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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
In the Land of Grey and Pink
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£5.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 6 January 2014
I bought this album in 1973 and played it to death. I loved its quirkiness, its eccentricities.
Who couldn't fall in love with these lyrics (which, even after some forty years, never fail to
materialise in my head from time to time): "Standing on a golf course/dressed in PVC/I
chanced upon a golf girl/selling cups of tea/she asked me would I like one/asked me with
a grin/for threepence you could buy one/full right to the brim...."
Nostalgia aint what it used to be!
This album is bonkers.
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on 25 September 2013
I heard this when it first came out, and I remember thinking it was bland, twee & boring. Except that is for the title track which I loved on first hearing. A few years later I came across a Best of Caravan LP, and bought it on the strength of that one track. The album was instantly one of my favourites, and I played it to death. All 6 other tracks were as good as "In the land of grey and pink". Good instrumentation and varied, good singing, good songs. So recently I began to think maybe I should give the band another chance, perhaps I've changed my taste and will like all their stuff now. Wrong. "In the land of grey and pink" IS bland, twee & boring. Except perhaps for the last couple of minutes of Nine Feet Underground, but who wants to sit through 20 minutes of dull homogeneous keyboard plonking (and I usually love dull homogeneous keyboard plonking!) before the half decent bit.. Gave it a few goes, but nope. I think you really have to be southern English to fully appreciate the band.
Unfortunately Caravan may only have written 7 good songs, if the other albums are like this one ! Don't think I'll be buying and trying. So 3 stars just for the title track. Now if only they would release the Best of Caravan LP on CD............
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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 23 February 2001
This classic combination of hummable tunes and complex keyboard driven instrumental work is without doubt the definitive example of the 1970's Canterbury progressive sound. A far more humorous and gently uplifting proposition than Genesis or any of the other seventies progressive giants, Caravan's music is quintessentially English and somehow comfortably familiar. Stand out tracks are the whimsical "Golf Girl", "Winter Wine" and the 20 minute plus instrumental tour-de-force "Nine Feet Underground". Without doubt this is one of my all time favourite albums and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to all fans of 70's prog.
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on 25 July 2015
I am not that much into Caravans music, but I am very fond of In the Land of Grey And Pink, cos I think this is a classic album full of top quality progressive rock. For a start, there is the fantastic album artwork. You can just stare at it for ages while getting lost in the music.
Golf Girl, the opening track is possibly their best known number and is one of those uniquely English quirky songs that us British tend to write.
Winter Wine is another fine prog tune that begins quietly with acoustic strumming, before launching into an uptempo beat that continues for most of the song. Love To Love You (and tonight pigs will fly) was a single release that is "the one that got away". In other words, it could, and should've given them a hit, but failed to chart. Maybe the lyric about "getting deep down inside your pants" put D.J's off! The title track is another prog great, with acoustic strumming mixed with soft hammond organ playing. If you listen carefully to the intro you may hear the word "drugs" being whispered . And the original comes to an end with the 22 minute epic Nine Feet Underground. Back in the day, prog acts were expected to write a long epic song. Some of these were boring and self indulgent, but 9 feet underground is none of that. It is, like this album, well crafted and of good quality. Some fans of Caravan cite In The Land of Grey And Pink as their favourite from the band; and it is easy to see why.
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on 22 February 2015
No idea why I have waited so long before listening to Caravan on CD, other than the inevitable fear that I would be disappointed, I wasn't. Whimsical, great musicianship, insular and avowedly English; it's not hard to see why they didn't break through to international stardom. Like Gentle Giant, the listener has to work to extract all that's on offer; although Caravan were not as defiantly difficult, there are still passages that lack the urgency and focus that casual consumers crave. In the right mood this is an easy 5 stars. Sat in an office on a wet Thursday after a two pint lunchtime it would probably be a visit to HR. Brilliant.
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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.

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on 26 April 2017
Never heard any music by Caravan before but being a big fan of 70's music have seen them mentioned several times. This CD was recommended to me, was not disappointed. Yes it is very 70's sounding but I really liked it , would buy other CD's by this group.
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on 25 February 2012
What do you know... this album is already known and loved by my teenage kids and we hear it on long car rides. (The 5 track original album without the 5 bonus tracks)

If one day some of them will grow to like Prog Rock like me, it will be largely thanks to this relatively catchy great album.

The 2001 remastered edition I bought lately contains 5 more tracks running over 30 minutes.

These are my insights regarding this edition:

Since I have no high end equipment to play CD's I cant comment on the technical sound quality, but to me it sounds very good.

The bonus tracks are nice to have but not essential. They are all previously unreleased, with only the first one (track 6 - I don't know Its Name) being a "true" unreleased track as it appears nowhere else but on this release, and may be considered as a link between this album and Waterloo Lily, where the first 3 minutes have an ITLOGAP sound and the second half a much more Jazzy sound that aptly fits Waterloo Lily.

Track 7 (Aristocracy) although labeled as "previously unreleased" is an early version of a track with the same name on Waterloo Lily.

Track 8 is an early instrumental version of track 2 (Winter Wine)

Track 9 is an early version of track 1 (Golf Girl) with some different nonsensical lyrics (not that the final words are much better - but still a fine song).

Track 10 a new mix for part of track 5 (Nine Feet Underground) which I found quite unnecessary.

As far as my kids are concerned - the first 5 tracks are more than enough...

All in all no serious Prog collection should be left without this album!
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on 9 December 2016
Loved it on vinyl in 1971 (artwork included). In late 2016 it still sounds superbly fresh - of its time certainly but what a time! If you've never heard this melodic, post-60s psychedelic, musical afterglow before you're in for a real treat. There are five bonus tracks. The last three track are mere curios. However 'I Don't Know Its Name' (Alias 'The Word') should have been on the original album and 'Aristocracy' is great fun. In short ItLoGaP represents fantastic value for money. Apart from giving to a worthy charitable cause, this may be the best £6 plus p&p you'll ever say goodbye to. (PS Also check out America's debut album which also came out around the same time. Acoustic rock at its very best)
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