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LUNAR SEA - AN ANTHOLOGY 1973-1985

Camel

Symphonic Prog


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Camel Lunar Sea - An Anthology 1973-1985 album cover
3.93 | 38 ratings | 6 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1
1. Never Let Go (6:23)
2. Slow Yourself Down (4:46)
3. Freefall (5:53)
4. Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider (9:16)
5. The Great Marsh (2:00)
6. Rhayder (3:02)
7. Rhayder Goes To Town (5:22)
8. Lady Fantasy (Live with the London Symphony Orchestra) (15:25)
9. A Song Within A Song (7:14)
10. Spirit Of The Water (2:06)
11. Air Born (5:03)
12. Lunar Sea (Live Version) (9:03)


CD 2
1. Tell Me (4:09)
2. Elke (4:31)
3. Echoes (7:19)
4. The Sleeper (7:04)
5. Ice (10:14)
6. Hymn To Her (5:36)
7. City Life (5:05)
8. Drafted (4:18)
9. Lies (5:00)
10. Sasquatch (4:43)
11. Cloak And Dagger Man (3:52)
12. Stationary Traveller (5:33)
13. West Berlin (Live Version) (5:24)
14. Long Goodbyes (5:13)

Total Time: 143:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Latimer / guitars, vocals, flute
- Peter Bardens / keyboards
- Doug Ferguson / bass
- Andy Ward / drums
- etc (various line-ups)

Releases information

2CD Decca 8829952 (2001)

Thanks to Matti for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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CAMEL Lunar Sea - An Anthology 1973-1985 ratings distribution


3.93
(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
43%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
41%
Good, but non-essential (16%)
16%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

CAMEL Lunar Sea - An Anthology 1973-1985 reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After a couple of essential live albums such as "A Live Record" and "A coming of Age" (an "Andy Latimer trademark"), you can resume his remarkable career by means of this interesting anthology, whose title is clearly dedicated to their best "Canterburian" album "Moonmadness" and moreover you can look into the choice of a few songs from "The Snow Goose", perhaps the best style of Canterbury if you exclude the albums by Hatfield & The North or Gong - in a more jazzy mood. Anyway I prefer the early works by Camel in comparison to several works by Caravan for instance (even though "In the land of grey and pink" by these latter is good...); nevertheless Latimer has reached his maturity by means of the recent studio albums of the nineties (above all "HARBOUR OF TEARS" and "Dust and Dreams") being aligned with his famous executions on stage ..."The hour candle" for instance is exceptional both in the studio version and in the live work "A coming of age", unlike "Stationary Traveller" or "Ice" within the present anthology (especially in the section regarding the 80's period, being less interesting in comparison to the live format of "Pressure Points")... Anyway, coming back to this "L.S." Anthology, in my opinion Andy was able to communicate better his feelings and his passionate style too in his famous 70's live gigs, rather than in the studio albums of the same period, but it's a minor question. The present collection enriches your data base of melodic prog - also inspiring recent new prog bands from the UK such as Pendragon - and for me that's enough!

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Camel banged the gavel down to make a statement of prog like no other band.

This anthology covering their career from 1973 to 1985 is as good as it gets if you want to dip your toes into the water to paddle through the repertoire of this important symphonic prog band of virtuoso musicians. Barden's keyboards are inspirational but the real star is Latimer on vocals and guitar. The spirit of Camel resides in these artists, though it can never be underestimated the power of Ward's accomplished drumming and Ferguson's pounding basslines. Together they were untouchable, pure magic and there was never a lineup like them in early symphonic prog.

It is in chronological order beginning with tracks from the debut such as the creative 'Never Let Go' and my favourite 'Feefall' with dominant keyboards and odd time sigs. Short blasts of drums and keys merge with melodic verses to create an atmosphere of immense tension, that surprises as it twists and turns in various musical directions. Latimer's guitar is ever present and he rips out some searing lead breaks. The time sig changes are ubiquitous on each track and the innovation and creativity on this debut is astounding.

On 'Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider' Latimer's guitars are upbeat and his flute is cheerful and charming. These talents are balanced by orchestra sections giving the work an overall epic majestic quality. The juxtaposition of orchestra and rock instruments works perfectly. At times there are subliminal vocals, no actual words, but more sounds that compliment the tracks.

'Rhayader Goes To Town' is definitely a highlight, featuring on many Camel compilations, and includes enormous keyboard motifs that stab in stoccato riffs, and all is augmented by the blazing guitar solos from Latimer. "The Snow Goose" is one of the best Camel albums make no mistake.

The main drawcard of this compilation are the live tracks, namely the epic multi-movement suite 'Lady Fantasy' featuring Latimer's vocals and scorching guitar solos. The melodies are compelling and the epic flows from section to section seamlessly, bookended by Latimer's main lead guitar motif. Ferguson's bass and Barden's shimmering keyboards throughout each track are accomplished musicianship. A tri-part work of genius that never fails to be compelling and astounding.

'A Song Within A Song' is a 7 minute exploration of time sig changes and incredible musicianship; one of my favourites. Others from "Moonmadness" are 'Spirit Of The Water' and 'Air Born'.

'Lunar Sea (Live Version)' is a 9 minute well performed quintessential Camel that ends the first CD on a high note. It has become a staple of the Camel live concert and always sounds perfectly and innovatively performed. The best of Camel is right here on this CD.

CD 2 is interesting as this is some of the lesser known Camel material from their 80s albums such as "Breathless" and "rain Dances". The changes in their approach to music are quite remarkable. It is not a good change as there is nothing here of classic recognition rather it is solid prog, with nothing standing out to me. It is enjoyable music and the highlights are 'Echoes', 'The Sleeper', 'Ice' and 'Stationary Traveller'. There is a live version of 'West Berlin' and it ends with 'Long Goodbyes'.

I still think it is good to hear the journey of Camel from 70s legends to 80s survivors. The booklet is replete with interesting information on the history of the band and lots of photos. An informative read giving an insight into the longevity of the group. Overall the anthology is a fairly good replacement for buying every album of the band especially following their classic albums, but I must admit even if you do get these songs you are well advised to still get their first 4 albums as an example of some of the best symphonic prog on the planet.

Review by VianaProghead
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Review Nš 444

"Lunar Sea ? An Anthology 1973 - 1985" is a compilation of Camel and was released in 2001. It was made to cover all the musical career of the group released in the 70's and in the 80's. It includes some of their best works between 1973 and 1984. The tracks span the great career of the band. The ten studio albums released in that time are represented here. Especially, it includes some of the tracks that belong to their golden musical era, their first four studio albums.

"Lunar Sea ? An Anthology 1973 - 1985" has twenty-six tracks. "Never Let Go" and "Slow Yourself Down" are from "Camel". "Never Let Go" is a wonderful piece with Bardens on vocals. He did a great keyboard work, accompanied by a nice Latimer's flute work. "Slow Yourself Down" has a great organ work and a relaxed vocal work. It has a good rhythm section too. "Freefall", "Nimrodel/The Procession/White Rider" and "Lady Fantasy" are from "Mirage". "Freefall" is almost an instrumental track with nice moments and a nice melody. It's influenced by several styles. "Nimrodel/The Procession/White Rider" is one of the best tracks on that album, with frequent time changes and musical soundscapes, It has a great symphonic climax. "Lady Fantasy" is the most celebrated track on that album and is one of the most famous and progressive tracks of Camel. This is a live version. "The Great March", "Rhayader" and "Rhayader Goes To Town" are from "The Snow Goose". "The Great March" is a punchy and nice tune played with the flute. It opens and concludes that album with an exploration of nature sounds. "Rhayader" has a powerful melody combining flute, guitar and organ. It has a memorable flute melody supported by a solo of an organ. "Rhayader Goes To Town" brings the music into a faster tempo, with good combination of guitar and organ with energetic beats. "A Song Within A Song", "Spirit Of The Water", "Air Born" and "Lunar Sea" are from "Moonmadness". "A Song Within A Song" is a beautiful and melancholic track with a nice and relaxing guitar and flute works. "Spirit Of The Water" is a short track, an atmospheric pretty ballad with a nice piano work complemented by a distant vocal singing. "Air Born" is a good developed track. It begins with flute and piano, which suddenly explodes with instruments and vocals. "Lunar Sea" is an instrumental track with great performances. The melody changes and evolves all over the theme. This is a live version. "Tell Me" and "Elke" are from "Rain Dances". "Tell Me" is a calm, delicate and beautiful ballad with a fine Latimer's flute work. It's a very dreaming track. "Elke" features an excellent electronic experimentation by Brian Eno. It's a nice, peaceful and atmospheric instrumental track. "Echoes" and "The Sleeper" are from "Breathless". "Echoes" is a typical Camel's track and one of the most progressive songs on that album too. 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. "Ice" and "Hymn To Her" are from "I Can See Your House From Here". "Ice" is a classic Camel's instrumental, the only progressive on that album that shows Latimer at his best. "Hymn To Her" has a traditional Camel's sound. It's a beautiful ballad with a good instrumental section. "City Life", "Drafted" and "Lies" are from "Nude". "City Life" is a bit poppy but is well done. Mel Collins adds some nice sax work to it. "Drafted" is a track with nice melodies and guitar themes in Camel's style. It shows that the band was back at their most 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" is from "The Single Factor". It's an interesting instrumental. It's the only track on that album that features the presence of their former keyboardist, Peter Bardens. "Cloak And Dagger Man", "Stationary Traveller", "West Berlin" and "Long Goodbyes" are from "Stationary Traveller". "Cloak And Dagger Man" sounds in the new wave pop style with a fast and frenetic rhythm. It was written in a more commercial vein. "Stationary Traveller" is an instrumental track with the typical Camel's sound. It's the best track on that album where we can see Latimer at his best. "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 is well produced. This is a live version. "Long Goodbyes" is an epic and mellow ballad, and is a nice way to close that album and this compilation too.

Conclusion: "Lunar Sea ? An Anthology 1973 - 1985" is similar to "Echoes", another compilation released by Camel in 1993. Still, this compilation more or less supplants in some ways and also enhances the 1993 compilation. However, with a slightly longer running time and a fair difference in song content, though with the same number of tracks, the overlap between the two compilations is surprisingly very limited. Covering almost their entire musical career, Decca era at least, this double set includes their most progressive music, as well as a few rather misguided attempts at hit singles. Anyway, Camel was always an album's band, like this compilation shows, with some extended instrumental pieces. Concluding, this is another good compilation of the band that serves as a good introduction for anyone who's not familiar with Camel's music, especially the selection tracks that represent their earlier and most progressive phase.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars Yet another Camel anthology for me to review. 2 CD's from 2001 with a really ugly cover. Camel is a band which needs to be listened in entire album format and not as a "greatest hits" packaging, But this is good for what it is. A great collage of Camel tracks covering their best years from 1973 up t ... (read more)

Report this review (#752853) | Posted by mohaveman | Sunday, May 13, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Andrew Latimer is a very expressive guitarist, and the highlights of this CD (in my opinion)are those instrumentals which are dominated by the soaring sound of his Les Paul, such as Lunar Sea and Ice: both of these are classic Camel instrumentals, where the guitar is understated to start with, ... (read more)

Report this review (#567340) | Posted by jcs | Sunday, November 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the seventh attempt at collecting the best Camel pieces onto one release, and being the newest, this is the only one I've seen in stores in these few recent years that I've known the band. The two cd's contain material from all the Decca-released albums in chronological order, and as a ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#113243) | Posted by Pekka | Friday, February 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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