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4 stars This was the first Camel`s album that I listened to. It is a very good live album, with a very good version of "Drafted". There are several keyboard players, but Ton Scherpenzeel , "lead keyboardist", really shines. His playing is very good particularly in "Sasquatch". Andy Latimer plays with a lot of guitar sound changes, and it shows that he has a very personal style of playing. The rest of the musicians gave very good performances. A fine live album recorded by fine musicians.The recording is very good, being released on CD as "DDD" (digital recording, digital mixing and digital mastering). Another album that doesn`t sound dated after 20 years of being released. It was a good buy for me.
Report this review (#2400)
Posted Sunday, September 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
4 stars This is an excellent live album. It's not quite up to the standard of A Live Record (what is?) but it has some excellent tracks and the band are in top form, including 3 keyboards players (sadly Richie Close died soon after recording this). The highlight is the wonderful, sophisticated Fingertips, containing a superb contribution from Mel Collins on sax, but all the album is consistently good stuff. The vocals are superbly handled by Chris "Rainbow" (really Chris Harley, Runrig's producer!) and Pete Bardens does a guest spot on organ. As ever, Ton "I don't fly" Scherpenzeel shines on keys and the rhythm section is tight as a Camel's bum in a sandstorm, but Latimer's guitar steals the show as ever. He's a virtuoso. 4.5 stars really. Definitely worth buying.
Report this review (#45841)
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Live album of CAMEL announced in 1984 "Pressure Points".It is a work collected from a live sound source of their final tours. It is a quite wonderful live album. As for the guitar of Andrew Latimer, it matures, and it is made to be impressed strongly.Mel Collins and Pete Bardens participate in the guest in "Rhayader" and it gets excited.
Report this review (#48141)
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
3 stars Has Andrew found out the Pressure Point?

I discovered this CD sometimes with the chance to buy it for 5 Deutsch Mark and didn't expect to make a fault. I was right - it's not a disappointing one! Andrew Latimer is the last hero of the original CAMEL lineup. He is holding up the band until today and collected in 1984 several musicians to a band with huge keyboard stuff and of course Colin Bass (should he ever play another instrument?).

Most of the songs are from the 80s - for example from the studio output 'Stationary Traveller' which was released some weeks before this performance at Hammersmith Odeon. My favourite tracks are 'Lies' - a wonderful mellow song with excellent vocal/guitar parts - and 'West Berlin'.

All songs are well performed but I'm missing the virtuosity from 'Mirage' (f.e. Freefall) or 'A Live Record' (f.e. Lunear Sea). A little bit too flat, mainstream oriented - the 'Rhayader'-tracks have not the quality of the past. So more than 3 stars are not possible ...

Report this review (#90900)
Posted Thursday, September 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars This live album version has been recorded in the era of "Stationary Traveller" and we can find three songs form this album (but not the title track which was one of my three preferred songs on this album).

The live version of "Pressure Points" is really great, full of emotion and great guitar work. It is extended to over seven minutes (while the original only reached 2'10"). My favourite song of this live set.

Another three come from "Nude" and are not bad but the originals were not great (still amongst the best of the studio album). I admit that in this live performance they sound a bit better : these are "Drafted", "Captured" and "Lies".

From "The Single Factor" we have "Sasquatch" which is one of the weakest track (I should have preferred to get "Camelogue" or "Selva"); then "Wait" from "I Can See...".

The track listing could have also been a bit more appropriate (why not including "Ice" instead) ? The album closes with two numbers from their "Snow Goose" effort, I guess to satisfy the old fan database. I am still not very convinced with this fifth live album from Camel (in terms of recording - not releasing). IMO, the best live tracks from Camel are available now on each remastered version of their first four album. Total of live music there is around ninety minutes. So, this is the live compilation I prefer.

The general mood on this one is rather monotonous. Two stars.

Report this review (#111004)
Posted Thursday, February 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars After the dreadful Single Factor studio disc Camel released this live album. Although not even close in terms of song list and performance to the earlier A Live Record, Pressure Points is actually far superior to much of what the group released during the 80´s. In fact, Latimer and co smartly chose some of their best songs of the period and did a good show. Although Chris Rainbow (of Alan Parsons Project) is here, they avoided most of the hideous commercial tracks of The Single Factor (only Sasquach, a good instrumental track, is included). The record is well balanced between instrumental and vocal songs, with all the band showing far more expertise in their instruments and arrangements than on the studio LPs of the time.

Not an essential in any way, but still good enough to keep you enjoying the music from start to finish. The musicianship is, as always, superb and the song sequence is very well thought. 3 solid stars..

Report this review (#134658)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
5 stars At the time of release, still during the LP era, "Pressure Points" was only the second sampling of Camel in a live context. Because it overlaps in only 2 songs with "A Live Record", and includes representatives from each album that followed the 1978 concert except "Breathless", its material provides a good compliment of the Camel of the early 80s. Compared to "On the Road 1982", it is stronger in every sense, from the production to the verve and panache of the performances. Andy seemed to know he was about to go on long hiatus, and his hired hands play as though they are aware of the legacy and do not want to tarnish it.

The biggest surprise appears on track 1 when the normally diminutive "Pressure Points" refuses to exit stage left, and we eventually would come to understand that this was how the tune was originally conceived. The atmosphere, melodies and sparkling keyboards all serve as a backdrop for a dramatic performance by Latimer, and when it finally ends it does so suddenly and impactfully. This is the highlight, but the other two representatives from "Stationary Traveller" are played better than on the studio album, especially "Fingertips" with the Chris Rainbow (I think) vocal and Mel Collins sax, not to mention sumptuous bass work that gives the song a thick jazzy ambience. The three tracks from "Nude" also exceed the originals, as does the version of "Wait". While the "Rhayader" duo is well performed and welcomes Mr Bardens into the fray, it also shows how easily the eras of Camel can be juxtaposed.

This is a monumental live document that serves as an essential chronicle of Camel's first farewell. I recommend you apply "Pressure Points" to your nearest CD player and allow the healing to begin.

Report this review (#172062)
Posted Friday, May 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars This, to me, is a very disappointing release from a band that should do better. Now, I'm no expert on Camel's releases, but this concert collection seems to rely heavily on the band's early eighties albums, and appears to be struggling for a more "marketable" sound than their earlier works.

Their is a bit of prog here, the opening track, "Pressure Points" is not bad, and "Captured" is a nice energetic piece. And the album closes with "Rhayader" and "Rhyader Goes To Town". Other than that, the rest of the album is forgettable arena rock tracks, with some better than average solos.

Unless you can't find this for a very low price, I wouldn't recommend it.

Report this review (#221329)
Posted Monday, June 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars 'Presure Point' or 'Breaking Point'? Oh, no... This is Camel live in concert! Or maybe... Andy Latimer and friends (Peter Bardens is only a guest...).

That sure Progressive in 1984 was not a popular musical genre is note but that Camel was a big band is a good thing. Certainly 'Pressure Point' is a good live album but sure not perfect. The magic is present but, in my opinion, with not great atmospheres.

In my mind 'Pressure Point', 'West Berlin', 'Wait' and 'Rhayader' and 'Rhayader Goes To Town' are the best songs, each one with its soul and its atmosphere. Also if without conquer my heart. Then both 'Rhayader' are infinitely less beautiful that in the origin.

So 'Pessure Point' is a good live album. But nothing more.

Report this review (#222656)
Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Camel release this live album in a period when they were a little bit in decline, the mid '80 were no longer the golden years of prog, so they manage only to survive in the shadow of hard/heavy machine who just get biger and biger in that period. After some mediocre albums like Single factor or Stationary Traveller, when they departure more and more from that symphonic greatness of the '70's albums, they wanted to release a second live album after the excellent A Live Record. Well to tell the truth only some pieces are worth mentioning here, the whole album sounds very unintristing and capture only the moments of last 2-3 albums.Anyway some good examples of Camel's best efforts from this period are: Sasquatch, a great instrumental one that shows Camel still rocks and very good, West Berlin and the couple of tracks from the famous Snow goose, the rest are ok but very pale and without any vein of the Camel's best efforts. Still a pleasent album as whole, I've listen to this live album in my car, because at home I didn't have the patience to spin it at once . 2.5 rounded to 3, because Camel remains one of the best bands ever in prog field, and they know how to pleases every fan, even with lesser and most unintristing pieces. Not recommended, not one of the best lives from '80's but capture Came's '80's popish period very well.
Report this review (#251456)
Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Pressure Points was my second Camel album and I used to like it a lot more then I now do. The reason is not a change in Camel taste but the setlist and album length which has become rather inadequate for today's standards.

The main reason for this degrade in appreciation is the superb title track which only existed in its full lenght form on this live album. Since the re-release of Stationary Traveller it can now be found where it belongs. It leaves this live album beheaded. Only the harder rocking Captured and Rhayader might be worth a listen.

The remainder of the tracks are either sub-standard Camel material like Drafted, Sasquatch, Wait or sound exactly like their studio versions (Lies, Berlin, Fingertips). Only for fans again.

Report this review (#254688)
Posted Monday, December 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars Partial pressure: less is sometimes more!

There are, as far as I know, as many as three different official releases of this very same live recording, originally recorded and filmed on the tour in support of the Stationary Traveller album in the mid 80's at Hammersmith Odeon in London. These three releases are two different video releases (called Pressure Points and Total Pressure respectively) and the present live album. The most recent of these releases is the DVD called Total Pressure and it is also the most complete version (hence the title; Total Pressure) with 16 tracks as the main feature + four extra tracks as a bonus feature. The Pressure Points live video had 13 tracks (as listed here on PA, I don't own that version), while this album version has only ten tracks. If completeness alone is your guide, it is thus obvious that you should go for the Total Pressure DVD. However, with the only exception of the classic Lady Fantasy from the Mirage album that closed the original show, all the tracks that are missing on this album (as compared with the Total Pressure track list) are songs from the Stationary Traveller album which, though a fine album, is not Camel's best album, anyway.

I can thus fully understand why they chose the songs they did for this live album, as it actually flows much better than Total Pressure which features almost the full Stationary Traveller album (though not in the same running order as the studio album and split into three "portions" with songs from other albums played in between). The "only" songs that are missing here (again, as compared with Total Pressure) are Refugee, Vopos, Stationary Traveller, Cloak and Dagger Man, Long Goodbyes and Lady Fantasy, and to be honest, the only two tracks out of these that I actually miss are Stationary Traveller and Lady Fantasy. But these two tracks are better heard elsewhere anyway, in my opinion. The studio version of Stationary Traveller (the title track) is better than the live version and the Total Pressure version of Lady Fantasy (though an absolutely brilliant song in its own right; one of my Camel favourites) was not the best live version of the song and it is featured on countless other live albums, anyway.

The weakest part of the Total Pressure set was, in my opinion, when they played five tracks from the Stationary Traveller album in a row in the middle of the show. The performances of the Stationary Traveller tracks were rather lifeless actually. Hence it is all for the better that this is exactly the part of the show that has been considerably reduced for this live album. The only tracks that have been preserved from that album are the excellent instrumental Pressure Points as well as two vocal numbers in West Berlin and Fingertips. The latter two are hardly great, but the already great Pressure Points has been considerably extended and improved compared to the studio version and features stunning guitar work by Andy Latimer.

The other albums represented in this show (as it is presented on this live album) are Nude, The Single Factor, I Can See Your House From Here and The Snow Goose. Admittedly, none of these are among Camel's better albums, but the songs chosen from these albums here are mostly very good and they have been generally improved compared to their studio counterparts. These songs have a bit more punch compared to their original studio versions (that this reviewer finds a bit subdued). The best of the three songs chosen from Nude is the instrumental Captured that is clearly more lively and energetic than the studio version of the same. Sasquatch is taken from The Single Factor and is another good instrumental, one that has become something of a mainstay of the band's shows. Wait is taken from I Can See Your House From Here from 1979 and is actually the oldest song featured here with the exception of the two Snow Goose songs that end this album. Wait is a bit of a Pop song and as such is not one of my favourites here, but it works fine within the context of the other songs!

Another thing that speaks in favour of this live album over the Total Pressure DVD is that the visual aspect of that DVD is rather weak. The whole thing is rather badly filmed and you never really get an overview of the stage. The cameras are almost never where the action is i.e. the camera men almost never manage to film the one who is playing the most interesting passage at the time (or the angles are simply badly chosen). Indeed, I have never seen such a badly edited concert film! But I guess they had to work with what was actually in the archives when they prepared the re-release on DVD.

From a visual standpoint this version of the band is rather dull, I must say. The band consists of six people plus two guests (for a few of the songs only) in Mel Collins on saxophone and Peter Bardens on organ. As many as four different keyboard players take part in this show (including Peter Bardens)! Ton Scherpenzeel of Kayak does a good job together with Ritchie Close and vocalist Chris Rainbow who also play keyboards. However, the stage presence of these keyboard players is close to zero! The performance of Close and Scherpenzeel feels like "a regular day at the office" for them, visually speaking that is. Andy Latimer himself is easily the most charismatic person of the show. Don't get me wrong here, though, I personally prefer bands that concentrate on playing their instruments instead of doing a lot of unnecessary theatrics. It is really the music itself that counts and this live album really collects the best parts and aspects of the show.

As I have said elsewhere, Camel's best albums are their first four and their most recent four, and that what they did in between was of varying quality. This live album does, however, represent some of the best songs from those in-between-years. However, this is by no means the best of Camel's several live releases. The more recent ones, the Never Let Go (double CD) and the Coming Of Age (DVD and double CD) are absolute live masterpieces of progressive music! The present album is, however, better than the overrated A Live Record, in my personal opinion. A Live Record suffered from being compiled from several different shows over several years and it also relied too heavily on the jazzy/Canterbury style that Camel adopted during the latter part of the 70's (which is probably my least favourite type of Camel).

To sum up. I was a bit disappointed with the Total Pressure DVD. But I enjoy this shorter live album from the same show as it flows better and leaves behind several of the least good songs from the set list as it is featured on the DVD (particularly the rather dull Pop songs Refugee, Cloak And Dagger Man and Long Goodbyes, all from the uneven Stationary Traveller album). This proves that, at least sometimes, less can actually be more!

Highly recommended live album (in addition to the much better Never Let Go and Coming Of Age live releases)

Report this review (#269376)
Posted Wednesday, March 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars I think I make a favour to the band by informing who is new to Camel that this album is one of their worst. This live was released in 1984 just after Stationary Traveller that's is a very good album instead, even if clearly dated.

The attempt to sound "modern" by the use of Fairlight, Electronic drums and Fretless Bass has the only result of making them sound stereotyped and of giving less evidence to Latimer's guitar that is the best thing of the album, as one can expect.

"Pressure point" was the instrumental opener of Stationary traveller. The studio version fades out after 2 minutes. In this version it's extended to over 7 minutes just by attaching two sections. If they were discarded from the original release there was a reason. They don't add anything to the track. There's some good guitar but the whole sounds like a patchwork. Take three different things, not good enough to be songs and join them into a short suite...

"Drafted" is very similar to the studio version on Nude. If only Chris Rainbow had avoided that rubbish vocalism after " without remorse...".

We jump directly to the B side of Nude with "Captured". Even if Mel Collins is in the lineup, his sax is replaced by Latimer's guitar. It's probably the best moment for the guitar. The tempo is a bit faster respect to the studio version as it often happens on live performances.

Then let's close the concept of Nude with "Lies". Again, Latimer's voice on the studio version was better on this song. Chris Rainbow has a pitch that's higher than Latimer, and the tonality is not his not his natural one. Compared to the studio version Ton Scherpenzeel has some space for a short solo, and I really like him as keyboardist. Latimer's guitar is perfect as usual.

"Sasquatch" was the best track of their worst album: The Single Factor. Recent enough to be identical to the studio version, just a little bit faster.

Playing it faster, doesn't make "West Berlin" better. This song comes from Stationary Traveller and also in this case it's not very different from the studio version but surely it's not better.

Another remarkable thing is that even if it's a live there are very few applauses and almost no speaking. This is not exactly the right athmosphere for a live.

Again from Stationary Traveller "Fingertips", one of my favourite songs, but too fast and sung one octave higher. I think that Chris Rainbow has massacred this song. If you have liked Stationary Traveller skip this track.

A step back in time with "Wait" that was the opener of "I Can See Your House From Here". Again, too fast. The keyboard solo in the middle is not bad, but also Scherpenzeel doesn't add anything remarkable to the studio version.

The last two tracks are taken from "The Snow Goose". Also in this case they are played faster than the original. This is an important document as this was the very last appearance, as a guest only, of Peter Bardens with Camel. I have to confess that I reaaly hoped to see him back as permanent member, but it didn't happen.

"Rhayader" and "Rhayader Goes to Town" were progressive of the 70s. Luckily for us, Latimer didn't try to re-arrange them to make them "modern". Only the instruments used were different so to make those two tracks (effectively one long track) sound 80s. Unfortunately they have replaced the Floydian guitar solo on Rhayader Goes to Town with a great sax solo by Mel Collins. The problem is that the guitar solo was more appropriate and it was what I was expecting to hear when I listened to this version for the first time.

This is not a bad album at all, but none of the songs inside are better than their studio counterparts, so it's absolutely non-essential. It can also be misleading for those that are new to Camel. This is NOT how Camel really are.

A fans only release.

Report this review (#302364)
Posted Wednesday, October 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Just realized that I have not reviewed this legendary live album by Camel. It just happened last night when I played the cassette version of this album and amazed, again, on the music played by Camel throughout this record which I think it's much more dynamic than any song featured here performed at studio. It happened also not by intention that I played this cassette which I purchased at Yess records in Bandung, West Java sometime in November 1984. It's because on the present days I tried to play all cassette collection that I collected since 70s and 80s during the heydey of progressive rock so that finally I got this album. And when I checked with progarchives I then realized that I have not said anything about this album.

As far as content, I am quite happy with the tracklist capturing their famous tracks like West Berlin, Lies, Rhayader etc. But I am quite disappointed as I found there is no Lady Fantasy captured here. I am very happy with the overall performance of the band as this is is much better and much dynamic as compared to studio version. The music is really alive and the vibe is really good. No wonder this is a very good one because the musicians on top of Andy Latimer (the permanent member of the band) are great with Colin Bass, Ton Scherpenzeel (of Kayak fame) on lead keyboards, Chris Rainbow on vocal & keyboards and the famous sax player in prog music: Mel Collins. It quite entertaining this live record as the music is heavily dominated with keyboard as well as guitar solo almost in all tracks performed. For me personally, I like the fact that these tracks are featured on a right sequence: West Berlin (5:19) - Fingertips (4:48) - Wait (4:28) - Rhayader (2:29) - Rhayader Goes To Town (6:05). The sequels sounds like a concept album to my ears as they flow like one single song with a long duration.

Overall, it's really a very good and enjoyable live record. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#1255423)
Posted Thursday, August 21, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Camel - Pressure points (1984) (live)

Now here we have a largely ignored live recording from Camel in the eighties. Andy Latimer is by this time already joined by Colin Bass (bass, vocals), who is still in the band today. On keyboards Ton Scherpenzeel of Kayak fame (Dutch melodic symphonic prog you should check out!). We also get to hear some sax-playing from Mel Collins (King Crimson, APP, Caravan, Camel, etc.)

I guess the reason for the low ratings for this live record it short runningtime, its eighties sound, the track listing and its lack to be as amazing as 'A Live Record', 'Coming of Age' and others. As a vinyl collector the record opens up the possibility to listen to a later era Camel with a sound that is actually little different from how the band would sound in the 21th century.

'Pressure Points' is a highligst, an adventerious instrumental with some furious guitar playing. The tracks from 'Nude' all sound brilliant, with the addition of the symphonic blues rock track 'Lies' being one of my favorite - it's guitar nirvana. I also like the light, yet progressive instrumental track 'Sasquatch'. On side two some poppier tracks from the 'Stationary Traveller' era don't live up to the rest of the material. Furthermore, the addition of 'Rhayadar' and 'Rhayadar goed to town' isn't that refreshing - though I must say the eighties have given these favored tracks a new vibe.

Conclusion. Camel is one of the greatest symphonic progressive rock bands and the fact remains that first side of this record is like really good and the second side isn't bad at all. Recommended to listeneres of vinyl, for others this record perhaps isn't among the first ten Camel records I would recommend to you. Three and halve for this one.

Report this review (#1255624)
Posted Friday, August 22, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars If A Live Record was the major live release documenting Camel's 1970s symphonic prog prime, Pressure Points offers a 1984 show from deep into their 1980s phase, in which they dialled back their symphonic aspect, got a little more poppy, and put out albums like Stationary Traveller.

Indeed, if you get the expanded version of this (and I recommend that - it flows better and if you like this at all, you'll want as complete a version of the setlist as possible) you find that the track list includes a large majority of the songs from Stationary Traveller, with proceedings rounded out with a generous helping of Nude, a diversion into I Can See Your House From Here, and a brief dip into The Single Factor (the instrumental Sasquatch perhaps being the most salvagable piece from that particular misstep). It's only right towards the end that we get anything from Camel's original golden age, with two cuts from The Snow Goose and Lady Fantasy playing us out.

Is this a good or a bad thing? Well, it depends on how you feel about Camel in that phase they went into after Breathless and before Dust and Dreams. If you're the sort of purist who thinks they lost it at some point in the 1970s and can't stand Stationary Traveller, you can pretty much forget about this. For my part, though, I think that phase of the band has plenty of charm, even though it's far from my favourite, and this live set puts Camel's pop-prog phase in about as palatable a package as it ever received.

Tracks which came off as slightly chilly on Stationary Traveller get a little extra warmth here, and at its best the album sort of finds Camel staking a claim to being elder forerunners of neo-prog; the sonic lineage from Camel to early Marillion can be clearly discerned. On the whole, it's rather pleasant and lovely but not mind-blowingly groundbreaking, and so an accurate reflection of this era of the band.

Report this review (#2931140)
Posted Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | Review Permalink

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