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Last Of The Original Line-Up
on 3 January 2005
Caravan's third album (their second for Deram) had two distinct sides, the second comprising one 22 minute suite conceived by keyboardist Dave Sinclair, Nine Feet Underground, with linking passages devised by the rest of the band. It would be wholly unfair to suggest it should have been renamed Six Feet Underground and quietly buried, but it is a less effective suite than, say, For Richard or The Love In Your Eye, although it became a concert favourite and is a good example of their instrumental dexterity, veering towards the more "progressive" end of their repertoire. The following year Dave Sinclair decamped to Robert Wyatt's Matching Mole, having played on his End Of An Ear solo album, making this the last album with the original line-up.
However, it is the four songs on side one that best stand the test of time. Pye Hastings' only song on the album, Love To Love You, was the first of the results of the album sessions to be granted a release as it came out on a single a month before the album was released. The other side of the single, Richard Sinclair's charming Golf Girl, was equally strong but at 5.02 must have been considered too long to be an A-side. Richard Sinclair also contributed the title song, complete with fabulous bubble blowing solo, and Winter Wine, which Pye Hastings generously describes as "probably the finest song Richard Sinclair has ever written" in the notes to the album. The liner notes also point out with some pride that the album has never gone out of catalogue since its release in 1971.
This re-issue comes bundled with a selection bonus tracks, starting with the out-take I Don't Know It's Name (Alias The Word) and an early version of Aristocracy, which turned up on Waterloo Lily. Work-in-progress versions of Winter Wine and Golf Girl follow, and finally an alternative mix of the last two sections of Nine Feet Underground