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CARAVAN

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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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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Buy CARAVAN Music


CaravanCaravan
Import · Remastered
DECCA 2015
Audio CD$3.75
$5.79 (used)
Plump In The Night - CaravanPlump In The Night - Caravan
Import · Remastered
DECCA 2015
Audio CD$5.30
$8.75 (used)
If I Could Do It All Over Again  - CaravanIf I Could Do It All Over Again - Caravan
Import · Remastered
DECCA 2015
Audio CD$5.30
$8.76 (used)
Land of Grey & PinkLand of Grey & Pink
Import
Universal I.S. 1989
Audio CD$6.66
$4.50 (used)
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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)

3.68 | 468 ratings
Caravan
1968
4.25 | 911 ratings
If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
1970
4.28 | 1545 ratings
In The Land Of Grey And Pink
1971
3.75 | 493 ratings
Waterloo Lily
1972
4.16 | 657 ratings
For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night
1973
3.11 | 302 ratings
Cunning Stunts
1975
3.24 | 210 ratings
Blind Dog At St. Dunstans
1976
2.85 | 133 ratings
Better By Far
1977
2.11 | 109 ratings
The Album
1980
2.41 | 104 ratings
Back To Front
1982
2.78 | 107 ratings
The Battle Of Hastings
1995
3.28 | 110 ratings
The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
2003
2.99 | 79 ratings
Paradise Filter
2013
3.08 | 12 ratings
The Back Catalogue Songs
2014

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

3.86 | 167 ratings
Caravan & The New Symphonia
1974
3.58 | 21 ratings
The Best of Caravan "Live"
1980
3.23 | 13 ratings
Show of Our Lives
1981
3.37 | 39 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert
1991
2.81 | 17 ratings
Live 1990
1993
3.72 | 13 ratings
Live: Canterbury Comes to London
1997
3.50 | 10 ratings
Back Of The Tracks (Live On The Continent)
1998
3.58 | 15 ratings
Ether Way: BBC Sessions 1975-77
1998
2.65 | 13 ratings
Surprise Supplies (AKA "Here I am")
1999
3.16 | 13 ratings
Green Bottles For Marjorie
2002
4.47 | 103 ratings
Live At Fairfield Halls - 1974
2002
3.88 | 15 ratings
Live UK Tour 1975
2003
3.38 | 8 ratings
Nowhere to Hide
2003
3.16 | 13 ratings
Live in Nottingham
2003
3.00 | 4 ratings
With Strings Attached
2003
4.04 | 43 ratings
The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975
2007
2.33 | 15 ratings
A Hunting We Shall Go: Live In 1974
2008
2.72 | 7 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
2.41 | 10 ratings
A Knight In London
2003
3.85 | 15 ratings
A Night's Tale: Live In The USA
2004
4.00 | 11 ratings
Caravan - The 35th Anniversary Concert
2005
2.93 | 7 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
3.18 | 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
4.95 | 25 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)

3.08 | 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
3.22 | 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
2.00 | 1 ratings
Heartbreaker
1980
2.00 | 1 ratings
Keepin' Up De Fences
1980

CARAVAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Caravan by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.68 | 468 ratings

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Caravan
Caravan Canterbury Scene

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

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 | 167 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.

 Waterloo Lily by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.75 | 493 ratings

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Waterloo Lily
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Mixed, a bit Noodle-y, but a Keeper

Perhaps not realizing just what an amazing album "In the Land of the Grey and Pink" was at the time, organist and key composer David Sinclair left the band, forcing Caravan into crisis mode for the first time (but not the last - as it turns out, Sinclair would return for the follow-up while his cousin Richard would leave). (Aside: this seemed to have been a thing in the UK at the time - once you make an excellent album it must be time to leave the band! (aka Bruford post Close to the Edge, etc)). Anyway, Caravan were able to get Steve Miller to join, adding a more jazzy and fusion-y feel to the band with his preference for the electric piano. This album feels like it was put together fairly quickly, perhaps under pressure from their record company, and there are sections that are merely jams stitched together to make them sound like planned suites (but which, of course, just sound like bits stitched together: i.e. the "Nothing at All-Its Coming Soon-Nothing at All" suite). But nonetheless, this is still one of the better Caravan albums. The title track ("Waterloo Lily") is the definite highlight, and one of the top-three Caravan songs in my opinion, with a really strong catchy melody, great singing and lyrics from Richard Sinclair, and tons of potential for improvisation (and Robert Wyatt seemed to think so too - he had Matching Mole play an instrumental version on their live gigs - a version can be heard on the "Matching Mole March" live album on Cuneiform). The other highlight is the "Love in Your Eye" suite, which despite some cheesyness contains enough musicality for repeated listening over the years. The rest of the tracks seem like filler, but much of it is fairly decent and inoffensive, even the noodly jams. On balance, I give this album 7.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

 Caravan by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.68 | 468 ratings

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Caravan
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Where but for Caravan...

This album is, to my mind, very similar in many ways to the first Genesis album. Like that album, it is rooted in a 1960s lower-fi sound, with shorter arrangements and a more poppy orientation. Also, like that album, it is clear both that the main songwriters are hugely talented, but also that they have not yet lived up to their promise. And same for the singing (Pye Hastings sounds pretty well the same on this one, but Richard Sinclair's signature sound is few and far between). But there are some key hints at what would come. The highlight of this album, and the only track that might compare with those on their follow-up second album ('If I could do it all over again...'), is the nine-minute multi-part closing tune "Where But for Caravan Would I?". This is a real showstopper, and makes the listener wish the rest of the album had been so adventurous and musical. The other tunes hold back though. The best of the rest are probably the first four (particularly "A Place of My Own" and "Love Song with Flute"). Of course, this album has important historical gravitas, being one of the first (along with the first Soft Machine album) to lay out what would become known as the Canterbury sound, and indeed, the traits are already established here (higher-pitch singing, jazzy arrangements in syncopated 6/8 time, fuzzy organ solos), albeit in much more muted ways that evidenced on the first Soft Machine album. But generally this is not the Caravan album one will be putting on all the time. The last track merely makes one want to reach for the follow-ups. I given this album 6.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

 In The Land Of Grey And Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.28 | 1545 ratings

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In The Land Of Grey And Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Luqueasaur

5 stars The land where the warm prog grows: 9/10

Inserted within the context of the Canterbury Scene, IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK is marked by the fusion of experimental and jazz elements. CARAVAN might not be nearly as experimental as their peers, but they equally important. Their warmness acts as an accessible entry point and even as a quintessential (although diluted) emblem of the genre, as IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK succinctly demonstrates both of Canterbury Scene's main characteristics: the genre's jazziness, visible in the first side; and an experimental, keyboard-driven approach, represented by the 22-minutes-long track on the second side. Both of them are offered with CARAVAN's distinctively soft and charming music, soaked with rather pastoral psychedelia. Tracks like Gulf Girl, Winter Wine, Love to Love You, In the Land of Grey and Pink feels like trekking through warm, grassy valleys; Nine Feet Underground is a laudable experiment without at any moment losing momentum or enjoyability, even if it isn't nearly as bold or iconoclastic as, say, THE POLITE FORCE or THIRD.

CARAVAN's effort, while not Canterbury Scene's most exploratory effort, is still one of its finest.

 Back To Front by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.41 | 104 ratings

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Back To Front
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Borik

4 stars I read a lot of negative reviews on this recording, but I dare to disagree with them.

No, this isn't the big prog reunion some Caravan fans might have hoped for. But... yes, this is the classic line-up and yes, they sound like classic Caravan! I admit this album is very poppy, but I can remember the highly acclaimed 'For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night' is very poppy as well.

Personally I prefer this album above the stylish-similar 'Blind Dog' from '77, although this material sounds a bit more fresh and transparant.

For the famous David Sinclair keyboard solo you must wait until the epic last song, which is wonderful, but on 'Videos of Hollywood' he plays a very nice synth solo as well. Another pleasant component of the album is the wonderful sound of Richard Sinclair's bass, which is very clear present in all the songs. On top of the cake we hear a few very nice sax solos from the one and only Mel Collins.

To everyone that likes the classic 70's Caravan and both 'Blind Dog' and won't set epic prog expectations too high, this is a very enjoyable album, worth quite a few spins. It's Caravan in what they do best: writing catchy poppy songs with a blend of colourful instrumentation.

 For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.16 | 657 ratings

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For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by ster

5 stars After Caravan produced "Waterloo Lily" the dissension among the members proved to be too much. Pye Hastings and Richard Sinclair were obviously on two different paths. Richard Sinclair and Steve Miller would leave and be replaced by John G. Perry on bass/vocals and Geoff Richardson would provide electric violin. Also Dave Sinclair would come back as the keyboardist. This time though it would be Hastings who would be the main driving force with John G. Perry providing excellent vocal harmonies and Geoff Richardson providing a lot of the instrumentation with his violin rather that Dave Sinclair's keyboards. What we get is a very different sounding Caravan record. But it turns out to be an amazing record. From the beginning to the end. Very upbeat. The Canterbury sound only comes through rarely. The album rocks more often too and has more af an American sound without losing progressive ingenuity. A fun album through and through. One of those records that just never lets up being great, track after track. Even though this record is uncharacteristic of earlier Caravan albums, they broke new ground and came up aces.
 Waterloo Lily by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.75 | 493 ratings

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Waterloo Lily
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by ster

4 stars Different but still excellent.

Caravan did a great job cultivating such a great sound from their debut to their third album, In The Land Of Gray And Pink. This was due to a stable lineup and great contributions from all members. After ITLOGAP failed to become the commercial success they had hoped, keyboardist David Sinclair left and was replaced by Steve Miller. Newcomer Steve Miller brought a more jazzy influence that was contrary to guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Pye Hastings style. The sound of the band changed since Miller sounded nothing like David Sinclair and bassist/vocalist/songwriter Richard Sinclair was very accepting of the new direction. Now the band were at odds and the album has an obvious contrast of styles. Waterloo Lily is a bit of a let-down because it sounds different from its predecessors but is still a great record in its own right.

Waterloo Lily is a rock tune with some jazzy chops. Hilarious lyrics and great playing. An excellent song and a Canterbury classic.

Nothing At All /It's Coming Soon / Nothing At All is an instrumental that starts off with a jam that maybe overstays its welcome by a few bars, very monotonous. Mid-tempoed with plenty of improvised soloing along a related riff, but the "It's Coming Soon" section makes up for it with its great melodies, variations and dynamics.

Songs And Signs is a shorter piece penned by newcomer Steve Miller. Very melodic with great vocals. Great tune.

Aristocracy is a Pye Hastings song that doesn't disappoint. A leftover from the Gray and Pink sessions. A fun poppish song although the version on the deluxe version of ITLOGAP is better IMO.

The Love In Your Eye / To Catch Me A Brother / Subsultus / Debouchement / Tilbury Kecks is the epic on the album and one of Caravan's great moments. Great melodies with a backdrop of brass and Jimmy Hastings excellent flute playing. The tune then morphs into a jam not too different than the second track but little better and maybe a little too long. Still an excellent track with lots of variation.

The World Is Yours is an acoustic Hastings penned tune that's nice but kind of weird that they chose this to end the album.

 In The Land Of Grey And Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.28 | 1545 ratings

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In The Land Of Grey And Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by marcobrusa

5 stars This one caught me by surprise. I had never listend to an entire canterbury album before. I decided to start with this one because of the very high rating, with no expectations. I fell in love on the first listen. Absolute masterpiece. No filler. No virtuosism. Every song is perfect. I listen to this album at least once a week at this very moment. Winter Wine has some of the best lyrics i've heard in my life (at this point, and if the singer is clear, i understand english whithout reading the lyrics). It's one of those albums that will stay forever in the top of my personal list. Nothing more to say. Masterpiece.
 In The Land Of Grey And Pink by CARAVAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.28 | 1545 ratings

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In The Land Of Grey And Pink
Caravan Canterbury Scene

Review by Rodrigo Andrade7

5 stars This is my introduction to CARAVAN and aswell to the canterbury scene. I am astounded with the music produced on this album from the beginning to the very end, this is solid 5 stars for me in just one single listen. All the tracks on this album are solid and mark a very unique sounding and highly intelligent music like I never had listen before. You can clearly hear jazz and psychadelic elements all over the place, making it such a good combo in a album. The epic "Nine Feet Underground" is literally a ocean of music, 22 minutes of amazing musicianship, this band has amazing vocals and very clever song writting. The only bad thing about this album is that I cannot find any flaw or bad thing about it. Hehe seriously, this is a masterpiece of a album which remains as one of the most quintessential albums of the canterbury scene and to this day, it is between my favorite albums of all time without any doubt.
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