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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars a reworking of the classics just for fun but by no means indispensible. For fans only, but some of the comments in the sleevenotes are hilarious . Also , there is a clever but shorter version of Richard with an almost rap-like guitar. Another remark , the cover of my copy is the creampuff one and it is simply the ugliest cover ever . If you get lucky , get the second edition with a far better cover and a bonus track
Report this review (#21452)
Posted Monday, February 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Caravan do it all over again

Quite why Caravan felt the need to record many of their old classics again is open to speculation. One could be cynical and suggest it was because their newer material wasn't as strong, and there is probably an element of truth there. Whatever the reasons, this is an interesting and enjoyable collection, if rather indulgent.

Most of the tracks do sound different, some more than others. "For Richard" is heavily abbreviated (although not quite to the extent the track listing above suggests), while "Disassociation" suffers from being disassociated from the rest of "Nine feet underground". "Place of my own" benefits from the reworking, as to a lesser extent does "If I could do it all over again..", which appears twice on the updated CD.

It's hard to recommend this album other than to Caravan fans, as others would be better off investigating the albums which originally contained these tracks. For Caravan fans though, it is indeed recommended. (Jeremy Clarkson, who wrote the sleeve notes, is a motoring journalist in the UK, and his own number one fan!).

Report this review (#21453)
Posted Sunday, June 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I guess "All Over You" makes senses as the title of a Caravan album providing radically reworked takes on their classic material - after all, they told us back in their early career that if they "Could Do It All Over Again", they'd do it like that.

There's certainly a lot of imagination involved in the renditions of the material here. Album opener If I Could Do It All over Again, I'd Do It All Over You sounds strikingly modern, whilst Place of My Own is given this foreboding, dramatic acoustic guitar intro which helps lend the song a new gravitas, though this is largely lost once we start getting into the almost samba-esque musical breakdown midway through the song. Other picks feel substantially closer to their originals, such as The Love In Your Eye (though there's a punch of Latin music there too which the original didn't have.)

The lineup here consists of three Caravan founder members - Richard Coughlan, Pye Hastings, and Dave Sinclair - plus long-standing regular guest performer Jimmy Hastings and the well-established Geoffrey Richardson. It's not like we're dealing with a unit that actively has contempt for the original versions of these songs, or who haven't done a fine job performing live renditions close to the original format in the past. Instead, you have five guys who absolutely know these songs inside and out giving their best go at putting a fresh coat of paint on them.

Part of the intent here seems to have been to provide a more modern take on the songs. Even when it comes to those presentations which are close-ish to the originals, you can catch Coughlan slipping some decidedly 1990s-esque drum loops (or playing which sounds remarkably like a drum loop) here and there. At the same time, in keeping with the mellow pop direction that Caravan had been committed to for a couple of decades or so when this came out, the approach here seems to be to provide a somewhat more sedate take on a lot of the material. Electric guitar and orchestra is scaled right back, acoustic guitar is in. (A major exception is towards the end of the rendition of For Richard here, which takes on an almost industrial trip-hop quality to it.)

As such, whether All Over You is worth it to you really hinges on whether the idea of "chilled-out acoustic Caravan" sounds good to you. If you're into the mellow pop side of Caravan as well as their more celebrated prog side, this might well be the case, though odds are you'll find some of these experimental tweaks to the old material more successful than others, and that you'll still come away preferring the originals. If you only care about the prog side of Caravan's work, you'll probably dislike this, but then you'll probably dislike most of their discography outside of that window in the 1970s when their prog side came to the fore.

Report this review (#2651692)
Posted Sunday, December 12, 2021 | Review Permalink

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