50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time

From the Court of the Crimson King to the Comatorium

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Caravan, 'In the Land of Grey and Pink' (1971)
50
34/50

34. Caravan, 'In the Land of Grey and Pink' (1971)

Among the many memorable bands to emerge from Canterbury, England — including the Soft Machine, Gong and Camel — none conveyed the southeastern cathedral town's pastoral qualities better than Caravan. The title and cover art of the quartet's third album evoked a Middle Earth sunset, with the music wavering between medieval folk melodies and jazz-savvy musos rocking out over what bassist Richard Sinclair called "a load of words that half mean something." Side one consisted of short, charming songs like "Golf Girl," the Tolkien-y "Winter Wine" and the surreal Boy Scout ramble of the title track; but side two was solely devoted to "Nine Feet Underground," a 22-minute, eight-part suite with Zappa-esque subtitles — e.g., "Dance of the Seven Paper Hankies" — that unfurled a breezily grooving descent into hell and back dominated by extended fuzz-organ solos. R.G.

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