ALL OVER YOU (1996/1999/2006)

1 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (3:31)
2 Place Of My Own (4:06)
3 The Love In Your Eye/To Catch Me A Brother (4:16)
4 In The Land Of Grey And Pink (3:43)
5 Golf Girl (4:34)
6 Disassociation (Nine Feet Underground) (3:50)
7 Hello Hello (3:13)
8 Asforteri 25 (2:45)
9 For Richard / Can't Be Long Now / Françoise / For Richard / Warlock (8:11)
10 Memory Lain, Hugh (5:02)
11 Headloss (4:51)
Bonus Tracks
12 Be Alright / Chance Of A Lifetime (4:40)
13 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (Single Mix) (3:24)
Largely a duo project by Pye Hastings and Geoff Richardson, with contributions by Jimmy Hastings, Dave Sinclair and Richard Coughlan.

Richard Goughlan (drums, percussion)
Pye Hastings (vocals, guitars, bass)
Geoffrey Richardson (viola,guitar,cello)
Dave Sinclair (keyboards)
Jimmy Hastings (sax,flute,clarinet)
1996/CD/HTD Records/HTDCD57/UK
1997/CD/HTD Records/HTDCD57L/UK
1999/CD/Transatlantic Records/TRACD305/UK
2006/CD/Talking Elephant/TECD090/UK

Re-recordings of your own classics are not just pitiful: as a rule, they brand you very concisely as a «second-rate» artist — I think Page and Plant were the only ones who could properly get away with this shit, because most of the stuff they did was re-inventions rather than re-recordings, but other than that, Caravan here are joining the league of Blue Öyster Cult and The Animals, for no reason whatsoever — of course, it is understandable if you want to nostalgize in the confines of a studio, but what good are the results for even a dedicated fan? This is not a bad album, just utterly pointless. Unless the point is just admitting defeat: «hey guys, none of you bought The Battle Of Hastings when it came out — so I guess you like the old shit more, here's an acoustic version of 'The Love In Your Eye' for you, enjoy». As you can see from the track list, this is a representative retrospective of the classic years of Caravan, covering every album from the self-titled debut and up to Plump In The Night. The sonic structure is a little weird: about two-thirds of the record is almost completely acoustic (ex­cept for a few lead electric parts every now and then), up to the first part of 'For Richard' — after which the distorted guitars kick in with full force, and the album continues as an electric appearance until the end. The musicianship remains strong through the entire album, and Hastings continues to be in fine voice — and these are all great songs, so, formally, one cannot complain. But I struggle to find any specific points for which these arrangements should be re­commended. If anything, there are some weak points — namely, the production, which sounds strangely cluttered and disorienting: lots of gratuitous percussive overdubs, special effects, echoes, sometimes giving the songs a cavernous feel that they really do not deserve. Additional odd ideas include, for instance, the overdub of fake stadium audience cheer and applause over the last two tracks — well, sure, those Plump In The Night tracks could be played in an arena setting, but why should we be told that? Is it some sort of poorly hidden envy on Pye's part, that he never got to play in a proper arena? Anyway, those crowd noises splattered all over 'Headloss' are really very annoying and distracting and, might I say, in poor taste. Thus, unless you are interested in a couple of nice jazzy acoustic solos here and there (with a Spanish touch on 'The Love In Your Eye'), it is probably better to just forget this record ever existed. Apparently, that was not the end of the story: a couple of years later, Hastings and Co. followed it up with All Over You Too, featuring a second batch of re-recordings, this time from 1973 to 1976; and that one, according to rumors, was even more tasteless than the first one, so I have not bothered to search it out. All in all, a very silly decision.
George Starostin 17.05.2017 (ONLY-SOLITAIRE.BLOGSPOT.COM)

Ya gotta be kiddin' me. Remake albums are for pussies, like Pye Hastings or somebody. Oh wait a minute...
Fucking shit up. That's what these guys are doing. They're fucking their shit up, and definitely not in a Pulp Fiction kind of way at that. It's beyond weird. It's ridiculous. God only knows what Mr Hastings and Co. had in their heads. Maybe after Battle Of Hastings flopped (and how could it have been otherwise? Don't tell me they expected a retro pop album to hit the charts! Not even the Posies could do that well!), Pye thought the problem was, most people never realized what kind of a band Caravan was in the first place. So he decided that a CD full of remakes of the old classics would do the job nicely. On one hand, they'd choose some of the best material, on the other hand, this could be taken as a 'point of rebirth' for the band. Not just issue a compilation (nobody buys old fart production when it proudly says 'Old Fart Production' on the front cover), but start anew. Take the old ideas and mold them into a new form. Something like that. Well, I'm sure they had their reasons for issuing it, anyway. Me, though, I can't think of any particular reason to own it. See, I don't need to tell you that reviewing a remake album is a real pain in the butt. One - you've already written everything you thought important about these songs. Two - pretty much the only question you can answer in a review like this is: "What's the difference?" Three - most probably, the last time you actually listened to these songs was a long time ago and now, in order to make an adequate review, you'll be forced not only to sit through the remake album the required three times, you'll also have to dust off all the classic albums and hear them back to back. Four - the only condition under which I could agree to this procedure would be to receive a check for ten thousand bucks for each of the albums I'd be dusting off. Not that I wouldn't want to hear them again: I just hate the idea of being forced to do it in such a rude way. Anyway, if you wanna hear lots of subtle details, seek yerself out a Caravan fansite. I'm not a hardcore fan, so all I can say is: these remakes sound nice and inoffensive most of the time, but I'd really have preferred for them to sound ugly and offensive. If Pye Hastings actually had sat down and said, 'well, I think it will be a great touch to make a thrash rocker out of 'Golf Girl' and a flamenco out of 'In The Land Of Grey And Pink', whatcha think, boys?', this might have given me some real food for examination. As it is, all I can say is: "Er, well, I guess they did it a bit differently from the way it was earlier, but what exactly is different, I don't think I can tell". Perhaps the most stupid part of it all are the liner notes, credited to one Jeremy Clarkson. Quote: 'And now, with this new album (sic! - G.S.), those days are back. Just look at the musical credits and you can see we're dealing here with real instruments - flutes, saxes, piccolos as well as the more usual guitars and keyboards'. This is then followed by a heavy-on-the-metaphor lament about how all modern day music is so heavily dependent on 'software houses' and stuff. That's all very nice, but what's the use of "real instruments" in this particular case if you're using them to re-record old songs? And the situation becomes twice as cretinic once you come to realize the main differences from the originals actually lie in the use of 'software houses': that is, occasional use of electronic percussion, hi-tech synths and even sampling techniques (some of the remakes insert sampled snippets of the originals). Eh? Another thing that kinda irks me the wrong way is this line: 'Programmed and performed and mixed by the Heroes of the Canterbury Scene utilising the exclusive Legendary Canterbury Sound'. Now I know this ain't cool in the modern world, but I still think there is something to be said for 'modesty', and if there isn't, well, this phrase's exclusive aim is to desperately try and convince the by-passer to buy the album, granted it ain't shrink-wrapped. Considering that most CDs usually are, though, this is just a misguided gesture. Heroes of the Canterbury Scene? I can sort of see Geoffrey Chaucer rolling over in his grave over that one. Granted, the track listing is mostly superb. I'm still not the world's biggest fan of 'For Richard', but 'Memory Lain', 'If I Could Do It All Over Again...', 'Love In Your Eye', the Grey And Pink material... that's all prime stuff from the prime days. And it is performed well. I'm not sure why all the overdubbed applause over 'Memory Lain' (which was obviously not recorded live, or I'm a skunk), but again, maybe they had their reasons. The synthesizer and synth-guitar solos aren't annoying because they're played well, not for atmosphere but for melody, and is it just me or does this particular version of 'If I Could' sound uncannily like Traffic's 'You Can All Join In' as far as the acoustic melody goes? That's funny. Also, I guess the "hard-rocking" parts of the album do indeed rock a bit harder than before - check out, for example, the riffage on 'Memory Lain'. Not that Caravan ever really rocked successfully (although they "pop-rocked" quite nicely, I guess), but at least it's one more friggin' difference. If you want to find out anything else, you'd better buy this album before it vanishes forever. In ten years' time, I don't think it will even be remembered in the discographies. Remakes! Mamma Mia! Even Ian Anderson doesn't sink that low. (He prefers releasing alternate takes and live versions instead. That's sort of the same thing, but it's still different. Kinda like the difference between burping with your mouth closed and burping with your mouth open).
Best song: they're all good, but they're all OLD, too!
George Starostin (STARLING)

Whenever "classic rock" bands choose to make new renderings of their past glories, the results are infamously less than favorable. Indeed, Caravan purists and erstwhile enthusiasts may find it necessary to re-evaluate All Over You -- and companion release All Over You...Too -- within their respective standards. Contained within are several acoustic-based overhauls of a seemingly well-chosen selection of Caravan's most enduring sides, while the HTD label's remastered CD also contains two additional sides. The tracks primarily fall into two distinct categories: recent renderings of otherwise familiar titles in one camp and the decidedly unsuccessful incorporation of samples -- à la hip-hop -- in the other. In what is assuredly an attempt to update and modernize their sound, the somewhat droning synthesized percussion and studio-manipulated wankery severely detract from Caravan's exceedingly crafted compositions. Primary among the offenders is the "For Richard" suite. The use of an arguably over-the-top and emphatically in-your-face throbbing bassline (think Nine Inch Nails and Metallica) insensitively mows down an otherwise intricate arrangement. Conversely, All Over You does underscore several moments of organic brilliance as a few Caravan standards are uncorked like a proverbial vintage wine. "Place of My Own," "In the Land of Grey and Pink," and a live performance of the now quasi-metal "Memory Lain, Hugh"/"Headloss" combo benefit from this revisitation.
Lindsay Parker (ALLMUSIC)

A nice return to classic material
This album contains classic Caravan songs re-recorded in 1995/1996 by the following line-up: Pye Hastings, David Sinclair (hurrah!), Richard Coughlan and Geoff Richardson. Jimmy Hastings is also present; Richard Sinclair, however, is nowhere to be found. With the notable exception of For Richard, the material focuses on songs, rather than the long instrumental stuff. Some of these are faithfull to the original versions (such as "If I Could Do It (etc)", with only subtle variations. Some, however, are quite different, such as "Golf Girl", which is presented here almost as a ballad, with a very quirky little instrumental bit stuck in the middle and some fine flutework from Jimmy Hasting towards the end. All in all, this is very much for fans, but I'm sure they won't be disappointed. There's a companion volume, unsurprisingly named "All Over You, Too", but it's more difficult to get hold of.
A. C. H. Bergh 17.06.2003 4/5 (AMAZON)

A reworking of the classics just for fun but by no means indispensible. For fans only, but some of the comments in the sleevenotes are hilarious. Also, there is a clever but shorter version of Richard with an almost rap-like guitar. Another remark, the cover of my copy is the creampuff one and it is simply the ugliest cover ever. If you get lucky, get the second edition with a far better cover and a bonus track.
Sean Trane 02.02.2004 3/5 (PROGARCHIVES)

Caravan do it all over again
Quite why Caravan felt the need to record many of their old classics again is open to speculation. One could be cynical and suggest it was because their newer material wasn't as strong, and there is probably an element of truth there. Whatever the reasons, this is an interesting and enjoyable collection, if rather indulgent. Most of the tracks do sound different, some more than others. "For Richard" is heavily abbreviated (although not quite to the extent the track listing above suggests), while "Disassociation" suffers from being disassociated from the rest of "Nine feet underground". "Place of my own" benefits from the reworking, as to a lesser extent does "If I could do it all over again..", which appears twice on the updated CD. It's hard to recommend this album other than to Caravan fans, as others would be better off investigating the albums which originally contained these tracks. For Caravan fans though, it is indeed recommended. (Jeremy Clarkson, who wrote the sleeve notes, is a motoring journalist in the UK, and his own number one fan!).
Easy Livin 06.06.2004 3/5 (PROGARCHIVES)