Caravan are an English band from the Canterbury area, founded by former Wilde Flowers members David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan. Caravan rose to success over a period of several years from 1968 onwards into the 1970s as part of the Canterbury scene, blending psychedelic rock and jazz to create a distinctive sound like their contemporaries Soft Machine. Caravan still remains active as a live band in the 21st century.
The band's chart performance in the UK and US was minimal, charting one album, Cunning Stunts at US#124. In the UK, Cunning Stunts (#50) and Blind Dog at St. Dunstan's (#53) were their only hits. A loyal following has ensured steady back catalogue sales and a lengthy live career for the band, who continue to this day featuring founder members Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals, songwriting) and Richard Coughlan (drums). Caravan's best-known recording is the 1971 set In the Land of Grey and Pink, their second album for Decca. 30 years after its release this album finally received a platinum disc for sales of over 100,000.
The album "showed off a keen melodic sense, a subtly droll wit, and a seductively smooth mix of hard rock, folk, classical, and jazz, intermingled with elements of Tolkien-esque fantasy". A fair summary of Caravan's late sixties to late seventies work. Prolific and inventive, the band appeared to have too many ideas to produce direct, radio-friendly singles. 21st century reissues of their albums featured lengthy tracks, previously unissued, demonstrating the huge amount of releasable material that had failed to make their 1970s albums.
The band were largely dormant in the eighties until a 1990 reunion, planned as a one-off for television, reinvigorated their career. Latterly they have also achieved steady sales and a fan following with the support of the more eclectic corners of radio, like BBC Six Music's "Freak Zone" and the growing re-emergence of progressive rock. They released Unauthorised Breakfast Item album in 2003.