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Camel - Camel CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 1350 ratings

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The Runaway
5 stars Hits? Hits! Hits?

Camel's eponymous debut is an excellent breakthrough album for an excellent band, in their not so early stages. Despite Camel being formed in 1964, there have been constant line-up changes until this album came out, with the famous line-up of Andrew Latimer, Andy Ward, Doug Ferguson, and Peter Bardens.

The tracks are played with passion, and determination to succeed, and that's how every album should be played. The band's supposedly loud parts are played softly in such mellowness that make the album just sweep you off your feet and lays you down on a silk bed.

Slow Yourself Down is a samba-like track, but Latimer's vocals and guitar parts turn it into an amazing, 5-minute masterpiece. It's happy for me to say that this is one of the weaker tracks on this album, and it's still very good, so 4/5.

Mystic Queen is a disappointment though, as it is a few steps too mellow, and a step back from the fun and genuine Camel sound that was developed on this album and well-executed on the next album, Mirage. This track also features Ferguson's first vocal duties, but clearly the whole band sings very much like one another, so there isn't a major difference of sound between all tracks. 3/5.

Six Ate is the first out of two instrumental tracks to be featured on this album. It features many acoustic guitar parts fit for the Prog Folkers yet stunning electric guitar solos and Hammond organ parts, very similar to Pink Floyd fans, with slight Deep Purple and Genesis influences thrown in for good measure. Camel is one of those bands that can master instrumentals perfectly, without all the unnecessary returns to the so- called "verses" and "choruses", so this track gets a 4/5.

Separation's heavy riff is probably the most recognized opening of a Camel song up to date, and its stunning, barely audible Hammond line, along with the almost too audible guitar riff standing as interludes between the verses, solos, and bridges. Separation is not the only way after all, 5/5.

Never Let Go, Camel's acoustic song, is the longest track on the album, but its poppy feel and structure give it the air time it needs without losing valuable parts of the song. This is Peter Bardens' only appearance on a Camel track as a vocalist. Being given the fact that Bardens is the vocalist on this track, he was given an amazing keyboard solo alongside Latimer on the flute. 5/5!

Curiosity, the second to last track on the album and the last Camel track to feature Ferguson on vocals, has him doing a pretty good, actually, excellent job on the microphone. The "tiny" piano part played by Bardens in the verses is simply heart-warming and sends shivers down your spine. This is THE Camel track, musically speaking. 5/5 for the amazing composition and writing.

Arubaluba is the final track on this album, and is a great bookender, showing us what Camel is all about. I remember listening to it on a trip to England in my hotel room after a long exhausting trip through a lame CD player and I just wasn't expecting the album to end with such excellency. The rhythm section of Ferguson and Ward providing the perfect accompaniment for this sort of track, with Bardens and Latimer sharing lead duties, with solos all over the place. A fantastic 6-minute track to end the album with, but is no match for tracks like Never Let Go and Separation, so 4/5.

The average of ratings for every song on this album has led me to the number 4.28, or 4.285714285714286 to be exact, but in both cases, it rounds up to a PA rating of 5, so I give 5 stars to this fantastic piece of music that will be remembered for many years afterwards.

The Runaway | 5/5 |


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