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Camel - Moonmadness CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 2087 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Camel are another of these bands that have been with me since my teen years and this album, my favourite of theirs by some distance, is like an old friend, having kept me company since it was released in 1976..

It is a wonderful piece of music. It's not a concept album but manages to do what all the very best albums achieve - creates a soundscape into which all of the songs fit easily, such that the synergy of the whole album is very much greater than you might think from listening to an individual song out of context.

This was Camel's fourth album and featured the original line-up of Andy Latimer, Pete Bardens, Doug Ferguson and Andy Ward: the musicianship is excellent, Doug's bass playing and Andy's drumming providing musicality of their own to add to Andy and Pete's wizardry.

The music is generally at a slow tempo, Pete Bardens's keyboards and piano not only providing a symphonic backdrop but sharing the melodic work with Andy's guitar and flute. The flute passages are beautiful, as they were on the previous album "Snow Goose", and more melodic than you might hear in Jethro Tull's music. There are lengthy instrumental passages, never dull, including two complete instrumental numbers. The vocals, sparse as they are, are delivered in laconic fashion and given an ethereal mix in the production, blending in perfectly with the wash of the music.

It really is a gorgeous album - Latimer and Bardens's "Song Within a Song" is one of my all time favourite top ten tracks and the others are not far behind: "Chord Change", "Air Born" and "Another Night" being the others that I would highlight from the album's seven tracks.

For those of you who are lovers of English humour, you will also enjoy the band's wonderful play on words with the final closing number, the instrumental "Lunar Sea". "Lunar Sea" - "Moonmadness" - !!

The 2002 re-issue includes live recordings of "Song Within a Song", "Lunar Sea" and "Preparation/Dunkirk" (from "Snow Goose"), the single version of "Another Night" and the demo version of "Spirit on the Water. Frankly, you would be better off listening to these at a different time to the original 7 tracks that make up the album - these bonus tracks do not have the same character or feel that makes "Moonmadness" the brilliant album that it is and listening to them after the original album will diminish the feeling of utter pleasure that you will have experienced!

alextorres | 5/5 |


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