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Camel - The Paris Collection CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.64 | 80 ratings

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4 stars I had some reservations about this album before buying it caused by these previous reviews and the facts that Andy doesn't sing a note and there aren't too many songs from Rajaz, but because I've pretty much decided to buy all the Camel stuff out there I had to get this one too at the risk of it being poor.

The mailman dropped the record in a couple of days ago and I put it on when leaving to work that day, and ended up listening to it all day while working and travelling back. About nine hours and then once when I got home. Ice works as the opening piece surprisingly well, even though I've always pictured it as more of a set closer. It's a good version of one of the best Camel tracks, but I don't thing I've ever heard a bad one. Chord Change is another nice choice, and I still keep liking the song more and more after countless listens of the original version and now this one. Fingertips is treated with more of an acoustic approach which fits the song fantastically. Definitely one of the highlights of the album, as is the acoustic Slow Yourself Down (and the late night version too, which is probably the best version I've heard), which I'd heard before on Footage II dvd. For some reason I find the only Rajaz piece Sahara the least great one here. It's a very good song, but I would have rather heard for example the magnificent Lawrence or Three Wishes. A very good piece, but since we're given only one Rajaz song, the choice could have been better. One third of the setlist consisting Dust and Dreams material is a bit questionable especially since the tour wasn't in promotion of that album, but it's hard to whine about it when it works so well. Mother Road is a standard version of a very fine song, Little Rivers and Little Rose works really well, and then there is Hopeless Anger. I've always liked the song a lot, but listening to this version has lifted it to the very top of my favourite Camel tracks list (and the list is long by the way). Yesterday I listened to the original version, Never Let Go version and this version back to back, and I think this is the best one. I would have never believed that double bass drums can fit into a Camel song and make it better. I really like Denis Clement's drumming throughout the album, and this song is the high point of that. Lady Fantasy gets a great treatment too, maybe I have to do some comparison there too some day. One detail that has struck me is the way Guy LeBlanc takes off after singing "...I love you". What a great way to start the solo.

I was very pleasantly surprised with this one. The setlist could be better, but as I said, it's hard to whine when the existing songs are played so well. Colin Bass and Guy LeBlanc take very good care of Latimer's vocal parts, so no real harm done there. Some people might moan about some small playing mistakes, but I think they just add to the live feel. A very very good live album.

Pekka | 4/5 |


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