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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE archive release of 2002
The year has barely started and the competition for the best archive release of 2002 is already over. Caravan's "Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974" is one monster of a live album, a couple of seconds short of 80 minutes of sheer brilliancy from a magnificent group in the peak of its powers.
Previously available only briefly in the early 80's under the title...
Published on 11 Feb 2002

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Other reviews relate to a different item
All the reviews on this page for "A Hunting We Shall Go" seem in fact to be about a different item, namely "Live At The Fairfield Halls, 1974", which is certainly an excellent release.
This, however, seems to be a different beast, and according to the track listing above contains only 3 tracks. Not sure if those are taken from the Fairfield Halls recording or a...
Published on 27 May 2011 by simonbla


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE archive release of 2002, 11 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (Audio CD)
The year has barely started and the competition for the best archive release of 2002 is already over. Caravan's "Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974" is one monster of a live album, a couple of seconds short of 80 minutes of sheer brilliancy from a magnificent group in the peak of its powers.
Previously available only briefly in the early 80's under the title "The Best of Caravan Live" (now complete with "Chance of a Lifetime" and the encore "Hoedown" correctly placed) this is a professionally recorded album with exceptional sound quality. The gig itself has been lauded as one of the finest Caravan performances of the period, and one can easily hear why. The set is brilliant from start to finish. Even the songs usually heard with orchestral backing ("Virgin on the Ridiculous" and "A Hunting We Shall Go") sound superb as quartet arrangements and certainly do not seem lacking in any respect.
This Caravan comes loaded with goods - don't miss out on your share!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caravan - As they were meant to be heard, 20 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (Audio CD)
The definitive Caravan live album.
OK the official release at the time "Caravan & the New Symphonia" has a novelty value with the full orchestral backing but is not as good as this release.
The band were in magnificent form at fairfield Hall (obviously looking forward to their impending jaunt to the States)and every track is superbly performed - often surpassing the studio versions. Certainly The Love in Your Eye, For Richard and L'Auberge du Sanglier are worth the price alone.
As one of the few who managed to get "The Best of Caravan Live" - the French release that featured much of this concert performance - I was doubtful if I would ever see it on CD so I could hardly have been more pleased to see the full concert released in its own right.
80 minutes of Caravan bliss? Come on - you can't go wrong!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caravan at their best!, 15 Jan 2004
By 
Adrian Hedges (Dorking, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (Audio CD)
I was a loyal Caravan fan back in the early 70’s and could never understand why a band with such original musical ideas, and unique sound (just listen to that organ on If I Could Do it Again and Land of Grey and Pink), never made it to the big time. It was left to those of us ‘in the know’ to spread the Caravan message. Now, after many years, I have dug up my Caravan vinyl collection and decided that this music is still as fresh and original as ever and deserves upgrading to CD. Looking on Amazon, I was pleased to find that someone at Decca had persuaded the men in suits to re-master the albums. I was also intrigued to find this Live at Fairfield Halls CD and the glowing reviews were enough to make me buy it. I was not disappointed. It is Caravan at their best and all complimented by a technically good recording.
Mainly featuring material from Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night, there are other gems here as well, Virgin on the Ridiculous, Love in Your Eye and, of course, For Richard. The band sounds really tight and the musical energy is captured magnificently. This CD should have been released in the UK a long time ago rather than just being restricted to being a French release. Anyway, it is now here, great music from a great band - play loud.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic, 9 April 2006
This review is from: Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (Audio CD)
I bought this album in 1980 while interailing on the continent.
I had "In the land of .." , but must admit that wasnt a true Caravan obsessive, being more of a Camel fan.
I was blown away when I arrived home after carting the thing around Europe for 4 weeks.
For Richard and The Love in your eye are personal faves .
The sound quality for a live album of this era , even on vinyl , is superb.
The band are very tight, and the Hammond organ solos still send shivers up my spine to this day.
If you a long time fan, get it, and if you like early 70`s jazzy prog and wish to dip your toe into the Caravan stained water, it is also worth a listen.
It is still one of my all time favourite live albums, 25 years after buying it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Hits Live, 8 Nov 2003
By 
Spinalpap4u (Monmouth, Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (Audio CD)
For anyone who managed to get their hands on the rather rare vinyl version of this album (only released in France) they might wonder what the fuss is about but this has nevertheless long been regarded by other Caravan fans as a bit of a holy grail release. Effectively released then as a live greatest hits package in fact it comprised a single performance from Croydon in September 1974, arguably at the zenith of the band's artistic period with Decca - certainly in terms of studio albums it was all downhill from here on in.
The performance is nevertheless an enjoyable one. The band had long ago mutated from the original Canterbury line up and by late '74 it was effectively a new band playing the old hits (even the last album's line up from earlier in 1974 had not survived long).
Now repackaged as a single live album (it is exactly what it says on the cover) these are nonetheless pretty storming performances, particularly the tracks from the "Girls That Grow Plump in the Night" LP. It is a bit of a strange mix however and although there is rarity value in the "L'Auberge Du Sanglier" suite being captured for posterity this and the New Symphonia track, "Virgin on the Ridiculous", are pretty weak live in my view.
What makes up for these minor shortcomings are great performances of "Love in your Eye", "Memory Lain, Hugh/Headloss" and the old staple "For Richard". The whole album
was recorded professionally on the Pye Mobile recording unit and, as such, sound quality is extremely high.
Most Caravan fans will want this in their collection but if we can get earlier performances from 1970-71 officially released I suspect that this performance will, in comparison, soon be forgotten.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the only, but definitely the best way to hear Caravan, 29 Jun 2009
By 
Mark Kibble "Underground man" (Coalville Leics England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (Audio CD)
Like many other bands in the early seventies, Caravan were always at their best in concert. Sadly Richard Sinclair had moved on prior to the recording of this and 'For girls who grow plump...' hence the bass lines are not quite as melodic as earlier material but what the heck thats a small price to pay, the musicians, yes I do mean musicians here put on what must have been a concert to die for (wish I was there).

A well balanced set from the opener 'Memory Lain, Hugh/Headloss' to 'Hoedown'which closed the album. Highlights!!! don't ask me, every time I play it something different takes my fancy, all I will say is this, if you know and enjoy the music of Caravan then the quality on offer here will be no surprise, if however you have just stopped by on a browsing session and are wonderng just what Caravan are like then this album will supply the answer. A steady laid back form of rock with both jazz and folk influences, keyboards in the main to the fore but some intelligent viola and guitar provide good support.

Do yourself a favour and try it, I'd be surprised if you didn't then search out the rest of their back catalogue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come on!!, 4 Jun 2009
By 
Paul Millington (Wirral, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (Audio CD)
I'm new to Caravan, so it has been a joy to discover this classic prog outfit I had so regrettably overlooked. If you want the pick of their studio releases go for 'Girls that grow plump' or 'Land of Grey & Pink', but if you want to capture the energy and spirit of the band go for this live classic. It is brim-full of talented musicians at the height of their creative powers. Wonderfully loose and extended versions abound as they rip into their classic tracks. A tight rhythm section back up the flowing viola of Geoffrey Richardson and the pure vocals of Pye Hastings. As for Dave Sinclair, his Hammond & Moog simply cut through to provide a wonderfully full sound. I defy anyone not to listen to the closer 'Hoedown' without taking up the bands invitation to come on and join in the fun ...in 7/8. Truly wonderful stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Needs a Third Version of This Collection of Songs?, 22 Sep 2008
This review is from: Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (Audio CD)
Well I certainly do actually. Essentially there was the studio album, For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night, then a live album Caravan & the New Symphonia which covered more or less that album live with an orchestral accompaniment. Then Before they went on tour to America they recorded this album as a taster for radio play, hoping to draw in audiences for the concerts.

When this subsequently surfaced as a live album I have to say that I thought that I thought that it might not be the most essential Caravan album available. I then read a glowing review of this and thought that I might as well give it a go and it is brilliant. Good sound quality and the band have got these song really pinned down live by this stage.

It really is worth having either/both of the other albums mentioned above as well as this excellent album
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mike's first gig, 12 July 2011
By 
Mr. Thomas Thatcher "Tom Thatcher" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (Audio CD)
I had this LP on the Kingdom label, bought at a record fair. My best mate and son's Godfather, Mike Wedgwood, was amazed to hear it as the band seemed barely aware that it existed!

When I listen to the quality of the songs and of the playing, it makes the recent Coldplay headline at Glastonbury look so feeble: and this was Mike's first gig with Caravan!! How can you play all this thoughtful, intelligent and difficult music so well after only a few days?

Great Caravan fare here, classic tracks played by a band who were always fantastic on stage and who were a lot more powerful than many remember: a powerhouse band punching out the all great stuff. Brilliantly recorded, this is a cracking album. Buy now.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this CD Now!, 21 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 (Audio CD)
"For Girls......" for me was the best Caravan LP. Not true to Caravan of old, but Free Form Caravan with Jazz. Live at Fairfield is the Big Brother to "For Girls......". Why this was never released in the UK, I will never know. If you liked "For Girls......" just type in the information, and buy this CD before it is deleted. Superb, great quality, and great music. End of story. What a Band! Decca may be an Old Record Label, but there is one Record Executive who works for Decca who knows what he/she is doing, and has a brain. Who ever it was who said "Yes lets do it" needs to be commended. Roll Back the Years, Hold up the Ears, and in the comfort of your own home do what ever you did when you saw them live!
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Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974
Live at the Fairfield Halls, 1974 by Caravan (Audio CD - 2002)
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