Although doomed to play second fiddle to Canterbury contemporaries Soft Machine
, Caravan delivered much music of merit; and If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
--their second album, originally released in 1970--stands as their best. There was always a slightly wistful, pastoral quality to Caravan's music, and that's what comes across here, from its lush green cover to the music inside. Pye Hastings' voice is soft and enticing, particularly on "With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It". Back then, shortness was not seen as a virtue, and in keeping with the mood of the times, "Can't Be Long Now" clocks in at a hefty 14 minutes. But Caravan could also be disciplined, as the single "Hello Hello" demonstrates. Bolstered by four intriguing bonus tracks and thorough new sleeve notes, If I Could Do It All Over Again...
should bring back a host of happy memories. --Patrick Humphries