For those who still believe prog is a four-letter word, Caravan remain a mystery - More fool them, for they are missing out on some of the sweetest and most tuneful melodies in 70s rock, whether it be the jazz-inflected vaudeville of the title track of If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You, the gentle celebration of Virgin On The Ridiculous from Caravan & The New Symphonia or the funky ambition of The Dabsong Conshirtoe on Cunning Stunts.
Formed, like Soft Machine, from the group The Wilde Flowers, Caravan have much in common with UK 70s prog, punning titles, gatefold sleeves, many songs well over 10 minutes long, frequent line-up shifts, but they always had an innate accessibility – partly due to guitarist and lead vocalist Julian 'Pye' Hastings' easy-on-the-ear singing style.
Recorded at Tollington Park Studios (Decca 4) in North London, Cunning Stunts was Caravan's final studio album for Decca; with a tweak in line-up, it produced some of the group's most mature, fluid music, especially in the 18-minute The Dabsong Conshirtoe. 'Have you heard our story, a mystery it seems, gather round come listen, see the spectacle within,' the group state on the album's opening track The Show Of Our Lives. Had the group not been called Caravan and the album Cunning Stunts, Lover could have been a Top 10 single.
This re-issue faithfully replicates the original 1975 Decca Records UK release and is pressed onto high quality 180g vinyl.