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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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In The Land Of Grey And Pink  - CaravanIn The Land Of Grey And Pink - Caravan
Remastered
DECCA 2015
$5.47
$9.62 (used)
Plump In The Night - CaravanPlump In The Night - Caravan
Remastered
DECCA 2015
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If I Could Do It All Over Again  - CaravanIf I Could Do It All Over Again - Caravan
Remastered
DECCA 2015
$5.47
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CARAVAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.69 | 496 ratings
Caravan
1968
4.25 | 956 ratings
If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
1970
4.28 | 1621 ratings
In The Land Of Grey And Pink
1971
3.76 | 522 ratings
Waterloo Lily
1972
4.16 | 684 ratings
For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night
1973
3.11 | 320 ratings
Cunning Stunts
1975
3.24 | 219 ratings
Blind Dog At St. Dunstans
1976
2.85 | 138 ratings
Better By Far
1977
2.15 | 115 ratings
The Album
1980
2.42 | 111 ratings
Back To Front
1982
2.78 | 111 ratings
The Battle Of Hastings
1995
3.27 | 113 ratings
The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
2003
3.08 | 83 ratings
Paradise Filter
2013
2.85 | 13 ratings
The Back Catalogue Songs
2014

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

3.86 | 175 ratings
Caravan & The New Symphonia
1974
3.58 | 22 ratings
The Best of Caravan "Live"
1980
3.17 | 13 ratings
Show of Our Lives
1981
3.37 | 39 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert
1991
2.79 | 18 ratings
Live 1990
1993
3.68 | 13 ratings
Live: Canterbury Comes to London
1997
3.50 | 10 ratings
Back Of The Tracks (Live On The Continent)
1998
3.59 | 16 ratings
Ether Way: BBC Sessions 1975-77
1998
2.62 | 14 ratings
Surprise Supplies (AKA "Here I am")
1999
3.14 | 13 ratings
Green Bottles For Marjorie
2002
4.46 | 107 ratings
Live At Fairfield Halls - 1974
2002
3.84 | 16 ratings
Live UK Tour 1975
2003
3.13 | 8 ratings
Nowhere to Hide
2003
3.06 | 12 ratings
Live in Nottingham
2003
2.60 | 5 ratings
With Strings Attached
2003
4.05 | 46 ratings
The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975
2007
2.29 | 15 ratings
A Hunting We Shall Go: Live In 1974
2008
2.69 | 8 ratings
The European Tour 2011: Live At Shepherds Bush Empire
2012

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

3.36 | 20 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
2.37 | 11 ratings
A Knight In London
2003
3.83 | 16 ratings
A Night's Tale: Live In The USA
2004
4.00 | 11 ratings
Caravan - The 35th Anniversary Concert
2005
2.91 | 8 ratings
The Anthology/The Ultimate Anthology
2007
3.00 | 2 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
4.20 | 21 ratings
Canterbury Tales - The Best of Caravan
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Caravan (Compilation)
1979
2.07 | 4 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 | 31 ratings
Canterbury Tales: The Best Of Caravan 1968-1975
1994
2.30 | 19 ratings
Cool Water
1994
3.20 | 17 ratings
All Over You
1997
3.00 | 2 ratings
Travelling Man
1998
3.23 | 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
2.20 | 7 ratings
Travelling Ways
2002
4.94 | 27 ratings
The World Is Yours - The Anthology 1968-1976
2010
2.00 | 2 ratings
Place of My Own: The Collection
2014

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

3.19 | 7 ratings
Place of My Own
1969
4.00 | 7 ratings
Hello, Hello
1970
3.00 | 2 ratings
If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You
1970
3.15 | 8 ratings
Golf Girl
1971
3.40 | 5 ratings
Love to Love You
1971
2.00 | 1 ratings
A Hunting We Shall Go
1974
2.00 | 1 ratings
Headloss
1974
2.92 | 3 ratings
Stuck in a Hole
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
All The Way
1976
2.00 | 3 ratings
Better By Far
1977
3.50 | 2 ratings
Heartbreaker
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
Keepin' Up De Fences
1980

CARAVAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cunning Stunts by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.11 | 320 ratings

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Cunning Stunts
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by YourJefa

2 stars I think this is where the magic ended.

What can I say about "Cunning stunts"? First of all I have to say it was not a great impression the first time that I heard it (or the second, or the third, or the fourth...), they had created something completely different of what they used to do.

It's not a terrible album, it's not a whole disappointing experience like Pink Floyd's "Final cut", but still, I think they could created something better. There's a song in this album (I don't remember which one exactly) that sounds like Earth, Wind & Fire but without the trumpets, and the first one sounds like something that John Lennon would have made, but not Caravan.

"No backstage pass" is the closest they got to their classic style, that and some moments of "Dabsong conshirto" (that could have been a great song if had last 10 or 12 minutes). In general, this is a Classic Pop (I couldn't even say Classic Rock) album. Maybe if instead of CARAVAN they would have changed their name to something else, I could say this is a great album.

I don't think I can give it even three stars, so two.

Sorry, guys.

 For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.16 | 684 ratings

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For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by YourJefa

4 stars Another great album by Caravan. "For girls who grow plump in the night" is their fifth album and to be honest is way too different from the first four.

Here we can appretiate a heavier sound, in some points this album reminds me to some works by bands like Atomic Rooster or High Tide, those sounds mixed with the classic Canterbury style that Caravan has.

This is probably Caravan's most experimental album, at least that's what I believe; not only because the introduction of the obvious new style, but also I think here we have the first part of a not- all-CanterburyScene-style that continues in "Cunning stunts". Here they were trying to get new sounds, that's clear.

There's a chance that people who had listen Caravan's first four albums to like "Plump in the night", or maybe they can get disappointed. I like it, not as much as I like the previous ones, but I do.

Four stars!

 Waterloo Lily by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.76 | 522 ratings

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Waterloo Lily
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by YourJefa

4 stars Probably not one of the greatest albums in Caravan's discography but still a very well done work. After the two well-diserved-five-stars previous albums ("If I could do it all over again" and "In the land of grey and pink") anybody would expect their following album would be equally great, but I feel they couldn't get that level neither in "Waterloo Lily" nor in any of their following albums.

It's not a bad album, that needs to be clear, in fact is one of my all time favourites, not one of my 100 favourites, maybe, but still I do believe it's a great work.

The opening song defends their classic sound. The album starts very well, the following songs are great too, but they don't catch the listener to really fall in love with them (at least not to me).

When the album ends I feel satisfied, because (I insist) it is a good album, but I can't feel the same magic that I always get with other Caravan albums.

Four stars...

 In The Land Of Grey And Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.28 | 1621 ratings

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In The Land Of Grey And Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by YourJefa

5 stars What I have to say about this album is that it really changed my life and my point of view about all that I used to know about music.

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

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

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

Five stars, obviously!!

 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.25 | 956 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 YourJefa

5 stars Wonderful! That's how I describe this album. No matter how much time passes, this keeps being a very fresh sound. The second Caravan album is without any doubt one of the greatest Prog Rock albums ever recorded.

If you ask me, this is where the Canterbury Scene was totally defined; song by song, Caravan take us to an amazing journey (not a The Who reference) through their most pure and original material.

The band, the moment, the place, everything went well. I believe this album is a corner stone not only for the Canterbury Scene but all Prog Rock history.

This is completely a masterpiece, and it shouldn't have a lower rate.

Five stars!!

 Caravan by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.69 | 496 ratings

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Caravan
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by YourJefa

4 stars One of my favourite debut albums of all time! This is a very unique album, I think this album along with Soft Machine's debut were the solid bases that made the Canterbury Scene classic sound we know until today.

First of all, I have to say that I love every single song in this album, the songs were kind of experimental for their times, but not too much and that is great.

Everything is in its right place, the songs are soft but at the same time very straight and solid. I feel this was an amazing creation, probably not the best Caravan album, but without this start they would probably never had the wonderful style that we can find in "If I could do it all over again", "In the land of grey and pink" or "Waterloo Lily". This was the beginning of an amazing story.

Four stars!!

 In The Land Of Grey And Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.28 | 1621 ratings

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In The Land Of Grey And Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by TiddK

5 stars I do award 5-stars sparingly, but this is one album that I believe deserves it.

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

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

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

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

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

 Waterloo Lily by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.76 | 522 ratings

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Waterloo Lily
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars While critics and fans alike praised the unique concoction of jazz, folk and rock on CARAVAN's third album "The Land Of The Grey And Pink," despite it all the record company and management refused to put any money into promoting the album or the band in any way which led to incredible inner tensions and ultimately resulted in the departure of David Sinclair who was seduced away by Robert Wyatt to join the ranks of Matching Mole. While dumbfounded that they had lost such a vital ingredient to their unique piano, organ and mellotron driven sound, they avoiding a complete breakup by finding one of the few musicians in Sinclair's league in the form of Steve Miller who had played with Carol Crimes & Delivery prior.

Miller was a gifted jazz musician and after finding it impossible to adapt to Sinclair's unique style of playing, the band finally settled on placing Miller's style as the focus of the band's sound and thus CARAVAN was forced to jettison their digestible psychedelic pop sound of the previous album and create a more sophisticated collection of tracks that resulted in perhaps one of the most progressive albums of their career with some of the most bold and daring instrumental deliveries of their canon.

The album was titled WATERLOO LILY and found Steve Miller pushing Pye Hastings, Richard Sinclair and Richard Coughlan into more challenging musical arenas and thus stands as one of CARAVAN's most diverse sounding albums. The beautifully performed title track which opens, really presages a future supergroup event called Hatfield And The North which finds Richard Sinclair's sole vocal performance on the album sounding like something that could have been on "The Rotter's Club." The track which exudes a bouncy bass driven swing type of groove tells the tale of a large lady of questionable reputation while the musical drive simultaneously juggles a more ambitious construct with the expected Canterbury whimsy.

The album sports two lengthy multi-suite tracks surrounded by shorter ones with vocals. The first of these spirited displays of musical playfulness is the instrumental "Nothing At All / It's A Coming Soon / Nothing At All" which delivers a beefy bass line that ties the entire track together as the guitar solos trade off with keyboards and sizzling jazzy sax runs. The groovy rhythm ties the band's previous digestible pop hooks with a more jazz-laden speakeasy swinging sort of vibe which despite the length is quite easy on the ears. The three suites linked by the bass groove are quite distinct but somehow transition with ease.

The second of these is a medley of catchy vocal oriented jazz rock with extra emphasis on symphonic backings. The track breaks into an the most outstanding instrumental performances on the album with a flute solo that sounds like it's on speed! This track is easily the most ambitious thing CARAVAN ever laid down to tape and one of my top dog favorites of their career. The remaining tracks are pop gems finding Pye Hastings in excellent vocal form with brilliant songwriting and if you are lucky enough to have newer versions there are extra bonus tracks well worth the time.

Although the Canterbury jazz-fusionists had a dedicated audience, none of these bands managed to garner success at a substantial level but for those fans CARAVAN did attain in the past, many were not too keen on the new musical style that was thrust upon them. While "The Land Of The Grey And Pink" sold poorly, WATERLOO LILY literally almost caused the band to call it quits entirely. However after some internal reflection and the decision to sack Steve Miller, luckily Hastings, Sinclair and Coughlan found that the public was beginning to catch up to their musical style and by the time they regrouped with a new team to produce "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night," as CARAVAN was finding slightly more enthusiastic public support.

Personally i may be one of the few who finds WATERLOO LILY to be one of CARAVAN's crowning achievements musically speaking. I find this album infinitely more interesting than the more uniform and toned-down "In The Land Of The Grey And Pink." WATERLOO LILY simply adds a new gusto to the classic CARAVAN sound with beautifully performed vocal tracks side by side with sophisticated jam band instrumentals that tackle multiple suites of true progressive rock brilliance. In my world WATERLOO LILY plays second fiddle to the only album of theirs that i consider a true masterpiece "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You."

 Caravan by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.69 | 496 ratings

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Caravan
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Out of the ashes The DAEVID ALLEN TRIO and THE WILDE FLOWERS comes this debut album from one of the three most important contributors to the Canterbury legacy. Daevid Allen has moved to France, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and the Hopper brothers are moving all over the place (Soft Machine to Matching Mole, et al.) which leaves the Hastings, Sinclair, and Coughlan families to sort out their own directions and desires.

1. "Place of my own" (4:01) nice vocal melodies for this organ-based tune. (8/10)

2. "Ride" (3:42) rather bland and ordinary with Pye singing the lead up close and personal. (7/10)

3. "Policeman" (2:44) Richard Sinclair taking a turn at the lead--he's more conservative than we'll hear in a year or two. Quite a little similarity to THE BEATLE's "I am the Walrus" without the crazed, surreal lyrics. (8/10)

4. "Love song with flute" (4:10) a very catchy and almost perfectly polished prog pop song (using melodic themes that they would return to over the course of the next few years). (9.5/10)

5. "Cecil runs" (4:07) opens with experimental guitar chords, spaciousness and a new synth to play with. Chorale harmony vocals enter to announce the telling of a story. Animated organ play provides the action here. I love the beat to this one. And the theatric vocal displays. My favorite song on the album due to both it's experimental play and its unbound theatric storytelling. (9.5/10)

6. "Magic man" (4:03) serves notice to the fact that the boys are struggling to find the voice of their own, instead they are talented singer/musicians taking on sounds and styles others have had success with. This one is more of a combination of PROCUL HARUM's now-classic "Whiter Shade of Pale" and ELP's recent monster "underground" hit, "Lucky Man" (bass and guitar). Not bad! (9/10)

7. "Grandma's lawn" (3:25) Richard in lead again, organ and guitar are quite a bit looser here and the MOODY BLUES-like lyrics and vocal flow more extemporaneously. (8.5/10)

8. "Where but for Caravan would I be" (9:01) their first prog epic--containing a lot of elements reminiscent of contemporary bands like THE BEATLES, THE DOORS, THE ZOMBIES, and even THE MOODY BLUES, this organ-based blues-rock song is musically quite rudimentary yet contains some very interesting vocal and lyrical choices. The final 90 seconds is the best. Tidings of things to come. (8/10)

The best is yet to come.

 Caravan & The New Symphonia  by CARAVAN album cover Live, 1974
3.86 | 175 ratings

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Caravan & The New Symphonia
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Walkscore

4 stars A classic collection and some good performances.

Their first live album see Caravan in their 1974 lineup, including Geoff Richardson on violins, play twos set with much weight to tracks from their then-recent album "For Girls...". The performances are fairly good. The sound quality is decent too, good for the time although not quite up to contemporary Stephen Wilson standards. Here they play with an orchestra ('The New Symphonia') backing them on a number of tracks in the second set. The original album only featured the second half of the show, the part containing the orchestra, and that is the version of the album I had in my vinyl collection for years (still do), but the first half is pretty good too. The highlight of the album is the version of For Richard, which David Sinclair thankfully plays on - really excellent (indeed, I love all the live versions of this song). The 'Introduction' and 'Love in Your Eye' suite are also very good. These are the tracks making it worth it to pick this album up, but the other live tracks are also all decent and the whole experience is very positive. I give this 8.0 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

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

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