Caravan - Caravan & The New Symphonia. 1974 England

Caravan - Caravan & The New Symphonia. 1974 Deram

Select LP issues: 1974 Brain (Germany); 1974 Pink Elephant (Netherlands); 1974 Kingdom (France); 1974 London (USA); 1974 Deram (Japan)

Select CD reissues: 1991 Deram (Japan); 1992 Deram; 2001 Decca; 2001 Deram (Japan mini-LP); 2009 Deram (Japan mini-LP)

This concert catches Caravan during their For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night phase. A fine mix of progressive rock and pop (in that order) are on display, here complete with a full orchestra. The version of If I Could's 'For Richard' is splendid here. As is Waterloo Lily's 'The Love in Your Eye'. These are two of the finest compositions in Caravan's canon (perhaps only bested by 'Nine Feet Underground') and the execution is fiery for both, and the orchestra only enhances the experience. In addition to that, if you obtain any of the reissue CDs with the full concert added as bonus tracks, you will hear For Girls' most progressive track 'A Hunting We Shall Go' with a nice arrangement, and was originally the encore to the show. Contrary to some of the reviews I've read, I don't find this album superfluous at all, and holds up well on its own. Though a live album, this is hardly a straight run-through of studio material.

As you can see this album was pressed in multiple countries and there have been many reissues (and I've only listed a few). Not a hard album to find at all. I currently have 3 versions of this album. On LP, I own the UK Deram original as well as the Brain/Metronome copy (only because I collect the label). My original copy was the US London LP I rescued from a used record store in the 1980s, that I sold many moons ago. On CD, the 2001 Deram copy comes with great liner notes, and the full concert as noted in the review. I recently picked up the Japanese mini-LP from the same year which appears to be mostly the same, including the same English booklet. So the UK CD became expendable.

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