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Camel - Pressure Points CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.45 | 211 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars I think I make a favour to the band by informing who is new to Camel that this album is one of their worst. This live was released in 1984 just after Stationary Traveller that's is a very good album instead, even if clearly dated.

The attempt to sound "modern" by the use of Fairlight, Electronic drums and Fretless Bass has the only result of making them sound stereotyped and of giving less evidence to Latimer's guitar that is the best thing of the album, as one can expect.

"Pressure point" was the instrumental opener of Stationary traveller. The studio version fades out after 2 minutes. In this version it's extended to over 7 minutes just by attaching two sections. If they were discarded from the original release there was a reason. They don't add anything to the track. There's some good guitar but the whole sounds like a patchwork. Take three different things, not good enough to be songs and join them into a short suite...

"Drafted" is very similar to the studio version on Nude. If only Chris Rainbow had avoided that rubbish vocalism after " without remorse...".

We jump directly to the B side of Nude with "Captured". Even if Mel Collins is in the lineup, his sax is replaced by Latimer's guitar. It's probably the best moment for the guitar. The tempo is a bit faster respect to the studio version as it often happens on live performances.

Then let's close the concept of Nude with "Lies". Again, Latimer's voice on the studio version was better on this song. Chris Rainbow has a pitch that's higher than Latimer, and the tonality is not his not his natural one. Compared to the studio version Ton Scherpenzeel has some space for a short solo, and I really like him as keyboardist. Latimer's guitar is perfect as usual.

"Sasquatch" was the best track of their worst album: The Single Factor. Recent enough to be identical to the studio version, just a little bit faster.

Playing it faster, doesn't make "West Berlin" better. This song comes from Stationary Traveller and also in this case it's not very different from the studio version but surely it's not better.

Another remarkable thing is that even if it's a live there are very few applauses and almost no speaking. This is not exactly the right athmosphere for a live.

Again from Stationary Traveller "Fingertips", one of my favourite songs, but too fast and sung one octave higher. I think that Chris Rainbow has massacred this song. If you have liked Stationary Traveller skip this track.

A step back in time with "Wait" that was the opener of "I Can See Your House From Here". Again, too fast. The keyboard solo in the middle is not bad, but also Scherpenzeel doesn't add anything remarkable to the studio version.

The last two tracks are taken from "The Snow Goose". Also in this case they are played faster than the original. This is an important document as this was the very last appearance, as a guest only, of Peter Bardens with Camel. I have to confess that I reaaly hoped to see him back as permanent member, but it didn't happen.

"Rhayader" and "Rhayader Goes to Town" were progressive of the 70s. Luckily for us, Latimer didn't try to re-arrange them to make them "modern". Only the instruments used were different so to make those two tracks (effectively one long track) sound 80s. Unfortunately they have replaced the Floydian guitar solo on Rhayader Goes to Town with a great sax solo by Mel Collins. The problem is that the guitar solo was more appropriate and it was what I was expecting to hear when I listened to this version for the first time.

This is not a bad album at all, but none of the songs inside are better than their studio counterparts, so it's absolutely non-essential. It can also be misleading for those that are new to Camel. This is NOT how Camel really are.

A fans only release.

octopus-4 | 2/5 |


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