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Camel - Camel CD (album) cover

CAMEL

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.96 | 1303 ratings

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silversaw
4 stars Being born in 1980 was perhaps not the greatest thing considering most of the early great prog bands had already changed their styles or had split up altogether. Because of entering the game so late, I missed out on many bands that others seem to rave about, and Camel was one of those bands. I hadn't ever heard of this group before, let alone owned any of their material. Living in a small US town doesn't help, because even after learning of this group I couldn't find even one of their CD's in the record stores!!! On to eBay.

I found every disc I needed from this debut up to "Nod And A Wink" and after listening to them incessantly I feel I can give some advice on what to get and what not to get. As for this release...get it!! I think this disc is highly underrated, perhaps because it is their debut and was quickly overshadowed by their follow-up album "Mirage." I'm not going to sit and pull the album apart track by track since I firmly believe that every song is wonderful in its own way. The songs are still vital today and the early guitar work of Andrew Latimer shines here, along with his wonderful vocals on the album opener and "Separation."

Sharing vocal duties on the album are keys player Peter Bardens and bassist Doug Ferguson, both who add their own vocal dynamic, while oddly sounding almost identical to Latimer. The 2002 release is a must have for all Camel fans...the sound quality is amazing and two previously unreleased tracks have been tacked on to add an additional 22 minutes of music.

The first bonus track is only a single version of "Never Let Go" (3:36) and is here mainly for completists. The true gem is the 19 minute live version of "Homage To The God Of Light" recorded live at the Marquee Club on October 29th, 1974. This song was originally recorded by Peter Bardens for his first solo album in 1970, and was resurrected by Camel as a live track in the early days of their live performance set. The liner notes for this remaster say that this is possibly one of the final live performances of this track.

As far as debut albums go many either love them or hate them!! This one is certainly one that deserves a second listen and a third and a fourth! I've only had it for several months and it's been in constant rotation. A great opener by a band that was unfortunately never given much of a chance in the states!

The album only sold 5,000 copies its first year of release and the band was quickly dropped from the label.

silversaw | 4/5 |

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