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CARAVAN

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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Caravan biography
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 of Hastings", which was released in 1995. This album was a nice collection of poppy tunes retaining the classic CARAVAN sound (organ, violin, flute, sax and HASTINGS' inimitable vocals). CARAVAN is still active today, playing many live dates in Britain and Holland and in 2000 saw the beginning of renewed activity (festival, concert, etc.). In February 2001, all the albums from "If I Could..." to "Cunning S...
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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)

3.67 | 362 ratings
Caravan
1968
4.24 | 670 ratings
If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
1970
4.27 | 1179 ratings
In The Land Of Grey And Pink
1971
3.74 | 376 ratings
Waterloo Lily
1972
4.15 | 512 ratings
For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night
1973
3.04 | 241 ratings
Cunning Stunts
1975
3.25 | 170 ratings
Blind Dog At St. Dunstans
1976
2.86 | 101 ratings
Better by Far
1977
2.09 | 89 ratings
The Album
1980
2.33 | 82 ratings
Back to Front
1982
2.78 | 88 ratings
The Battle Of Hastings
1995
3.28 | 81 ratings
The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
2003
2.99 | 50 ratings
Paradise Filter
2013
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Back Catalogue Songs
2014

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

3.87 | 132 ratings
Caravan & The New Symphonia
1974
3.62 | 17 ratings
The Best of Caravan "Live"
1980
3.22 | 9 ratings
Show of Our Lives
1981
3.36 | 30 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert
1991
2.80 | 16 ratings
Live 1990
1993
3.81 | 12 ratings
Live: Canterbury Comes to London
1997
3.83 | 6 ratings
Back Of The Tracks (Live On The Continent)
1998
3.61 | 12 ratings
Ether Way: BBC Sessions 1975-77
1998
2.70 | 12 ratings
Surprise Supplies (AKA "Here I am")
1999
3.09 | 10 ratings
Green Bottles For Marjorie
2002
4.48 | 84 ratings
Live At Fairfield Halls - 1974
2002
3.85 | 11 ratings
Live UK Tour 1975
2003
3.50 | 6 ratings
Nowhere to Hide
2003
3.13 | 11 ratings
Live in Nottingham
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
With Strings Attached
2003
4.02 | 25 ratings
The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975
2007
2.22 | 12 ratings
A Hunting We Shall Go: Live In 1974
2008
2.67 | 6 ratings
The European Tour 2011: Live At Shepherds Bush Empire
2012

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

3.38 | 14 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
2.48 | 10 ratings
A Knight In London
2003
3.94 | 13 ratings
A Night's Tale: Live In The USA
2004
4.27 | 11 ratings
Caravan - The 35th Anniversary Concert
2005
2.98 | 6 ratings
The Anthology/The Ultimate Anthology
2007

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Caravan: From 1970-1974
1974
4.19 | 19 ratings
Canterbury Tales - The Best of Caravan
1976
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
4.06 | 6 ratings
The Best Of Caravan
1993
3.72 | 27 ratings
Canterbury Tales: The Best Of Caravan 1968-1975
1994
2.30 | 19 ratings
Cool Water
1994
3.19 | 15 ratings
All Over You
1997
3.00 | 2 ratings
Travelling Man
1998
3.23 | 16 ratings
Songs For Oblivion Fishermen
1998
3.32 | 18 ratings
All Over You ... Too
1999
3.05 | 3 ratings
Headloss
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
The HTD Years
2000
3.19 | 12 ratings
Where But For Caravan Would I?
2000
2.16 | 6 ratings
Travelling Ways
2002
4.62 | 25 ratings
The World Is Yours - The Anthology 1968-1976
2010
2.33 | 3 ratings
Place of My Own: The Collection
2014

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

3.09 | 4 ratings
Place of My Own
1969
3.75 | 4 ratings
Hello, Hello
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Golf Girl
1971
3.33 | 3 ratings
Love to Love You
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Hunting We Shall Go
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Headloss
1974
2.92 | 3 ratings
Stuck in a Hole
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
All The Way
1976
2.00 | 3 ratings
Better By Far
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Heartbreaker
1980

CARAVAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Waterloo Lily by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.74 | 376 ratings

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Waterloo Lily
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars ''In the land of grey and pink'' was well received by the press, but didn't bring much of a commercial success to Caravan, who thought that the main reason was the limited promotion by Decca.As long as David Sinclair was proposed a place in the emerging Matching Mole by Robert Wyatt he left the band and his replacement was Carol Grimes and Delivery's Steve Miller.Actually Carol Grimes and Delivery would have a good representation on the next Caravan album with Steve Miller's brother Phil playing lead guitar and Lol Coxhill playing the sax.Caravan entered the Tollington Park Studios in London in November 1971 to record ''Watreloo Lilly'', helped also by Jimmy Hastings on flute, Mike Cotton on trumpet and Barry Robinson on oboe.The album was released in May 1972 on Deram, front cover is part of the painting series ''A rake's progress'' by William Hogarth.

Now the band should be partly regarded as old Caravan and partly as Delivery with this combination affecting the material, which obtained a twist towards jazzier backgrounds, always surrounded by sophisticated arrangements and the familiar dashes of British Pop.While Caravan were always known for their positive music, ''Waterloo Lilly'' even enters the territories of a happy state of mind.The music is full of changing tempos but with reduced dramatic instrumentals and leaning more towards tricky, soft and elaborate Canterbury-spiced Jazz Rock, where the instrumental parts still play a major role, but the overall atmosphere is extremely optimistic with charming vocals and naughty jazzy experimentations.With Steve Miller playing the Wurlitzer piano, grand piano, organ and harpsichord Caravan's music has a certain depth, this time featuring more loose instrumental parts with light jamming sections, while the addition of flute, oboe and trumpet will turn the music often to more orchestral enviroments.With a looser approach the album is reasonable to contain a couple of long pieces with some furious and more laid-back jazzy arrangements, containing careful guitar plays and double keyboard/piano interactions, especially the 5-part ''The love in your eye / To catch me a brother / Subsultus / Debouchement / Tilbury kecks'' is an epitome of Canterbury Prog with orchestral and jazzy overtones over complex instrumental arrangements.The short pieces contain lots of poppy vibes, especially in the vocal parts, cause the music is still grounded in a less intricate yet deeply jazzy basis.

Not the best album of early Caravan.The choice of the band to switch towards more jazzier tunes was welcome, but resulted to a lose of their strong identity as proposed in the previous album.However all tracks are really good and the aforementioned mini-epic is particularly great with some impressive instrumental ideas.Warmly recommended, albeit not totally representative of Caravan's stylistical momentum during early-70's.

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 The Unauthorised Breakfast Item by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.28 | 81 ratings

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The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Kjarks

4 stars Here's a gem of subtlety, which is not surprising because Caravan is composed of musicians who have demonstrated in their heyday how much they could be inventive. What is astonishing is that they have recovered their whole creativity after 25 years of very poor albums.

We find ourselves 30 years in the past, always with this mixture of humor and virtuosity, lightness and seriousness that are the marks of the so british Canterbury style. And they have kept their admirable melodic sense. What has however changed is the purity of the sound in the many brilliant instrumental parts of the album. Even the only weak song of the disk, unfortunately placed in the second position, "Revenge", is transcended by a splendid instrumental final.

This perfect sound, from the beginning to the end of the disk, could probably be seen as a loss of the Canterbury soul. But it also removes a rough side, some kind of draft aspects that were not always relevant during the 1970's.

And modernity in the sound does not pollute or interfere with the Caravan identity which is so specific. It can greatly distinguish this album from those the band produced in the past, while still providing an undeniable continuity in the style.

This disc would deserve, in my opinion, between 4 and 4.5 stars if we could further refine the notes.

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 Paradise Filter by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.99 | 50 ratings

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Paradise Filter
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars It's been a sad time for Caravan and their followers with the loss of founding member Richard Coughlan in 2013, no doubt shaking the group up, but through the support of fans, by way of a successful online Pledge Music pre-order campaign, we now have a thirteenth Caravan album entitled `Paradise Filter'. Truthfully, as much as fans can have good-will towards this beloved act, the results delivered offer only a slight interest to progressive rock fans, but there's still traces of the Caravan humour, good nature and musical taste. It's not like anyone should have expected any more side-long epics or quirky arrangements, so a bulk of `Paradise Filter' is straightforward oldies pop/rock, AOR tracks and ballads, but admittedly there's still the instantly recognisably warm and dignified voice of Pye Hastings. While initially somewhat unexciting, stick with the album for a few tracks and the better material starts to emerge.

A bunch of pleasing, melodic but mostly forgettable pop/rockers takes up the first sections of the album. With a bit more energy and life, `All This Could Be Yours' could have been one of those peppy little openers that appeared on earlier albums like `Feelin' Alright' off `Better By Far'. It's got a fairly catchy chorus, and Geoffrey Richardson's viola shows up briefly throughout the final minute, but it's mixed very low when it really needed to stand out! Mid- tempo rocker `I'm On My Way' has an almost flat wheezy chorus, but some gently bluesy guitar licks save it. With a title like `Fingers In The Till', one of those trademark silly and sprightly Caravan poppy tracks was expected, but it's a rather melancholic and serious plodder, only getting more infectious in the chorus towards the end. There's nice synths but they're mixed so far to the back they may as well have been left off altogether.

`This Is What We Are' shows the first signs of life and promise, a catchy chorus and stand- out vocal break mixed with menacing heavy piano and surprisingly murky snarling hard- rock riffs. `Dead Man Walking' has nice dusty western movie style harmonica, with a welcome extended instrumental second half built around striking acoustic guitar and dramatic piano, Hammond organ bristling away in the background. `Farewell, My Old Friend' is a touching piano ballad in honour of the late Richard Coughlin sung with sincerity by Pye and the whole band playing with great heart and emotion, and `I'll Be There For You' is a lovely romantic and optimistic light banjo ballad with classy synth orchestration.

Thankfully we also eventually get some of those cheekier numbers starting with the slinky jazz rocker `Pain In The Arse'! The hostile and very bitter `relationship gone wrong' lyric is a little shocking, but it's worth it to hear Pye deliver the classic line `While I think of it, you look just like a horse!' - now that's the Caravan I like to hear! `Trust Me I'm A Doctor' has nice jangling guitars over sly lines like `I'm here to look after your health, and maybe I'll add to my wealth', or even more amusingly `I told him that my throat hurt and that I couldn't sing, he said "Don't worry, Pye, neither can I!" Speaking of classic Caravan, Geoffrey Richardson takes the lead vocal on the title track album closer, a dreamy ballad that deters into a 70's style Caravan instrumental, not unlike the middle of `The Dog, The Dog He's At It Again'. Trilling flute, soft acoustic guitars and energetic synths all weave beautifully together, and it's the absolute highlight of the album.

I do believe the band should really `play the prog card' like that final piece a little more if they decide to release further albums in the future, just throw in more zippy synth soloing, more instrumental passages, even if it's kind of clichéd and predictable, because that's the sound Caravan fans really want to hear. A majority of vocal based straight-forward rock pieces from any progressive band are going to wear a little thin, no matter how much goodwill you have towards them. But many nice moments pop up throughout, so `Paradise Filter' is not without its charms, and it's really hard not to be taken in by this good-hearted band. Therefore it's still a worthy release for the more forgiving of their fans, and Caravan and Canterbury Scene completists will likely want to add either the CD or vinyl LP to their collection right away.

Three stars.

Note - Well done to all the fans who pre-ordered the album and got their names printed in the CD booklet. Nice big letters, easily to read and clear, they must be stoked to be a part of Caravan history! Good on them!

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 Paradise Filter by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.99 | 50 ratings

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Paradise Filter
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by FXM

4 stars This is Caravan's thirteenth studio album and is released ten years after their last one "The Unauthorised Breakfast Item". I find it hard to believe that it is ten years since that was released and it is something I still listen to quite regularly.

"The Unauthorised Breakfast Item" represented a return to form after some mediocre releases. So I was eagerly awaiting the release of "Paradise Filter". While it may not be as excellent as the previous album it is still very good and is an album that can stand proud amongst their discography.

It starts well with an uptempo track "All This Could be Yours" displaying some nice guitar riffs. There are a few of those quirky humourous songs such as "Trust Me I'm a Doctor"so typically of Caravan throughout their career.

Highlights on the album include I'll Be There for You" which features a banjo played by Geoffrey Richardson who manages to make the instrument sound good. "This Is What We Are" is another good one. The final track is the title track and is a nice soothing piece of music initially but livens up half way in with some fine guitar work followed by nice flute before it returns to the earlier mood. Another highlight is "Farewell My Old Friend" which is a fitting tribute to their former drummer Richard Coughlan who passed away last year

On their past albums there were often one or two tracks that I found annoying but not in this case. Overall it is a mellow album with fine musicianship, reflecting the maturity of the band members. Its a recording to chill out to, maybe on a summer's evening watching the sunset with a glass of fine vintage wine.

A definite 4 star recording!!!

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 In The Land Of Grey And Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.27 | 1179 ratings

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In The Land Of Grey And Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by JCDenton

2 stars For years I thought "Nine Feet Underground" was the only good track.

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

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

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

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 Paradise Filter by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.99 | 50 ratings

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Paradise Filter
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars The British Canterbury band Caravan has been an important part of my prog discoveries the past two years and I have got anything fresh and lovely from almost everything they have done. Thirteen records have they done, many of them have got bad reviews from listeners here but I have liked even records as Back to front, The Album and Cunning Stunts. Their latest record from 2003 though didn't got my fully attention. In the very end of last year 2013 Caravan released their thirteenth studio album "Paradise filter" and it took some while before I could listen to it. I like the appearence of the cover. The Caravan sign is fresh and simple and the title has a computer style and the main motive is some strong coloured fields.

Four of the participating musicians have been in Caravan before. Most important of them are of course Pye Hastings, without whose voice and light attitude there hadn't been any Caravan. Also we have Geoffrey Richardson whose strings from time to time have given this music a lot of splendor and Jan Schelhaas who also played keyboards in the band in the middle of the seventies. Jim Leverton has played bass in the band since 1995. The drummer Mark Walker and guitarist Doug Boyle are new. Beside these musicians some are missed of course: Richard Coughlan, who died last year, the keyboard wizard Dave Sinclair and the charismatic Richard Sinclair is also missed, even if Caravan still is a reliable band.

Actually I was a bit suspicious when I put this record but instead the music made me satisfied. "Paradise filter" is not a fantastic record that Caravan should be remebered for, but it is a great collection of well performed songs. Some of the songs are very decent. I think I like "I'll be there for you" most(8/10). It's a happy song with an instrumental world which proudly bears the mantle of this prog band. "Trust me I am a doctor" is another lovely piece, well composed and sung and has great guitars too(8/10). Then we have "All this could be yours" which enters the record with melodical light and the catchy Pye and some English strings(8/10). "Fingers in the till" is also very sympathic with a smart melody and guitar(7/10) as well as "I'm on my way" which even if it's a bit bluesy has some old Caravan' feeling. The other compositions are reasonable but not interesting. My overall impression is that this is a good late Caravan record. It doesn't seem to have intentions to fight with old Caravan in originality but it doesn't need to do that. If I would judge records after how progressive they are this would have got a very low rating. Now I'm going to give it three strong stars. It is not a magic record, but it pleases me as a Caravan fan, and I am sure others will like it too. I think Caravan is worth your time!

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 Paradise Filter by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.99 | 50 ratings

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Paradise Filter
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by madcap68

3 stars What I wrote about "The Battle of Hastings" applies here as well: There is much on this album that I like, just not too much prog, really. So, although I consider this to be quite a fine album (some songs stronger than others, of course) I can't give more than 3 stars here, progwise...

Musically, it's close to TBoH, although I'm missing older brother Jimmy Hastings' woodwinds that are missing here (for the first time?). Nevertheless, Geoffrey Richardson's viola fills some gaps in a nice way.

After some listening, it's probably a little weaker than TBoH, which might have the catchier melodies, and "The Unauthorized Breakfast Item", which might have a little more edge, but if you liked those, this one should definetely be worth a try.

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 Caravan by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.67 | 362 ratings

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Caravan
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by sinslice

4 stars Great debut from the best band in Canterbury!

Highlights include Place of my Own, Where But For Caravan Would I Be?, Love Song with Flute and Magic Man. Is no doubt that there is still some degree of immaturity and in the following steps of the band would see clarity and decisiveness in their innovative ideas. Still, it´s a transcendent work taking into account the time it was produced.

Distinctive experimentation in the final track. A distorted organ and bold. Fortunately, Caravan deepen beautifully in this type of sound and arrangements. Psychedelic, jazzy, symphonic, melodic. In addition to the outstanding organ performance by Dave Sinclair, Recently deceased Richard Coughlan stands in Drums. There eloquent progressive tendencies, but can not qualify as a masterpiece in the genre.

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 The Unauthorised Breakfast Item by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.28 | 81 ratings

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The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by MJAben

1 stars I would like to give this album a higher rating, it isn't bad. In truth it is quite pleasant and I never truly regret listening to the album. Despite this the album is ultimately dull and contained, a mere shadow of the once great Caravan. By saying that I don't imply that the album isn't nice enough, nor that Caravan (as a band) haven't aged well... Compared to many classic prog bands they've aged extraordinarily well. The issue that I have with this album (and for that matter all Caravan albums since 'For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night') is that it's safe, it's catering to a fan base and producing material that, like it or not, we've all heard before.

This isn't entirely a bad thing, and when done well can produce an album with a great deal of merit but the question is, is it done well on this album and the answer to that question is sometimes. At the album's height it can sound interesting, a softer 80s Rush to my ears... At its low points however it feels like I'm listening to a Bon Jovi album in which they forgot to write pop songs. At many points the album sounds inane and predictable such as with the opening track Smoking Gun, the title track and Tell Me Why.

There are some minor peak moments in this album the interesting and evolving It's Getting a Whole Lot Better is to me the highest point on the album, giving a fresh and expansive feel to the overall sound. Moments like this are, for me, few and far between however however and don't grant the album a strong recommendation to say the least. To collectors of Caravan (or fans of Bon Jovi) I can recommend this, it is a pleasant listen most of the time... To fans of prog or anyone looking for an album that hasn't completely sold itself into the well-written but dull soft rock category stay clear there is very little that one can take away from this album.

1.5 rounded down to 1 star because I'm not quite sure how people think this is a 4-star album... Maybe I'm missing something.

Personal rating would probably be 3 stars as it is a nice enough album.

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 Paradise Filter by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.99 | 50 ratings

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Paradise Filter
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

2 stars There are some rare bands underway which still can hold up the spirit they were able to offer when starting the fire long ago. Unfortunately though, at least when it comes to this studio album, the current CARAVAN incarnation can't be counted amongst them. Okay, they are free to record what they like to play, no question. But this definitely is not what I was waiting for. When comparing with their earlier productions, 'Paradise Filter' appears far away from what I would call progressive rock music. Ten songs are given, blues and folk pop rock tinged, I can't hear any canterbury context anymore.

Simple straightforward compositions, not remotely close to suites like 'Nine Feet Underground' and 'For Richard' for instance. I'm missing any surprises, twists and turns, or improv parts featuring this typical intriguing guitar, keyboard and violin interaction from the earlier days. Only on Trust Me I'm A Doctor and the title track there is a slight reminiscence to the successful times to recognize. Although Pye Hastings' charming voice nearly has gone on some tunes you can hear that the musicianship is already there basically. But when it comes to the compositions they are playing it utterly safe here. Hence - with deep respect for the musicians and their legacy - this songs won't light my fire, sorry.

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