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Peter Bardens - The Answer [Aka: Vintage '69] CD (album) cover

THE ANSWER [AKA: VINTAGE '69]

Peter Bardens

 

Prog Related

3.01 | 39 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars If this is the answer, what is the question?

Fans of Camel will be curious to know what Peter Bardens did outside of that band. Finding out that he had two solo releases from the very early 70's--from before Camel even began--certainly intrigued me and planted some expectations. Could this be the roots of the Camel sound? Could this be a kind of proto-Camel? I was in for a major disappointment! This 1970 Bardens solo debut is a Psychedelic Blues Rock album with not a single trace of Symphonic Prog, or anything that even points in the general direction of what Bardens would go on to do with Camel only a couple of years later. This is not even Proto-Prog and is correctly categorised as Prog related (in virtue of Bardens relation to Camel).

The opening title track is pleasant enough, but the ridiculously titled Don't Goof With A Spook is a tedious, rambling Blues rocker that I find almost unbearable. The over ten minute long I Can't Remember is not much better and it is indeed not memorable. It sounds improvised, like a jam session, and lacking in direction. The lyrics are simplistic and extremely repetitive. I Don't Want To Go Home slows things down and adds a bit of flute, which makes for a nice enhancement of the sound. But the song itself is forgettable. Let Get It On is more of a Rock 'N' Roll/Boogie-woogie number that adds nothing of value. It is clear that Bardens was still trying to find his musical identity at this time. On this debut album he sounds anonymous and lacking anything special or distinctive.

The only notable track here is Homage To The God Of Light, a number that was later adopted by Camel and played live by them in their early days. The present album was were this tune originally appeared and for this reason alone The Answer is an interesting addition to a Camel fan's collection. You may enjoy comparing this version with those that were featured on Camel live albums (like Camel On The Road 1972; the version featured there is better), but other than that The Answer fails to be anything more than a historical curiosity.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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