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




Canterbury Scene

4.30 | 1818 ratings

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4 stars I just love the laid back feel of this album! The band is just groovin'--like a CROSBY, STILLS & NASH album. The melifluous voice of Richard Sinclair (and melodic bass playing) are deserving of much acclaim (though a RC sound-alike, Andy Tillison, gets a lot of grief for similar tones and stylings). Also, Pye Hastings' choice of sound for his electric guitar soli is, to me, quite interesting for its exact replication of the familiar solo instrument of TRAFFIC's "Low Spark of High-heeled Boys."

1. "Golf Girl" (5:01) is just poppy fun--like something out of the "Hair!" soundtrack. And memorable--it's tough to get out of one's head once you've heard it! (8/10)

2. "Winter Wine" (7:37) is beautiful song built on some fairly straightforward guitar chord sequences. The delicate section beginning at the 2:50 mark shows something different, something special. Unfortuantely, Pye Hasting's first solo is rather weak, but vastly improved upon as the rhythm section picks up both the volume and pace. Some very nice melodic moments and key and tempo changes. The song gets stronger--brings me in deeper and deeper as it goes. Love the background "Oooo's." (9/10)

3. The side-long "Nine Feet Underground" (22:44) is, of course, the album's jewel--especially in terms of Caravan's contributions to the Canterbury scene, specifically, and progressive rock music, in general. Purely engaging melodies, pacing and soli--even if the mix/engineering is a bit inconsistent and, let's face it: shoddy. RC's bass work really stands out on this one. Also find Pye Hastings' lead vocal and the accompanying harmonies quite enjoyable. A definite highlight of prog rock. (10/10)

"Easy listening" prog rock at it's finest. Not quite 5 stars, but close. 4.5 rated down for inconsistent production.

Amended 4/26/14: The 2001 CD release includes some awesome bonus material which would easily put In The Land of Grey and Pink into the "masterpiece" category were they including on the original release. Though this album has continued to grow on me and remains one of my four or five most played Canterbury Scene albums, in my opinion "Love to Love You," "Winter Wine" and "In the Land of The Grey and Pink" weaken this album a bit.

Bonus (previously unreleased) material:

"I Don't Know It's Name (Alias The Word)" (6:10) (10/10) has one of Richard Sinclair's best vocals of all-time. Simply a beautiful song.

"Aristocracy" (3:43) (8/10) has a Kinks' "Lola"-like vocal melody. Interesting and different.

"It's Likely to Have a Name Next Week (Winter Wine Instrumental)" (7:49) is much prettier and has much more feeling and flow to it than the later 'more evolved' version known as "Winter Wine." I love Richard's "scatting" vocal melody explorations. (10/10)

"Group Girl" (First version of "Golf Girl" with different lyrics) (5:03) is much more free-form and somber than the fun-bordering on silly final version. (9/10)

"Dissassociation 100% Proof" (New Mix) (8:34) (10/10) is an intoxicatingly engaging version of Nine Feet Underground" containing several of the main themes from the longer album version. Richard's voice is absolutely gorgeous as is the flute playing.

This doesn't change my rating for the original album, but I'm trying to make the point that this is the version to try to get.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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