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The Camberwell Now


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The Camberwell Now The Ghost Trade album cover
4.59 | 22 ratings | 1 reviews | 45% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Working Nights (7:41)
2. Sitcom (4:40)
3. Wheat Futures (6:11)
4. Speculative Fiction (6:09)
5. Green Lantern (3:11)
6. The Ghost Trade (11:11)

Total Time: 39:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Charles Hayward / voice, drums, kazoo, autoharp, melodica, keyboards, metal
- Trefor Goronwy / bass, guitar, ukulele, voice, keyboard, percussion, ehr hu
- Stephe Rickard / studio and field recordings, tapework, autoharp

Releases information

RecRec/Ink Records (Rec 10)

Thanks to syzygy for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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THE CAMBERWELL NOW The Ghost Trade ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(45%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE CAMBERWELL NOW The Ghost Trade reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Lewian
5 stars The Ghost Trade is classified as "avant-prog" here; actually it comes with a good dose of new wave/post punk straightness and seems to me quite unique in mixing these elements with experimental prog.

I heard this for the first time when it was pretty new, and it caught me from the very first moment. Working Nights starts the album off fast fast fast. I'm not sure whether I ever came across a more rousing and exciting start on any album. Charles Hayward on drums and Trefor Goronwy on bass/guitar of This Heat drive each other to peak performances and in the background keyboards and recordings give the sound depth.

This album has speed and sharpness, dizzy bass- and drumwork that at times beggars belief, sudden speed changes, taste and consistency, the very original dry and very well fitting voice of Charles Hayward, interesting lyrics on the state of society, experimental sound design and even some good melodies. The sound is very lean and uncluttered.

Sitcom picks up where Working Nights ended in a very organic way. It tries out different speeds, some of them very pushy, until toward the end it goes into something more relaxed with some round and voluminous keyboard sound.

Wheat Futures is a rather different kind of landscape, slower, stronger in keyboards and sounds with very little drums and bass that rise only toward the end. It has some folk elements and a haunting, conjuring melody.

In Speculative Fiction, the exciting rhythm section is back with very straight drums and a plainly impossible bass part. Could you believe a human being played this? (Actually, if I'm honest, I believe not all of this is a single bass track, but it's the impression that counts.) Very physical and with its hymn-like melody even very catchy.

Green Lantern showcases all the elements that make this album special once more, the tempo changes, the tasteful sound experiments, the sharp rhythm section. It is to my taste the least spectacular track on this album, which is quite something to say because on its own it's a very good and original piece of music.

The title track The Ghost Trade starts slower again and is more sound and voice-driven than the majority of songs on the album. The final of the song turns the music around once more, into a relaxed and spacey place. I'd like to have the words to describe the sounds used here, but I can't; I just mention once more that the sound design is another trump of this album. This also has the to me most interesting lyrics.

In the forum I just posted a top 200 list of albums on which I ranked this among my top 20, which obviously is pretty good, but listening to it again for reviewing I realise once more that this is just spectacular beyond belief and could well be a top 5 of all times album.

I think that the album is no longer available, but is included in full on the collection "All's Well"; the rest there is interesting, too, but not quite as top notch as this.

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