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Camel - Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)  CD (album) cover



Symphonic Prog

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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
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

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