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




Canterbury Scene

4.30 | 1819 ratings

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3 stars The thing that bothers me the most about Caravan is their inconsistency. This much loved album is the most overrated in the Canterbury scene, while their self-titled debut from 1968 is the most underrated. The first Caravan album was really the first Canterbury album and a great piece of proto-prog. In The Land Of Grey And PInk generally sounds more like an album made in 1969 rather than in 1971. It's not very 'progressive' at all really. But, nonetheless, the music here is good anyway. The band's most consistent and proggiest album would be For Girls... Of course, Richard Sinclair is not on that one. It doesn't really matter since Richard did his best singing and bass playing with Hatfield & The North anyway. His cousin Dave's fuzz-organ and piano playing is the centerpiece of this album.

What was side 1 has two very poppy numbers here. "Golf Girl" and "Love To Love You" are really good songs but they are not prog at all, even if the latter is played in an odd time signature(11/8 I think). I never really liked "Winter Wine" as much as most seem to, but it is the proggiest thing on the first half of the album regardless. I always loved the title track. For the longest time I thought the guitar solo was a Mellotron! The lyrics have nothing on Shakespeare, but I kind of like the tale of them finding "punk-weed" and smoking it till they bleed. The side-long "Nine Feet Underground" is the best thing on the whole album. But even this 'epic' sounds like two jams that are joined by an orchestral section. I never really caught on to the Cream influence at the end until I started reading reviews stating so. No wonder that was my favourite part! "Nine Feet Underground" has the best music, playing and singing of the whole album.

I have an older CD version of this without the bonus songs. So I won't really comment on them even though I have heard them. I'll just say that, IMO, they don't really add anything to the rest of the album. Pye Hastings and Dave Sinclair are much better on For Girls... than they are here. If you like fuzz on your guitars and organs, there is plenty of that here. The playing is generally not too complex or sophisticated. But the compositions don't require that style of playing to begin with. This is an album that has one foot in the '60s and the other in the '70s. Good, but not essential. 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |


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