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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock group and orchestra - a perfect match, for once, 6 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Caravan & The New Symphonia: The Complete Concert (Audio CD)
Combining a rock group and a symphony orchestra is one of those great ideas that turned bad almost as soon as it was first put into practice. Of course, we have had some relatively successful efforts over the course of years, but effectively none of them has been fully satisfactory in terms of artistic quality. Against this dark background, "Caravan & the New Symphonia" is a rarity: a marriage of rock band dynamics with classical high-brow aesthetics that really does seem to make sense, even though Caravan probably is not the first and foremost candidate to come to mind when seeking the ideal group for this nearly impossible task. But, then again, maybe this particular effort is a success just because Caravan's music lacks the pompous and pretentious qualities so often associated with "classical rock". The songs have enough grandeur to stand on their own even when orchestrated and the end result is very sympathetic and endearing. This new edition of "Caravan & the New Symphonia" is also a prime example of how classic album re-releases should be done: the album is not only remastered, but extended to include the full concert with a correct song order. As for bonus tracks, we are treated with a short Caravan set with excellent renditions of songs from "For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night" before the orchestra joins in the fun - and this time we get a chance to hear the encore ("A Hunting We Shall Go") as well. I have always loved this album, and now they have gone and made it even better!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complete At Last, 5 Jun 2004
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Caravan & The New Symphonia: The Complete Concert (Audio CD)
Caravan first worked with an orchestra when recording Pye Hasting's instrumental piece A Hunting We Shall Go for the album For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night in 1973. The conductor and arranger for the session was Martyn Ford, who had been working with Barclay James Harvest. He enjoyed the experience so much he proposed the idea of a live concert also featuring the New Symphonia Orchestra. The idea was in vogue at the time with artists as diverse as Procol Harum and Deep Purple recording albums with full orchestras on board, sometimes with overblown and pompous results, though this is happily not the case here.
The concert happened on 28 October 1973 and was brilliantly captured on the Pye Mobile by Bill Price for an album, which was duly released in April 1974. Due to the space limitations of vinyl, only the main part of the concert was included, and the running order could not be maintained. It consisted of the lengthy Love In Your Eye (from Waterloo Lily), two hurriedly finished new songs, Mirror For The Day and Virgin On The Ridiculous, and their normal closing number, the suite For Richard.
For this remastered re-issue the entire concert appears for the first time, complete with Pye Hastings' between song banter. Three songs from the current album were performed before the orchestra came on, and for an encore the complete ensemble performed the piece that had kick-started the project, A Hunting We Shall Go. These make a valuable and very welcome addition to an already essential CD
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last...., 28 Dec 2009
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This review is from: Caravan & The New Symphonia: The Complete Concert (Audio CD)
It's many years since I bought my vinyl copy of 'Caravan and the New Symphonia...', so knowing it note for note as I do, was it worth the switch to CD? Yes it was. The album should have been a double in the first place - the restored 'missing' tracks, played as a first half and without the orchestra, are as fresh and exiting now as they must have been on the night, while the grande finale, 'A Hunting We Shall Go', is just delicious, with those haunting chromatic strings in the quiet section. The accompanying booklet tells of all kinds of back-stage shenannegans (How do you spell that word?), as well as unscheduled on-stage pyrotechnics, none of which impinges on the fantastic performance of band and orchestra alike.
As a result of that concert, and the subsiquent truncated vinyl release back in 1974, Caravan earned the reputation of being the first band ever to make an orchestra really rock. Listen to this and find out why.
And cheers to Pete Drummond: at last you really did make it onto the album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Caravan at their best Live, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Caravan & The New Symphonia: The Complete Concert (Audio CD)
Some of the most chilled our Caravan. Loved it on Vinyl, and now love it on CD
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4.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC 70s PROG ROCK, 3 May 2014
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This review is from: Caravan & The New Symphonia: The Complete Concert (Audio CD)
Great music from a terrific band - how come they aren't MUCH better known? Good in the studio ... and just as good live!
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