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miércoles, 9 de septiembre de 2015

Caravan - Caravan & The New Symphonia (1974)

Artista: Caravan
Álbum: Caravan & The New Symphonia
Año: 1974
Género: Escena Canterbury
Duración: 78:17
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
01. Introduction
02. Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss
03. The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again
04. Hoedown
05. Introduction
06. The Love In Your Eye
07. Mirror For The Day
08. Virgin On The Ridiculous
09. For Richard
10. A Hunting We Shall Go

Alineación:
- Richard Coughlan / drums
- Jimmy Hastings / flute, alto saxophone
- Pye Hastings / vocals, guitar
- John G. Perry / bass, vocals
- Morris Pert / percussion
- Geoff Richardson / electric viola
- David Sinclair / keyboards
With:
The New Symphonia: Vicky Brown, Tony Burrows, Helen Chappelle, Robert Lindop, Margot Newman, Danny Street, Liza Strike / backing vocals


Wan nos trae más Caravan, y de parabienes quienes pidieron a la banda inglesa en el blog cabezón. No pidan un catalogación muy ortodoxa, precisa, clara, ordenada, cronológica, acá publicamos discos al tún-tún, el que toca hoy, ese posteamos. Asi que viajamos en el tiempo a la mejor época de la banda.

Tras la grabación de su album “For girls who grow plump in the night”, la banda toma la decision de continuar sus guiños con el rock sinfónico iniciados en parte con dicho álbum, y deciden lanzarse a la piscina al grabar un disco en directo con una orquesta sinfónica, reto cuando menos arriesgado. Ciertamente no son muchos los casos en que este tipo de aventuras se ha saldado con éxito. Me viene a la cabeza , como uno de los ejemplos más claros de esto último, el álbum de Procol Harum “Live with The Edmonton Orchestra”, en el que la música de los Procol se fusiona a la perfección con la orquesta, facilitado sin duda por el propio estilo de una banda como esta, muy dada a grandes pomposidades y arreglos clásicos. Otro buen ejemplo de ello sería “Live at Carnegie Hall” de Renaissance, banda también con una música muy dada a grandes arreglos de corte clásico y relativamente fácil de compenetrarse con una orquesta.
Otro tipo de experimentos de este tipo, se han resuelto con resultados más dispares, como el caso de “Journey to the centre of the Earth” de Rick Wakeman, calificado por muchos como de demasiado ampuloso , y pretencioso , aunque también con muchos seguidores, que lo consideran un buen disco, defectos técnicos aparte, entre los que particularmente me incluyo.
Otros por fin, cuyo resultado es francamente decepcionante, como fue a mi entender, el intento de mezclar rock con una orquesta sinfónica, en el caso de Deep Purple y su “Concert for group and orchestra”, en el que, en mi opinión , más que una colaboración entre ambos, hay una disputa .
El álbum que nos ocupa, yo lo metería entre esa segunda “clasificación” y la primera. Un disco en el que la banda llega a unos buenos niveles de compenetración con la orquesta, sin llegar a la perfección alcanzada en el caso de Procol Harum, por ejemplo, pero que decididamente queda al menos resultón. La inclusión de la viola de Richardson, hace un poco de puente entre la parte eléctrica de la banda y las cuerdas de la orquesta, y aunque es cierto que en algunas partes del disco se aprecian ciertos atropellos o esperas por parte del grupo al intentar seguir a la orquesta, o viceversa , el resultado a mi entender está francamente logrado.
El mejor ejemplo lo vemos en el tema “The love in your eye” donde se aprecia una buena compenetración. En el caso de “For Richard”, sí que se aprecia algún momento de duda o de confusión, especialmente al final del tema, que se alarga demasiado, como si no supieran ponerle fin, aunque nada realmente grave. El resultado general del álbum es para mi francamente bueno, y hay momentos realmente potentes , especialmente en estos dos largos temas que acabo de nombrar.
Este set list es el que se tocó aquella noche con la orquesta tal y como salió editado en formato vinilo en 1974. Yo tengo una curiosa edición que salió como doble vinilo que contenía este álbum junto a "Waterloo Lily", bajo el título de "Caravan 2 " . Y lo mismo para los álbumes "If I could..." e "In the land..." que también poseo como oro en paño.
Posteriormente, se editó una versión expandida en formato cd, que incluían además varios temas tocados aquella misma noche, pero cuando aún no había salido la orquesta a escena, todos ellos de su anterior álbum “For girls…”
Incluso existe una versión remasterizada del cd que incluye el tema “The auberge du sanglier” interpretado junto a la orquesta, y que no fue editado en el vinilo original.
En esta reseña se repasan los temas interpretados conjuntamente con la orquesta, como fue editado originalmente el álbum en 1974.
Tres temas fueron compuestos exclusivamente para este concierto, Introduction, Mirror for the day y Virgin on the ridiculous, que son los más cortos. Los otros dos son de lo más significativo en su carrera: The love in your eye y For Richard. Curiosamente no hay ningun tema de "In the land...":
1.- Introduction : Arranca la orquesta con una melodía inquietante, que me recuerda mucho en su comienzo al tema "La caída de la casa Usher" incluído en el primer álbum de Alan Parsons Project, basado en el famoso relato de Poe. Pronto la guitarra de Hastings entra en escena junto a la viola de Richardson que es quien lleva buena parte del peso de este tema. Tras un breve interludio por parte de la orquesta, vuelve la banda al completo. Un buen tema instrumental para abrir boca.
2.-Mirror for the day : Suave comienzo de cuerdas por parte de la orquesta. Pronto entra la suave voz de Hastings y poco después la banda. Es un agradable tema de corte pop, aderezado con coros. Otra vez una gran labor de Richardson con la viola. Los coros le dan un ligero toque soul que resulta curioso. A mi me gusta este tema.
3.- The love in your eye : Para mi el mejor tema del álbum. Aqui la orquesta se fusiona a la perfección con la banda y el resultado es francamente bueno. Desde luego para mi gusto, muy superior a la versión original incluida en "Waterloo Lily", y eso que ésta ya era buena . Otra vez, cómo no, Richardson está magistral con la viola, y la sección rítmica se complementa perfectamente con la orquesta. A destacar la afilada guitarra de Hastings en el tramo final del tema. Nunca le he oído tocar con esa fuerza.
¡ Chapeau! .
4.- Virgin on the ridiculous: El arranque con las cuerdas de la orquesta parece sacado de un tema de Eurovisión. Parece que en cualquier momento la cámara va a enfocar a Augusto Algueró dirigiendo la orquesta.Cada vez que lo oigo sonrío. Es el tema más comercial sin duda y le da un toque alegre al disco.
5.- For Richard : El tema icono de la banda, y que dejan para el final. Comienza con un fondo de cuerdas de la orquesta para entrar la susurrante voz de Hastings. Cuando termina de cantar entran la viola y el bajo de Perry en plan solista, muy logrado. La cosa va subiendo de tono hasta que llega la explosión, con un gran duelo entre el órgano de Sinclair y la propia orquesta. En este tema es donde más contundente suena la orquesta. El tema va alternando partes más potentes con otras más suaves, destacando siempre Richardson, que junto a Sinclair llava la labor solista, sabido es que Hastings no es muy dado a ello. Coughlan y Perry impecables a pesar de la dificultad que tiene tocar con una orquesta. La verdad es que salvo algún pequeño enredo sin demasiada importancia en la alocada parte final del tema , el resultado es superior.
En una entrevista realizada a Coughlan sobre este concierto, comentaba la tremenda tensión que tenía toda la banda, tratando de que el grupo sonara compenetrado a la orquesta. No le debió gustar mucho la experiencia, pues siempre recordará aquel concierto por lo agarrotados que estaban , procurando que la orquesta, o ellos mismos no se quedaran atrás , quedaran desincronizados y se notara demasiado. A decir verdad,a la vista del resultado no parece haber tal tensión.
Un álbum de lo más recomendable.
Ubik

Y ya lo dijo el querido Ubik, aun álbum más que recomendable, no tengo nada que agregar... salvo comentarios en inglés...

Get the remaster version with the full concert, the first half being another standard (but good) concert and the second part consisting of the orchestra with the band. The two compositions (especially Virgin On The Ridiculous) made for this occasion were slightly sub-par but "For Richard" and "the love in your eye "are tremendous with the orchestra. The whole affair does have an under-rehearsed feeling to it as the orchestra sometimes seems lost and the group is waiting for them but it is nothing scandalous as this is still a very "professional" recording. Another gift from the remaster is the Auberge Du Sanglier suite with the orchestra.
Sean Trane

Make sure if you're buying this album you go for the remastered and expanded edition. Unlike most re-masters the additional tracks, rather than being tagged on at the end, have been placed in their correct positions as they originally were performed on the night, This transforms the album from a brief summary of the concert to over an hour of wonderful indulgence.
The preparations for the collaboration with the New Symphonia Orchestra had been troublesome, and are well documented in the accompanying sleeve-notes. The recorded results are however superb. "Virgin on the ridiculous" and "For Richard" particularly benefit from the orchestration, the former featuring a lilting strings introduction and an all hands to the pumps middle section. This has to be one of Caravan's most exciting and innovative pieces, The classic "For Richard" (performed at every Caravan concert ever?) builds to even more of a cacophony of sound than the many other live versions available. At times it sounds as if band and orchestra are veering towards chaos, but things always remain just within control and they all meet again at the end with perfect timing!
The additional tracks were mainly performed prior to the orchestra taking the stage, and thus have been inserted towards the start of the album. They are more conventional live Caravan, but do help to give the album the feel of being a complete concert.
With the commendable attention to detail on all the recent Caravan remasters, it is perhaps churlish to point out the discrepancy in the track numbering between the CD and the sleeve caused by the introduction being listed as a separate track, but it does make it somewhat irritating when selecting a track!
Bob McBeath

This Caravan record has a very good balance between electric guitars and electric viola: they are often played simultaneously. The electric guitar is really not timid here, and this contributes to give a very good sound to this record. The drums and bass are punchy and quite loud. The songs are recorded live. The main attraction is this omnipresent orchestration (horns and strings): it is absolutely delightful, very present and participating, reminding many orchestrated passages of the Renaissance band, circa "Scheherazade", "Novella" and "Song for all seasons". This is the best of the Caravan's albums I own! This formula of rock-orchestra really works. Do not forget the nice keyboards, having about the same style as on "For girls who grow plump in the night". Let us also mention the presence of saxes, flute and backing vocals, which complete the loaded ensemble. Very progressive, this record is a pleasure for your ears from the beginning to the end. There are 2 epic songs (12-13 minutes), which are really progressive. Unlike the other albums, this one is slightly less catchy, maybe because of the absence of Richard Sinclair's lead vocals. Definitely an underrated album, having ALL its songs at least excellent!! If you hate strings ensemble and violins, then this record is not for you!
EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED!
Greenback

It could be an attempt of emulating the early formula by Camel, in my opinion naturally (think of the "Snow Goose" for example), in order to make the style from Canterbury closer to the orchestral arrangements of a different "époque" (otherwise these latter typically belonging to the seventies anyway).I appreciate the new purpose of Caravan to abandon their old classic style, trying to explore something different, even though sometimes the output is simplistic. In this manner I prefer their light style of "In the Land of Grey and Pink" for instance, in spite of this latter being inferior (in my opinion) than the unique style by Camel inside "MoonMadness" and however regarding of the short music period concerning the school from Canterbury. Of course it's a question of personal tastes, but I think that the present work is worth to be collected if you're into the simple style by Caravan; otherwise you could prefer listening to "In the Snow Goose" by Camel, perhaps in the orchestral version of "A Live Record", in the place of the light symphonic Caravan. choose by yourself, according to your exigencies, but the re-mastered version earns a lot!!
Lorenzo

Caravan decided after the success of their album, "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night" to record a live concert consisting of an orchestra which was used throughout the "for Girls..." album. Does it succeed? Yes and no. If you have the original album, you'll have what now is half the album. The new remastered version has what transpired that night in October of 1973. The band came on stage and played a select few tracks from the new album minus the orchestra. It's a somewhat decently played set with the bass playing of John Perry low in the mix. Dave Sinclair's keyboards shine brightly on most tracks, (at least he dosen't copy exactly his play from the album). It's Coughlin's drumming that stands out during the pre-orchestra AND during the second half with orchestra. It's not until the orchestra takes the stage do I believe that things start to cook. Right from the start, "The Love In Your Eyes" is beauty incarnate. The strings play perfectly with Pye's delicate singing. And the horns! Heaven on earth. The following two songs were written literally that day, with the lyrics done just hours before the concert was to begin. Both songs harken back to their early days with "Virgin On The Ridiculous" harbouring more instrumental power, especially with Sinclair's mighty fuzz-backed keys. Yet, it's the umpteenth live rendition of "For Richard" that one should pluck down the cash for this disc. If it's not the most powerful version, you would have to prove it to me. As the mammoth songs progresses so can hear the orchestra vieing with the band for dominence. The volume and power gets so great that by the end of the song you'll gasp for air and expect a thunderous collision. It's what you want from such a meld of instruments and more! The disc ends with an encore with the orchestra that almost didn't happen, (union rules and all). But "A Hunting We Shall Go" is another extra track and worth it. Oh, and I must mention Richardson's violin playing. he's their secret weapon, no doubt. I'll end by saying, a very well done live disc with a version of "For Richard" that must be heard. Can't say it's a masterpiece, but at least one song is. 4 stars for my favorite Canterbury band. Good show lads!
Ray Rappisi jr

This is basically "For Girls Who Grow Plump" played live. However, I like my Caravan in the raw and spontaneous with limited "production". If you want the Caravan of old sound(first 4 albums) with electric violin and orchestra thrown in to boot, you can't go wrong with this live album. I'll stick my neck out and say this actually sounds better than "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night". For one thing, the cheesy sound effects of explosions are absent. This is all band and orchestra. THE Caravan masterpiece of the mid-period.
Julian Belanger

The live Caravan is definitely a different beast than the studio Caravan. On the live stage the band tend to have fun with the audience and involve them in their tom foolery. The album really is quite humorous and the band are at the peak of their powers, with virtuoso musicianship and they play all of their best tracks up to this point. In this sense the album works as a type of best of Caravan, and in many cases the live versions here are better than the studio tracks. In any case this is a dynamic performance with energy and full on commitment.
The band are the classic lineup of Caravan, the incomparable prog hero Pye Hastings on vocals and guitar, Richard Coughlan on drums, Jimmy Hastings on flute and alto saxophone, John G. Perry on bass, Morris Pert on percussion, Geoff Richardson on electric viola and David Sinclair, a wizard on keyboards. The band are well backed up by the incredible New Symphonia orchestra. It was one of the first marriages of Canterbury and symphony orchestra. It worked well on this concert as the songs are really made for orchestra.
It begins with the unusual introduction by Alan Black who states matter of factly Caravan are about to enter. It is amusing how he says, "I'm not gonna preach to the converted because if you weren't Caravan freaks you wouldn't be here," and then he introduces the orchestra The New Symphonia and explains the band are going to perform a featurette of songs from their new album "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night." What a time capsule of music are these live performances.
As soon as the band hit the stage they power into 'Memory Lain, Hugh Headloss' for 11 minutes and it is an incredible piece of showmanship. Pye Hastings sounds so vibrant in these early days. The band are tight, the riffs are great and the keyboard work of Sinclair is exquisite. The violining of Richardson is incredible and the crowd can be heard at the end of each section cheering wildly.
Hastings introduces the next song about a dog who has a problem with his urges and so he goes to the doctor and is given "down boy pills". 'The Dog, the Dog, He's at It Again' is the song that follows the intro, which became a favourite from the new album over the years. It has a great lead break and the melody is memorable and has fun lyrics; "my mother said that I should stay out of bed but I know that I like it in there, legs and thighs, hello's and goodbyes and you're there". After this Hastings explains they had planned to do about 30 minutes of more "Plump" material but time is against them, what a tease, as that would have been priceless. It was made clear that the album was to be a live recording so this was all a concert designed for the recording and needed to fit on those pesky short vinyl records that could only have 25 minutes of material at best.
Also from the "Plump" album the band play 'A Hunting We shall Go', and the whimsical 'Hoedown' with amazing violin soloing. It is a shame they didn't play 'C'thlu Thlu' which is one of the darkest and best things they have done. The band leave the stage for a moment and then the orchestra enters and begins to strike up with a quiet melody. They add colour and drama to this as each instrument chimes in, the brass, the violins, woodwind, all are virtuosos and the sound is full and lush providing incredible music as a background to Caravan's Canterbury rock.
'The Love in Your Eye' clocks about 13 minutes and flys by quite well, with organic musicality and strong beats, very uplifting and pleasant. 'Virgin on the Ridiculous' is another highlight with sweeping violins and Pye gently storytelling. The gorgeous harp flourishes and emotional strings on this are superb. Pye introduces "the last evening of the number", (haha!) And he says it is "the usual Caravan number, but this time orchestrated". The quintessential Caravan song 'For Richard' never fails to get the crowd on their feet. They play a 14 minute version with amazing lead guitar solos and lengthy musicality.
'A Hunting We Shall Go', a 'new' track, closes the show on an encore with a 10 minute non stop barrage of virtuosity. The band exit the stage to rapturous applause. This is perhaps the best live album for the band and it really showcases all that is great about them; whimsical humour, virtuoso musicianship, infectious melodies and with an orchestra thrown in for good measure. It is an irresistible combination where everything worked perfectly making this a landmark album for the band and a prime example of Canterbury at its best.
Scott Tuffnell

An essential live album from Caravan. Not only does it contain two great non-studio songs in their best forms but features a whole new side of Caravan that only reared it's proverbial head during live shows. I have never heard jamming this decisive or powerful done on any of Caravan's studio albums and these extremely tight but consistently impressive jams definitely match Yes's instrumental workouts. I don't even think it's the added orchestration that makes these songs so damn powerful; I think the band was simply a lot more talented than even I originally gave them credit for. I had simply written them off as "second rate" prog ('first rate" pop, however) in my head until I tuned into this album.
"The Love in your Eye" jam is significantly improved over the studio version on "Waterloo Lily". Now all of the subsequent parts after the incredible vocal melody (Now adorned with actually good female back-up singers who add to it's glorious splendor) are equally flooring. The main theme of "To Catch Me a Brother" (the section right after the vocal part) has now metamorphosised from what was a single note electric piano riff to a brass theme that would make Richard Wagner gape. This part also has a really compelling fast flute solo (but no where near Ian Anderson "fast".) by Pye's bro, Jimmy Hastings followed by some furious fuzz box organ. The following "Subsultus" and "Debouchement" sections have also been changed from stagnated mucks to stunning peaks and climaxes with Pye and Richardson playing their hearts out on guitar and violin. However, the most astonishing part is saved for the end. Right after another amazing vocal performance by Pye, he starts riffing like a madman on "Tilbury Kecks". I seriously have never heard Pye play with this much ballsy fury on any other Caravan release. The first time I heard this, yours truly was endlessly amazed. It's like they quickly swapped Pye out for Richie Blackmore or someone. Well, either that or Pye had quick backstage lessons from Eric Clapton. Heck, either of those are probable.
Prog fans should also be pleased with the great classical orchestration done on the new songs. "Virgins of the Ridiculous" is a luvly love song set to Bach like arrangements and "Mirror for a Day" is a happy short song with it's love related lyrics covering up an utterly complex arrangement. My favorite of the pair is the latter because of the moody opening and the couple of violin riffs this song possesses are dangerously infectious. Still, "Virgins" despite being the least energetic song on the album also contains some more fast, fuzzy fun courtesy of David Sinclair and his organ.
The closing number is "For Richard" which now also has a much tighter set of arrangement buttocks, massively improves over the original. The original suite simply had me bored right from the start but now the various memorable parts of it have been picked out and massively emphasized by the orchestra. Even the dull melody-less singing part has now been spruced up a notch with small 'lil harp pluckings, violin strummings, and a melodic bass solo as well as audible vocals. (Unlike the original's) However, the rest of the song can be completely mind blowing if you perchance enjoy masterfully played thirteen minute jams like I do.
Oh and the reissue gives us the other songs from the concert Caravan did with the Symphonia. That's kinda nice. None of the non-orchestra tracks are much different from their original forms on "Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night", however, (In fact, "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again" loses it's glorious vocal coda. Why? That part was so heavenly!) but the brand new orchestra track "A Hunting We Shall Go" also gains some more energy over its studio version. With the help of the orchestra the "Backwards" section is achingly pretty too.
Oddly enough, this album may just be Caravan's best and most consistently entertaining for me. This is definitely one of the first Caravan albums you should try in this guy's humble, inessential opinion. The jams on here have more direction and power than anything else by Caravan even "In the Land of Grey and Pink" and the energetic arrangements almost always guarantee you'll never be bored. Hot damn, if only they had this much enthusiasm in the studio...
Lionel P. Rockefeller

"Caravan&The New Symphonia" of CARAVAN released in 1974. The first live album is a work that co-stars with the orchestra for CARAVAN. The oneness of the orchestra and the band is wonderful. As live, it is an eminent work. This works are very few works that succeed in the album that the orchestra co-starred with the band.
braindamage

Y seguiremos con nuestro desordenado festival Caravan...y sepn disculpar el desorden, es lo que hay...



2 comentarios:

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