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Camel - Pressure Points CD (album) cover

PRESSURE POINTS

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.30 | 145 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
5 stars At the time of release, still during the LP era, "Pressure Points" was only the second sampling of Camel in a live context. Because it overlaps in only 2 songs with "A Live Record", and includes representatives from each album that followed the 1978 concert except "Breathless", its material provides a good compliment of the Camel of the early 80s. Compared to "On the Road 1982", it is stronger in every sense, from the production to the verve and panache of the performances. Andy seemed to know he was about to go on long hiatus, and his hired hands play as though they are aware of the legacy and do not want to tarnish it.

The biggest surprise appears on track 1 when the normally diminutive "Pressure Points" refuses to exit stage left, and we eventually would come to understand that this was how the tune was originally conceived. The atmosphere, melodies and sparkling keyboards all serve as a backdrop for a dramatic performance by Latimer, and when it finally ends it does so suddenly and impactfully. This is the highlight, but the other two representatives from "Stationary Traveller" are played better than on the studio album, especially "Fingertips" with the Chris Rainbow (I think) vocal and Mel Collins sax, not to mention sumptuous bass work that gives the song a thick jazzy ambience. The three tracks from "Nude" also exceed the originals, as does the version of "Wait". While the "Rhayader" duo is well performed and welcomes Mr Bardens into the fray, it also shows how easily the eras of Camel can be juxtaposed.

This is a monumental live document that serves as an essential chronicle of Camel's first farewell. I recommend you apply "Pressure Points" to your nearest CD player and allow the healing to begin.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |

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