Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Camel - Moonmadness CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 2151 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Moonmadness" was one of my entries into the Camel catalogue and it is quite frankly my preferred one from their first era. At times, this is Camel at his best and how I like it : fully emotional, passionate and incredibly melodic.

The short intro "Aristillus" is inspired by the name of two craters on the moon : Aritillus and Autolyus. Near the landing site of the Apollo 15 mission and close to the Lunar Sea of Imbrium (the inspiration of the closing number).

Then comes "Song Within a Song" : I quite like the concept. Simply put it is effectively a song ... within a song : so, we got actually two songs in one ! And good ones.

"Chord Change" is a complex song : good rocking tempo, the whole band seems very united. Each instrument flowing perfectly with the other. The song is rocking in its initial phase and then turns into a wonderful and melodious slow guitar break. A highlight and one of my fave on this album.

I have mentioned this anecdote already in another review : during an interview, Clapton was asked which guitar player he liked the most. His answer was : Carlos Santana because he is the most emotional one. I would add that, IMO, Gary Latimer is also this type of guitar player : an enormous emotion is delivered from his play and it is fabulous to hear this here.

Since their "Snow Goose" was an all instrumental concept album, they were seriously pressured this time to produce some numbers with vocals. There would not be that many though on this album. The short "Spirit in the Water" is the first one here : it is a nice little piece of quiet music with good fluting. Next comes "Another Night" which is a rather monotonous song and the weakiest track on "Moonmadness".

We go back to melody with the instrumental "Air Born" : great number in which the emotional side of Latimer can develops in its full richness. Bass and background keys are superb. Another highlight. The closing "Lunar Sea" is probably the most complex song here : spacey in its start, the middle section with lots of synth and good bass playing is more rocky and ends in a furious guitar solo. The song finishes like it started : spacey and quiteful.

The bonus tracks are quite valuable for two reasons : 1. they last for over thirty minutes and 2. they are good additions to the original album.

The first one is the single (and edited version) for "Another Night". The album track is cut by half and this format is actually better. Next is an instrumental version of "Spirit of the Water" and I also prefer this version very much piano oriented. The last three tracks were recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in April 1976 and are a good document : "Song Within..." and "Lunar" from this album and the mini-suite "Preparation- Dunkirk" from the "Snow Goose".

All in all a very good album. It will peak at the 15th spot in the UK chart. It will be their most selling album. Four stars for this remastered version.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this CAMEL review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives