An utterly charming prog classic. Released in 1971, ‘In The Land Of Grey And Pink’ is the ultimate archetype of the so-called “Canterbury” branch of prog: whimsical lyrics, surreal imagery, hints of ‘60s psych, consistently mellow tone with only occasional outbursts, an adventurous approach to writing/performing/arranging while remaining true to the traditional late ‘60s/early ‘70s rock mindset…and a good dose of humor. This album is not only a Canterbury classic, but it’s the best Caravan album I have yet to hear. After digesting ‘Waterloo Lily’, ‘For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night’, the tiring ‘Caravan And The New Symphonia’ and the weak ‘Cunning Stunts’, I wondered if Caravan were maybe a little overrated. Having enjoyed lots of ‘Waterloo…’ and ‘For Girls…’, it still seemed Caravan were playing it too safe, considering their wealth of talent. But I GET IT now. This is one infectious album, one that brings a smile to my face with every listen. It is now an open-the-windows, turn-it-up-loud springtime tradition. A carefree escape. I can’t believe I went so long without hearing this album. Finally finding ‘In The Land Of Grey And Pink’ after all this time is like unearthing some lost Camel album from the ‘70s. There are similarities to those humpbacked legends, and with each song holding its own aura, accentuated by brilliant songwriting, adventurous choices and tasteful performances, there's a zen to this album that I look forward to returning to again and again.

If the quaint and wonderful bounce of “Golf Girl” isn’t the prefect cure for a miserable mood…it’s hard not to just let go with this light and silly tune, and the rhythm section gives it a nice pulsing momentum. The tone becomes a bit more serious, if not still fanciful, with the fantasy trip of “Winter Wine”. A dark aura creeps in, with a charismatic vocal pulling things along. Some excellent syncopation and dynamic interplay occurs between the rhythm section and the more buoyant keyboards/guitar. A gorgeous and mildly aggressive keyboard solo puts the song over the top into “classic” status. “Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)” is the requisite pop tune found on every Caravan album. It’s a nice, harmless, ‘60s-rooted piece, nothing spectacular but certainly important in the well-rounded personality of this album. The title track comes next, putting out a similar atmosphere as “Winter Wine”. Well- considered drum grooves are brought forth easily from the sticks and hands of Richard Coughlan. The vocal is beautiful and expressive, mimicked nicely by David Sinclair when the time comes for the keyboard spotlight. Finally, the sprawling “Nine Feet Underground” appears, which doesn't rush to the finish line, considering its lengthy 22 minutes. This is not an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink type of prog epic, rather it seems like a short song that was elongated to set a peculiar mood. Every piece is linked easily and patiently. Every segment works, especially the purposeful jamming heard throughout its latter half and the heavy guitar riff that kicks the song into its climactic conclusion. A perfect ending to what can only be called a perfect album. - Review by slipperman (Jeff Wagner)



Track Listings

1. Golf girl (5:05)
2. Winter wine (7:46)
3. Love to love you (and tonight pigs will fly) (3:06)
4. In the land of grey and pink (4:51)
5. Nine feet underground: (22:40)
- 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

Total Time: 43:28

Bonus tracks on remaster (2001):
6. I Don't Know Its Name (6:12)
7. Aristocracy (3:42)
8. It's Likely To Have A Name Next Week (7:48)
9. Group Girl (5:04)
10. Disassociation / 100% Proof (8:35)
Line-up/Musicians

- Richard Sinclair / bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
- Pye Hastings / electric. guitars, acoustic guitar, vocals
- David Sinclair / organ, piano, mellotron, harmony vocals
- Richard Coughlan / drums, percussion
- Jimmy Hastings / flute, tenor saxophone, piccolo
- David Grinsted / cannon, bell, wind
Releases information

LP Deram SDLR1 (1971)
CD Deram/ Decca 820 520-2 (1989)
CD Polydor Records PO 1834 (1991)
CD Decca Record Company LC 0942 (2001 remaster)


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Hi CesinhaBiker,
I have discoverd today your wondeful blog and I have tried to download the Caravan "In the Land of Grey and Pink", because I have my album without bonus tracks, but the link is not working. Please could you re-post it again?
thanks,
Juan

15 de novembro de 2007 08:23  

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