Aclaración...

Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).

lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2015

Caravan - If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (1970)


Artista: Caravan
Álbum: If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
Año: 1970
Género: Rock progresivo / Canterbury Scene
Duración: 1:04:46
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
2. And I Wish I Were Stoned / Don't Worry

3. As I Feel I Die
4. With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It / Martinian / Only Cox / Reprise
5. Hello Hello
6. Asforteri
7. Can't Be Long Now / Françoise / For Richard / Warlock
8. Limits
9. A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett [bonus, previously unreleased]
10. Why? (And I Wish I Were Stoned) [bonus, demo]
11. Clipping the 8th (Hello Hello) [bonus, demo]
12. As I Feel I Die [bonus, demo]

Alineación:
- Richard Couhlan / batería, congas, bongós, maracas, platillos, crótalos
- Richard Sinclair / bajo, pandereta, tijeras de jardinero

- Pye Hastings / guitarras eléctricas de 6 y 12 cuerdas, guitarra acústica, clave, correa de cuero gastado, personificación de un gorila amistoso y ceniceros diversos
- David Sinclair / órgano, piano, clavecín
- Brother James (Jimmy Hastings) / saxo y flauta


If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You es el segundo disco en estudio de Caravan, grabado el final de 1969 y el inicio de 1970, y lanzado al mercado en 1970, con una propuesta mucho más avanzada que lo que escuchamos en su primera placa. Si bien las influencias psicodélicas aún están presentes, la búsqueda formal en su música es mucho más progresiva mientras la lírica conserva muchos de los temas característicos de la época. La grabación tomó cierto tiempo dado que para entonces, Caravan tenía una buena agenda de conciertos en el circuito universitario inglés y europeo (según nos dice el texto incluido en el disco), y los miembros de la banda se disculpan si el sonido no es tan limpio como debería, pero explican que esto se debe a que participaron activamente en la mezcla y “¡todos querían que su instrumento fuera el más fuerte!” A diferencia de la ocurrido con su primer disco, en el que el productor mezcló sin la participación de los músicos (e introdujo ecos que ensuciaron el sonido final), aquí tenemos un estupendo trabajo colectivo. El caso es que en octubre de 1969 participan en un festival en Bélgica que les abre puertas para conquistar al público europeo, festival en el que compartieron cartel con bandas como Pink Floyd, Yes, The Nice, Captain Beefheart, Colosseum y sus paisanos de Soft Machine, entre otros. Cuentan los Caravan que también estaba programado Frank Zappa para ese festival, pero por problemas “administrativos” su banda y equipo no pudieron llegar, por lo que el gran Frank improvisó con varias de las bandas presentes, incluyendo una participación con Caravan en “If I Could Do It...” (claro, se trata del mismo festival del que surgió la ya mítica colaboración de Zappa con Pink Floyd que conocemos como Interstellar Zappadrive).



El tema que da nombre al disco es breve y en el título aparece ya el sentido del humor, la ironía que caracteriza muchos de los temas de la banda. Aun en su brevedad se siente la intención de abrir los límites de la música mediante el uso de tiempos complejos. Esta vena sigue en el segundo tema “And I Wish I Were Stoned / Don't Worry”, donde aparecen ya los clásicos temas integrados por partes de Caravan, ingresando en el ámbito de lo progresivo propiamente dicho. Comienza con un tiempo de vals, al llegar a la mitad de sus 8 minutos plantea un puente instrumental en 4/4 con solos de teclado y guitarra, especialmente este último muy limpio, y desemboca en una nueva estructura para la salida. El tercero, “As I Feel I Die” es una canción que arranca muy suavemente la composición en armonías heterodoxas y la estructura por partes. “With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It / Martinian / Only Cox / Reprise” nos introduce de lleno en el progresivo que Caravan está acuñando al iniciarse los setenta (y que llegará a la madurez muy pronto, en su tercer disco, In the Land of Grey and Pink). Aquí aún hay algunas vocalizaciones y lírica hippy, pero musicalmente ya estamos en otro punto. Esto se desarrolla en “Asforteri” y “Hello Hello”, tema que ya habíamos visto como bonus track en el disco anterior, un fabuloso 7/8 que resulta muy breve pero por lo mismo genial (uno de mis temas favoritos en toda la discografía de Caravan)
El tema crucial del disco, una verdadera proeza de composición y ejecución es el séptimo, “Can't Be Long Now / Francoise / For Richard / Warlock” (sí uno de esos temas cuádruples típicos de Caravan), casi 15 minutos de una de las propuestas progresivas más impresionantes del momento. Hay que recordar que estamos en 1970 y lo más experimental del género recién se está cocinando, por lo que este track de Caravan se presenta en verdad como un adelanto de lo que la música encontraría en el transcurso de los siguientes cuatro o cinco años. El sonido ya ha dejado atrás todo atisbo de psicodelia, es técnica, improvisación (con resabios jazzísticos) y estridencia. Sobre todo en la parte final, donde se repite por varias vueltas una figura rockera que crece y crece, y que muestra estupendos solos de teclados, guitarra y saxo, sobre una base insistente de bajo y batería. Es realmente sorprendente.
Limits” es un brevísimo bossa nova con un lema, más que una letra, que describe bien las ideas de la banda: “If your world is big enough for you / Don't go spoiling it for someone else”. Y con esto cerraba el LP original. La versión que comentamos incluye cuatro bonus tracks, un “A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett”, de las mismas sesiones pero no incluido en el LP (permaneció 30 años enlatado) y tres versiones demo de temas incluidos (“And I Wish I Were Stoned” que originalmente se llamaba “Why?”, “Hello Hello bajo el título de “Clipping the 8th”, haciendo referencia al tiempo de 7/8 al que le han cortado el 8, y “As I Feel I Die”.
En resumen, aquí tenemos un discazo de Caravan ya en pleno desarrollo de sus tremendas capacidades, justo antes de lanzar lo que muchos reconocen como su mejor disco, el tercero.

Del disco dicen por ahí:
If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You is the second album by progressive rock band Caravan, released in September 1970. It was the predecessor to their best-known album In the Land of Grey and Pink. The album is representative of the Canterbury scene genre featuring representative organ solos and melodic vocals typical of the band's style. The album was released on Decca Records, as was the title track as a single release.
Caravan had released their debut album, Caravan in 1968, achieving some live success and appeared on UK and German television in early 1969. Unfortunately, their label, Verve Records shut down their British operations and dropped the band. Guitarist Pye Hastings later recalled "that situation really left us in limbo". The band regrouped and continued performing live, eventually finding a manager Terry King. David Hitchcock, an employee of Decca Records' art department, saw the band perform at the London Lyceum and recommend that his boss, Hugh Mendl sign them.
Sessions for the album started at Tangerine Studios on Balls Pond Road, London in September 1969, with the band self-producing and Robin Sylvester engineering. Hastings recalled this caused problems, as every member of the band wanted their instrument to be louder than the others. The band recorded a few tracks, but these were abandoned while the band went out on tour, having become popular on the university circuit in Britain and Europe. They eventually regrouped in February the following year and recorded the songs on the album mostly live onto 8-track tape. The highlight of the sessions was a fourteen-minute jazz-rock piece assembled from various sections contributed by the band, called "For Richard". Keyboardist David Sinclair composed the basic structure, while bassist Richard Sinclair wrote the main tune. Hastings invited his brother Jimmy to guest on saxophone and flute, which would become a regular feature of Caravan's studio work.
The album title and title of the title track is a quote often attributed to Spike Milligan but equally possibly deriving from a bootlegged Bob Dylan song 'All Over You' ("Well, if I had to do it all over again/Babe, I’d do it all over you") The cover was shot in Holland Park, London and was photographed by David Jupe.
"Hello Hello", backed with the title track, was released as a single in August 1970, which led to an appearance on the BBC's Top of the Pops. The album was released the following month in the UK, and in March 1971 in the US. According to Allmusic, "If I Could Do It All Over Again contains significant progressions over the first album."
"For Richard" became a staple of live Caravan shows and was typically heard as the set closer. A fully orchestrated, live version can be heard on the 1974 release Caravan and the New Symphonia.
The CD was remastered in 2001 with the addition of bonus tracks, including the abandoned September 1969 sessions, and the out-take "A Day In The Life of Maurice Haylett", written about the band's road manager.

En Head Heritage, proyecto de Julian Cope:
By 1970, the great rock scene in Britain and America had largely dispensed with its psychedelic dabblings. Pink Floyd left their lsysergic experiments behind them for the progressive pomp extravaganza that was 'Atom Heart Mother'. The Dead went country. Emerson, Lake and Palmer arrived, Zappa put his Mothers on ice, and Hendrix choked. But down in the quaint little city of Canterbury, the spirit and the drugs of the outgoing decade still loomed large.
'If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You' was Caravan's second album. Their self-titled first LP, for Verve (home of Bird, Ella and the Velvets, natch) had held some promise, but was underproduced and underpowered: some great songs ('Place Of My Own', 'Love Song With Flute') and a lot of filler*. A move to Decca two years later brought a much more assured and distinctive sound, however. Indeed, this record perfectly bridges that awkward gap between psych and prog, being every bit as much of a muso-fest as their more illustrious (and dull) Melody Maker poll winning rivals could boast, but - and it's a big but - full of good, old fashioned, acid-fuelled SONGS WITH TUNES. And what tunes. I wanna elect Pye Hastings as the great lost English songsmith of our time. But I digress.
The title track starts proceedings. And a catchier little ditty is impossible to find. One of those songs where one hearing alone lodges itself into your brain for life. I bet there are people out there who may have heard that 'Who - do - you - think you are - do - you - think you are' refrain on Top Gear or similar back in 1970, have never heard it since, and could sing it from memory even now. It's got a well-weird time signature a la the grossest excesses of Messrs Emerson and Greenslade (and a keyboard solo likewise) but, like the best Canterbury tunes, you can't fail to move to it. In an ideal world this would have knocked Mungo Jerry and the sodding Archies into the remainder bins straight away, and would be a perennial feelgood oldie 45. It was a single, by the way. It sold, by my conservative estimate, two copies.
Then things move up...nah, they rocket ten miles high. 'And I Wish I Were Stoned' is a cracking example of the aforementioned songwriting genius. On first impressions, a simple, repeating upward verse (sung in the rustic tenor of Richard Sinclair) with a corresponding decending chorus (sung in the charmingly strained alto of the mighty Pye), it follows the first song in avoiding 4/4 altogether, not so's you'd notice though. Okay, this one might take TWO hearings this time, but then I'd defy you to not be singing it the next morning. The only thing that might stop you is the fact that the segued 'Don't Worry' that follows is THE MOST WONDERFUL TUNE EVER WRITTEN IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. Well, since Schubert's Rosamunde Overture anyway. There is no justice in this world that this perfect song hasn't been covered a hundred times since and earned its composers a fortune. Just hear it, please. The two tracks together constitute the best eight minutes of psych-tinged rock that my stylus has ever ploughed.
After such an early peak, things have to go downhill, but not far. A phased, stereo-panned drum sequence leads into the deadly slow 'As I Feel I Die' where "everything's going a slight shade of purple" and the downers take hold. Not for long though. Another fatally catchy (and blatantly jazz-based) riff forms the basis of the remainder of the song, and, as on every track before and after, Dave Sinclair takes over with an organ solo that tells Ray Manzarek the news. And the side ends with the 'With An Ear To The Ground You Can Make It' sequence, another blisteringly tuneful epic with the best keyboard sequence of the whole album three minutes in. The slower, flute-accompanied reprise of the main tune is pure delight, before the piece ends with what sounds like Rick Wright falling asleep at Keith Jarrett's Koln Concert.
Side Two starts with two short, nice-but-inessential tracks in 'Hello Hello' and 'Asforteri', the former being the better of the two and Richard Sinclair's only real vocal spotlight on the album (he was to have a much greater showcase on the excellent 'In The Land Of Grey And Pink' album twelve months later). But his name is immortalised on the longest and most famous (in Caravan and Canterbury terms, you understand) track on the record that comes next. 'For Richard' starts slowly, quietly, and menacingly, not a million miles away from the Floyd's 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene' epic on 'Ummagumma', but with another otherwise tender, melodic vocal with flute obligato. Then, like 'Eugene', the intensity slowly increases, until, 3'40" in, comes...THE RIFF. And here, more than at any point on the record, Caravan rocks. The track palls a little as the solos progress (and god, do they progress) but comes to life again in the guitar-driven coda that emerges after ten minutes or so. The album ends with the pointless half-song that is 'Limits'. Never mind.
The 14 minutes that comprise 'For Richard' have become the staple of every Caravan live set to this day, but that track is a muso-fest only as far as I'm concerned. The real meat and two veg of Caravan's second album is the almost faultless sequence of SONGS that comprise Side One, essential listening for anyone with an interest in the latter days of sixties drugrock. The record has recently been remastered for CD with the contemporaneous and previously-unreleased 'A Day In The Life Of Maurice Haylett' - a lost gem - and demo versions of some of the album tracks. It sounds terrific, even better than my Decca FFrr vinyl, and sells for £5.99 in my local shop. Why are you still sitting there?

En el blog Cámbiame la cara
Con la segunda placa en sus manos, se marcaría el rumbo definitivo de su música. Esta banda ícono del movimiento musical de Canterbury demuestra en este álbum que está para cosas grandes y que su música va en serio. No se puede esperar poco con la calidad de músicos que trabajan en este álbum, quienes pueden llegar incluso a ser considerados en el rango de eminencias del genero, como los primos Sinclair, David (Caravan, Matiching Mole, Robert Wyatt), y Richard (Camel, Caravan, Wilde Flowers, Hetfield and the North), Pye Hastings (el principal compositor y vocalista principal de Caravan), y Richard Coughlan (veterano de Caravan) -igual en ese tiempo nadie los cachaba, y fue a partir de esa misma época y a raiz de la salida de estos álbumes y posteriores que se ganaron fama-.
El disco es excelente! melodías suaves y bien cuidadas, muy buenas armonías vocales (la aguda y relajada voz de Pye más la voz grave, y también muy tranquila de Richard Sinclair son las principales), que se entretejen llegando a la catarsis con las melodías de los demás instrumentos, un teclado luciéndose cuando es debido con muchas influencias jazzeras, a cargo del gran David Sinclair, y guitarras no muy distorsionadas haciendo lo suyo de vez en cuando también. El disco entreteje melodías muy buenas, no complejas, pero si una tras otra y de manera increíble. Se arman como escaleras musicales de ascenso de tanta excelente melodía. Además se dan los espacios para irse en volás hippientas-canterburiescas supremas, y generan en cada tema que tocan un ambiente de paz total. El tema And I Wish I were Stoned/Don't worry es un claro ejemplo de esto. El tema de inicio también es excelente, esa pegajosa melodía que canta el título del álbum, seguida de múltiples melodías detras sumandose una tras otra es excelente. Mi favorito es el cuarto tema (qe me da paja escribirlo porque es muy largo), muy sicodélico y con muchas vueltas. Los interludios con flauta traversa son geniales, y la voz de Pye es genial en el tema (would you like to ride with me? while we are waiting for the band to coooome). Can't be long now es también un tema muy variante, con muchos cambios, y siguiendo la línea del disco. Los temas del disco son como una explosion musical, una tras otra. Claro, si eres de esos fans del progresivo que viene de la música jazz-fusion, no te va a gustar tanto como otros discos (Waterloo Lily, For Girls who growl plumps in the Night o el clásico In The Land of Gray and Pink), pero si, por el contrario, vienes de la música sicodélica y del movimiento hippie, este álbum será una delicia para los oidos a la primera escucha. Se nota que estos chiquillos fumaban de la buena (además, miren la tapa del álbum xD) De todos modos es un gran disco, y a estas alturas, ya es un clásico.


En Prog-Sphere
One of the greatest Canterbury bands, Caravan, created with their second album, “If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You” one of the most symbolic and memorable works of the genre. It is highly melodic, easy to listen, but also very ambitious and highly progressive. Caravan have clearly abandoned the immature sounds of the debut and reached a whole new level of songwriting and musical philosophy.
Caravan’s psychedelic sound is all gone on this new 1970 album: the organ and the guitars are now always hand in hand, the musicianship is more elaborate, the overall sound is of a pretty noticeable change. The structure of these songs also are much more complex and studied, making this record one that leaves all innocence behind and goes towards the epic pathways of progressive. This however is not exactly an album of the Canterbury Scene quite yet, even though it already has plenty typical elements of the genre: it has that sense of romanticism Caravan in particular are famous for, and as a consequence also the whole Canterbury scene is, but it doesn’t have such elaborate songwriting, which is not a bad thing, because they are on this particular record much more accessible and memorable than almost anybody else from Canterbury. For example, it’s miles away from the cold avant- garde of the Soft Machine, or the spacey themes of Gong. “In the Land Of Grey and Pink”, the following Caravan album, will still be of this sort of nature -with a lot of melody-, but that time around it will have much more ambition and sophistications, being that their supreme masterpiece. But “If I Could Do It All?” still is a beautiful dedication to youth and innocence, inserted in a much more intricate, Progressive style. This is what Canterbury’s magic lies in.
Some of the more memorable moments include the beautiful “I Wish I Were Stoned”, which, from it’s nine minutes, donates some space in the final minutes for it’s other side, “Don’t Worry”. Together, these two parts create what is in my opinion the greatest song of the album, having great, catchy melodies, great song structure, and fantastic musicianship all together. There are the shorter, poppier songs like “Hello Hello”, and the build-up of “As I Feel I Die”, but also the highly ambitious ones, like the most Progressive song of the album, the final fourteen minute suite, “For Richard”, an instrumental that has no specific form but constantly shifts, builds, explodes, and tones down. No wonder it is considered one of the best Caravan tracks. The other suite is the middle one, “With an Ear To The Ground You Can Make It”, the least memorable of them but still very powerful from every point of view.
“If I Could Do It?” is a wonderful example of a Canterbury album of a band that still has to fully blossom, but still looks quite exemplar and is already faithful to a few canons, without on the other hand bending some rules.


Caravan followed up their eponymous debut with the cryptically titled If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You in the fall of 1970. If I Could Do It All Over Again contains significant progressions over the first album. These include the intricacy with which compositions are sculpted around some of the finest instrumental improvisation in British rock at the time -- or arguably since. Caravan's uncanny ability to create a montage that effortlessly maneuvers through acoustic folk and electric progressive rock is best exemplified on the "With an Ear to the Ground" suite. The extended instrumental passages weave in and out of each other, creating a hypnotic and otherwise psychedelic soundscape that would become a trademark of the European progressive rock movement. Another epic, "For Richard" quickly found solid standing as the Caravan live performance closer for decades after first appearing on this album. Juxtaposed against these pieces are several shorter works, which in essence clear the palette for the longer ones. The title track, as well as "Hello, Hello" are perfect examples of how Caravan was able to one-up many of their progressive contemporaries, creating shorter and more accessible songs for radio airplay -- resulting in a guest appearance on BBC TV's Top of the Pops program.

Acá reviews de Progarchives (hay muchas más, sólo escogí algunas)
As I Feel I Die if I don't re-listen to this album every week or so for the last 20 Years. Everybody mentions For Richard but the suite on the first side has nothing to envy it and As I Feel is also a real masterpiece - those are the works of the Sinclair cousins as Pye Hastings wrote the poppier stuff. But the real treat is on the remastered version as The gift: A Day In The Life of Maurice Haylett is a gem that should have made this album flawless but this last one was already one of the longest around for the times. This number shows over five and a half minutes what Caravan can do and this is definitely the works of masters in their own rights.
Sean Trane

Considering this album was originally released in 1970, it still sounds astonishingly fresh.
The title track was a surprise hit single at the time, but it is not really representative of the band, or indeed the album. The distinctive vocals and Canterbury keyboards are already present, especially on tracks like "And I wish I were stoned/Don't worry". Caravan found their direction on this album, and subsequent releases explored a similar vein.
The track "For Richard (etc.)" first appeared on this album. It has of course gone on to become arguably the band's best known and most popular song, appearing on a plethora of live albums, and being performed (I believe) at every gig they have done since. There is a strong jazz influence on parts of the track, but that never overpowers the prevailing prog structure.
It was only because there were so many other innovative and exciting bands around at the same time, that Caravan never went on to achieve the success they deserved, and that this album undoubtedly warranted. They did enjoy a level of success with subsequent albums such as "In the Land of Grey and Pink", but this album remains something of a hidden diamond.
The remastered version issued in 2001 sounds as if it was recorded yesterday such is the quality of the sound, and includes 4 rewarding bonus tracks.
Easy Livin

Caravan's second album signals the band's moment of plain maturity just achieved. Destined to become an undisputed classic of Canterbury prog, "If I Could." stands out as an album that comprises an excellent material craftily performed: the pristine melodic sense that made Caravan the most accessible Canterbury act is refurbished with inventively superlative arrangements all throughout the album's repertoire. Before I go on, let me state that this my all-time fave Caravan recording. The funny title track kicks off the album, as an exercise in jazz-pop in a 7/8 pattern: a proper sense of joy that does not anticipate the density of the following numbers - 'And I Wish I Were Stoned' and 'As I Feel I Die' are both constructed under the logic of an initial serene introspective section and a groovier, jazzier second section that releases some kind of emotional explosion that seemed to be kept off during the serene part. None of these explosive passages are metallic or incendiary: the explosion is more focused on enthusiasm, humor and jazz-rock textures than on anger. This same pattern is reiterated in 'With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It', only in this particular case the density is developed into a more eerie level: definitely, one of the highlights of an album full of so very good songs. After all this display of structural complexity the poppy tune 'Hello Hello' is welcome as resource of relief and refreshing fun by the listener: its catchy melodic line is wisely portrayed on a 7/4 pattern. It won't be long before 'For Richard' - the prototypical Caravan song - hits the listener's heart and takes it by storm with its successive captivating motifs, fluidly linked together in a majestic amalgam. This is just as epic as Canterbury - a non-symphonic prog trend per se - could ever be!! 'For Richard' is preceded and followed by brief pieces: 'Asforteri' is a weird tribal sequence that actually might have been developed as an interesting longer track in a parallel prog universe, while the closure 'Limits' is a delicious bossanova oriented ballad that soon fades out as the sun in a springtime sunset. Well, enough for the album's official repertoire. Now, although a whole is more than a mere sum of its parts, I feel it would be unfair of me not to mention that each individual member's amazing musicianship is responsible for the amazing brightness that is comprised in "If I Could." - Richard Sinclair's bass playing is both intricate and immaculate, clearly featured without having to steal the limelight; Coughlan exhibits his percussive mastery with a touch of distinction; and David Sinclair is an exquisite maestro who makes his organ and piano parts shine strongly with a sense of delicateness. If only guitarist/vocalist Pye Hastings had been confident enough to play more solos..., but around there always was Pye's brother Jimmy, ready to guest with an extra horn or flute solo. The CD edition includes 4 bonus tracks: three of them are demo versions of some of the previous numbers, while the newcomer 'A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett' is pretty reminiscent of 'And I Wish I Were Stoned' in structure. The way I see it, these bonus tracks serve mainly the purpose of emphasizing the most fundamental truth about this album: it's a masterpiece!!
Cesar Inca

In a way, this is an even better effort than the band's most celebrated work, its follow-up "In the Land of Grey and Pink". However, unlike the latter, it's less immediate and more of a steady grower. Then, when it's truly and well grown on you, you'll be hopelessly addicted. The remastered version (featuring the stunning, unreleased "A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett") sounds as fresh as it had been recorded last year and not almost 36 years ago. This is prog at its best, impeccably sung and played, complex and challenging, yet at the same time witty and light- hearted, without the pretentiousness typical of some of the better-known bands.
The best way to listen to this album is to put on your headphones and wallow in the beautiful vocal harmonies, intricate bass lines and magnificent keyboard work. The opening title-track is an infectious, '60s-style ditty sung by both vocalists, the deeper-voiced Richard Sinclair repeating the line "Who do you think you are?" while the higher, graceful voice of guitarist Pye Hastings sings the verse. Most of the following tracks, though varying in length, are structured as mini-suites, with at least two movements (and accordingly long titles, which I will never be able to remember in spite of my passably good memory). "And I Wish I Were Stoned" starts off as a wistful melody, then becomes increasingly brisk and jazzy. "As I Feel I Die", one of the highpoints of the album, has much the same structure, with a slow intro featuring great vocals from Hastings (who is not my favourite Caravan vocalist, though I have to give him his due), then culminating in a rousing instrumental duel between the two Sinclair cousins, Dave's incendiary keyboards and Richard's complex, fluid bass. "With an Ear to the Ground", the second longest track on the album, sees more spectacular work from David S. (a keyboard unsung hero if ever there was one), backed by one of the tightest rythm sections ever.
"Hello Hello" is a lesson in how to write a song that's both hummable and intelligent, with the added bonus of one of the strangest percussive accompaniments ever (eat your heart out, Jamie Muir!), a pair of hedge clippers wielded by none other than Richard Sinclair himself, who also sings lead vocals. In fact, if I were to name one flaw of this otherwise flawless album, is that Sinclair sings too little... There are two versions of this song on the remastered CD, and on the second (an unreleased demo version) Richard's vocals are so forceful and intense that I get even stronger shivers down my spine than usual. The short, delightful "Asforteri" leads the way for the album's pièce de resistance, the 14-minute-plus "For Richard" (which of the two, I wonder?), where David S. gives a stunning demonstration of his impressive skills as an organ player, while Richard S. (while unfortunately remaining silent) provides a solid yet intricate rythmic background. The track ends with a rare, short yet tasteful guitar solo by Pye Hastings - an unlikely guitar hero, perhaps, but an excellent player indeed.
What else can I say? An utterly magnificent album by one of the truly great bands, too often forgotten in "best of" polls. Go and get it - you won't regret it for a minute.
Raff

This is my favorite Caravan album. It has every: the whimsical atmosphere, driving jazz rock, great playing and wonderful singing. Much of this album is dominated by Pye Hastings, he does most of the singing and writing. He proves himself a great hook- writer, making the music somewhat poppy. But progressive and jazz rock tendencies are in full force here. And so is the recognizable Caravan sound. You can tell by the tongue-in-cheek album title (what crazy bunch of loonies these guys are) that this is pure Caravan and your in for a ride of British lunacy and tight jazz rock.
The atmosphere that Caravan create manages to be both mellow (and even trippy) yet have a powerful jazz-rock drive. Yet it is rarely heavy, which is very interesting to hear. Of course in typical Canterbury fashion, the organs are distorted and of course play almost all the solos and are very up front. These guys rock out-but in a very strange way. There is also still a very psychedelic element to the sound also, trippy sound effects and organs wahs are prominent here.
Richard Sinclair mostly plays an excellent funky bass, but doesnt open his mouth too much. But his bass playing is a very important part of the bands sound and never fails to entertain. Pye Hastings does most of the singing and his voice could be compared to Robert Wyatt. It's very innocent and pure, full of optimism. Sinclair's is lower and more humorous, and could be compared to Kevin Ayers. Richard Coughlan plays a mean drum kit with much power and precision. His cymbals at the beginning of 'As I feel I Die' are wonderful and his cool percussion effects on 'Hello, Hello' give John Muir a run for his money.
Jimmy's woodwind work is also an excellent addition to the bands sound. In the mellow parts he is essential for the atmosphere. In the jazzy suite 'For Richard' he is a vital and his solos are full of energy. Same with organ ace David Sinclair, who does about 70% of the records soloing but makes each one sound fresh. He produces lots of cool effects on his organ to, but instead of toying around he uses them well in the song. Pye Hasting's guitar mostly plays rhythm, only soloing in 'I wish I were stoned' and 'For Richard' his solos are tasteful, but he excels as a tight rhythm player playing jazzy chords.
This record also shows the band playing great melodies. Even in the fast jazz sections, melody is not abused. This and Pye Hasting's great hooks make this album a surprisingly easy listen. But experimentation and progression is rampant, while pretension is not. I'm confused as to why this band was not commercially successful. The title track and 'Hello, Hello' would have made great singes, and are still very experimental. 'If I could do it over again..' is somewhat similar to fellow Canterbury gods The Soft Machine's 'We did it again', with it's repeating figures. 'Hello, Hello' manages to be short and accessible while packing lots of great ideas.
The lyrics here are beautiful and heartfelt at times, and at others hilarious and British. 'And I wish I were stoned', a lovely song, has great lyrics like:
"Got down in the road Crossed my heart and cried When you told me how you'd love To live and not to die"
The delivery is also great. A positive and optimistic atmosphere runs amok here, and you can't help but to sing along to these great lyrics. I find that this record is almost guaranteed to make me feel happy and glad.
Many of the songs like an 'Ear to the Ground', 'As I Feel I die', and 'For Richard' Begin mellow and atmospheric which prominent organ and woodwind, then seamlessly transfer to exciting jazz rocks which cant help but to tap your toe to. There are changes of moods and melodies happening all the time, especially in 'Ear to the Ground' and 'I Wish I were stoned'.
In conclusion, this record is a pure Canterbury masterpiece. It has all of the Canterbury essentials and more and it's wonderfully listenable and free on pretension. You can tell these guys had fun making this record that is so complex yet well, fun! So get this, as soon as you can, it's the perfectly place to start exploring Canterbury.
The Wizard

Acá una de un consumidor contento en Amazon:
Wow! I had forgotten just how great this album really is. I put on the remastered cd last night with a good pair of headphones and was instantly transported back in time. Beautiful melodies smoothly but quite unexpectedly segue into hard-hitting (though highly structured) jams that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Dave Sinclair's keyboards absolutely rock while the rest of the band cooks right along with him. The addition of Jimmy Hastings' flute and sax adds so much colour and depth to the extended pieces--top notch playing all around! I really love the "Englishness" of the vocals and lyrics, with their typically understated humour and charm. What else can I say? Together with "In The Land of Grey and Pink" this is the best stuff Caravan ever did, though "For Girls Who Grow..." is pretty close in overall quality and intensity. It's worth mentioning that the sound quality of the remastered disc is quite good (Richard Sinclair's bass sounds wonderful and I have a whole new appreciation for Richard Coughlan's excellent drumming) and the liner notes are insightful and interesting. Sorry for gushing, but I'm still on a cloud after hearing this again for the first time in quite awhile. Hurry and get it and be sure to buy a copy for a good friend. They'll love you for it. Cheers!



1 comentario:




Lo más visitado...

Lo más visitado en el mes

Lo más visitado esta semana