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ECHOES

Camel

Symphonic Prog


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2 stars The first disc starts of great "Never let go" and "Freefall" are early Camel classics, but after this the music slowly starts changing. The melody and the subtle Camel style is influenced by the 80s. One wonders what happened to them at this phase. Disc 2 highlights the very best from the '80s which are below par to anything they produced in the '70s.
Report this review (#2448)
Posted Thursday, March 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Excellent double set compilation. Definitely for the completeist Camel fan and for those just wanting the best of a few decades. Sure there are some jewels missing but overall what is on offer is highly listenable. From the excellent Echoes, Freefall, Ice to name a few.
Report this review (#2449)
Posted Thursday, July 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wonderful music, wrapped in a very well produced box set. It takes you through several phases of the band, with lots of information. It is incredible to me how long has lasted Andy Latimerīs musical creativity. I really donīt know any other musician that composed so much good material for more than 30 years.
Report this review (#2450)
Posted Sunday, March 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A good compilation as it starts at the beginning of Camels career and takes it through the many personnel changes and changes of styles from the symphonic prog of the 70's through the more pop oriented sounds of the 80s. The first CD with the older material is going to appeal more to a serious prog head but there are some beautiful pieces of music on the second CD - Drafted sounds exactly as if it should be a Dave Gilmour solo album and the closing instrumental is wonderful. In short a great introduction to Camel through the ages.
Report this review (#2451)
Posted Monday, March 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I would caution the listener who wants to get an introduction to Camel, due to the varying quality of the music spanning Camel's long career. There are some great tracks throughout the compilation, like Skylines, Whispers In The Rain, Echoes and The Sleeper, and many of the tracks on side 1, but there is much too much cheesy pop in there for my taste. I'd recommend getting some classic Camel albums instead - Moonmadness, Mirage, Snow Goose and Nude will contain the best tracks on this compilation, and you will avoid the lousy pop tracks.
Report this review (#2452)
Posted Monday, March 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This box-set is a wonderfull collection on Camel long career to 1993. Thereīre two very simple divisions here: Disc1: Camel more progressive side; Disc2: Camel well into the 80īs with his pros and cons, a decade full of changes for prog music. More prog oriented brains donīt like disc 2 just for the fact of being "too much 80īs driven" music. But Camel music is not all about prog but is about feelings, music coming from the heart without any categorization type. This band had the skill to take the best moments from the 70īs, 80īs and 90īs making a great emotional mixture and probably qualify for the top 10 all time progressive bands. Thereīs no low point in this set, altough Latimerīs voice shows the pass of time on disc 2. But who cares if "Refugee" or "West Berlin" sounds...pop... (oh my God!). Who cares, if we can feel sensations like these. New to Camel ? This could be a good starting point.
Report this review (#38020)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I never liked compilations. In my opinion what is nice about separate releases is the whole feeling they have. Especially in progressive a band can change completely from one release to another and this has even been a problem in categorizing prog bands making it difficult to put them to only one prog sub-genre while they may have passed from two or even more during their career.

For example Camel's sound during the 70's is very different from the 80's. However, strangely enough I think "Echoes" is a really fine release. It manages to capture many interesting moments from Camel's career. Camel has always released quality music and as a result many great songs are missing but on the other side all the songs are great.

This compilation consists of two cds. The first one includes songs from the more "progy" period of camel (8/12 of the songs are from the first four releases of camel). The second one has songs from the later camel releases which are more pop sounding though equally great. What makes "Echoes" a great compilation is that the songs are put in chronological order and are a fine representation of all the different phases of Camel. If you are new to Camel buy this Compilation. You will get a pretty good picture of Camel's music and be able to start buying cds starting from the period that sounded most interesting to you. The booklet also is really informative and can help you a lot to get in the world of Camel.

Three Stars!

Report this review (#91363)
Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
COLLABORATOR
Crossover/Symphonic Teams
3 stars Back in the 1990s I was just rediscovering what prog was all about and after spending much time perusing the old GEPR web site, I came across a band with a very lengthy discography that I had never heard of before. That band was called Camel. The descriptions made them out to be in the same league as our trusty favorites from that era: Genesis, Yes, ELP, Van der Graaf Generator, etc. As to why I had never heard of them is beyond me. Their music was never played on the radio in the 1980s. Their albums apparently went unnoticed to me as I perused used record stores all those years ago. Thanks to the Internet, another undiscovered gem has graced my ears.

After having found Camel on the Internet, finding them in CD stores was another story (maybe I just live on the wrong part of the planet?). But perseverance and a little luck brought me to Echoes, a 2-CD compilation released in 1993. Right from the first track I could tell I came across something special and right then I knew the descriptions of this band as being one of the best of the 1970s progressive rock era were absolutely true. As the disc continued to play, I became ever more enthralled with my discovery. Freefall, Lady Fantasy, Rhayader, Song Within a Song, and Lunar Sea (one of the greatest songs ever!). What an amazing band this was. Latimer and Bardens were quite a skillful keyboard/guitar duo. Their interplay was impeccable.

Then I started to hear the same signs that many of the prog greats went through. As the disc progressed and then onto the second disc, I literally saw the transformation of a symphonic prog band into a band coerced into making radio-friendly pop rock. In many ways, Camel's transformation was worst than Genesis or Yes. At least for them, I could stand their pop rock. Camel was a different animal altogether. For most of the second disc, it was truly a skipping affair in my CD player.

Even though the second disc of Echoes leaves much to be desired, I still think this is an absolutely wonderful introduction to Camel. After all, it lead me to start acquiring all the important Camel albums of the 1970s. Also the historical notes contained within the accompanying booklet are very well done. However, in the grand scheme of things this compilation isn't for everyone. It's primarily for the uninitiated and completionists. If you're familiar with Camel, I would instead recommend getting their albums from their 1973-1976 period, skip over their 1980s output and jump right into their 1990s-2000s period. For those of you who have never heard of Camel, Echoes is a good start. Three stars.

Report this review (#163171)
Posted Tuesday, March 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For some reason I played this CD this weekend because I really wanted to play seventies music. And the package of this double CD made me pay attention to grab from my CD shelf, and also because Camel is a definitely a seventies band with one critical member who never left the band: Andy Latimer. It's similar with King Crimson who has always had Robert Fripp as main member. So I spun it and I was amazed with the music, coming from selection of the band's twenty years career from 1972 to 1992, especially with some masterpiece tracks (Lady Fantasy, Rhayader, etc). The beauty of Camel music is basically in its blend of various kinds of music from popo, rock, jazz, classical and symphonic. And each individual album of Camel is basically different from one to another even though Latimer always involved.

AS far as this compilation concern, I recommend you to have this boxed set whether you are newbie or old fans. For newbies, this is an excellent selection of the band's excellent tracks so that it may satisfy you even though it does not represent the whole story of the band. For an old fan this compilation tracks the band's journey in 20 years span of career. The fans must recognize very well with legendary tracks like 'Lady Fantasy' which has everything that requires a band being called as prog band because it has nice changes of style over the span of the song duration.

Great tracks here including "Lady Fantasy" that moves dynamically from one segment to another, coupled with a inventive Hammond organ work. 'Rhayader' and 'Rhayader Goes To Town' are also very nice song followed with 'Lunar Sea". You may find also 'The Sleeper' that has an exploration into jazzy music. 'Hymn to Her' is another legendary track in symphonic style. For those of you who like mellow style, 'Ice' as an excellent one to enjoy.

The CD package come with thick double CD jewel case that is my favorite. The booklet and sleeve note clearly defines the compilation CD and I really enjoy reading the booklet. Recommended!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#244086)
Posted Sunday, October 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Over 140 minutes of Camel are included on this double collection from 1983. Not much is missing from this fine collection that takes us from the very beginnings up to the 1980's Camel. It would really be nitpicking to complain about any missing tracks that someone felt should be included. But, most of us probably have the classic Camel albums so this is pretty unnecessary anyways. But for others looking for a great intro to Camel or the highlights without plunking down huge sums of dinero, this is good. I don't give over 3 stars for greatest hits packages even though there are a lot of 4 and 5 star tracks included here.
Report this review (#752852)
Posted Sunday, May 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars The goal of any sort of greatest hit and compilations album is to introduce listeners to a band where they are simultaneously pleased with what is presented and are given a hunger to experience more. So does Echoes, this humble little compilation of a band that was swept up under larger contemporaries during their hey days, accomplish that task. Well, I now own multiple Camel albums, so.....

Spanning from their self-titled debut album to Dust and Dreams, this compilation features a wide range of song styles to wet the palette of anyone interested. Now Camel lacks the adventurous nature of King Crimson or Pink Floyd or the symphonic landscapes of Genesis and Yes, but carves its own little corner in the community with Andrew Latimer's deceptively simple yet emotional guitar playing combined with other talented musicians joining his side.

So what of the songs chosen? The classic Never Let Go with its beautiful, quiet opening transitioning into a symphonic-jazz rock song, gives newcomers a taste of what's to come. Other Camel greats such as Lady Fantasy, Lunar Sea, Echoes, Ice, and Sasquatch make an appearance to lure those willing or unwary to search deeper into their archives.

Of course this compilation is not without its problems. A general problem is that Camel never really had any "hits" (with the exception of the first song), so the choice of material is left up to the bias of the one doing the cherry-picking. For example, Rhayader (Goes to Town), are instrumental excerpts taken from their album, The Snow Goose, which sound out of place when not listened in their proper context. The situation is similar to the final two tracks on disc 2, which are from the concept album Dust and Dreams. In hindsight, while I wished songs like Arubaluba, Chord Change, Rain Dances, etc. made an appearance, the selection is generally very good. However, their selection from the album Stationary Traveller simply baffles me. The two songs chosen (Refugee and West Berlin) are styled after 80's pop, a style they swiftly abandoned. However, the two songs that represent Camel's style the best (the title track and Long Goodbyes) are absent. Two potential slots on the compilation wasted. Oh well, it did its job, since I wouldn't have known about those two tracks if I never listened and peeked around.

Three stars. A good entry into the band, but odd choices bump it down to three stars.

Report this review (#1502931)
Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've long held the view that Camel in the early years were a great band, but lost something with the departure of Peter Bardens. This compilation CD reinforces that opinion for me. The first CD contains tracks from all the albums up to Rain Dances, and is consistently good throughout (OK, maybe not the less interesting Tell Me and Elke, but definitely all the rest). All the obvious picks are here, Lady Fantasy, Lunar Sea, the extract from the Snow Goose that was always played live, and Never Let Go, amongst others. The first part of CD2 is also pretty good, some fans don't rate Breathless as an album but the three tracks included here are probably the best on that particular work. After that the quality takes a dip, though not immediately, Hymn to Her is a good progressive song, and Sasquatch a decent instrumental, but Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine and the two songs from Nude dip too much into pop territory. And I'm afraid I find Ice a bit boring. The last five tracks on CD2 I could happily miss out completely, they are poor.

So in conclusion I would say, on average, Echoes is a two star album, unless you have no early Camel albums, in which case I'd give it a four star rating. Does that make sense? For the purpose of this review I'll average it out as 3 stars.

Report this review (#2251006)
Posted Friday, September 13, 2019 | Review Permalink
VianaProghead
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Review Nš 440

"Echoes" is a compilation album of Camel and was released in 1993. It was made to cover all the musical career of the group until that moment. It's comprehensively two discs set that include many of their musical work all over the years and lays it out over an hour and an half. The tracks spanning twenty years of a great musical career and all the eleven studio albums released by Camel till that moment are represented. So, obviously it includes some of their best tracks.

"Echoes" has twenty-six tracks. "Never Let Go" is from "Camel". It's a wonderful piece with Bardens on vocals. He made an amazing keyboard work, accompanied by a marvellous Latimer's flute work. "Freefall" and "Lady Fantasy" are from "Mirage". "Freefall" is almost an instrumental track with nice moments. It's influenced by several styles, with an excellent melody. "Lady Fantasy" is the most celebrated track on that album, is one of the most famous Camel's tracks and is also one of the most progressive tracks of them. "Rhayader" and "Rhayader Goes To Town" are from "The Snow Goose". "Rhayader" has a powerful melody combining flute, guitar and organ. It has a memorable flute melody supported by an organ solo. "Rhayader Goes To Town" brings the music into a faster tempo, with great combination of guitar and organ with energetic beats. "Song Within A Song", "Air Born" and "Lunar Sea" are from "Moonmadness". "Song Within A Song" is a beautiful and melancholic track with a nice and relaxing guitar and flute works. It's a typical Camel's track. "Air Born" is an excellent developed track. It begins with flute and piano, which suddenly explodes with all instruments and vocals. "Lunar Sea" is an instrumental track. It's a track with great individual and collective performances. The melody changes and evolves all over the theme. "Unevensong", "Tell Me", "Elke" and "Skylines" are from "Rain Dances". "Unevensong" is a track with great variations. It has a lot of breaks and tempo changes and has also great Latimer's guitar solos. "Tell Me" is a calm, delicate and beautiful ballad with a fine Latimer's flute working. It's a very dreaming track. "Elke" features an excellent electronic experimentation by Brian Eno. It's a nice, peaceful and atmospheric instrumental track. "Skylines" is an instrumental track with great jazz influences. It's a good number well performed by all band's members. "Breathless", "Echoes" and "The Sleeper" are from "Breathless". "Breathless" is a beautiful and melodic track with a touch of pop. It's an excellent example how a prog band can make a good pop song. "Echoes" is a typical Camel's track and one of the most progressive songs on that album. It has a great Latimer's guitar work. "The Sleeper" is an instrumental track. It's a typical Camel's track with a slight jazzy touch. "Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine", "Hymn To Her" and "Ice" are from "I Can See Your House From Here". "Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine" is a melodic track with a pop style. It has nice vocal harmonies in the wave of the commercial hits. "Hymn To Her" is a song with a traditional Camel's sound. It's a beautiful ballad with a good instrumental section. "Ice" is a classic Camel's instrumental track, the only progressive on that album and that shows Latimer at his best. "Drafted" and "Lies" are from "Nude". "Drafted" is a track with great melodies and guitar themes in Camel's style. It shows the band was back at their best and pure roots on that album. "Lies" is a strong vocal track. It delivered a Mackay's organ solo proving he could understand the kind of keyboards that a prog band should use in the 80's. "Sasquatch" and "You Are The One" are from "The Single Factor". "Sasquatch" is an interesting instrumental track. It's the only track on that album that features the presence of their former keyboardist, Peter Bardens. "You Are The One" is a commercial track, well structured. It's a good track that keeps the good quality on that album. "Refugee" and "West Berlin" are from "Stationary Traveller". "Refugee" is a solid track with a modern sound. The final result is a well balanced track. "West Berlin" is a good track with a nice rhythm and good musical passages. It's influenced by the new wave style, with fine textures and well produced. "Mother Road" and "Whispers In The Rain" are from "Dust And Dreams". "Mother Road" is a nice Camel rocker that starts innocently but develops well along the way. The harmonies are created through guitar, keyboards and vocals. "Whispers In The Rain" is a very short and a nice instrumental track.

Conclusion: "Echoes" is a good compilation, really. It appeals to me because it has the ingredients that a compilation must have. It's a good overview of Camel's work of those years. It revisits the entire career of Camel, at the time, and it has some of the best tracks of Camel. It has good sound and a nice booklet too. As all big Camel's fans like me know, the musical style of Camel changed a bit all over the years. As many of us know, Camel has two great musical periods, the 70's and the 90's. Like most of the progressive rock bands of the classic era, and Camel wasn't an exception, they lived in the 80's a terrible period for them, a terrible period for all progressive rock music. Concluding, I sincerely think that "Echoes" is, in general, a good compilation that represents very well the musical career of a great band, until that moment, and represents a great introduction for those who are newbies with Camel. So, I'm going to give it 3 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#2572283)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2021 | Review Permalink

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