Caravan United Kingdom

A143 Prog-Adj93
[Really Awesome Musicianship25, Awesome Songwriting25, Excellent Composition24, Very Good Production24 and Very Good Lyrics24]
added by Mike
Review by chopper published
Live In Nottingham Live, 2003
B Classic English Prog Jazz

This CD is apparently taken from a concert that was part of the Bedrock series made by Central Music in the late 1980s, a series which also includes Asia, Rick Wakeman, Gong, Hawkwind and Uriah Heep. Personally I have no recollection of this series but the television broadcasts were a great success (it says here). It features the classic Caravan line-up of Pye Hastings, Richard and David Sinclair, Richard Coughlan with the ever reliable Jimmy Hastings on flute. Most of the songs here are well known Caravan classics including Head Loss, Winter Wine, For Richard and a nice version of Nine Feet Underground. I must admit I find the original of Nine Feet Underground a bit boring in places due to the lack of variety in the keyboard sound. This version breaks things up a bit with the ubiqitous Mr Hastings' flute and sax.

The sound is pretty good, some of the keyboard sounds are a bit tinny but overall it's a worthwhile purchase for Caravan fans, especially at the price I picked it up for. It also features a new Roger Dean "buildings" painting on the cover. What more can you want?

Review by chopper published
A Modern Non-Prog Canterbury Scene

I've always liked the short, whimsical "pop" songs from Caravan - Golf Girl, If I could Do It All Over Again and particularly Love to Love You. This 1995 release contains at least one of the whimsical songs in "Wendy wants another 6" mole", but the rest of the tracks are all short (by Caravan standards anyway) and are in a less Canterbury style than the original band. This is very much a Pye Hastings CD, as he wrote all the songs bar one. To be honest I wasn't expecting too much but this has come as a very pleasant surprise. The quality of recordings is good, the songs are all melodic and well played as you'd expect, but there are enough solos to keep most prog fans happy. The wind of Jimmy Hastings (if you'll pardon the expression) is very much in evidence here and "I know why you're laughing" even features what sounds like the Caravan organ sound of old.

I appear to have the older edition where the cover art has a budget, almost photocopied feel to it, nevertheless this is an excellent CD and I'd recommend it to all but the most die-hard Canterbury fan.