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Camel - Echoes CD (album) cover

ECHOES

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.45 | 68 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Review Nš 440

"Echoes" is a compilation album of Camel and was released in 1993. It was made to cover all the musical career of the group until that moment. It's comprehensively two discs set that include many of their musical work all over the years and lays it out over an hour and an half. The tracks spanning twenty years of a great musical career and all the eleven studio albums released by Camel till that moment are represented. So, obviously it includes some of their best tracks.

"Echoes" has twenty-six tracks. "Never Let Go" is from "Camel". It's a wonderful piece with Bardens on vocals. He made an amazing keyboard work, accompanied by a marvellous Latimer's flute work. "Freefall" and "Lady Fantasy" are from "Mirage". "Freefall" is almost an instrumental track with nice moments. It's influenced by several styles, with an excellent melody. "Lady Fantasy" is the most celebrated track on that album, is one of the most famous Camel's tracks and is also one of the most progressive tracks of them. "Rhayader" and "Rhayader Goes To Town" are from "The Snow Goose". "Rhayader" has a powerful melody combining flute, guitar and organ. It has a memorable flute melody supported by an organ solo. "Rhayader Goes To Town" brings the music into a faster tempo, with great combination of guitar and organ with energetic beats. "Song Within A Song", "Air Born" and "Lunar Sea" are from "Moonmadness". "Song Within A Song" is a beautiful and melancholic track with a nice and relaxing guitar and flute works. It's a typical Camel's track. "Air Born" is an excellent developed track. It begins with flute and piano, which suddenly explodes with all instruments and vocals. "Lunar Sea" is an instrumental track. It's a track with great individual and collective performances. The melody changes and evolves all over the theme. "Unevensong", "Tell Me", "Elke" and "Skylines" are from "Rain Dances". "Unevensong" is a track with great variations. It has a lot of breaks and tempo changes and has also great Latimer's guitar solos. "Tell Me" is a calm, delicate and beautiful ballad with a fine Latimer's flute working. It's a very dreaming track. "Elke" features an excellent electronic experimentation by Brian Eno. It's a nice, peaceful and atmospheric instrumental track. "Skylines" is an instrumental track with great jazz influences. It's a good number well performed by all band's members. "Breathless", "Echoes" and "The Sleeper" are from "Breathless". "Breathless" is a beautiful and melodic track with a touch of pop. It's an excellent example how a prog band can make a good pop song. "Echoes" is a typical Camel's track and one of the most progressive songs on that album. It has a great Latimer's guitar work. "The Sleeper" is an instrumental track. It's a typical Camel's track with a slight jazzy touch. "Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine", "Hymn To Her" and "Ice" are from "I Can See Your House From Here". "Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine" is a melodic track with a pop style. It has nice vocal harmonies in the wave of the commercial hits. "Hymn To Her" is a song with a traditional Camel's sound. It's a beautiful ballad with a good instrumental section. "Ice" is a classic Camel's instrumental track, the only progressive on that album and that shows Latimer at his best. "Drafted" and "Lies" are from "Nude". "Drafted" is a track with great melodies and guitar themes in Camel's style. It shows the band was back at their best and pure roots on that album. "Lies" is a strong vocal track. It delivered a Mackay's organ solo proving he could understand the kind of keyboards that a prog band should use in the 80's. "Sasquatch" and "You Are The One" are from "The Single Factor". "Sasquatch" is an interesting instrumental track. It's the only track on that album that features the presence of their former keyboardist, Peter Bardens. "You Are The One" is a commercial track, well structured. It's a good track that keeps the good quality on that album. "Refugee" and "West Berlin" are from "Stationary Traveller". "Refugee" is a solid track with a modern sound. The final result is a well balanced track. "West Berlin" is a good track with a nice rhythm and good musical passages. It's influenced by the new wave style, with fine textures and well produced. "Mother Road" and "Whispers In The Rain" are from "Dust And Dreams". "Mother Road" is a nice Camel rocker that starts innocently but develops well along the way. The harmonies are created through guitar, keyboards and vocals. "Whispers In The Rain" is a very short and a nice instrumental track.

Conclusion: "Echoes" is a good compilation, really. It appeals to me because it has the ingredients that a compilation must have. It's a good overview of Camel's work of those years. It revisits the entire career of Camel, at the time, and it has some of the best tracks of Camel. It has good sound and a nice booklet too. As all big Camel's fans like me know, the musical style of Camel changed a bit all over the years. As many of us know, Camel has two great musical periods, the 70's and the 90's. Like most of the progressive rock bands of the classic era, and Camel wasn't an exception, they lived in the 80's a terrible period for them, a terrible period for all progressive rock music. Concluding, I sincerely think that "Echoes" is, in general, a good compilation that represents very well the musical career of a great band, until that moment, and represents a great introduction for those who are newbies with Camel. So, I'm going to give it 3 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 3/5 |

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