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Camel - Breathless CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.14 | 758 ratings

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3 stars Breathless is the sixth studio album from symphonic prog rockers Camel. The album was released in 1978. Breathless shares the same lineup as the previous album Rain Dances from 1977 which means that in addition to founding members Peter Bardens ( organ, synthesizer, piano, keyboards, mellophonium, vocals), Andy Latimer (flute, guitar, vocals ) and Andy Ward ( percussion, drums) Camel consisted of Richard Synclair ( Caravan, Hatfield & The North) on bass and vocals and Mel Collins ( King Crimson) on Sax. Rain Dances was one of those albums that I remembered was not to my liking. After listening to it again before making my review here on Prog Archives I ended up loving the album though and I was curious if the same thing would happen with Breathless which I had an equal distaste for when I heard it the first time in the mid nineties. Lets say that things have changed for the better between me and Breathless but that I donīt think itīs as good as Rain Dances.

One thing I noticed listening to my CD version of Breathless is that the songs have changed places compared to my original LP version. I havenīt heard my LP in years so I wonīt comment on if itīs a good or a bad thing. Generally I think that you should leave the original albums as they were, but there is probably an explanation.

The music on Rain Dances had moved towards a more commercial sound and with Breathless Camel takes this development in their music one step further without totally sacrificing their prog rock sound. There are some pretty good songs here in Breathless, Echoes, Starlight Ride, The Sleeper and the funny Canterburian ( Well partially) Down on the Farm. Whenever Richard Sinclair sings the lead vocals I canīt help being reminded of Caravan and Breathless, Down on the Farm and Summer Lightning could almost have been Caravan from circa Cunning Stunts to Better by Far. Camelīs music has more exciting instrumental parts though.

All is not well on Breathless though and I could have done without the commercial Wing and Prayer and the disco beat in Summer lightning. You Make me Smile sounds like one of the boring pop songs from Caravanīs Better By Far and doesnīt really help my impression either.

The musicianship is as tight and excellent as ever. Richard Sinclair is really a great addition to Camel with his warm voice and clever basslines.

The production is good allthough not as good as the one on Rain Dances.

Breathless is a step down from Rain Dances IMO. The songwriting isnīt as inspired as on that one but there are still some truly excellent moments on Breathless that convinces me that this is a small 3 star album and not a big 2 star album. This would be the last album with Peter Bardens and Richard Sinclair and thatīs a real shame IMO. This is probably the strongest lineup Camel would ever have. Too bad Breathless didnīt turn out better.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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