CARAVAN – ” Waterloo Lily “

Posted: February 13, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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So in 1972….you may have the album,but what a treasure of delights was released that year. Take 40 mins over the weekend to enjoy this wonderful record.

Waterloo Lily is a 1972 released album by Caravan on the Deram label. The track “The Love in Your Eye” has been featured as a Caravan live track for many years. Waterloo Lily is the only album by Caravan with Steve Miller as the keyboard player. Before the recording of Waterloo Lily, David Sinclair had departed Caravan to join forces with Soft Machine skinsman Robert Wyatt forming Matching Mole. With the subsequent arrival of the former Delivery member Miller had an overwhelming jazz influence, the edgier progressive rock and folk elements that were so prevalent on their previous albums are somewhat repressed.

The band’s performance level did not suffer in the transition. In fact, the addition of Miller only punctuates Caravan’s previously honed improvisational skills. Beginning with Waterloo Lily’s lead off title track, there is a sound more akin to the jazzier efforts of Traffic.

Steve Miller’s “Nothing at All” incorporates the jazz fusion even further as the long instrumental introduction more than hints at Steely Dan circa Katy Lied. The up-tempo staccato bop featuring Miller’s electric piano accents, when juxtaposed with Pye Hastings‘ liquid-toned electric guitar could easily be mistaken for that of Walter Becker and Donald Fagan. The remainder of the album centers on a couple of pieces that evoke the sound and spirit of the previous Caravan outings. Most reminiscent of the classic sound is Hastings‘ epic “The Love in Your Eye” suite. The track recalls the laid-back intensity and phenomenal improvisational synergy of earlier tracks such as “For Richard” and “Where, but for Caravan Would I,” while wisely incorporating Miller’s formidable jazz chops to give the instrumental sections sustained substance throughout.

The remastered CD offers three additional compositions circa the Waterloo Lily sessions. “Pye’s June Thing” and “Ferdinand” are two of Hastings‘ acoustic demos. A considerably more complete “Looking Left, Looking Right” is a treasured recovery from the vaults. Originally vaulted due to the time limitations of vinyl, this track, along with “Pye’s Loop” — which acts as a coda to “Looking Left…”

Miller brought a jazzier feel to the sound of Caravan than had been heard on the previous album through his stylings on the Wurlitzer piano rather than the Hammond organ favored by previous keyboardist Dave Sinclair. Guests Phil Miller and Lol Coxhill from Steve Miller’s previous band Delivery play on “Nothing at all”, an instrumental modeled after Miles Davis’s “Right Off”. Soon after Waterloo Lily, Richard Sinclair and Steve Miller left Caravan to play with Phil Miller and Coxhill in a re-formed Delivery, which led to the formation of the band Hatfield and the North.

Caravan
  • Pye Hastings – guitars & vocals
  • Steve Miller – Wurlitzer electric piano, grand piano, Hammond organ, electric harpsichord
  • Richard Sinclair – bass & vocals
  • Richard Coughlan – drums

The album cover is detail from “The Tavern Scene” from A Rake’s Progress by William Hogarth.

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