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Caravan For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night album cover
4.19 | 885 ratings | 58 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1-a. Memory Lain, Hugh (5:00)
1-b. Headloss (4:14)
2. Hoedown (3:18)
3. Surprise, Surprise (4:05)
4. C'thlu Thlu (6:12)
5. The Dog, the Dog, He's at It Again (5:38)
6. Be Alright / Chance of a Lifetime (6:35)
7. L'auberge du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go / Pengola / Backwards / A Hunting We... (reprise) (10:05)

Total Time 45:07

Bonus tracks on Deram 2001 remaster:
8. Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss (US mix) (9:18)
9. No! ("Be Alright") / Waffle ("Chance of a Lifetime") (5:10) *
10. He Who Smelt It Dealt It ("Memory Lain, Hugh") (4:43) *
11. Surprise, Surprise (3:15) *
12. Derek's Long Thing (11:00) *

* Previously unreleased

Line-up / Musicians

- Pye Hastings / electric guitar, vocals
- David Sinclair / piano & electric piano, organ, ARP (1) & Davoli synths
- Geoffrey Richardson / viola
- John G. Perry / bass, percussion, vocals
- Richard Coughlan / drums, percussion, timpani

- Rupert Hine / ARP synthesizer (1,6)
- Jimmy Hastings / flute solo and brass arranger & conductor (1)
- Barry Robinson / flute & piccolo (1)
- Tommy Whittle / clarinet & tenor saxophone (1)
- Harry Klein / clarinet & baritone saxophone (1)
- Tony Coe / clarinet & tenor saxophone (1)
- Pete King / flute & alto saxophone (1)
- Henry Lowther / trumpet (1)
- Chris Pyne / trombone (1)
- Paul Buckmaster / electric cello (6a)
- New Symphonia aka Martyn Ford Orchestra (7d-e)
- John Bell / orchestral arranger (7d-e)
- Martyn Ford / orchestral arranger & conductor (7d-e)
- Frank Ricotti / congas (1,2,4,6)
- Jill Pryor / voice (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Mark Lawrence (photo & design)

LP Deram - SDLR12 (1973, UK) With track one sections separately numbered 1 & 2

CD Deram ‎- 820 971-2 (1990, Europe) Remastered by Anthony Hawkins
CD Deram - 8829802 (2001, Europe) Remastered by Paschal Byrne w/ 5 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy CARAVAN For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night Music

CARAVAN For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night ratings distribution

(885 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CARAVAN For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars The return of one Sinclair and the departure of the other and the arrival of Richardson makes you realize that another era has started . By all means another great piece of meat you can sink your teeth into as Thlu , Lifetime , Sanglier , Dog are still regularly played in concert nowadays. The Dog is one of the most hilarious and sexist set of lyrics (Lear Ricks as the Caravan pun goes) as he decided to make an Ode to a Blowjob. The bonus tracks includes a lenghty composition of a very short-lived line-up with yet another bassist and keyboardist and if the sound quality is not great , it sure is interesting. The cover was almost banned in the formula you see , but the original idea was to have the pregnant woman naked on the bed.

This explaining that , it does get another halfstar.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is Canterbury progressive rock music. CARAVAN has definitely his style here. The presence of excellent viola gives personality to this band. There are very good electric and acoustic guitar parts. The ensemble is catchy and rythmic, but rather mellow, and can be entirely listened without any problem. The keyboards can be rythmic melodic and slightly floating; they are rather subtle and refined. The bass is present and quite sophisticated. The lead vocals are absolutely outstanding. The drums patterns are never monotonous. This is not dark or aggressive music. It implies happiness in a peaceful way.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The band, the band, they're at it again

A superb album from start to finish. After Caravan had appeared to lose their way with "Waterloo Lily", they came back in top form here. Richard Sinclair and Steve Millar, who both wanted to continue to explore the jazz direction of "Waterloo Lily", left the band prior to the recording of this album, leaving the way clear for Pye Hastings and the remaining members to revert to the more rock focused, melodic style of previous albums.

"For girls.." leads off with one of the many the live favourites it spawned. "Memory Lain/Hugh Headloss" is a track which sums up all that is good about the album. It is melodic, adventurous, interesting, tight, and very well performed. "The dog, the dog.." is my personal favourite, with its inspired lyrics, and simple melody.

The closing track, "L'auberge Du Sanglier" is one of those Caravan epics, this time nominally in 5 parts, but very much a complete piece.

Had the band continued to pursue the jazz route of "Waterloo Lily", I believe they would have rapidly lost their following and imploded. Fortunately they didn't and, as they say, the rest is history.

The recently remastered CD has 5 additional tracks, mainly early versions of album tracks, including the wonderfully named "He who smelt it dealt it".

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Theres a lot of relief on this album, like a return to their roots after WL. So What? They kept going onward following a groove regardless of fan criticism. In saying that FG's is a beautiful 'hoedowny' album that has wonderful pieces of music that beckon back debut creations like ' A Place of my Own'. In chaotic splendor they bring home songs like 'L'auberge,,' but in essence the fundamentals ring thru with classics like' Cthlu', 'Headloss', ' Hoedown' and the nostalgic ' Chance of a Lifetime'. Ah but where for Caravan would I be......
Review by Hangedman
4 stars I didn't know what to expect when buying this, and talk about pleasant surprises! Nice relaxing melodies, great vocals and use of diverse instruments. Highly recommended to people not introduced to caravan or cantebury for that matter. I enjoy every minute of this album, great to relax to. 4 stars.
Review by Philo
3 stars Every band going through a change of personnel goes through a serious crisis and a change in dynamic, especially when the exiting members were an important creative force. The crisis could be even more so for an act with a credible history and a string of albums. For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night, now with the returning David Sinclair who probably passed Richard Sinclair on the way, has more energy but lacks the progressive punch Caravan have been known for and the album does tend to have songs with a more direct rock slant rather than conjure up themes of old Caravan, ala In The Land Of Grey And Pink. The albums starts with the pacy and urgent "Memory Lane, Hugh Headloss" which merges into the equally solid "Hoedown", the first side of the album is consistent to a fault and by the second side tapers off and at a slow rate, so slow it is hard to explain or just simply decide if the album is any good at all! Most of the better songs can flatter to deceive, and while the addition of viola is a nice distraction and the inclusion of a Mike Ratlegde (Soft Machine) track a welcomed one For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night is in the main a passive affair with the odd inspired burst of inspired energy dragging the album to a stable condition.
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Different a lot from In The Land... but very good album from Caravan under the influence of Pye Hastings' rocker conceptions. Very good (and rich) instrumental parts: clarinet; tenor, baritone and alto saxophones; piccolo; flute; trumpet and trombone; congas; syntesizer on the "memorable" Memory Lain, Hugh/Hedloss. The last one (L'auberge du Sanglier / A hunting we shall go / Pengola / Backwards / A hunting we shall go -reprise- 10:05) features a splendid orchestral arrangement by Martin Ford who has previously worked with Barclay James Harvest.

Good Decca 2001 remastered edition, rich and complete booklet with lots of bands informations and photos, 33mns of bonus tracks material!

Highly Recommended!

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Unlike my tepid reception of the acclaimed "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" for which I had great excpectations, this album surprised me with its quite different music style and playing. Instead of dominant keyborads, "For Girls..." is carried on by guitars and viola, giving it a folky feel. At times it even reminds of certain American "southern rockers". This album is far more adventurous and diverse. I never felt bored during listening because the tracks are sometimes very different and easily recognizeable. From the guitar-driven opener "Memory Lain" with melodic vocal harmonies in the vein of DOOBIE BROTHERS, through the closing "symphonic" multi-part suite with orchestra "L'auberge du...", this album is excellent listening experience, which forces you to listen again. The sound is similar to CURVED AIR due to viola play, so the fans of the mentioned are particularly advised to grab this album. Apart from them, "For Girls..." should be easily enjoyed by most of prog fans and the general music lovers equally.
Review by fuxi
5 stars What a great album! Not only does it feature the usual (and superb!) flute and keyboard solos (played by Jimmy Hastings and Dave Sinclair respectively), but it turns out that viola player Geoff Richardson is a crucial acquisition, and Pye Hastings comes up with some of his best ever songs. The opening duo of "Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss" and "Hoedown" (played with great gusto by the band, fortified by a horn section) is one of the most cheering moments in early 1970s prog. The remainder of the album is superior as well. "The dog, the dog, is at it again" must be one of prog's most irresistible singalong ditties - far more charming than "Your move", for example. Enjoy!!!
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night" marks a return to the CARAVAN sound I know and love.The Jazz sounds that influenced "Waterloo Lily" are all but gone along with Richard Sinclair and Steve Miller who still wanted to pursue that direction. Enter John Perry on bass and the returning David Sinclair on keyboards after a stint with MATCHING MOLE. The addition of Geoffrey Richardson can't be underestimated, as his viola play brings a fresh sound to the band. Although this is in the mold of their earlier works it does sound lighter, smoother, catchier and maybe more symphonic. I suppose you could say this is Pye Hastings baby now, no not the pregnant lady on the cover, but the band. He writes pretty much all the songs and it's good to hear his brother Jimmy playing the flute on the first track as well as conducting and arranging the woodwind and brass section on that song.

"Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss" has such a good beat to it with some pastoral sections with flute in between. Some prominant drumming and great guitar melodies. The "Headloss" section is uptempo with guitar, vocals and drums all shining bright. This is great ! "Hoedown" features a fast paced melody and vocals to match. The viola is a nice touch.My least favourite track though. "Surprise, Surprise" is slower paced than the first two songs.This one is light and breezy. The vocals are great, they really make the song. The drumming deserves special mention as well. "C'Thiu Thiu" has a dark, eerie intro and this is contrasted with an uptempo catchy passage.This contrast continues throughout. Organ 4 1/2 minutes in.

"The Dog,The Dog, He's At It Again" features whimsical vocals and viola. This is so charming. Haha. This has such a catchy melody. "Be Alright / Chance Of A Lifetime" is a much more powerful and aggressive song. A nice ripping guitar solo a minute in. The song suddenly slows right down with reserved vocals and viola. The tempo changes continue. "L'Auberge Du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go / Pengola / Backwards / A Hunting We Shall Go (Reprise)" is the longest track just under10 minutes. Some beautiful orchestral arrangements in this one. Tempo changes often, and the electric cello is a nice touch. Piano and guitar take the spotlight at seperate intervals, and the song ends with an explosion.

4 stars.

Review by NJprogfan
5 stars Starting more rocking then any of their past classics, "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night" (a classic title if there ever was one), 'Memory Lain, Hugh/ Headloss' is a super beginning with more upfront guitar by Pye Hastings with viola and flute puncturating the track wonderfully. I love how halfway through the song sounds like its reaching a climax when it delves into part 2, 'Headloss' which sounds very American with Richardson's viola taking center stage ala Kansas. Pye sings great throughout the album, but I do miss Richard Sinclair's bassy but sophisticated voice. Hoedown" continues the Americanized prog, one just needs to notice the title of the song. "Surprise, Surprise" has Hasting's typical fragile and sweet singing with nice bass by newcomer Perry. By now you may notice that David Sinclair's signature keyboard work is somewhat underutilized which, for me, marks this album as a lesser of the main five by the band. Things are rectified by the following killer of a track, "C'thlu Thlu" a downright chilling and spooky number, very appropo for the coming Halloween season ;-). Sinclair's keyboard work is fantastic on this weird but excellent song, just check it out about 4 minutes in until the end, CLASSIC! Now for those who miss their whimsical side, "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again" will satisfy you to no end. Funny lyrics and an infectious melody it would fit in nicely on any of their previous albums. "Be Alright/ Chance of a Lifetime" is a rousing number with Richardson's viola leading the charge again sounding very much like Kansas with orchestra taking up much of the background and fiery guitar by Hastings; a track that doesn't get the accolades by Caravan fans. I think it's one of their best rockers ever. Finally we reach the mini-epic track 7, (too many sub-titles for me to type, sorry). If you like orchestral prog you'll be in ectasy with this number, hypnotic and thundering it's another classic. With the bonus tracks the standout is the last track, "Derek's Long Thing" instrumental and awesome sounding like something from their earlier days, I only wish it would have ended up somewhere because it's that good. As their first album was psych/prog, the second more prog than psych, the third a whimsical/prog and their fourth a jazzier/prog, this album leans more towards the symph side of prog yet still has their Canterbury prog roots. I say it fits in well with their whole canon of early albums, not as good as "The Land of..." or "If I Can Do..." but is a marked improvement over the last album, "Waterloo Lily". I give it a 4.5 leaning towards 5 easily.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Caravan returns to shape in full swing, and in order to do so, they had to refurbish its line-up decidedly: the return of a keyboardsman, the entry of a new bass placer and the decisive entry of Geoff Richardson on viola (and later on, on clarinet and other woodwinds). The rocking energy that somehow had got missing in "Waterloo Lily" returns on "For Girls who Grow Plump in the Night" in a very evident manner, although the fact remains that Caravan still lean son heavily on elements of melodic artsy rock and jazz in order to construe its own typical progressive voice. This is also the first time that the band allows the synthesizer get in as part of its arsenal, albeit only for occasional ornaments: sometimes it is not played by Dave Sinclair, but by Rupert Hine. There is also an enhancement of the sonic power in the rockier numbers, and that's something to thank new bassist John Perry for. As usual, there is a myriad of guests (including an orchestral ensemble) that help a few songs to exploit some specific ideas contained in the basic compositions. That is, for example, the case of the building climax that gets expanded during the second half of the strong opener 'Memory Lain, Hugh'. Next come 'Headloss' and 'Hoedown' (the former, segued to 'Memory Lain, Hugh'), which make the album keep a very strong vibe during its first 13 minutes. 'C'Thlu Thlu' bears a moderately weird ambience, with the viola laying some psychedelic sounds over the catchy guitar riffs, and both Hastings and Perry sharing vocal duties perfectly. On the other hand, 'Surprise, Surprise' and 'The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again' showcase Hastings' particular taste for kind-spirited songwriting: these two pieces feature the presence of acoustic guitar (strumming and harmonies) as the nucleus of the whole instrumentation, while Richardson delivers nice viola solos. My favourite tracks in this album are the last two. The pair of 'Be All Right' and 'Chance of a Lifetime' displays an interesting set of variations, starting with a Blood Sweat & Tears kind of groove, then coming to a second section based on a slow, melancholy Latin-jazz infected acoustic section. Once again, a special mention has to go to Richardson's viola interventions, really magical. The closure is a very epic 'A Hunting We Shall Go', one of the most demanding compositions ever written by Hastings. This multi-part track includes an interesting expansion on a Mike Ratledge's piece that was part of Soft Machine's "Three". The section is called 'Backwards', and here it is retaken under a more symphonic treatment. The whole track is a monster of a closure, and it will find its definitive incarnation in the live album released by Caravan plus an orchestra one year later. All in all, comparisons are annoying most of the times, and this studio version is very good in its own terms. Conclusion: "For Girls." is an excellent Caravan effort that tends to be a bit overlooked due to the relevance of previous albums such as "In the land of Grey and Pink" and "If I Could Do It Again", but in my opinion, this one should not be overlooked at all, but be labelled as an excellent piece of prog rock.
Review by ZowieZiggy

This is probably the question that David Sinclair is asking in those days. His first come back within "Caravan". But not the last one of his hesitant musical life.

This album holds some very good songs. Rockier than in any previous of their releases. It opens on the excellent suite "Memory Lain.". Rather dynamic, a tint of funky sounds, very good violin play, a powerful (but short) fluting sequence and a vigorous finale.

"C'thlu Thlu" features a scary mood with an oppressive bass play, combining almost heavy riffs with these incomparable joyful "Caravan" moments. Another good song.

I have a special tenderness for "The Dog, The Dog, He's at It Again". A candid and optimistic tone : fully in-line with their so characteristic style. But the lyrics are not candid at all! I quote : "Wo-o-o lonely girl, would you like a sweet to eat? I've got some that I'd like you to hold, and my brother will tell you that it's good for your cold". Quite explicit!

The band reverts in these rocking territories with the powerful "Be Alright.". The violin play is very performing and sustained during the first part and so subtle during the quieter second half. One of my fave from this album.

Another highlight of this very good album is the strangely titled "L'Auberge Du Sanglier". A wonderful crescendo song which features a sublime and very powerful violin solo and reverts to some quieter and aerial mood. Very melodic and almost spacey at times. I'm not really convinced by the symphonic arrangements of the second half though (horns, cellos).

IMHHO "For Girls." is the best "Caravan" album. The most melodic but the most rocking on at the same time. The remastered edition features several bonus tracks of which "Derek's Long Thing" (almost eleven minutes) is really of added value.

Four stars.

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The last really great album by the legendary Canterbury band is a definite improvement over the somewhat directionless "Waterloo Lily", which hovered between Pye Hastings' poppier sensibilities and Richard Sinclair and Steve Miller's jazzier leanings. Even though I am a big fan of Richard S.'s velvet-smooth voice and skillful bass playing, I have to admit that Caravan managed to weather his departure admirably, replacing him with the excellent John G. Perry, and adding a secret weapon to their already rich, multilayered sound, in the shape of violist Geoff Richardson. The return of keyboardist David Sinclair to the fold didn't hurt either, especially since his replacement with Steve Miller had been a rather ill-advised choice.

Left to his own devices, Pye Hastings displays his skills as a lyricist with all sorts of innuendo, starting with the title and album cover, which shows a heavily pregnant woman fast asleep. The lyrics to "The Dog, The Dog, He's at It Again" are based around a rather explicit double entendre, which climaxes (no pun intended) with the chorus of it's coming on strong /it's coming on and on and on. However, it would be wrong to depict "For Girls..." as a sort of smut-fest in the lyrical sense. With the sole exception of the rather disturbing "C'thlu Thlu" (probably inspired by HP Lovecraft's malignant deity, Great Cthulhu), most of the songs on the album have distinctly upbeat, optimistic lyrics that match the musical content perfectly.

As a matter of fact, "For Girls..." sounds for the most part like the ultimate feelgood album. The rich, well-rounded, uplifting music strikes the right balance between melodic potential and musical intricacy, avoiding the meanderings of some parts of "Waterloo Lily", though somehow lacking the intriguing wistfulness of Richard Sinclair's compositions. The song that probably best represents the nature of the album is opener "Memory Lain Hugh/Headloss", a 9-minute-plus composition featuring a catchy-as-hell refrain, and enough instrumental complexity to keep the most demanding prog fan happy. The already mentioned "C'thlu Thlu" briefly interrupts the cheerfulness of the mood with his dark, doomy pace and heavy, plodding bass lines.

The naughtily amusing "The Dog, The Dog..." is then followed by the schizophrenic "Be Alright/Chance of A Lifetime", divided in two sharply contrasting sections. The first, an unusually rocky, hard-edged offering for the band, features bassist John G. Perry on vocals, who sounds distinctly like a singer very few would associate with the likes of Caravan - the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. The second part is instead airy and romantic, with an almost Latin groove and Geoff Richardson's beautiful viola playing. Richardson is the undisputed protagonist of what, in my opinion, is the album's best track, and one of my favourite instrumentals ever - "A Hunting We Shall Go" (L'Auberge du Sanglier), a five-part suite with a crescendo structure, bolstered by a sumptuous orchestral arrangement, overall a very exhilarating listening experience. <

The remastered edition features unreleased versions of "Memory Lain Hugh/Headloss", "Surprise Surprise" and "Be Alright/Chance of a Lifetime", plus the 11-minute instrumental "Derek's Long Thing" (named after a former band member, and referring to the track's length, not something else's...), which is interesting in parts, but not on a par with other Caravan compositions of the same kind.

All in all, a highly recommended album, even if Richard Sinclair's absence is sometimes felt in the vocal department - Hastings' voice being pleasant and melodic, but slightly annoying after a while. Nevertheless, the superb musical quality of the compositions more than makes up for any such shortcomings - and it will put a smile on your face as well, which is never a bad thing.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Caravan keeps surprising me every time I pick up a new album and this one is no exception. There´s been a bit of a change in the lineup since Richard Sinclair left to form Hatfield and the North. I really enjoyed Richard´s voice on the previous Caravan albums but here Pye Hastings has solely taken over the lead singer role. This is very much his album in many respects.

The music is typical Caravan even though For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night seems to have this extra positive vibe. The songs are excellent each and every one of them and if you have the CD version there´s even an extra track called Derek's Long Thing which is a really nice jam. Songs like Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss, C'thlu thlu and The dog, the dog, he's at it again are essential songs in the Caravan discography, the latter even with some pretty explicit lyrics. Just great fun. A little like Genesis Counting Out Time which has a similar theme.

The ending instrumental on the original album is also a very exciting song. It starts out with a great instrumental interplay with nice melodies and ends with a symphonic blast with an orchestra. Great prog rock indeed.

The sound quality is really high throughout the whole album as usual with Caravan albums.

For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night is almost a masterpiece in my ears, but it lacks that last thing I can´t quite point out, so it will be a big 4 star rating from me. As I understand from most reviews this would be the last really great Caravan album, but I will still be looking forward to hearing the successor to this one and judge for myself. This one was definitely worth my time and I will listen to this over and over again for the next many years.

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars Okay, Canterbury is another musical neighborhood I don’t wander into very often, but now that I’m here it has become pretty apparent where one of my more modern fave bands got a lot of their ideas (Super Furry Animals). I always thought of them as some sort of fresh and innovative bunch of self- amusing artists, but after playing this album a half-dozen times or so I can hear far too many similarities to think they are coincidences. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just that I didn’t expect Caravan to sound like this. I remember the album titles back in my teen days, but these guys never made much of an impression on America back then so I really don’t know their music much.

This was an album I picked up recently, and solely because of the too-clever title (and album cover), plus also because I just had to hear what it was the dog was doing again. The sense of humor here rides a line between droll and sophomoric, which is to say that I love it.

David Sinclair and Rupert Hine are the pivotal keys to making these tracks work in my opinion. The keyboards and synth parts are exceptional, and the easy flow of the tempo of each song is very polished. And the clarinet and various saxophones on “Be alright / Chance of a Lifetime” make this my favorite track. In addition, the way the band integrates the various orchestral instruments into the sound without making them sound like cheesy attempts at faux symphonic additions is quite brilliant. There is also more than a little of this band’s sound in the three Tangent albums I own. It seems that Caravan has only been a secret kept from me all these years, nobody else. I must hear more of this band.

I don’t know what more to say about this album except that the easy flow of each track makes listening to them a true pleasure, and the melodic nature of the music overall caught me a bit by surprise since my only previous exposure to Canterbury has been the considerably less melodic Gong. This is an exceptional album and one that has a legitimate place on most progger’s shelves. Easily four stars and highly recommended.


Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night is better by far (pardon the pun) and is definately my favourite Caravan album.

The addition of a violinist to the line up was a fantastic idea, and the sound here is rich and full (it's actually a viola and not a violin, but I can't tell the difference). The warm acoustic instruments; the viola, the flutes, the acoustic guitars, together with the sweet vocals contrast very well with the electric guitars, the organ and the electronic keyboards. The violin is sometimes played in a folky way (think Fairport Convention), and sometimes in a grand symphonic way (think Kansas).

The melodies are often very sweet and lovely, but on the other hand, the music sometimes rocks quite hard! This is definitely Caravan's hardest rocking record, something not often associated with the Canterbury Scene. This balance between the soft and sweet vocals and melodies and the harder guitar riffs is also very appealing. This album has a bit of everything and yet is flows perfectly from start to finish.

Yet another thing that I appreciate is the relative absence of silly and whimsical songs like Golf Girl and Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly), I never could get into those songs. Sure, there is The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again, but it doesn't stick out as much as the two other ones I mentioned (both from the In The Land Of Gray And Pink album). Besides, there is an excellent instrumental break in The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again.

Caravan's best and highly recommended!

Review by Matti
3 stars CARAVAN were having a personnel crisis after recording Waterloo Lily (1972); the jazz keyboard player Steve Miller had drawn the Caravan sound in the wrong direction, at least if Pye Hastings was asked, and on top of that, also Richard Sinclair left the band. The liner notes of the 2001 edition - which has 5 bonus tracks I'm talking about soon - tells thoroughly the phases of the unfocused lineup changes of the time. That all ended up as an album which is very clearly Pye Hastings' own composition, a bit more rocking than earlier works. If you love R. Sinclair's contributions to In The Land Of Grey And Pink, you probably won't enjoy this album as much. But although there are some tracks I don't like at all, there also pure CARAVAN highlights.

Most notably the 10-minute instrumental L'Auberge du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go, which continues the style of Nine Feet Underground from the Pink album. Surprise, Surprise is a nice good-humoured song with fine harmony vocals. Chance Of A Lifetime is a calm and beautiful song, but alas, it is clued together with Be Alright which I don't like. The same kind of irritating pairing is made of Memory Lain, Hugh and Headloss. The former includes woodwind & brass arrangements quite unfamiliar to Caravan, but it's quite a nice energetic tune anyway. The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again is another classic happy Caravan song but I dislike the way it carries on after its halfway. All these details make this album very uneven to me, not as easy to enjoy as it could be otherwise.

Now to the bonuses. Gosh, you have to be a die-hard fan to give them much value. Shortly put, they're just work-in-progress versions of album songs, often without lyrics (as Hastings explains, he always writes them later). To me maybe the instrumental No! ("Be Alright") / Waffle ("Chance of A Lifetime") surpasses the finished version because in it the first part is less harmful. Unlike four other bonuses, the last one has another kind of story. For a brief time the lineup had a keyboard player called Derek Austin who mostly wrote the long instrumental piece titled as Derek's Long Thing. It starts beautifully with the piano in lead but continues a bit too long as a Hammond-led jamming. "The problem was that it didn't sound like Caravan, so we clashed a bit there", says Hastings. So, if you're not a dedicated collector, never mind about the 78-minute edition of this album, it simply isn't worth the length. But I also would rather recommend In The Land Of Grey And Pink and the albums before it.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There had been major ructions within the Caravan camp over musical direction after the more jazz orientated approach of previous album Waterloo Lily. This resulted in the loss of Richard Sinclair who was in favour of this more jazzy style to Hatfield And The North. Keyboard player Steve Miller who was brought in to replace David Sinclair after only one album with the band was also to go. Fortunately for their next album, For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night David Sinclair would return. In also is John G Perry on bass and on viola Geoff Richardson joining Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan.

Pye Hastings desire to steer the band back to a more rock based style was to produce one of the bands best and most accessible albums.

Memory Lain, Hugh gets things off to a fine start and it's immediately apparent that Hastings guitar is taking more of a front seat on this straight forward rocker. It's straight into Headloss and then Hoedown for more of the same, though more up tempo. Less whimsical than early days but still recognisably Caravan, but harder hitting than anything previously.

Surprise Surprise takes things down a notch, a lovely tune more in keeping with older Caravan. The album keeps throwing great songs at us being consistent from start to finish. Continuing this run of excellent tracks is C'thlu thlu though a change of mood and tack is present being a darker sounding piece. Sinclair really makes his stamp here with an excellent keyboard solo.

Caravan continues their tradition of coming up with great song titles on The Dog, The Dog He's At It Again, full of their humour and a strong melody too. Two songs in one next, Be Alright and Chance Of A Lifetime make a pairing of another straight and hard hitting rocker (vocals from Perry on the first part) with a more laid back groove to finish.

The final piece L'auberge Du Sanglier consists of a number of named parts as one. A Hunting We Shall Go into Pengola, Backwards and a reprise of Hunting. Richardson's viola really makes its presence felt on this instrumental tour de force, the track ranging from the bombastic to sublime and effective use is made of orchestration too.

Regarded by many as a return to form after the jazz inflected Waterloo Lily, an album incidentally that I enjoy very much, For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night is a very immediate and enjoyable release and would make a great starting point for anyone just starting to explore their back catalogue.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After hearing the highly appreciated In The Land Of Grey And Pink I acquired a taste for Caravan music that could only be satisfied by yet another album purchase!

Since there are only two other album's have been as generally praised as the band's third album there wasn't much deliberation upon my next pick. Unfortunately it was quite difficult to find If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You at the time especially since I didn't start purchasing music online until the end of 2007 which meant that I had to rely on the limited supply of the downtown music stores. Imagine my joy once I actually found For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night in one of the record stores!

This album's track-listing features a completely different line-up of compositions where none dares to go beyond the 10-minute format but there are quite a few medleys which still seemed promising enough when I first glanced at it. The opening Memory Lain, Hugh/Headloss just so happens to be one of these numbers and it features an interesting transition halfway through the performance. Although this composition is considered one of the album's definite highlights I've never given it more than a lukewarm reception because the best is yet to come!

C'Thlu Thlu is a surprisingly dark performance by Caravan standards since it features a distinct electric guitar melody and atmospheric background sounds. This is of course only a temporary disguise and once the vocals kick in you're once again in the familiar territory. What I really love about this composition is its instrumental section towards the end which is just fantastic, but I'll keep the details a secret since the description just won't do it justice!

The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again is another favorite of mine just for the top notch melody and I love the music arrangement. The instrumental passage in the middle of the performance is an added bonus since I would have loved the song just as much even without it.

This album does have a great deal of interesting moments but the material doesn't hold together all too well for me. Come to think of it, I also lacked this consistency on In The Land Of Grey And Pink but that album's second side made it into a masterpiece. As for this record, all the magnificent moments still definitely make it worth a while but do expect a bumpy ride.

***** star songs: C'Thlu Thlu (6:12) The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again (5:38)

**** star songs: Memory Lain, Hugh/Headloss (9:14) Be Alright/Chance Of A Lifetime (6:35) L'auberge Du Sanglier/A Hunting We Shall Go/Pengola/Backwards/A Hunting We Shall Go (10:05)

*** star songs: Hoedown (3:18) Surprise, Surprise (4:05)

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Canterbury darlings of the UK had a stellar year in 1973 releasing arguably one of their finest albums and following up soon after with a tour resulting in the amalgamation of performing with a symphony orchestra their new compositions. "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" certainly began what would be known as the classic period of Caravan, and then followed up by the quintessential "In the Land of Grey and Pink". The marriage of English folk whimsy merged with classical jazz was a trademark sound for the band, and the music matured with "Waterloo Lily" in 1972, a much more jazz oriented album.

"For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night" ushered in all of the previous styles with a distinctive symphonic sound. Some of the band's best material features on this such as 'Memory Lain / Hugh Headloss', an incredible piece of showmanship. Pye Hastings sounds as dynamic as ever on vocals and guitar, and the keyboard work of Sinclair is incredible. 'Hoedown' is another highlight; the violin prowess of Richardson is always masterful and incredible John G. Perry on bass with Coughlan's drums are a force in themselves.

Certainly a drawcard of the album is the full orchestra that is used and this became one of the live experiences captured perfectly on "Caravan and The New Symphonia" that same year. Other highlights include 'The Dog, the Dog, He's at It Again' which became a favourite over the years. It has a great lead break and the melody is memorable with fun lyrics; "my mother said that I should stay out of bed but I know that I like it in there, legs and thighs, hello's and goodbyes and you're there".

'Surprise, Surprise' is another outstanding track as is 'C'thlu Thlu' which is one of the darkest and best things they have done. The huge epic at the end of the album is a typical suite of songs on most Caravan albums in the early years called ' L'auberge du Sanglier / A hunting we shall go / Pengola / Backwards / A hunting we shall go (reprise)'. It is a fantastic album with some of the most incredible music including brass, violins, woodwind, all played virtuoso by the orchestra, along with Caravan. The sound is full and lush providing compelling music that is highly revered in prog history.

Review by TGM: Orb
4 stars Caravan's 1974 album comes with more line-up shifting. The loss of Richard Sinclair, much as he's one of the relatively few really distinctive and charming voices in the Canterbury scene, we can deal with. Firstly, Pye Hastings is on a creative peak, with tighter guitar work, superb melodic writing and winning lead vocals (I think a couple are also taken by John Perry, with a bit more balance inside songs than the Hastings/Sinclair pair had). Secondly, the fantastic John G. Perry (whose very respectable solo album is worth checking out) is on bass. While not a showy lead bassist, he is extremely melodic and supportive and his choices of tone are superb. Thirdly, they have a violist. So, one of the best bass albums of all time, David Sinclair at his most subtly wonderful, Pye Hastings writing, playing and singing better than ever, a violist, two pieces with orchestration, a load more guests to add a little more flavour to various pieces (Rupert Hine on synth and Frank Ricotti on congas in particular) and a brilliant title.

A truly superior and very professional Caravan album but not without the charm of earlier efforts.

The opening of Memory Lain, Hugh/Headloss is one of the essential Caravan jams with some solid brass orchestration, awesome feedback solos from David Sinclair and a Jimmy Hastings flute solo (which is always a good thing). However, the departure from this jamming is arguably even better... Headloss is a solid display of melody writing with superb rhythm section work.

Hoedown is a more decisively rock song and arguably feels more lively here than in the more participational A Hunting We Shall Go version. Of note, the melody is great and the various moody David Sinclair twinkling over that riff is wonderful.

Surprise, Surprise has the two new elements of Caravan's arsenal in the foreground. Geoffrey Richardson on viola adds a pastoral character and a heart-warming solo, while Perry's basswork is stronger than ever. Pye Hastings' vocals are gorgeous, and the lyrics are some of the best disjointed ones around: 'when the years are gone, and we live on memories/Will you still remember me that way?'

C'thlu thlu is a bit of an odd one, turning through ironic creepiness to a hilarious chorus, 'so we ran ? YEAH! ? as fast as we can'. Somewhat liquidy, and the mellotron-like organ work and killer blues solo is (like most of Sinclair's washes on this album) a highlight that doesn't jump out at you but waits and creeps up. Again, Perry's basswork is more than excellent, and the addition of Frank Ricotti's congas to the rhythm section shakes things up a little.

The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again... great pop song with Caravan's typical flair for light humour and unusual parts. Pye Hastings gets credit for some of the best light melodies this side of Paul McCartney and some curious winning lyrics: 'You're naive if you really do believe/that the world is so full of sin'. The jam replete with handclaps is every bit a match for the wonderful layered vocal sections.

Be Alright/Chance Of A Lifetime isn't very well opened. I don't like the vocals all that much, the riff is a bit laboured, solos (although we have a very good Pye Hastings guitar solo) are tacked on over the top. However, the continuation is just gorgeous ? a liberated Geoffrey Richardson adds a melting texture over the top of some gorgeous vocals to a great, great melody. So, yes, the opening of this is my only real doubt about the album but the rest more than compensates.

A Hunting We Shall Go is English pastoral rock at its finest.

Anyway, get some good speakers, get this album, find a relaxed Summer afternoon when hayfever keeps you indoors, listen out for the details and enjoy For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night.

Rating: 13/15. Four Stars that would be a comfortable five if it weren't for the minute and a half of Be Alright. Favourite track: hm. A Hunting We Shall Go, if only for the viola riff.

P.S. Bonus tracks are mostly just WIP versions plus another mix of Memory Lain, Hugh/Headloss and I can't think of anything hugely remarkable about them. The track left over from the Austin/Evans sessions is at least a bit different and, if memory serves, pretty good, with the heavy organ use, so that's maybe worth having as a curiosity ? the remaster sound is fantastic, so I wouldn't shy away from getting it despite the generally weak bonuses.

PPS. Noticed I haven't mentioned drummer/constant member Jimmy Coughlan once in the earlier review. This is largely because he's generally very solid and while his style helps make the album, he only really stands out all that much on Hoedown and A Hunting We Shall Go.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Previous Caravan album, "Waterloo Lily", was quite different from their usual sound, more jazz rock one. For "For Girls.." their keyboardist David Sinclair returned back, changing Steve Miller. As a result, band left jazz-rock direction and returned back to their pop-folk version Canterbury sound. This time, besides of slower,better textured and more mellow songs, they added viola sound in almost all their compositions.

Result of all this changes is the best you can expect - in fact this album is one of their top releases , on the same level of " In The Land Of Grey And Pink ". Even if previous album wasn't bad at all for me, and the band testing jazz-rock direction had its moments for sure, there on " For Girls... " they play they know the best.

One of the most representative Caravan's album and their last great release ever.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A very different album to what had come before. Bassist/vocalist Richard Sinclair has left and joined Hatfield & The North. The brother of Hatfield's guitarist Phil Miller, keyboardist Steve has left as well. But we get Richard's cousin Dave back on keys, after he played with Matching Mole...which also featured Phil Miller. Confused yet? In the bass department we get John G. Perry. Another new addition is viola player Geoff Richardson. I can't tell the difference between violin and viola most of the time. When I listen to this, it sounds like violin to me. Richardson's viola playing is equal parts classical and country.

This album is a lot more symphonic than any of the earlier albums. As I mentioned with the viola playing, there is also a Southern rock/Country rock vibe here as well. The music here is not typical Canterbury. Caravan were always a pop band at heart, and even their most adventurous albums have poppy moments on them. The production is well done and there is synthesizers here. I don't believe there was any on Waterloo Lily but I might be wrong. In addition to the synths, D. Sinclair also makes good use of organ, Rhodes and clavinet.

"Memory Lain, Hugh/Headloss" goes back and forth between Southern rock and symphonic sections. Love the bass sound in this song. The viola mimics the vocals. Later some nice flute. Then fuzz organ solo. Flute solo. Then horns, some drum fills. Next the song goes into an upbeat part that reminds me of the theme song to the Patridge Family. Ends with guitar and viola trading solos. "Hoedown" is the instrumental version of "Be Alright/Chance Of A Lifetime". Or that song is the lyrical equivalant of "Hoedown", whichever you prefer.

"C'thlu Thlu" is named after the H.P. Lovecraft monster. Starts with a slowed down drum sound. Some guitar and call and response vocals. Then changes to more upbeat section with what sounds like electric violin and clavinet. Later you hear a scream and the music changes to a more menacing part with a great riff. After an organ solo. "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again" has humourous lyrics. Basically a pop song with an awesome synth solo. During the solo you hear handclaps. The viola is very prominent in this song.

"Be Alright/Chance Of A Lifetime" is basically "Hoedown" with lyrics, but played faster. The "Chance" part is more of a ballad. More prominent viola. "L'Auberge du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go / Pengola / Backwards / A Hunting We Shall Go(reprise)" is pretty much a Symphonic Prog instrumental. Starts with acoustic guitar and viola. You hear a rumbling from an explosion, then full band comes in. Later a guitar solo. About halfway the music dies down and there is just subdued classical piano and some orchestral sounds. Then rhythm section and some synth. After the orchestra is more dominant. Later a drum roll and the song reprises the earlier "Hunting" part. Ends with the rumbling sound, or thunderstorm, or whatever.

Highly recommended to Symph fans. This is alot better and more consistent than the more popular Gray & Pink album. Unfortunately, the band would not live up to this potential again. A good introduction to Caravan, and to a lesser extent, Canterbury in general. 4 stars.

Review by Sinusoid
5 stars I remember being dazzled by a couple of Caravan albums already and going into this one thinking that I was going to get the same brand of Cantebury. Boy, was I wrong, but I really didn't care because I really liked (and still do) what I heard. Right from the opening guitar lick of ''Memory Lain, Hugh'', I was thrown off guard. I wasn't sure that this was a Caravan album until Pye started singing; guitars are never that hard sounding or to the forefront on Caravan albums before. The surprise happens to be pleasant until the band meanders around viola solos; then ''Headloss'' brings the band back to exciting territories, reminding me of ''I've Seen All Good People'' from the group we all know and love.

The band offers a couple of country-esque surprises in the next two tracks, ''Hoedown'' sounding exactly as you're thinking only in 7/8. ''Surprise, Surprise'' has more pop leanings, but it's one of the stronger sounding songs of the album. Typical Caravan aspects (notably Pye's voice) are still here in pockets, but only in ''The Dog, the Dog, He's at it Again'' do we get a traditional sounding Caravan tune; even then, the synth in the middle throws you off, yet it's so good you don't care.

''Chtulu Thlu'' is the weirdest Caravan tune because it sounds so close to heavy metal in the verses and instrumental middle, but it's so haunting that you cannot resist playing it. The more classical tunes can be found on the last two numbers, but this classical-influenced-rock is sprightly and won't lull you to sleep. Particularly ''A Hunting We Shall Go''; that number might just cause you to grip your chair wildly due to the exuberance and intensity of the piece, only to withdraw to a calm halfway through. It reminds me of that ''Awaken'' epic we all know....four years before ''Awaken'' was unleashed to the public.

The one drawback that Caravan fans might have is that the intangibles of Richard Sinclair aren't here; Perry is a good bassist and singer in the prog rock sense, but Sinclair had something about him that gave earlier Caravan albums a charm. But the fact that this album totally surprised me in a good way, the stack of great tunes and the underrated feel GWGP has is enough for me to brand this as a prog album that is both excellent and isn't on your mind right now.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars

Swapping the Sinclairs....

Respect to Waterloo Lily this album represents a step back in the ambient as the strong jazzy flavour wanted by Richard Sinclair is gone with him while the old dreaming keyboard backgrounds are back with David Sinclair. As result, this album is more "Caravan".

We are still in 1973 and the band is not yet in its descending path. Unlike the previous albums, this time the opener is a long and complex track which inherits some of the jazzy mood of its predecessor, but with a great old-fashioned flute performance by Jimmy Hastings and is effectively compsed by two different songs, the second of them practically British glamour rock.

Also Hoedown has a glam mood on a country-rock tempo but it's nothing more than a nice short song.

The optimistic side of Caravan is shown by "Surprise, Surprise". A song that can be defined by single word: English. Regerdless the lyrics, the sensation that it gives me is of a Sunday morning in a small English town, even if the cello solo may give it a touch of yankee.

"C'Thlu Thlu" is a discutible track. Good from a musical point of view is totally unable to recreate the dark evil situations of Lovecraft's weird horrors, something that Arzachel did very well, instead. So forget the lyrics and the inspiration and just enjoy the song that in the second half is at the level of the instrumental parts of Winter Wine.

"The Dog, The dog He's at it Again" is another typical Caravan's song. Richard Sinclair's vocals are missing but they supply with more choirs and with less acid sounds coming from the keyboards.

I don't want to say that this album starts weakly, but it really goes better while proceeding to the end. "Be Alright" is unusually uptime for this band and the choirs make me think to Wishbone Ash more than to Canterbury. Also the guitar is a bit different: Pye is very less acid so his guitar sounds more Floydian, even if in the background. Also "Chance Of A Lifetime" (physically the same track as the previous) is mellow and has something of Ash's "Front Page News" (released 3 years after this). The part with the cello solo is very Canterbury instead. It's very good but I don't understand why using the cello instead of Jimmy's bass flute.

The last track is a medley of 4 songs opened by the cello again helped by a classical guitar. When the odd signature arrives the song is comparable to the best things of the 2nd and 3rd album.

I'm undecided between three and four stars. It's surely good, but is it an "excellent" addition? If they weren't Caravan and they hadn't released two masterpieces before I'd say yes. Trying to separate this album from the Caravan's history I think every progger can like it, so I'm rounding up to 4 what I think is a 3.5 stars album. One of the last good ones from this band.

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Boasting one of the better album titles in the prog world, this effort added just a bit more oomph to the Caravan sound by adding more emphasis on guitar rhythms, resulting in what happens to be my favorite album by the band. It brings the prog, but with a bit more swagger than the "prog to go with your tea and crumpets" feel I get from some of their output, while not losing the sense of humour and lack of self-importance to go with their musical chops.

The opening guitar riff sets the tone...a groovy bluesy little ditty that soon gets punctuated by a solid beat, but it doesn't take long until the listener realizes this isn't some Doobie Brothers clone. A nice opening epic split into two parts, it's basically like two separate individually cool songs cohesively joined at the rump. By the following track, there's a sense of inspiration that branches out from the Canterbury scene to include aspects from the San Francisco jam scene, some country flair and rootin' tootin' that doesn't detract from the quality, but gives it a fresh style. In fact, this album seems to have aged far better than most prog albums from the golden era by having many traits associated with the much later Burlington Vermont jam band scene, for better or worse. The amusing and occasionally raunchy lyrics, the guitar sound (fairly distorted but not heavy by any means), the rock riffs that combine with an overall jazziness, the soft pleasant vocals...yeah, it can occasionally sound just a bit phishy, but with cooler tunes and more variety of instrumentation. Playing this for your typical dreadlocked bike couriers & Bohemian babes just might have them gorging on an extra helping of Ben & Jerry's ice cream as a sign of approval (maybe growing plump in the night as a result). Maybe I'm wrong due to the lack of limp white reggae, but whatever.

There's a pretty good scope of what this particular incarnation of the band could pull off, from the trippy folk of Surprise, Surprise to the great and almost doomish C'thlu thlu, a song which automatically makes this album essential by default. The instrumental with the crazy long title at the end is quite a nice adventure through various soundscapes on its own accord, ending the album on an epic note much like it began. Truth is, every song is fantastic in its own way, with a unique blend of styles for its time and a strong sense of creativity. It's definitely the album I first turn to when I'm in the mood for some Caravan.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album reminds me of a scenario in which the 70s group AMERICA tried to play like THE WHO, or if HARRY NILSSON joined up with THE MOODY BLUES, or if THE OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS decided to play CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG. It has such a different feel from In the Land of Grey and Pink. It has a very countrified, bluesified, folked-up, 'Southern Rock' like feel to it. I can't help but notice the greater importance lyrics have in this version of Caravan. Clever lyrics. Nice vocal harmonies. I love Hasting and Sinclair's playing off of the beautiful orchestration in "L'auberge..." (a longer "Macarthur's Park"). I also love the addition/presence of Geoff Richardson's viola as well as the orchestra.

1-a. "Memory Lain, Hugh" (5:00) opening with a twangy guitar riff and straightforward drum and bass pulse let's one know what's changed with the band--a kind of CCR/country pop sound that pervades the whole album. Great singing, great lyrics, and great melodic hooks both in the singing and instrumental parts. 1-b. "Headloss" (4:14)

2. "Hoedown" (3:18) (7.5/10)

3. "Surprise, Surprise" (4:05) one of the best "flower power" choruses ever! Could almost be an ASSOCIATION song. (8.5/10)

4. "C'thlu Thlu" (6:12) other than Geoffrey Richardson's floating, panning viola, this song opens with an older, Doors-like sound and feel to it, but things shift more into psych-pop territory with the chorus in the second minute. Like the CHICAGO-like use of multiple voices for sharing the storytelling. The turn into a heavier territory in the middle of the fourth minute is unexpected and interesting. The instrumental section that follows may be the best part of the song. (8.75/10)

5. "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again" (5:38) more poppy music--it's as if the boys have decided to try to make some songs that people might hear and that might actually make them think. But then at 2:20 we turn down a very proggy road with some serious weavery and soloing (on David Sinclair's new Davoli toy!). (8.75/10)

6. "Be Alright / Chance Of A Lifetime" (6:35) nice composition, with interesting directional shifts and complexity. (13.5/15)

7. "L'auberge Du Sanglier/A Hunting We Shall Go/Pengola/Backwards/A Hunting We ... (reprise)" (10:05) One of my top five favorite Caravan songs of all-time. (20/20)

8. "Derek's Long Thing" (11:00) a three-part instrumental jam, first part piano-based, second full band uptempo, and third a slowed down section with some very delicate, subtle, and beautiful contributions from all but especially from John G. Perry's bass and David Sinclair's organ. (18/20)

Total Time: 56:07

It's a very nice album; very enjoyable listening experience. Solid drumming and well recorded. Definitely a poppier side of prog. Solid 4 stars--excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection.

Personal faves: "L'auberge du sanglier" (10:06) (20/20), "Memory Lain, Hugh/Headloss" (9:24) (18.5/20), "Be Alright/Chance of a lifetime" (6:39) (13.5/15), and "Derek's Long Thing" (11:00) (18/20).

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music and a stellar representative of the classic Canterbury Scene.

Review by Warthur
4 stars A number of lineup changes following Waterloo Lily would see Caravan's musical style changing direction. This time around, they're trying to fuse their whimsical Canterbury sound with a more mainstream-friendly musical approach, a project which after several albums would result in the band's prog audience drifting away and no mainstream audience drifting in to replace them. Here, however, the compromise between the conventional and the experimental is perfectly judged. The closing epic deserves particular props for combining a sweeping Hollywood orchestral buildup with, at the climax, a frenzied rendition of Backwards (a Mike Ratledge composition originally performed by Soft Machine). I wouldn't put this alongside the likes of If I Could Do It All Over Again or Land of Grey and Pink, which are the absolute cream of the Caravan crop, but it's certainly one of the better second-tier Caravan albums.
Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars CARAVAN had suffered the same fate that many ambitious artistically oriented early 70s bands shared, namely a lack of financial stability in exchange for the overtly sophisticated progressive developments that they were developing. After what should have been their breakthrough success album with "In The Land Of They Grey And Pink," the band found its first major shakeup as founding member and keyboardist Dave Sinclair jumped ship and joined Robert Wyatt in his fledgling Matching Mole project. After reasserting their desire to carry on as a band, the remaining members recruited a replacement in the form of Steve Miller who filled the role quite nicely but also brought an overload of jazz sensibilities to the table. After the change in direction that resulted in the following "Waterloo Lily," CARAVAN's bold new direction left many fans alienated but not all was lost as many new ones filled their shoes. Feeling like the band's direction was merely spinning wheels, Miller's recalcitrant stance of wanting to follow Soft Machine into ever jazzier arenas didn't go over too well and he was relieved of his duties.

After his short stint with Matching Mole, Dave Sinclair rejoined the band and with the addition of viola player Geoff Richardson, the band added a completely new dimension to its sound and the result was the interestingly titled and fifth studio album FOR GIRLS WHO GROW PLUMP IN THE NIGHT. The reactions of "Waterloo Lily" were mixed as some found the new direction favorable while others found it detracted from the band's potential however FOR GIRLS was universally praised for returning back to the rock elements as well as the challenging addition of a stellar horn section and elaborate symphonic orchestrations. The perfect mix of things conspired to create CARAVAN's last great album before they would water down their sound into a series of bland AOR sounding albums from which they would never fully recover. Now as a quintet, CARAVAN also solicited the help of twelve session musicians which makes FOR GIRLS sound like a larger than life experience.

The difference between FOR GIRLS WHO GROW PLUMP IN THE NIGHT is immediately apparent as the the feisty "Memory Lain" which on some editions has the following "Headloss" tacked on, opens with a predominantly guitar and bass driven rock groove exhibiting faster tempos and heavier percussive drives than the dreamy offerings of the past. The track despite its rock guitar dominance still finds many opportunities to delve into psychedelic meanderings, heavy pile driving organ runs and the progressive jazzy chops that were characteristic of the Canterbury crowd of the era. While CARAVAN was clearly on the poppier side of the Canterbury spectrum, FOR GIRLS flawlessly balances the more accessible melodic developments with intricate uses of harmonic sophistication, subtle jazz touches and of course the traces of whimsy ubiquitous in the Canterbury vernacular. In some ways tracks like "Headloss" come off as straight forward hard rock but the incorporation of the bluesy viola, atmospheric organ touches as well as the Steely Dan-esque jazz-fusion harmonic touches take it to a totally different reality.

The more upbeat rock approach continues on "Hoedown" but "Surprise, Surprise" slows things down a bit and emphasizes the atmospheric touches. The formidable "C'thlu Thlu" packs a double identity as it alternates the introductory Jethro Tull like guitar riffs (think of Martin Barre on the "Aqualung" album) along with a funk laden segment that offers an energetic uptick which makes it sound like two completely different songs were fused together and one of the more brilliant moments on the album. Likewise the instantly addictive "The Dog, The Dog, He's at It Again" not only showcases the distinct Canterbury humor in full regalia but also delivers a distinct dreamy mid-tempo melody that qualifies as a first degree ear worm but in the most pleasant aspect of the term. The track is characteristic of a perfectly written singer / songwriter style of musical sensibility augmented by things such as ska syncopation, orchestral backing and then a foray into a sizzling keyboard dominated series of soloing. A performance par excellence.

The final two tracks feature the over-the-top progressiveness and excessively titled "Be Alright / Chance Of A Lifetime" and closing finale "L'auberge du sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go / Pengola / Backwards / A Hunting Shall We Go (Reprise)," the former which delivers another heavier rock veneer but also delves into the softer more flute oriented melodies of classic CARAVAN which i presume are aspects of each title although there is no clear distinction other than the stylistic change in the middle. Another great viola performance on this one. The closing medley of CARAVANism skirts near the ten minute mark and provides a multi-suite foray into the most progressive moments of the entire album. This is where the classical and jazz touches exceed the rock elements and the sophisticated orchestral parts are fully employed to create an exceedingly symphonic aural overload. While starting off soft and subtle and jumping into choppy off-kilter time signature laced guitar riffing, the track slowly evolves as it ratchets up into a fully fueled orchestral fury.

While many would argue otherwise, i personally rank FOR GIRLS WHO GROW PLUMP IN THE NIGHT second only to "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" as CARAVAN's finest moment, one they would unfortunately never repeat as starting with the following "Cunning Stunts" the band vied towards more commercial accessibility due to financial pressures but in reality sounded more like a neutered animal that had lost all its mojo making vitality. While this album signified a new era for CARAVAN that would lead to the "New Symphonia" live album, the volatility within the ranks found this another short-lived rendition of the band and essentially left FOR GIRLS as a triumphant anomaly within the band's discography. FOR GIRLS latched onto the perfect mix of heavier rock, symphonic orchestration, jazz tinged subtleties and Canterbury cheekiness that conspired to create an unforgettably unique album in the entire rock paradigm. As far as i'm concerned, this blows "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" away which has remained the band's most popular album. This one displays a much more diverse series of approaches that worked in tandem beautifully

4.5 but too good to round down

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 524

Caravan was formed in the Canterbury Province in UK and was disbanded in 1978. However, Caravan was reformed by several times all over their very extensive musical career. Actually, for all bands that emerged in Canterbury, and despite be reformed by several times, Caravan was the most consistent of all and is also the band that lasted longer.

"For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night" is the fifth studio album of Caravan and was released in 1973. Richard Sinclair and Steve Miller left the band prior to the recording of this album. They were replaced by John G. Perry and the returning of David Sinclair. Geoff Richardson was added to the band. Thus, the line up on the album is Pye Hastings (vocals and guitars), Geoff Richardson (viola), David Sinclair (organ, piano, electric piano, Davoli synthesizer and ARP synthesizer), John G. Perry (vocals, bass and percussion) and Richard Coughlan (drums, percussion and timpani). The album had also the participation of Jill Pryor (vocals), Rupert Hine (ARP synthesizer), Jimmy Hastings (flute), Paul Buckmaster (electric cello), Tony Coe (clarinet and tenor saxophone), Pete King (flute and alto saxophone), Harry Klein (clarinet and baritone saxophone), Tom Whittle (clarinet and tenor saxophone), Henry Lowther (trumpet), Chris Pyne (trombone), Barry Robinson (piccolo) and Frank Ricotti (congas). We have also here the New Symphonia Orchestra.

"For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night" has seven tracks. The first track is divided into two sections, "Memory Lain, Hugh" and "Headloss". It's the track that gives the initial kick to the album. This is a dynamic track that contains a great sound nuance. It has an excellent beat, a well developed and acrobatic guitar work, a bass that not only marks but imposes itself in great lines. The flute raids give the song a more pastoral atmosphere and the brass splatters some jazzy reminiscences. Caravan is a band that, while at the same time sounding sweet, also adds a vigorous sound to their songs. This is a good example of that. The second track "Hoedown" keeps the same idea as "Headloss", but with a faster cadence. The guitar solo is certainly the biggest highlight here. The third track "Surprise, Surprise" reminds the listener of what the band had done on the previous albums. It's a ballad with a beautiful melody. It starts with guitar and voice, so when the band comes in, the very creative bass line stands out. The chorus has great vocal harmonies and the drums are quite energetic. The lyrics are upbeat and nostalgic. Again another great guitar solo enhances the music. The fourth track "C'Thlu Thlu" couldn't have a sound that contrasted more with the previous tracks. A change of mood and a darker atmosphere starting with guitar riffs, mostly at a walking pace. Nevertheless, it has a lighter and livelier chorus. The lyrics are kind of scary. Sinclair's organ solo puts a dark cover on the song. The fifth track "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again" has a sincere and optimistic tone that is very much in line with the characteristic style of the band. The track has some good guitar riffs. The synthesizer solo in the middle of the song is amazing. The use of some clapping in the background is cool and creative. But, an interesting thing is that although the band has never been known for making good vocal arrangements, there is one exception here, and the complexity found can be compared even to found in Gentle Giant's creations, which isn't a small feat. The sixth track is divided into two sections, "Be Alright" and "Chance Of A Lifetime". It starts with another interesting riff and introduces the listener at a slightly heavy moment. It has a performative violin piece and a great guitar solo. After a few verses and choruses the sound of the song drops to a softer line. Once again we have the beautiful supporting vocal harmonies. Electric guitars come back again before another guitar solo that grows in music until it calms down again in Pye's vocals. The seventh track is divided into five sections, "L'Auberge Du Sanglier", "A Hunting We Shall Go", "Pengola", "Backwards" and "A Hunting We Shall Go (reprise)". It closes the album with a golden key, a beautiful and masterful epic with a lot of orchestral sound. It starts smoothly with a guitar before a sound explosion takes us to the main section, having distorted organ and guitar taking on the lead role, while the electric guitar plays the music. This is an excellent way to close the album.

Conclusion: I remain a staunch advocate of "If I Could Do It All OverAgain, I'd Do It All Over You" and "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" as the quintessential Caravan's albums, not least because a Caravan without both Sinclair cousins just isn't quite the real deal for me. But, for evidence of their principal songwriter at his naughty, esoteric and consistent best, "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night" is an essential addition to your collection. So, this is overall an excellent album with great musical quality in its compositions and the flow with which it unfolds turns your listening into an extremely pleasurable experience. To my ears, this is a better album than "Waterloo Lily". Most of the piano and jazz influences were gone, and the band had added both synths and violin to their sound. I really think this worked very well. It's a great album, but you should start with "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" if you aren't familiar with Caravan yet.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

5 stars Review #97! I bought this album on vinyl just because it was not accessible to me anywhere else: not on Youtube or Spotify, not on streaming platforms anywhere to what I could find. So, after listening to 'In the Land of Grey and Pink' until I loved it, I realized I had to get my hands o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2922187) | Posted by Boi_da_boi_124 | Saturday, May 6, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is Caravan but not Canterbury Scene? The music here is more Progressive Rock in a very literal way I don't think many bands actually explored despite the being called "Rock" bands. Pye Hastings delivers stronger vocals than he ever has, really sounding quite rock'n roll. Track one pretty muc ... (read more)

Report this review (#2537290) | Posted by Beautiful Scarlet | Thursday, April 22, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the last good and progressive Caravan album. We still have long tracks, we have flute/violin/moog which bring good sophistication to the sound. "Memory Lain, Hugh-Headloss" has very good instrumental section, not really in the Canterbury style but still having satisfactory moog, drum ... (read more)

Report this review (#2457576) | Posted by sgtpepper | Monday, October 19, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night is a unique experience from everything Caravan has made. There is something I realized when listening to "Waterloo Lily" and "If I Could Do It All Over Again...", and it's that the unusual-ness of some instrumental passages, which are all well-loved by I and oth ... (read more)

Report this review (#2271986) | Posted by MaxPap | Sunday, October 20, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another great album by Caravan. "For girls who grow plump in the night" is their fifth album and to be honest is way too different from the first four. Here we can appretiate a heavier sound, in some points this album reminds me to some works by bands like Atomic Rooster or High Tide, tho ... (read more)

Report this review (#2077697) | Posted by YourJefa | Thursday, November 22, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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 ele ... (read more)

Report this review (#1644452) | Posted by ster | Friday, November 18, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The golden age of the band has passed, but here are some essential material. My first contact with the band was double CD entitled Canterbury Tales, a good collection of 1976. I expected to listen more jazz/rock that symphonic/rock, but it was the opposite, thankfully. The essential songs here ... (read more)

Report this review (#1089937) | Posted by sinslice | Saturday, December 14, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "For girls who grow plump in the night" from 1973 is Caravan's fifth studio record and of the cover I guess the music appeals to your dreams(and not just girls'). I see this record as a successfull attempt to do harder music with the same progressivity and catchy melodies as before. The sound ... (read more)

Report this review (#988757) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Saturday, June 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Caravan plays a blend of crossover prog and canterbury prog. The Girls Who Grow plump in the Night is no exception. With David Sinclair back on the keys the line-up is about the same as in The land of Grey and Pink.This record shows many quality optimistic crossover prog songs with enough inst ... (read more)

Report this review (#743717) | Posted by the philosopher | Tuesday, April 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Caravan is at it again. Caravan returns again to the formula they laid down on In The Land Of Grey And Pink. That means whimsical pop with some folk and jazz influences. There are some driving catchy songs like Hoedown, A hunting we shall go and The dog, the dog, he's at it again. Solid live fa ... (read more)

Report this review (#583665) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, December 6, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is nice to see that the ratings for this wonderful album are pushing it closer to the best rated of all Caravan albums, because it is without a doubt the best. Geoffrey Richardson was the missing link on the earlier albums and, I feel his ambitous ideas gave the band another dimension. It r ... (read more)

Report this review (#308579) | Posted by Norman Kiddie | Saturday, November 6, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Their masterpiece. I gave Waterloo Lily a 5, but that was rounded up from a 4.5 (they lost that half point mainly because of "Songs and Signs"). But this one is flawless. This, not In the Land of Grey and Pink, is the one which should be forever embedded in the site's Top 100. Pye Hastings h ... (read more)

Report this review (#290264) | Posted by KyleSchmidlin | Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is one of those albums you wonder why is rated so highly. It starts off well with Memory Lain, but the 2nd half of that song(Headloss) reminds me of the Partridge family playing something proggy. I really like the Memory Lain part and I just fade it out after about 5 minutes. Hoedown is a ... (read more)

Report this review (#284971) | Posted by PROGMONSTER2008 | Friday, June 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album was a sort of new depature. Richard Sinclair was gone and his cousin found his way back on keyboard. But it was all Pye Hastings. The sound is harder and the previous charm is gone. Instead we are served a soiid bunch of tunes, perfectly preformed with Richardson and Perry on board. ... (read more)

Report this review (#250338) | Posted by Dr Pripp | Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After some repeated listenings whilst on my travels, it's Caravan's "For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night" thats got the monicker of most listened too, overtaking "If I Could do it again.....". Not sure why that it is but there is a solid melodic theme running through the album that suits my styl ... (read more)

Report this review (#246789) | Posted by malcra | Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.1 stars, rounding up to 4 ... Actually, I must admit that it is one of the best musical experiences of the Canterbury scene. The Caravan is distinguished within it to have clear and vainglorious ability to summarize all the bucolic and peaceful atmosphere typical of this subgenus of Progre ... (read more)

Report this review (#199342) | Posted by ProgPeter! | Friday, January 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is really an album to my taste. This record has, diversity, good compositions, dynamics, virtuosity and funny typically british voices, although Sinclair isn't there. This album has a typically Caravan-sound, but the record seems to be a little bit less raw and a little bit more structured, ... (read more)

Report this review (#190648) | Posted by Foolsdrummer | Thursday, November 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My favourite all time Caravan album. The songs are simple yet complicated, with an aura of happiness that can be enjoyed over and over again. This album is essential if you enjoy psychadelic/canterbury music, its not that hard to find either. Please, buy it! Good job Caravan :) ... (read more)

Report this review (#162895) | Posted by OzzProg | Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This recording, the reissued CD with bonus tracks, represents only the second of my exposures to Caravan's 1970s material. The previous recording I reviewed, In the Land of the Grey and Pink, was a lovely piece of early progressive rock with vestigial psychedelic elements. The current recordin ... (read more)

Report this review (#158618) | Posted by LARKSTONGUE | Monday, January 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A slight return to form after Waterloo Lily, with David Sinclair rejoining, and a new bassist, John Perry. The newer member is Geoffery Richardson, viola and flute player, who adds a lot to Caravan's slightly new sound. The major difference between this album and their other great album, in the La ... (read more)

Report this review (#158258) | Posted by The Ace Face | Thursday, January 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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