All Over You

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Whenever "classic rock" bands choose to re-record new versions of their old hits, the results are infamously less than favorable. Indeed, Caravan purists and other such enthusiasts may find it necessary to re-evaluate All Over You -- as well as its companion release All Over You...Too -- within their own standards. This single disc features a few acoustic-based reworkings, as well as some otherwise overhauled renditions of some of Caravan's most enduring standards. The remastered version -- issued in 2000 on the Castle label -- also contains two additional recordings. The tracks on this release basically fall into two categories. The first consists of new performances featuring the original arrangements. The other and decidedly less successful method involves a reworking enabling the use of samples -- à la hip-hop -- of the original recordings. In what is assuredly an attempt to update and modernize their sound, the somewhat startling incorporation of droning synthesized drumming and other mechanized gimmicks and studio wizardry severely detracts from some of Caravan's exceedingly well-written and scored works. Primary among the offenders is the "For Richard" suite. The use of an arguably over-the-top and emphatically "in-your-face" throbbing bassline -- think Nine Inch Nails and Metallica -- insensitively mows down an otherwise intricate arrangement. Conversely, All Over You does underscore several moments of organic brilliance as a few Caravan standards are uncorked like a proverbial vintage wine. "Place of My Own," "In the Land of Grey and Pink," and the now quasi-metal "Memory Lain, Hugh"/"Headloss" combo -- which is derived from an undisclosed live performance -- all benefit from this revisitation.

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