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CARAVAN

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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Caravan picture
Caravan biography
Formed in 1968 in Canterbury, UK - Disbanded in 1978 - Reformed several times (1980-85, 90-92 and since 1995)

CARAVAN were the other half of the WILDE FLOWERS - the SOFT MACHINE being the other - that originated in Canterbury, Kent. The band itself was originally formed in early 1968 by guitarist/vocalist Pye HASTINGS, keyboardist Dave SINCLAIR , bassist/vocalist Richard SINCLAIR (later of HATFIELD & THE NORTH, NATIONAL HEALTH, etc.), and drummer Richard COUGHLAN. All four members of CARAVAN were, at one time or another, in that band. They were a leading exponent of what became known as "the Canterbury sound".

The band's 1968 self-titled debut was a hybrid of jazz and psychedelia. Things became serious with the second album, "If I Could Do It All Over Again,I'd Do It All Over You" and would mark the start of their classic period. The material was a very original mixture of styles including classical, jazz, and traditional English influences. A MILESTONE IN THEIR HISTORY. This recipe was used to great success on the next album, "In the Land of Grey and Pink". This album was a perfect blend between simple northern-English pop and complex progressive rock. Quite simply one of the greatest progressive rock classics. The style dominated the next album, "Waterloo Lily", released in May of 1972, which marked a clear step towards jazz. Yet, Richard SINCLAIR's influence was clearly apparent on the first side. "For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night" marked another change in the band's sound, this time towards a more streamlined symphonic approach. This album is not a bad album taken by itself, but the classic Canterbury sound stopped here. For a more representative look at CARAVAN in their prime, check out the preceding three albums. This lineup also recorded the live album "Caravan and the New Symphonia", a live 1973 performance accompanied by a full orchestra.

"Cunning Stunts" (1975) marked the beginning of a series of mediocre releases and lineup changes, eventually leading to the reunion of the original members on "Back to Front". Many different compilations and live albums were released in the intervening twelve years before a new studio album, "Battle...
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CARAVAN discography


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CARAVAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 547 ratings
Caravan
1968
4.25 | 1085 ratings
If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
1970
4.30 | 1829 ratings
In the Land of Grey and Pink
1971
3.77 | 593 ratings
Waterloo Lily
1972
4.16 | 786 ratings
For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night
1973
3.15 | 360 ratings
Cunning Stunts
1975
3.25 | 256 ratings
Blind Dog At St. Dunstans
1976
2.87 | 159 ratings
Better By Far
1977
2.18 | 130 ratings
The Album
1980
2.47 | 129 ratings
Back To Front
1982
2.81 | 129 ratings
The Battle of Hastings
1995
3.32 | 131 ratings
The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
2003
3.09 | 98 ratings
Paradise Filter
2013
2.82 | 17 ratings
The Back Catalogue Songs
2014

CARAVAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 201 ratings
Caravan & The New Symphonia
1974
3.58 | 24 ratings
The Best of Caravan "Live"
1980
3.13 | 13 ratings
Show of Our Lives
1981
3.40 | 41 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert
1991
2.80 | 22 ratings
Live 1990
1993
3.73 | 14 ratings
Live: Canterbury Comes to London
1997
3.50 | 10 ratings
Back On The Tracks
1998
3.59 | 18 ratings
Ether Way: BBC Sessions 1975-77
1998
2.63 | 16 ratings
Surprise Supplies [Aka: Here Am I]
1999
3.14 | 13 ratings
Green Bottles For Marjorie
2002
4.46 | 118 ratings
Live At Fairfield Halls - 1974
2002
3.81 | 17 ratings
Live UK Tour 1975
2003
3.11 | 9 ratings
Nowhere to Hide
2003
3.06 | 14 ratings
Live in Nottingham
2003
2.67 | 6 ratings
With Strings Attached
2003
4.21 | 55 ratings
The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975
2007
2.31 | 17 ratings
A Hunting We Shall Go: Live In 1974
2008
2.67 | 9 ratings
The European Tour 2011: Live At Shepherds Bush Empire
2012

CARAVAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.39 | 23 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
2.50 | 13 ratings
A Knight In London
2003
3.84 | 19 ratings
A Night's Tale: Live In The USA
2004
4.14 | 14 ratings
Caravan - The 35th Anniversary Concert
2005
2.91 | 8 ratings
The Anthology/The Ultimate Anthology
2007
3.33 | 3 ratings
Classic Rock Legends: Caravan Live At Metropolis Studios
2011
3.00 | 3 ratings
Live At Rosfest Gettysburg USA
2014

CARAVAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of Caravan: From 1970-1974
1974
4.00 | 1 ratings
This Is Caravan
1974
3.00 | 1 ratings
Dos
1976
4.22 | 23 ratings
Canterbury Tales - The Best of Caravan
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Caravan (Compilation)
1979
2.14 | 5 ratings
The Canterbury Collection
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
And I Wish I Were Stoned Don't Worry
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
Songs And Signs
1991
4.09 | 7 ratings
The Best Of Caravan
1993
3.74 | 33 ratings
Canterbury Tales: The Best Of Caravan 1968-1975
1994
2.29 | 20 ratings
Cool Water
1994
3.16 | 17 ratings
All Over You
1997
3.00 | 2 ratings
Travelling Man
1998
3.22 | 17 ratings
Songs For Oblivion Fishermen
1998
3.35 | 15 ratings
All Over You ... Too
1999
3.05 | 3 ratings
Headloss
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
The HTD Years
2000
3.16 | 12 ratings
Where But For Caravan Would I?
2000
2.26 | 8 ratings
Travelling Ways
2002
4.93 | 30 ratings
The World Is Yours - The Anthology 1968-1976
2010
3.00 | 3 ratings
Place of My Own: The Collection
2014

CARAVAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.29 | 9 ratings
Place of My Own
1969
4.10 | 10 ratings
Hello, Hello
1970
3.75 | 4 ratings
If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You
1970
3.45 | 12 ratings
Golf Girl
1971
3.50 | 6 ratings
Love to Love You
1971
3.33 | 3 ratings
A Hunting We Shall Go
1974
3.00 | 2 ratings
Headloss
1974
3.07 | 5 ratings
Stuck in a Hole
1975
3.50 | 2 ratings
All The Way
1976
2.75 | 4 ratings
Better By Far
1977
3.75 | 4 ratings
Heartbreaker
1980
3.50 | 2 ratings
Keepin' Up De Fences
1980

CARAVAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Back To Front by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.47 | 129 ratings

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Back To Front
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Artik

3 stars I've dived three records deep after "For Girls who grow plump" and they were disappointing (not terrible bot nothing to be excited about) so I stopped. I've found more caravanish sound on Camel's 'Rain Dances' and 'Breathless' when Sinclair joined the band. Checked Hatfield and The North for the Sinclair sound and was not disappointed, but I thought that was it. I'm hearing 'Back to front' right now and right from the start I like it. Nice melodies, very jazzy sound, Sinclair's voice - what's not to like? Not everything is on the level of thew first track though. The sound is somewhat updated, some songs are just quite simple ballads, but they happen to be nice and pleasant and it's Caravan again, just not as prog as popy. All of the songs are more or less likable with the first one and the last being closer to classic Caravan. Oh and Mel Collins is here :) 2.75 star from me rounded up to 3.
 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.25 | 1085 ratings

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If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Artik

5 stars Beautiful, beautiful album. Caravan carved their distinct style here and very successfuly followed it on a few future albums. I love them for their gentle and warm vocals, for imaginative songwriting, charming melodies and more than competent musicianship. This record represents the gentle side of Cantenbury scene at it's best. There are two semi- epics here everybody loves (particularly "For Richard") and I can't agree more but frankly I love all the shorter songs as well. There is no one weaker track here and the album represents a new (at the time and still fresh) and distinct style of prog, full of imagination and warm fairytale-like atmosphere soaked in jazzy instrumental parts, so it's a five star masterpiece in my book. Actualy they got five star ratings from me from this point up untill their fifth lp "For girls who grow plump in the night" (included). One of the best bands of this era so rich in great bands.
 In the Land of Grey and Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.30 | 1829 ratings

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In the Land of Grey and Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Lieutenant_Lan

5 stars In the Land of Grey and Pink released in 1971 and is the third studio album by English band Caravan. This album is one of the most well received in the Canterbury Scene, and for good reason. It combines a lot of sounds really well. Psychedelic, folk, jazz, maybe a little symphonic. The instrumentation is good, production is great, lyrics are fun, and no bad songs on the album. Personally I would recommend this to anyone just getting into prog because its a very easy listen, great songs, and mixes a lot of sounds. I will give this album a 5/5. An essential in my book.
 Golf Girl by CARAVAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1971
3.45 | 12 ratings

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Golf Girl
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by mohaveman

4 stars These may not be the most progressive songs that Caravan ever put out but I love them. Both are shorter songs from their 3rd album, (maybe their best one), THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK. Kinda poppy and whimsical, but fun, with classic Caravan beats and lyrics. I would even say that "Golf Girl" is a tad naughty with double meanings. And anything with Sinclair's soothing voice always draws me in. The drumming always makes my toes tap along.. For a great nostalgic experience, check out the Youtube video of the guys doing Golf Girl and Winter Wine on German TV's Beat Club in 1971. Amazing old trippy special effects and everything...even some lyric changes. While not essential, especially if you own the complete album, I still find these 2 tunes absolutely enjoyable listens. 4 stars.
 In the Land of Grey and Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.30 | 1829 ratings

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In the Land of Grey and Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review N║ 395

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.25 | 1085 ratings

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If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review N║ 388

Caravan is an English progressive rock band from the Canterbury scene. For many aficionados of the creative progressive rock music that surfaced in the heady days of the 70's, the bands that surfaced from the English provincial city of Canterbury produced some of the best and most consistently interesting progressive rock music of that period. Of the all bands that emerged from the Canterbury scene, none was quite so original and as enduring as Caravan was.

Caravan was founded by the former Wilde Flowers' members David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan in 1968. Caravan grew out of the breakup of the Wilde Flowers, a also Canterbury based group formed in 1964 as an R&B based outfit with a jazzy edge. The band was originally based in Whitstable, Kent, a place near Canterbury, but soon they relocated to London due to their musical career. They were a leading exponent of the Canterbury sound.

"If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" is the second studio album of Caravan and was released in 1970. The line up on the album is Pye Hastings (vocals, 6 and 12 string electric guitars, 6 string acoustic guitar, claves, worn leather strap, impersonation of a friendly gorilla and assorted ashtrays), David Sinclair (organ, piano and harpsichord), Richard Sinclair (vocals, bass guitar, tambourine and hedge clippers) and Richard Coughlan (drums, congas, bongos, maracas, figer and cymbals). The album had also the collaboration of Jimmy Hastings (saxophone and flute).

Caravan's self-titled debut album had held some promise but it was only "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" that brought a much more assured and distinctive sound. Indeed, this album perfectly bridges that awkward gap between psych and prog. This is really the album where the band had found their ultimate style. Jazz, pop, rock and classical music melted together in the usual prog way but far less pretentious than many other progressive rock bands. The classic Caravan sound was characterised by the vocals of Pye Hastings and Richard Sinclair, twisted and fuzzed organ, very typical for many Canterbury bands, and there was usually some wind instruments too, mostly flute and sax.

"If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" has eight tracks. The first track is the title track. It's a short, fast, humorous piece, which draws its charm mainly by the vocal contrast of the two singers. Nice is also the organ solo in the middle. This is a fine opener to the album, but it isn't representative of the band, or even the album. The second track "And I Wish I Were Stoned ? Don't Worry" starts off something in the slightly 60's pop influenced style, which also influenced Caravan's debut album. The first half of the song is kept at a slow pace, then it gets faster, and Hastings even lays down a short solo. The guitar doesn't play a big role in the early sound of Caravan, really. The third track "As I Feel Die" is stylistically still in the tradition of the previous album. First, it begins very slowly and melancholy, then it goes abruptly into a brisk part with a beautiful organ. The fourth track is the suite "With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It/Martinian/Only Cox/Reprise". It shows for the first time the slightly jazzy style sometimes interspersed with folky accents, which should also characterize the two great successors "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" and "Waterloo Lily". The long flowing instrumental parts, where sometimes the organ, sometimes saxophone or flute steps into the foreground, without pronounced solos. The singing is used sparingly but effectively. The fifth track "Hello Hello" is a very simple song but it's pretty good. It's a perfect example of how Caravan was able to beat many of their progressive contemporaries, creating shorter and more accessible songs. The sixth track "Asforteri 25" is another short and sweet song with great vocals from Hastings and Sinclair. It leads the way for the next track. The seventh track is the suite "Can't Be Long Now/Franšoise/For Richard/Warlock". It's not just the highlight of the album, but one of the best pieces in Caravan's entire repertoire. After a gentle lyrical upbeat with a beautiful flute and nice vocals by Hastings, follows a long instrumental part. Organ, saxophone and flute entwine, again and again, one of these instruments comes to the fore for a short time to be replaced by another, to which bass, guitar and drums provide a solid rhythmic foundation. The eighth track "Limits" is a lighter piece, in which Hastings once again shines on flute. It's a nice close to the album.

Conclusion: This is a great album, a true masterpiece. It shows the intricacy with which Caravan's compositions are sculpted around some of the finest instrumental improvisation in British rock at the time, or arguably since. Caravan's uncanny ability to create a montage that effortlessly maneuvers through acoustic folk and electric progressive rock is really impressive, indeed. It's epic but never pretentious, psychedelic but never adrift, jazzy but never impenetrable. It has a lightness of touch and a complex magic the band never repeated. This is the first great highlight in the creation of Caravan and for those who are interested in the Canterbury sound is absolutely indispensable and for everyone else who love great music is strongly recommended, especially for the lovers of the classic prog scene of the early 70's.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 The Unauthorised Breakfast Item by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.32 | 131 ratings

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The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars The name of the album is promising but the contents is disappointing. The music has not gotten any muscles from the best Caravan era and melodies don't achieve the heights of the songs from the 70's. The only piece that can somewhat keep pace with average songs from the 70's is "Head above the clouds", which has a irresistible positive Canterbury feeling but very safely taken arrangements with a far cry from potential solos.

"Nowhere to hide" has a decent synth solo towards the end. The only other distinctive track is "Linders field" with again key-based instrument convincing the listener - this time it's the piano, it's a mellow instrumental track.

Recommended to completionists only.

 Cunning Stunts by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.15 | 360 ratings

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Cunning Stunts
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Caravan was producing soft rock/pop albums with little risks, relying on decent vocals, good melodies and restrained instrumental legacy.

Caravan with Hastings learnt well how to craft harmonic positive songs and decorate them with contemporary instruments like rhodes, moogs and brass that didn't sound dated at that time.

"Jack and Jill" has a soothing but cheesy melody but quite good keyboard arrangements. The same holds for Hammond in "Can your hear me".

"All the way" is the only song with a bit of epic spirit but mainly due to its length, there is nothing adventureous about this song.

It's regrettable to say that Caravan went so much away from progressive rock already in 1976 where most other bands were at least rooted with 1 foot in the art rock realm.

 For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.16 | 786 ratings

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For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars This is the last good and progressive Caravan album. We still have long tracks, we have flute/violin/moog which bring good sophistication to the sound.

"Memory Lain, Hugh-Headloss" has very good instrumental section, not really in the Canterbury style but still having satisfactory moog, drums and flute playing.

"Hoedown" has an irregular rhythm and a bit country feeling, this all packed into a melodic song with 3 minutes. "Surprise surprise" is a polished pop song with good vocals but too conventional instrumentation save cello.

"L'auberge du sanglier" is a pure progressive pleasure with complex rhythm and each instrument contributing. Ranging from dynamic anxious first part transformed into the second majestic and lush part, this is a great track and one of the best by Caravan even though not close to their typical Canterbury sound.

This album deservers 3.5 stars

 Waterloo Lily by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.77 | 593 ratings

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Waterloo Lily
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Having lost their keyboard player, Waterloo Lilly still manages to capture most of the Canterbury spirit of the band with updated sound. Electric piano emerges in the keyboard array. Organ is not that dominant any longer. Some tracks are grooving. We can hear pleasant saxophone soloing.

The good thing that there are fewer radio-friendly tracks than on previous records so less pop.

"Nothing at all" is a mixture of pieces, from grooving almost funky feeling to quiet moments and also progressive complex last part.

"The love in your eye" is a decent Canterbury deputy on this album, helped with flute, strings.

Still quite a decent album before turning to soft rock.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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