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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the list of Caravan albums
There was a burgeoning musical scene in Canterbury in the psychedelic era of the later sixties, much of which stemmed from a band called the Wilde Flowers. Groups to emerge from this original nucleus included Gong, Soft Machine, Kevin Ayers and the Whole World, Hatfield and the North and of course Caravan, now based in nearby Whitstable, who evolved out of the remaining...
Published on 3 Jan 2005 by Lozarithm

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Caravan - for completists only
It has the rather unimaginative format of all the tracks from the album in mono .... then all the same tracks again in stereo which seems plain silly to me: as if they were trying to fool us that there are more tracks than there really are. Who wants to listen to music in mono? Well, I don't. Having said that, I tend to stick it on when I'm working and just let it chunter...
Published 11 months ago by jonathan william chaplin


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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the list of Caravan albums, 3 Jan 2005
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caravan (Audio CD)
There was a burgeoning musical scene in Canterbury in the psychedelic era of the later sixties, much of which stemmed from a band called the Wilde Flowers. Groups to emerge from this original nucleus included Gong, Soft Machine, Kevin Ayers and the Whole World, Hatfield and the North and of course Caravan, now based in nearby Whitstable, who evolved out of the remaining members of Wilde Flowers during 1967 when they decided not to be a soul band anymore. They were signed to Verve Records in 1968 with a line-up comprising singer and principal writer Pye Hastings, the brothers Richard and David Sinclair and Richard Coughlan.
Their first album, Caravan, was released in October 1968, with the first two tracks, A Place Of My Own and Ride, extracted as a single the following January. It was in some ways a groundbreaking album that captured the whimsical and exploratory moods of the times with a sound that built on the changing styles of the contemporary underground and took them further.

Pye's brother Jimmy played on the dreamily evocative Love Song With Flute, never having heard the song and recording the flute solo on the first take. The following song, the stage favourite Cecil Rons (a disguised Cecil Rhodes?) is in contrast a rowdy powerful piece with a yelled chorus. Guitar and bass are swapped over on two songs so that Richard Sinclair can take over on lead vocal for his songs Grandma's Lawn and Policeman. The closing track was a complex nine-minute piece inspired in part by a melody written in Wilde Flowers days by then member Brian Hopper. Where But For Caravan Would I? was the precursor of the direction Caravan would take on future albums, alongside their other strengths.
On this edition both mono and stereo mixes of the album are included, and as a bonus track, the single version of 1970's Hello Hello, recorded for Decca as Verve/MGM had folded by this time, rounds off the CD
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First trip, 7 July 2007
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caravan (Audio CD)
With its echoing organ backgrounds, Caravan's debut album is easily dated to the late 1960s. With only one long track, it has a different slant to everything the band subsequently did, though the gentle, English-accented
vocals are easily identifible. 'A Place Of My Own' is a straightforward, instantly memorable song and 'Ride' with its funny, trotting rhythm is both memorable and more indicative of the band's ingenuity. 'Love Song With Flute' is another beauty, but, while there are no bad tracks on the album, there are moments of blandness. 'Policeman' and 'Magic Man' are not quite as impressive and the first three minutes of their epic 'Where But For Caravan Would I?' are unremarkable. Nevertheless, this is a very good album, worth investigating after 'If I Could Do It All Over, etc' and 'In The Land Of Grey And Pink'. (They didn't like short titles, did they?)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding debut, 16 Jun 2008
This review is from: Caravan (Audio CD)
With their 1968 debut album, Caravan set their own high benchmark for musicianship and creative endeavour, if not for subsequent commercial success. These are wonderful Hammond organ dominated songs sets, with the distinctive voice of Pye Hastings to the fore, superbly supported by Richard Sinclair's wonderfully 'English' vocals. Dave Sinclair's organ dominates the overall sound, but his cousin's tasteful bass, Hastings' precise rhythm guitar and Richard Coughlan's excellent drumming in occasionally challenging time signatures create a wonderful wall of sound with plenty of light and shade. Jimmy Hasting's outstanding flute playing graces "Love song". "Place of my own", "Ride", "Magic Man", and "Cecil Rons" are very evocative of Canterbury's own interpretation of psychedaelia. The album is fitting concluded with the extended piece "Where but for caravan would I?" which pointed the way to extended pieces such as "For Richard" and "Nine feet under" on subsequent albums. Whether you listen in mono or stereo, it is simply a brilliant album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music, 22 Aug 2011
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A. Csete "Chets" (RAF) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caravan (Audio CD)
I bought this album despite mixed reviews because I like the other Caravan albums I own. If you like the rest of their stuff like Land of Grey and Pink, you'll enjoy this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caravan cd, 23 May 2009
By 
S. E. Lindsay - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caravan (Audio CD)
Caravan's 1968 debut with both mono and stereo mixes. This cd has a melodic yet proggy sound, highlighted by the organ that seeps in from the very first track. "Place of my own" and "Magic man" are real gems of the psychedelic era. "Love song with flute" has a really dreamy summery feel, while "Cecil Rons" flashes from anger to happiness with amazing ease. A very British sounding album with hints of the progressive rock sound that would come to fruition in the early 1970's. The single "Hello hello" is also featured here and fits nicely with the album. Complete with comprehensive liner notes, this is an excellent purchase for fans of the psychedelic/prog rock sound.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Caravan - hidden secret, 3 July 2014
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This review is from: Caravan (Audio CD)
This is a superb album. Totally under-rated and as good as Pink Floyd psychedelic era, early Genesis, the Doors, Satanic Majesties. or Seargeant Pepper (OK maybe not quite as good). Grandma's lawn is a classic psychedelic track with mind bending percussion and imaginative lyrics which I want to re-write as poetry. The keyboardist works some insane patterns. Mr Policeman - excellent. This is just waiting to be re-discovered. This is genuinely freaky and evocative of that particular time - 1968.
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5.0 out of 5 stars leave out the cecil rons pye please, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: Caravan (Audio CD)
Excellent album for caravan.good organ and guitar work typical pye hastings material.only let down is cecil rons track not really up to standards
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4.0 out of 5 stars Caravan CD, 15 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Caravan (Audio CD)
CD has both mono and stereo versions of the same Album. They don't appear remarkably different. At least in the car you get to hear the Album twice on a long journey! Personally, I don't think this is their best work but it has some good moments. Needs to be played loud on good speakers to get the full effect of some of the quiet, weird material. As ever goods arrived promptly in plain packaging. Thanks.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Early Caravan, 6 Oct 2013
By 
G. D. Mcallen "Frater Achos" (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caravan (Audio CD)
Early Caravan are best before the keyboard player left and their first album, this one, is an example of this. The songs are not as long as some of the ones on their next two albums, but the formative style is compensation enough.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Caravan - for completists only, 28 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Caravan (Audio CD)
It has the rather unimaginative format of all the tracks from the album in mono .... then all the same tracks again in stereo which seems plain silly to me: as if they were trying to fool us that there are more tracks than there really are. Who wants to listen to music in mono? Well, I don't. Having said that, I tend to stick it on when I'm working and just let it chunter on and it kinda lets you hear the tracks twice.

There's some nice touches here and there but it does sound like a first album i.e. an original, highly creative band finding their feet. However, it you are new to Caravan I'd recommend "In the land of grey and pink" and if you like that, then buy "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You". These are thoughtful hippie albums with a twist of English charm and melancholia laced with superb keyboard solos. These dominate over electric guitar (makes a change!) but there is some fine guitar work as well.
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