GREEN BOTTLES FOR MARJORIE - THE LOST BBC SESSIONS (2002)
1 Green Bottles For Marjorie (2:36)
2 Place Of My Own (4:13)
3 Feelin', Reelin', Squealin' (5:43)
4 Ride (4:20)
5 Nine Feet Underground (19:20)
6 In The Land Of Grey And Pink (4:05)
7 Feelin', Reelin', Squealin' (10:10)
8 The Love In Your Eye (11:47)
Tracks 1-4 "Top Gear" session - Recorded 31.12.1968.
Tracks 5-7 "Radio One In Concert" - Recorded and first broadcast 16.05.1971.
Track 8 "John Peel" session - Recorded 11.04.1972.
Richard Goughlan (drums, percussion)
Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals)
Richard Sinclair (bass, vocals)
Geoffrey Richardson (viola, flute, mandolin, spoons)
Dave Sinclair (keyboards) on tracks 1-7
Steve Miller (keyboards) on track 8
REVIEWS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
The prospect of hearing and reviewing new material from the legendary Caravan is always an exciting prospect, at least to me! One of two major bands to offshoot from The Wilde Flowers (the second band was Soft Machine), Caravan always were the more ear-friendly branch of the Canterbury Scene managing to blend the exciting sounds of psychedelia with that of jazz rock. Green Bottles For Marjorie is not a studio album but rather a collection of BBC recordings which till now had never been released. The tracks are taken from the halcyon days of the band when their music was considered at the vanguard of the British experimental rock movement. The recordings themselves are culled from three separate session, all of which show the band in various stages of the musical progression. The first session is from a Top Gear session in 1968 which sees the band having just released their first album though already with material being prepared for their second recording. In fact Green Bottles For Marjorie, the opening and title track of this album is instantly recognisable by all Caravan fans as the progenitor to If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You, the title track to the band's second album. The dominant sound on this tracks is Dave Sinclair's Hammond which booms out above the rather subdued recording of the other instruments. Both Place Of My Own and Ride appeared on the Caravan album and encapsulate the essence of the band's debut whose sound was so reminiscent of the rock bands of that era such as early Deep Purple and Atomic Rooster where the power of the band emanated from the organ rather than the distortion of the guitar. An interesting comparison that arises out this album is the presence of two separate recordings of the Kevin Ayer's composition Feelin' Reelin', Squealin'. Having played with The Wilde Flowers, Ayers was no stranger to Caravan and his track appears in two distinctive versions. The first, 1968 version only lasts just under six minutes but immediately one starts to note the influences of psychedelia, of which Ayers was a prime exponent. This is exploited in the 1971 recording by which the the influences of psychedelic music had impregnated the very own music of Caravan who thus were able to fully expand on this track within their own musical cocoon. As Aymeric Leroy states in the liner notes, "the intense finale is probably more akin to early Pink Floyd than Caravan", an indication of the psychedelic nature of this recording! In fact the next batch of recordings comes from a 1971 Radio One In Concert broadcast and comes during the period when the band had released In the Land Of Grey And Pink. One immediately notes that the bands musical repertoire had expanded greatly to incorporate lengthier and more experimental tracks. A case in point was Nine Feet Underground clocking at just less than twenty minutes which sees the band indulging in lengthy solos with the remainder of the band plodding along till the cue to change soloist came along. Nevertheless this music remains some of the most intriguing yet underrated material that Britain ever produced in the late sixties/early seventies. This sumptuous collection of recordings comes to a close with The Love In Your Eye and was recorded in 1972, just prior to the release of the Waterloo Lily album. By now the band was experiencing significant changes within the musical style, a change also reflected in the line-up which saw Dave Sinclair replaced by the more jazz orientated Steve Miller on keyboards. Apart from the technical and clinical approach to this piece, this recording is also of great importance because it would only be a few weeks after the recording that both Richard Sinclair and Steve Miller would leave Caravan. Green Bottles For Marjorie is definitely not the album that the uninitiated should procure to be able to appreciate caravan. There are several more lavish compilations available on the market. However, this album is of immense interest for all those who like this band mainly because of the comparisons one can make whilst listening to the various tracks from different musical eras which enable the listener to witness the evolution of a classic progressive rock band.
Nigel Camilleri 7,5/10 06.10.2002 (DPRP.NET)
This CD contains the "Lost BBC Sessions", including their first appearance on Top Gear from 1968. "Lost" refers to the original masters - hence the sound quality of these recordings is less than ideal. However, given the historical value, do not be deterred from buying this CD! Highlights include covers of the Soft Machine's "Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'", an incredible live version of "Nine Feet Underground", and "The Love In Your Eye", the later with Steve Miller on keyboards. The same care and detail that went into the 2002 remasters is evident. Essential to the Caravan fan!
Amazon Customer 5/5 05.02.2003 (AMAZON)
Poor sound for what is a treasure for die-hard Caravan-heads. The actual master tapes have been stolen and this was rebuilt from someone who had recorded the radio show from his home. They do a Kevin Ayers tune. The real gift for fans are that some of these tunes had been recorded before they got released onto a proper album.
Sean Trane 3/5 02.02.2004 (PROGARCHIVES)
2002 "Green Bottles For Marjorie". Sound source of BBC session. It is a work that added the recording in which the work of "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" and Steve Miller in 1972 participate from the recording immediately after the debut in 1968. The same sound source as "BBC 1969-1973" of BOOTLEG and "Living In The Grey And Pink" excluding the final tune. Performance of tune of SOFT MACHINE (Kevin Ayers). "Nine Feet Underground" is performed, and lyrics are slightly different. The fan is a content that finishes being satisfactory.
braindamage 5/5 02.11.2005 (PROGARCHIVES)
This review is more a warning than a review.
This live recording is a radio-show from the late sixties, taped by a listener and then released some years ago. The result is a bootleg quality sound, unworthy of this great band. Thankfully; the same show and another show was released last year as "The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975". That one is recommended; not this album. There is nothing wrong with the good songs, btw. The songs are all great. If you can live with the sound, this album is good. But still; this album is a waste of money compared to the cleaned up version on "The Show Of Our Lives: Caravan At The BBC 1968-1975". Go for this compilation instead and leave this album on the shelves.
toroddfuglesteg 1/5 23.10.2008 (PROGARCHIVES)
This semi-legit yet band-sanctioned disc offers hardcore Caravan enthusiasts the opportunity to hear their heroes on several early BBC Radio broadcasts. Many of these recordings were lifted directly off the air and by most (if not all) accounts reflect that in the fluctuating fidelity. According to the liner booklet, New Year's Eve 1968/1969 is the air date for the first four tracks: "Green Bottles for Marjorie" -- the working moniker for the title track of their second long-player, If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (1970) -- "Place of My Own," "Ride," and a cover of Soft Machine's "Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'." While the sound quality is definitely on the modest side, every track is listenable in all its narrow frequency monaural majesty. Of particular note in this initial batch is the latter, as the band never issued a studio version -- although they would revisit "Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'" on a subsequent Beeb session. But, more about that in a moment. Otherwise, the remaining trio of tunes are considerably close to the way they'd eventually turn up on Caravan's 1968 self-titled debut and aforementioned follow-up, If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You. The superior readings of "Nine Feet Underground" and the second "Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'" hail from a May 6th [note: not 16th as the cover indicates] "Sunday Concert" hosted by John Peel, while "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is from a March 1971 appearance on Sound of the '70s. The final cut is notated as an April 1972 broadcast that included an epic take of "The Love in Your Eye" from the equally excellent Waterloo Lily (1971). In 2007, this collection was bested by the double-disc Deram vault release The Show of Our Lives (2007) with a majority of the material found here in infinitely superior audio.
Lindsay Planer (ALLMUSIC)
Das Archiv der British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) ist eine ausgesprochen interessante Fundgrube für mehr oder weniger unter Live-Bedingungen eingespielte Aufnahmen diverser britischer Gruppen. Auch Caravan haben zwischen 1968 und 1977 eine ganze Reihe solcher BBC-Sessions abgeliefert, von denen ein Grossteil auf den beiden HUX-CDs "Songs For Oblivion Fishermen" und "Ether Way" veröffentlicht wurde. Wie Ralph Crosse allerdings im Beiheft von "Songs For Oblivion Fishermen" feststellt, ist ein Teil der von Caravan für die BBC eingespielten Bänder wohl gelöscht worden. Jedefalls beinhalten die beiden Session-CDs fast alle noch im BBC-Archiv befindlichen Aufnahmen von Caravan, doch ist bekannt, dass Caravan weitere Sessions eingespielt haben. Irgendwie haben sich einige dieser Aufnahmen aber doch erhalten, kursieren doch diverse Bootlegs mit Caravan-BBC-Sessions, die nicht mit denen auf den HUX-CDs übereinstimmen. Einige dieser verlorenen Sessions sind vor einiger Zeit wohl wieder aufgetaucht (woher wird zumindest im Booklet von "Green Bottles For Marjorie" nicht genauer spezifiziert, ich nehme aber mal an, dass es sich um Aufnhamen handelt, die irgenwer am heimischen Radio gemacht hat) und wurden 2002 auf dem Caravan-Song-Label, lizensiert von der BBC, auf CD veröffentlicht. Die ersten 4 Stücke stammen aus einer "Top Gear"-Session vom 31.12.1968. Zwei Stücke vom Caravan-Debut gibt es zu hören, das Titelstück, welches eine frühe Version von "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'D Do It All Over You" von der zweiten Caravan-LP ist, und eine interessante Version von Kevin Ayers' "Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'", ursprünglich eine Single-B-Seite von Soft Machine. Die nächsten 3 Nummern stammen von einem Konzert - "Radio One In Concert" - das am 16.5.1971 im Londoner Paris Theatre stattfand und von der BBC aufgezeichnet wurde. Neben dem langen "Nine Feet Underground" und dem Titelsong von "In the Land of Grey and Pink", gibt Caravan hier eine weitere Version von "Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'" zum Besten. Letzteres ist, recht ungewöhnlich für Caravan, ausgesprochen psychedelisch, fast wüst ausgefallen. Das letzte Stück ist schliesslich ein seltenes Dokument der "Waterloo Lily"-Besetzung. Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings, Steve Miller und Richard Coughlan jammen sich schwungvoll durch "The Love In Your Eye", eine Version die sich deutlich von der auf "Songs For Oblivion Fishermen" zu findenden unterscheidet. Die Aufnahmen von "Green Bottles For Marjorie" wurden von Paschal Byren, der auch die neuesten Caravan-CD-Reissues von Decca remastered hat, klanglich aufgemöbelt und haben durchaus gute Mono-Qualität. Mit professionellen Live- bzw. Studioaufnahmen ist das Ganze aber natürlich nicht vergleichbar. Die CD ist trotzdem ein Muss für Canterbury-Freaks und eine interessante Ergänzung zu den beiden anderen CDs mit BBC-Sessions von Caravan.
Achim Breiling 9/15 25.01.2005 (BABYBLAUE)