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4.8 out of 5 stars
79
4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a very creative album from Progressive Rock band Caravan. The album is a very English classic pop album with a great deal of originality. The album was released in 1971.
Caravan was a leading figure in what was known as the "Canterbury sound". This is a combination of music styles including Jazz, classical and traditional influences. It is easily a Progressive Rock album.
The project has five important parts with the last part "Nine feet Underground" lasting over 20 minutes. The whole album has complex sounds. There is a fairy, dream like set of themes with very original lyrics and strong instrumentation and arrangements.
The album has the classic feel of the hippy, drug-induced influences of the late 1960s and early 1970s with wonderful pictorial imagery.
If you like the wide range of Progressive Rock band influences and Rock groups from the likes of Procal Harum, Yes, Pink Floyd, Wishbone Ash, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Jefferson Airplane etc then you will like this.
It is clear that the musicians are all very professional. The whole band has created something special here. This is a great release with good strong and clear sound on a classic album,
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on 24 March 2012
I've just fairly recently started to investigate the whole "Canterbury scene" of the late 60's and early 70's, and after a delve into the world of Soft Machine and Kevin Ayers solo material (all good..), this album has raised the bar even higher. It took a couple of spins but I quickly became completely hooked by it's drug influenced, very English charms. Unlike so much prog (love the Floyd but one imagine's their recording sessions weren't laughter filled occasions), here is a band with a definite sense of humour. Catchy tunes are aplenty too. I am currently in the process of being drawn in by the previous album "If I could do it all again, I'd do it all over you" - sounding like another treat so far.
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VINE VOICEon 13 July 2007
This is the first Caravan album I heard and, as a result, I sought out as many of their others as I could find. Only its predecessor, 'If I Could...etc,' is possibly better, but this one is perhaps a little more instantly accessible. Bright, imaginative and yet a little reserved in manner, this is the sort of work that could only come from an English band. 'Golf Girl' is a gentle, melodic, but engaging opening, a trait continued by the next three tracks. 'Love To Love You (Pigs Might Fly)' is a little more rhythm-oriented, but there's no raucousness with Caravan.
The 22-minute 'Nine Feet Underground' is the track you hold your breath over. Triumph or disaster? Definitely the former, the portentous opening keyboard riff grabbing you straight away. According to the track listing, it's divided into several sub-tracks, but as with all instrumentals, trying to work out where the divisions are is a pointless exercise. Suffice to say, this is a marvellous album for anyone with an inclination for so-called progressive rock of the 1970s.
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on 14 July 2009
I first heard 'in the land of grey and pink' as a 14 year old, when I borrowed it from the local library because I saw it in the LP rack and I thought the cover was nice. I rushed home and put it on my dad's turntable and immediately thought 'Bluuuurrgh'.

A (much) older and wiser woman heard 'golf girl' again on the radio. The late English psychadelia, and the gentle folk rock thing captured how I remember the time, and awash with nostalgia I decided to invest in another listening, safe in the knowledge that, frankly, nothing with a mellotron it has EVER been that bad.

Listening to it now, 'Golf girl' is just as catchy as it always was, conjouring up a cosy english vibe. Tea is involved, and nothing bad can happen here. 'Winter wine' is delicate and folky initially before opening up into a more racy folk rock which doesnt hesitate to mention both wandering minstrels and dragons and throw in a bit of keyboard noodling. I dont imagine 'Love to Love You' ever made the charts, but it certainly had the potential. The title track follows, folky, but with an indidious kick beat. I have no idea what they are singing about, but its a bit dreamy. Sailing away somewhere and smoking something. And drinking more tea. Exquisite light elegant piano solo. and a bit more mellotron. Oh this is good ....

Ah then what took up the entire 'B' side on the LP. Clocked at 22:40. The first element is a bit more Jazzy, but really still totally 1971 - like the sort of background music you would get at the odeon during those short features before the big picture and highlighting the many moods of the saxophone. And a bit more mellotron. Goes on a bit. Eventually some vocals kick in, and it gets a bit heavier, even though you can tell that Caravan are really not annoyed about anything.

Although something running 22:40 would normally scare me off, this does vary enough to be interesting. Tho perhaps not that much. Oh please! Stop! Im not a muso! It does include one movement called 'Dance of the seven paper hankies'. And if you want you can use some of the 22:40 to go and make a cup of tea, because by now you definitely fancy one.

Lots of quality bonus tracks, so all in all this is a pretty cool deal. I really hate long tracks tho. And I cant imagine how those not from these isles would deal with it, but I find it charming that they do.

You sort of get the feeling that Caravan dont take themselves too seriously, Which is probably quite a good thing. Though you start to wonder about that after about 15 minutes of instrumentals. But I still like the cover.
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on 16 October 2004
In the Land of Grey and Pink is one of the best albums of the 70's. The humorous and whimsical charm of 'Golf Girl' and 'In the Land of ...' are a sheer joy to listen to. The lyrics of the latter piece always remind me of Edward Lear, and help make this a very English album (despite Lear's extensive travels). 'Love to Love You' is rather naughty (as Caravan tended to be!) and a typical Pye Hastings composition. 'Nine Feet Underground' is a huge, rambling and ambitious piece which works brilliantly because of the band's ensemble playing, and in particular Dave Sinclair's keyboard work. But my favourite piece is 'Winter Wine'. It manages to create a happy-sad feeling, somehow, and makes you think of memories that you might have had ...
It's hard to find another album that matches this one for variety and strength of song-writing. Although the band may not be the most accomplished musicians about, it doesn't matter as they play together so well. This album should be in everybody's record collection, if they have an interest in English rock/pop music of the 70's - even my sons, from the age of 7 - 14, love it.
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on 26 March 2007
Caravan have been with me since my early teens; their music always inspirational, but probably never so much so as on this album, "In The Land of Grey and Pink". Their third album, it is one of three in a four year period that most Caravan fans pick out as their best, the other two being 1970's "if I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You" and 1973's "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night".

Caravan are still playing and recording to this day despite having suffered many line-up changes in the 40 years of their existence: the only ever-present member being its inspirational leader, Pye Hastings. Pye's sweet voice is a hallmark of the Caravan sound, whatever reincarnation of the band you listen to. On this album the band also comprised the cousins Richard and David Sinclair (on bass and keyboards) and Richard Coughlan on drums. Significantly, the band also brought in Pye's brother Jimmy for this album and his contributions on flute, tenor sax and piccolo are a significant factor in the overall mystique of the soundscape created. David Sinclair's keyboards are another big factor in this; the music on this album is almost like a painting; different songs corresponding to different areas of the canvas, but clearly all being a significant part of the overall picture, such is the nuance of the musical thread running through the album.

The album is made up of 5 separate pieces: four are relatively short whilst the final one, "Nine feet Underground", is a relatively lengthy composition of over 22 minutes which originally took up the whole of side 2 of the LP. The complexity of this piece, together with the interweaving of similar complexities and soundscapes into the shorter pieces, have led to Caravan being labelled as a progressive-rock band. Certainly, for my money, this album is better than anything more famous prog-rock bands such as Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd ever produced.

Melody is a strong feature throughout: even during "Nine Feet Underground", there is plenty to hum or whistle along to. And by the time you get to it, your voice is already warm as you've sung along to some gorgeous songs - the boppy, tongue-in-cheek love song "Golf Girl", "Winter Wine", "Love to Love You" and the title track itself, "In the land of Grey and Pink". This is unashamedly about the pleasures of taking drugs and it is one of life's little mysteries to me why I, who have never taken drugs (and I wasn't even a boy scout!) should so much enjoy music either about drugs or obviously composed under the influence: Caravan, Hawkwind, Steve Hilllage, Spirit and many more.

Wonderful!
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on 3 September 2017
Pure Prog heaven from first to last track.
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on 24 March 2017
Of its era and lovely. Sweet musicianship
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on 10 January 2007
When I was a young teenager I was the youngest in my group of friends and tended to follow their lead in my taste in music. The times when I made my own choices were most rewarding and when we went to an older friends house, who was into a load of things we didn't really know about, she put on side 2 of this album. It was as if a switch had been turned on in my head and I knew I wanted way more than the rock music that we had tended to listen to (Status Quo, Wishbone Ash, Led Zep')So I started to explore Caravan then though another person I met I got really into Soft Machine, Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, Egg, Khan, Gong, National Health, Arzachel etc, but it all really started with this album. I still have a very powerful membery of how influential this was in the development of my music listeing and the fact that it opened the door to me for all the other bands give it a special place in my CD collection
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on 21 August 2003
Nine Feet Underground was one of my favourite tracks of all time back in the 70's, and since I got the cd, damn if it isn't still! This gentle, humorous, wonderful album will enrich your life. Punk it isn't. Hard rock it isn't. Fine music beautifully played it is. Don't deprive yourself any longer.
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