SONGS FOR OBLIVION FISHERMEN (1998)
1 Hello Hello (2:52)
2 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (2:48)
3 As I Feel I Die (4:32)
4 Love Song Without Flute (3:21)
5 Love To Love You (2:26)
6 In The Land Of Grey And Pink (3:40)
7 Memory Lain Hugh (4:55)
8 A Hunting We Shall Go/Backwards (8:25)
9 Love In Your Eye (13:53)
10 Mirror For The Day (4:15)
11 For Richard (15:04)
12 Virgin On The Ridiculous (7:00)
tracks 1, 2, 3 recorded for Top Of The Pops 19.8.1970.
tracks 4, 5, 6 recorded in session for Alan Black 11.3.1971, first transmitted 9.4.1971.
tracks 7, 8 recorded in session for John Peel 20.8.1973, first transmitted 30.8.1973.
tracks 9, 10, 11, 12 recorded in session for John Peel 7.2.1974, first transmitted 14.2.1974.
tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 are original mono recordings.
tracks 1-6, 9-12 are also included on the 2CD "The Show Of Our Lives, Live At The BBC 1968-1975".
tracks 1-8 are also included on the Bootleg 2CD "The Canterbury Tapes".
Richard Coughlan (drums)
Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals)
John Perry (bass) on tracks 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Geoffrey Richardson (viola) on tracks 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Dave Sinclair (keyboards, vocals)
Richard Sinclair (bass, vocals) on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
REVIEWS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
BBC tapes published in a uncharacteristicly medium sound quality as opposed to other release from the BBC. Apparently some of the original tapes were stolen or lost and they had to use transcripts. Great For Richard.
Sean Trane 3/5 11/02/2004 (PROGARCHIVES)
Maybe it's a non-essential item for those who have yet their masterpieces, but this could be a good place to start if you're not familiar with Caravan. "In the land of grey and pink" remains a breathtaking track, along with "Hello hello". Recommended.
bonzo1969@lib 3/5 14/05/2004 (PROGARCHIVES)
A very good introduction to this great band.
Are you curious about this band, but don't know where to start ? This compilation album is a good start point if you can find it. It contains some of their best music. Most of their essential stuff, no less. It reminded me why I love this band. Their mix of swinging jazz and naive pop/rock. Their good melodies. Their great musicianship. There are some great songs omitted from this album though. Golf Girl springs to mind. And the sound quality is pretty average to bad. So minus some stars for that. But if this album can be purchased cheap from somewhere, this is a good introduction to this excellent band.
toroddfuglesteg 3/5 30/11/2011 (PROGARCHIVES)
The title of this release should have simply been 'BBC Sessions' to avoid any confusion. I mean, an old fan of the group COULD mistake this for a 'new' band studio release. Either way,'Songs For The Oblivion Fisherman' should satisfy any Caravan follower, as it has a total of twelve tracks that are either in the studio, a radio broadcast or performed live (seemingly without an audience). All tunes come from the 1970-74 era. To me, Caravan has always seemed to have been, if you would call it that, sophisticated progressive. Tunes that I thought stood out are "If I Could Do It", "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" and their fifteen minute signature epic "For Richard" (possibly Caravan's best song ever). If you want to explore the band's history a bit, you might want to consider checking out their older material first, lp's like their self-titled debut, 'Cunning Stunts' and 'Girls Who Grow Plump...'. Should appeal to fans of Gentle Giant, Soft Machine, The Strawbs and Camel.
Mike Reed "Mike Reed" (USA) 4/5 04/10/2004 (AMAZON)
This is an excellent album with a horrible title. For some reason, Amazon has 5 different offerings of this same title. It is live, in the studio, radio broadcasts. So, while these tracks are done live, there is no audience noise. As mentioned by others, a number of the songs start and end abruptly, where the radio host's comments were edited out. It comes from radio broadcasts between 1970 and 1974. The first six tracks are very early material from the first three albums. They are short, energetic and a lot of fun. The remaining tracks from the 1973-4 period. They are longer, stretched out versions. They are still played with a lot of energy. Many of the tracks have more of a jazzy feel than the studio versions. In some cases, the viola becomes very dominant. And there are great guitar solos and nice interplay between the viola and guitar. When I first saw this ablum, I thought, "oh no, not another version of For Richard. Every single Caravan live album has For Richard on it. But this turns out to be probably the best version of For Richard on record. I think that this is Caravan's best live album. It is strong throughout, without a weak track (except maybe Virgin on the Ridiculous). What really makes it special is the early live recordings that aren't available anywhere else. The other really good Caravan live album is the reunion album from 1990, called "Live". BBC Radio 1 and the Best Of Caravan Live are also OK. I have listened to the New Symponia album mnay, many times, but I could never really get into it. Steer clear of any of the later live albums, like Canterbury Comes to London or Live at the Astoria. There is a companion album to Songs for Olbivaion Fisherman called Ether way. It picks up at 1975 and goes through 1977. I haven't heard it, yet.
kireviewer (Sunnyvale, Ca United States) 5/5 30/06/2004 (AMAZON)
This disc captures two very different lineups of Caravan. The first half of the disc features the "classic" lineup of Coughlan, Hastings, Sinclair & Sinclair, and the second half features the GIRLS WHO GROW PLUMP IN THE NIGHT lineup, which replaces Richard Sinclair with John G. Perry and adds viola player Geoffrey Richardson. Not bad at all for "live in the studio" stuff, but to really experience these guys start with IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK and follow it with IF I COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, and WATERLOO LILY, which is their best (and jazziest, yeah!) album. Evidently, all of the found BBC material has now been officially released. Pity, because I have a wonderful BBC recording of the WATERLOO LILY lineup performing songs from that album which outshines everything on this disc. Maybe one day the BBC will dig up the source tape.
greyhoundude (Corvallis, OR) 4/5 14/01/2002 (AMAZON)
I was never a big fan of the term 'Canterbury', mostly because the Canterbury bands sounded little alike. Just what clearly audible common denominator makes National Health and Camel both 'Canterbury'? Nothing I can hear, and I like both bands. Of all the pioneer practitioners of this elusive sound, however, my favorite was Caravan, plying a unique concoction made up of more-or-less equal parts progressive rock, English music-hall and doper whimsy. Gentle and graceful melodies and solos alternate with organ-drenched bombast, all of it written and played with intelligence, playfulness and excellent musicianship. SONGS are collected BBC sessions from 70-74, the band's peak years, and though the lineup wobbles a little (Richard Sinclair is in, then he's out) it hardly matters. Twelve slabs of prime Caravan are on hand, most from mono broadcasts which adds a wonderful retro charm to an already strong collection. Standout tracks are the extended analog delights of 'Memory Lain Hugh', 'Love In Your Eye' and 'For Richard', but a special mention has to made for a song I loved since I first heard it, 'In the Land of Grey and Pink', a perfect example of early-70s mellow English pop-rock at its best, and a recommended antidote for much of the hateful/puerile swill that gets crammed down our throats and called 'rock music' these days. The first of a two-CD series, and a worthy addition to anyone's cd library.
El Kabong 4/5 25/08/2001 (AMAZON)
This album contains twelve songs recorded for BBC radio between 1970 and 1974. The sleeve notes inform us that some of the earliest recordings by the band have been erased, but those that survive are spread over just two CDs. Given that the second volume (the companion album, "Ether Way") starts with sessions recorded in 1975, the tracks here are presumably all that now exist from Caravan's first four years at the BBC. The first three tracks, from 1970, have been edited to remove all traces of the DJ who originally introduced them, and shorn of their intros don't so much start as `sneeze' into life, but the songs and the musicianship are faultless. Next up are three tracks from March `71, and like the previous three, have been trimmed to exclude any verbal preamble; however, the sheer class of the band's performance outweighs any minor criticism. The remaining six cuts are taken from sessions for John Peel in August `73 and February `74, and like all the tracks here are, for me, far superior to their studio counterparts. The songs have more passion, particularly "Memory Lain, Hugh" and "A-Hunting We Will Go/Backwards", both of which feature Geoff Richardson's expressive viola and Pye Hastings' uncharacteristically biting lead guitar. Highly recommended!
KEV BISCOE (Essex, England) 5/5 04/06/2000 (AMAZON)
This is the first of two collections of material Caravan recorded for the BBC, spanning the years 1970-1974. Caravan is one of the most versatile of the Canterbury family of English psychedelic and progressive rock, capable of winsome, witty pop songs as well as complex but melodic extended workouts. Songs for Oblivion Fishermen features examples of both styles. Half the disc features the band's original lineup with highly rated bassist Richard Sinclair. For the seasoned Caravan enthusiast, the repertoire is somewhat predictable, including standards "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You," "Hello Hello," "In the Land of Grey and Pink," and "Memory Lane Hugh." To the band's credit, it does not attempt to recreate its studio recordings note for note, adding interest for longtime fans. Also included are two songs that were never released on Caravan's studio albums, "Mirror for a Day" and "Virgin on the Ridiculous." Newcomers could find this collection a good first pick, as it provides a warm welcome to the band's sound and approach as well as a good cross-section of its catalog. Songs for Oblivion Fishermen is a valuable addition to Caravan's discography.
Jim Powers (ALLMUSIC)
Peel sessions from 1970 to 1974, so covering 1970 and 1971 which were the best years for the group, and for this must be mentioned; otherwise, from 1972 and on there's nothing truly remarkable and not just talking on here...
Lord_Corkscrew 4,5/5 02/02/2008 (RATEYOURMUSIC)
An amazing Caravan collection of songs recorded in different versions.
ChiveVMar 4,5/5 02/05/2004 (RATEYOURMUSIC)