Saturday, May 10, 2008

Album of the Day--May 10, 2008

Yeah, it's been a I get back into the swing of things...and the wonderdrug Claritin
eases my allergy symptoms...

In the Land of Grey and Pink
Decca Records
Produced by David Hitchcock

Caravan were one of the most prominent of the so-called "Canterbury scene" progressive rock bands of the early 1970s (others included Camel and Hatfield and the North) being from, well, the English cathedral town of Canterbury (also known for its Archbishop and its Tales). I was late to the Canterbury scene, having only really heard Caravan about five years ago on Aural Moon Internet radio, and rather liked them, but enver got around top picking up anything by them. While browsing in a recoprd syore in London, I came across the reissue of their masterwork In the Land of Pink and Grey for 5 quid, so how could I resist? And once I ripped it, it has not left my iPod (or my CD player, depending where I happen to be) in the past week. The opening track "Golf Girl" is a links love story about a woman selling cups of tea, "Winter Wine" is a lovely mellow fusing of jazz and folk (jolk?) tune with lyrics that likely inspired the Tolkeinesque cover painting, while "Love to Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)" is a very catchy almost hit single-like track. The best track--and the one that I heard before--is the 22+-minute track "Nine Feet Underground" (it was all of side two on the original LP) which almost seamlessly fuses together the mostly instrumental eight sub-sections. The Canterbury groups also had nore of a sense of humor than their often more bombastic and portentous progressive brethren, which means that Caravan and others tend to have held up better over the years.

A great, mellow record, perfect for cruising on a beautiful spring day with the windows down, extortionately priced gas, and the pollen streaming in...

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