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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...
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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 | 425 ratings
Caravan
1968
4.24 | 817 ratings
If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
1970
4.27 | 1403 ratings
In The Land Of Grey And Pink
1971
3.74 | 452 ratings
Waterloo Lily
1972
4.15 | 599 ratings
For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night
1973
3.10 | 276 ratings
Cunning Stunts
1975
3.25 | 193 ratings
Blind Dog At St. Dunstans
1976
2.86 | 119 ratings
Better By Far
1977
2.11 | 102 ratings
The Album
1980
2.34 | 95 ratings
Back To Front
1982
2.79 | 101 ratings
The Battle Of Hastings
1995
3.29 | 101 ratings
The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
2003
3.00 | 70 ratings
Paradise Filter
2013
3.14 | 7 ratings
The Back Catalogue Songs
2014

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

3.86 | 150 ratings
Caravan & The New Symphonia
1974
3.59 | 20 ratings
The Best of Caravan "Live"
1980
3.17 | 12 ratings
Show of Our Lives
1981
3.36 | 36 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert
1991
2.80 | 16 ratings
Live 1990
1993
3.71 | 12 ratings
Live: Canterbury Comes to London
1997
3.50 | 8 ratings
Back Of The Tracks (Live On The Continent)
1998
3.57 | 12 ratings
Ether Way: BBC Sessions 1975-77
1998
2.68 | 12 ratings
Surprise Supplies (AKA "Here I am")
1999
3.14 | 12 ratings
Green Bottles For Marjorie
2002
4.46 | 95 ratings
Live At Fairfield Halls - 1974
2002
3.81 | 12 ratings
Live UK Tour 1975
2003
3.17 | 6 ratings
Nowhere to Hide
2003
3.07 | 11 ratings
Live in Nottingham
2003
1.00 | 1 ratings
With Strings Attached
2003
4.02 | 33 ratings
The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975
2007
2.20 | 12 ratings
A Hunting We Shall Go: Live In 1974
2008
2.58 | 6 ratings
The European Tour 2011: Live At Shepherds Bush Empire
2012

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

3.37 | 19 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
2.43 | 11 ratings
A Knight In London
2003
3.85 | 15 ratings
A Night's Tale: Live In The USA
2004
4.00 | 12 ratings
Caravan - The 35th Anniversary Concert
2005
2.93 | 7 ratings
The Anthology/The Ultimate Anthology
2007
1.00 | 1 ratings
Classic Rock Legends: Caravan Live At Metropolis Studios
2011
2.50 | 2 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
0.00 | 0 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 | 30 ratings
Canterbury Tales: The Best Of Caravan 1968-1975
1994
2.30 | 19 ratings
Cool Water
1994
3.22 | 17 ratings
All Over You
1997
3.00 | 2 ratings
Travelling Man
1998
3.24 | 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
3.19 | 12 ratings
Where But For Caravan Would I?
2000
2.20 | 7 ratings
Travelling Ways
2002
4.97 | 22 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)

3.13 | 5 ratings
Place of My Own
1969
3.83 | 6 ratings
Hello, Hello
1970
3.00 | 2 ratings
If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You
1970
3.19 | 7 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
2.00 | 1 ratings
Heartbreaker
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
Keepin' Up De Fences
1980

CARAVAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In The Land Of Grey And Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.27 | 1403 ratings

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In The Land Of Grey And Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Given the high ratings for this album by hundreds of other reviewers, it's easy to say that this isn't a very hard album to love. But what makes it so universally enjoyable?

The answer certainly doesn't lie in the musicians' virtuosic pyrotechnics; most of the album's licks are just simple major harmonies with pentatonic soloing and there's nothing flamboyant about their performances. Instead, what we have is an album that plays off of its charm. From a glance at the cover, you know that by listening to "In The Land of Grey and Pink", you'll be spending the next 40 or so minutes in a psychedelic dreamland, where wit and whimsy reign supreme. In this world, the music acts as a sort of blanket, keeping you warm and cozy in the rain. And the fabric that weaves its way into your heart? The warm, fuzzy organ sounds from David Sinclair and the mellow, nonchalant vocals singing of far away fairy tale lands and carefree excursions into fantasy.

In short, this is an album that prog fans should have no trouble getting into, and is somewhat of a fan favourite, but I wouldn't consider it a masterpiece, given the often repetitive musical accompaniments. 4 stars.

 Caravan by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.67 | 425 ratings

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Caravan
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by ALotOfBottle

4 stars The roots of Caravan can be traced back to a Canterbury-based group The Wilde Flowers, which played art rock with strong influences of hard-bop. Most of future Caravan members had been in the band at one point or another. The drummer Richard Coughlan, bassist Richard Sinclair, and keyboardist David Sinclair (Richard Sinclair's cousin) founded a new band in 1968 and called it Caravan. The band's initial plan was to follow footsteps of Soft Machine. It is said that the four often sought suggestions from the more established Soft Machine and borrowed their gear, while they were busy touring United States with Jimi Hendrix. In October of the same year, they were signed to Verve records to record their self-titled debut album, released in January of 1969.

The style of Caravan's debut owes a great deal to psychedelic rock. The genre may have lost most of its freshness and piquancy by then, but its influence was very much present. Elements of jazz are expressed in rhythmical feel on most of the tracks, as well as modality. However, the album is really song-oriented. Phenomenal songwriting is what really sets this apart from the more improvisation-based Soft Machine debut. The pieces are emotion-filled and give the impression of being written with great care. Rarely does this album approach fast, lively or loud territories. The moods are rather soft and mellow, but kept in a psychedelic fashion, a little stoned and "cooked". Lyrically, the album explores some peaceful hippie themes, which correspond well with the smooth sound of the band.

The song-oriented approach that Caravan has partly chosen becomes clear since the very first note coming from Pye Hastings' 12-string electric guitar. Although he rarely finds himself playing "epic" guitar solos, he sounds to be incredibly proficient in a role of a rhythm guitarist, laying down simple patterns. Hastings takes the lead vocals on the first half of the album. His voice is very gentle and delicate. It pairs incredibly well with Richard Sinclair's vocals, who sings primarily on the other half of the album. His now legendary vocals are a bit goofy and wacky, but play a prominent role in Caravan's sound. Sinclair also handles bass guitar parts, quite competently I might add! His cousin, Dave Sinclair is the group's keyboardist. His Hammond organ provides a lush, dreamy sound, perfectly suited for the band's sound. His style owes a great deal to American soul music as well as Anglican music traditions. The great late Richard Coughlan is a fantastic drummer, finding himself comfortable in odd time signatures as well as use of multiple percussion instruments. A flautist Jimmy Hasting guests on one of the tracks.

The album consists of eight tracks. These have a good diversity between them, but are kept in a rather similar feel. This creates an impression of a logical, consistent whole. One track such as "Ride" can have a little bit of an Indian influence, reminiscent of psychedelia, while the next piece, "Policeman", has more of a pop ballad-oriented sound to it, but in a very good taste. The album opener, "Place Of My Own", one of Caravan's classics takes a simple theme and enriches it with sparkling jazz bits. "Magic Man" is another favorite from the band with Dave Sinclair's characteristic organ play. "Love Song With A Flute" is probably the jazziest of the tracks with a strong hard-bop influence. It also is the only track to feature a flautist, Jimmy Hastings.

While numerous debuts of many of our favorite progressive rock bands might lack consistency, self-assurance or just plain skill, Caravan's self-titled debut is definitely the opposite. With a post-hippie escapist vision, this is a wonderful experience. Obviously, it is not flawless, but let's not forget that this is one of the albums pioneering the Canterbury sound. All in all, a very solid effort. Recommended!

 In The Land Of Grey And Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.27 | 1403 ratings

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In The Land Of Grey And Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by DocMagnus

5 stars At first, I had a hard time getting into this album. "Golf Girl" and "Love to Love You" were too light and whimsical for my tastes, and the other tracks lacked something in the way of drawing my attention. After spending some time away from the album (and exploring some of the other popular Canterbury titles), I returned to find that my opinion had completely changed. Now, the album has creeped its way up my list and become one of my favorite albums of all time.

The highlight of the album is, of course, the 22-minute epic "Nine Feet Underground". It's hard to call this anything but a masterpiece. For anyone faulting it for lacking in complexity, let me just say that it doesn't matter how many notes a band plays, all they have to do is play the right ones - and boy, does this band deliver. Richard Sinclair is absolutely top notch throughout the entire song; there isn't a moment that goes by where I'm not completely captivated by his bass, and his pairing with the extremely talented Richard Coughlan makes for a rhythm section that impresses from minute one. David Sinclair's keyboards dominate the song, but the solos never enter the realm of pointless noodling. The epic is divided into eight sections, , each distinct enough that the song never loses its momentum by staying in one place for too long.

The rest of the songs on the album are mostly great. Winter Wine and the title track are particularly impressive mid-length tracks, each with beautiful lyrics and typically impressive instrumentation.

The only track that leaves me somewhat less impressed is "Love to Love You", which is too light and poppy for me and doesn't have much in the way of instrumentation that turns my head. Those looking for an improved version of this song should be happier with the version of the track on the "The World Is Yours" box set (it may be found elsewhere as well, that's just where I got it) titled "Love To Love You (BBC Session - Sounds Of The Seventies 11/03/71)". The bass has more muscle and gives the song enough oomph to satisfy my need to bob my head.

That one slight miss can't knock this down from a 5-star album. It's not just a masterpiece of the Canterbury Scene, but one of the best Progressive Rock albums period - just give it a while to grow on you if you aren't impressed immediately.

 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.24 | 817 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 ALotOfBottle

5 stars I personally find myself liking this work of Caravan a lot more than "In The Land Of Grey And Pink". It is to me a much more consistent and interesting record, making better use of incredible talents of Caravan's musicians. Although still lacking in places (I generally feel like the band didn't use their virtuosic abilities to their advantage), this album is very good. Great bass lines, odd time signatures, strong jazz influences, psychedelic work-outs, lush organ - all of the ingredients are there. The first album that really had that real taste of Caravan. The band was definitely in its creative peak. The overall feel of "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" leaves the impression of a smooth and fresh work from a highly accomplished band that is not afraid to experiment. Highly recommended, an essential Canterbury scene album!
 In The Land Of Grey And Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.27 | 1403 ratings

BUY
In The Land Of Grey And Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by ALotOfBottle

3 stars As much as I do like the overall sound, mood and feel of the Canterbury scene, I just don't like this album very much. To me, it lacks the true creativity and virtuosity that I like to see in prog rock. And it's a shame, because I know that Caravan can do better. Take their previous album, "If I Could Do It Over Again, I'd Do It Over You" - this is in my opinion a much more interesting and worthwhile work. Or even the longest track on this album - "Nine Feet Underground". This features some great moments. The overall vibe of this track could take up the whole album - I would be grateful. Instead, Caravan went with (in my opinion) pointless songs like "Golf Girl". It's not a bad song, don't get me wrong, but I think it is very inadequate and is not the best presentation of what the band were capable of doing. Sad, but with this thought I send you to their previous album, which is superior to this one. 3 stars!
 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.24 | 817 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 AngusH

5 stars Of all the bands I've found out about solely through the crazy world of progressive rock, Caravan would rank near the top. They were probably the most melodic of all the bands lumped in the Canterbury genre, and very accessible here, leaning more towards a 1960s rock sound than the jazzier influences of most Canterbury bands.

I don't think there's a weak moment on this album. 'As I Feel I Die', and 'And I Wish I Was Stoned / Don't Worry', and 'With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It' are classics of the genre - the later in particular being a favorite of mine, and the epic 'Can't Be Long Now' is one of my favorite 10+ minute long progressive rock songs. The sax on this track still gives me chills after all these years. Hell, even the tracks that barely clock in at a minute long - the quirky 'Asforteri' and bossa nova-influenced 'Limits' - seem essential on an album of this quality rather than throwaways or filler. I like everything Caravan released from the self-titled debut up to and including Cunning Stunts (parts of, anyway), but to me this represents their best single release, slightly ahead of In the Land of Grey and Pink.

 Paradise Filter by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.00 | 70 ratings

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Paradise Filter
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by poito

1 stars Short and easy. Being this one of my all-time favorite bands I had to listen to each piece of music they release. Unfortunately, once more, I wouldn't find what I was looking for (a miracle, may be?). There is nothing left of early 70's canterburians. Hastings is long gone shopping garden tools. This is a bunch of easy-listening cuts with far-from-inspired, far-from-prog and far-from-Caravan bits of conventional arrangements. Hastings singing takes it all, wooof, didn't he ever realized that we always stood his oversweetened voice in the good times because he used it very little?. This is a good example of how revolutionizing teenagers grow old to copy their hated parents taste. I do not buy they always were half-pop. Like it or not, Canterbury is a cornerstone for all-time great symphonic prog. In my view, some bands should not be allowed to (ab)use their name once their music is gone. For the shake of nostalgia I would spare a couple of cuts, "This is what we are", and the opening "All this could be yours".
 Canterbury Tales: The Best Of Caravan 1968-1975 by CARAVAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
3.74 | 30 ratings

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Canterbury Tales: The Best Of Caravan 1968-1975
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Awaken 6am

4 stars This is mi first review for PA and while English is not my mother language i will try to give my best to make others belive it is !. For us argentinians and proggers of other countries in which bands like Caravan are almost unknown, therefore unreleased and not available at the very few prog stores available, this compilation is a must in our collections. It covers deeply the best and finest music this band produced, (as it usually happens, the first -golden era- years). One can agree on the song selection, with a huge thank you-very-much- for keeping albums in order of appearence, and for no "Edit" pieces no matter how long they are. The Disputable Dpt. includes the inexcusable absence of "Winter Wine", if no room on this 152 min collection , then the live version of "...For Richard" may have been left out. A true 4 stars must-have.
 Waterloo Lily by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.74 | 452 ratings

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Waterloo Lily
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

3 stars Having come to know Caravan (and, indeed, the entire Canterbury Scene of music) only in the last ten years, I am still struggling to catch up with all of the albums I have yet to hear--including this one. I've listened to snippets over the years but I've only just indulged in ownership of this collection of diverse songs--some of which sound like they came out of vaults ("Aristocracy"), some as if hardship efforts to make hits ("World Is Yours"), some as if the studio's record button was left on all day and then the better parts were spliced together ("Nothing At All/It's Coming Soon," "Songs and Signs"). The only songs that, to my ear, sound as if they are worthy of the Caravan hall of fame are the two that sound as if some real thought and sweat went into them. "The Love in Your Eye/To Catch Me a Brother/etc." is, as most of my fellow reviewers have noted, worthy of "masterpiece" status if not quite on a par with "Nine Feet Underground" and "For Richard..." and the album's title song actually has some real thoughtful, well- rehearsed, well-played and well-recorded music throughout. It is a song that has really grown on my and to which I look forward. Overall, however, Waterloo Lilly falls short of the expectations I've come to associate with Caravan-- especially after getting to know For Girls Who Plump in the Night and If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (which did take more time than In the Land of Grey and Pink).

3.5 stars rated down for inconsistency and a seeming lack of freshness/inspiration.

 Caravan by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.67 | 425 ratings

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Caravan
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Born out of the implosion of the Wilde Flowers which was pretty much the big bang of everything Canterbury Scene, CARAVAN took the opposite approach of their other band mates who became The Soft Machine and steered their approach more into the realms of the psychedelic pop rock world of the 60s rather than retreating into the free-for-all jazz fusion world. The band was started by Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals), Richards Coughlan (drums), Richard Sinclair (bass) and David Sinclair (keyboards). The two bands stayed amicable after the split. The Soft Machine was gracious enough to lend the band all the necessary equipment to record this album while on tour with Jimi Hendrix and the result was this eponymous debut album which was released in 1968 and really sounds like it belongs to that era.

While not reaching any particular progressive heights like they would venture into on their second album, album number one is an interesting mix of Barrett era Floydian psychedelic pop songwriting sensibilities glossed over with Procol Harum sounding keyboards and nice jazzy psychedelic jazz guitar leanings. The songs are all well crafted and this has become one of my favorite albums of the era. It blows away other strictly blues rock bands of the era like Jefferson Airplane by adding mild progressive touches such as slightly off time sigs, nice wah- wah guitar action and contemplative vocals. There is also a slight The Doors feel in some of the jamming methodology without sounding like them. This album has a slightly spacey psychedelic feel, a touch folky with the Tullish flute and a heavy psych feel in the drum department which is pretty technical for the era.

I have always considered CARAVAN to be one of the least Canterbury sounding of all the bands that are categorized under that banner but they are clearly in that camp with their humor albeit more subtle than say Hatfield And The North or Quiet Sun. There is an overall feel that connects the dots. I am rotating on an opposite spin than most CARAVAN fans in finding that their magnum opus "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" is overrated while finding this debut to be woefully underrated. I actually choose to listen to this over that one any day of the week. There is a sophistication of the sound heard here that is above and beyond the contemporaries of the day with possibly only the exception of the other half to the Wilde Flowers, The Soft Machine. Personally i find this to be a great melodic moment of the late 60s that shows a band carving out its distinct path in the progressive rock world that was in its infancy.

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