Caravan

Green Bottles for Marjorie: The Lost BBC Sessions

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This semi-legit yet band-sanctioned disc offers hardcore Caravan enthusiasts the opportunity to hear their heroes on several early BBC Radio broadcasts. Many of these recordings were lifted directly off the air and by most (if not all) accounts reflect that in the fluctuating fidelity. According to the liner booklet, New Year's Eve 1968/1969 is the air date for the first four tracks: "Green Bottles for Marjorie" -- the working moniker for the title track of their second long-player, If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (1970) -- "Place of My Own," "Ride," and a cover of Soft Machine's "Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'." While the sound quality is definitely on the modest side, every track is listenable in all its narrow frequency monaural majesty. Of particular note in this initial batch is the latter, as the band never issued a studio version -- although they would revisit "Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'" on a subsequent Beeb session. But, more about that in a moment. Otherwise, the remaining trio of tunes are considerably close to the way they'd eventually turn up on Caravan's 1968 self-titled debut and aforementioned follow-up, If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You. The superior readings of "Nine Feet Underground" and the second "Feelin', Reelin', Squealin'" hail from a May 6th [note: not 16th as the cover indicates] "Sunday Concert" hosted by John Peel, while "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is from a March 1971 appearance on Sound of the '70s. The final cut is notated as an April 1972 broadcast that included an epic take of "The Love in Your Eye" from the equally excellent Waterloo Lily (1971). In 2007, this collection was bested by the double-disc Deram vault release The Show of Our Lives (2007) with a majority of the material found here in infinitely superior audio.

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