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Better By Far Original recording reissued

3.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Sept. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Wienerworld
  • ASIN: B005FQH7DC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,496 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's easy to imagine this might possibly be their best album, but that's only because it came after a couple of duff servings (Cunning Stunts and Blind Dog), after which quite frankly the only way was up - the title does provide a reasonably apt description here. There's the usual line-up juggle, seems we can hardly tell Caravan, Camel and Dutch progsters Kayak apart as they swap members about continually - definitely a Caravan collection of songs, mostly from Pye Hastings with his usual whimsical sideways look at difficult love affairs with difficult members of the opposite sex, and some extra input from Richardson (viola player, later to join Penguin Cafe). A very well rehearsed and played album, none of the rush-recorded slapdash tosh from the previous 2 albums. A real shame they couldn't have filled the CD out with some live recordings from this album's line-up - their concerts from this era were an evolution - or included the BBC sessions recorded at the time of its release. Otherwise, great that it's out on CD again. Now we just have to wait for "The Album" and the final tour-de-force from the original era, and returning original line-up, "Back to Front" - another couple of excellent Caravan albums that rarely appear on CD.
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Format: Audio CD
I've always had a soft spot for this album as it was the first Caravan album that I bought; back in 1977 on cassette. Since then we've seen several re-issues of the classic Decca albums but it has taken until now (2005) for this album to make it onto compact disc.
This album is considered by some Caravan fans as too 'commercial' laying the blame for this on its producer, Tony Visconti. This is a little unfair. It perhaps doesn't break new ground but it still contains some great tunes, I find the title track is difficult to stop humming once you've heard it.
It got somewhat lost back in the late 70s, as I'm sure some other good albums did, under the tide of punk and new wave music which was sweeping the music scene, so I hope that it will now get the attention and listeners it deserves.
The overall sound is not as good as the classic Decca albums, but then Decca recordings from the late 60s and early 70s tend to surpass those from other recording companies, not just those of Caravan but also Camel and the Moody Blues to name just two; but it's pretty good.
So well done Eclectic for this re-release, along with the two earlier re-releases of the Kingdom albums.
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Format: Audio CD
This one tends to get some unfavourable reviews - there are already a couple on here - but I think it's been sadly misjudged.

Alright it may not be Grey & Pink but it still has a lot to offer and although very much of it's time the material is strong enough to survive the passage of time.

Some of Pye's lyrics may be a little bit of a pastiche of former Caravan glories but the melodies are all in place and the playing as expected is off a very high standard

And any album that includes The Last Unicorn can't be all bad - one of my favourite all time instrumental pieces it's filled with glorious melodic flair and twists and turns - there's enough in it's 5 minute plus duration for a certain Mr Oldfield to get an album's worth out of
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Format: Audio CD
This album bristles with exactly the same songwriting brilliance and instrumental dexterity that made 'Plump in the Night' such a tour-de-force. 'The Last Unicorn' is the band's finest instrumental track, bar none. 'Behind You' will stick in your head forever once you've heard it. The title track is a corking ballad.

But it's the beautiful 'Nightmare' that crowns this album. Possibly Pye's best song ever, it is played sinuously and sung with a rare delicacy and emotion.

Totally recommended!
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Ignore what the so called critics say - this is a marvellous album - one of my all-time favourites. Great songs & lyrics - very melodic and down to earth. Despite being 'popular' it is definitively one of Caravan's best.
I've been waiting a long while to replace my vinyl recording which is now worn out.
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Format: Audio CD
....this isn't land of grey and pink. If (as i did) you buy this thinking your going to get more of the early 70's caravan... you'd listen to this once and then never again. I bought this originally in 1989... listened to it once. Thought it was rubbish. Then....dug it out again 20 years later... and decided to try again. And it hasn't changed - so I must have. I now say "It is a good record". These days I listen to it regularly. Bits of it stick in my head and I find I have to put it on. It was always criticised for being more commercial...but there is a great deal of complex playing in what at first appear to be simple songs.
If you like cunning stunts then there is nothing on this record that strays far from that mid 70's feel. Excellent use of the electric viola. Richard C is such an inventive yet no nonsense drummer. I'd happily recommend it. it took 20 years...but eventually I think I can say.... it was worth buying.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Original British band playing their individual style of prog. Rock. The better side of a much maligned style of music which modern bands just can't seem to replicate. . .as hard as they try!
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