THE SHOW OF OUR LIVES, LIVE AT THE BBC 1968-1975 (2007)
1 Place Of My Own (2:36)
2 Ride (4:20)
3 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (2:45)
4 Hello Hello (3:10)
5 As I Feel I Die (6:23)
6 Love To Love You (3:12)
7 Love Song Without Flute (3:33)
8 In The Land Of Grey And Pink (3:43)
9 Nine Feet Underground (14:31)
10 Feelin', Reelin', Squealin' (9:29)
11 A Hunting We Shall Go (9:01)
12 Waffle Part One: Be Alright & Chance Of A Lifetime (4:45)
1 Memory Lain Hugh (5:04)
2 Headloss (9:41)
3 The Love In Your Eye (13:52)
4 Mirror For The Day (4:16)
5 Virgin On The Ridiculous (7:01)
6 For Richard (15:04)
7 The Dabsong Conshirtoe (15:50)
8 Stuck In A Hole (3:16)
9 The Show Of Our Lives (4:54)
CD1 tracks 1-2 recorded for John Peel's "Top Gear" Radio Show 31st December 1968.
CD1 tracks 3-5 recorded for the BBC Transcription Service "Top of the Pops" 19th August 1970.
CD1 tracks 6-8 recorded for "Sounds of the Seventies" 11th March 1971.
CD1 tracks 9-10 recorded for John Peel's "Sunday Concert" at the Paris Theatre, London 6th May 1971.
CD1 tracks 11-12 recorded for the BBC "In Concert" at the Paris Theatre, London 2nd August 1973.
CD2 tracks 1-2 recorded for the BBC "In Concert" at the Paris Theatre, London 2nd August 1973.
CD2 tracks 3-6 recorded for John Peel's Radio Show 7th February 1974.
CD2 track 7 recorded for the BBC "In Concert" at the Paris Theatre, London 21st March 1975.
CD2 tracks 8-9 recorded for John Peel's Radio Show 26th June 1975.
CD1 tracks 1-2 are also included on the CD "Green Bottles For Marjorie (The Lost BBC Sessions)".
CD1 tracks 3-8 are also included on the CD "Songs For Oblivion Fishermen".
CD1 tracks 9-10 are also included on the CD "Green Bottles For Marjorie (The Lost BBC Sessions)".
CD1 tracks 11-12 are previously unreleased.
CD2 tracks 1-2 are previously unreleased.
CD2 tracks 3-6 are also included on the CD "Songs For Oblivion Fishermen".
CD2 track 7 is also included on the CD "BBC Live In Concert".
CD2 tracks 8-9 are also included on the CD "Ether Way".
Richard Coughlan (drums)
Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals)
John Perry (bass) on CD1 tracks 11-12 and CD2 tracks 1-6
Geoffrey Richardson (viola) on CD1 tracks 11-12 and CD2 tracks 1-9
Dave Sinclair (keyboards, vocals)
Richard Sinclair (bass, vocals) on CD1 tracks 1-10
Mike Wedgwood (bass) on CD2 tracks 7-9
REVIEWS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
It makes perfect sense to round out the Caravan retrospective with this huge 2-CD package that spans their entire «prog years» career. Prior to this, there have been several rather chaotic releases of BBC material recorded by the band at various occasions; the only one I'd previously heard was BBC Radio 1 In Concert, recorded March 21, 1975 at the Paris Theatre, and it has been almost completely integrated here (strangely, though, without a complete overlap — the original release had 'Hoedown', which is not included here, while the new package adds 'Mirror For The Day' and 'Virgin On The Ridiculous' that were omitted from the 1991 album, so go figure). Anyway, this here is a solid and well-balanced mix of performances from various John Peel and BBC In Concert sessions that, among other things, allows you to get a peek at live interpretations of some of the early material that never survived the transition into the «golden age» — songs from the self-titled debut (including 'Love Song With Flute', which is transformed here into 'Love Song Without Flute' because they could not get brother Jimmy to appear with them, so Dave has to fill his shoes with an organ equivalent of the flute part) and «filler tracks» from the second album, like 'As I Feel I Die'. Once we get to the Grey And Pink period, performances start to become more familiar and predictable, but there is still at least one super-curious rarity: 'Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'', a 10-minute epic that starts out in inconspicuously default soft-rock mode, but then quickly becomes an improvised psychedelic extravaganza — a free-form freakout that alternately reminds one of The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and The Soft Machine. I would not call it particularly mind-blowing or anything, but it's a bold side of Caravan that had blipped for a few seconds around 1970, then was wiped out completely with the emergence of the Grey And Pink style, and it is interesting to learn that they could occasionally allow themselves to go crazy like this as late as May 1971, by which time 'Golf Girl' had already become their trademark song (ironically, there is no 'Golf Girl' on this package). The second disc, covering 1973-75, is clearly less exciting for those who have already heard all the regular live albums — I mean, there's only so many live versions of 'The Love In Your Eye' and 'For Richard' that I'd care to have in my collection — but it does include a rare occasion of the complete live performance of 'The Dabsong Conshirtoe' and other songs from Cunning Stunts that might help rekindle your interest in that transitional album. They could have gone further: if you are genuinely curious about continuing this experience, the earlier package Ether Way: BBC Sessions 1975-77, overlapping with this one in regard to the Cunning Stunts tracks, also adds some live renditions of material from Blind Dog At St. Dunstan's (could be entertaining) and Better By Far (probably couldn't) — but on the whole, I understand the decision of the compilers to stop at 1975 and have 'The Show Of Our Lives' round out the album in gloriously anthemic mode.
George Starostin 28.06.2017 (ONLY-SOLITAIRE.BLOGSPOT.COM)
The greatest essentially quirky "English" band of all time are here on a newly collected (but all available before) compilation of BBC Top Gear sessions plus In Concert tracks too....for those people who grew up with Caravan and still know every Dave Sinclair organ solo and can sing along with every Richard Sinclair or Pye Hastings lyric, this release is the perfect start and finish to complete a quintessential Canterbury Scene collection. All these recordings are fantastic quality, not to mention dreamy, beautiful, hugely nostalgic and magnificent in every way. Though the band's still going after numerous line-up changes, Richard Coughlan, drummer extraordinaire throughout Caravan's history, has been very ill, so get well soon matey... as for this release, simply enjoy.
C. W. Marshall "christof" (clapham, london) 5/5 06.08.2007 (AMAZON)
If I could do it all over again I probably would have saved my money.
On first listening to this I got the typical buzz of hearing different versions of familiar tunes but once this novelty had worn off I was left a bit disappointed. There is no Jimmy Hastings' work at all; on some tracks (e.g. For Richard, The Love in Your Eye) they have tried to replace it with 'For Girls that grow Plump in the Night' style violin which I don't like too much: 'Nine Feet Underground' has been abridged to exclude totally the first section which would otherwise feature the wind instruments. The tracks that come from 'Caravan' and 'If I could do it all over again etc.' are good versions with the psychedlic keyboard sound but are not as good as the album versions. The quality of the whole thing is a bit poor too. So overall, it's nice to have this album in your Caravan collection, but put it in between 'Back to Front' and 'Blind Dog at St Dunstans' to gather dust, and keep 'In the Land of Grey and Pink' and 'If I could do it all over again etc.' for the CD player.
Peter James Bond (Kent) 3/5 26.02.2008 (AMAZON)
I have all of Caravan's albums on vinyl and still play them. I decided to buy a 'Best of' on CD for convenience- this is an excellent buy! It is refreshing to hear the slightly different versions of some of their best songs- a really nice reminder of the half dozen times that I saw them live in the early 70's They were (and still are!)a brilliant under rated band.
C P B (U.K) 5/5 27.12.2013 (AMAZON)
5 stars live and loud.
This collection of live songs from the BBC are typical of the band live set in the era of the early to mid seventies. They always delivered in concert and this shines through in these recordings. This 2 disc set is a bargain price too. So blow a few bucks! and relive a time when most things were a lot better.
dupree 4/5 05.12.2013 (AMAZON)
The first CD is *****, but the later tracks in CD2 (Cunning Stunts period) drops it to ****½ Great version of "Nine Feet Underground"
Manni 4/5 04.02.2011 (AMAZON)
Yes, I don't agree - the kind of music delivered by Caravan was inconsistent through their early career and no doubt, if you play an instrument you may well prefer to listen to some things rather than others, and so a good review is helpfull considering the paucity of info on websites !!!
W. Jones (here) 5/5 30.11.2007 (AMAZON)
Even though I find there is little to add to James's flawless review, I cannot resist the temptation of expressing my own opinion on this magnificent release from one of my all-time favourite bands. "The Show of Our Lives" captures some sterling performances by a band who - in spite of the frequent line-up changes - were at the peak of their creativity and musicianship, and is therefore worth every one of the 21 euros I spent on it. CD One starts with a couple of songs from Caravan's charming debut album, and features an interesting, 9-minute-plus version of Soft Machine's hit "Feelin', Reelin', Squeelin'". All these songs clearly show how the legendary 'Canterbury Sound' took its cue from psychedelia before moving into a more complex, challenging, jazz-tinged territory. Unlike the Softs, though, Caravan never lost sight of their pop roots, and effortlessly blended ambitious compositions with melody and accessibility. This CD contains both sides of the band - the poppier gems like the delightful Hello Hello or the quirky "In the Land of Grey and Pink", and the longer, more intricate tracks, powered by David Sinclair's trademark organ sound, such as "Nine Feet Underground" or "As I Feel I Die". Unfortunately, one of the band's best songs ever (and my personal favourite) has been omitted from this compilation, which is a great pity: I'm referring to "Winter Wine", one of Richard Sinclair's finest lyrical and vocal moments. If I had to nitpick, I'd say that there are not enough tracks featuring Richard S.'s fluid, elegant bass lines and inimitable voice - just listen to his performance on "...Grey and Pink" or at the end of "Nine Feet Underground", and swoon in delight! Caravan did weather his loss by releasing the magnificent "For Girls Who Grow Plump" in the Night (their last great album, in my humble opinion), but never did as well in the vocal department, as is rather evident in most of the tracks on CD Two. The second CD opens with the upbeat, light-hearted "Memory Lain Hugh/Headloss", and includes songs up to 1975's "Cunning Stunts". In spite of Richard Sinclair's departure, the band's instrumental power remained intact, and the addition of Geoff Richardson's viola proved to be a definite asset to their sound, as shown by the superb version of their classic "For Richard" (recorded in 1974), as well as two later masterpieces such as "A Hunting We Shall Go" (one of my all-time favourite instrumentals, and one of the highlights of the record) and the 15-minute-plus "The Dabsong Conshirtoe", with its energetic, driving finale. To my mind, Caravan represent the triumph of songwriting at its best as opposed to the technical brilliance for its own sake which is so widespread in 'modern' prog. As this compilations proves, they could do 15-minute epics as well as 3-minute catchy, flawlessly crafted pop songs - something not many other bands of the Seventies could pull off equally well. "The Show of Our Lives" is a must for fans of the Canterbury sound, and a great introduction to the band for those who haven't yet had the pleasure of listening to them. All in all, a more than worthy addition to any prog record collection.
Raff 4/5 19.01.2008 (PROGARCHIVES)
The amazing thing about Caravan is just how much they recorded for the BBC, whether in radio sessions or live concerts, but even more amazing is that they keep on belting a few sessions every now and then. Released in 2007, TSOOL is yet another one of those release, a double disc affair for that matter, and still no overlapping from sessions and no sessions with doubtful (even if admitted and revealed) origins, such as the Green Bottles For Marjorie release. But if there are no repetition of sessions, I wouldn't exactly say that these recordings are absolutely essential if you already own one or two live records from the For Girls/Stunts era or own the other sessions from the original four. I'm not going to go through all of the tracks, but it's quite pleasant to hear three from their debut album, including a rare Wilde Flowers/Soft Machine stunning tidbits Feelin, Squeezin' from a 71 session. Other rarities are the rarely heard Love To Love You, a vastly different Love Song With A Flute (Sinclair on electric piano) and an unfortunately abridged Grey & Pink track and 9 Ft Underground. The only thing not right about this first CD is the inclusion of a For Girls session. Why didn't they wait for the second dic as there was enough space. That very second disc offering us a bunch of Richardson-era sessions, but not past the Stunts album. Of interest is the Love In Your Eyes with violin and the two new for the New Symphonia gig tracks as well as a For Richard, but most of these can be heard on the Fairfield Hall concert. Hell we even hear Pye answering Geoffrey's great violin runs in For Richard. One of the best versions of Dabsong Conshirtoe is also present on this disc. Surprisingly, these BBC sessions are issued by Decca label instead of the HUX label, which has been handling BBC stuff for the last years. Anyway, those of you reading me for years now know I have a soft spot for Caravan, but this doesn't mean a fanboy and that I'm buying everything from them; quite on the contrary, I tend to be even more difficult with my fave artistes. So when I saw this, I hesitated less than 10 seconds, told myself, WTF and took it home, knowing I'll only have limited mileage on it. While I wouldn't call this essential at all for general progheads, if you're a Caravan fan, this is an absolute must for all of the great surprises.
Sean Trane 4/5 19.01.2008 (PROGARCHIVES)
This is a live double disc compilation recording of tracks done for the BBC. We get tracks from the debut right through to "Cunning Stunts" plus some that are from "Caravan & The New Symphonia" live album. Also we get a cover of a SOFT MACHINE track. The tracks are pretty much in chronological order. I have to say that the first disc is without a doubt a 5 star affair. It's freaking perfect really, every song is incredible. The second disc I would rate as a solid 4 stars record with a couple of tracks taken from the "Caravan & The New Symphonia" being simply average, and two songs from "Cunning Stunts" album that are also just okay.The rest of the second disc is amazing though. I don't even know where to start with the first disc because I love every track on it. I have to mention the distorted organ which I guess is a trademark of the Canterbury sound, but it's nasty on these songs. It's interesting as me move along towards the end of the disc to hear the viola from Geoffrey Richardson, it certainly adds a new dynamic. I think the biggest surprise for me was the song "The Dabsong Conshirtoe" from "Cunning Stunts". I don't have that studio album and this song impressed me quite a bit, even if the other two from that album that are on here didn't. For CARAVAN fans this is a must, for everyone else I would still highly recommend this live 1968-1975 live overview.
Mellotron Storm 4,5/5 13.07.2011 (PROGARCHIVES)
While this two-CD, nearly two-and-a-half-hour collection doesn't include all of Caravan's BBC recordings, it's indisputably the finest collection of the band's radio performances yet assembled. It doesn't quite include all of the BBC tracks that have appeared on previous releases; a couple songs from their first 1968 session are missing, as are most of the cuts from the Ether Way: BBC Sessions 1975-77 compilation. This is more than compensated for, however, by the inclusion of a half-hour August 2, 1973 session that appears for the first time anywhere on this anthology, as well as the much-improved fidelity on some material first issued as part of the Green Bottles for Marjorie: The Lost BBC Sessions set. Too, the absence of some mid- to late-'70s material isn't a big blow, as it was during the period covered by this collection, in which Caravan were truly at their peak. As for the music itself, while these tracks aren't radically different from the more familiar studio versions, they're fine testimony to the band's ability to deliver complex progressive rock with deft spontaneity in a live setting. The first disc is far more impressive than the second, the band sounding like a cousin to early Soft Machine (with whom, of course, they shared deep roots) in their ability to make the transition from psychedelia to progressive rock sound playful, humane, and for the most part, based in strong songs and vocals. The most pleasing treasure is their fine nine-minute stretched-out cover of the early Soft Machine B-side "Feelin', Reelin', Squealin,'" which Caravan never recorded on their studio releases. The second disc, alas, finds the group becoming steadily less interesting with the onset of several personnel changes, documenting the band's (and indeed the entire serious British progressive rock genre's) growing inclination toward slicker virtuosity and less acute, distinguished songwriting. Nonetheless, the better portions are delightful and Mark Powell's annotation (which almost amounts to a band history in itself) excellent, and the compilation as a whole belongs in every serious Caravan fan's collection.
Deux CD d'enregistrements de Caravan à la BBC, y'a bon, d'autant qu'il s'agit des meilleures années du groupe, des débuts (1968, on est encore en mono) au dernier grand disque (Cunning Stunts, 1975). Le terme de scène de Canterbury est parfois réfuté par les principaux intéressés, mais il faut bien trouver quelque chose pour caractériser cette musique ultra-fine qui est au final plus que du prog. Caravan était un groupe aussi à l'aise dans le format pop-song ("Place of My Own", "In the Land of Grey and Pink") que dans des développements plus ambitieux à forte connotation jazzy avec des moments d'impro. Là, ça part sans prévenir, comme sur "Nine Feet Underground". Cet opus prouve la capacité du groupe à reproduire à la perfection en live des compositions à la base assez complexes. A coups de "Peel Sessions" et autres mini-concerts, la carrière de Caravan est passée en revue en insistant sur les titres marquants et en ménageant quelques respirations en forme d'inédits (le foutraque "Feelin', Reelin, Squealin'", emprunté à Soft Machine, groupe consanguin). "The Show..." ferait indiscutablement fonction de best-of si Waterloo Lily n'en était pas absent. La faute à Steve Miller, le clavier qui avait voulu imprimer une tonalité jazz-rock, dérive que Pye Hastings semble réprouver rétrospectivement? A partir de For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night, on a le génial Geoffrey Richardson à l'alto, un plus qui va encore enrichir le son du groupe, l'homme qui fait frémir Jean-Luc Ponty quand il part en jam sur des titres d'un quart d'heure. Acquisition franchement conseillée pour (re)découvrir un groupe à l'aisance mélodique stupéfiante (l'enchaînement "Memory Lain Hugh" / "Headloss", au hasard). Merci John Peel, merci la Beeb!
AGM 23.02.2014 4,5/5 (RATEYOURMUSIC)
Wot's Brilliant: Sleeve notes on the history of the band. The average length of the two CDs is 72 minutes. Wot's not: The sound reproduction is only passable. A few songs you might not have heard before but you could quite easily live without.
Rogier 06.11.2010 4/5 (RATEYOURMUSIC)
A must for all Caravan fans containing some tracks with different arrangements from the Lp versions.
northwinds66 30.06.2008 5/5 (RATEYOURMUSIC)
Excellent 2 cd set by this great band with excellent sound quality.
bthompson 11.10.2007 4,5/5 (RATEYOURMUSIC)