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Caravan - In the Land of Grey and Pink CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.31 | 2021 ratings

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Pawned Heart
5 stars CARAVAN's In The Land of Grey and Pink is probably my favorite Caravan - and Canterbury - album, and certainly one of the best. It was my introduction to Canterbury music, and after the first listen I eagerly pulled out the rest of my dad's old Caravan LPs.

This album is different than a lot of prog albums in that you can enjoy and appreciate it at first listen. All of the songs are fun and accessible, while still remaining distinctly progressive and jazzy.

The band makes great use of David Sinclair's good ol' Hammond and Richard Sinclair's dreamy, British vocals (he's one of the few singers who can actually sing well in an accent). To run down the tracks...

1. Golf Girl - a fun, silly song with nice horn, a funky, bassy melody, and some flute & piano kicking in at the end. In of itself it's nothing amazing, but is still essential to the overall feel of the album.

2. Winter Wine - this song is a real treat. It has a nice acoustic into, a lovely melody with a cool bass line, and one of my all time favorite Hammond solos!

3. Love to Love You - this is the only song not composed by the Sinclair cousins, and it shows. Pye Hastings wrote and sang this little vocal ditty which always makes me imagine Hastings frolicking in a meadow. Nothing great, but certainly not awful.

4. In the Land of Grey and Pink - the title track features the return of Richard's voice! Rejoice! A very nonsensical song (lyrically speaking), featuring a dreamy, laid-back piano & Hammond solo by David and a nice bit of guitar to cap off side A.

5. 9 Feet Underground - Caravan's *real* side-long epic. (For Richard is a paltry 14 minutes). If someone ever asks me what a Hammond organ is, I'll immediately point them to this track. This track is 22:43 of great music. It shifts effortlessly through many themes, avoiding the all too common error of bundling a bunch of similar short songs together and calling it an epic. It even ends with the catchy Sunshine of Your Love riff, which (somehow) doesn't sound cliché or cheesy!

This is truly a masterpiece of progressive music, if only for tracks 2 & 5, and to a lesser extent, 4. Every aspiring or current prog fan needs to listen to this album before reaching that stage of prog nirvana. Seriously, if you haven't give this one a spin in a while, do so! If you don't own it, buy it. Now!

If you liked this album, I'd recommend checking out both Hatfield and the North disks (Richard Sinclair on vocals/bass), Matching Mole (David Sinclair), and Camel's Rain Dances, Breathless, and especially A Live Record (all have Richard on bass/vocals).

Pawned Heart | 5/5 |


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