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In the Land of Grey and Pink

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Album Review

In the Land of Grey and Pink is considered by many to be a pinnacle release from Caravan. The album contains an undeniable and decidedly European sense of humor and charm. In addition, this would mark the end of the band's premiere lineup. Co-founder David Sinclair would leave Caravan to form Matching Mole with Soft Machine drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt in August of 1971. As a group effort, In the Land of Grey and Pink displays all the ethereal brilliance Caravan created on their previous pair of 12" outings. Their blending of jazz and folk instrumentation and improvisational styles hints at Traffic and Family, as displayed on "Winter Wine," as well as the organ and sax driven instrumental introduction to "Nine Feet Underground." These contrast the decidedly aggressive sounds concurrent with albums from King Crimson or Soft Machine. In fact, beginning with the album's title, there seems to be pastoral qualities and motifs throughout. Another reason enthusiasts rank this album among their favorites is the group dynamic which has rarely sounded more singular or cohesive. David Sinclair's lyrics are of particular note, especially the middle-earth imagery used on "Winter Wine" or the enduring whimsy of "Golf Girl." The remastered version of this album includes previously unissued demos/alternate versions of both tracks under the titles: "It's Likely to Have a Name Next Week" and "Group Girl," respectively. The remastered disc also includes "I Don't Know Its Name (Alias the Word)" and "Aristocracy," two pieces that were completed, but shelved in deference to the time limitations imposed during the days of wine and vinyl. The latter composition would be reworked and released on Caravan's next album, Waterloo Lily. The 12-page liner notes booklet includes expanded graphics, memorabilia, and an essay penned specifically for the reissue.

Customer Reviews

A little known clasic

In the Land of Grey and Pink (where only Boy Scouts stop to think..) is a quirky mixture of jazz, rock and pop. Marvel at the melodies, cord changes and rolling organ that so uniquely fingerprint this band and wonder why Caravan never got the wider recognition they deserved. This little known classic is a gem that will sparkle in any music collection.

A Personal Favourite

Another undiscovered gem for many new to Canterbury Prog and a personal of mine. This is a special album from a time where the only technology available to the average musician was guitar, bass drums and organ. As ever, it's not what you have but what you can do with it that makes all the difference and this album really shows you what a talented bunch of people Caravan were. Nine Feet Underground is the album's highlight for me. A brilliant collection of music which still provides surprises even today.

In the Real Land of Black and White

This was such a favourite and well-known album at the time, it's an enduring mystery why it is not now regarded as a 'Classic Album', or why Caravan never made it bigger than they did. (It's a myth that so-called 'prog rock' was killed off by punk, but Caravan were not done any favours by it, that much IS true). Side One's English whimsy is melodic, inventive and rightly described as pastoral. But most fans of the time bought it for the side-long jazz-rock excursion "Nine Feet Underground". It still stands up well today, is a hugely satisfying listen, and still is the most called-for song at all their gigs.

Biography

Formed: 1968 in Canterbury, Kent, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Caravan were one of the more formidable progressive rock acts to come out of England in the 1960s, though they were never much more than a very successful cult band at home, and, apart from a brief moment in 1975, barely a cult band anywhere else in the world. They only ever charted one album in their first six years of activity, but they made a lot of noise in the English rock press, and their following has...
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In the Land of Grey and Pink, Caravan
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