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Camel - A Live Record CD (album) cover

A LIVE RECORD

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.32 | 381 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Just before diving into the ocean of mainstream Camel surprised us with this superb live retrospective of their humble beginnings!

Even though this release is titled A Live Record, it's actually a collection of live performances recorded at five different venues (Colston Hallm, Leeds University, Hammersmith Odeon, Marquee and the Royal Albert Hall) between 1974 and 1977. Over that period of time there were a few changes done to the lineup with Doug Ferguson leaving in 1976 followed by the addition of Mel Collins on saxophone/flute and Richard Sinclair on bass and vocals. Fortunately these changes aren't as apparent as they may seem on paper and this collection does in fact manage to maintain the overall spirit of Camel's music.

Granted that we have a few slightly less impressive tracks from Rain Dances, most of the material is taken from the classic three-album streak that began with Mirage. We get wonderful performances of A Song Within A Song, Lady Fantasy, Chord Change and even a surprise from the debut album in the form of Never Let Go with Richard Sinclair on vocals! The only slight weakness of the first CD comes with the performance of Lunar Sea where the instrumental jam towards the second part of the song is blown out of proportion and loses its charm outside of the structured studio setting. Fortunately we get an unexpected surprise with Ligging At Louis' that makes up for any less interesting moments up to this point.

The second part of this 2-CD collection is comprised of the complete performance of the Snow Goose, followed by two bonus tracks. There is an interesting similarity here with Marillion's live album called The Thieving Magpie that also features the complete performance of the band's third studio album, which can only be seen as Marillion's tribute to Camel's music. This recording is taken from Camel's performance at the Royal Albert Hall with the London symphony orchestra. Surprisingly enough, the orchestral arrangements do very little to the already excellent performances by the quartet with only a few notable standout moments. The two final tracks are The White Rider, a prolonged version of the final section of Nimrodel from Mirage, followed by a a less impressive take on Another Night.

This is definitely a great summary of the first five Camel albums and a nice conclusion to the band's golden era. Things would unfortunately go downhill from here on, which is why this live album is definitely a must have for all fans of this great Symphonic Prog band. To everyone else, this is a very excellent addition to your prog rock music collection!

***** star songs: A Song Within A Song (7:10) Lady Fantasy (14:25) Rhayader (3:07) Rhayader Goes To Town (5:11) Sanctuary (1:10) Dunkirk (5:28) Epitaph (2:33) Fritha Alone (1:22) The White Rider (8:49)

**** star songs: First Light (5:28) Metrognome (4:23) Unevensong (5:36) Skylines (5:44) Lunar Sea (9:00) Raindances (2:34) Never Let Go (7:29) Chord Change (6:52) Ligging At Louis' (6:36) Spoken Introduction By Peter Bardens (1:11) The Great Marsh (1:45) Fritha (1:22) The Snow Goose (3:02) Friendship (1:40) Migration (3:52) Rhatader Alone (1:48) Flight Of The Snow Goose (3:03) Preparation (4:11) La Princesse Perdue (4:45) The Great Marsh (2:03) Another Night (6:36)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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