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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars too bad the album is so short , as this gives you a good idea how dynamic the sound was. The last track is to be found on a Peter Bardens solo album ( I think his first and best) and is rather longuish with endless solos.
Report this review (#1967)
Posted Thursday, February 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
4 stars This CD has been released 20 years after it was recorded, in 1972. The sound quality is not perfect but OK for the average proghead.

The opener is perhaps their finest work entitled "Lady fantasy". The first part alternates between a slow rhythm and mid-tempo featuring wonderful sensitive electric guitarplay and warm vocals from Andy Latimer, tasteful organ waves from the late Peter Bardens and a pleasant and strong rhythm- section from Andy Ward and Doug Ferguson. Gradually the climate becomes more lush and we can enjoy a great, very compelling solo from Bardens on the Hammond B3 organ. After a powerful accellaration a propulsive rhythm-section supports a spendid, harder-edged guitar solo. Then the atmosphere slows down featuring bluesy electric guitar, very moving. Now there's only tender Fender Rhodes electric piano, a repetetive bass and howling electric guitar, what a tension! Soft vocals and organ enters, the tension builds.. "ooh, my lady Fantasy...I love you .... AND THERE IS THE LONG AWAITED BOMBASTIC ERUPTION, THIS IS A PERFECT MUSICAL ORGASM! It features huge organ floods, a propulsive rhythm-section and a long and exciting organ solo. The final part contains a mellow mid- tempo and slowly fading sensitive electric guitar work, what an afterglow!

The second track "Six ate" delivers a swinging mid-tempo rhythm with lots of good soli and interplay from the electric guitar and organ. It's a typical live song were the crowd can enjoy their heroes on their instruments.

Next is "White rider" featuring militairy drums and then sensitive electric guitarplay, pleasant vocals and lush organ waves. Then an accellaration and powerful organ, a dynamic rhythm-section and a sensational, pitchbend driven Minimoog solo. After the rhythm slows down and a break with a short bass solo, the final part contains a slightly psychedelic guitar solo and some sizzling Moog sounds.

The last track "God of light" is a typical end Sixties/early Seventies composition (in the vein of Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly, Rare Earth and Deep Purple): a long track with a swinging rhythm featuring extended soli on organ and guitar (wah-wah drenched in the end). Halfway the climate becomes more psychedelic with experimental work on the organ and guitar and spacey sounds from the Minimoog synthesizer.


Report this review (#46096)
Posted Friday, September 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first work of official boot leg series announced in 1992 "Camel On The Road 1972". It is surprised so that "Lady Fantasy" and "White Rider" in 1972 are performed. It is a work that the ability of CAMEL as the live band is felt. "God Of Light" is an instrumental masterpiece with rich Latin color like SANTANA.
Report this review (#48143)
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A True Masterpiece Prog Live album!

For the case of Sweden's Pain of Salvation - they wrote music as a concept and performed it live before no one has ever heard the music before and a year later they released the official studio album "Be". Another year they released the live DVD BE Live. It's different case with Camel. They wrote music, played it live in 1972 before they never existed in studio album - which only happened in 1973 and only one song "Six Ate" from the performance in 1972 was recorded in first self titled camel album. Twenty years later (1992) they released "Warning: Camel On The Road 1972". As Latimer put it in liner notes [quoted here to give you the perspective and context]: "Although the essence of Camel changed when Doug left and we all grew apart musically, our frienships remain strong to this day. I chose this tape because it has the feel that inspired us to work together, despite it being nearly 20 years old and not the best quality ."

I have no other choice for this live album than giving it a masterpiece label for couple of reasons. First, the band took a bold idea recorded their music live even before they never had a studio album recorded yet. Even though I am not clear where this performance was done but the idea of putting it together as a live band is brilliant! The fact that they only released it 20 years later after they had been considered success does not really matter to me at all. With this tape we could even compare how the band was like before, say, "Lady Fantasy" had ever been recorded in their second studio album.

Second, musically .. this is a top notch performance and I dare to take any challenge from you that may disagree with my view here. Yes, you may compare this with Genesis's "Foxtrot" or Yes "Fragile" which happened around the same period. But they are all studio album, and this one is a live one man . remember that! Wanna have some proof? See how powerful guitar melody and fills produced by Latimer - it's so lively and I can feel a very strong drive of his guitar playing style. Andy ward plays his inventive drumming energetically. Doug Ferguson is one of the best bass players for prog music. Bardens? Come on .he's a very talented Hammond organ player. His style of punching organ is killing many people man . So damn powerful!

Third, yes the sound quality is bad - so what? In fact this bad sound quality gives me great value of this record. Why? If the sound is as great as Dream Theater's "Images and Words" sound quality, this album has lost its powerful nuance of "classic" seventies where the recording technology was very analog and the latest invention was only "stereo". So I do enjoy the sound being like this - which I call it in my locality language as nuansamatik meaning the sound that represents the nuances where the album was made. I can assure you that I also experienced similar case with sound in radio broadcasting. Previously we had classic rock radio station operated at FM wave which finally defunct this year after ten years in business due to mismanagement. Luckily, there is a new born classic rock radio The Jakarta Alternative Station which operates in AM wave. First time I heard it, I was not happy. But later . hey by the time the classic rock was around in seventies all radio was operating in AM or SW waves - so it's better with AM sound than FM - more nuansamatik.

Back to Camel On The Road 1972: If you proclaim yourself as prog lover, this is a must have in your CD collection. Buy it now man! You won't regret. And .. don't forget to tell the storekeeper: "Keep on proggin' ..!"

Progressively yours, GW

Report this review (#48146)
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars As Camel will mention on the sleeve, it is an "official bootleg". The sound recording is not great, but I guess that we can not complain too much since it dates from ancient times.

During the move to set up in his new studio in 1991, Latimer stumbled upon some old reel-to-reel tapes. These rare gems would launch the hugely successful 'Offical Bootleg' series. Latimer was disgusted by the poor sound quality and extortionate prices bootleggers charged for such recordings. Soon, "WARNING: CAMEL ON THE ROAD 1972'" would become the flagship for this series, the artwork inspired by a bumper sticker a fan had sent to Latimer years before which proved amusingly appropriate. It was lovingly mastered and fairly priced.

This record has to be taken for what it is : a live set before any Camel studio album.

The longest track "God Of Light Revisited" will never be released on a Camel studio album (guess why!). It is a pure impro, jam number : not really enthusiastic to say the least. "Six Ate" will make it on the first studio album but is not really my fave.

Things get better of course with the mini suite "The White Rider", although the studio version available on "Mirage" is much more accomplished.

The opener, and the best track of this release is "Lady Fantasy" also available on "Mirage". This one is not the best live rendition of this Camel classic (they will play it live for more than thirty tears) but it is quite remarkable that they had already wrote that song two years before its publication on their studio effort.

I would honestly have rated this one five out of ten. Since the difficult rating scale imposes the scale of five, I will upgrade this one to three stars. This is more for the document this album represents than for the outstanding band quality or the incredible track listing.

Report this review (#110696)
Posted Sunday, February 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars A decent "official" bootleg type of recording. Interesting to hear this band prior to their first album (though I wonder about this date........had they really already written and been performing two songs that wouldn't appear on an album for two more years?). Very energetic performance and it sounds like they are having a lot of fun playing this material.

Really not something for the casual fan, but I'll give it 3 stars and say you should pick it up if you are a big fan of this band or even just the first 4 albums.

Report this review (#110858)
Posted Tuesday, February 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Coincident with setting up their own production company and label, Camel also lovingly combed its archives to release reasonably priced live material, this one being the earliest representation. While their self titled debut was a somewhat unpolished and embryonic gem, this recording shows that, in a live setting, Camel was very much a band even before a formal release. This is especially so on the two numbers that would eventually surface from "Mirage", "Lady Fantasy" being the highlight, especially some of the interplay on the soft section before the final shift into overdrive. "God of Light Revisited" also shows respect for Bardens' early reputation and considerable achievements, as they regularly incorporated it into their live set during this period. It is far more jammy and lacks the focused lens through which Camel would tend to view their contributions, but is perhaps the most historically valuable piece here, given its rarity. At its best, it brings to mind Barclay James Harvest's assault on "Medicine Man" in the live format.

In spite, and perhaps more because of the not unsurprisingly flat production, "Camel on the Road 1972" provides a greater sensation of "being there" than subsequent efforts, but is ultimately of interest to diehard fans.

Report this review (#172195)
Posted Sunday, May 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars At last a live CD from the classic Camel line up in the very beginning. Those ┤official bootleg` series were a good way to release some otherwise very hard to find Camel┤s rareties like this one (they can be found on bootlegs, but not surprisingly the production is usually of poor quality). Although I think the date is wrong (would the group be playing their most outstanding numbers like Lady Fantasy and White Rider at the time and leave them out from their first album? I doubt it), those perfomances are great. The sound is not perfect of course, but really superior than I initially thought it would be. Mercifully, there are no drum solos.

The CD┤s (or EP┤s) real shortcoming is its playing time (just over 44 minutes). There are only 4 songs on it and the first three (Lady Fantasy, Six Ate, White Rider) are terrific, showing the amazing chemistry between Andrew Latimer, Peter Bardens, Doug Ferguson and Andy Ward. The fourth song is an instrumental jam called God Of Light Revisted and it seems to be those guys trying to sound like Santana (Soul Sacrifice comes to mind more than once while I hear it). Not their best, but interesting anyway.

Not really essential, but a nice exemple of how good the original Camel was on stage and certainly a great treat for fans. Rating: 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#256436)
Posted Wednesday, December 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars A page in the history..... This album contains just four songs, is something like a mini live EP. The sound is great no perfect but well-mixed, Lady Fantasy is a great song but live is better, Pete adds an amazing keyboard solo at the end of this one, Six ate is a good song from their first album but I would prefer Earthrise or Freefall despite is a great song alive.

Then The White Rider is one of my favorite songs of the early Camel, this version is great, I think Camel is a great band playing alive, they are very creative playing on stage the best proof is the next song Gods of Light revisted this one sounds like a Santana song, the bass line is very catchy also is totally instrumental.

This little live album is very good if you want to listen Camel on their early Era, I like it , sadly is very difficult to find a copy of this live album so good luck if you are looking for it. 4 starts to this great live album.

Report this review (#268836)
Posted Saturday, February 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars First light

Released in 1992--precisely 20 years after its recording date--Camel On The Road 1972 is part of the "Official Bootleg" Camel On The Road-series that also includes two other archival live releases in Camel On The Road 1982 (released in 1994) and Camel On The Road 1981 (released in 1997). The present disc captures Camel in live performance in 1972, even before the release of their first studio album. Hearing it now proves that Camel was already a band to be reckoned with on stage before they put their brilliant music to record. This disc allows the listener a rare and valuable glimpse into the earliest days of Camel.

Included is one song (Six Ate) that would be recorded for the self-titled debut in 1973 and two songs that eventually would end up on the band's second studio album, Mirage. It is interesting that the latter two songs (Lady Fantasy and White Rider) go back as far as 1972 even though they didn't appear on a studio album until 1974. The fourth and final number featured here is God Of Light Revisited which is a song that originally appeared on Peter Bardens first solo album The Answer in 1970. This jam-like piece was performed live by Camel in their early days, but has never been re-recorded in the studio by the band.

Even though there are only four tracks, the disc contains just over 44 minutes of superb music. Some reviewers have complained about the sound quality, but I think that it is more than acceptable. The performances are lively and energetic and I enjoy every minute.

This, the best and most interesting of the three entries in the Camel On The Road-series, is an excellent addition to Camel's early albums.

Report this review (#1105161)
Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars Review N║ 67

Camel was formed in 1971 when the former band members of a band called The Brew, Andrew Latimer, Andy Ward and Doug Ferguson recruited another member Peter Bardens. After an initial presentation to a meeting under the name On, they changed their name to Camel and performed in the 4th of December, of the same year, their first live presentation at Waltham Forest Technical College, in London. And so, it was born and emerged a band that would become as one of the best and most influential progressive rock bands in the world, even in our days.

'Camel On The Road 1972' is chronologically the third live album of Camel and despite have been recorded in 1972, it was only released twenty years later in 1992. The most curious and interesting fact with this live album is due to the date of the recordings of the album. In reality, this is truly the debut record of the group. In fact, their debut studio album, their eponymous 'Camel', was recorded only one year later of the recordings of this one, in 1973.The line up of this live album is Andrew Latimer (vocals and guitar), Peter Bardens (vocals and keyboards), Doug Ferguson (vocals and bass) and Andy Ward (drums). This is the original and classic line up of the band who performed in their four first studio albums, which are in general considered their best studio albums, and which is also considered the best line up of the group, ever.

'Camel On The Road 1972' contains only four songs and we can say that it's a kind of a live mini EP. As Camel mentioned on the sleeve notes of the album, this live album is an official bootleg. The first track 'Lady Fantasy' was written by Camel and is a live version of the song originally released on their second studio album 'Mirage'. The second track 'Six Ate' was written by Latimer and is a live version of the song originally released on their eponymous debut studio album 'Camel'. The third track 'White Rider' was also written by Latimer and is a live version of the song originally released also on their second studio album 'Mirage'. The fourth and last track 'God Of Light Revisited' was written by Bardens and was never released on any studio album of the band, despite being regularly incorporated into many of their live shows, mainly during this first musical period of Camel. This song was originally released on the debut solo studio album of Bardens, 'The Answer', released in 1970, with the name of "Homage To The God Of Light'.

It's interesting to note and it's also very curious that 'Lady Fantasy' and 'White Rider' weren't released on their debut studio album, 'Camel', like 'Six Ate' was, but only on their second studio album 'Mirage' released only two years later, in 1974. Once more we can also see the careful and perfect balance between the two main writers of the songs on Camel, at the time. There is a song of the band, a song of Bardens and despite that there are two songs of Latimer, the duration of them are approximately equal to those of Bardens.

About the live performance of the songs, what I can say is that 'Lady Fantasy' and 'White Rider', are two fantastic songs which have contributed to 'Mirage' be one of the best studio albums of the band. They're two of my favourite songs of Camel, too. Both songs are excellently performed live. The sound isn't perfect of course, but it's really great, for a bootleg album. 'Six Ate' is also a good song but is inferior to the other two songs, to my taste. However, the live performance is a typical live track of Camel and is also excellent. 'God Of Light Revisited' is an instrumental song more psychedelic and experimental that goes very well when performed live. This is a great piece of music performed live, superiorly. It's a pure psychedelic and experimental improvised version that sounds really great. My first contact with this song was in my version of their debut album 'Camel', as a bonus track. The live version, on that album, was recorded live at the famous and mythical Marquee Club at 29th October 1974 and was previously unreleased.

Conclusion: As I said before, 'Camel On The Road 1972' is a short live album with only four songs. Anyway, 'Camel On The Road 1972' is a very good live album, with very inspired live performances of the original studio songs. However, don't be fooled by the minimalistic cover and date of the show. This is really a quality recording of the band on their very first tour together. I like very much the energy and vibe all over the album. It's true that the sound quality of the album isn't perfect, but after the digital treatment made on it, it's quite acceptable. And we can't also forget that this is a bootleg album recorded in 1972. Of course we can't say that it's an essential release, but you will not regret if you buy it. Again, the fidelity and the overall quality are quite good. So, I've no hesitation in saying that this is an excellent addition to any progressive collection, especially if you are a hard fan of the band, as I am. This is a very special live album of Camel and is a real live testimony that shows how great this band was when they performed live.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#1548122)
Posted Tuesday, April 5, 2016 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars An archival live recording released in 1992 some 20 years after this concert was recorded in 1972. This has to be one of the earliest recordings of CAMEL's classic lineup as their debut wasn't released until 1973. The four tracks will be familiar to any CAMEL fan but the surprising thing is that only one of these songs made their self titled debut and that was "Six Ate" the instrumental. Perhaps stranger still was that the second album "Mirage" would feature two others from this 1972 recording in "Lady Fantasy" and "White Rider". The final tune is one I'm familiar with from another live album but it was never used on a studio album and that's "God Of Light".

Some brief comments about the four songs as I've already reviewed them on other recordings and these aren't far off the originals, wait a minute aren't these the originals? "Lady Fantasy" is an almost 14 minute classic. The way multiple themes are repeated and the sound of that distorted organ and those laid back, almost whimsical vocals and melancholy, well this is why CAMEL is one of my favourite bands.

"Six Ate" the instrumental is much like the one on the debut with the organ and guitar taking turns leading and the calms that break things up. Applause ends it as it blends into "White Rider" where the applause continues as spacey sounds arrive and relaxed keys. Soon marching styled drums take over then it settles to that familiar melodic guitar after 1 1/2 minutes as our 10 minute ride is on the way. Love the distorted organ and again the vocals. Great track!

"God Of Light" is an instrumental that is not your typical CAMEL. The crazy synths that fire off like shooting stars and also create some experimental sounds take this beyond Symphonic at times although it is certainly that. I'm not sure why I'm settling with 4 stars and not more. It clocks in at just over 44 minutes and it's a pleasure to hear how amazing this band was in a live setting before their first album was even recorded.

Report this review (#1911216)
Posted Sunday, April 1, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars REVIEW #15 - "Camel on the Road 1972" by Camel, (1992)

The first of a series of "official bootlegs" released by Camel. Perhaps most fascinating about this album is that the band claims that it was recorded in 1972. For those aware with Camel's discography, this means this performance, which contains one song from their debut album and two from their critically acclaimed "Mirage", predates the release of their first album by about a year. This means that the songs "White Rider" and "Lady Fantasy", considered to be Camel's two most monumental compositions, were not written in the wake of the commercial failure of the 1973 self-titled debut.

While this phenomenon definitely makes me want to know more about the early history of Camel, this album features four compositions in a pretty standard live performance with decent sound quality for a then-unknown band with no studio releases to their name. "Lady Fantasy" does not deviate much from the eventual "Mirage" studio edition, but the overall live sound of the band is extremely refined, and it's obvious these guys were talented even before they got to their most seminal works. The one song from the debut album which is on this record is the instrumental "Six Ate", and to my knowledge it's the only recorded live performance of this rather obscure Camel song out there. I still feel it's a very mediocre composition compared to the rest of the band's work, especially on this album. The only real difference here is I believe they play it a little bit faster.

"White Rider" really needs no introduction, it perhaps has Camel's coolest concept of any of their songs, and it is a very engaging and dynamic example of progressive rock. Like the songs that precede it, Camel really doesn't go out of the way to improvise. However, perhaps the standout song here, if not for quality but rather for obscurity, is the song "God of Light Revisited", which is a cover of one of keyboardist Peter Bardens's SOLO songs (yes he released solo albums, a couple of which predate Camel). Running at just under fifteen minutes, this is basically where the band focuses all their improvisation. For those savoring an extended instrumental epic with lots of soloing, then you are in luck, because this is just that. The main motif of the song, which is performed by Bardens on the Hammond, is the seminal part of the song, while much of the rest is just pure jamming.

This album really isn't all that enticing to anyone more than a Camel fan, but I feel this album, released by Camel Productions in 1992 after guitarist Andrew Latimer had wrestled control of the band, was marketed with the sole purpose of appealing to that demographic, so I feel it's unfair to give this album a two-star rating. However, the renditions of the material featured here really do not offer anything interesting or different from their respective studio versions, and "God of Light" is nowadays available on a lot of the remastered editions of Camel's studio albums. With that in regard I'll give this album a flat mediocre review; with the age of the internet this is really only listenable for the novelty.


Report this review (#2492309)
Posted Saturday, January 9, 2021 | Review Permalink

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