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Camel - Moonmadness CD (album) cover

MOONMADNESS

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 2153 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars By mid-70's Camel were reaching their peak in terms of popularity.The band was voted as ''The Brightest Hope'' in a Melody Maker poll, followed by a monumental presentation of ''The Snow Goose'' in October 75' at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with the London Symphony Orchestra.Next album finds the band collaborating with producer Rhett Davis at the Basing Street Studios in London.''Moonmadness'' was somewhat of a concept album, where individual tracks refered to the individual band members with the lyrics becoming again part of Camel's music structures.It was released in 1976 on Decca.

With each new album Camel were getting closer and closer to a jazzier sound and ''Moonmadness'' was no exception with the band flirting more than ever with the Canterbury sound.Soundwise this was definitely one of the most, if not the most, energetic albums produced by the classic line-up of Latimer/Ward/Bardens/Ferguson.With a deep sense for melodic interplays and more complex instrumentals Camel fused elements of Classical, Canterbury Fusion and Jazz in equal doses to deliver a fantastic work, filled with tremendous keyboard parts, genuine guitar moves and some impressive solos on keyboards and guitars, supported by the flawless rhythm section.As a result the music can become very rich at moments with furious battles between organ and guitar, while a number of breaks lead to more mellow themes with a slight psychedelic touch of the past.The symphonic elements are still present (melodic flute parts, atmospheric synths and sentimental guitar lines), albeit more refined and discreet, and the increase of jazzy rhythms and loose soloing (via the Canterbury-styled keyboards and electric piano) eventually offers a unique combination between smooth arrangements and dense instrumental activity, while the addition of vocals is rather preferable compared to the previous album due the emotional voices of Latimer and Ferguson.However the album is mostly instrumental and the band's inspiration is absolutely fantastic at this point of career with some of the best music ideas they ever recorded.

A classic of the mid-70's.Pronounced synthesizers, unique guitar touches and old-styled keyboards complete a work, where Rock, Classical and Jazz Music meet in a fascinating way.Not much more to add, this is at least a highly recommended album from the endless British Prog scene.

apps79 | 4/5 |

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