WATERLOO LILY (1972)
1 Waterloo Lily (6:47)
2 Nothing At All/It's Coming Soon/Nothing At All (reprise) (10:25)
3 Songs And Signs (3:39)
4 Aristocracy (3:03)
5 The Love In Your Eye/To Catch Me A Brother/Subsultus/Debouchement/Tilbury Kecks (12:31)
6 The World Is Yours (3:41)
Bonus Tracks on 2001 CD
7 Pye's June Thing (2:57)
8 Ferdinand (2:57)
9 Looking Left, Looking Right (5:37)
10 Pye's Loop (1:21)
Richard Coughlan (drums, percussion)
Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals on tracks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
Steve Miller (keyboards)
Richard Sinclair (bassguitar, vocals on track 1)
Mike Cotton (trumpet on track 5)
Lol Coxhill (soprano sax on tracks 1 and 2)
Jimmy Hastings (flute on track 5, tenor sax on track 5)
Phil Miller (2nd lead guitar on track 2)
Barry Robinson (oboe on track 5)
REVIEWS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
This is the album where all the promise and jazzy impulses Caravan take an unexpected and dark turn and emerge finely balanced. This is where Caravan discovers that the "trip" is found in the "groove", and a heavy groove is best. Too few people know this one. It's less ridgidly composed than the much-vaunted predessor ''In the Land of Grey and Pink" that with all the accomplished soloing of David Sinclair - (the only instrumental voice on the record) - sounds tight-arsed when compared to the crude unbridled delights of Lily. Here Richard Sinclair shows a bass sensibility that's so visceral and in your face that it's almost embarrassing, and yet it's his boldness that carries the playing into zones of cool and groove that are unequalled to my knowledge. Amazingly everyone pulls in the same almost sweaty direction.
Pye adjusts his song writing enough to permit the long splendid jams, and Miller's plays his keys with such style and restraint that the counter they provide to Pye's wailing wah-wah makes for perfect call and response soloing. I don't miss David Sinclair for a moment. Pye gets the strident parts this time, and he stretches out brilliantly with a tense virtuosity as never again. His vocals as well as Richard Sinclair's are all first-rate performances. There's a moment, somewhere deep inside "The Love in your Eye" where (possibly) the producer David Hitchcock shouts "yeah" over the control-room p.a., imprinting himself in a moment of uncontrollable excitement. You don't hear that on other Caravan albums. In hindsight there must be some regret between Sinclair, Hastings and Miller that they didn't continue along the new road.
But the audience wanted more of the polite fantasy Caravan. That's what they got with the plodding but enjoyable Girls album that followed. They never had another bass player like Sinclair. This is their brick in the great prog archway. A great, great record.
Keith Hart 21.11.2003
For some reason, this album tends to receive a colder welcome than its neighbors on both sides of the chronology, and I still can't quite figure out why. I can certainly see where a pop lover would dismiss it — what with the album taking such an odd turn for jazz-rockish jamming and all — but surely prog fans should be overjoyed seeing the group, if not exactly return to the style of If I Could Do It All Over Again..., then at least capitalize on the more challenging aspects of In The Land Of Grey And Pink. But apparently, no, Waterloo Lily finds relatively few defenders on both sides of the fence, so go figure. The first of the major lineup changes happens here, as Dave Sinclair (temporarily) leaves the band and is replaced by Steve Miller, a former session player with a good taste for jazz, blues, and folk. Occasionally, one might encounter the opinion that it was Miller who steered the band in a jazzier direction, but the only pieces on the album that are explicitly credited to him are the folksy-bluesy 'It's Coming Soon' movement within the 'Nothing At All' suite and the sentimental ballad 'Songs And Signs', delivered by Pye in his sweetest falsetto — it does feature some jazz chords in its base melody, but does not really feel like a significant departure from the band's overall sound of the past. Nevertheless, it is true that he has a bluesier side to his piano playing than Sinclair had — in fact, his extended solo passages on the electric piano are often eerily similar to Ray Manzarek: I have no idea if he was a fan or not, but there's a dark, murky passage in the middle of 'Waterloo Lily' that seriously reminds me of the "Mr. Mojo Rising" part of 'L. A. Woman', while the solo on 'The Love In Your Eye' is reminiscent of 'Riders On The Storm'. Still, the significant shift in style must have been a collective undertaking of the band, and one for which they really should be praised — refusing to repeat the formula of Grey And Pink, they tried their hand at something slightly grittier and darker, in all respects. Where the previous album began with the soft, simple innocence of 'Golf Girl', here the title track apparently begins with an invitation to a friendly brothel, and the music, a mid-tempo blues-rocker with some magnificent bass work from Richard, is suitably bawdy and menacing, with both Pye and Miller choosing some thick-heavy tones for their instruments — before turning down the shades, bringing down the volume, and feeding us a bunch of sleazy wah-wah insinuations. Sinclair takes the vocals, too, and it's almost as if he is atoning for the angelic exuberance of 'Golf Girl', playing the devil's advocate here instead. With relative success, if you really put your mind to it. Most of the rest of the album is given over, once again, to two extended suites, one of which ('Nothing At All') is completely instrumental, and the other ('Love In Your Eye') went on to become a stage favorite and arguably the only track from here to survive for a long time in the repertoire. It is not difficult to see why the former was forgotten and the latter became revered: 'The Love In Your Eye' is pure Pye Hastings, all friendly humility and sweet melancholy, whereas 'Nothing At All', theoretically at least, is a jazz-rock jam the likes of which could be produced by dozens of British and American bands at the time. But issues of originality aside, it is a fine jazz-rock jam — Sinclair gives an unusual variation on the boogie bass line, Hastings gets a chance to show how versatile he can be with the wah-wah (or, perhaps, that is guest player Phil Miller, Steve's brother and a future member of Hatfield & The North, too), and there's a fine soprano sax solo by another guest player, Lol Coxhill, to complete the picture. On the whole, it might seem less challenging than the more avantgarde jazz experiments in 1970, but it works better: they concoct a thicker, darker, sicker mood with this approach, which also contrasts nicely with the unexpected break into Steve Miller's melancholic piano interlude. As for 'The Love In Your Eye', it is essentially a lush pop song (replete with an extremely clumsy set of lyrics — "drink it down and do yourself"?, "mind in hand you'll find a way"?, "in dreams of you I wish a song on everyone"?, you'd think these weren't really written by a native speaker; if this was on purpose, I cannot for the life of me figure out what that purpose was), eventually turning into another lengthy blues-rock jam. The first section is great; the second one might seem superfluous after an already similar passage on the first suite, but yes, that's Caravan for you — the same accusation is valid for their masterpiece as well. Here, though, the benevolent and loving spirit of the «pop» part is in sharp contrast with the darker instrumental movements, and the composition fades out on an aggressive, turbulent jamming part, as if to suggest that Pye's post-Lennon "all you need is love in your eye" advice is not really working. Or, more likely, they just didn't have the strength to give the tune a proper finale (which is why you will probably find the best version of the tune on the live album with the New Symphonia, where it is obligatorily given a grand ending). As usual, in between the lengthy pieces we find shorter, more «commercial» chunks that were, for some reason, not released as singles — Pye's 'Aristocracy' could have made a good one, with its energetic tempo, catchy chorus, and, uh, Englishness; surely just as good as any contemporary Bowie hit, even if Hastings has never been able to make himself noticeable as a vocalist, unlike David. 'The World Is Yours' is another nice folk-pop tune, a simple and bright conclusion to the album after all the anger and darkness in the longer suites. All in all, I don't really see how this record «interrupts» Caravan's classic run with a weaker link. It was an attempt to try something a little different, and if, in the process, it neutralized the band's identity for a little bit, all the searching and diversification more than make up for it. Unless you really hate long instrumental jams, Waterloo Lily remains totally accessible and paints the band as a highly competent outfit that could have easily competed with the heavy rock scene of the time, had it wanted to; it just didn't want to. Perhaps it is not as focused as Grey And Pink on weaving a fantasy land enchantment spell, but these guys knew how to sound earthy, too, and if they felt the need to outbalance their Golf Girls with their Waterloo Lilies — hey, I can totally understand them. Subsequently, a solid thumbs up here, and disregard the naysayers.
George Starostin 15.03.2017 (ONLY-SOLITAIRE.BLOGSPOT.COM)
Attempting a rockier sound by adding jazzy personal. The atmosphere rules.
Best song: Waterloo Lily
Dave Sinclair left the band - temporarily, as it later turned out - which resulted in a radical shift of attitude for Caravan, but only for one album. With the addition of Steve Miller on keyboards, Hastings felt a stimulus to lead the band in a somewhat different direction; most people call it 'jazz-fusionish', but that's a bit far-fetched, I think. In fact, I was pretty scared initially that the whole album might be dedicated to saxophone wankery exercises, something like Jack Bruce's Things We Like, you know, particularly since Steve Miller had a vast jazz background indeed, plus he also introduced a whole company of guest studio musicians such as his brother Phil Miller on guitar, Mike Cotton on trumpet and Lol Coxhill on soprano sax. Fortunately, Hastings had enough good taste not to strip the band of its initial feeling of purpose. Most of the stuff on the album is entirely listenable, and the overall emphasis is not on technical prowess but rather on energy and power this time around. As usual, there are lots of lengthy unmemorable instrumental passages, but in a certain sense, they're actually much better than before, because where Dave Sinclair opted for 'beauty', which is a great concept but often unreachable in practice, Miller opts for 'power', and while 'power' is generally easier to obtain than 'beauty', it also means that Waterloo Lily has a better chance of success. Curiously, though, most Caravan fans tend to regard the album as a relative failure, a sort of throwaway deal in between two of Caravan's masterpieces. The only reason I can see for that is also the most obvious: Waterloo Lily is the least 'formulaic' of the first five Caravan albums, and so people who love Caravan for their usual schtick might be somewhat put off by this stuff. 'Meandering', 'boring', 'senseless', all these epithets that I've heard directed towards the album, are entirely understandable if we realize they come from people lulled by Hastings/Sinclair/Sinclair's 'gorgeous' medieval-based style. I actually can be lulled by it too - sometimes - but it doesn't mean that I instinctively reject anything else tried out by these guys. And Waterloo Lily, in particular, seems to me to be at least significantly more entertaining than If I Could... . There's not a single track on the entire album that I'd want to dismiss entirely. Don't just bypass this sentence! It's not often that I say things like these about 'second-row prog band' albums. Even the best of these usually have a song or two that don't contain any outstanding ideas. So how could you people say Waterloo Lily is meandering when it shows a band concentrated as never before? Let's do it track by track - relax, there's only six of them, and they're all worth the bother. The title track is an obvious highlight, no doubts about that. A set of really hard-rockin' riffs, a vocal melody that defines 'catchiness', and Hastings' ever-improving vocals. And an instrumental section where Mr Miller uses sharp, shrill organ tones, completely wreaking havoc on the poor instrument. Dang it, I love when a jazz musician employs the wah-wah pedal on his organ. In fact, the wah-wah pedal is definitely the greatest invention in the history of mankind. Take anything and put in a wah-wah pedal, and you get yourself aggression and anger where you could never expect to get it in the first place. Why don't people use the wah-wah pedal more often? Because that would lead to World War III. 'Nothing At All' is just a blues-rock jam. But wait... just a blues-rock jam? It's excellent, with imaginative guitar parts, moody blues piano, and a great fat throbbing bassline to hang it all upon. And then in the middle it goes into the beautiful 'It's Coming Soon' piano interlude for a couple of minutes. Granted, maybe they could have made it a couple minutes shorter, but I'm not really complaining. Even when my attention says 'Beat it' and skips forward to the dust gathering on my monitor screen, the song still functions as first-rate background music. Next come two short luvvingly pretty Hastings 'poppy' numbers. 'Songs And Signs' isn't TREMENDOUSLY memorable. It doesn't jump out of the darkness grabbing you by the collar and shoving a melodic dagger in your back. Instead, it just kinda pats you on the shoulder and says, 'here am I, a pretty soothing melody to calm you down and deliver you from your worries'. Hastings' falsetto is delicious on that one, and while some people might freak out at the combination of his romantic folksy vocal melody with the jagged cynical little organ solo from Miller, I find the contrast, well, er, really contrastive. Which is a good thing. The faster, boppy 'Aristocracy' used to confuse me all the time before I understood that the main vocal part had been lifted by Hastings off the Kinks' 'Lola' (probably unconsciously - wouldn't want Pye sueing me behind my back), and then nothing was stopping me from liking the song any more. The biggest problem I have with the album predictably lies in its longest track, 'The Love In Your Eye' (and all of its subsequent parts). Actually, the main melody is excellent, particularly the chorus with its sweeping (sorry for a generic epithet, but my knowledge of the Roget thesaurus really sucks as of now) strings - but the instrumental sections are just a wee bit less appealing, aka less powerful, than the parts on other tracks, and that's a minus: after such an awful lot of first-rate instrumental noodling on the previous tracks, anything less than 'spectacular' on the supposed magnum opus of the album looks fishy. Still, Miller is mostly good on the track anyway, and then the main theme reappears at the end, so count me happy as I slowly drift towards the album closer, the happy goofy folksy rave-up 'The World Is Yours'. A fun closer. And as the last song gets chewn up by my horrible logical processor, out pops a strong nine rating, almost a ten if it weren't for some minor flaws and a naggin' feeling that it would be a bit too strange to give a 10 to an album that's maybe the least typical of all Caravan output. In any case, the word's leaked out to you, so now make your conclusions yourself. Or maybe you're just an art lover, and you'd like to buy the album for its William Hogarth painting? Why not?
George Starostin 10/10 (STARLING)
Before the recording of Waterloo Lily, David Sinclair departed Caravan to join forces with Soft Machine skinsman Robert Wyatt and form Matching Mole. With the subsequent arrival of former Delivery member Steve Miller and an overwhelming jazz influence, the edgier progressive rock and folk elements that were so prevalent on their previous albums are somewhat repressed. The band's performance level did not suffer in the transition. In fact, the addition of Miller only punctuates Caravan's previously honed improvisational skills. Beginning with Waterloo Lily's leadoff title track, there is a sound more akin to the jazzier efforts of Traffic. Miller's "Nothing at All" incorporates the jazz fusion even further as the long instrumental introduction more than hints at Steely Dan circa Katy Lied. The up-tempo staccato bop featuring Miller's electric piano accents, when juxtaposed with Pye Hastings' liquid-toned electric guitar could easily be mistaken for that of Walter Becker and Donald Fagan.
The remainder of the album centers on a couple of pieces that evoke the sound and spirit of the previous Caravan outings.
Most reminiscent of the classic sound is Hastings' epic "The Love in Your Eye" suite. The track recalls the laid-back intensity and phenomenal improvisational synergy of earlier tracks such as "For Richard" and "Where, but for Caravan Would I," while wisely incorporating Miller's formidable jazz chops to give the instrumental sections sustained substance throughout. The remastered CD offers three additional compositions circa the Waterloo Lily sessions. "Pye's June Thing" and "Ferdinand" are two of Hastings' acoustic demos. A considerably more complete "Looking Left, Looking Right" is a treasured recovery from the vaults. Originally vaulted due to the time limitations of vinyl, this track, along with "Pye's Loop" -- which acts as a coda to "Looking Left..." -- mark their debut release here.
Lindsay Planer (ALLMUSIC)
Caravan goes m3t4lzzz!!1!11 OMG!! WTF!!1!11!112233
No, of course they aren’t, that would be crazy! But nonetheless, this here album greets you with one of their heaviest tracks ever, with a mean descending riff that in the hands of a much more caveman-like band, keen on ledding zeppelins and blacking sabbaths rather than caravanning through Picadilly, would turn into a potential metal feast. What actually happened on this album was that David Sinclair left the group to be replaced by Steve Miller (no, not that Steve Miller) which steered the band in a somewhat different direction. He obviously preferred electric piano over the trusty organ and there is a much stronger funk/jazz-fusion influence on here than on the previous albums. Some may like it because of that but me, I don’t really care too much for it. You know what happens when white dudes try their hands on funk, don’t you? “Come taste the band”, that’s what happens! Get me Glenn Hughes for personal execution! Okay, it’s not that Miller managed to ruin the experience or anything. Some of these tracks not only managed to carry on the Caravan tradition of meek baroque pop, but also expand on it and in the process Pye Hastings really started to make good use of his voice, thin as it may be. The lead-in title track, if we may get back to that one, already betrays said funkster tendencies with a bouncy singing part that continues the tradition of “Golf girl” only to give way for a tricky, almost Crimsonian, riff passage. Best album opener since their debut, says I. Have you noticed how peculiar the bass guitar sounds on this album, by the way? That punchy attack working almost entirely in the middle range rather than the bottom. Maybe that helps boosting the funk experience which is carried on to the following track “Nothing at all” which is basically a blues jam and little more. Improvised solo passages abound and it’s probably competent and all that but it doesn’t do much for me. Neither do “Songs and signs” which is just an uninspired pop shuffle. “Aristocracy” works better though, since it’s built on an airy scat-sung melody that’s reminiscent of the “If I could do it all over again…” vibe, but over an almost proto-disco rythm this time around. Could and should have been a radio hit! But it is the closing “The world is yours” that claims the prize for being the best compact pop tune on the album. The melody, intelligently weaved into the slightly prolonged chorus measure, is so simple but oh so effective! Pye shuffles his way through the song with really catchy and rythmic chord-riffs and no funk anywhere to be found! And finally we’ve got the by now obligatory epic that precedes it, “The love in your eye”, which begins on a really humble note with the quiet but pretty verse lines, but soon picks up steam and emerges into an string-peppered bridge that gives it an almost ELO-like feel. Off we go into a dexterous flute solo, interspersed with orchestral breaks, and then some keyboard solos stacked on top of each other. It all concludes with a reprise of the verse and a – once again – funky, albeit obviously inspired and playful piano/wahwah guitar interplay. The first part of the track is arguably the best, as it’s slowly starting to betray the lush pop tendencies of late-period Caravan, but taken as a whole it’s not really worse than “Nine feet underground”. Especially since it’s ten minutes shorter and thus maybe more digestible for those not prepared for yet another onslaught of keyboard noodling. My final verdict is that “Waterloo Lily” is much of a transitional album for Caravan. Not bad by any means, but overall somewhat let down by the excursions in terrains they were not very well suited for (and that were not very good in the first place, but that’s a personal opinion). Thankfully, Miller left right after this album which again left the ivories vacant. Read on to find out for whom!
Most Caravan fans will tell you that this album is a lot weaker than the releases immediately preceding and following it. I however disagree; Waterloo Lily is one of my favourite Caravan albums. "The Love in Your Eye" ranks as one of Caravan's best extended numbers, and is clearly the highlight of the album. There's a string section in there, as well as another Jimmy Hastings appearance. The last section is a little more jazz-tinged than earlier works. The title-track is a fun romp in the style of "Hello, Hello". Some wonderful vocal and bass work here from Richard Sinclair. Then there's an excellent jazz-rock instrumental "Nothing at All" (the only one to my ears, that really marks the band's perceived change in style) and a light-hearted song "Songs and Signs" which show off new member Steve Miller at his best. The previous also has some excellent guitar work from the much under-rated Pye Hastings and guest Phil Miller (brother of Steve and later a member of Hatfield and the North). Of the remaining tracks, one is another catchy Pye Hastings acoustic song ("The World is Yours") and t'other is "Aristocracy", a weaker version of a track originally recorded for "In the Land of Grey and Pink" but not released on that LP (it is now on the reissue of that album). It's not bad, it's just nowhere near as good as the earlier version. Of the bonus tracks the first two are lovely acoustic demos by Pye in the studio, and the last two are actually one track that missed the cut of the album by sheer length. It is called "Looking Left, Looking Right" but Caravan fans might recognise the main riff that was used for "Wendy Wants Another 5' Mole" on more recent album "The Battle of Hastings". Superb song. The sleeve notes are (as always) excellent. The design is the same as for all the other Decca Caravan reissues, so if you are a collector, your CDs will rack up nicely. The cover art has been restored too. As I am only 18, my Caravan collection is currently only the full set of Decca reissues alongside the last two proper albums "The Unauthorised Breakfast Item" and "The Battle of Hastings". It has come to my attention that very soon (June 2004) the remaining Caravan albums from the late 70s and early 80s are on the way on Caravan's new label Eclectic discs. So, if you are a Caravan fan, then you'll soon get a chance to get hold of the definitive versions of their 'missing' non-Decca works.
Paul Ferguson "Gildermershina" (Glasgow, Scotland) 5/5 29.05.2004 (AMAZON)
Overshadowed by 'Grey and Pink' and 'Girls who grow plump' - undeservedly so!!!
Not a lot to say that's not been said in 'Say no More's' excellent 2012 review. However, it's sasy to see where Richard Sinclair was headed with just one listen of this one - off to jazzier climes with Hatfield and the excellent Phil Miller, Steve Miller (both present here) and Pip Pyle et al. Some fabulous playing from all the band members on this one - Coughlan on top form with his 'drum kit falling down the stairs' technique and Richard Sinclair attempting (and largely succeeding) to match the funk/fusion sensibilities of Crusaders/Zappa era Max Bennett - and if you can live with Max Bennett you're OK with me! Pye Hastings also surprises with his skill on lead guitar. The most surprising feature of the various Amazon reviews is the lack of reference to the similarity in style (of the instrumental tracks) with Frank Zappa's 'Hot Rats' - and that's not a criticism - far from it, it's a complement! As mentioned, Sinclair's bass work is 'stand out' and compares well with Bennett's style and Hastings' guitar style, tone and extensive use of the wah-wah pedal (unusual for Hastings) are very reminiscent of Frank's technique. In fact I'd go as far as to say you could 'lift and drop' a couple of the lengthier instrumental passages from this album straight on to 'Hot Rats' relatively seamlessly. And that's praise indeed given that Hot Rats must be Zappa's greatest acheivement in a career that was pretty stellar throughout. As mentioned, 'Land of Grey and Pink' and 'For Girls who Grow Plump' are generally considered to be Caravan's high points but I think that Waterloo Lily matches, and in some respects, surpasses those two excellent albums - and I'm listening to 'Girls who...' as I write this. Amazing to think how old this recording is when it sounds so fresh in 2013 - the musical abilities of these guys put most current bands to shame. However, be that as it may, the bottom-line is 'buy this album'!!!
C. Heath (Southampton, UK) 5/5 29.06.2013 (AMAZON)
A crossroads album for Caravan.
Bold and incredible foray into Jazz realm. For me this album is not a bit weaker than any of the other 4 first Caravan albums, and certainly a refreshing, if short, change in the "traditional" Caravan sound. It's being usually lower rated is probably due to reviewers who are not so much into Fusion and Jazz, but if you like Caravan and you also like Jazz/Fusion - you're in for a treat. The CD comes with a highly interesting booklet full of contributions from Pye Hastings (that is of course if you can manage with the miniature font). It also contains the outer and inner sleeve artwork from the original album. It outlines the professional struggles regarding the direction the band was heading. This album was made after the founder keyboardist Dave Sinclair left the band and was replaced by Steve Miller, that together with Richard Sinclair (Dave's cousin) and Phill Miller (Steve's brother) pushed towards more Jazzy sound. The latter 3 eventually left the band with Dave Sinclair returning for the next excellent album (For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night) where music was somewhat "back to normal". The result here is stunning and they all should be very proud of it. Great musicians and musicianship! The title track kicks in and just grabs you from the first second, much like Golf Girl in ITLOGAP. For 1.5 minutes it's just as if ITLOGAP never ended. Then starts a gradual mood change to instrumental Jazz, still with Caravan flavor that continues for 2 minutes and almost fades out completely, just to emerge with a new gripping drums+electric piano+bass for another minute or so , and than about 1 more minute like the track's beginning. Great track. The second track Nothing At All (10:25) comprises of 3 sections, and is purely instrumental Jazz. Tracks 3+4+6 are around 3 minutes each and are fine "traditional" Caravan Track 5 (12:31) comprises of 5 parts and is the most ambitious one, where the first part includes a string arrangement and oboe, the second one includes excellent flute and tenor sax by Pye's brother Jimmy in a section called "To Catch me a Brother" (what else...) and the next 3 sections are all excellent Jazz flavored. The 4 Bonus tracks were all recorded on June 8th 1971 during an "official break from activity" and 3 of them consist of Pye Hastings' demo tracks only with voice and acoustic guitar, and the 5:37 track "Looking Left, Looking Right" stands out of these with combined traditional Caravan & Jazz sound with trumpet by Mike Cotton. Overall excellent original album with very nice added value with the new 2001 remastered edition.
Say No More 67 5/5 05.06.2012 (AMAZON)
I can't understand why some people claim this to be a weaker album than others as EVERY track is a belter. I for one can understand the slight change in direction musically(jazzy) than previous releases. Waterloo Lily the track is a belter and The Love In Your Eye sequence of songs is one of their best pieces EVER commited to vinyl.And that to my mind has just GROWN in stature over the years.LONG MAY LILY SPREAD HER JOY TO THE WORLD!!!!!!
wolfers "bluesman" (uk) 5/5 12.05.2013 (AMAZON)
Despite the change of keyboard player this album seems to be a natural development in the progression of the earlier albums and it belongs with them. The jazzy electric piano is a breath of fresh air, but the sound is early Caravan at their best and Miller's playing is excellent. All four of the first albums are great. There is a big change in the sound of the following album...
DH Dixon "whitespeck" (England) 5/5 21.06.2009 (AMAZON)
Been a Caravan fan since school days - long time ago. Having seen them recently on London South Bank, been filling the gaps in my CD collection. And it's just as good as first time round when it was in my vinyl collection.
Richard M 4/5 07.02.2013 (AMAZON)
The one weakness of this album is that the band are audiably pulling in different directions. Although the band's jazz direction is only represented by one track (the Nothing At All suite) it sounds out of place alongside the rest of the tracks on the album and as jazz works go its pretty mundane. There rest of the album though contains some of the bands finest moments. Waterloo Lily (a funky tale of a rotund call girl) and The Love In Your Eye (an excellent attempt to carry on from where For Richard left off) in particular are wonderful, but my favourite song didn't even make the album: that's bonus track Looking Left Looking Right, another funky number that sounds as fresh as the day it was made. If only that song had made the album instead of Nothing At All, this might have been my favourite Caravan record. As it is its my second favourite behind If I Could Do It Again...
csiedmo (Bradford, UK) 5/5 03.12.2010 (AMAZON)
This CD originally released in 1972 is a work of value banda although this is not the best album. The bonuses are good and worth it. Follows the line of the band with a progressive rock with jazz blends. The songs are well made with light atmosphere in striking style of Caravan. It is sound and can even be a band's first album to know. Ok! Note 8.5.
Jose Henrique 4/5 22.09.2012 (AMAZON)
Quirky, but not my favourite Caravan album
I was pleased to finally track down this 1972 release, which is hard to find in record shops, and have enjoyed it, although it is not my favourite Caravan album by some distance. My recommendation would be to start with 'In The Land of Grey and Pink' before trying 'For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night' and 'If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You' as these are all excellent albums.
Prog Rob "RIG" (Stone) 4/5 06.07.2013 (AMAZON)
Poor plate for a band Caravan.
The fourth album in the discography of English representative Canterbury sound. After charming debut, and two subsequent albums, this significantly reduced the flights. Very relaxed sound, little picturesque, though the crisis passed. Generally weak position in the work of the team. I bought as a collector for the collection, but rather no satisfaction.
Krzysztof 2/5 31.12.2013 (AMAZON)
Caravan keeps on going strong.
If you liked their album 'In the Land of the Grey and Pink' this album wont disapoint you although I admit its not as good. This album will also take longer to grow on you. Two 'pop'-esq songs on the album are very cheery. Caravan's classic instrumental solos is not lost either as 3 of the songs on this album approach 10 minutes.
StephenCWLL (England, UK) 4/5 13.06.2000 (AMAZON)
Waterloo Lily : A change of pace for Caravan with the (temporary) loss of Dave Sinclair on keyboards. More Canterbury music
Stephen G Hartranft 4/5 19.11.2012 (AMAZON)
I've been into Caravan since the mid 1970ies although I only had 3 of their albums. I finally decided to increase my Caravan catelog & decided the final CD I would get is Waterloo Lily. I don't rate it near their top but I can see how they were progressing at the time into what they became (an almost forgotten jazzy folk blues rock band) I would reccommend this CD only for fans. For non fans try the live with the New Symphoma CD, as well as the Land of Pink & Gray, Blind Dog at St.Dunstans & Cunning Stunts (I always have to be careful not to miss the C & S up). I always wish I had seen them live.
potenza 3/5 19.01.2011 (AMAZON)
Caravan is now officially the best band ever.
Caravan was always known for their great, catchy vocal melodies, and I believe the ones found on Waterloo Lily to be their very best. I love singing along to these tunes. I also love just sitting back and feeling good as I absorb the wonderful and melodic instrumental jams. These jams seem to flow carefully and beautifully into other instrumental parts. This sure is one likeable band. Because of that, I'm surprised more people out there aren't familiar with them. It's hard to believe Caravan hasn't become one of those "forgotten favorites". They seriously deserve it. They deserved to be more well-known in America while they were popular in the early 70's too. And WOW!!! I think I finally found the best instrumental jam I've honestly ever heard! "Nothing at All" is 10 minutes of pure perfection! Alright, so those noisy sax moments can probably be tossed away, but besides that, the rest of the track is absolutely fantastic. It reminds me of a cross between Jethro Tull and a popular Jeff Beck song from his Blow By Blow album. Wow, and I thought Gong's "Boring" was a brilliant jam (granted it IS a brilliant song!) but Caravan's take on the instrumental jamming... they really hit the right sequence of notes with "Nothing At All". Honest, caring lyrics, pretty vocal melodies, and heavenly instrumental jams. That's what you can expect from this album, and the Caravan albums that came before and after this one. I'm not exaggerating either. It's just a beautiful thing. What a great band. Pick up Waterloo Lily today.
B. E Jackson (Pennsylvania) 5/5 17.07.2008 (AMAZON)
Caravan takes a jazzier turn for the better.
As good as IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK was, it was clear that Richard Sinclair was hoping to lead Caravan into a slightly jazzier direction. David Sinclair's departure allowed Richard to do just that. David Sinclair's replacement, Steve Miller from Delivery (and brother of guitarist Phil) gave Caravan just the right amount of a jazz infusion without stripping Caravan of their unique sound. Less synths/mellotron this time around, and more piano, acoustic and electric. WATERLOO LILY proved to be jazzier, harder-hitting, better-produced and more professional-sounding than their previous albums (listen to Richard Sinclair's bass & Richard Coughlan's drums - wow!). Lol Coxhill guests on sax and Phil Miller guests on guitar. HIGHLY recommended to fans of Hatfield & the North and National Health. Sinclair and Miller left after this one leaving Caravan to Pye Hastings increasingly commercial excursions, FOR GIRLS WHO GROW PLUMP IN THE NIGHT being the exception. FOR GIRLS... ended up being the last great Caravan album.
greyhoundude (Corvallis, OR) 4/5 13.09.2007 (AMAZON)
Exciting, non threatening, progressive rock.
3 1/2 Stars. A fantastic introduction into some of the more easy-access audible virtues lying dormant in most non-progressive listener's mind's awaits in this humble concoction of potent songwriting mixed with technical prowess. The music, while feeling at times a bit dated (awfully hard to have escaped that curse for most prog bands in that nonetheless glorious musical era), balances itself out rather nicely as an accessible album on many levels. The material ranges from rockers to love songs, influenced over jazzy, jam based guidance, which never lets the sometimes overly catchy melodies get bogged down in repetition. This excellent balance between accessibility and technicality should have afforded this band more popularity.
Irate 3/5 24.04.2006 (AMAZON)
Lily of Rock.
Many aren't too happy with Steve Miller filling in but his bass indeed pounds and reverberates in every track plus it gets funky the English way. This cd never wears me down and I keep on discoverong new sounds.
shadowmaster (USA) 5/5 13.11.2005 (AMAZON)
For the lovers of Caravan's music. This CD is an excellent production that brought me back in time. If you collect them, do not miss this one.
J. M. Garwacki (Miami, FL, USA) 5/5 11.09.2005 (AMAZON)
Still good, but not as good as their previous album.
Waterloo Lily marks the first lineup change in Caravan. David Sinclair left to briefly join Matching Mole. And a new keyboardist came in: Steve Miller, no, not the American Steve Miller who gave us The Joker and Fly Like an Eagle, but an Englishman named Steve Miller who was the brother of Matching Mole and Hatfield & the North's Phil Miller. As it's plainly obvious that Miller preferred the electric piano where D. Sinclair preferred the Hammond organ. The electric piano made Caravan move in to a more jazzy direction. And while Waterloo Lily isn't as good as In the Land of Grey & Pink, it still has some great material, like the title track, "The Love in Your Eye", and "Song & Signs". There tends to a bunch of lenghty jazzy jamming as well that might turn a few people off, but to me, it isn't bad. This was their first album to feature an orchestra as well, as demonstrated on "The Love in Your Eye". Sadly this was the last Caravan album to feature Richard Sinclair, as he would leave to join the likes of Hatfield & the North and Camel. While Waterloo Lily isn't the best album in Caravan's catalog, it's still well worth having.
BENJAMIN MILER (Veneta, Oregon) 4/5 04.09.2002 (AMAZON)
Classic Caravan, August 2, 2000
This album is classic Caravan with a twist of jazz, compliments of keyboardist Steve Miller. Since Miller's playing is outstanding, Caravan does not seem to lose a beat with the temporary departure of Dave Sinclair (of Nine Feet Underground fame). Richard Sinclair and Pye Hastings are solid on vocals. The album's highlight is "The Love In Your Eye" suite, a true Caravan classic that again spotlights the band's musicianship and overall ability to craft long and intricate progressive rock songs. Highly recommended!
A Customer 4/5 02.08.2000 (AMAZON)
Last great Caravan album.
This is the first recording following Dave Sinclair's departure. Richard Sinclair is still present for this session and delivers some of his most inspired bass playing. This recording has a decidedly jazzier feel than prior efforts but does not sway too far from Caravan's sound. As usual the musicianship is solid, as are the compositions. Following this effort Caravan would begin a slow but gradual decline in recording efforts with the comings and goings of various members. For their finest hour, see The Land of Grey and Pink. This one is highly recommended...Simon
A Customer 4/5 17.04.2000 (AMAZON)
Not their best, far from the worst.
Most fans of the band split on this as either their best or one of their worst. I don't think it is their best (that's probably Grey & Pink), but it is certainly not their worst. While it is a little jazzier than their others, and Steve Miller is not as distinctive a keyboardist as Dave Sinclair (though he's still very good) this album retains the charm of the bands best work while exloring some new ground.
V 4/5 19.11.1999 (AMAZON)
Their best album.
...and least representative of their work. This album is more jazz-influenced than all of their other releases, thanks largly to the keyboard work of Steve Miller (no, not THAT Steve Miller!). The rhythm section of Richard Sinclair and Richard Coughlan shine throughout. Highly recommended to fans of less-pretentious jazz-influenced art-rock.
V 4/5 24.07.1999 (AMAZON)
I bought this having heard little about the band, and having heard nothing. Being from Canterbury, I was expecting them to be blissed-out freaks like Gong or the Soft Machine. However, if anything, this is a very organized-sounding band, even in their longer, improvised pieces. There is a strong jazz influence, but also some traces of classical and psychedelic rock. The lyrics range from hippie-love type stuff to the bawdy title track. Pretty good stuff, and worth buying if you like so-called "progressive" music (I do).
V 4/5 14.06.1999 (AMAZON)
Whereas the previous LP is indicated by many as the best album, "Waterloo Lily" should be called the most under-estimated record by Caravan; it has never been popular with critics or well received by funs. Unquestionably, the sound changed significantly since David Sinclair left the band and was replaced by Steve Miller, who added to the music with yet bigger doze of jazz (e.g. "Nothing at All/It's Coming Soon/Nothing at All (reprise)"). The most impressive by far is the suite "The Love in Your Eye/To Catch Me a rother/Subsultus/Debouchement/Tilbury Kecks" (later known under a shortened title "The Love in Your Eye), the first part of which part was recorded together with an symphonic orchestra. Once again an extremely well thought and perfectly assembled composition; in the part "To Catch Me a Brother" an outstanding, exuberant solo on the flute, in the part "Debouchement" David Sinclair's shows off on the keyboard. "The Love in Your Eye" seems to be the best composition in the whole career of Caravan. The album "Waterloo Lily", against the general opinion, is excellent, and the only weak link that could be pointed to is the lack of this specific atmosphere present on the two previous albums.
jan.adamski@1 4/5 23.11.2003 (PROGARCHIVES)
David Sinclair's departure changed dramatically their sound but this is still great. Pye Hastings wrote most of the numbers which is also a change compared to the previous one when he wrote just one. Of course , the Love in Your Eyes is the highlight here but the Canterbury-suite on the first side is quite good also albeit quite unusual sounding for them but this goes on to show the jazz inclinations of Caravan . The rest of the stuff is more acoustic and poppish but still in the Caravan mould. The remaster of this one holds another real unreleased (no bottom of drawer tape) track called Looking Left , Looking Right that fits quite well with the rest of the album.
Sean Trane 4/5 02.02.2004 (PROGARCHIVES)
Stuck in a jam.
By far Caravan's least inspired album in my opinion. "The love in your eye" shines like a beacon in a wilderness of jazz rock mediocrity. Caravan have always had a strong underlying jazz influence, the problem here is that it comes to the fore far too much. Up until this point, there had been a healthy battle between the rock orientation of some of the band members (Pye Hastings etc.), and the jazz leanings of others (Richard Sinclair etc. ). This led to reasonably balanced offerings with jazz influenced passages having a firm rock basis. On "Waterloo Lily" though, rock was largely pushed aside in favour of a much looser jazz sound. There are simply too many long, directionless indulgences here for this album to be placed at Caravan's top table. I should temper my criticism by readily admitting that jazz does not appear in my list of favoured genres, and many people, particularly those who lean towards the Soft Machine side of Canterbury prog, list this among their favourite Caravan albums. The expanded remastered edition includes 4 bonus tracks, of which "Looking left looking right" is better than most of the tracks which made it onto the album. Disappointing.
Easy Livin 3/5 01.03.2004 (PROGARCHIVES)
"Waterloo Lily" was the last album which really captured in its entirety their classic 70's early sound. This album has it all... great musicianship, excellent vocals and highly developed songs. CARAVAN were exceptionally influential in helping define the Canterbury sound with their involved jazz-rock sequences and wonderful instrumentation. "Waterloo Lily" may be their most progressive effort in pure definition with some wonderfully inventive aspects clearly giving the listener the feeling of musical exploration. This album is full of wide mood and tempo swings with some quiet parts and then leaping into full jazz inspired prog rock. There is no question that the combination of Hastings, Sinclair and Coughlan were a wicked musical combination. "Waterloo Lily" is a highly recommended album offering some of CARAVAN's best work ever!
loserboy 4/5 19.03.2004 (PROGARCHIVES)
OK... hail to the rebel of Caravan albums! Most people share disappointment with Waterloo Lily, for me an absolute gem. Nothing at All and The Love in your Eye prove the mature contribution these guys could produce and the articulate approach to more sophisticated Prog/Jazz that had developed. Forget turmoil within the band and new line ups they were entering forbidden territory and couldn't give a [&*!#]. The music proves it.
Chris S 5/5 03.07.2004 (PROGARCHIVES)
Waterloo Lily is Caravan's most overlooked release from their golden age, and is one of their best albums. This album came after David Sinclair's departure, and Steve Miller fills in on Keyboards. Caravan moves in a more straightforward jazz-rock direction on this album, compared to the whimsical Canterbury of past releases. However, there is enough great composition and humor to justify the Caravan name. This album also shows just how well Caravan was able to balance relatively simple pop tunes with complex prog workouts in harmony. It has all of Caravan's past musical features, such as Pye Hastings fluid (but subdued) guitar work, jazzy piano, complex bass lines and a high degree of improvisation. It is also this album where Pye Hastings first assumes his role as band leader, and does it in dramatic fashion with several excellent compositions. The album kicks off with Richard Sinclair's playful "Waterloo Lily", an excellent track which aptly displays Caravan's lyrical cleverness and jazz oriented rock skills. This song is one of Caravan (of any period's) best, and Richard Sinclair's smooth vocal delivery is flawless. The next track, a suite, "Nothing at all /It's coming soon / Nothing at all (reprise)" is rather tepid fusion, which prominently features Steve Millers piano. The song has some good moments sprinkled throughout its 10 minute duration, but is rather bland and sparse, without direction. After that comes the Steve Miller pop song, "Songs and Signs". This is a relatively boring song, but it is performed well, and is a cut above most pop. Side Two features a much more traditional Caravan sound. Pye Hastings "Aristocracy" comes first, a song which hasn't dated at all in thirty years. Driven by punchy guitar and a solid melody, this track is seriously catchy and has very good lyrics. The real album highlight comes on Pye Hastings fantastic suite "The Love in Your Eye". This is an all time Caravan highlight, and a concert staple, and shows Caravan at their most symphonic. It features Jimmy Hastings amazing flute work, a string arrangement in the beginning by Colin Fretcher (which adds a real grand sound) and guest musicians on oboe, tenor sax, soprano sax, and trumpet. This is probably Pye Hastings greatest contribution to Caravan's repertoire. The band exchanges solos in this highly structured and never boring piece which runs twelve-and-a-half minutes. Each member is given adequate room to shine, notable Pye Hastings' ultra-smooth electric guitar and Steve Miller's jazzy electric piano. The album closes with one of Caravan's best pop songs, "The World is Yours" by Pye Hastings. Suprisingly this was never released as a single, as it is super catchy and really is a beautiful track. Waterloo Lily marks Caravan's jazziest point, and it is a success, minus a few boring patches of "Nothing at All". Pye Hastings is really given a chance to shine, and seizes on it. Many Caravan purists dislike this release as too jazzy, and as a step away from their roots, but this is really their last traditional album. 1973's "For Girls Who Grow Plump." is a bigger break with Canterbury than this. After Waterloo Lily, Richard Sinclair left, and that is the real turning point in Caravan. Anyways, I ramble. This album is a solid 3.5-4 stars, recommended to any fan of Canterbury music or Jazz-rock.
NetsNJFan 4/5 31.07.2005 (PROGARCHIVES)
The fourth work of announcement in 1972 "Waterloo Lily". It is nearer jazz than the former work. Work that becomes near jazz thanks to Steve Miller and guest, and is enhanced. The jazz aim is remarkable in the opening tune and two masterpieces. The answer to the doubt that CARAVAN might be jazz-rock is in this album.It is a work that makes the extension of the technique and music felt though a surreal, fantastic elegance of the former work disappeared.
braindamage 4/5 20.08.2005 (PROGARCHIVES)
Well the music critics sometimes (also recently), have criticized this work, because They regarded it as an unnatural or a bit forced l.p.: partially it's true, but their more jazzy breaks-through are interesting in a few circumstances and represented by the pretty cover picture of the album as well, while in other moments their jazz rock passages are less convincing (in comparison for instance to "Third" by Soft Machine), being anyway quite original. Therefore, even though the style of "In the Land of." is far away from here, the arrangement is more accurate in comparison to their long jam-session of their most successful album, at least. for me that's enough to distinguish this work among several other ones inside the school of Canterbury, but it's much inferior than for instance the small masterpieces of Hatfield and the North or the best works by Soft Machine. So as for this consideration only you could change idea about it. listen to this album carefully and make your own choice at the end!!
lor68 3/5 13.09.2005 (PROGARCHIVES)
I'm a bit in two minds about this album. It is undeniably different from its glorious predecessor, "In the Land of Grey and Pink", and the first listen was (to put it mildly) a disappointment. Then, after repeated listens, it's beginning to grow on me, though it will probably never become a real favourite in the way Caravan's second and third albums are. Keyboardist David Sinclair had left the band after ITLOGP to join Robert Wyatt's Matching Mole, and was replaced by the more jazz-oriented Steve Miller (brother of guitarist Phil Miller, of Hatfield and the North and National Health fame). Miller's influence shows very clearly, especially in compositions such as the three-part instrumental suite "Nothing at All". However, most of the tracks of the album bear the imprint of guitarist Pye Hastings, who is also responsible for the bulk of the vocal duties. This is probably the aspect of "Waterloo Lily" I like the least: Hastings is far from being a bad vocalist, but I find his Robert-Wyatt- lite vocal style somehow irritating, especially when he reaches for the higher notes. The golden voice of Richard Sinclair has way too little space here; the title-track, while a good song, is not as representative of his considerable skills as, say, "Winter Wine" or even "Hello Hello". Sinclair's presence as a bassist, however, can be felt quite keenly on this album: the above-mentioned "Nothing at All" is based on a pulsating bass riff, and his intricate bass lines are to be heard quite distinctly throughout the album. The presence of wind instruments (particularly Lol Coxhill's saxophone) is much stronger here than on the previous albums, reinforcing the record's more pronounced jazzy feel. Some passages of "Nothing at All", for instance, can remind listeners of Soft Machine rather than of Caravan's earlier output - which is no bad thing at all, though I understand it might be somewhat disappointing for those who had loved "If I Could Do.." or "In the Land...". Besides the jazzier numbers, however, there are the usual (for Caravan) catchier, poppier offerings, like the excellent "Aristocracy" and the closing "The World Is Yours"; while the Miller-penned "Songs and Signs" occupies a sort of middle ground between these two kinds of tracks. The album's second suite,Pye Hastings' "The Love in Your Eye", is more typically prog than the first, complete with string arrangements and great flute playing by brother Jimmy. The bonus tracks included in the remastered edition are all Pye Hastings compositions, all more than competent but, in my opinion, nothing to write home about. After this album, Richard Sinclair left to form Hatfield and the North - unfortunately never to reach the success he would have amply deserved - and Pye Hastings became the leader of the band, which he remains to this day. This album shows quite clearly the transition between these two different periods, and like most transition albums it has its moments - though I can't really bring myself to consider it essential. A solid three stars, possibly three and a half.
Raff 3/5 10.05.2006 (PROGARCHIVES)
Caravan and the legs of Waterloo Lily ...
The follower of 'In the land of grey and pink' with Steve Miller (brother of Phil Miller) at the keyboards. He replaces David Sinclair and mainly plays (electric) piano which brings along a more jazzy direction. Remarkable is also the virtuoso Jazz Rock influenced bass playing by Richard Sinclair. First of all I have to point out the two long tracks. They alone are worth the price, very impressing, full of variety and jamming. Nothing at all without any vocals has an eminent groove with a nice saxophon part. After 5 minutes the song fades into the interlude It's coming soon introduced by sensitive piano playing. The Love in your Eye is accompanied by some orchestral arrangements and was designated to be a classic for the following live performances of the band. Unforgettable is the terrific concert with the New Symphonia Orchestra two years later. But I don't want to be misunderstood. All the other songs are also to recommend. The title track for example is a very dynamic song, excellently arranged. Even Steve Miller's Songs and Signs isn't lacking though it is more popish. 'Waterloo Lily' is the last great studio effort of CARAVAN in my opinion. Check it out!
Rivertree 4/5 30.09.2006 (PROGARCHIVES)
Oh David, where did you go? David you ask... why David Sinclair is my all time favorite keyboard player and Caravan is in my top 5 favorite prog bands. Okay, out went my hero, in came an unknown. Steve Miller brings a heady amount of jazzy finger tapping on the keyboards and for me is a decent replacement. Will the songs suffer? Well actually no. The album starts with the title track and is one of my favorite comical/whimsy-style songs by the boys. Richard Sinclair's bass and bassy vocals make this track a winner, (on top of the hillarious lyrics) and half way through it jams very nicely. Coughlin drumming throughout the album is another standout, (man, he's SO underrated!). Things change dramatically with the second track, "Nothing At All" is a flat-out jazz tune going over 12 minutes. There's some lulls towards the center, but it's a decent change of pace. From there on we're back with ultra catchy Pye Hastings tunes that smack of classic Caravan. I mean, there's is NO ONE that plays these types of proggy/catchy/humorous tunes and play them as well. There are many Canterbury bands that try, but they can't match the sheer muscianship, lyrical and catchiness then Caravan. Pye's mega-soft vocals on "Songs & Signs" and "The World Is Yours" just goes right to your soul. Plus, there's a mini-epic in "The Love In Your Eyes". Unfortunately, the bonus track on the re-master is the worse out of all their re-masters. But it's not the album proper, so my rating is a super solid 4 stars for my favorite Canter band. Bravo guys, but bring back my David! (Yes, he does come back ;-)
NJprogfan 4/5 14.03.2007 (PROGARCHIVES)
Rumour has it back in the 1970s Caravan fans were unhappy with WATERLOO LILY. Supposedly they didn't appreciate the "jazzy new direction" the band had taken, but I guess they were bored by the unimaginative soloing (led by Steve Miller on keyboards) which dominates the album's first two tracks. The playing hardly seems better than any average garage band that has suddenly decided to venture into jazz-rock. But after the aptly-titled "Nothing at All", things turns out fine! "Songs and Signs", "Aristocracy" and "The World Is Yours" are as lovely as any of Caravan's shorter pieces. "The Love In Your Eye" is a masterpiece. It has one of those dreamy Pye Hastings melodies you would die for; it's beautifully orchestrated for strings and features some ravishing oboe playing. It also segues into the rapid "To Catch Me A Brother", which features one of Jimmy Hastings' inimitable flute solos. After this, even Steve Miller proves that (given a suitably exciting riff) he is able to provide a splendid electric piano solo. Caravan collectors, of course, shouldn't be without WATERLOO LILY - unless, perhaps, they already own a compilation which features "The Love In Your Eye".
fuxi 3/5 01.08.2007 (PROGARCHIVES)
David Sinclair had left to form MATCHING MOLE with Robert Wyatt and Phil Miller. So enter Steve Miller (Phil's brother) from the Jazz / Rock band DELIVERY. Steve was Richard Sinclair's choice to replace his cousin David. One of the reasons he liked him was his Jazz influence, which is the direction that Richard wanted to go with the band's sound. So yes this record does sound different than their previous albums. In fact it's so different it took me ages to really appreciate it for what it was. I was always comparing it to "In The Land Of Grey & Pink" which wasn't fair. "Waterloo Lily" features the usual great vocals from Richard Sinclair on this catchy and funny opening track. An organ solo is followed by a pastoral section 4 minutes in that builds back to a full sound. Vocals are back before 6 minutes. "Nothing At All / It's Coming Soon / Nothing At All (Reprise)" opens with a catchy melody that is dominated by some crazy guitar, which is replaced by the electric piano before the guitar comes back. Sax comes in as the song changes gears 5 1/2 minutes in to the next passage "It's All Coming Soon". It features electric piano, cymbals and bass. The song kicks in (Reprise) before 7 minutes with sax a minute later. "Songs And Signs" has Pye Hastings on vocals with a light soundscape. There is a heavier interlude before the song reverts back to the lighter sound. "Aristocracy" is a catchy, uptempo tune with some good drumming. "The Love In Your Eye / To Catch Me A Brother / Subsultus / Debouchment / Tilbury Kecks" opens dramatically with orchestration and is quite catchy.Trumpet follows and a great flute solo from Jimmy Hastings. Later a long electric piano melody with vocals (Pye Hastings) coming in at 10 minutes. Then we get a jam to end it. "The World Is Yours" features vocals that grow from barely audible to full strength in this silly, charming love song. Barely 4 stars but I think it's worth that rating. Richard Sinclair and Pye Hastings fought over this new direction the band had taken to the point that Richard and Steve both left before the next record. David Sinclair would return as would the old CARAVAN sound on "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night".
Mellotron Storm 4/5 11.08.2007 (PROGARCHIVES)
4.7 stars. Somethings disasterous and yet wonderful happened to Caravan after they weathered disappointing commercial reaction to their much-vaunted "Land of Grey and Pink" - they lost their most accomplished composer, and the only member of the band that appeared to have any 'solo' chops. That was David Sinclair, author of side-long epic "Nine Feet Underground" who had said, rather dismissively that his musical devlopment had out-stripped the band, and greener pastures awaited him (Matching Mole). That's the preamble to "Waterloo Lily". Pye Hastings, Richard Sinclair and Richard Coughlan had to shift things around quickly to get another album out, so they enlisted jazz pianist Steve Miller and did what they could to fill maestro David's shoes. The incredible results were missed by critics and the public alike, but I urge you all to explore the crude delights of "Lily", savour the ugly bass and the long jams with an open mind, and not lament the more polite structured groove of either "Grey and Pink" or the album that followed "Lily" - "For Girls that Grow Plump in the Night". "Lily" kicks off with the title track penned and voiced by Richard Sinclair. There's a liberating feeling present at once, risque lyrics and their standard long groovy middle sections fill-out a clever, singable song. Guitar, never a terribly recognizable voice in Caravan starts to proclaim itself. But everything here is at once more exciting, more collegial, and better executed. Coughlan's drumming is thick and inventive - full of double-taps and cymbal work and locked-in meter - never better. The sound is ballsier, louder, more boisterous and for the first time you get a bead on everyone's distinctive style. Pye Hasting's guitar work, though not virtuosic, is lively and exploratory and swings like hell. But it's the astonishing bass-work of Richard Sinclair as we move into the long jam/suite that follows, and the deft, highly creative work of keyboardist Miller that quickens the heart. That suite - " Nothing at all /It's coming soon / Songs and signs / Nothing at all (reprise) " is often been criticized as unfocussed and distended and sinks the album for many people but to me it's ragged glory and very atmospheric, Miller's composition "Songs and Signs" is another great song, with excellent paring of Sinclair's baritone, and Hastings penetrating high voice; the music is well developed and Miller's riffing on the electric paino create sparks. Hasting's song "Aristocracy", a hold-over from the "Grey and Pink" sessions gets better and (ballsier) treatment here as we move toward the album's magnum opus. Hasting's best-ever composition "Love in Your Eye". The production on this track (again by David Hitchcock) is excellent and the bar is raised as everyone delivers their best performance on the album. Of particular note is the exultant flute solo from Jimmie Hastings over Sinclairs rolling bass, the slyly worked out development, and Pye's strident guitar. The action gets so exciting at one point that an involuntary "yelp" is heard coming over someone's head-set from the control room. It is bravura progressive music that grooves and grooves darkly. This is the album where Caravan really pulled together, hit it's stride and took musical risks (forays into jazz) as they wouldn't again. The album that followed, despite having many fine moments, lacks the rough excitement of "Lily", and with the departure - this time of Richard Sinclair for Hatfield and the North, their classic period started to morph into lush pop. The erstwhile David Sinclair returned to the band for their follow-up "Girls" and distinguishes himself on synth throughout - (particulalry on "Backwards") but after "Lily" the anti-pop play between Miller, and Richard Sinclair is sorely missed. It's a shame they didn't follow this path. They would be better remembered today.
kuipe 4/5 13.08.2007 (PROGARCHIVES)
What can you say about this ...
Richard Coughlan and Richard Sinclair dominate the opening title track. The drum and bass thang continues as Nothing At All builds around one of those very straight forward bass riffs that you just can't help liking. Songs and Signs moves out into the jazzy mellow keyboard realms. Not my favourite sound but always Pye Hastings' influence centres any wayward forces firmyl back in the Caravan park. Is it just me or is Aristocracy the best track Caravan ever wrote. Simply perfect. Pye's the rhythm guitar master, the Richards are a stight as the proverbial gnat's chuff. Coughlan is simply fantastic in this. Now for the main event: The Love in Your Eye. Now this is an extended jazz number that usually gains the plaudits. Unfortunately it is my least favourite. Why? Well, there is too much fairly bland jamming. I hoped for more out of this. There is a change of direction towards the end which rescues the numebr; heavier guitar with a bit of wah. Strong beat, bass right up on the edge of the beat driving when it needs to be before subtly slipping back a nyum for a wee riff. The World is Yours is another typically Caravan number. A great way to end the album. really positive and uplifting. Just like Porcupine Tree (yeah right).
obiter 4/5 03.10.2007 (PROGARCHIVES)
Maybe not quite as good, but still good!
Feeling a bit disillusioned that their formidable "Grey and Pink" did not translate to the kind of commercial success they'd been hoping for, Caravan were in a bit of a funk as a working band. In August of 1971 Dave Sinclair left the group. He was convinced things were not to his liking and was interested in working with new musicians, finding company in Robert Wyatt and eventually Matching Mole. But the others were not ready to pack it in yet and invited Steve Miller to join the group. In late '71 they began the sessions for Waterloo Lily which would see the band alter their classic sound a bit to include a jazzier sound. The opening title track is pure Caravan with great raunchy lyrics, catchy vocals and harmonies, and awesome playing. Pye and Richard have some great jamming here and they even let the new guy in a bit. The long "Nothing at All" is the track that brings the charges that this album is too different, too jazzy. I think the charge is a big silly. They really take only this one track to experiment a bit but the rest of the album sounds plenty like Caravan to me. "Nothing" starts out with a funky bass and beat, then Pye comes in with some nice licks through the volume pedal. A bit later Miller's piano joins in and the jam is on. True it's laid back jazz but it's well done. Then the middle section features a more subdued piano and bass section which slowly picks up steam again until the instrumental jam gets cookin. Great bass, some nice sax and guitar. "Songs and Signs" is one penned by the new guy Miller and features tasteful keys and the monster bass again, man I love the strong bass sound Sinclair gets throughout this thing. "Aristocracy" is a whimsical sounding pop song that could just as easily be placed on the preceding albums, classic Caravan all the way with a happy, bouncy beat. "The Love In Your Eye" is the longest and most ambitious track. Starting with comtemplative vocals and strings the track goes on to add oboe, trumpet, flute, and sax. The jamming gets quite intense with some killer performances by Hastings, Sinclair, and Coughlan. "The World is Yours" is a sweet pop love song throwaway, easily the least substantial track but nothing awful. The Decca remaster series includes the usual nice band history as well as four bonus tracks, all previously unreleased. The first two were recorded by Hastings in June of '71 and are basically just demos. The latter two were recorded in November of that year and feature the full Caravan sound. "Looking Left, Looking Right" is actually a pretty cool song but was cut due to time limitations. More great cover art here especially when the front and back are folded flat so you can see the whole thing. While I agree it doesn't quite reach the peak of the previous album Waterloo is still a delightful spin. It's a bit more serious and perhaps mature in some ways. Some of this is actually a good thing but I do agree in places one can hear a hint of weariness-there were without a doubt some heavy frustrations within the group around this time. But it is no reason to pass on Waterloo if you are a Caravan fan. This is highly recommended to Canterbury and Caravan fans. I would only say that if you are new to Caravan start with the previous album.
Finnforest 3/5 05.12.2007 (PROGARCHIVES)
Following up a masterpiece like In the Land of Grey and Pink is nearly impossible, and Waterloo Lily is not as good as it´s predecessor. They have a much more jazzy and jamming sound on this one. First of all I would like to say that the order of the songs are all wrong on Waterloo Lily. They should not have placed the lengthy and jamming instrumental Nothing at all /It's coming soon / Nothing at all (reprise) as the second song on the album. This one should have been placed as the last song. It´s very jazzy and destroys the mood of the album. There are two lengthy jams on the album, the aforementioned Nothing at all /It's coming soon / Nothing at all (reprise) and The Love in Your Eye of which I think the latter is the best. It´s more soft in the sounds. I´m not that impressed with that one either though. I find it rather boring. The rest of the songs are more vocal orientated except for Waterloo Lily which is a little of both. I think Waterloo Lily is without a doubt the best song on the album. It´s a Caravan classic. The rest could have been outtakes from In the Land of Grey and Pink. I like Aristocracy though, it´s a nice little song. The world is Yours is a little too silly for me. Because of the high level of musicianship and the flawless playing I will give Waterloo Lily 3 stars, even though I almost gave it 2 because of the lacking composition skill. This was not a good surprise.
UMUR 3/5 23.12.2007 (PROGARCHIVES)
WHERE ARE THE PICTURES?
First crew changes on board of this Caravan. But there will be an incredible quantity of these changes later on in the band's career. Some forty or so. Difficult to remain consistent under these circumstances I guess. This album is more a jazz-rock one than anything else. And since jazz has never been a favourite genre of mine, I am not blown away with this Lilly from Waterloo. Although the title track has a pleasant mood and is one of my fave from this album. But to face the long jamming "Nothing At All." is quite challenging. The middle part maybe. Yes, this one is OK. Symphonic jazz. More bearable to my ears than the long and introductory jam. "Songs & Signs" is more a true "Caravan" song. Gentle, positive and joyful. A good moment from this Lilly album. My fave here. And the popish "Aristocracy" isn't bad either. Good rhythm for this song which features a nice melody and some great drumming. Another good song from this album is "The Love In Your Eye". Mostly instrumental, the bass play from the remaining cousin (but not for long) is excellent. As the keys by the way. Somewhat different than usual but performing. This is not a great album. Most songs have little structure and the ones I prefer are the short pieces. They are on the melodic side ("The World Is Yours") and more appealing IMHHO. The remastered version holds two acoustic songs which give a short break after so many jazzy ones, but let's face the reality. These ("Pye's June Thing " and "Ferdinand") won't add anything great to this work. The best bonus track is by far Looking Left.... Could ahve made the original album... But these won't make this album a good one. Just average. Five out of ten, but I can't upgrade this one to three stars.
ZowieZiggy 2/5 19.01.2008 (PROGARCHIVES)
Not a dissapointing or bad album at all, yes its more jazzy then thire others and its not as good as grey and pink but what is? a fine follow up to grey and pink in my opinion this is. The album starts with the title track and its a sweet opener your typical funny Canterbury song and sadly the only one sung by Rhicard sinclair on the whole album yes he sing alitle in the background on the others but i liked ot have him sing some more lead on other songs nothing against pye hestings his nice too but Richard hes something special. Anyway the next song is the big let down i gues in most opinions its the big jazz number and well if you dont liek jazz you whont like this i however find it very good and enjoyeble. Next comes two shorter pop song nice stuff, and the longer the love in your eye mini epic that even got an orchestra playing. The album ends with the short litle pop throw away the world is yours. The 2001 remaster got 3 bonus tracks the 2 pop songs pyes june thing and ferdinand are sweet and the longer looking left looking right is allso good. well 4 star from me is what the album gets no as good as thiere 3 previus ones but still a strong album in its own right and if your into the jazzier side of canterbury this will please you.
Zargus 4/5 23.01.2008 (PROGARCHIVES)
01. Waterloo Lily Let's control ourselves already well! A good riff, a swinging without end, the very legal vocal one of Pye. almost a funk. Good refrain, and give him riffs strangers jazzy, with quite legal keyboards, a 'shy' ground of guitar and Richard Coughlan had beaten it breaking everything (excellent drummer!). A long part intrumental seizure counts, being the great distinction absluto goes for Richard Sinclair and his bass. In the second refrain the doubled vocal ones are a charm. 02. Nothing At All/It's Coming Soon/Nothing At All (Reshowing) Insignia when of Richard Wright (Pink Floyd) was keyed totally, gross and very quite tipsy bass, a ground of guitar wha-wha, that is exatamente what we find in the opening with Nothing At All, next another guitar (Phil Miller (in a different, insignia another is swung by me without end with space for great improvisation. To complement still more saxophones. Nothing The It Seems begins in a beautiful piano night club / prison / solitude. I was not wrong to any more jazz of the disc. But soon more swing, be-bop, them expensive are great soul. After great swinging, still more with the turn of Nothing At All (Reshowing). 03. Songs And Signs Pop! This is pop, that is that pop should be! Pop Perfeito! Vocal in falsetto, grand and pretty melody. Base of guitar, very legal, without stopping having the instrumental 'travels' of the band. 04. Aristocracy One more swinging pop and very quite tipsy, I do not know exatamente to what it is similar, but and sensationally, he makes want to hear again and again. While he was hearing only I thought that some palms were lacking in the bottom of the song, it would be very legal. Guitar wha and ground of had slammed to end in great style (And what is you. Coughlan in the battery? Brilliant!). 05. The Love In Your Eye/To Catch Me To Brother/Subsultus/Debouchement/Tilbury Kecks Begin already symphonic and lovely! The arrangements of orchestra of Colin Frechter were very good, suddenly change everything, grand melody and a new sensational song enters in the head. I still did not discover well if a guitar is doing the ground . .. oh it is a guitar yes, I heard a slide (laughters). The flute gives a touch Jethro Tull to you it Catch Me To Brother and the band enters in great style, virtuous and bass everything it more. Subsultus has more 'aggressive grounds of guitar and different melody, the beds of keyboard of Steve Miller are always very well arranged. The Caravan is a band introsada! Excellent in fact. Debouchement gives a touch to more with letter and pretty melodies (the voice of Pye is very sweet and pretty). And soon puzzle again with Tilbury Kecks! Without equal! 06. The World Is Yours To finish a disc have that to do to him a good choice, and in case of the Caravan to end Waterloo Lily swims better which The World Is Yours, without equal with a footprint interessantíssima, a guitar 'clean' very quite tipsy, a vocal very quite sung one (that is to rain in the wet one!) and an enchanting refrain. Oh as I wanted that Pop as we know it today was so!
ProgShine 4/5 16.12.2008 (PROGARCHIVES)
Waterloo Lily is really an excellent album by Caravan, but for me it was totally our of their style and leaned towards the jazziness in prog. I think this album is why Richard Sinclair left Caravan. The title song is very good, very catchy, and very canterbury. Hintful lyrics and odd chord changes are the things that make this song so catchy, but especially the excellent guitar riffing, and songwriting by Richard Sinclair and Pye Hastings. Nothing At All is a real Caravan-downer, and for the less jazzy proggers, will be a bore, and will be better off with another band. Nothing At All is a very weird jazz song, never really keeping a chord in-place, and just too much drugs for Caravan, which would not be something a rocker proggie would like. Songs & Signs and Aristocracy are short tunes, probably released as singles, based on wurlitzer work by Steve Miller. Then comes a less jazzy song, but a bore to me, called The Love in Your Eye. This song is another one of the Caravan medlies made famous in the two previous albums, In the Land of Grey and Pink and their second album, If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd do it all over you. This song is less jazzy but still an indicator for us to notice that Caravan is becoming more and more of a jazz band. The World is Yours is the last song the album. Pretty short for a Caravan song, around the lengths of Aristocracy and S&S, World is a great song and would be better placed with the second album. Rating: 3/5. Too jazzy, makes me shiver when I think of getting Girls Who Grow Plump. But maybe Plump will be a less jazzy album, who knows?
The Runaway 3/5 08.07.2009 (PROGARCHIVES)
This is my favorite Caravan album after "In the Land of Grey and Pink". and "If I Could Do It ..." .Maybe the more "jazzy" direction the band opted for after Dave Sinclairs departure is not everybodys cup of tea, but I find Steve Millers contribution a step in the right direction. Let´s not forget that Miller wrote the masterpiece "Songs and Signs". And to be honest, apart from "Nothing at All", the album has still very much a classic Caravan sound. On the second side of the original album you find some of Pye Hastings best tunes ever. And as a nice bonus you get "Looking left, Looking right", another gem from Mr Hastings. In short, a must for every fan of the "Canterbury" genre!
Dr Pripp 5/5 10.11.2009 (PROGARCHIVES)
While the music of Caravan doesn't have the best track record of pleasing me on a purely emotional level, I have to admit they are extremely clever. The title track "Waterloo Lily" is an example of some great song-writing. There are two catchy verses of singing in the first minute then the chorus leaves a bit to be desired. Luckily the song is done with singing until the final minute. After the chorus is done there are two parts of instrumental music. The first takes us to the halfway point in the song and this is the first time I give Caravan a pat on the back. If you listen to any 5-second clip from the first instrumental then are transported to any random part in the first instrumental, you will undoubtedly be able to say that you are listening to "Waterloo Lily." By itself that is probably the most basic thing any song is meant to do. However, add the fact that the music never repeats itself. It's in a constant dance around the main "Waterloo Lily" theme and it never takes the same step twice. I'm really blown away by this and I can't think of any other song that does something like this. The second part of the instrumental also forces me to congratulate Caravan. It starts off slow and quiet and is only identifiable as music. Then the music picks and narrows to the Canterbury genre, then narrows down further to Caravan and finally narrows down to "Waterloo Lily." This leads us right into a verse followed by a chorus to end the song. 8/10 Next, if I have but one song to congratulate Caravan on, it would be this one. "Nothing at All" is an instrumental and I will issue a *SPOILER ALERT* for upcoming cleverness that actually made me smile. This starts off with a lovely bass line that is our guide in this jazzy improv-sounding instrumental. "Nothing at All" is probably something along the lines of what you would expect if you were told "Canterbury-styled improv." Somewhere around 4:00-4:30 the music started to sound like it was leaving its world of improve and was heading in a direction. The next 30 seconds sounded like the music kept on getting distracted from its goal. At this point I checked the song info and saw "Nothing at All" was broken into movements. The first being "Nothing at All," an apt description of what just happened, and I was then listening to "It's Coming Soon," which at that moment was nothing more than a nice, soft jazzy piano piece. I then saw what the final movement was. "Nothing at All (Reprise)." I smiled thinking "Oh Caravan. Your song title is so tongue-in-cheek. You aren't going to deliver the ending that was glimpsed at the end of the first movement. I'm just going to listen to 'nothing at all' at the end." However I was misled again. With 3:15 left to go in the song, the music took a radical departure from the previous movement (which had evolved to a less jazzy piano-centric piece with some bass and light percussion peppered in) and even the first movement. It would seem as though I would get the ending I had been longing for and had often changed my mind on whether it was coming or not. Anyway, "Nothing at All (Reprise)" finishes out the song without really sounding like the first part of the entire instrumental (at least until the final minute rolls around). So anyway this song is a lot of fun. 9/10 for getting me to fall into their trap many times. "Songs and Signs" starts out as a light-hearted mellow song. It shares some similarities with "Waterloo Lily" because the singing only happens during the first and last bit of the song (in this case about 40 seconds on each end). The instrumental bridge ups the level of complexity a bit while still maintaining a playful tone. While this may be the most complex of the 3-4 minute songs on this album it's easily the weakest track on the album. 5/10 "Aristocracy" keeps the same light-heartedness as the previous song but at a faster tempo. If I had to pick one word to describe this song it would be 'bouncy.' I feel like this could have been a hit on the radio sometime during the '60s because the Canterbury sound often blurs with the psychedelic music from that time. Not a whole lot goes on here but it's still pleasant to listen to. 6/10 "The Love in Your Eye" is the longest, most varied and adventurous song on Waterloo Lily. With all members taking their turns in the spotlight with at least one solo per band member (flute included!), this song undoubtedly fits the description of prog. There are strings, trumpets and other instruments gracing this mini-epic which takes a Canterbury approach to the popular symphonic prog style. If I had to convince someone to buy Waterloo Lily with just one song, "The Love in Your Eye" would be my ace in the hole. 9/10 "The World is Yours" rounds out this album on a good note. In mood, tone, and simplicity it's quite similar to "Aristocracy." Maybe not the greatest way to praise a prog song, but it's easily my second favorite on the album. However, as this is a review for a prog album I feel like it would be immoral to objectively rate this high. 6/10 I don't like to be on the border between star-ratings but this album had me sitting on the fence for quite some time. Three songs on here are quite poppy with few prog characteristics. They're all good pop songs and one is even an excellent pop song. But these only make up 10 minutes of music while there are three great prog offerings that make up half an hour of music. The words that accompany the 3 star rating are "Good, but non-essential." That "non-essential" prevents me from giving it 4 stars, but this is probably the strongest 3 I could possibly award anything.
TheCaptain 3/5 04.12.2009 (PROGARCHIVES)
Caravan went a bit jazz on this album compared to their pretty rock orientated previous albums. But fear not; they did not go as far as Hatfield, National Health or Egg. Not to mention Soft Machine. What I like most about Caravan is the mix of rock, pop and jazz. They have in my view the Canterbury Scene prototype sound. Their previous album was probably the best ever Canterbury Scene album too. David Sinclair was a big influence on that album. But he left before the band recorded Waterloo Lily. This album consists of some quirky rock tunes and a lot of funky jazz improvisations. The rock tunes are pretty catchy and so is the jazzy bits. The main instrument is the keyboard of Steve Miller. Most of his contributions here is jazzy improvisations over the themes. This album therefore almost feels like a live album. The best example is the twelve minutes long The love in your eye / To catch me a brother / Subsultus / Debouchement / Tilbury kecks medley. The keyboards is sometimes backed up by funky guitars, flutes and horns. Richard Sinclair's vocals is as usual excellent. Taken into account that I rate this band very highly, I think this album is very good. I like the jazzy bits because I happens to be a fan of the other half of Wilde Flowers (Soft Machine). There is a couple of iffy songs here. But they are overshadowed by the truly excellent stuff here like the title track and the jazzy improvisations. I therefore rate this album very highly.
toroddfuglesteg 4/5 06.12.2009 (PROGARCHIVES)
In the Land of Jazz and Waterloo Lily.
It's rather common for a Prog band that after their most acclaimed opus, in this case In the Land of Grey and Pink, one of the 'key' members leaves the band thus leaving the band no option than to replace him by someone who generally is pretty different to the former member, and as a result making either a weaker, but essentially a different kind of record to what the band is known-of doing. Conclusion, fans consider it either a weak attempt of re-making their grandiose opus or simply just say it's a weak record per se because they don't like the addition of the replacement. Well, that's the case of Waterloo Lily, however for me it's neither a weaker copy of their previous effort nor I have any issues with the addition of the replacement, quite the contrary. The main issue that fans of their previous albums have with this album is the addition of Dave Sinclair's replacement, Steve Miller, who adds to the band a very jazzy feel overall. However, I can't deny another obvious factor that also leads to dissapointment, and this one I can understand. This is the lack of Richard's distinctive voice, which was by all means 'the voice' of Caravan. So, yes, in Waterloo Lily the vocal department is not exactly the 'Caravan vocal department', but I've learnt to deal with it. While I absolutely love In the Land of Grey and Pink and think it's a superior album to this one, I can't say I'm no big fan of this album as well, and that's all thanks to Steve Miller's splendid addition of great jazzy bites all within the album. He may be no Dave Sinclair, but neither Patrick Moraz was Rick Wakeman and yet he rocked the hell out with Relayer and added to the band something that hadn't be heard with previous efforts. Anyways, this is not a jazz rock affair as a whole, just get rid of In the Land of Grey and Pink's happinness and sophistication and add a rockier, groovier and a more loose feel to it. Songs like 'The World is Yours', 'Aristocracy' and 'Songs and Signs' still sound very much like the ol' Caravan. However it's the longer tunes that make the difference; 'Nothing At All' being a very cool jazzy jam showing the whole new line-up at full steam in the instrumental side of things, while 'The Love in your Eye' is a more sophisticated tune with string arrangements and plenty of brass instruments too. So overall Waterloo Lily is a different, yet excellent treat by this new, not-that-different, incarnation from Caravan. Anyone who is fond of jazzy-inclined good music, I highly recommend you this. If you're a big fan of In the Land of Grey and Pink but you are not that fond of jazzy stuff, then check If I Could Do It All Over Again, I Would Do It All Over You first.
The Quiet One 4/5 16.01.2010 (PROGARCHIVES)
A TERRIFIC PROG RECORDING, Even if the sound was different than previous Caravan recordings. I was put off by buying this recording because of all the bad reviews about the sound changing, including the cd's notes. If it is a change in sound by going in a jazzier direction, it still results in a great prog recording. The humor is there, the great instrumenation, the great vocals. Maybe because of coming after the great Land of the Grey and Pink was also the reason why so many were let down. I noticed the same with regard to Marillon's Fugazi coming after a Script for a Jester's Tear. (the sound had changed, still a great record).
SMSM 5/5 19.06.2010 (PROGARCHIVES)
It surprises me to see Waterloo Lily with less than a 4-star average. I guess I could call this one a 4.5 if I wanted to be more exact, but it deserves the round up. To me, this album stands as testament to Caravan's ability to produce timeless prog-pop. Along with For Girls Who Grow Plump, this one contains enough hooks and drive that it's hard to imagine anyone being turned off by it. Complexity may not be their main focus here, but the only band I know of who uses complexity as a goal with any success is Gentle Giant. Still, it's more than simple banal pop music. The structure of most songs is atypical of any pop conventions, and the riffs, particularly on the title track, simply rock, and I tend to love Caravan most when they're doing that (at the end of Dabsong Conshirtoe, for instance). The album's ten-minute epic, The Love in Your Eye, is one of my favorite Caravan songs in its entirety. When the first string comes in at about a minute, the song really feels like it's going to take you away somewhere (an effect helped by the first word of the next line being "take"). And the album also contains two of my very favorite Pye Hastings tunes, the bouncy Aristocracy and the luscious The World is Yours. "I love you, the world is yours if you love me too." Sap certainly isn't my thing, but if that particular one doesn't hit your soft spot than you probably haven't a soft spot to hit. This leaves the second song, which contains some outstanding piano work courtesy of one-time member Steve Miller (not of Steve Miller Band fame, of course, but now that I think about it there might actually be a thing or two in common between that Steve Miller and Caravan if you really wanted to draw out the connections). It's not stellar, but it's not bad. The only song that doesn't really do it for me is the overly sugary "Songs and Signs". So decide for yourself if it's actually a "masterpiece" - it may be pretty simple stuff, but it's all played with great intensity and energy. It doesn't hardly have anything to do with the band's usual medieval walking-through-a-forest vibe, but that's kind of an albatross for them anyway. "In the Land of Grey and Pink" was certainly more visionary and artsy, but this one is actually more enjoyable. And the cover absolutely rules.
KyleSchmidlin 5/5 13.07.2010 (PROGARCHIVES)
I'm amazed at how such a meager change in personnel could totally remake Caravan's sound. Aside from several notable Canterbury celebs guest starring on this album, (Accomplished guitar player, Phil Miller from "National Health"! Everybody's second favorite flutist, Jimmy Hastings from umm... "Caravan"! Esteemed saxophone player, Lol Coxhill from er.. uh.. an "Esteemed Jazz Band"!) who make a few minor cameos on a couple tracks, the only real shake up in Caravan's line-up was the keyboards guy. Since David Sinclair ran off with Robert Wyatt to make beautiful music (actually, music that wasn't so beautiful or good) in the newly formed Matching Mole, Steve Miller (For the last time, NOT the guy of "Fly Like an Eagle" fame) filled in the position bringing in an influence entirely new to the likes of Caravan: J-A-Z-Z, delicious hot, disgusting cold. Now contrary to popular belief, it wasn't just Miller who ushered in the new dreaded style of "Jazzery" that Caravan fans are supposed to hate and fear like anything, Richard Sinclair suddenly had the spontaneous desire to play in a jazz band rather than a fantasy prog band. (So now, all you angry fans know the true identity to the evil "band ruining" fiend on Waterloo Lily) However, main songwriter and guitarist, Pye Hastings and drummer, Richard Coughlan were still two starry eyed fellows who still had their "Grey and Pink" fantasies and didn't want to play in no stinking Miles Davis knockoff band. As a result, Waterloo Lily is one giant compromise between the lush prog fairyland of Hastings and some new, interesting jazz fusion motifs from Miller and Sinclair and for the most part, this approach works and occasionally approaches novel too. So, what does this creamy mish-mash of inspirations sound like, you ask? Generally, some songs are a heterogeneous mixture of both influences. Take the lumbering title track, for instance. Not only is it the only prog epic ever to be written about a pleasingly plump call girl, (No, I do not want to know more about Mr. Pye's lewd and complex er... complexes, though) but it combines two melodies hookier than two left hooks in the kisser from Muhammed Ali with some very hard rocking electric piano playing from Miller. Eventually, (just like most jazz fusion, sadly) the instrumental sections do get boring but just when you're beginning to utter your first yawn that unbelievable catchy chorus returns to ensure your satisfaction. If you ever wanted to hear Caravan adopt a totally unconventional, unlikely jazz fusion sound by any coincidence, please takes a gander with your ears at "Nothing at All". This song is a real treat for the fusion genre as it actually manages to keep my attention for its entire drawn out 9+ minutes. The three individual sections of this piece are all masterfully jammed and written respectively. The first part is a well played jam with Richard Sinclair's bass being the true star of the show. I've never heard such a catchy, energetic bass line take control over the whole direction of the music. It's groovy, maaaaaan. The "It's Coming Soon" section is a grand piano interlude by Miller and one of the most foreboding, ominous sounding things in the bands epoch. The MASSIVE epic, "The Love in your Eye" is the only other song that attempts to meld together prog with fusion and it's only half successful. The outstanding and visionary opening melody is sung by Pye with powerful grandeur that is only complemented more and more by great orchestration but a lot of the instrumental sections are kind of "ehh", afterwards. When played live, this song would be transformed into an all-time monster and Caravan's most diverse and stunning long piece. In fact, I had first heard this certain song on "Caravan and the New Symphonia" and I was completely floored. The instrumental sections were completely injected with so much more energy and personality that the results were staggering. Jazz fusion is only allowed to run amok on the longer pieces, however. The other songs are simply your typical Hastings bundles of joy with slightly jazzier playing. "Aristocracy" is even an outtake from the "Grey and Pink" sessions. With that said, "Aristocracy" is a funny, fast paced pop song with Hastings rapping out the lyrics. It's just that fun, harmless charm that most Caravan songs possess which is guaranteed to force the corners of your mouth upward. Of like kind is the goofy but cute folksy tune, "The World is Yours", who's verse melody is, for some bizarre reason, almost completely inaudible but is made up by a chorus that is so choc full of whimsy-ness it's simultaneously dorky and romantic. There's also the Miller penned "Songs and Signs" that fits into this lightweight category; featuring lovely alternating vocals between Pye and Richard Sinclair (He wouldn't sing for Caravan for a looooong time after this) and some more pleasing electric piano soloing. Ooh, and let's extend this already lengthy review a bit more and talk about the great bonus tracks! For once, they're all completely new songs rather than annoyingly pointless "alternative version" tracks that pad out the other Caravan reissues. Yay! Three cheers for outtakes! The first two songs are two acoustic guitar demos played solely by Pye. "Pye's June Thing" and "Ferdinand" are two perfectly lovable folk ditties with great melodies to boot. Man, after hearing these, I can't stop wondering what would have happened if Pye quit Caravan and decided to record a whole album of little folkie wonders in the vein of those demos. Why he would have become the British equivalent of Al Stewart if he did, seeing as those two both have a swelling passion for lovely melodies and cutesy falsetto singing. The other song is fully finished and polished with Caravan's trademark sheen. "Looking Left, Looking Right", is an infectious, rootsy shuffle with a killer hook to die for. Why it got left off the original album is only for Pye's lewd and complex complex to know and us to not. This album is no where near the horrifying disaster that most fans consider it. Waterloo Lily still retains most of the band's charm and I really like how the jazz fusion chops diversifys their sound. I'm going to go ahead and rate this album as an actual improvement over "The Land of Grey and Pink". (I don't really like TLoGaP as much as many proggers do and you can read my explanations in my soon-to-be-written review for that certain album.) Stealing a line from the title track, "Waterloo Lily [certainly] has enough to turn [me] on"!
Album grade (with bonus tracks): A-
Album grade (without bonus tracks): B+
Best songs: Waterloo Lily, Nothing at All, The first part of The Love in Your Eye, Aristocracy, Looking Left, Looking Right
Worst Songs: The other parts of The Love in Your Eye
LionRocker 4/5 24.07.2010 (PROGARCHIVES)
Different album from early Caravan. This release perfectly illustrates how important David Sinclair was for band's sound. Left for Matching Mole, he was replaced by keyboardist Steve Miller on this album, and sound changed quite significantly. I know many classic Caravan purists don't like this album too much, and I perfectly understand why: instead of brilliant melodic mix of folk,pop,rock and light psichedelia of previous albums, this album presents very jazzy sound. In fact, it's psychedelic jazz-rock, much closer sound to all other Canterbury scene bands, as Soft Machine or Egg. For me, such changes are for good only - with all my respect and even love to Caravan's catchy songwriting, main problem for me with their music always was too big amount of pop-folk in their sound. This album changed the situation, and it showed another attractive band's side. To be honest, Steve Miller isn't great jazz fusion keyboardist, his sound is usually heavily rooted in blues-rock and early bluesy jazz rock. So his musical addition isn't of the same level as jazz rock of more jazz-rooted competitors (any of Soft Machine, Gong,Egg, Hatfield and The North are better in their jazzy side). But Miller's great role is he really showed how interesting could be Caravan's sound them being more jazzy. In all, this album is not better or worst of Caravan's albums before or right after it-it's just different. I like these changes, and I think "Waterloo Lily" is one between best Caravan releases.
snobb 4/5 22.11.2010 (PROGARCHIVES)
After two masterpieces, the fourth Caravan's album shows the evidence of the descending quality of the band. David Sinclair is gone with his keyboards and this is the first issue. It means that the acid sounds and the soft psychedelic ambient are replaced by jazzy atmospheres. Not bad, really, but surely different. The album is opened by the title track, that's probably the best thing here. It's a song which maintains a connection to the previous albums. As If I Could Do and Golf Girl it has the odd signature and the "glam"ish melody. It's longer that the two predecessors because it includes the excellent Richard Sinclair's bass riff. What is missed is the acid sound of David's keyboards. Steve Miller's piano is very good but it's a different thing. "Nothing at All" respect its title. A jazz bass base that goes on without any highlight. This is the same kind of stuff that Sting has made after the Police have disbanded. I don't skip this track usually, but it's nothing special. A short Caravan song, then. "Song and Signs" comes from the poppy side of Caravan. Nice piano also here. It's like they were on a crossroad, choosing if going on the jazzy or the poppy side. "Aristocracy" is a follow-up to the only average track of In The Land Of Grey And Pink: Love to Love You. Nothing more than nice. Now comes the reason why I rate this album three solid stars and unfortunately is too few for the fourth. It's half an epic for it's abundant 10 minutes, but it's not at the level of things like Winter Wine, For Richard or Nine Feet Underground. "The Love in Your Eye" is a good long song, progressive enough. Good but not a masterpiece. However it would deserve to stay in a Caravan's Best Of. It's also one of the few moments featuring Jimmy Hastings' flute. "The World Is Yours" is another pop song that I think is misplaced. Good as filler it shouldn't be an album closer, but this is regardless its quality. It's just my opinion. I'm a bit negative because Waterloo Lily follows two of my favourite albums ever, but it's not a bad album on its own. Good but non-essential.
octopus-4 3/5 23.03.2011 (PROGARCHIVES)
Let me make it very clear that this album is not the musical push-over that many prog fans seem to believe it is. Nor is it 'the jazzy album' in the sense that there's an overwhelming amount of jazz on here. The only reason that people see this as a jazzier album is because of the 10 minute instrumental Nothing At All, but the other tracks are just as jazzy as the rest of the Caravan catalogue. All in all, this is a grossly misunderestimated album, and with all the bad hype about this album, I was astonished by just how good it was. Waterloo Lily is a fun song about... a prostitute! The artwork for the album suggests this theme also. The cover art for this album is actually William Hogarth's 'Tavern Scene' from his series of paintings known as 'A Rake's Progress'. This can be compared to the comical drawing of Waterloo Lily in the inner gatefold. The song follows my favourite prog format of 'short vocal section - meaty instrumental - short vocal section'. The instrumental is over 4 minutes long and has many interesting twists and turns, turning this song into a Caravan classic. Nothing At All is simply a jazz work out. The first 5 minutes of this track sound the same the entire way through, and besides some instrumental soloing, there is nothing very interesting about it. The middle section, It's All Coming Soon, is a lot more interesting, as it seems to have actually been composed, unlike the entirely improvised first section. You don't come away empty handed after listening to this, but it's easy to agree that five minutes at the beginning is quite long. Songs And Signs is a short, quaint piece that is unfortunately rather forgettable. Some nice melodies, but ultimately nothing to shout about. Aristocracy is a leftover from 'In the Land of Grey and Pink'. I really like the melody to this song, and the 'Do do do' section. I first heard this track as a demo in the bonus tracks to the previous album, and for this album they decided to crank up the tempo so that this track loses most of it's sweetness. Also, in the demo, Pye sings with a higher voice which I found more appealing. Nevertheless, this is a still a good Caravan track. The medley that is commonly known as The Love In Your Eye is undoubtedly the highlight of the album. This album is clearly the next in line of songs like For Richard and Nine Feet Underground. The first few minutes are augmented by a string section, and this section could actually do very well as a standalone track. I really like the chorus, and it's a shame it doesn't appear near the end of the song. After the first section, there are over 7 minutes of brilliant instrumental music, with great riffs that flow into each other perfectly. This section is often extended when played live. There is a brief lyrical section around the 10 minute mark before the group launch into a rock and roll outro that will easily get you on your feet. While Nine Feet Underground suffered from focusing too much on the keyboards, it seems that Caravan learnt their lesson for this album, as it seems nearly every instrument gets it's own part. Jimmy Hastings once again reprises on a Caravan album, with some more impressive flute work. I find The World Is Yours to be such a sweet, adorable song. In my opinion, this is the best of Caravan's "love songs". The acoustic guitar has a melody that you'd expect to hear on a children's show about the countryside. That's how adorable it is! For the more progressively minded, the chorus in 10/4 might be of interest to you. For those of you who are new to Caravan, I think this album would be a wonderful place to start, even if many people think this is too different from Caravan's normal sound. The replacement of David Sinclair with Steve Miller did have an effect on their sound, but this was a positive effect since Sinclair's keyboards did start to get quite repetitive on the last album. If you have listened to a few Caravan albums, but are unsure whether to get this one, I say YES YES YES go for it! Unlike quite a few prog fans on this website, I honestly don't see this album as a weak point in Caravan's career.
baz91 4/5 08.05.2011 (PROGARCHIVES)
Although there is undeniably a little bit of jazz in temporary keyboard player Steve Miller's performance on this album, I think it's possible to overemphasise the jazz influence this time around. The music on Waterloo Lily is still very recognisably caravan - Pye Hastings and Richard Sinclair's vocals are as distinctive as they ever were, the dirty jokes are still very much present and correct, and musically speaking we're still at the lighter, more approachable end of Canterbury territory. Still, there's no denying that it isn't quite as iconic as its two predecessors. Steve Miller's playing might not drive the band into full-on fusion territory, but it is still an odd fit for the band's sound. It's not jarring enough to spoil the album, but it is distracting enough to stop it being amongst the best of the best of Caravan's material. It's not the first Caravan album I'd recommend to people interested in the group's work, but I'd very strongly recommend it to anyone who'd already experienced and enjoyed classic Caravan material.
Warthur 4/5 21.07.2011 (PROGARCHIVES)
The fourth release from Caravan and quite fine one at that. It seems I enjoy this album more every time I listen to it and it has certainly come to rival In the Land of Grey and Pink as my favorite Caravan album. While the loss of David Sinclair is regrettable, the bass work of Richard Sinclair is absolutely superb, especially on the fourth track, Aristocracy. Other favorites of mine from the album are Waterloo Lily, The Love in Your Eye and The World is Yours. Also present on this album is a distinct jazz flavor added to the traditional Caravan style. This album is wonderful and would make a great purchase for anyone interested in hearing Caravan in a new way.
Drudelo 4/5 26.09.2011 (PROGARCHIVES)
This album should sound brilliant; all the ingredients are there. On my first listen, I found it difficult to detect that any of the band members had even changed since the previous albums. It seemed like classic Caravan, only with a funky electric piano, one of my favourite instruments. But I don't find myself wanting to spin this album anywhere near as much as '...Grey and Pink'. Something about it just isn't quite "there". Although many reviewers might tell you it's because Steve Miller took the band in too much of a jazz direction, I don't really hear Waterloo Lily as being any more or less jazzy than its predecessors. It does, I think, suffer from some less inspired composition (on a general level, not because there is too much/little of the Canterbury sound). The title track IS up there with the likes of Golf Girl, Hello Hello and all the other quirky rockers Caravan produced. It's probably the best song on Waterloo Lily, the downside of that being that it is then very easy to lose interest once track one is over. 'Nothing At All' is a pleasant enough jam, but the group used to include such noodling as part of their longer suites, not as songs in their own right. I sense that the piece is stretched out and a little aimless. 'Songs and Signs' is another of the band's decent ordinary-length songs and it was written by Miller, despite echoing Pie's compositional style, so I honestly don't think the problem with this album lies with him. 'Aristocracy' is okay as well, but at this point I find myself hungry for something big. Lucky, then, that we're treated to another one of Caravan's lengthy suites with many titles? Well, this one starts off really strongly, with an uncharacteristic but very well-suited string section. By the time we've done the first two sections though, things meander into a dull mess, where jazz and rock seem at odds with each other rather than working together. It's such a shame, because I really looked forward to something along the lines of the psychedelic 'For Richard' or explosive 'Nine Feet Underground'. 'The Love In Your Eye' is like a lazy man's attempt to make another masterpiece by stringing together bland sections of not-very-groovy jamming. This is hard to take, because few white bands were better at jamming than Caravan, and nobody had more groove this side of the Atlantic. Overall, this album is disappointing, but only compared to the previous Caravan albums, where they seemed so naturally good at creating fun, proggy, funky songs. By normal standards, this is still an album worth hearing, and it has maybe 20 minutes of excellent material. It might be Richard's laziness after Dave left, or some lack of group creativity, because they could still play very well, but the tunes just aren't there. I feel terrible giving this three stars, but the spark had (momentarily) disappeared.
thehallway 3/5 24.05.2012 (PROGARCHIVES)
Like King Crimson's Lizard, this was a drastic jazzy transition to the usual band. And like King Crimson, it's a welcome change. Caravan didn't want to copy the groundbreaking formula of In The Land Of Grey And Pink, but bring something innovative and new. The album starts off with Waterloo Lily. Classic proggy Caravan. Constantly entertaining, complex timing, soloing, what's not to love? If you like For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night, there's some similarity there. Next up is Nothing At All-It's Coming Soon. Here Caravan shows their funky/jazzy roots. Almost free-form jazz with a funky bass in the background. Piano in the background accompanying the surrounding instruments. The transition comes about halfway through the song. This is what you were waiting for. A brilliant, classic, catchy piano slowly leading you to the blowout with drums and guitar. A slow song, but the beat's insanely addictive. The first of the short songs, Songs & Signs is a sweet, vocal-based song reminiscent of the latter FGWGPitN. Solo towards the middle. Poppy-prog, but nothing bad about it. The vocals are great and instruments solid. The shortest song on the record is also one of the best. The fast-paced Aristocracy will instantly hook any lover of Caravan. Fantastic drumming by Richard Coughlan. Super catchy. The Love In Your Eye, the 12 and a 1/2 minute epic. With violins throughout, it gives a calm, lovely feel overall. Here the instruments are all let out of the cage. THEE Caravan epic (besides Nine Feet Underground at this point) ever-changing, innovative, and, as always, creative. The piano is one of the aspects of this album that makes it so great. Complex, classic. Exciting, but always retains this calmness about the album. Like the two other short songs, one was placed at the end. The World Is Yours. A strange choice if you ask me. The weakest of the two other shorts. A bit cheesy, a weird ending to a great album. Should've been a bonus song. The album'll grow on you, just like KC's Lizard. Of course it doesn't compare to the opus that is In The Land Of Grey And Pink, and because of that, I have to limit my stars to 4 as it isn't essential, but a fantastic addition. Not a 'Classic Prog Album' in any sense, but a great Caravan album.
Raccoon 4/5 12.08.2012 (PROGARCHIVES)
11/15P. A disorganized album which partly seems like a perfectly produced demo in which some musicians don't really know where to go. Get it for more than a few wicked moments of finest Canterbury jazz pop spread throughout the album. Get it too for Steve Miller who unknowingly dominates the band quite a lot, guiding them in some stellar moments of jazz fusion, but also losing the track sometimes. Demos prove that Caravan were stuck somewhere after In The Land Of Grey and Pink on which Pye Hastings had already seemed a little bit underchallenged. He denies this, arguing that in late 1970 the Sinclair cousins had a huge backlog of song ideas which had to be recorded, but you simply don't hear Hastings playing some substantial guitar anywhere on In The Land of Grey and Pink, except for some power chords here and there. Most acoustic guitars were even, to my knowledge, played by Richard Sinclair. The early version of Aristocracy and Dave Sinclair's Doesn't Take A Lot came into being in the late album sessions. And whilst they are nice cuts, I doubt that the band had great fun recording them. Waterloo Lily makes a considerable difference. I strongly oppose the common opinion that this 1972 album is 'jazzier' than their previous work. Nonetheless it is very much defined by the late Steve Miller, the piano-playing replacement for David Sinclair. Miller was heavily influenced by American boogie and R&B music, but I always felt he played this music like a classical musician, giving it a most unusual and quite 'cerebral' sound. Surprisingly, at least in the case of the shy and self-conscious Miller, the success of this album is determined by his playing. The song Waterloo Lily, for instance, is a genuine masterpiece. Richard Sinclair contributes a multitude of quirky little riffs and perfect lead vocals, Pye Hastings proves how beautifully his voice harmonizes with Sinclair's, and Pye Hastings - previously the rhythm guitarist of the band - plays a fine fuzzy jazz guitar solo which comes up pretty unexpectedly, especially after his ultra-restrained playing on the previous Caravan albums. But the real stunner in fact is Steve Miller on keyboards who gives the piece the fierce power it deserves. The Wurlitzer electric piano doubles the bass riffs effectively and provides some gritty jazz chords in the verses, but it's his solo at 2:14 which really immortalises Miller as a talented improviser. Effortlessly he carries himself through strangely syncopated vamps on the heavily distorted Wurlitzer - less sophisticated in the melodic architecture than Dave Sinclair's and Dave Stewart's solos, but amazingly compelling within the scope of the boogie vocabulary which you don't find too often in the Canterbury scene. A second solo spot, again adorned by Richard Sinclair's inspiringly sinuous bass lines, is taken by guest saxophonist Lol Coxhill who brings in his typical mixture of pastoral (and quasi-folk-ish) expression and jazz melodies on top of a smooth and quiet band backing which gradually gets louder until the reprise of the vocal part. A masterful song, definitely the best one on this album and also one of the very best Caravan tracks. (I'd really like to acknowledge some concrete musicians for composing this wonderful riff which propels the lengthy instrumental part, but it's hard to reconstruct for me who it was. Curiously, Matching Mole already jammed on a modified version of this riff in 1971 (including a really cranky Dave Sinclair organ arrangement), eventually releasing it somewhere on their latest reissues. I don't want to spoil the fun and say where you can find it - just find it out for yourself if you wish. It also took me quite a long time until I knew where that riff material came from, but it was a minor revelation to me.) There's even more spotting fun in Songs & Signs, a lovely little bossa nova/pop shuffle written by Steve Miller - and released by Miller & Coxhill under a different title in a very different arrangement. It's quite a strange tune in fact because of its interwoven vocal melodies by Sinclair and Hastings (while Hastings sings constantly in his highest register) and due to the unusual sound of the electric harpsichord, an instrument with a certain baroque ring, albeit with sharply reduced high frequencies - that's a kind of instrument which could be built more often! Apart from that there's more of Steve Miller's gorgeous Wurlitzer soloing here, this time without the distortion and wah-wah techniques. In the folky pop song The World Is Yours, commonly ignored in most reviews of this album, there's a different kind of spotting fun: spotting what exactly Steve Miller plays. This time there's no risk to spoil anything so that I take the liberty of mentioning that Miller in fact ''only'' doubles the bass part on the electric piano. And the bass part neither consists of the root notes, nor of elaborate melodies. In fact, it is rather built around inversions of the chords used. Hence, the bass track is at least equivalent in the mix to the vocal melody, giving the whole song a kind of primitive polyphony in the vein of the 15th/16th century Renaissance-era composers. Take the hymnic melody and the soothing vocal harmonies by Richard Sinclair into account as well, and I think you'll have to admit that there's something special about this song, even if you don't agree with my far-fetched Renaissance associations. It has a late-hippie love message and there's not a single solo or puzzling arrangement here, but it's substantially clever songwriting augmented a lot by Miller's minimal contributions. I already mentioned the In The Land Of Grey And Pink outtake Aristocracy. It appears here in accelerated speed and a slightly glam-rock-ish arrangement (wah-wah guitars, vocal FX, reverberated drums). Steve Miller is on Hammond organ again, this time providing some background chords played through the Leslie - that's perfectly alright and really adds something to the song. Note Pye Hastings' relaxed wah-wah guitar solos as well, and there you have a wonderful art-pop song, a bit along the line of Tommy James' 1968 hit Crimson And Clover. The Love In Your Eye is a more ambivalent affair, at least to my ears. While many people rate this piece highly due to the improvised parts and the lush orchestral arrangements, I admittedly have some problems with the second half of the track in which the band rely heavily on some pretty basic soul/R&B chord progressions without filling these harmonic frames with sufficiently inspired ideas. The vocal part of the song is quite beautiful - it's a bit pompous in the chorus (in the Webber/Jesus Christ Superstar way), but still retains a charming pastoral component in the verses. The chorus, however, has this ultra-groovy percussion track running along which is really crisp, and which I definitely missed on later live versions. Overall I am pretty satisfied with that vocal part; I also am about the rousing Jimmy Hastings flute solo which follows soon after. But the solos which follow, especially the multiple Pye Hastings guitar solos, border quite a bit on uninspired noodling, eminently the very last one. After the powerful coda with these very huge piano chords and the fierce wah-wah bass by Richard Sinclair the band explodes into that funky groove again until it fades out after yet another minute of further wah-wah rhythm guitar strumming. Maybe it's really the wah-wah overload which I don't like. Anyway - it's still far from being a dull piece of music because it grooves along quite well, and the choice of tone in all of the instruments is particularly entertaining: Steve Miller uses his spacy delay+ring-modulation+whatever effect combination on the electric piano which you also find on the excellent Miller & Coxhill album The Story So Far...Oh Really? (and which Steven Wilson Band keyboarder Adam Holzman used on Luminol as well - coincidence or no coincidence?). Furthermore he's on that strange electric harpsichord again while Richard Sinclair adds a lavish amount of fuzz to the bass guitar and Pye Hastings experiments with the Leslie cabinet. Overall the track really doesn't get boring, but nonetheless it's slightly inconsistent. The (mainly) improvised track Nothing At All/It's Coming Soon finally shows you what happens if a band manager forces a musician to be somebody else; or, to put it differently, forces a dedicated pianist to be an organist. So, what happens? To me, this brief organ solo in the very end of the track is one of the worst organ solos I've heard - a bit like the Mellotron part on Lynyrd Skynyrd's Freebird: bad tone, a complete lack of inspiration, pointless. This criticism doesn't concern Steve Miller, but mainly the management who wanted Steve Miller to be the new David Sinclair. This eventually - as the liner notes state - led to Miller's early departure from the band. In the very same piece, however, you also find one of Steve Miller's finest compositions, seemingly the It's Coming Soon part. It's a laid-back and slightly psychedelic instrumental jazz part with a hugely sophisticated melody and harmonic pattern. Pye Hastings doubles the melody on electric guitar, and in combination with the slow-motion work this results in a perfectly soothing and dreamy atmosphere. But this part is in fact the briefest one in the piece; most of it is actually based on a steady R&B/boogie/jazz vamp with lots of improvisation by Lol Coxhill on sax, Pye Hastings and Matching Mole guitarist Phil Miller, allowing you to focus on the strikingly different playing styles of the two guitarists. When you listen to this track for the first time you might ask yourself how all of these parts can be convenient with each other. I asked this question to myself as well, and I also found an answer. Just listen to the huge contrast between the jaunty improvisation part and the bittersweet melancholia of Steve Miller's piano piece. Interestingly - and that's what I concealed until now - the band do not maintain this contrast, but rather disperse it by coupling Miller's sad melody with a reprise of the easy-going jam part. Hermeneutics would perhaps call this a dialectic synthesis of the thesis and antithesis. I'd rather prefer regarding this little twist as an inspired and inspiring reinterpretation of melodies, or rather as a 'jam with a purpose'. It would, however, been a lot better if the organ solo had been left out - it's just not the kind of towering conclusion which the band seemingly intended it to be. The quality of the bonus material is slighty varying. Pye Hastings' little acoustic demos Ferdinand and Pye's June Thing are pretty rough and basic, but are remarkably close in their composition to what modern indie rock bands record today. One could really make good pop hits out of them in 2013. Pye's June Thing would become a power pop ballad like something by Sunrise Avenue or 3 Doors Down; Ferdinand rather goes into the laid-back direction of Jack Johnson or the famous Over The Rainbow singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. Looking Left, Looking Right is a funky pop song with a tricky and wicked acoustic guitar riff and a full band arrangement, featuring Steve Miller and Richard Sinclair in top form - and featuring acclaimed session player Henry Lowther on trumpet. This would have been a great album track, especially because Pye Hastings' voice had grown really tight and stable here by the time of the 1972 sessions. The real deal, however, is Any Advance On Carpet. Unfortunately, it isn't featured on this CD, but merely on the The World Is Yours compilation. It was, however, recorded during the Waterloo Lily sessions and is an extended take on some jazzy Richard Sinclair fragments, including an early version of the Hatfield & The North piece Big Jobs and (maybe) some others. I downloaded it via Amazon and programmed it as a bonus track to Waterloo Lily; of course, I cannot rate it as part of this CD, but I can (and do!) recommend those who are interested in this line-up (or in the Canterbury Scene in general) to get hold of this track, too. Steve Miller is in fine form on that one again. Overall this is a thoroughly enjoyable album which might not be an essential listen to everyone, but an entertaining and musically interesting addition to a jazz rock music collection. The combination of Pye Hastings' big songwriting talent and the jazz improvisation did work out very well, even though the result is quite inconsistent in places. I think I will place this one somewhere between the 3 and 4 star area, but since there's quite a lot of interesting experimentation and great songwriting here, a 4 star rating seems very appropriate. (By the way - I've also reviewed the Coxhill & Miller catalogue here on ProgArchives, hoping that more people will explore it. Their recordings took place at roughly the same time as Waterloo Lily and give a multilateral insight into the Canterbury Scene.)
Einsetumadur 4/5 09.08.2013 (PROGARCHIVES)
''In the land of grey and pink'' was well received by the press, but didn't bring much of a commercial success to Caravan, who thought that the main reason was the limited promotion by Decca.As long as David Sinclair was proposed a place in the emerging Matching Mole by Robert Wyatt he left the band and his replacement was Carol Grimes and Delivery's Steve Miller.Actually Carol Grimes and Delivery would have a good representation on the next Caravan album with Steve Miller's brother Phil playing lead guitar and Lol Coxhill playing the sax.Caravan entered the Tollington Park Studios in London in November 1971 to record ''Watreloo Lilly'', helped also by Jimmy Hastings on flute, Mike Cotton on trumpet and Barry Robinson on oboe.The album was released in May 1972 on Deram, front cover is part of the painting series ''A rake's progress'' by William Hogarth. Now the band should be partly regarded as old Caravan and partly as Delivery with this combination affecting the material, which obtained a twist towards jazzier backgrounds, always surrounded by sophisticated arrangements and the familiar dashes of British Pop.While Caravan were always known for their positive music, ''Waterloo Lilly'' even enters the territories of a happy state of mind.The music is full of changing tempos but with reduced dramatic instrumentals and leaning more towards tricky, soft and elaborate Canterbury-spiced Jazz Rock, where the instrumental parts still play a major role, but the overall atmosphere is extremely optimistic with charming vocals and naughty jazzy experimentations.With Steve Miller playing the Wurlitzer piano, grand piano, organ and harpsichord Caravan's music has a certain depth, this time featuring more loose instrumental parts with light jamming sections, while the addition of flute, oboe and trumpet will turn the music often to more orchestral enviroments.With a looser approach the album is reasonable to contain a couple of long pieces with some furious and more laid-back jazzy arrangements, containing careful guitar plays and double keyboard/piano interactions, especially the 5-part ''The love in your eye / To catch me a brother / Subsultus / Debouchement / Tilbury kecks'' is an epitome of Canterbury Prog with orchestral and jazzy overtones over complex instrumental arrangements.The short pieces contain lots of poppy vibes, especially in the vocal parts, cause the music is still grounded in a less intricate yet deeply jazzy basis. Not the best album of early Caravan. The choice of the band to switch towards more jazzier tunes was welcome, but resulted to a lose of their strong identity as proposed in the previous album.However all tracks are really good and the aforementioned mini-epic is particularly great with some impressive instrumental ideas.Warmly recommended, albeit not totally representative of Caravan's stylistical momentum during early-70's.
apps79 3/5 20.11.2014 (PROGARCHIVES)