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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential and full of surprises!
Wow! I had forgotten just how great this album really is. I put on the remastered cd last night with a good pair of headphones and was instantly transported back in time. Beautiful melodies smoothly but quite unexpectedly segue into hard-hitting (though highly structured) jams that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Dave Sinclair's keyboards absolutely rock...
Published on November 16, 2005 by Henry

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Caravan - If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It
This CD shows is harder to accept than the first, but it's still good. This is the mark of the Caravan, quiet songs, but more introspective, psychedelic. Would not recommend as a first disc to buy, but not to give up when you like progressive rock. The remastered version is good with interesting bonuses. Rating: 6.5 (maximum).
Published 21 months ago by Jose Henrique


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential and full of surprises!, November 16, 2005
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This review is from: If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It (Audio CD)
Wow! I had forgotten just how great this album really is. I put on the remastered cd last night with a good pair of headphones and was instantly transported back in time. Beautiful melodies smoothly but quite unexpectedly segue into hard-hitting (though highly structured) jams that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Dave Sinclair's keyboards absolutely rock while the rest of the band cooks right along with him. The addition of Jimmy Hastings' flute and sax adds so much colour and depth to the extended pieces--top notch playing all around! I really love the "Englishness" of the vocals and lyrics, with their typically understated humour and charm. What else can I say? Together with "In The Land of Grey and Pink" this is the best stuff Caravan ever did, though "For Girls Who Grow..." is pretty close in overall quality and intensity. It's worth mentioning that the sound quality of the remastered disc is quite good (Richard Sinclair's bass sounds wonderful and I have a whole new appreciation for Richard Coughlan's excellent drumming) and the liner notes are insightful and interesting. Sorry for gushing, but I'm still on a cloud after hearing this again for the first time in quite awhile. Hurry and get it and be sure to buy a copy for a good friend. They'll love you for it. Cheers!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless..., March 21, 2002
By 
A. Haynes (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It (Audio CD)
Start to finish this is just a fantastic album. Caravan have quickly become one of my favourite bands (bought my first album of theirs around a year ago), and this album is one of the biggest reasons why.
Even if Caravan aren't your "thing" you really owe it to yourself to listen to track 7, the greatest piece of music the band ever wrote, _For Richard_.
The bonus tracks are great too, _A Day In The Life of Maurice Haylett_ in particular is a great song, and it's hard to believe it never surfaced untill now!
So what are you doing still reading this review?? Add this item to your cart immediately!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best prog-rock CD ever!!!, February 4, 2004
This review is from: If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It (Audio CD)
This is my all-time favorite album. I have owned this album approximately 4 or 5 times - the first 3 or 4 in vinyl (I kept re-buying it every time it got a little worn) and once on CD. I had been searching for it for years on CD and was stoked to find it about 10 years ago as a Fench import. I cannot add much to the above reviews except to say that the addition of the great jazz/classical flautist, James Hastings (on flute and sax) elevates this album from merely great to best prog-rock album ever. Listen to his unbelievable fade-out flute solo on the last track 'Limits' and weep along with me why anyone would be stupid enough to fade it out instead of letting him go on and on for another 10 minutes! In the 35 odd years I have owned this album, I have played it to hundreds of friends. Almost without exception, everyone has loved it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caravan at their best, November 27, 2004
This review is from: If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It (Audio CD)
Since its first appearance in 1970 this album was acclaimed by critics (Melody Maker, Sept. 1970) as one of most singular albums of the year. At that time the rock scene was changing faster and faster. New bands grow up like mushrooms, but in spite oh that, very few of them produced a really original sound.

Surely Caravan were one of them and this album represents a very good example, their best I think, of their unique style that has survived with great honour to the severe judgements of time.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best rock or prog rock albums!, September 7, 2004
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This review is from: If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It (Audio CD)
I believe that this is one of the best canterbury prog rock (as this type of music is often called) albums of all times. I also beleive this is one of the best english rock records ever because of it's rock roots. Something magic happened during these sessions and Caravan never made another one quite like this (my humble opinion). If you are listening to a lot of Neo-prog (uhhhgg!) or find that you are searching for adventurous-yet-melodic music but not finding it, i suggest you check the work of some of the creators of the genre and stop wasting valuable time. Along with Yes, Mothers of Invention, Genesis, Hatfield & the North, Gentle Giant, Gilgamesh, Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, Camel, ELP, Van Der Graff, King Crimson, Matching Mole, Albert Marcoeur, Magma, Henry Cow, Gong, National Health and others too many to mention, these guys are on top of the list as one of the best 'early' bands to inject some thinking into their 'rock' music. And this one in particular is a great introduction to the band and to the canterbury style.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Gypsy CARAVAN worth following, July 1, 2008
This review is from: If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It (Audio CD)
For years i've known about the band CARAVAN, but only the IN THE LAND OF PINK AND GREY album. Last year, i got that PINK AND GREY album, and thought it was pretty good. Yet, i wasnt THAT impressed with it. I did like a lot of the songs, but the way some of composistions sounded, lead me to believe that the band didnt have a lot of strength creating consistantly interresting songs. However, since that time, i've become much more conversant with the "CANTERBURY" sound, like Soft Machine, Ayer's and Wyatt's solo work, Hatfield and the North, Gentle Giant, Camel, etc. Since so many of these band's EARLY albums (1969-1972 or so) were really good, I thought that MAYBE the album CARAVAN put out before PINK AND GREY might be worth hearing. I gave the band a second chance, and BOY, am i glad I did. It's seldom i will play the same music night after night. Yet, with IF I COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN is one of those albums, where you can easily get addicted to the sound experience. If you enjoy a Psychedelic lilt to your music, then this is definately the Caravan album to begin the exploration of their sound. There are some long songs, like little sonatas, on the first and second side, that have lovely dense texture. I believe that the keyboard player overdubbed his parts, with a guest artist providing very jazzy sax and flute melodies. Their lead guitar player also gives a lot of punch, and other nice touches, to the mix. This classic "ART ROCK" instrumentation sound, provides plenty of simultaneous melodic movement, that stands out beautifully over the rythym section. I hear this especially during the series of songs "And I wish I were Stoned" into "As I feel I Die" into "EAR to the Ground". The sound is so dense, as to be nearly impossible to absorb every note you hear. One can tell, just by looking at the titles of the songs, that psychedelia is the name of their game. (Themes like "getting stoned, ego death, absorbing sounds beyond normal mortal hearing", etc.) The rest of the album is also very far out, including the bonus tracks that are included on newer editions of the CD. So, for consistancy, sophistication of psychedelic experimentation, music depth and density, and surreal lyrics, this album ought to be classified among the VERY best of the Canterbury group . (Its right there with early GONG, the first 3 SOFT MACHINE albums, and the first GENTLE GIANT albums). Caravan still has the humor and sonic non-seclures, common to this Canterbury sound. Altho definately psychedelic, IF I COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN isnt quite as crazy, and sound effect laden, as the bizarre experimentation found on the first two SOFT MACHINES, and earliest GONG albums. All in all, Caravan struck a nice balance here. For my taste, this is CARAVAN's peak album.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great album from Caravan, January 15, 2002
By 
This review is from: If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It (Audio CD)
If I Could Do It All Over Again is the second album from one of the great Canterbury prog bands. This was their first album on a new label, Decca in the UK and London in the US. While I think their self-entitled debut is excellent and I recommend it greatly, the major problem of that album is the really horrible muddy sound quality. However, on their followup, the sound quality has improved greatly making it easy to hear both the instruments and the vocals, which was a little difficult to hear on their debut. "If I Could Do It All Over Again" finds Caravan doing lengthier, more adventurous numbers. This is also their first album to feature David Sinclair trademark fuzz organ sound (their debut features him playing more standard Hammond organ sounds). There are a few great pop numbers like the title track, "With an Ear to the Ground..." and my favorite, "Hello Hello" (sung by Richard Sinclair, this album only had two cuts with him on vocals, rest are by Pye Hastings). There's an original version of "For Richard" (actually divided in to several songs, like "Can't Be Long Now", for example) which they did a much better version on Caravan & the New Symphonia. Of course this version is still great, but the New Symphonia version is simply more energetic and powerful. There's another cut called "Asforteri", and if you think of it, the word seems to mean "As for Terry", as in their manager Terry King. This is one of those great albums you can tell something better was down the road, and that will be with their followup album, In the Land of Grey & Pink, but don't worry, If I Could Do It All Over Again still has that wonderful classic Caravan sound and if you're a Caravan fan, you should not go without this album.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish everyone knew about this early 70's masterpiece, October 24, 2007
By 
This review is from: If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It (Audio CD)
Caravan is such a beautiful band. Not to mention a forgotten one. One listen to "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" will probably win you over with its catchy vocal melodies and instantly enjoyable 70's good-time atmosphere. These guys knew how to write music and make the songs memorable for just about anyone to enjoy, of all ages. Sometimes I think the band was influenced by the Mamas and the Papas, but you know, that's probably not true. I doubt the two artists ever came in contact with each other.

I'd put these guys right up there with Procol Harum and the Moody Blues when it comes to writing satisfying vocal melodies that catch your attention the first time you hear them. It's a special feeling for a special band. Don't even worry about how long some of these songs are- the melodies flow into each other with such ease and instant satisfaction that it probably wouldn't even matter if these songs were twice as long. Some of the flute playing is really nice, but for this release, it's the vocals that make me love it. Pick it up today. By the way, the album cover reminds me of an early Paul McCartney and the Wings album. I love it, and it reminds me of the hazy, forest-like dreams these kind of melodically atmospheric songs usually create.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, singular and uplifting, September 24, 2008
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This review is from: If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It (Audio CD)
Although its follow-up '...Grey and Pink' is more frequently hailed as the best Caravan album, I personally prefer this, their second effort. Though I'm not too well-versed in their mid-1970s period (my preference seems to have wandered off towards Hatfield & The North with Richard Sinclair and his bass guitar) I still say this with some confidence. '...Grey and Pink' is more streamlined and features a more mature approach to constructing the pop hooks that never fail to reel people in, but '...Do It All Over Again' has a far better structure and flow to it, faring much better as a listening experience and unhindered by the logistical difficulties of trying to tastefully dump a vast, side-long epic into its duration.

The melodies and chord progressions are light years away from the jazzy complexities the Canterbury scene had to offer by 1974 and beyond, but many are sweet and beautiful in their own right and instantly memorable. They are easily traceable to the simple, naive charms of the psychedelic pop scene that Caravan themselves began as part of. Jimmy Hastings again makes his presence felt on the classic 'For Richard' suite, providing the excellent brass & woodwind touches that livened up several excellent albums of the era. Elsewhere, the pairing of Pye Hastings and Richard Sinclair was never more equal and more sensitive to each other's vocal and compositional strengths than herein, making this arguably the most balanced album ever to feature these two distinctive musicians.

It's a very breezy listen, full of excellent musicianship and still rooted in the late 60s British psych-pop scene, making it a decent companion piece to an album like Soft Machine's 'Volume Two'. The genre, along with the bands themselves, grew upwards and outwards at an alarming rate after 1970, and while there's certainly a great deal of value in the complexities and jazzy intimidation of later-period bands like National Health, this album has a charming and well-balanced nature that you'd be hard pushed to find an equal to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For All Caravan Fans, November 3, 2001
By 
Sterling (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It (Audio CD)
If like me, you started your Caravan collection with "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" then backtrack a year to this album it really is good. The remastered version has some never before releases on it and they are indeed excellent! A Day In The Life Of Maurice Haylett is a very addictive song with Dave Sinclair's keyboards sounding truly Caravan.......Richard Coughlan's drumming on this track is also superb and I was hooked after two plays!This album has stood the test of time really well (31 years!) and still sounds fresh and relevant....if only some of todays so called artistes could write and play instruments in such a talented way.....get this album you will love it to bits!
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If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It
If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It by Caravan (Audio CD - 2001)
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