Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Camel - Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)  CD (album) cover

CAMEL (25TH ANNIVERSARY COMPILATION)

Camel

Symphonic Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars If you're coming to this album expecting to get a nice cross-section of Camel's work you've come to the wrong place. This album has a few significant flaws. The first is that it's basically a selection of Camel's shorter pieces and focusses on the group's attempts at commerciality, ignoring almost all its lengthy epics (a live version of Lunar Sea being the exception).

To make matters worse, no attempt has been made to present the songs in chronological order, which is really very crucial when one takes into account Camel's dramatic changes in style that saw the group move from organic progressive rock in 1974 to trite synth pop in 1984.

Finally the songs that have been selected are really poorly chosen. Of the 18 songs on this album only 6 (Never Let Go, Supertwister, Rhayader, Lunar Sea, Another Night and Breathless) would make it into my list of Camel's best work from the period this album covers. Some of these pieces are great, but there really is so much more to Camel. Even if one wanted to ensure a decent representation of all albums, there are an infinite number of variations that would have been preferrable to the final product here.

I must also confess my disgust at most of Camel's post 1978 (when keyboardist Peter Bardens left) work that has been included here. Remote Romance (co-written by Latimer and Happy The Man maestro Kit Watkins during his stint with the band), Cloak And Dagger Man and the garish Beached are all shockingly bad numbers that most prog fans will want to stay well clear of.

There is a superior Camel compilation album called Echoes although I would recommend most newcomers to the band start with Mirage. ... 36% on the MPV scale

Report this review (#18876)
Posted Sunday, February 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Matti
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This is the second review: Martin V. gives valid reasons why this cheapie compilation is only worth 2*, but I try to add some positive view. I bought this in '01 just to have a Camel CD compilation (I have most of my Camel taped). The track list is far from perfect but I figured it would satisfy my purpose with a low price. First thing to do was give it a better cover art...

There's only one track that I can't stand: 'Remote Romance', probably the worst ever Camel song. All in all the emphasis is in non-proggy pop side, but I just wanted to have something from every album up to '84 to accompany my tapings. And there are some goodies too; it has value to be played with track programming. I do have some sympathy for this despite its faults.

Let's see in chronological order: live version of the debut's 'Never Let Go'; 'Supertwister' (from Mirage); 'Rhayader/Rhayader Goes to Town' (Snow Goose); 'Another Night' and 'Lunar Sea' live (Moonmadness). Not so bad this far. After that, getting poorer. Chosen songs from '77 to '84 really don't give the best picture.'You Are The One' from Single Factor and 'Cloak & Dagger Man' from Stationary Traveller are cheap commercial efforts, but 'Beached' and 'Fingertips' are better examples of 80's output. 'Please Come Home' is a strange choice; that miniature song only makes a narrative chapter in the concept of Nude. Anyway, if you're not allergic to more commercial side of Camel this can be OK low-price thing. If you want a 'serious' Camel compilation, try 2CD Echoes.

Report this review (#56415)
Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
VianaProghead
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Review Nš 178

"Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)" is a compilation of Camel and was released in 1997. It was released to commemorate the twenty-five years of their career. It covers the period that goes from 1973 to 1984, with songs that belong to their first ten studio albums. Some of the tracks here are single versions, edited versions or live versions.

"Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)" has eighteen tracks. The ninth track "Never Let Go" was released on "Camel". It's a wonderful piece with Bardens on vocals. He made an amazing keyboard solo very well accompanied by a marvellous Latimer's flute work, too. It's my favourite song on that album. This is a live version. The fifteenth track "Supertwister" was released on "Mirage". It's the nice and most peaceful song on that album. It's a great instrumental track partially dominated by a great flute work by Latimer. He proved on this track that he is a great flute player too. The third and fourth tracks "Rhayader" and "Rhayader Goes To Town" were released on "The Snow Goose". Both tracks have some hints of their classic rock sound. "Rhayader" has a memorable flute melody supported by an organ solo and "Rhayader Goes To Town" as an extended great guitar solo. Both are timeless Camel classics that must be enjoyed in its entirety. The twelfth and eighteenth tracks "Another Night" and "Lunar Sea" were released on "Moonmadness". "Another Night" is the rockiest song on that album with its great riffs and the strong Latimer's vocal work. This is the most aggressive track on that album. Still, it keeps the usual, special and unique Camel's charm. "Lunar Sea" is a song with great individual and collective musical performances. The melody of the song changes and evolves all over the theme. It reminds me something spatial, as its name suggests. Both tracks are single versions. The sixth and fourteenth tracks, "Highways Of The Sun" and "Tell Me" were released on "Rain Dances". "Highways Of The Sun" is a song with some commercial mood and some pop characteristics, but with the final touch of Camel's sound. It's a good example how to make a good pop song by a progressive band. "Tell Me" is a very calm, delicate and beautiful ballad with a fine Latimer's flute working. This is a song that makes us dreaming. "Highways Of The Sun" is a single version and "Tell Me" is a different version. The seventh and thirteenth tracks "Rainbow's End" and "Breathless" were released on "Breathless". "Rainbow's End" is a short song, very calm and melancholic with beautiful chorus and good arrangements. It closes that album with a certain beautiful musical style. This is a single version. "Breathless" represents one of the most beautiful and melodic songs, with a touch of pop, that I've ever listen to from a progressive band. This is an excellent example how a progressive group can make a really good pop song. The first and seventeenth tracks "Remote Romance" and "Wait" were released on "I Can See Your House From Here". "Remote Romance" is unqualified for a Camel's song. It's a pop electronic new wave song completely dislocated of the group's music and even of that album itself. It's really an awful song. This is a single version. "Wait" is a good song in the vein of many Camel's usually open tracks. It has interesting keyboard workings and it has also a nice Latimer's guitar solo. The eleventh and sixteenth tracks "Beached" and "Please Come Home" were released on "Nude". "Beached" is one of the instrumental tracks on that album. There are enough varied elements involved to hold your interest on it. "Please Come Home" is a very short track. It's a very tenderness track that keeps the great beauty of that album. The second and tenth tracks "You Are The One" and "No Easy Answer" were released on "The Single Factor". "You Are The One" is a commercial song, very well structured that keeps the good quality of that album. This is an edited version. "No Easy Answer", that despite be a song written in a pop style, is a song with a typical Camel's sound. The fifth and eighth tracks "Cloak And Dagger Man" and "Fingertips" were released on "Stationary Traveller". "Cloak And Dagger Man" is an electronic song that sounds in the new wave pop style with a very fast and frenetic rhythm. This is a song written in a commercial style that reminds many bands of those times. "Fingertips" is a beautiful, melodic and cool ballad. It's a love song, one of the most commercial songs on that album. It doesn't represent one of highest points of that album.

Conclusion: At a first sight, it seems this is a very good and a very well representative compilation of Camel. It has songs from all their studio albums, at the time, and it covers their golden musical era that goes from 1973 to 1975, the time of their first four studio albums. By the other hand, I sincerely think that Camel never released a real bad album and even their two weakest studio albums "I Can See Your House From Here" and "The Single Factor" are still two good albums. However, "Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)" is a collection of Camel's short and more commercial songs. But even worse, some of the versions included on this compilation are single versions. As all we know, the single versions are in general shorter to be more commercial. By the other hand, I also don't like very much to see studio and live versions put together on the same compilation. So, the final result is this is merely a good compilation.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#1920585)
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2018 | Review Permalink

CAMEL Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation) ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of CAMEL Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives