Caravan

Show of Our Lives

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This release is not for enthusiasts whose primary criteria include those of sonic quality or program continuity. In fact, bootlegs containing much of the same material as Show of Our Lives circulate from a higher quality source. Primarily owing to the legal ambiguity that governs European broadcast recordings, discs such as this continue to skulk into the marketplace stymieing curious consumers. While the performances highlighted on this volume are quite good, most tracks fade up several seconds in, rendering them incomplete. Another flagrant display of questionable sonic mastering appears during a noisy vinyl transcription of "Love to Love You." Additionally, "Memory Lain, Hugh" and "Headloss" -- which are usually presented as a unified suite -- are separated here by the album's title track. Beyond the sonic foibles, however, are otherwise solid performances by the classic Caravan lineup. Included are the rare "Love Song Without Flute," from Caravan's eponymously titled 1968 debut, and the humorously titled "And I Wish I Were Stoned" and "If I Had to Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You," both from the album of the latter's name. Other notable works include unique renderings of "Golf Girl," as well as an epic "For Richard." As the liner notes fail to identify source recordings, the supposition is that the material on Show of Our Lives originated as radio broadcasts of varying quality. Indeed, there are striking similarities between this release and the two Caravan sanctioned editions of their BBC Radio appearances -- Songs for Oblivion Fishermen and Ether Way. Additionally, the two legit releases boast infinitely better sound and comprehensive track listings.

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