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Camel - Dust And Dreams CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 472 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Some ages ago, Camel released their last very good album ("Moonmadness" in 1976 IMO). The last original album was recorded in 1984. So, what did Camel (I should say Latimer) do in the meantime ?

Well, for a few years he was fighting with lawyers to get some due royalties and to evacuate the problems with their former manager. After winning those two battles, another one will start. And this one is rather difficult to understand.

Changes in their record company (Decca) made it clear that Camel had to try and put an end to their contract (already started ten years earlier). Both amically agreed to do so on April tenth, 1985. Latimer, who had already started a new project (which will become "Dust & Dreams") was free to sign with another label. He got contacts with EG (which released Fripp, Eno, Ferry - not too bad...) but after six months of useless talks Latimer put an end to the negociations while he was asked why Peter Frampton had left the band...(this anectdotes reminds me the true one as well of the Floyd who were asked by one record company executive sitting in front of them : "Which one is Pink" - this famous phrase will be featured in "Have A Cigar" from WYWH).

To avoid more waste of time and energy, Latimer decided to sell his London house and he settled to the US MID 1988. At this time, he decided to re-write the second half of "Dust". He used the money from the sales of his house to build a small studio where "Dust" was recorded and produced. He thought that with a finished product, it would be a formality to find a record company to distribute and promote it. WRONG.

After an improductive attempt with Virgin, Latimer used the money which was left to setup his own production firm : Camel Production. That's how he produced "Dust" himself. With sales that took off, the company organized a world tour and got the license to release old Camel works to CD. Their first album reaching the bins at the same time as "Dust" on a CD format.

But the biggest shock was to come : it was the shock of unprecedented success and one can only be happy for Andrew. Having put so many time and effort and take up with success is just great. Congratulations Andrew.

So, this was the story behind the scene. But what are we going to get with this album, musically ?

Another concept album, my friend. Not boring at all, with nice melodies and good compositions. Celestial and emotional moments : we are brought back to the early Camel. How nice a come back ! I am really glad to say this since I was rather harsh with Camel during their long time spent in the wilderness (but I have been equally harsh with lots of other bands I love, and this will be an on-going process : when poor stuff is released, whatever the name, poor rating will apply).

My only problem with "Dust" is that there are too many short songs here (but this is a Camel trademark when releasing a concept album). Apart from this, I really like it. It is not a masterpiece (but this will be achieved later) but a very good album.

Seven out of ten, but I will rounded up to four stars to salute Andrew's perseverance.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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