans with no fear of folkish and poppish sound.

Report this review (#321779)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I just love the laid back feel of this album! The band is just groovin'--like a CROSBY, STILLS & NASH album. The melifluous voice of Richard Sinclair (and melodic bass playing) are deserving of much acclaim (though a RC sound-alike, Andy Tillison, gets a lot of grief for similar tones and stylings). Also, Pye Hastings' choice of sound for his electric guitar soli is, to me, quite interesting for its exact replication of the familiar solo instrument of TRAFFIC's "Low Spark of High-heeled Boys."

1. "Golf Girl" (5:01) is just poppy fun--like something out of the "Hair!" soundtrack. And memorable--it's tough to get out of one's head once you've heard it! (8/10)

2. "Winter Wine" (7:37) is beautiful song built on some fairly straightforward guitar chord sequences. The delicate section beginning at the 2:50 mark shows something different, something special. Unfortuantely, Pye Hasting's first solo is rather weak, but vastly improved upon as the rhythm section picks up both the volume and pace. Some very nice melodic moments and key and tempo changes. The song gets stronger--brings me in deeper and deeper as it goes. Love the background "Oooo's." (9/10)

3. The side-long "Nine Feet Underground" (22:44) is, of course, the album's jewel--especially in terms of Caravan's contributions to the Canterbury scene, specifically, and progressive rock music, in general. Purely engaging melodies, pacing and soli--even if the mix/engineering is a bit inconsistent and, let's face it: shoddy. RC's bass work really stands out on this one. Also find Pye Hastings' lead vocal and the accompanying harmonies quite enjoyable. A definite highlight of prog rock. (10/10)

"Easy listening" prog rock at it's finest. Not quite 5 stars, but close. 4.5 rated down for inconsistent production.

Amended 4/26/14: The 2001 CD release includes some awesome bonus material which would easily put In The Land of Grey and Pink into the "masterpiece" category were they including on the original release. Though this album has continued to grow on me and remains one of my four or five most played Canterbury Scene albums, in my opinion "Love to Love You," "Winter Wine" and "In the Land of The Grey and Pink" weaken this album a bit.

Bonus (previously unreleased) material:

"I Don't Know It's Name (Alias The Word)" (6:10) (10/10) has one of Richard Sinclair's best vocals of all-time. Simply a beautiful song.

"Aristocracy" (3:43) (8/10) has a Kinks' "Lola"-like vocal melody. Interesting and different.

"It's Likely to Have a Name Next Week (Winter Wine Instrumental)" (7:49) is much prettier and has much more feeling and flow to it than the later 'more evolved' version known as "Winter Wine." I love Richard's "scatting" vocal melody explorations. (10/10)

"Group Girl" (First version of "Golf Girl" with different lyrics) (5:03) is much more free-form and somber than the fun-bordering on silly final version. (9/10)

"Dissassociation 100% Proof" (New Mix) (8:34) (10/10) is an intoxicatingly engaging version of Nine Feet Underground" containing several of the main themes from the longer album version. Richard's voice is absolutely gorgeous as is the flute playing.

This doesn't change my rating for the original album, but I'm trying to make the point that this is the version to try to get.

Report this review (#330960)
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A lot has already been said about this great album. This is often considered to be the pinnacle Caravan release. It's somewhat lighter than the previous album, particularly the first half. The organ isn't as prominent on most tracks, instead there are a lot more striking but subtle touches from the acoustic guitar, flute and piano. Lovely mellotron and sax moments too. There's a nice concotion of styles, mostly the typical Canterbury jazz, folk of course and plenty of English charm.

The songs are rather catchy. Most of the lyrics are fun, especially on "Golf Girl" which along with the title track have to be among Caravan's most classic songs. The song "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" is probably my favourite on the album. It has some great odd, trippy lyrics which are very interesting indeed. Listen out for the musical arrangements in the song too. Another beauty is "Winter Wine". Repeated listens will prove to be rewarding. "Nine Feet Underground" is the long length track on side two. There is plenty of hammond organ and some nice changes.

This would be a very worthy part of a progressive rock collection. Highly recommended. 4 stars.

Report this review (#347033)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars A masterpiece in music in general, a truly unique sound and powerful .. this album gave way to new bands to come, creating a unique sound and original, with a powerful identity that you can recognizesit listening to this album .. powerful and sensual voice of David Sinclair is the force that brings this album to the fullest .. and do not leave behind the big keyboard and impressive melotron characteristic of this band .. The music is harmonious and melodious while intriguing, at times a little sad, and at times a bit adventurous, when it comes to giving 5 stars to an album, it is to have a great adventure, and I've had to listen this album .. perhaps the only weak song is "love to love you ", but from there on out we have an amazing album in every way .. and ending with a song that if you have not heard you should do now ..

5 stars without doubt ..

Report this review (#402602)
Posted Friday, February 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The masterpiece of Caravan.

The style of Canterbury, something between jazz-rock and psychedelic experience, is tempered with beautiful melodies, so we are miles far away from the adventurous experimentation (surely bold but sometimes a bit strenuous) of Soft Machine.

Golf Girl, a beautiful ballad with winds instruments played by Jimmy Hastings in great evidence and In The Land Of Grey And Pink, enhanced by a beautiful interpretation of Richard Sinclair and a dreamy instrumental section in the middle, are simply splendid. The simple Love To Love You is very catchy, but not out of place in the context of the album. The great romantic atmosphere that pervading the entire disc can be founded even in the songs closer to Canterbury style, the suite Nine Feet Underground (with long instrumental sections and rhythmic variations) and the dreamy Winter Wine, perhaps the masterpiece of the album. These two songs are still the most challenging and certainly requires more plays to be enjoyed in full.

Finally a mention of the album's cover: inspired by the fantasy world of Tolkien is one of the most classic progressive rock icons.

One of my favorite albums, into my top 20 ever.

rating: 10/10.

Best song: Winter Wine

Report this review (#428650)
Posted Thursday, April 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars I adore this album. The first time I listened to this album was while I was trying to sleep on my then-fiancées couch before I went to work, and the music put me in an absolutely chipper mood.

Caravan's music is wildly accessible and poppy, but also is backed by fine musical integrity.

"Gold Girl" is mostly an appropriately bouncy pop song with uplifting, and slightly goofy horns, and nice flute soloing at the end. A great organ/flute solo combination finishes the conclusion of the song greatly.

"Winter Wine" is a beautiful song that progresses into a driving beat with Sinclair's bass at the forefront. This track is quite groovy with a slightly jazzy feel that gives the track a very sophisticated feel. There are some fantastic solo key passages at the end of this track.

"Love to Love You" is one of my favorites on this album. It's very poppy and bouncy in feel, and has very catchy and uplifting lyrics. There really isn't much to dislike about a song as happy and confident as this one.

The title track has some interesting lyrics about grimmly grimelys or whatever nonsense. I don't pay attention to the lyrics here. This is one of my least favorite on the album just because not much sticks out from the song other than the nice groove. There is good keys solo near the end too.

"Nine Feet Underground" is the epic track here, and it starts off sounding strongly jazzy but still backed by a nice groove. Most of this ambitious epic consist of fantastic jazz improv soloing on guitar and keys within the context of many mood changes. Words won't do much to explain it but it is one the most enjoyable tracks that Caravan have ever written, in my opinion. Though I like the Caravan vocals, they are used sparingly on this track.

I highly recommend this album to anyone looking for one of the more accessible albums and bands in the progressive rock realm.

Report this review (#431132)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow!

After two truly great albums, Caravan comes out with their masterpiece! This album is filled from beginning to end with some of the greatest and most enjoyable music I've ever heard.

The delightful opening trumpet tune sets the tone for the album and begins the great and very catchy song "Golf Girl". Here we are treated by Brother Jimmy's wonderful wind and brass instruments, most notably his marvelous flute solo near the end of the song. The following "Winter Wine" is yet another masterpiece, this one more featuring Sinclair's awesome organ. "Love to Love You" is more of a short, poppish affair, but no less enjoyable. The title track is one of my all-time favorite songs, with it's terrific trippy lyrics and splendid melody. But of course, all this is just leading up to the true masterpiece within this masterpiece. The epic "Nine Feet Underground" is a true prog epic, not only in length, but in songwriting as well. It is split into 8 fairly clear sections, but they blend so well together that you can hardly notice. I'm running out of adjectives to describe how phenomenal the music is, but I think you get the idea.

I can't recommend this enough. If you call yourself a prog fan and you don't own this then there's something wrong with you! Fortunately it's fairly easy to find so don't hesitate to pick this one up if you haven't heard it already!

Report this review (#440078)
Posted Thursday, April 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars 'In The Land Of Grey And Pink' was my introduction to Caravan, and indeed to the Canterbury scene as a whole. Admittedly, I was quite nonplussed at first, as the 23-minute epic on side two of this album shared very little in common with songs like The Gates of Delirium, and in general, I felt there was very little that was progressive about this record. Time went on though, and eventually my tastes broadened, and I began to fully understand how magnificent this record is.

Golf Girl is extremely British. The lyrics are the main reason for this accusation: 'I chanced upon a Golf Girl, Selling cups of tea', 'For thruppence you can buy one, Full right to the brim'. It's not just the tea that makes this song so quintessentially British, but the writing style of the lyrics themselves are unlike those you would find anywhere else in the world. This is a very fun song, with a slightly commercial sound. The surreal lyrics are very appealing indeed. You can't help but smile and sing along when you hear this track.

Winter Wine is the closest to 'straight prog' this record gets. The song tells a surreal tale with fantastical imagery. There are some proggy hooks and passages, and a 2:20 keyboard solo instrumental. It was only when I heard the demo to this song, It's Likely To Have A Name Next Week, as a bonus track, that I realised just how clever this song was, and how well I knew it. The lyrics really grab my attention, and can be a bit naughty sometimes: 'A dull red light illuminates the breasts of four young girls, dancing, prancing, provoking!'. Even though it's a tiny detail, I find the sound effect of bells ringing to coincide with the lyric 'Bells chime three times' absolutely adorable; it really helps flesh out the song.

Next up is Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) which is one of the most deceptively clever songs I've heard. If you listen casually, the lenth and tone of the song and the chorus will have you believe this is nothing other than a simple pop song about love. However, this could not be further from the truth. First off, you probably won't have noticed that the song is entirely in 7/8, a progressive trait if there ever was one! Secondly, have a closer listen to the lyrics in the verse, and you'll realise that they are actually quite twisted and dark: 'But you just smiled and gently shook your head, And put a hole through me so I was dead'. Listen to the rest of the lyrics, and you'll realise there is nothing simple about this seemingly sweet and innocent song.

The title track, In The Land Of Grey And Pink, is similar to Winter Wine in the sense that it is telling of a surreal adventure, but out of the two, this is the weaker song. The lyrics are more surreal, but become less gripping as it seems too imaginary. The music is quite repetitive and more laid-back, and not quite as impressive as the music on the former track. However, the piano and keyboard solo in the instrumental are both quite sublime. It's funny that the title track is actually the closest this album comes to filler.

Next up is Caravan's longest track to date, Nine Feet Underground, so titled as it was composed in a basement. As a fan of symphonic epics like Close To The Edge and Tarkus, I was completely shocked when I first heard this track, as I could not believe people would call this prog. For a start, there were no recurring themes, too much emphasis on the organ, and the first 5 minutes were occupied by a dull jazzy instrumental. However, I have now accepted that one does not listen to different prog bands with similar expectations from each of them. I have come to appreciate this extended piece in a way I never thought possible when I first listened to it.

I do however feel there is still too much emphasis on the organ. When you skip to almost any point in the song, you'll hear David Sinclair soloing away, and it tends to sound a bit samey. Compared to a band like Yes, where the instrumentation was far more democratic, this is probably the heaviest criticism one can make of the piece.

The structure of this piece is both simple and complex. The track is broken up into eight parts, which are all very self-contained, but flow beautifully and effortlessly into each other, like a musical jigsaw. These parts all have silly names like Dance of the Seven Paper Hankies and Hold Grandad by the Nose. Two of these sections have lyrics, which give a greater sense of structure to the track. I particularly like the second of these lyrical sections, which has a lovely melody and memorable lyrics.

Each of the sections has a great underlying musical theme, and I think it's the way this piece naturally flows from one section to the other without ever sounding forced that makes this track so worthwhile and listenable. This is a very relaxing and breathtaking way to spend 23 minutes.

The music on this record is fun and melodic, and is an essential part of any Canterbury scene collection. The iconic gatefold artwork is also tremendous and fully complements the surreal lyrics of this album. This album doesn't lend itself to you instantly, but enamours you slowly over time. Within a few weeks of writing this review, a deluxe three disc edition of this album is going to be released, and I will have no hesitation in updating my collection to include this new version, as this album is definitely worth it.

Report this review (#443044)
Posted Thursday, May 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Before regaling the listener with a side-long workout in the form of Nine Feet Underground - including some truly fine jazzy keyboard work from Dave Sinclair - Caravan's third album kicks off with a set of four songs on side one which might not be the most hardcore avant-garde products of the progressive scene, but include more than enough Canterbury tricks to distinguish them from simple commercial fare and also evoke a warm, pleasant, mildly nostalgic atmosphere it is difficult not to be swept up in.

Only a true grump could listen to the likes of Golf Girl or the title track without cracking a smile, or feel just a little moved by the romantic Winter Wine. One of the few albums I know that can adopt such a consistently happy and pleasant tone without crossing the lines into being sappy or naive, In the Land of Grey and Pink is a true joy.

Report this review (#473145)
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The 'Canterbury Scene' was a loose collection of progressively-inclined outfits whose music was linked by strong jazz and psychedelic influences, complex lyrical content and an undercurrent of sometimes surreal, sometimes silly, humour. At the forefront of this 'movement' were groups such as Kevin Ayer's Soft Machine, the Anglo-French group Gong, jazz-prog trio Egg and Caravan, who were undoubtedly one of the most creative and versatile groups of the period. Caravan would form after the short-lived pop-psych group 'The Wilde Flowers' split into two factions, with members Pye Hastings(guitar, vocals), Richard Sinclair(guitar, vocals), his brother Dave Sinclair(keyboards) and Richard Coughlan(drums) setting up their new outfit during 1968. They would quickly sign a deal with the American imprint Verve Records and their self-titled debut was released the same year to moderate commercial-and-critical acclaim. Within a year, however, the group were one the move, leaving Verve and signing for Decca, a sub-division of the international Universal company. Their first Decca album would be the critically-acclaimed and brilliantly-titled 'If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You' from 1970, an album which found the group expanding their once-simplistic psychedelic sound into progressive rock territory, adding a strong jazz element and writing longer, more complex compositions. It would prove to be a great album, yet Caravan would pull out all the stops during the next stay at Decca's North London Studio's, creating their landmark 1971 release 'In The Land Of The Grey & Pink', an album many regard as the pinnacle of this most peculiar of sub-genre's. The line-up for 'In The Land Of The Grey & Pink' was the same as the previous two albums, only this time guest musicians Jimmy Hastings(flute, saxophone, piccolo), Paul Beecham(trombone) and Dave Grinstead(woodwinds) were brought in to add an extra dimension to the group's overall sound, whilst recording was overseen by prolific prog-producer David Hitchcock, the group's third producer in three albums, who had just completed work on Genesis's highly-rated 1970 debut 'Trespass'. Despite the lack of continuity behind the mixing desk ,the mixture of offbeat humour, psychedelic influences and complex instrumental passages would be a feature running through all of Caravan's classic-era albums, though it is perhaps on 'In The Land Of Grey & Pink' that these elements combine most effectively, something that may well explain why the album is often mistaken as a concept piece. The album certainly builds like one, beginning with a prime example of Caravan's extremely-English, whimsical psych-pop style on the amusing 'Golf Girl', a typically-droll, loping track stuffed with some not-so-sly LSD references and featuring Richard Sinclair's charmingly jocular vocals recounting a romantic encounter set on the rolling green hills of a countryside golf course. Paul Beecham's piping trombone medley adds a touch of Beatles-esque invention to proceedings yet it is the wonderfully absurd, barely-concealed lyrics that are so memorable, spinning a short, lucid and very enjoyable little yarn that pokes harmless fun at both the hippie generation and the simplistic conventions of boy-meets-girl love stories. The other side of the Caravan coin, however, finds the group exploring the full extent of their musical ability with the twenty-two- minute-long mainly-instrumental closing track 'Nine Feet Underground', one of those wonderful progressive tracks that runs through multiple sections, styles and moods and features the intricate organ solos that are such a feature of Caravan's music. Filled with overt jazz touches, moments of cinematic grandeur and a genuinely-experimental curiosity, 'Nine Feet Underground' is very much one of Caravan's defining musical moments, a lengthy and atmospheric opus that sums up nicely the quirky, free-flowing character of the Canterbury sound. From beginning to end 'In The Land Of The Grey & Pink' envelopes the listener within the vibrant, semi-mystical confines of Caravan's singular sound. The striking artwork suggests themes of sub-Tolkien-style fantasia yet the lyrics seem more concerned with parodying the conventions and routines of everyday life, a factor that surely dispels the oft-spun myth that the bulk of progressive rock music is indulgent, serious and humourless stuff created by egocentric musicians who have little regard for their own audiences. With a welcome comic tone and more than a dash of subversive 'substance' humour colouring the group's odd musings, Caravan's third album is one of the prime examples of the quintessentially- English Canterbury-style progressive rock scene, a type of music that could only have been created during the heady days of the early 1970's that sounds as fresh today as it did all those years ago.
Report this review (#566100)
Posted Friday, November 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars All hail Caravan! Caravan is the most famous of the Canterburyscene and the most important reason for that is that they were not so eclected as most other Canterbury bands (Soft Machine, National Health, and the North, etc. ) Actually they are almost poplike accessible, which can especially be seen on the first side of "In the Land of Grey and Pink".

The first side contains jazzpop songs with some flute and violin harmonies. Also the characteristic Canterbury sounding keyboards can be heard on some of the songs. The songs really have an innocent sound created by the vocals and clean plaayed instruments. This side of the record has the same succesfactors like good outworking Traffic songs; so don't expect any eclecticism here; this is cross-over prog. This doesn't mean it's not good.

At first I was especially amazed about side two, which contains a 24:40 minutus during progressive bulldozer. This is truly canterbury progressive stuff and will enjoy the more eclectic prog fans. Later on I became more fond of the first side, because of it's catchy songs and funny texts.

Well, I'd like to give this record four stars, because there are no many really brilliant moments on it. I actually really like to listen to this record a lot and there are no weak moments on it as far as I can consider.

Four+ stars for this accessible, but still highly enjoyable record!

p.s.: I'd really like to thank my brother Friso -who should be welknown by the PA-community by now- for giving a vinyl copy of this record to me!

Report this review (#587286)
Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars A powerful masterpiece of Progressive Rock! Its subtle and relaxing sound will send you drifting to an isolated desert island resort at first listen!

I like this album very much, the energetic yet mellow sound that Caravan makes in this album is very relaxing, not to mention the instrumentation is also excellent. One point of the instruments that I particularly like are David Sinclair's organ and piano playing especially in the track 'In The Land of Grey And Pink' where he delivers an angelic piano sound that gets me completely absorbed in the music, his breathtaking organ solo in 'Nine Feet Underground' makes those 22 minutes flows really fast! Pye Hastings' guitar works also did a very nice job in complementing the majestic organ plays, the bright-sweet sound that he makes with his guitar throughout the album are musically orgasmic! Other strong points are the wind instruments played at some parts in the album, while it doesn't sound as dominant as the guitar and organs, it provides a really beautiful sound that strengthens the overall atmosphere of the songs further, the flute playing is one of the best I've ever heard in Prog!

Now on to the bass and drums which serves as a solid backbone to the song, the rhythmic parts they made with it sounds really upbeat and catchy, a perfect complement for the masterpiece instrumentations.

Next is Richard Sinclair's subtle yet beautiful vocals that really suits the atmosphere given by the instrumentals. His vocal style are one of my favorites that makes me get into the 'Breathless' album by Camel which features him as the lead vocalist, and also both of the Hatfield and The North studio releases. When he sings, it really feels like you want to listen to him to the end, it really gets me into the music whenever the vocals came out.

For the track list, I'm impressed that there's no single weak track on this album. All of those are powerful and very well composed tracks, my personal favorite is the title track 'In The Land of Grey and Pink' and 'Nine Feet Underground', again, because of the keyboard and organs. Its also a big plus that Caravan plays really naturally without trying to show-off at all, it certainly sounds like they play music because they truly love it. And the result is a solid masterpiece of Prog music, a prime example of what Prog should be, really addictive and enjoyable, with great instrumentals, vocals, and masterfully-composed song pieces. Therefore I gave this album a strong 5 star, they really deserved it.

Report this review (#588605)
Posted Thursday, December 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Caravan's "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is quite possibly the ultimate Canterbury Record. There is ot much left to be said about this astonishing peice of music. The band was truly inspired during the recording of this album and they managed to pull it off without wasting a single second of space. This album definitely has a more laid back fell compared to it's predecessor, and I find it very easy listening. This is not an album to put off.

If you are venturing into the land of Canterbury this is the album to start with. It is a five-star album and absolutely needs to be experienced by all.

Report this review (#754161)
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is the flawless epitome of Canterbury Scene.

When I first heard this album, I thought the first half was rather plain. Honestly, I didn't like the lyrics for "Golf Girl" or "Love to Love You." But when I began to digest the first half of the album, the solos and improvisation abilities of the band finally hooked me onto the album. Every solo is perfectly placed and flows beautifully, and the bass lines groove perfectly. Winter Wine is easily the best on the first half of the album. Richard Sinclair's vocals shine here, and the lyrics are excellent.

Nine Feet Underground is probably my favorite song (you can see my bias here). Some people say that the whole thing doesn't work together, but I think entire 22 minute song fuses the separate parts together masterfully. I can't even begin to describe what a masterpiece Nine Feet Underground is. The melody lines are extraordinarily memorable and the execution is flawless. The harmony and the way the band works together is unparalleled in any other Caravan song, and possibly any other Canterbury band. Listen to it yourself to see.

Report this review (#776621)
Posted Saturday, June 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Add this album to that exclusive list of classic recordings in the Progarchives database hardly needing the validation of yet another five-star rating. With a score of 4.27 after almost 800 reviews to date, I think by now a reliable consensus has been reached.

But my own immunity to such infectious music has always been chronically low. So, for better or worse, here's another unqualified endorsement to pad an already overcrowded page.

Older fans can fill you in on the background and biographies. As a relative newcomer I can only respond to the music itself, which is nothing short of perfection: jazzy but punchy Prog- Pop with silly song titles, pithy lyrics, and ace musicianship all around. The band was unusually tight for its era, at a time when other Rock musicians were looking to Jazz for permission to flaunt their chops at (often indulgent) length. And in David Sinclair they could also boast one of the more unassuming keyboard wizards of the early 1970s. I don't think I've ever heard anyone employ a mellotron the way Sinclair does in the song "Golf Girl", jamming on the ersatz string ensemble like it was a Hammond B3 organ.

Good luck trying to find a weak spot or wasted note. The four shorter songs are quintessential Canterbury ditties, catchy as hell and sporting a dry English wit not always evident elsewhere in Progressive Rock. Even the bonus tracks on the 2001 CD reissue reveal a deprecating sense of humor, including a pair of songs-in-progress titled "I Don't Know It's Name" and "It's Likely To Have a Name Next Week" (the latter resurfaced on the LP as "Winter Wine").

And the side-long, nearly 23-minute opus "Nine Feet Underground" has to be one of the most intimate epics ever written, although in truth it's a medley of related songs held skillfully together by some tasteful jamming. Celebrated Prog touchstones like "Close to the Edge" and "Supper's Ready" probably have more episodes of sheer, symphonic grandeur. But "Nine Feet" holds together as a better unified composition, and proves you don't need to stab your keyboard to maintain an effective solo.

You'd have to be a real sourpuss (or one of Sinclair's nasty grumbly grimblies) not to acknowledge the undiluted joy of it all. Brian Eno had his Music For Airports and Music For Films; Caravan's 1971 album might well have been subtitled "Music For Grinning Stupidly At". And if you could see my face right now, you'd recognize the truth of that statement.

Report this review (#786197)
Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a bit of a weird one. While this album often gets held up as the quintessential Caravan album, I personally think that the sound of the album is too schizophrenic to really be compared to the two excellent albums that bookend it in Caravan's discography. Where "If I Could Do It All Over Again?" and "Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night" successfully merged Canterbury jazz and pop to create a satisfying and extremely accessible (while still very unique) sound, "In the Land of Grey and Pink" seems more or less content to have a pop half and a prog half.

Some may call that claim a little too harsh; there are still instrumental breaks in the shorter songs that keep them from coming across as pure bubblegum, but of the first four songs, "Golf Girl," "Love To Love You," and "In The Land of Grey and Pink" fall firmly on the pop side of the spectrum. "Winter Wine" straddles the divide a little more, but it's still a far cry from the excellent genre-crossing of, say, "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again" off of "Girls Who Grow Plump?"

That's merely my opinion, of course. And don't get me wrong, they're good songs (especially the title track). The sense of whimsy and cheeriness that flows throughout is an extremely welcome sound in the often dark-and-doom-laden progressive landscape, and all three of the primarily pop tracks are undoubtedly catchy as all get-out. The playing is still excellent on them and there are still some really awesome instrumental bits. My problem is just that this album doesn't flow nearly as well for me as the other two I've mentioned. "Love To Love You" especially is a fun little track, but it just can't stand up to the rest of the tracks and as a result the album feels unbalanced (this is the same problem I have with a lot of ELP).

So that's the first half. What about the second? Well, there's no question that "Nine Feet Underground" is an absolute monster. There are a lot of excellent sections, and there's wonderful thematic balance throughout, but at a whopping 22 minutes it's still a bit underwhelming, in my opinion, compared to other Caravan epics. Compare the 20+ minues of "Nine Feet Underground" to what Caravan was able to do in 14 on the "For Richard Suite" or in only 9 on "L'Auberge Du Sanglier" and, to my ears, "Nine Feet Underground" is going to come up short (long?) every time.

Of course, if you're a big Caravan fan, (or even if you're not) you'll still probably enjoy this album. I just don't think it's the place to start if you're new to the Canterbury scene or to Caravan in particular. In this reviewer's humble opinion, both "If I Could Do It Again?" and "Girls Who Grow Plump?" offer far better primers into the genre and the band, presenting far more balanced composition and flow. Check those out first, and if you're starved for more Caravan after that, come back to this one. It's a worthy addition even if it's not a great foundation.


Report this review (#860422)
Posted Friday, November 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 'In the Land of Gray and Pink' was my first venture into the Canterbury Scene sub-genre. After many extensive listens I've come to the conclusion that this is simply an average album. I don't mean this in a bad way at all; in fact, pretty much all of it is great music. It's just that nothing stands out, it just plows along. The best example of this is in the epic 22-minute 'Nine Feet Underground.' The song has some great melodies, but it is too reliant on jamming over a repetitive rhythm.

The remaining songs have a fun mix of pop and prog, especially the cheery 'Golf Girl' and 'Love to Love You,' the latter of which does an amazing job of hiding it's 7/4 time signature. 'Winter Wine' and the title track are also great of course, but nothing really stands out.

Perhaps the best way to sum up what I think about this album is that it is consistently good, but lacks variety and punch. In this way, I am not excited by this album, nor am I disappointed.


Report this review (#921761)
Posted Sunday, March 3, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Flawless album. The lyrics and the songs, both great! Caravan's In The Land of Grey And Pink is overrated here in PA, but it deserves. The Canterbury music scene is highly influenced by jazz and psychedelia, but in a calm way. Sinclair's voice is the best voice for my ears, I feel totally relaxed. Chill out...

Golf Girl is, no more no less, a classic song for any classic rock fan. It's the opening track and it makes you wonder what will come, it's the key to this wondergul Land of Grey And Pink. So, the second track, the first masterpiece. Sounds strange, I know, but I always felt shiver when I heard Richard's singing "Carry me with you...", and then the whole band starts to play. Winter Wine is one of the most beautiful songs that I ever heard. It starts slowly. The song follow a dreamer (after drinking wine) to an epic dream, and you know, "dreams are always ending far to soon". Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) is the third track, starring Hastings on vocals, and the song called In The Land of Grey And Pink is the next, similar to Golf Girl in the guitar rhytms and another great track. And we have the B side: Nine Feet Underground. This is so catchy that I use to play this song intro in my own mind, unconsciously, almost everyday. Beautiful keyboards here. Beautiful everything. The song is divided into 8 parts, and I love them all. This is real music!

Yes, it brings it all back to me.

Report this review (#965185)
Posted Saturday, May 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars A magnificent piece of work:

"In The Land Of Grey And Pink" is probably my favourite album to come out of the Canterbury Scene. I'm not really a huge fan of Caravan but this was a great album for me to listen to, although it take a couple of times for me to hear the beauty of it. It brings in various genres such as jazz and psychedelic music which pop up every now and then, adding eccentric flavours to the album and keeping you interested. If you are only just starting to listen to prog rock bands such as Yes and Genesis, I would definitely give this a couple of tries and see what you think of it - a very accessible album.

Almost everything about this album is excellent, right down to the cover: a perfect psychedelic scene that slots right into place with the music. "Golf Girl" has a very upbeat feel with interesting chord progressions and instruments right from the start - one of the best opening tracks to a prog rock album. This is followed by the more folky and relaxed "Winter Wine" (my personal favourite) with profound lyrics, odd time signatures and a strangely brilliant guitar tone during the solo (later appearing in the title track). "Love To Love You" brings more of a pop element, but still keeping the prog rock feel with the 7/8 time signature throughout. The next track "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" almost echoes a combination of "Golf Girl" and "Winter Wine", with more fantastic lyrics, chord progressions, and atmosphere. The final track "Nine Feet Underground" was a little bit of a let down if I'm honest. Definitely a great track, don't get me wrong, but at times it sounds like it doesn't really have a formed structure and is more of a live jam that doesn't really fit in with the maturity of the album in some ways. Still some brilliant moments throughout (the lyrics and melodies remain consistent to the very high standard), and a more than commendable closing track.

A(+): A much needed addition to anyone's prog rock collection.

Golf Girl - ***** Winter Wine - ***** Love To Love You - **** In The Land Of Grey And Pink - ***** Nine Feet Underground - *****

Report this review (#984543)
Posted Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Caravan had already taken care of their fame prior to the release of their second album, gigging in the UK and even landing over to Europe for some shows next to big names such as Frank Zappa, Yes, Santana or Skin Alley.Dave Sinclair recalls their show at the monster Kralingen Pop Festival in Holland in front of 250,000 people!Facing the autumn of 1970 they entered the Air Studios in London for the sessions of their upcoming album ''In the land of grey and pink'', this time David Hitchcok sits on the producer's chair and Caravan could take advantage of their ideas.Four tracks were recorded there, but what appeared to be the epic of the album was recorded later at the Decca Studios.The album was eventually released in April 1971 on Decca's branch label Deram and on its sister company London Records in the USA.

The horn opening section of ''Golf girl'' kicks off another great Caravan album and this is propably the best track of the first side.Beautiful mix of singing Pop sensibilities with very dense instrumental parts, drawing influences from Jazz and Classical Music, led by Pye Hastings' brother Jimmy on flute and David Sinclair's clever use of Mellotron and offering smooth but noticable interplays.''Winter wine'' is almost on par with the previous tracks with more stretched instrumental passages but always based on the poppy side of Progressive Rock.This time the emphasis is on Jazz and Psychedelic Rock inspirations with more of a jamming attitude in the organ parts and a tendency to combine structured song themes with loose music sections.The short ''Love to love you (and tonight pigs will fly)'' recalls Caravan early days.Pure Psychedelic Pop with beautiful, romantic vocal parts, colored by Jimmy Hastings' incredible flute solo at the end, while Sinclair's work on organ is discreet but still very nice.Same goes for the title-track, where the use of acoustic guitars is more apparent, building the base for Sinclair's later piano solo, while the jazzy interludes at the middle are absolutely well-executed and ethereal.

Of course ''In the land of grey and pink'' is mostly known among prog fans for the inclusion of the 22-min., 8-part long composition ''Nine feet underground'', which pretty much defines what Canterbury Prog/Fusion is all about.The vocals won't enter the scene before the 6-min. mark in a track, where most of its strength comes from the extended instrumental textures and solos.Caravan eventually fit the old-styled rhythmic tunes of Psychedelic Rock with the freedom of Jazz and ''Nine feet underground'' is characterized by multiple, flawless grooves overpowered by loose soloing mainly on keyboards and even on saxes (another appearance by Jimmy Hastings).Despite the very rich musicianship and the constant presence of instrumental solos, the atmosphere remains smooth and elegant all the way.For the second time on the album there is a slight presence of Classical vibes in the symphonic breaks, led by Sinclair's Mellotron and Hastings' light flutes.Very good tempo changes and calm, lyrical parts help the track's coherence, resulting to a nice example of Canterbury-style Progressive Rock.

A monumental album of the Canterbury scene, an excellent addition for fans of Prog/Fusion or even Psych/Prog and a strong recommendation to all fans of Prog in general, which should definitely lend an ear on this...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1116523)
Posted Sunday, January 19, 2014 | Review Permalink
2 stars For years I thought "Nine Feet Underground" was the only good track.

I returned to this album years later with little memory of the rest of the album. They all sounded okay another time through, except "Love to be Louis the Canterbury Kingsmen". Wow. I'm surprised these tunes didn't sound bad anymore. I almost was going to say that I enjoyed them.

But then "Nine Feet" came on. A very short time had passed when I realized this song completely blows the rest out of the water. It's not even that the other tracks are bad. They just seem tame and not so captivating by comparison. "Golf Girl" and "Winter Wine" are good tunes. All the potential is there, but the band doesn't jam when it's time to grow loud and heavy. The soloing is pretty good, but after a time just feels typical, undistinguished and seems like noodling to fill up some more time. By the time the title track comes about, I'm impatiently waiting for the reason I dug up the recording. Why overshadow the other lesser tunes with the lengthy epic containing most of the interesting ideas and melodies? Each part of "Nine Feet" is better than nearly all other songs on the album.

In the Land of-.. Hell, just skip to "Nine Feet Underground".

Report this review (#1238234)
Posted Friday, August 8, 2014 | Review Permalink
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars Not as colorful as I imagined.

The Canterbury Scene as a genre really appealed to me early on during my explorations of the genres here on Prog Archives. It was light, quirky, playful, yet had wonderful musicianship mixing fusion into catchy pop-like songs. Every album I touched in the genre failed to disappoint and so I simply just ran down the list of artists and gave each of their higher rated albums a go. I was blown away by the experimentation of Soft Machine's Third, the virtuosity of National Health, the power behind Quiet Sun and so on as I continued looking into the bigger names of the genre.

Caravan was a slightly different experience. Now being one of my favorite Canterbury Scene band, I absolutely love their first 5 albums - except this one. I began with this album because it was, and still is, the highest rated Canterbury Scene album on Prog Archives. I was immediately annoyed by some of music on the album and was just quickly turned off by it. I continued to If I Could I'd Do It All Over Again..and just was in love. The stark difference in enjoyment between the two "masterpieces" of Canterbury Scene was just confusing. Even today, after more listens to In the Land of Grey and Pink, I just don't enjoy it nearly as much as any other Canterbury enthusiast. I find Caravan's other early work and other Canterbury Scene albums in general to simply be more successful and enjoyable.

For Side 1, we have shorter compositions and the pop-song qualities that Canterbury so often brings. Unfortunately we start off with the aggravating "Golf Girl". Richard Sinclair's vocals on this track and throughout the entire first half just are just grating on me. I find Pye's lead vocal contribution on "Love to Love You" not only tolerable but actually enjoyable. I've never disliked Sinclair's vocals prior, but I think when they're stuck in the middle of Golf Girl's weak, boring instrumentation and just lackluster lyricism they just are dragged down even further. I hate to come off so strongly, but even the ending piccolo solo and general outro can't save Golf Girls falling flat as a Canterbury pop song. "Winter Wine" brings things up a bit with more a more enjoyable delivery from Richard. His voice sounds airy and gentle. The extra two minutes we find on Winter Wine, compared to Golf Girl, really shows with a more tight composition with Pye's great lead guitar and other small, but noticeable offerings in passages leading up to the ending. "Love to Love You" is the shortest track on the album, just clocking over 3 minutes and somehow pulls off the bouncy, merry pop song more successfully than Golf Girl. Pye's lead vocals are great, the chorus is quick and catchy and we are given a wonderful flute solo for the outro. Overall this song takes Golf Girl's style and composition, compacts it and delivers a more enjoyable song. By the end of Side 1, we're given the title track, and by then I'm a little bored. Again we have a very simple, accented bouncy song with no edge, twists, or stand-out attributes. This song just embodies the first half overall unfortunately: a little too samey and far too weak especially when being compared to the brilliant album before this.

Now onto an interesting matter: Nine Feet Underground. Taking up the album's entire second side is a 22- minute epic by Caravan. This piece is a bit of a mixed bag for me. While it has some fantastic moments such as some great singing by both Richard Sinclair and Pye Hastings (to whom I prefer), fiery leads and solos, enjoyable keyboard textures, and some feel-good bass grooves, I just feel the song drags a bit sometimes. It has a hard time getting started, sure you can see it as coming out with some solos but I feel nothing is really being said by them and the structure comes off a little "by the numbers". Takes about 8 minutes for the rhythm section to really get an interesting pocket going and personally I think the song as a whole gets a little lost after it goes through some of the distinct phase changes. Enjoyable some of the time, though I feel that the ambition of the epic loses me.

In the Land of Grey and Pink just falls flat for me. Their previous album "If I Could I'd Do It All Over Again.." is a dignified masterpiece, and my favorite Canterbury album, but I just get a sense that a lot of the magical melodies and Canterbury flair was all used up around the time of this record. A Side 1 plagued by monotonous compositions and a surprisingly annoying sound while Side 2 just can't keep the heat it builds up every so often, ending up with a semi-enjoyable but obviously 22-minute long composition. In the end I would recommend any other album from Caravan from their '68-'73 period.

Report this review (#1351664)
Posted Friday, January 23, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars As much as I do like the overall sound, mood and feel of the Canterbury scene, I just don't like this album very much. To me, it lacks the true creativity and virtuosity that I like to see in prog rock. And it's a shame, because I know that Caravan can do better. Take their previous album, "If I Could Do It Over Again, I'd Do It Over You" - this is in my opinion a much more interesting and worthwhile work. Or even the longest track on this album - "Nine Feet Underground". This features some great moments. The overall vibe of this track could take up the whole album - I would be grateful. Instead, Caravan went with (in my opinion) pointless songs like "Golf Girl". It's not a bad song, don't get me wrong, but I think it is very inadequate and is not the best presentation of what the band were capable of doing. Sad, but with this thought I send you to their previous album, which is superior to this one. 3 stars!
Report this review (#1530177)
Posted Thursday, February 18, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars At first, I had a hard time getting into this album. "Golf Girl" and "Love to Love You" were too light and whimsical for my tastes, and the other tracks lacked something in the way of drawing my attention. After spending some time away from the album (and exploring some of the other popular Canterbury titles), I returned to find that my opinion had completely changed. Now, the album has creeped its way up my list and become one of my favorite albums of all time.

The highlight of the album is, of course, the 22-minute epic "Nine Feet Underground". It's hard to call this anything but a masterpiece. For anyone faulting it for lacking in complexity, let me just say that it doesn't matter how many notes a band plays, all they have to do is play the right ones - and boy, does this band deliver. Richard Sinclair is absolutely top notch throughout the entire song; there isn't a moment that goes by where I'm not completely captivated by his bass, and his pairing with the extremely talented Richard Coughlan makes for a rhythm section that impresses from minute one. David Sinclair's keyboards dominate the song, but the solos never enter the realm of pointless noodling. The epic is divided into eight sections, , each distinct enough that the song never loses its momentum by staying in one place for too long.

The rest of the songs on the album are mostly great. Winter Wine and the title track are particularly impressive mid-length tracks, each with beautiful lyrics and typically impressive instrumentation.

The only track that leaves me somewhat less impressed is "Love to Love You", which is too light and poppy for me and doesn't have much in the way of instrumentation that turns my head. Those looking for an improved version of this song should be happier with the version of the track on the "The World Is Yours" box set (it may be found elsewhere as well, that's just where I got it) titled "Love To Love You (BBC Session - Sounds Of The Seventies 11/03/71)". The bass has more muscle and gives the song enough oomph to satisfy my need to bob my head.

That one slight miss can't knock this down from a 5-star album. It's not just a masterpiece of the Canterbury Scene, but one of the best Progressive Rock albums period - just give it a while to grow on you if you aren't impressed immediately.

Report this review (#1540756)
Posted Thursday, March 17, 2016 | Review Permalink
Magnum Vaeltaja
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Given the high ratings for this album by hundreds of other reviewers, it's easy to say that this isn't a very hard album to love. But what makes it so universally enjoyable?

The answer certainly doesn't lie in the musicians' virtuosic pyrotechnics; most of the album's licks are just simple major harmonies with pentatonic soloing and there's nothing flamboyant about their performances. Instead, what we have is an album that plays off of its charm. From a glance at the cover, you know that by listening to "In The Land of Grey and Pink", you'll be spending the next 40 or so minutes in a psychedelic dreamland, where wit and whimsy reign supreme. In this world, the music acts as a sort of blanket, keeping you warm and cozy in the rain. And the fabric that weaves its way into your heart? The warm, fuzzy organ sounds from David Sinclair and the mellow, nonchalant vocals singing of far away fairy tale lands and carefree excursions into fantasy.

In short, this is an album that prog fans should have no trouble getting into, and is somewhat of a fan favourite, but I wouldn't consider it a masterpiece, given the often repetitive musical accompaniments. 4 stars.

Report this review (#1583575)
Posted Monday, June 27, 2016 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars As one half of the Wilde Flowers which was, of course, the big bang band of everything later deemed Canterbury Scene, CARAVAN couldn't have been more distant from their counterparts The Soft Machine at this point. While Soft Machine had pretty much gone full on jazz with only scant traces of rock remaining, CARAVAN on the other hand took the psychedelic pop approach and with their third album IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK which is what i surmise to be the initial goal that the Wilde Flowers strived to achieve all the way back in the mid 60s. Unfortunately they just didn't have the chops and finesse to pull it off that far back. But it seems that CARAVAN never left those ambitions behind and despite a full-on entry into the progressive rock world of "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" which incorporated the best psychedelic features of the 60s with fresh and fertile ideas that were brewing at the turn of the decade, on album number 3 they chose to tame down any sort of bombast and focused on tamed down melodic developments that could in many cases pass as radio friendly tunes that your grandmum could sip tea to. Well, sort of?

The truth is IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK has always been a disappointment for me. Upon first listen i could not understand what all the fuss was about with this one. Where were the classical guitar workouts? What in the world happened to the symphonic light speed keyboard bombast? The crazed time sigs? The surreptitious proggy ways of cloaking a melody in rhythmic grandiloquence? Well, not on this one. Since this was my first CARAVAN album recommended by the leagues of prog fans who touted its virtuous nature, i simply abandoned the notion of pursuing any other albums from CARAVAN. After all, this was the best! Or was it? After by happenstance hearing "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night," i was astounded that i was instantly hooked by that album and decided to revisit this album as well as check out all the earlier albums as well. Well lo and behold i had made a gargantuan booboo by simply writing this band off as wimpy wannabe progsters.

Like many prog albums, even the more accessible strain of artists require some time for the idiosyncrasies to sink in. Despite being the easiest entry point into the Canterbury Scene universe, CARAVAN is no exception. Yes, tracks like "Golf Girl" and the title track are instant accessible slices of psychedelic pop all gussied up in supplemental instrumentation such as flute, tenor sax, piccolo, bells, wind instruments and even trombone but upon further listening and comparisons to true pop songs of the era, there are indeed progressive attributes aplenty. It's just that these aren't in your face and set on fire. Yes, think of this as psychedelic pop rock but really, really goooood psychedelic pop rock. The kind Jefferson Airplane and other 60s bands just couldn't even come close to mustering up. While i do consider this a step down from the previous album, i have to admit that the compositions are well thought out and intricately spiced up with all kinds of subtle variations.

In the beginning i was a non-believer but in the end i have come around to appreciate this album as a very listenable and well respected entry point for many prog rock lovers to delve into a much more complex prog universe. I mean really. How can you resist those soulful organ and Mellotron workouts of David Sinclair, the baritone vocals of Richard Sinclair and the unmistakable rhythmic chops of Ricard Sinclair's bass with Richard Coughlan's drum contributions. However, one of the things that's really missing from this album unlike others is the guitar capabilities of Pye Hastings. Here he merely serves as a rhythmic underlord never getting to usurp the organ, piano and Mellotron dominant psychedelic world that very much coincides with the color limited Hobbit world of the album cover.

After all is said and done, this is an album i have grown to appreciate but not an album i have grown to love above all others. Even within the greater world of CARAVAN this is my least favorite of the first five essentials. It lacks the thrill and excitement of what came before and what came after and despite having so-called prog behemoth workouts like "Nine Feet Underground" which in reality are only stitched together pop hooks that are sewn together instead of creating a true wild and wooly instrumental magnum opus that delivers surprise and puts the listener in a state of awe. But in the end, IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK is a quite listenable album that does deliver in creating a nice relaxing stroll through their imaginary world. Perhaps only deserving the "sorta prog" label but whatever you want to label it, it is still a very rewarding listen if you don't have expectations of ELP meets Yes or Gentle Giant. Despite all the radio friendly potential, the record label failed to promote this album which led to abysmal album sales initially. The good news is that this album has become quite the classic of the ages and could certainly qualify as a mutant late bloomer. Unfortunately David Sinclair was so dismayed by its lack of notoriety that he would depart soon after and join Robert Wyatt in creating Matching Mole. Nevertheless, the band would sally forth and create a couple more worthy editions to any prog collection.

Report this review (#1596864)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my introduction to CARAVAN and aswell to the canterbury scene. I am astounded with the music produced on this album from the beginning to the very end, this is solid 5 stars for me in just one single listen. All the tracks on this album are solid and mark a very unique sounding and highly intelligent music like I never had listen before. You can clearly hear jazz and psychadelic elements all over the place, making it such a good combo in a album. The epic "Nine Feet Underground" is literally a ocean of music, 22 minutes of amazing musicianship, this band has amazing vocals and very clever song writting. The only bad thing about this album is that I cannot find any flaw or bad thing about it. Hehe seriously, this is a masterpiece of a album which remains as one of the most quintessential albums of the canterbury scene and to this day, it is between my favorite albums of all time without any doubt.
Report this review (#1601002)
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars This one caught me by surprise. I had never listend to an entire canterbury album before. I decided to start with this one because of the very high rating, with no expectations. I fell in love on the first listen. Absolute masterpiece. No filler. No virtuosism. Every song is perfect. I listen to this album at least once a week at this very moment. Winter Wine has some of the best lyrics i've heard in my life (at this point, and if the singer is clear, i understand english whithout reading the lyrics). It's one of those albums that will stay forever in the top of my personal list. Nothing more to say. Masterpiece.
Report this review (#1631533)
Posted Wednesday, October 12, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars The land where the warm prog grows: 9/10

Inserted within the context of the Canterbury Scene, IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK is marked by the fusion of experimental and jazz elements. CARAVAN might not be nearly as experimental as their peers, but they equally important. Their warmness acts as an accessible entry point and even as a quintessential (although diluted) emblem of the genre, as IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK succinctly demonstrates both of Canterbury Scene's main characteristics: the genre's jazziness, visible in the first side; and an experimental, keyboard-driven approach, represented by the 22-minutes-long track on the second side. Both of them are offered with CARAVAN's distinctively soft and charming music, soaked with rather pastoral psychedelia. Tracks like Gulf Girl, Winter Wine, Love to Love You, In the Land of Grey and Pink feels like trekking through warm, grassy valleys; Nine Feet Underground is a laudable experiment without at any moment losing momentum or enjoyability, even if it isn't nearly as bold or iconoclastic as, say, THE POLITE FORCE or THIRD.

CARAVAN's effort, while not Canterbury Scene's most exploratory effort, is still one of its finest.

Report this review (#1690188)
Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars I do award 5-stars sparingly, but this is one album that I believe deserves it.

The Canterbury Scene is / was the most quirkily English of all "prog's" sub-genres and seems - at least in my experience - to be the one least offensive to those rock writers who don't particularly like this genre. Caravan went through several line-up changes and barely survived the vicissitudes of punk, though they are now quite fondly regarded 'survivors'.

Out of the half dozen or so major studio releases they had in the 70s, I am not alone in rating "In The Land Of Grey & Pink" (a rather rude reference, as nearly all their album titles were) as their finest output. It's essentially an album of two distinct halves, much like Pink Floyd's "Meddle" only perhaps even more so. Side One (the first 4 songs on the CD) contains a mix of eccentric and very English songs, such as the title track ("In the land of grey and pink where only Boy Scouts stop to think" ... it's probably best I don't go into the salacious meaning of this!), all of which have a relatively light blend of folky/jazzy/rock, and lyrics the equal to Syd Barrett's on "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". Take this from Golf Girl: -Standing on a golf course -Dressed in P.V.C. -I chanced upon a golf girl -Selling cups of tea -She asked me did I want one -Asked me with a grin -For three pence you can buy one -Full right to the brim. The melodies are bright and airy, and the instrumentation is reserved, with vocals and Hammond organ well to the fore.

Side Two however ('Nine Feet Underground'), is a different beast. Mostly instrumental, it's a single long piece of jazz/rock, in general much funkier than the songs on Side One. Like The Floyd's 'Atom Heart Mother' suite, it's a collection of (randomly named) sections that are linked together by a recurring theme.

If getting to know the album, then by all means listen to the whole thing in one go, but after a while you might find that listening to the first 4 songs requires a different mood to 'Nine Feet Underground', which tended to be the track I'd listen to after coming in from a night out.

To get to know the Canterbury Scene, you'd need to listen to at least 4 artists: Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, and Caravan. This album is not enough on its own for that purpose, but if you simply want one single album of melodic English quirkiness to accompany (for example) "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn", then this is it.

Report this review (#1976318)
Posted Thursday, August 9, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars What I have to say about this album is that it really changed my life and my point of view about all that I used to know about music.

The first time that I heard this album I was like sixteen years old, I was just starting to listen to Prog Rock music and I didn't know what I was about to find.

This is probably my second favourite Prog Rock album of all time (just before Aphrodite's Child's "666"). The five original tracks are majestic, I can say that this is one of the most amazing albums ever created.

I could start to say my opinion about every single song in this album, but that would be a waste of time, because I can't find any negative thing to say about any of the songs, so pretty much I would be just writing about how amazing and beautiful they are.

Five stars, obviously!!

Report this review (#2077420)
Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars Third album of Caravan, "In The Land of Grey And Pink" is a classic of prog, and specially of Canterbury rock. This album is the emblem of a soft sonority, in pastel color, smooth, which expresses a lifted and fairytale lifestyle.

"Golf Girl" (5:05, vote 8,5) is a classic. It's a very characteristic song: the very English voice of Richard Sinclair, the trombone, the flute, the light-hearted rhythm, produce a fabulous song for children - and adults. Very good, actually. With his sound it introduces us to the Caravan universe. Beautiful instrumental pieces.

"Winter Wine" (7:46, vote 8,5). Again the voice of Richard Sinclair to create a new world. The track is a prelude to the suite of the second side, thanks to the solo keyboards and the bass button. But the best piece is when you hear the piano in the background. Anyway, with "Golf Girl" it is the best song of the Lp.

"Love To Love You (and Tonight Pigs Will Fly)", (3:06, vote 7,5/8) is sung by the guitarist Pye Hustings. It's a short track with a sustained rhythm, a lot of percussion. Amazing.

"In The Land Of Grey And Pink" (4:51, vote 7,5/8). Richard Sinclair sings a piece dominated by an excellent rhythm, without many variations, which has the best part in the central, instrumental section. End of side A.

Side B contains the suite "Nine Feet Underground" (22:40, vote 8). Divided into 8 pieces, and largely instrumental, it is one of the first suites of progressive rock, coeval to that of "Pawn Hearts". The beginning is dominated by the keyboards, but the rhythm section is well in evidence (excellent bass sound). The rhythm is relaxed, and does not change mood even when the sax enters a variation on the central melody, which then returns, to open the sung part. After another variation of the theme with the keyboards, towards the eleventh minute finally the rhythm slows down, the music stops ... but soon starts again with another movement of the suite, still characterized by the keyboards solo, but the drums and the bass are not standing still, and they contribute to create a certain frenzy, a beautiful "crescendo", which however soon ends and enters the organ of the David Sinclari, the factotum, with almost psychedelic sounds. Then the singing returns, which reassures the waters that had just rippled. The voice of Richard Sinclair is fluted, and brings harmony again. But here wisely the Caravan decide to raise the pace, and finally when three minutes are left to the end comes a gritty, almost heavy piece (God be praised!), which ends the record in "crescendo".

Caravans draw a fable, with this album, characterized by the pastel colors of the album cover. Their art is to describe their own universe, smooth, made of relaxation and harmony. The defect, what is missing to be an absolute masterpiece, is the pathos, is the drama, the depth. It 's all a bit' too calm, too homogeneous, for my taste, it slips away too easily, like warm water on a smooth table.

Side A. 8,5; Side B: 8. Vote Album: 8+. Rating: Four Stars.

Report this review (#2132083)
Posted Monday, January 28, 2019 | Review Permalink
5 stars It almost seems like assigning too many five-star ratings implies a lack of manliness here. I want to be a tough guy, believe me! But what am I supposed to do with an album as great as In the Land of Grey and Pink?

(Before I go further, I'll remark that the version I'm reviewing here is the 2011 Steven Wilson stereo remix from the 40th Anniversary set.)

The Prog Archives definition of a five-star album is "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music," and this describes In the Land of Grey and Pink thoroughly. Its performances, production, and compositions are all first-rate.

The first song I heard from In the Land of Grey and Pink was the title song, which appeared on Supernatural Fairy Tales, a Rhino compilation. It's a pleasant, if inane, little song. For some reason I was inspired to look into Caravan further, and I looked up the band on Prog Archives. At that time, you could download full mp3s from the website, and I'm pretty sure that's where I got a copy of "Nine Feet Underground," which blew me away. In a textbook case of music file sharing benefiting the music industry, I eventually purchased the "Deluxe" edition of the album for almost $30. And it was worth it.

As it turns out, the nice-enough song "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is the least interesting on the album. It and the album-opening "Golf Girl," both sung by bassist Richard Sinclair, are relatively light, pastoral tunes which I've come to think of as exemplars of the "Canterbury sound." "Golf Girl" is slightly more accessible and wittier. Equally accessible, but catchier, is "Love to Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)," sung by lead guitarist Pye Hastings. Now when I say that "Love to Love You" is accessible, I don't mean that its lyrics are relatable, or even that they make sense. Actually, the lyrics throughout In the Land of Grey and Pink are pretty good for progressive rock, but can't possibly be meant to be taken seriously.

"Golf Girl," "In the Land of Grey and Pink," and "Love to Love You" account for about thirteen of the album's forty-three minutes. The rest is occupied by the comparably progressive "Winter Wine" (sung by Sinclair) and "Nine Feet Underground" (sung by Hastings and Sinclair). Both are cut from the same cloth, and as the album's second song, the 7:36 "Winter Wine" serves as a preview of "Nine Feet," (22:43) which closes the album. Much has been made of the organ soloing on these songs and on the title track, and understandably so. Pardon the cliche, but keyboardist David Sinclair is on fire, especially on "Nine Feet."

I can't really say whether In the Land of Grey and Pink is, as many here claim, the best Canterbury Scene album ever; I haven't heard enough of the genre. Not knowing exactly how "Canterbury Scene" is defined as a subset of prog rock, I'll say that In the Land of Grey and Pink has significant elements of Symphonic Prog and Progressive Jazz, and to a greater extent, Progressive Folk. Despite these somewhat disparate ingredients, and although there are two distinct vocalists, In the Land of Grey and Pink hangs together as a single work.

So, great performances of great material. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#2150951)
Posted Friday, March 1, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars Probably the peak of Caravan's discography due to the important Canterbury track and one of the most famous ones out of this genre. This album was the last one in the original line-up for a long time so we can enjoy Sinclair's keyboard art with organ or piano. The first couple of short tracks share a good sense for melody but are non-essential.

"Golf girl" is so cheesy that it's hard to believe it is coming from one of the premiere Canterbury bands. "Winter wine" saves the first side by including organ solos and mascular bass. "Love to love you" sounds similar to some Gong stuff with a bit of psychedelia.

"Nine feet underground" can be called as fully representative track for the Canterbury genre. Organ playing is set to excellence, there are typical jazzy sections with busy drums and bass. I am missing more advanced guitar playing. The end of the track is quite intensive and finally shows shows guitar riffs.

Report this review (#2457574)
Posted Monday, October 19, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review Nº 395

No name of the musical scene developed in the British city of Canterbury can be seen with as much force as Caravan, although many bands and artists have appeared and that even gave the name of one of the movements and variations of the progressive rock in the early 70's. Along with Soft Machine, Caravan is perhaps the definitive Canterbury scene progressive rock act. Less jazzy than their more famous neighbours, Caravan wasn't as heavy handed as their more critically lauded peers. But, what they did have was a much firmer grasp of pop dynamics and nowhere was this more obvious than their 1971 album, "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" which is, for many, Caravan's definitive masterpiece.

"In The Land Of Grey And Pink" is also perhaps, the best album of the Canterbury scene and is probably the very first Canterbury album you should check out. This is a true English musical strangeness tempered with a little whimsy, just what the strand asks for, with a lot of prog rock, jazz and psychedelic music. With "In The Land Of Grey And Pink", Caravan reached artistic maturity, succeeding for the first time in blending romantic melody and progressive innovation with extreme simplicity. With this third episode the band manages to find the right formula that perfects progressive solutions by accentuating the melodic component in an elegant and precise style, with curated arrangements that have preserved its charm over the years. The album contains an undeniable and decidedly sense of humor and charm, really.

Also interesting is the cover art of the album, which over time has become one of the icons of the English progressive rock scene, with its vaguely Tolkenian setting entirely played on "grey and pink" tones, according with the album's title.

The third studio album of Caravan, "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" which was released in 1971, would mark the end of the band's premiere line up. Co-founder David Sinclair would leave Caravan to form Matching Mole with Soft Machine drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt in August of 1971. So, the line up on the album is Pye Hastings (vocals and electric and acoustic guitars), Dave Sinclair (vocals, organ, piano, mellotron and harmony), Richard Sinclair (vocals, bass guitar and acoustic guitar) and Richard Coughlan (drums and percussion). The album had also the collaboration of Jimmy Hastings (flute, tenor saxophone and piccolo), Dave Grinsted (cannon, bell and wind) and John Beecham (trombone).

"In The Land Of Grey And Pink" has five tracks. The first track "Golf Girl" is a typically British song with fun lyrics and a commercial hit with the face of songs made in the post psychedelic era. The highlight is an organ performed in a very creative way giving the tone through a beautiful melodic bed for the music. The second track "Winter Wine" has a vocal line that it's hard not to remind me a kind of premonition of what it would take in his passage through Camel at the end of the 70's. It carries an instrumental with a simple guitar section, but it's extremely pleasant and a great song. The third track "Love To Love (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)" is a song that I define as extremely misleading in several ways, and which can be seen as just a pop song, which it isn't. It has here a progressive feature even, but almost camouflaged. The lyrics sung about an apparently sweet and innocent arrangement, goes far from having this result when analyzed in more depth, being possible to be noticed even very obscure touches. This is a song that sounds simple, but it has its peculiarities. The fourth track is the title track. This is simple song and very well cadenced by bass, drums and acoustic guitar, of course, not to mention the beautiful piano solo that falls like a glove in the middle of the song. It all sounds as it has to sound. The fifth track "Nine Feet Underground" is the best part of the album. It's an almost 23-minute epic divided into 8 chapters. The track is a great mix of progressive and psychedelic symphonic music, with numerous pieces of soil spreading through. But what makes this song such a meaningful work for me is that it remains interesting in its entirety, regardless of the large amount of time that it releases. All instruments interact all the time to provide this adventurous result that is abundant in creativity and melody. It's one of the greatest suites produced in the fruitful first half of the 70's for progressive rock. This incredible piece of art is simply one of the best progressive rock tracks ever.

Conclusion: "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" is quite simply, a perfect album from Caravan. It has clever lyrics, great musicianship and excellent vocals. This is a great blend of prog and a clever album that delivers solidly from start to finish and every track is just that good. It's really a prog rock classic album and is simply one of the finest and most elegant progressive rock albums ever made. "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" is the greatest example of one of the great musical movements of that time, the Canterbury scene. This is a real jewel and that served as a mirror for so many other firecrackers that came next. It's a playful period piece that has endured while so many bigger selling albums from that period have aged terribly. Perhaps a lot of this is down to the fact that it isn't as over familiar as a lot of music from the early 70's. But whatever the case, it's an album that continues shining out in an era not short of great albums, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#2485187)
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars In the Land of Grey and Pink released in 1971 and is the third studio album by English band Caravan. This album is one of the most well received in the Canterbury Scene, and for good reason. It combines a lot of sounds really well. Psychedelic, folk, jazz, maybe a little symphonic. The instrumentation is good, production is great, lyrics are fun, and no bad songs on the album. Personally I would recommend this to anyone just getting into prog because its a very easy listen, great songs, and mixes a lot of sounds. I will give this album a 5/5. An essential in my book.
Report this review (#2508953)
Posted Thursday, February 25, 2021 | Review Permalink

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