CaravanFrom: Canterbury, England

Caravan are considered to be a vital part of the British underground scene that existed in the late sixties. Unfortunately, commercial success was never something the band found. Caravan was also a big part of the legendary Canterbury music scene. The original members of Caravan were Richard Coughlan (drums), Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals), David Sinclair (keyboards, vocals), and Richard Sinclair (bass).

Coughlan, Hastings, and David Sinclair had all been members of a band called the Wilde Flowers. In 1968, they went on to form Caravan, landing a recording contract with MGM/Verve. That same year the band released their self-titled debut album. The album is soft and hypnotic, attracting the attention of the underground scene upon its release. The album was composed of all original material minus “Where But For Caravan Would I Be”, a song written by Hasting’s older brother Jimmy along with Brian Hopper. Two of the album’s songs, “Place Of My Own” and “Ride” were released as a single, but the music was more intended for an album-buying crowed, thus not selling well.

Caravan moved to Decca when Verve folded, and released their second album, If I Could Do It All Over Again. When it came to their third album, Caravan was switched to Decca’s progressive Deram label. Just a couple of moths after the release of In The Land Of Grey And Pink, David Sinclair left the band to work with Robert Wyatt. Steve Miller (piano, vocals) of Carol Grimes’ Delivery came in as Sinclair’s replacement.

The fourth album, Waterloo Lilly, is considered to be one of Caravan’s weaker efforts. Shortly after it’s release, Miller left, initially hoping to reform Delivery. Richard Sinclair also left the band to form Hatfield And The North. Two unknowns named Evans and Austin came in as replacements, along with the edition of Geoff Richardson (electric viola). The lineup lasted a very short period of time as Evans and Austin both left the band after a failed tour of Australia.

David Sinclair wound up rejoining and John Perry was recruited by the band. The fifth album by Caravan was called For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night, and was heavily influenced by orchestral sounds, featuring a lot of brass. The album was well received, but the original sleeve was rejected by Decca, as it showed a naked, pregnant woman on the front. The final version had the same woman wearing flimsy nightwear.

The Caravan And The New Symphonia, released in 1974, saw many of Caravan’s early material re-recorded live at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, September 28, 1973. The album had only two new songs, “Mirror For The Day” and “Virgin On The Ridiculous”. In the summer of 1974, Perry was replaced by Mike Wedgwood who had previously worked with Kiki Dee and Curved Air. Caravan’s most commercially successful album was Cunning Stunts, providing the single “Stuck In A Hole” / “Lover”. The album reached #124 on the charts, but the single never really sold well. Caravan continued to record albums into the 1980s, reforming in 1982, before they stopped recording new material.

Artist information sources include: The Tapestry Of Delights by Vernon Joynson

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1968 album Caravan

  • Ride

From the 1970 album If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You
If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You

  • If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You
  • And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don’t Worry
  • As I Feel I Die
  • With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It/Martinian/Only Cox (Reprise)
  • Hello Hello

From the 1971 album In The Land Of The Gray And Pink
In The Land Of Grey And Pink

  • Golf Girl