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Caravan The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975 album cover
4.24 | 64 ratings | 4 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD1: (71:13)
1. Place Of My Own (4:12)
2. Ride (4:17)
3. If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You (2:45)
4. Hello Hello (3:10)
5. As I Feel I Die (6:23)
6. Love To Love You (3:12)
7. Love Song Without Flute (3:33)
8. In The Land Of Grey And Pink (3:43)
9. Nine Feet Underground (14:27)
10. Feelin' Reelin' Sqealin' (9:30)
11. Hunting We Shall Go (9:15)
12. Waffle (6:46)

CD2: (73:04)
1. Memory Lain Hugh (5:04)
2. Headloss (4:27)
3. Love In Your Eye (13:54)
4. Mirror For The Day (4:15)
5. Virgin On The Ridiculous (7:01)
6. For Richard (15:04)
7. Dabsong Conshirtoe (15:11)
8. Stuck In A Hole (3:14)
9. Show Of Our Lives (4:54)

Total Time: 144:17

Line-up / Musicians

- David Sinclair / keyboards
- Pye Hastings / guitar, vocals
- Richard Coughlan / drums
- Richard Sinclair / bass
- Steve Miller / keyboards
- Geoffrey Richardson / viola
- Jan Schelhaas / keyboards
- Mike Wedgwood / bass

Releases information

2CD Universal/Decca 5301443 (2007)
recorded work for the BBC between 1968 and 1975

Thanks to Rivertree for the addition
and to brunosamppa for the last updates
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Buy CARAVAN The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975 Music

CARAVAN The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975 ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (9%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

CARAVAN The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Even though I find there is little to add to James's flawless review, I cannot resist the temptation of expressing my own opinion on this magnificent release from one of my all-time favourite bands. "The Show of Our Lives" captures some sterling performances by a band who - in spite of the frequent line-up changes - were at the peak of their creativity and musicianship, and is therefore worth every one of the 21 euros I spent on it.

CD One starts with a couple of songs from Caravan's charming debut album, and features an interesting, 9-minute-plus version of Soft Machine's hit "Feelin', Reelin', Squeelin'". All these songs clearly show how the legendary 'Canterbury Sound' took its cue from psychedelia before moving into a more complex, challenging, jazz-tinged territory. Unlike the Softs, though, Caravan never lost sight of their pop roots, and effortlessly blended ambitious compositions with melody and accessibility. This CD contains both sides of the band - the poppier gems like the delightful Hello Hello or the quirky "In the Land of Grey and Pink", and the longer, more intricate tracks, powered by David Sinclair's trademark organ sound, such as "Nine Feet Underground" or "As I Feel I Die".

Unfortunately, one of the band's best songs ever (and my personal favourite) has been omitted from this compilation, which is a great pity: I'm referring to "Winter Wine", one of Richard Sinclair's finest lyrical and vocal moments. If I had to nitpick, I'd say that there are not enough tracks featuring Richard S.'s fluid, elegant bass lines and inimitable voice - just listen to his performance on "...Grey and Pink" or at the end of "Nine Feet Underground", and swoon in delight! Caravan did weather his loss by releasing the magnificent "For Girls Who Grow Plump" in the Night (their last great album, in my humble opinion), but never did as well in the vocal department, as is rather evident in most of the tracks on CD Two.

The second CD opens with the upbeat, light-hearted "Memory Lain Hugh/Headloss", and includes songs up to 1975's "Cunning Stunts". In spite of Richard Sinclair's departure, the band's instrumental power remained intact, and the addition of Geoff Richardson's viola proved to be a definite asset to their sound, as shown by the superb version of their classic "For Richard" (recorded in 1974), as well as two later masterpieces such as "A Hunting We Shall Go" (one of my all-time favourite instrumentals, and one of the highlights of the record) and the 15-minute-plus "The Dabsong Conshirtoe", with its energetic, driving finale.

To my mind, Caravan represent the triumph of songwriting at its best as opposed to the technical brilliance for its own sake which is so widespread in 'modern' prog. As this compilations proves, they could do 15-minute epics as well as 3-minute catchy, flawlessly crafted pop songs - something not many other bands of the Seventies could pull off equally well. "The Show of Our Lives" is a must for fans of the Canterbury sound, and a great introduction to the band for those who haven't yet had the pleasure of listening to them. All in all, a more than worthy addition to any prog record collection.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars The amazing thing about Caravan is just how much they recorded for the BBC, whether in radio sessions or live concerts, but even more amazing is that they keep on belting a few sessions every now and then. Released in 2007, TSOOL is yet another one of those release, a double disc affair for that matter, and still no overlapping from sessions and no sessions with doubtful (even if admitted and revealed) origins, such as the Green Bottles For Marjorie release. But if there are no repetition of sessions, I wouldn't exactly say that these recordings are absolutely essential if you already own one or two live records from the For Girls/Stunts era or own the other sessions from the original four.

I'm not going to go through all of the tracks, but it's quite pleasant to hear three from their debut album, including a rare Wilde Flowers/Soft Machine stunning tidbits Feelin, Squeezin' from a 71 session. Other rarities are the rarely heard Love To Love You, a vastly different Love Song With A Flute (Sinclair on electric piano) and an unfortunately abridged Grey & Pink track and 9 Ft Underground. The only thing not right about this first CD is the inclusion of a For Girls session. Why didn't they wait for the second dic as there was enough space.

That very second disc offering us a bunch of Richardson-era sessions, but not past the Stunts album. Of interest is the Love In Your Eyes with violin and the two new for the New Symphonia gig tracks as well as a For Richard, but most of these can be heard on the Fairfield Hall concert. Hell we even hear Pye answering Geoffrey's great violin runs in For Richard. One of the best versions of Dabsong Conshirtoe is also present on this disc.

Surprisingly, these BBC sessions are issued by Decca label instead of the HUX label, which has been handling BBC stuff for the last years. Anyway, those of you reading me for years now know I have a soft spot for Caravan, but this doesn't mean a fanboy and that I'm buying everything from them; quite on the contrary, I tend to be even more difficult with my fave artistes. So when I saw this, I hesitated less than 10 seconds, told myself, WTF and took it home, knowing I'll only have limited mileage on it. While I wouldn't call this essential at all for general progheads, if you're a Caravan fan, this is an absolute must for all of the great surprises.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. This is a live double disc compilation recording of tracks done for the BBC. We get tracks from the debut right through to "Cunning Stunts" plus some that are from "Caravan & The New Symphonia" live album. Also we get a cover of a SOFT MACHINE track. The tracks are pretty much in chronological order. I have to say that the first disc is without a doubt a 5 star affair. It's freaking perfect really, every song is incredible. The second disc I would rate as a solid 4 stars record with a couple of tracks taken from the "Caravan & The New Symphonia" being simply average, and two songs from "Cunning Stunts" album that are also just okay.The rest of the second disc is amazing though.

I don't even know where to start with the first disc because I love every track on it. I have to mention the distorted organ which I guess is a trademark of the Canterbury sound, but it's nasty on these songs. It's interesting as me move along towards the end of the disc to hear the viola from Geoffrey Richardson, it certainly adds a new dynamic. I think the biggest surprise for me was the song "The Dabsong Conshirtoe" from "Cunning Stunts". I don't have that studio album and this song impressed me quite a bit, even if the other two from that album that are on here didn't.

For CARAVAN fans this is a must, for everyone else I would still highly recommend this live 1968-1975 live overview.

Review by Warthur
5 stars Be aware that this set comes in two versions: the standalone version subtitled "Caravan at the BBC 1968-1975" has two songs (Place of My Own) and Ride) from a 1968 session which aren't included on the version (subtitled "Caravan at the BBC 1970-1975") compiled in the recent Decca/Deram Years compilation boxed set. (Presumably this is because those songs didn't come out on Decca or Deram, but Verve.)

That said, I wouldn't cry too much over those tracks - fun gems from Caravan's 1968 debut album though they are, they're rather minor songs which quickly fell by the wayside in the wake of the far superior material which Caravan would develop from 1970 onwards. On either version of this set, you get comfortably over two hours of live/live-in-the- studio renditions of much of the band's best material, as well as the odd rarity - perhaps the biggest rarity here being a 9 minute take on Feelin' Reelin' Squealin', which was an early single put out by Caravan's chums Soft Machine.

Magnificently covering Caravan's evolution from underground eccentrics to one of the more polished of the second- tier 1970s prog acts (in the sense of commercial success - they never hit ELP levels of showbiz prominence, but musically speaking they were a top notch act), either version of The Show of Our Lives is excellent, not least for having the good taste to stop comfortably before the wheels ended up coming off of Caravan by the end of the decade.

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