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IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK

Caravan

Canterbury Scene


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Caravan In The Land Of Grey And Pink album cover
4.28 | 1129 ratings | 148 reviews | 56% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music


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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Golf girl (5:05)
2. Winter wine (7:46)
3. Love to love you (and tonight pigs will fly) (3:06)
4. In the land of grey and pink (4:51)
5. Nine feet underground: (22:40)
- Nigel blows a tune
- Love's a friend
- Make it 76
- Dance of the seven paper hankies
- Hold grandad by the nose
- Honest I did!
- Disassociation
- 100% proof

Total Time: 43:28

Bonus tracks on remaster (2001):
6. I Don't Know Its Name (6:12)
7. Aristocracy (3:42)
8. It's Likely To Have A Name Next Week (7:48)
9. Group Girl (5:04)
10. Disassociation / 100% Proof (8:35)

Lyrics

Search CARAVAN In The Land Of Grey And Pink lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search CARAVAN In The Land Of Grey And Pink tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Richard Sinclair / bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
- Pye Hastings / electric. guitars, acoustic guitar, vocals
- David Sinclair / organ, piano, mellotron, harmony vocals
- Richard Coughlan / drums, percussion
- Jimmy Hastings / flute, tenor saxophone, piccolo
- David Grinsted / cannon, bell, wind

Releases information

LP Deram SDLR1 (1971)
CD Deram/ Decca 820 520-2 (1989)
CD Polydor Records PO 1834 (1991)
CD Decca Record Company LC 0942 (2001 remaster)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to MANDRAKEROOT for the last updates
Edit this entry

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For Girls Who Grow Plump in NightFor Girls Who Grow Plump in Night
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2005
Audio CD$5.46
$7.50 (used)
In the Land of Grey & PinkIn the Land of Grey & Pink
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2005
Audio CD$4.85
$10.00 (used)
In the Land of Grey & PinkIn the Land of Grey & Pink
Import
Universal UK 2011
Audio CD$16.67
$22.98 (used)
CaravanCaravan
Import · Remastered
Universal I.S. 2002
Audio CD$5.05
$4.89 (used)
Live at the Fairfield HallsLive at the Fairfield Halls
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2002
Audio CD$5.44
$10.33 (used)
If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do ItIf I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2001
Audio CD$5.44
$9.00 (used)
Cunning StuntsCunning Stunts
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2001
Audio CD$5.44
$8.64 (used)
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CARAVAN In The Land Of Grey And Pink ratings distribution


4.28
(1129 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(56%)
56%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (10%)
10%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

CARAVAN In The Land Of Grey And Pink reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#21337) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 12, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#21307) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#21349) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 08, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
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!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#21324) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
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 Funčs 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.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#21325) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Review by maani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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."

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Send comments to maani (BETA) | Report this review (#21310) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 in fact 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")".

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#21312) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 11, 2004

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, November 11, 2004

Review by Jimbo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

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Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Review by Tony Fisher
PROG REVIEWER
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 Ģ20+!) for the artwork and the superb sound quality.

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Posted Sunday, March 27, 2005

Review by slipperman
PROG REVIEWER
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 mood.it'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.

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Posted Friday, May 06, 2005

Review by con safo
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Monday, May 09, 2005

Review by Philo
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, May 09, 2005

Review by NetsNJFan
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!

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Posted Thursday, August 25, 2005

Review by belz
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Posted Sunday, October 02, 2005

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Saturday, October 15, 2005

Review by Raff
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, November 06, 2005

Review by fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Review by Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, December 07, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Review by Blacksword
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, March 11, 2007

Review by Chris H
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Review by Angelo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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....

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Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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, Ģ1" 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, Ģ1" 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.

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Posted Monday, June 11, 2007

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Saturday, July 21, 2007

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Sunday, September 09, 2007

Review by NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
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!!!!

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Posted Saturday, September 22, 2007

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
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 70īs, specially if you were a teen student with very little income. There was so much going on at the time that I couldnīt 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 canīt deny they have sense of humor and thatīs 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 recordīs 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. Iīm glad I got this CD and I recommend it to anyone who likes good music in general and donīt expect anything too bombastic. 4 solid stars

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Posted Thursday, November 29, 2007

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 Iīm 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 Caravanīs masterpiece itīs a masterpiece of progressive music as well. Do not miss this one if you are into prog rock.

I donīt know much about the Canterbury scene, but what I understand is that itīs 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 wasnīt 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. Itīs 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.

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Posted Thursday, January 03, 2008

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, January 07, 2008

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Content Development & Krautrock Team
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.

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Posted Monday, January 07, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
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?

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Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

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Posted Monday, March 03, 2008

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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)

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Posted Thursday, June 19, 2008

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Thursday, October 09, 2008

Review by TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, April 11, 2009

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
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.

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Posted Sunday, July 19, 2009

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

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Posted Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Review by TheGazzardian
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, November 06, 2009

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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)

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Posted Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
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.

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Posted Monday, April 12, 2010

Review by progkidjoel
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, May 29, 2010

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Saturday, May 29, 2010

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover 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!

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Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010

Review by The Sleepwalker
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, July 30, 2010

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, August 05, 2010

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, August 06, 2010

Review by thehallway
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
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.

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Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
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 'Breatless'-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.

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Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review by colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, April 11, 2011

Review by baz91
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to baz91 (BETA) | Report this review (#443044) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 05, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#473145) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#566100) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 11, 2011

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#786197) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review by VanVanVan
PROG REVIEWER
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.

3/5

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Send comments to VanVanVan (BETA) | Report this review (#860422) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 16, 2012

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
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.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1116523) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 19, 2014

Latest members reviews

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 var ... (read more)

Report this review (#984543) | Posted by Xonty | Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 r ... (read more)

Report this review (#965185) | Posted by VOTOMS | Saturday, May 25, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 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 s ... (read more)

Report this review (#921761) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Sunday, March 03, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 abilitie ... (read more)

Report this review (#776621) | Posted by porkperson | Saturday, June 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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. ... (read more)

Report this review (#754161) | Posted by Eria Tarka | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 i ... (read more)

Report this review (#588605) | Posted by vermilion_helix | Thursday, December 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#587286) | Posted by the philosopher | Tuesday, December 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 s ... (read more)

Report this review (#440078) | Posted by B-Woods | Thursday, April 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 beautifu ... (read more)

Report this review (#428650) | Posted by Dark Nazgul | Thursday, April 07, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 bri ... (read more)

Report this review (#402602) | Posted by JgX 5 | Friday, February 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#347033) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Wednesday, December 08, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I just love the laid back feel of this album! The band is just groovin'--like a CS&N 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 Hastin ... (read more)

Report this review (#330960) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 a ... (read more)

Report this review (#293013) | Posted by DisgruntledPorcupine | Sunday, August 01, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#292084) | Posted by migue091 | Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 vir ... (read more)

Report this review (#282611) | Posted by ProgFrog57 | Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 Al ... (read more)

Report this review (#260284) | Posted by kawkaw123 | Sunday, January 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#247728) | Posted by Neurotarkus | Sunday, November 01, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#230232) | Posted by Discographia | Thursday, August 06, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 everyt ... (read more)

Report this review (#230219) | Posted by nikow | Thursday, August 06, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 p ... (read more)

Report this review (#211005) | Posted by meetmehere | Saturday, April 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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