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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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In the Land of Grey & PinkIn the Land of Grey & Pink
Import
Universal UK 2011
Audio CD$17.25
$20.90 (used)
For Girls Who Grow Plump in NightFor Girls Who Grow Plump in Night
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2005
Audio CD$5.25
$7.49 (used)
CaravanCaravan
Import · Remastered
Universal I.S. 2002
Audio CD$5.06
$4.67 (used)
In the Land of Grey & PinkIn the Land of Grey & Pink
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2005
Audio CD$5.25
$4.32 (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$6.47
$9.00 (used)
Canterbury Tales: Best of 1968-1975Canterbury Tales: Best of 1968-1975
Polygram Records 1994
Audio CD$58.00
$11.99 (used)
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More places to buy CARAVAN music online Buy CARAVAN & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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CARAVAN shows & tickets


  • Caravan on 26 Apr 2014 - CANCELLED
  • ARABAKI ROCK FEST.14 on 26 Apr 2014
  • ROSfest on 2 May 2014
  • GREENROOM FESTIVAL '14 on 24 May 2014
  • Caravan on 7 Nov 2014
  • Caravan on 7 Nov 2014
  • Caravan at Boerderij, Zoetermeer on 8 Nov 2014

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 | 345 ratings
Caravan
1968
4.24 | 613 ratings
If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
1970
4.27 | 1088 ratings
In The Land Of Grey And Pink
1971
3.77 | 350 ratings
Waterloo Lily
1972
4.16 | 472 ratings
For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night
1973
3.04 | 224 ratings
Cunning Stunts
1975
3.25 | 163 ratings
Blind Dog At St. Dunstans
1976
2.87 | 95 ratings
Better by Far
1977
2.10 | 81 ratings
The Album
1980
2.34 | 76 ratings
Back to Front
1982
2.79 | 82 ratings
The Battle Of Hastings
1995
3.24 | 76 ratings
The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
2003
2.83 | 31 ratings
Paradise Filter
2013

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

3.86 | 122 ratings
Caravan & The New Symphonia
1974
3.62 | 15 ratings
The Best of Caravan "Live"
1980
3.20 | 7 ratings
Show of Our Lives
1981
3.35 | 28 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert
1991
2.80 | 15 ratings
Live 1990
1993
3.80 | 11 ratings
Live: Canterbury Comes to London
1997
3.75 | 4 ratings
Back Of The Tracks (Live On The Continent)
1998
3.61 | 10 ratings
Ether Way: BBC Sessions 1975-77
1998
2.71 | 10 ratings
Surprise Supplies (AKA "Here I am")
1999
3.07 | 9 ratings
Green Bottles For Marjorie
2002
4.47 | 77 ratings
Live At Fairfield Halls - 1974
2002
3.89 | 10 ratings
Live UK Tour 1975
2003
3.60 | 5 ratings
Nowhere to Hide
2003
3.14 | 9 ratings
Live in Nottingham
2003
4.00 | 25 ratings
The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975
2007
2.21 | 10 ratings
A Hunting We Shall Go: Live In 1974
2008
3.00 | 4 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
4.30 | 10 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)

4.17 | 17 ratings
Canterbury Tales - The Best of Caravan
1976
2.07 | 4 ratings
The Canterbury Collection
1984
4.03 | 5 ratings
The Best Of Caravan
1993
3.72 | 26 ratings
Canterbury Tales: The Best Of Caravan 1968-1975
1994
2.29 | 18 ratings
Cool Water
1994
3.19 | 14 ratings
All Over You
1997
3.00 | 2 ratings
Travelling Man
1998
3.23 | 16 ratings
Songs For Oblivion Fishermen
1998
3.34 | 13 ratings
All Over You ... Too
1999
3.05 | 3 ratings
Headloss
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
The HTD Years
2000
3.16 | 11 ratings
Where But For Caravan Would I?
2000
2.16 | 6 ratings
Travelling Ways
2002
4.91 | 18 ratings
The World Is Yours - The Anthology 1968-1976
2010

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
3.33 | 3 ratings
Love to Love You
1971
2.92 | 3 ratings
Stuck in a Hole
1975
2.00 | 3 ratings
Better By Far
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Heartbreaker
1980

CARAVAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Caravan by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.67 | 345 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
3.24 | 76 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
2.83 | 31 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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 Paradise Filter by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.83 | 31 ratings

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Paradise Filter
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars This is what we are

A full ten years after their previous studio album, Caravan returned in 2013 with a new album. While not up to the high standards of the previous The Unauthorised Breakfast Item, Paradise Filter is a good album that is superior to the albums the group released during the 90's, 80's, and second half of the 70's (post-Cunning Stunts).

The line-up consists of Pye Hastings, Jan Schelhaas, Geoffrey Richardson, Jim Leverton, Doug Boyle, and Mark Walker. The distinctive Caravan sound remains intact and the band's trademarks are here. The sound is a bit more laid-back compared to The Unauthorised Breakfast Item, but not as "naked" and tame as The Battle Of Hastings. Though, the Folk influences from The Battle Of Hastings are again evident here.

The melodies are less strong than on the previous album and there are no standout tracks like the excellent Nowhere To Hide from that last album. Still, Paradise Filter is a pleasant listen from beginning to end and there are no embarrassments. Any Prog fan is bound to notice that almost all of the tracks here are around four and half minutes long, and the longest track is just over six minutes in length. Hence, no epic track like Nine Feet Underground or Dabsong Conshirto. The slightly longer tracks at the end of the album and not much more progressive than the shorter ones, and the album as a whole is not overly progressive really. Paradise Filter is nonetheless a worthy entry in the Caravan catalogue.

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 The Unauthorised Breakfast Item by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.24 | 76 ratings

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The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Caravan's best album in 30 years!

Exactly three decades after their peak with For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night in 1973, Caravan finally managed to make an album that was up to the standards of their best works; finally a return to form. 2003's The Unauthorised Breakfast Item has everything that that the foregoing handful of albums from the 90's, 80's, and the late 70's lacked: inspiration, energy, strong material, the right sound and the right feel.

The line-up here consists of Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Jan Schelhaas, Doug Boyle, Geoffrey Richardson, and Jim Leverton, with Dave Sinclair and Jimmy Hastings appearing as guests. The album has all of the band's trademarks, yet at the same time it also has a strong Rock edge that is uncharacteristic of Caravan and that was completely missing from the previous, acoustically driven The Battle of Hastings. The opening track, for example, has an almost heavy Rock groove, but the chorus lines are still cheerful and catchy and the melodies are memorable this time around.

Another strong point about this album is that there is a good flow and a good balance between vocal and instrumental passages and between acoustic and electric instruments. There is a nice variety of tempos from upbeat to almost ambient, and the instrumental variety is here as well with tasteful uses of viola, banjo, flutes, and saxophone, among the "normal" (Prog) Rock setting of drums, bass, guitars, and keyboards. The influences include Jazz, Folk, Rock, and Pop music.

The whole album is very good, but the absolute highlight for me is the almost nine minute Nowhere To Hide which features excellent lead guitar and towards the end erupts in a synthesiser and violin dual that reminds me of Kansas! Some hardcore Caravan fans might perhaps complain that this track, as well as some of the other tracks here, don't sound enough like (classic) Caravan. But at the same time this album might appeal to people that normally are not overly keen on Caravan (like me, for example; I like the band, but am not a big fan). I actually enjoy this album more than almost any other Caravan album.

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 Back to Front  by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.34 | 76 ratings

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Back to Front
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Better. But not by far

Caravan soldiered on during the early 80's with Back To Front, another entry in a series of weak albums from the group that began with Blind Dog At St. Dunstans. Back To Front is better than the previous The Album, but it is not better by far. The material is still uninspired, but at least here they again sound like Caravan. I find it a pleasant enough listen, but it fails to make an impact or leave any lasting impressions. After this album there would be a longer silence from the band and not until 1995 would they release another studio album. I think it was clear that they had come to the end of the line here. And like for most other classic progressive Rock bands, the 80's were not kind to them.

The song Videos Of Hollywood was previously familiar to me from Caravan's entry in the Classic Rock Legends video series. It is a rather simple Pop number, but at least it has a memorable melody and a characteristic lead vocal.

Back To Front is another Caravan album for fans and collectors

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 The Album by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.10 | 81 ratings

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The Album
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars The Disco Album

Caravan entered the 80's with this Disco-infected Pop Rock album, simply titled The Album. The first two tracks are upbeat, simple Pop-Disco tunes that feel void of inspiration, but with Watcha Gonna Tell Me there is at least some first indication that they still had at least some progressive aspirations. Some nice flute and keyboard sounds there. Piano Player is a pleasant enough piano-driven semi-ballad not far away from the style of Supertramp. Electric Light Orchestra (of the late 70's) is another reference point for this album. It only occasionally sounds like a Caravan album.

Several more dull and uninspired tracks follow, and it is not until the Reggae of Clear Blue Sky that there is again anything even slightly interesting. But interesting does not equal good. The Album is another one of a long string of rather uninspired albums from Caravan.

Like the previous two albums, this one is recommended for fans and collectors

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 Blind Dog At St. Dunstans by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.25 | 163 ratings

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Blind Dog At St. Dunstans
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars All the way... down

The ridiculously titled Blind Dog at St. Dunstans begins well enough with Here I Am, the best tracks of the album, but it soon becomes apparent that the band had lost something essential that made their previous two albums so good. The band feels uninspired and somewhat unsure of where they wanted to go. It still manages to sound like Caravan, but it is Caravan by the numbers.

What we have here is dominated by slick Jazz grooves and generic Pop melodies. They still knew how to pull off some nice solos from time to time, but the material here is less than memorable. The opening track is followed by a series of lesser tracks, some of which are plainly dull and others of which are downright embarrassing. The boogie-woogie number Come On Back is among the latter. It is tediously repetitive. Only towards the end does the album regain some of the strength of the opening track, but even the better songs here fail in comparison with the previous two albums. It becomes painfully clear that, at this point in their career, Caravan was past their prime.

Blind Dog at St. Dunstans is one of Caravan's weaker albums. It was the first one of a long series of less than inspired albums from the group.

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 The Unauthorised Breakfast Item by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.24 | 76 ratings

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The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars The Unauthorized Breakfast Item from 2003 is Caravan's twelfth studio album. It was released eight years after their last record "The Battle of Hastings" which I thought was a good one. So, in 2003 the band made up by Pye Hastings(vocals, guitar), Richard Coughlan(drums), Jan Schelhaas(keyboards), Doug Boyle(lead guitar), Geoffrey Richardson(viola, banjo, ukulele, guitar) and Jim Leverton(bass, vocals). This is the last Caravan record with Coughlan on the drums. He has now past away a couple of months ago and did not contribute on Caravan's 2013 record. The cover picture of The Unauthorized Breakfast Item shows the band eating on a restaurant and looking at a woman holding a big fish in her arms. It is a quite special cover. The elapsing time of the record I have heard is sixty minutes and a lot of them are good.

My over all impression of the record is though negative. This sounds all too much as any band and not particularly Caravan. Some songs seems to have preserved the right feeling but most tracks do not interest me. The best song is "Revenge", a rocky tune, with great instrumentation and especially the guitar is played in the typical Caravan style(7/10). I also like "Smoking gun" (6/10) and "Head above the clouds"(6/10) which is poppy and nice. There are a lot of fine ingredients on many of the other tracks but I can't allow myself to be especially pleased of it. The music doesn't challenge me and some of the songs do I really find boring such as "It's getting a whole lot better"(4/10), "Straight through the heart"(4/10) and "Linders field"(3/10) which is just ambient. Sometimes you hear this is Caravan but it is a pale copy of its former appearence, which is sad to say. I hope I will find glimpses of glory on their newest record anyhow. Two stars!

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 Paradise Filter by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.83 | 31 ratings

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Paradise Filter
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by admireArt

3 stars Canterbury band, Rocks and Pops!!

Clean, catchy "Pop/Rock", close to today's mainstream "new" Prog? bands. - In this Caravan's "Paradise Filters" , it is more by association than musical language, but then again "Canterbury" is a quiet "loose" Prog sub-genre.

Three very "radio oriented" songs open up the "paradise filters". It quiet starts the same way it finishes, more or less. I have to admit, that even though there are far better Rock groups, doing this kind of music, all of this album's songs are sure "winners", in their way to install this "franchise" in today's young (maybe some oldies?) target Prog audiences.

What really works for this effort, IMO, is the unpretentiousness in general, but also the masterful songwriting. Really, the fact of writing a "best hits" album, without them existing previously, is quiet novel.

What does not make me that happy about the whole thing, is the not that original musical language. Maybe Prog audiophiles who only listen to "prog" by rule, may rave over this album, but on the other hand, if you are a more "universal" audiophile, a lot of these songs will remind you (pleasantly) of some BIG names outside the court of Prog. Otherwise flawless.

***3.5 "very good PA stars album". Young people may think otherwise, but this is not "Prog" as such, but then again, not all Canterbury bands were!

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