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Camel - A Live Record CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.32 | 379 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Camel's 'A Live Record' has got to be the greatest live album in Prog Rock history! This is the only live album I would ever consider giving a 5 star masterpiece rating. It is such a powerful recording that it has rendered two of their studio albums obsolete for me....

First, and most importantly, 'A Live Record' contains a masterful rendition of the band's Magnum Opus, 'The Snow Goose'. The live version of this mostly instrumental suite (featured in it's entirety here) improves on the original studio recording in every way. Anytime I want to hear 'Rhayader Goes to Town' or 'Dunkirk' I will choose this live performance over the original every time.

Second, all of the best songs from the 'Raindances' album (one of their lesser 70's albums) are present here in much more powerful versions than their studio counterparts. The live renderings of 'Metrognome', 'Unevensong' and 'Skylines' are all superior to the originals. The sound is much more warm and full and the band's performances more fluid, immediate, and energetic.

The band's two studio masterpieces ('Moonmadness' and 'Mirage') are well represented here as well. My favorite all-time Camel track 'A Song Within a Song' (while just as brilliant on 'Moonmadness') is astoundingly better and more dynamic here. Richard Sinclair's vocal interpretation is much better than the original... he adds an even more subtle and melancholic beauty than this brilliant song had to begin with. I think this is album showcases Camel's greatest line-up, thanks mostly to the addition of Sinclair (of 'Hatfield & the North' and 'Caravan' fame)... but Mel Collins also contributes to the magnificence of the live 'Song Within A Song' by adding an amazing sax harmony to Peter Bardens' first-class synth solo... which I have long considered to be the greatest Moog solo in Prog history.

If you're trying to track this album down on CD just make sure that you get the 2002 remastered expanded version... it contains almost twice as many songs, and the shorter original LP release does not stack up well at all. The expanded edition is without a doubt a 5 star masterpiece that should be in every Symphonic Prog fan's collection!

AdamHearst | 5/5 |


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