CD Review – Caravan – Who Do You Think We Are? 37 Disc Deluxe Edition Boxset

We’ll soon have to instigate a system to identify the size of boxsets, in a similar way to the way carats are used to measure gold, precious stones and pearls. By any standards this boxset is a massive one, the equivalent of the Koh-i-Noor of boxsets. Some thirty-seven discs, including a Blu-Ray and a DVD, taking a look at Caravan’s enormously varied output since the band’s first release way back in the hazy days of 1968, this release could be conservatively described as expansive. Limited world-wide to 2500 copies, it contains everything you could possibly want from the band’s output, including (take a deep breath!): sixteen newly remastered studio albums and four official live albums, seven previously unreleased concert recordings, on Blu-Ray for the first time the 48/24 stereo and 5.1 mix by prog-meister Steven Wilson of In The Land Of Grey & Pink, a DVD including rare footage from The Marquee 1971, Rock En Stock 1972, Bataclan 1973 and French TV performance 1981, an individually signed photo by the three surviving original band members Pye Hastings, Dave Sinclair, and Richard Sinclair, a144 page hardback coffee table book featuring rare photographs and memorabilia, an A4 fan club mini book featuring archive articles and an up to date interview with Pye Hastings, an A4 replica tour programme for Blind Dog at St Dunstans, a For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night replica press pack, Caravan’s ‘Trip Down Memory Lain’ map of Canterbury, an illustrated family tree of the band, and two replica posters. (It’s all right to breath normally again now!) The release has the full co-operation of the band.

Caravan are, perhaps, the ultimate Canterbury Sound band. Developing out of the now mythical Wilde Flowers, a band that also gave us Soft Machine, the original band consisted of Pye Hasting, Richard Coughlan, Richard Sinclair, and Dave Sinclair. This grouping pretty much established the band’s signature sound that would prove to be so successful for decades. It was always wide enough to allow for great variations, and encompasses psychedelic rock, jazz, and classical, all melded into a style of progressive rock that became known as Canterbury Scene (a loosely defined term referring to a string of band’s that centred on Canterbury, Kent, playing jazz infused psychedelic rock. These would include, amongst others, Soft Machine, Gong, Egg, National Health, Gilgamesh, and more recent arrivals such as Syd Arthur).

The music itself is nicely spruced up, whatever remastering that has taken place has definitely provided a cleaner more defined sound, particularly on the older albums where the haziness of the psychedelia is livelier and more sonically refined. It is interesting to note how the band’s music changed over the years. The band’s eponymous 1968 release and it’s follow up If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You finds the band still emersed in a psychedelic world but one that is not overly heavy or trippy, this gives way in the 1970s to a more defined sound on classics such as In The Land Of Grey And Pink and For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night which would become legendary releases for the band, then there’s a stuttering release of albums as the band morphed with new members and old ones returning for a while, the music was always interesting but tending to become more concise, and somewhat quaint. Many critics have accused progressive rock of lacking humour, but Caravan are one of many such bands that show that to be false. Many song titles are Pythonesque, from the already mentioned If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You, to The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again, A Very Smelly Grubby Little Oik, and Wendy Wants Another 6” Mole. Some of the songs are in themselves humorous or whimsical, like Golf Girl and The Unauthorised Breakfast Item. Such whimsical humour is an important component of what helps to make Caravan what it is.

Inevitably, there was a falling off in the band’s output. Some of the live material can be described as overly mellow, introverted and unfocused and some of the later studio albums suffer from a few too many weak songs. There’s always much to admire, but there’s a lack of the expansiveness that gave Caravan such a boost earlier on in its career.

There are a number of bonus tracks included in the release, including a whole extra disc of material from In The Land Of Grey And Pink. Some of the extra material elsewhere comprises of original demo versions, single versions, and the occasional alternative version.

This is a wonderful, lavish retrospective of the band though, including some incredible highs, not the least from the In The Land Of Grey And Pink era, which probably represents the band’s zenith, especially Nine Feet Underground. The band always was interesting though, and irrespective of who was in the band maintained a true stance of the original vision. Caravan never made the leap to the upper echelons of their peers though, such as Yes, Pink Floyd or Genesis, but they created arresting, absorbing, rewarding music nonetheless. Perhaps they were just too quirky and off-beat for mass appeal. That’s a pity really, as this terrific release for the band from the Madfish label shows.

Release Date: 20th August

Label: Madfish

DISC ONE

Caravan (Mono Version)

Place Of My Own

Ride

Policeman

Love Song With Flute

Cecil Rons

Magic Man

Grandma’s Lawn

Where But For Caravan Would I?

Caravan (Stereo Version)

Place Of My Own

Ride

Policeman

Love Song With Flute

Cecil Rons

Magic Man

Grandma’s Lawn

Where But For Caravan Would I?

DISC TWO

If I Could Do It All Over Again,

I’d Do It All Over You

If I Could Do It All Again, I’d Do It All Over You

And I Wish I Were Stoned / Don’t Worry

As I Feel I Die

With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It / Martinian /

Only Cox / Reprise

Hello Hello

Asforteri

Can’t Be Long Now / Francoise / For Richard / Warlock

Limits

Bonus Tracks

A Day In The Life Of Maurice Haylett

Why? (And I Wish I Were Stoned) (Demo Version)

Clipping The 8th (Hello Hello) (Demo Version)

As I Feel I Die (Demo Version)

Hello Hello (Single Version)

DISC THREE

In The Land Of Grey And Pink

Golf Girl

Winter Wine

Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)

In The Land Of Grey And Pink

Nine Feet Underground (Medley)

Nigel Blows A Tune

Love’s A Friend

Make It 76

Dance Of The Seven Paper Hankies

Hold Grandad By The Nose

Honest I Did

Disassociation

100% Proof

DISC FOUR

In The Land Of Grey And Pink

Bonus Tracks

I Don’t Know Its Name (Alias The Word)

Aristocracy

It’s Likely To Have A Name Next Week (Winter Wine

Instrumental) – Stereo Mix By Steven Wilson

Group Girl (Golf Girl First Version)

Dissassociation / 100% Proof

It Doesn’t Take A Lot

Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) – Stereo Mix

By Steven Wilson

Nigel Blows A Tune (First Version)

DISC FIVE

Waterloo Lily

Waterloo Lily

Nothing At All / It’s Coming Soon / Nothing At All (Reprise)

Songs & Signs

Aristocracy

The Love In Your Eye / To Catch Me A Brother / Subsultus

/ Debouchement / Tilbury Kecks

The World Is Yours

Bonus Tracks

Pye’s June Thing

Ferdinand

Looking Left, Looking Right / Pye’s Loop

DISC SIX

For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night

Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss

Hoedown

Surprise, Surprise

C’thlu Thlu

The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again

Be Alright / Chance Of A Lifetime

L’auberge Du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go / Pengola /

Backwards / A Hunting We Shall Go (Reprise) (Medley)

L’auberge Du Sanglier

A Hunting We Shall Go

Pengola

Backwards

A Hunting We Shall Go (Reprise)

Bonus Tracks

Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss (U.s. Mix)

No! (“Be Alright” – Waffle (“Chance Of A Lifetime)

He Who Smelt It Dealt It (Memory Lain (“Hugh”)

Surprise, Surprise

Derek’s Long Thing

DISC SEVEN

“Caravan & The New Symphonia

(Live At The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane,

London, 28th October, 1973)”

Introduction By Alan Black / Memory Lain, Hugh /

Headloss

Introduction By Alan Black

Memory Lain, Hugh

Headloss

The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again

Hoedown

Introduction / The Love In Your Eye

Mirror For The Day

Virgin On The Ridiculous

For Richard

A Hunting We Shall Go

DISC EIGHT

Cunning Stunts

The Show Of Our Lives

Stuck In A Hole

Lover

No Backstage Pass

Welcome The Day

The Dabsong Conshirtoe

The Mad Dabsong

Ben Karratt Rides Again

Pro’s And Con’s

Wraiks And Ladders

Sneaking Out The Bare Quare

All Sorts Of Unmentionable Things

The Fear And Loathing In Tollington Park Rag

Keeping Back My Love

DISC NINE

Live At Fairfield Halls 1974

Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss

Virgin On The Ridiculous

Be Alright / Chance Of A Lifetime

The Love In Your Eye

L’auberge Du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go / Pengola /

Backwards / A Hunting We Shall Go (Reprise)

The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again

For Richard

Hoedown

DISC TEN

Blind Dog At St Dunstans

Here Am I

Chiefs & Indians

A Very Smelly Grubby Little Oik

Bobbing Wide

Come On Back

A Very Smelly Grubby Little Oik Reprise

Jack & Jill

Can You Hear Me

All The Way

DISC ELEVEN

Surprise Supplies

Here I Am

Chiefs & Indians

Can You Hear Me

All The Way

Very Smelly Grubby Little Oik

Love In Your Eye

DISC TWELVE

Better By Far

Feelin’ Alright

Behind You

Better By Far

Silver Strings

The Last Unicorn

Give Me More

Man In A Car

Let It Shine

Nightmare

DISC THIRTEEN

The Album

Heartbreaker

Corner Of Me Eye

Watcha Gonna Tell Me

Piano Player

Make Yourself At Home

Golden Mile

Bright Shiny Day

Clear Blue Sky

Keepin’ Up De Fences

Bonus Tracks

It’s Never Too Late

DISC FOURTEEN

Back To Front

Back To Herne Bay Front

Bet You Wanna Take It All / Hold On, Hold On

A.a. Man

Videos Of Hollywood

Sally Don’t Change It

All Aboard

Taken My Breath Away

Proper Job / Back To Front

DISC FIFTEEN

Cool Water

Cool Water

Just The Way You Are

Tuesday Is Rock And Roll Nite

The Crack Of The Willow

Ansaphone

Cold Fright

Side By Side

You Won’t Get Me Up In One Of Those

To The Land Of My Fathers

Poor Molly

Send Reinforcements

DISC SIXTEEN

The Battle Of Hastings

It’s A Sad, Sad Affair

Somewhere In Your Heart

Cold As Ice

Liar

Don’t Want Love

Travelling Ways

This Time

If It Wasn’t For Your Ego

It’s Not Real

Wendy Wants Another 6” Mole

I Know Why You’re Laughing

DISC SEVENTEEN

All Over You

If I Could Do It All Again, I’d Do It All Over You

Place Of My Own

The Love In Your Eye / Ro Catch Me A Brother

In The Land Of Grey And Pink

Golf Girl

Disassociation (Nine Feet Underground)

Hello Hello

Asforteri 25

For Richard / Can’t Be Long Now / Francoise / For Richard

/ Warlock

Memory Lain

Headloss

DISC EIGHTEEN

Live From The Astoria

– Canterbury Comes To London

Memory Lain, Hugh

Headloss

Nine Feet Underground

The Dog, The Dog He’s At It Again

Cold As Ice

Somewhere In Your Heart

I Know Why You’re Laughing

Liar

For Richard

Golf Girl

DISC NINETEEN

All Over You…Too

Hoedown

Very Smelly Grubby Little Oik

Bobbing Wide

The Dog, The Dog He’s At It Again

Stuck In A Hole

Ride

Nightmare

C’thlu Thlu

Bobbing Wide – Reprise

DISC TWENTY

The Unauthorised Breakfast Item

Smoking Gun

Revenge

The Unauthorised Breakfast Item

Tell Me Why

It’s Getting A Whole Lot Better

Head Above The Clouds

Straight Through The Heart

Wild West Street

Nowhere To Hide

Linders Field

DISC TWENTY ONE

Bonus Tracks

Smoking Gun (Right For Me)

The Unauthorised Breakfast Item

Tell Me Why

Revenge

For Richard

DISC TWENTY TWO

Live At Shepherds Bush Empire Part One

Memory Lain Hugh

Headloss

Why Why Why?

Smoking Gun

Golf Girl

The Unauthorised Breakfast Item

Nightmare

DISC TWENTY THREE

Live At Shepherds Bush Empire Part Two

In The Land Of Grey And Pink

The Dog, The Dog He’s At It Again

Fingers In The Till

It’s Not Real

9 Feet Underground

I’m On My Way

Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)

DISC TWENTY FOUR

Paradise Filter

All This Could Be Yours

I’m On My Way

Fingers In The Till

This Is What We Are

Dead Man Walking

Farewell My Old Friend

Pain In The Arse

Trust Me I’m A Doctor

I’ll Be There For You

Paradise Filter

DISC TWENTY FIVE

Enschede, Holland

16th March 1972

Nothing At All (Jam)

Waterloo Lily

Anger Management (Jam)

The Love In Your Eye

For Richard

DISC TWENTY SIX

A Hunting We Shall Go

Ebbets Field, Denver, November 1974

L’auberge Du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go /

Pengola / Backwards / A Hunting We Shall Go

(Reprise) (Medley)

For Richard

Hoedown

DISC TWENTY SEVEN

Nottingham Polytechnic,

December 5th 1975

The Show Of Our Lives

Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss

The Dabsong Conshirtoe

Virgin On The Ridiculous / Be All Right / Chance Of A

Lifetime

The Love In Your Eye

For Richard

DISC TWENTY EIGHT

London Marquee,

July 29th 1983 Part One

Behind You

Memory Lain, Hugh

Headloss

Golf Girl

A Hunting We Shall Go

Backwards

A Hunting We Shall Go (Reprise)

Clear Blue Sky

Nine Feet Underground

In The Land Of Grey And Pink

Nightmare

DISC TWENTY NINE

Marquee, July 29th 1983 Part Two

Heartbreaker

Keepin’ Up De Fences

The Last Unicorn

For Richard

Hoedown

DISC THIRTY

Old Buckenham, Norfolk,

September 28th 1990 Part One

Behind You

Headloss

Golf Girl

Videos Of Hollywood

Nine Feet Underground

Winter Wine

In The Land Of Grey And Pink

DISC THIRTY ONE

Old Buckenham, Norfolk

September 28th 1990 Part Two

Nightmare

For Richard

Place Of My Own

DISC THIRTY TWO

Diss, Suffolk

June 12th 1999 Part One

A Very Smelly Grubby Little Oik

Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss

The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again

Travellin’ Ways

Nightmare

I Know Why You’re Laughing

Somewhere In Your Heart

Medley

C’thlu Thlu

DISC THIRTY THREE

Diss, Suffolk

June 12th 1999 Part Two

Liar

Nine Feet Underground

Golf Girl / If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do Ot All

Over You

DISC THIRTY FOUR

Trading Boundaries, Fletching

East Sussex, November 11th 2018 Pt One

Memory Lain, Hugh

Headloss

Why Why Why? (I Wish I Were Stoned)

Golf Girl

Better Days Are To Come

If I Could Do It All Again, I’d Do It All Over You?)

The Love In Your Eye

For Richard

DISC THIRTY FIVE

Trading Boundaries, Fletching, East

Sussex, November 11th 2018 Pt Two

Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)

Farewell My Old Friend

Nightmare

Smoking Gun

Dead Man Walking

I’ll Be There For You

9 Feet Underground

I’m On My Way

DISC THIRTY SIX

DVD

French TV Broadcasts

Love In Your Eye (Rockenstock, December 9th 1973)

The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again (Bataclan,

November 26th 1973) Memory Lain Hugh (Finale,)

For Richard (Second Part), A Hunting We Shall Go’:

L ’Auberge Du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go /

Pengola / Backwards / A Hunting We Shall Go

(Reprise) (Bataclan, November 26th 1973)

Heartbreaker (French TV, May 13th 1981)

New Stereo Mix by Steven Wilson

Nine Feet Underground (Medley)

Golf Girl

Caravan – Winter Wine

In The Land Of Grey & Pink

Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)

DISC THIRTY SEVEN (BLU-RAY)

5.1 Surround Mix By Steven Wilson

Frozen Rose (I Don’t Know It’s Name Alias The Word)

Winter Wine

Golf Girl

Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly

In The Land Of Grey & Pink

Nine Feet Underground

Bonus Unreleased Tracks

Golf Girl (Take 4 / Steven Wilson Mix)

Golf Girl (Unedited Album Master / Steven Wilson Mix)

Frozen Rose (Demo / Steven Wilson Mix)

Caravan (members over the years)

Pye Hastings

Geoffrey Richardson

Jan Schelhaas

Jim Leverton

Mark Walker

Richard Coughlan

Richard Sinclair

Dave Sinclair

Steve Miller

Derek Austin

Stuart Evans

John G. Perry

Mike Wedgwood

Dek Messecar

Doug Boyle

Simon Bentall

Jimmy Hastings

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialCaravan

https://www.youtube.com/user/officialcaravan

https://www.instagram.com/caravancanterburyband

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1 Comment

  1. WOW! Not a band I have in my collection- will need to go do some listening. Seems I have some catching up to do. 😉

    Like

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