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Thursday, April 8, 2010

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

With their follow up to their self-titled debut album, Canterbury band Caravan’s second album had opened the flood gates. The reissue of If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d It All Over You originally released in 1970 which featured nine tracks now with three bonus tracks which is leveled up to twelve on the demise Eclectic label. At times it laid back, calm, cool, and very Soft Machine orientated like the first two albums. With long titles, fuzz tone organ sounds, jazz fretted bass solos, quirky lyrics, and all of the other magnificent, it definitely showed Caravan’s musical qualities of an excellent album; It is very weird and hard to understand what the hell are they doing but listening to it, you can definitely understand why they meant to be so damn good.
The album is well known to be the Canterbury scene to be opening the door for others to come out with a lot of the solos from the organ thanks to Richard’s brother, Dave Sinclair who gave the album a twist and the vocal arrangements of being typical from the previous psychedelic sounding of the debut album. The title came from Goon show member, the late great Spike Milligan, and I bet Caravan was making this album a tribute to their comedic hero and the Goon Show. Their second record showed the Caravan sound that was meant to be heard on albums and singles and creating a body of work, but go beyond the jazz sound into unexpected long pieces like a flaming fire that won’t burn out.
Sure the title is long, but it’s a hell of an opportunity to get immediately attached to the Scene of Prog-Jazz Rock.
Of all of the sense of humor, the bouncy opening titled track and the mellowing crisp calmness of And I Wish I Were Stoned capture the right notes, as lead vocalist and guitarist Pye Hastings allow the Sinclair brothers both David and Richard esteemed themselves with a lot of time changes that isn’t lacking techniques of music. But if you are here to listen to the long instrumentals and epic pieces as the band go ape shit, then look out for With an Ear to the Ground you can Make It medley and Can’t Be Long Now are Canterbury pieces that definitely don’t seem out of place with some Psychedelic quirkiness which seemed very pre-Hatfield and the North and an homage to the Wilde Flowers.
Hello Hello, which was released a single on the DECCA label along with the titled track, has an upbeat tempo and a capacity to the Jazz psych wah-wah beauty along with a beautiful percussion sound homage to Jimmy Cobb and Elvin Jones for which Richard Coughlain does to get the sound in this nice little ditty.
As I Feel I Die, a constructive ambient moody number that senses some calm after the storm into a John Coltrane meets The Beatles crossover of My Favorite Things and the Revolver-era. The short numbers, Asfoteri 25 and Limits are very tribal and most of the time with a waltz beat while the three bonus tracks get the listener going for more of the Adventures of Caravan. A Day in the Life of Maurice Haylett which will be a fan favorite among the fans with its bizarre tensions which starts off calm and then with a dramatic anti-climax done by Coughlain as it goes into the sneering territories thanks to David’s haunting organ solo. As for the demos of Hello Hello, Stoned, and Die, they’re breathtaking. It’s positively an album that you need to buy from start to finish.

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