CANTERBURY TALES (THE BEST OF CARAVAN) (1973)

TRACKLIST
A1 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (3:06)
A2 Aristocracy (3:03)
A3 Can't Be Long Now/Francoise/For Richard/Warlock (18:06)
B1 Nine Feet Underground (Nigel Blows A Tune/Love's A Friend/Make It 76/Dance Of The Seven Paper Hankies/Hold Grandad By The Nose/Honest I Did!/Disassociation/100% Proof) (22:40)
C1 Golf Girl (5:00)
C2 Hoedown (3:10)
C3 The Love In Your Eye/To Catch Me A Brother/Subsultus/Debouchement/Tilbury Kecks (12:31)
D1 Memory Lain, Hugh (5:00)
D2 Headloss (4:19)
D3 Virgin On The Ridiculous (6:53)
D4 The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again (5:53)

A1 is from "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You"
A2, C3 are from "Waterloo Lily"
A3 is a previously unreleased, recorded live on 01.09.1974 at Fairfeild Halls, Croydon,
B1, C1 are from "In The Land Of Grey And Pink"
C2, D1, D2, D4 are from "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night"
D3 is from "Caravan And The New Symphonia"
LINE UP
Richard Goughlan (drums, percussion)
Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals, percussion)
Steve Miller (keyboards) (on tracks A2, C3)
John G. Perry (bass, vocals, percussion) (on tracks: C2, D1 to D4)
Geoff Richardson (viola, percussion) (on tracks A3, D1 to D4)
Dave Sinclair (keyboards) (on tracks A1, A3, B1, C1, C2, D1 to D4)
Richard Sinclair (bass, vocals) (on tracks: A1 to C1, C3)

Jimmy Hastings (flute, saxophone) (on tracks: B1 to C1, C3, D1)
VERSIONS
1973/2LP/Decca/DKL-R8.1.2/UK
1977/2LP/Nova/6.28410/Germany
1977/2LP/Decca/DKLI8.1.2/Italy
REVIEWS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES

I've often wondered whether it would have been better if Caravan emulated Genesis with a Best of Caravan - The Longs and a Best of Caravan - The Shorts. This album contains three of their best long pieces, "Can't be long now/ Francoise/ For Richard/ Warlock", "Nigel blows a tune/ Love's a friend/ Make It 76/ Dance of the seven paper hankies/ Hold grandad by the nose/ Honest I did!/ Disassociation/ 100% Proof" and "The love in your eye/ To catch me a brother/ Subsultus/ Debouchement/ Tilbury Kecks". They came from If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (1970), In The Land of Grey and Pink (1971) and Waterloo Lily (1972) respectively. However, "Nine Feet Underground" (the 22:40 monster) does make a costly addition. Conversely a beautiful piece of music (originally five distinct songs engineered into one) it does make space crammed on the two CD's and with some unusual and less popular song selections such as "Hoedown" (For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night) and "Virgin on the ridiculous" (Caravan & The New Symphonia) and even throwing the previously unreleased Aristocracy on there leaves little room for anything else. Not trying to take anything away from the album, this is a fantastic compilation and an important addition for someone wishing to explore Caravan's longer songs - which are extremely good. Nonetheless, I can't help thinking that The Best of Caravan should have separated the long from the short songs and released them separately, just as Genesis did in '92/'93.
Verisimilitude 3/5 11.02.2004 (PROGARCHIVES)

Visitors to Canterbury, start here.
An excellent introduction to the music of Caravan from the time of their creative peak (up to and including "Cunning stunts"). All the greats are here, including "For Richard", "Nine feet underground", "If I could do it all over again, I'd do it all over you" and too many others to mention. There appear to be slightly differing versions of the collection. I have a cassette version which includes "Virgin on the ridiculous" from the New Symphonia album, which is replaced on the CD version (see separate entry) by "The love in your eye" from the same album. An essential introduction to the band.
Easy Livin 5/5 01.03.2004 (PROGARCHIVES)

This double (record) album used to be the best possible introduction to classic 1970s Caravan. It's through this set that I got to know the band, and I can honestly say all my favourite pieces are included. Since we are talking about LPs, there are only 90 minutes of music here (less material than on that double CD released in the 1990s, also entitled CANTERBURY TALES) but every single song is superb. Moreover, the 18-minute performance of 'For Richard' included here is the gorgeous 1974 version which can now be found on the album LIVE AT FAIRFIELD HALLS, featuring Geoff Richardson in a starring role on viola. The general sequence of songs is excellent: 'Headloss' follows 'Memory Lain, Hugh', as it always should; and ending the album with 'The Dog, the Dog, He's at it again' is a masterstroke. So if, for some strange reason, you're an LP-freak and you haven't got any Caravan, this set is definitely worth checking out.
fuxi 4/5 29.12.2007 (PROGARCHIVES)

This compilation from Canterbury darlings Caravan is really designed to initiate those who have not got any of the earlier Caravan material. The album works well as an excellent introduction to Caravan featuring all of their most revered classics jammed onto 2 records in the vinyl years, and now 2 CDs. It includes material from all their albums including the latest at the time "Cunning stunts". Every track is essential Caravan and they are not edited as some compilations tend to do. The epics are all here including the brilliance of 'Nine feet underground', 'Can't be long now / Françoise / For Richard / Warlock' and 'The love in your eye / To catch me a brother / Subsultus / Débouchement / Tilbury Kecks'. These epics are exactly as they appear on the albums and are amazing when heard on one album. The shorter songs are here too including 'If I could do it all over again I'd do it all over you', 'Aristocracy', and the whimsical 'Golf Girl' and 'Hoedown'. It is always a pleasure to hear 'Memory Lain, Hugh, Headloss', and 'Virgin on the ridiculous' and the humorous 'The dog, the dog, he's at it again'. This is a worthwhile compilation, as a starting point for the Newcomer to Caravan.
AtomicCrimsonRush 4/5 22.01.2012 (PROGARCHIVES)