I really enjoyed the first Caravan album I heard (that would be their second), despite a few glaring drawbacks, and I looked forward to listening to a later one. But this just doesn’t do it for me.
For one thing, it’s pretty glaring how conventional these guys were compared to so many other prog bands. And this album, released in prog’s big year of 1973 – when seemingly every major progressive rock band released a classic record – just doesn’t sound particularly forward-thinking compared to most of the other major prog rock bands. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s just pretty conventional.
There are a number of really great moments:
- there are some great class prog drum fills on “Memory Lain”;
- there are a few moments of menace on “C’Thlu Thlu” (those disappear shortly);
- and they have created a fantastic “progressive” pop song in “The Dog, the Dog, He’s at it Again.”
The last track is illustrative of the problem: if they applied the same creativity that they applied to its vocal arrangements on the coda to the rest of the album, they might have had something more.
This fine. It’s accessible, enjoyable prog rock, but it’s not going to change your life.
All songs composed by Pye Hastings, except where noted.
- “Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss” 9:19
- “Hoedown” 3:20
- “Surprise, Surprise” 4:07
- “C’thlu Thlu” 6:15
- “The Dog, The Dog, He’s at It Again” 5:58
- “Be All Right / Chance of a Lifetime” 6:37
- “L’Auberge du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go / Pengola / Backwards / A Hunting We Shall Go (reprise)” by Pye Hastings, John G. Perry, Mike Ratledge; 10:07
- Pye Hastings – guitar, vocals
- Geoff Richardson – viola
- David Sinclair – organ, piano, electric piano, Davoli synthesizer, ARP synthesizer on (2)
- John G. Perry – bass, vocals, percussion
- Richard Coughlan – drums, percussion, timpani
- Rupert Hine – ARP synthesizer (1, 2 & 6)
- Frank Ricotti – congas (2, 3, 5, 7)
- Jimmy Hastings – flute (1)
- Paul Buckmaster – electric cello (7)
- Tony Coe – clarinet, tenor saxophone (1)
- Pete King – flute, alto saxophone (1)
- Harry Klein – clarinet, baritone saxophone (1)
- Henry Lowther – trumpet (1)
- Jill Pryor – voice (5)
- Chris Pyne – trombone (1)
- Barry Robinson – piccolo (1)
- Tom Whittle – clarinet, tenor saxophone (1)
- Orchestra arranged by John Bell and Martyn Ford, conducted by Martyn Ford