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THE SNOW GOOSE

Camel

Symphonic Prog


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Camel The Snow Goose album cover
4.27 | 1562 ratings | 179 reviews | 55% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music


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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Great Marsh (2:02)
2. Rhayader (3:01)
3. Rhayader Goes To Town (5:20)
4. Sanctuary (1:05)
5. Fritha (1:19)
6. The Snow Goose (3:12)
7. Friendship (1:44)
8. Migration (2:01)
9. Rhayader Alone (1:50)
10. Flight Of The Snow Goose (2:40)
11. Preparation (3:58)
12. Dunkirk (5:19)
13. Epitaph (2:07)
14. Fritha Alone (1:40)
15. La Princesse Perdue (4:44)
16. The Great Marsh (1:20)

Total Time: 43:22

Bonus tracks on Decca remaster (2002):
17. Flight of The Snow Goose (single edit) (2:05)
18. Rhayader (single edit) (3:09)
19. Flight Of The Snow Goose (alternate single edit) (2:49)
20. Rhayader Goes To Town (Live 10-30-1974) (5:07)
21. The Snow Goose / Freefall (Live 10-30-1974) (11:01)

Lyrics

Search CAMEL The Snow Goose lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search CAMEL The Snow Goose tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Ward / drums, percussion, vibes
- Doug Ferguson / bass, duffle coat
- Peter Bardens / organ, Minimoog, acoustic & electric pianos, pipe organ, ARP Odyssey
- Andy Latimer / electric, acoustic & slide guitars, flute, vocals

Releases information

LP Decca 800 080-2 - UK (1975)
CD Decca 882930 (2002 remaster)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
Edit this entry

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The Snow GooseThe Snow Goose
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Harbour of TearsHarbour of Tears
Import
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CAMEL The Snow Goose ratings distribution


4.27
(1562 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(55%)
55%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (11%)
11%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

CAMEL The Snow Goose reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars 2.9999 stars strictly on historical importance in the neverending Progstory. Can you believe this bores me to death that I never got to the end of it in one shot. The fact that this is a vocal-less album (except for some doodling towards the end of the album) is not helping me getting interested in it either. As I had the vinyll , I think I have never managed to even listen the end of both sides of it. Oh , I must've heard it many times but my attention had waned long ago.

Of course , most of my colleagues will tell you that this is great , but if you are a newcomer start elsewhere for this is not a good intro to the band - because it is totally instrumental and does not represent that very facet of Camel .

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#2121) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 05, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Any prog collection would not be complete without CAMEL's "Snow Goose"! This highly inspirational - instrumental progressive masterpiece arguably offers CAMELl's most complete work. "The Snow Goose" reveals great soaring guitar, gorgeous keyboards , excellent percussion and bass interplay. Essential !

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#2129) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Another classic, the first "Canterburian work" by CAMEL, very accessible, being characterized by melodic songs, but also with some incredible symphonic excursions (well actually the live version -entitled "Live Record"- is much stronger than this studio version, but it never minds!!), which have been often regarded equal to those ones inside the most famous album of the early Era of Camel:"MoonMadness".The best track of this latter -"Lunar Sea"-is so much good and as much important as the hit-track "Rhayader" from "The Snow Goose". Both songs have been performed live in the eighties, and by supplying another huge impact to the crowd of Camel fans the spacey keyboards by Bardens- along with the splendid guitar solos by Latimer- have been always the most memorable moments of such Camel's lives !!

Recommended, even though I prefer the live version of "A Live Record"!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#2117) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 01, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The best CAMEL's albums. The pieces are quite short, but how good! No fillers! The sound is soft, pleasant to hear. Flute, female vocals, thin drums, smooth guitar, everything form a unique soft prog of the 70's. I know that many women like this album, because it is a rather feminine progressive rock. The songs are not all the same style. It's been 10 years since I haven't been listening to it and, let me tell you, it's better than ever! Very efficient! It's a good emotion transporter.

Extremely recommended!

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#2120) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 08, 2004

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The story of "The Snow Goose" inspired not one but two progressive rock classics: this and (later) Anthony PHILLIPS' "The Geese And The Ghost". To paraphrase Charlotte, that must be some goose. CAMELl's inspiration led them down a different path than PHILLIPS, choosing a rockier road with islands of calm (literally, if you recall KING CRIMSON's album of the same name), built from the foundation of "Mirage"'s more sublime passages (when Latimer's flute and Bardens' keyboards take the lead) and yet suggestive of mid '70s PINK FLOYD when Andy L. plugs his electric back in and lets loose.

Picking out individual tracks is not what this album is all about; "The Snow Goose" consists as one wonderful entity, captivating from beginning to end. However, this is perhaps CAMEL's most uncommercial venture, even as it aspires to greater heights than any of their records before or since. If you found yourself entranced by the instrumental passages of "Nimrodel" and "Lady Fantasy", then by all means take a ride of "The Snow Goose". But that baffling contingent who find in I Can See You House From Here a summit of some sort might be content to leave Goose's high-minded aerie to more adventurous climbers. If you're intent on finding representative passages to sample (at the buffered buffet table of thirty-second morsels available on some commercial sites), touching your musical tongue to "The Great Marsh", "Rhayader", "The Snow Goose" or "Friendship" will give a good indication of the album's merits. The concept of CAMELin a bucolic mood may not please everyone, and they're welcome to skip along to "Moonmadness", but anyone who believes prog music can be achingly pretty will find on here un paradis trouvé (a paradise found).

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#2112) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2004

Review by Carl floyd fan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Simply put, this cd is amazing! It is purely instrumental, much like Focus. This isn't on the same level as some of the stuff done by Focus but it is very close and this is one Camel cd every prog fan should own. This music is very chill and easy to relax to, so pick this rare gem up if you find it!

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Send comments to Carl floyd fan (BETA) | Report this review (#2114) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 19, 2004

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Not a word now!

For this album, Camel gave up on vocals completely, with the exception of a "Light flight" (Pentangle) type harmony during the "Flight of the snowgoose". The lack of vocals or narration was reportedly due to wrangles between the band and the author of the original short story. This also led to modification of the "Snowgoose" title to become "Music inspired by The Snowgoose". Ironically, the book must have sold many more copies due its profile being raised by the success of this album.

The album demands to be heard as a complete piece, the tracks merely representing sections of the whole. In view of this, there is little point in isolating many tracks for comment, but "La Princesse Perdue" does stand out as particularly beautiful, with its two distinct symphonic sections. Given the oft repeated criticism of the band's vocal capabilities, the decision to make an entirely instrumental album was perhaps a sensible one, and it does work for one album. Had they continued to do so on future albums though, the well may rapidly have run dry.

Overall, the music here is not particularly challenging, the relaxed feel making the album far more ambient than other Camel albums. The individual sections are pretty basic in structure but fit together well to form an excellent package.

A very relaxing and enjoyable album.

The CD version offers the benefit of added continuity over the LP, with the remastered version also including a number of bonus tracks. An alternative version of the entire "Snowgoose" is also available with orchestral accompaniment on the "Live Record" album. That version is arguably superior to the original studio recording.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#2147) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 09, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Beautiful and graceful. It is a classical piece of music that will stand the test of time. Seriously it is a sophisticated adult contribution from a band who were relatively young at the time. Very sad in parts which evokes the lonliness of Rhayader and his assault on Dunkirk.The personnified 'goose' music works a treat and La Princesse Perdue is one of the most nostalgic beautiful pieces of music Camel have ever written. A must for all enthusiasts of progressive music.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#2149) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 21, 2004

Review by Watcheroftheskies
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is a masterpiece of prog! I only knock it down because this plays out more like a classical piece than it does a rock album. However I like classical so I guess that means I will still give this a 5. Fair warning for people just getting into the band make this your second album. This album has no vocals on it except for ahhhhed notes on ocasion. Like any good piece of classical music it returns to it's beginning. I can't really fixiate on a favorite track and I certainly belive that hearing one of them by itself does it less justice considering that each tracks leads into the next with the perfect presicion only people like Mozart and Beethoven could deliver. Seriously, if you want an awesome piece of music performed by rock instruments you want this album.

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Send comments to Watcheroftheskies (BETA) | Report this review (#2153) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 06, 2004

Review by Blacksword
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Anyone who has ever heard Andy Latimer sing will probably agree that an entirely instrumental Camel album can only be a good thing. I mean no disrespect, of course. Latimer is a fine musician, certainly a terribly underated guitarist. Personally I prefer 'Mirage', and the brilliant 'Moonmadness' to this album (despite the vocals!) My problem with 'The Snowgoose' is hard to articulate. I can't really find fault with it, but it just doesn't bowl me over. Perahps I'm just listerning to it wrong, or maybe my expectations were too high, having heard all of their other early albums before this one. The production is a little weak, it doesn't lack clarity, just punch, but then again perhaps it doesn't require 'punch' There are hight points were Camel flow at their best 'Rhayader goes to town' is a fine example of Latimer & Co rocking in the thoughtful and melodic way their do best. The whole thing cries out to be listerned to in one hit, and not in chunks. 'Snow goose' is hailed as a classic and I respect that, and I respect Camel a lot, but it's not my fave Came album, simple as that.

To be honest I like a bit of darkeness in music; a bit of an edge. 'The Snow Goose' is very 'nice'. Its in no way unpleasant, but in terms of having a 'dark side'? I think 'The Snow Goose' by Camel makes 'Selling England by the pound' by Genesis look like 'Reign in blood' by Slayer.

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Send comments to Blacksword (BETA) | Report this review (#2154) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Boy, did I loved Camel when I bought Mirage. Mirage blew my shoes off with a blast that sented me right through the wall...

Boy was I disappointed by the Snow Goose! And I'm still disappointed. It's almost a curse...I couldn't get into that album. I couldn't see the plot. Usually, I'm capable of seeing through an album, if the artists let you a chance to follow the thread. But The Snow Goose is a good idea with good moments. I mean there is still some good moments with flute and the orchestra that creates a mood that tickle the imagination...but too few of those? This is why Camel never got out of the little league. But what talent underneath. Too bad, the good period of Camel didn't last long. You don't make a living out of records like this one. What I mean, is that the disappointment was caused by the high expectations about the follower of Mirage, my all-time surprise and soft spot. This is NOT Mirage 2, the concept album is applied full blast. My, this is like reading a book in music!

This album is so recommended, I feel ashamed and stupid to not follow the march. I'm glad I kept listening over and over again, then I finally understood what Camel wanted by creating the Snow Goose: being the very best underdogs of all-time.

Camel made a blindfolded job with lots of wishes, but not enough work to satisfy my Mirage cravings.

Vote for Camel for biggest overlooked talent of all-time.

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Posted Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Review by belz
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 5.0/5.0 This is progressive music perfection. This album and "Moonmadness" are twins in their melodic ambiances. I started listening to "The SnowGoose" while driving my car home some years ago and I just couldn't stop the car when arriving at home. I had to go away, to drive for nearly 45 minutes with this music loud. It was like entering a new musical dimension, something new, modern, but yet... it was produced over 25 years ago!

Camel had a vision when doing this. You have to feel the energy flow while listening to this album from the first piece to the last one. You can't just pick on piece randomly and listen to it. This is a musical experience when each slow parts create a climax and musical explosion later.

Really: I mean it when I say this album is music perfection.

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Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I'm a Camel fan and The Snow Goose is widely believed to be among the group's greatest works. As a record that almost cracked the UK Top 20, it certainly was among their most successful ventures. I guess that's why I feel I'm missing something because I've always thought that this particular album was quite overrated.

Now don't get me wrong ... I'm not disregarding the whole album, which was composed by flautist/guitarist Andy Latimer and keyboardist Peter Bardens, and inpsired by Paul Gallico's novella The Snow Goose. I do think that this wholly instrumental work does have its highlights. For a start In the brilliant flute-driven Rhayader, Camel have one of their finest songs ever (a sort of sister piece to Mirage's Supertwister). The offbeat, vaguely funky Rhayader Goes To Town, the intriguing pastoral guitar meets distorted synth number Fritha, the oh-so Canterbury (right down to the wordless vocal) Migration and the eerie Dunkirk also provide enjoyable moments for me.

But the fact remains (and I still feel that this is rather heretical!) that I frequently find this album boring! Yes, listening to it at one sitting is more of a chore than a joy, and that should never be. Perhaps one factor is that too many of the compositions are laidback and mellow and the rhythm section of Ferguson and Ward seem to spend too long on the sidelines. I also think there's just a little too much use of the orchestra which is something that a self-contained entity like Camel didn't really need. I swear when the whole band burst into some vintage Camel on the penultimate track La Princesse Perdue, it was like the second coming!

Ultimately, of Camel's first six studio albums, this is the one I turn to the least. ... 58% on the MPV scale

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Posted Sunday, February 27, 2005

Review by Tony Fisher
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Camel's first two albums were excellent efforts, perhaps let down a bit by the quality of the vocals. This time, they took two bold steps. One, they made the album almost completely instrumental (the voice is used more as an instrument on a couple of tracks) and two, they made it a concept album based on a short story set in World War 2 by Paul Gallico. This probably should have signalled a commercial disaster of monumental proportions. However, this concept is carried out to utter perfection and it sold in bucketloads (it still does). They have written beautiful, haunting tunes and interpreted the sad but lovely story and its characters so perfectly that it has the power to provoke tears. Their ability to play their instruments is astonishing and some of the guitar/keyboard interplay is breathtaking. Andy Latimer's flute adds variety as a lead instrument, the bass and drums fill in intelligently and the result is magical. It's melodic, thoughtful prog rock of the highest calibre - noone else has matched this, let alone surpassed it. They produced other albums of real merit, but this was their finest hour. Deserves 6 stars - no prog rock collection is complete without it and, out of my 800 albums, this is in my top 3. But read Gallico's story first before you listen!

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Posted Monday, March 21, 2005

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After the splendorous "Mirage", Camel delivered their second masterpiece in a row - the concept album "The Snow Goose". For this one, Latimer & Bardens wrote material that had the band explore further into the depths of their symphonic trend, creating a sequence of themes according to the story of Paul Gallico's novella and including the use of orchestral input. One of the basic factors that make this album so special is that it has a certain eeriness to it: the sound production gives the instrumentation (for both the band and the orchestra) a distant, at times dreamy feel, which actually helps it to relate to the fictional essence of the main concept. The whole repertoire comprised in "The Snow Goose" sounds like a fantasy itself, a beautiful fantasy that translates this moving tale of friendship, love, war and separation into a well structured sonic continuum. The fact is that all the individual pieces were actually rehearsed and recorded separately, and only when the production phase was over could the four musicians and two writers be aware of what the final result turned out to be; this anecdote can only speak very well about Latimer and Bardens' intelligence as composers and the foursome as an integrated ensemble. As I'm writing this review, I find that intelligence and integration are two words that can accurately designate the major assets of this album, all the way through, from the first smooth sounds of flowing water and electric piano at the beginning of 'The Great Marsh' until the final same sounds at the end of the reprised 'The Great Marsh'. The display of melancholy and introspectiveness is more abundant here than in other classic Camel albums, and that might lead some listeners to some sort of boredom; it is true that even in the epic climaxes or rockier passages there is not a real display of fiery energy. But in my book, I find each and every individual piece as a vignette or sketch of a person or situation in the story (and I'm not the first one to say this), so, as I stated before, this album is basically a tale "literally" translated into the language of music. The lyrical 'Rhayader' and the expressionist 'Rhayader Goes to Town' are timeless Camel classics. Other highlights are: the majestic title track and its augmented variation 'La Princesse Perdue', the dramatic 'Dunkirk' and the piano solo number 'Fritha Alone', whose sadness is almost palpable. Well, every "Snow Goose" can gave their favourite(s), but mainly, this album is just it, an album, a musical work to be enjoyed as a harmonized unit. Overall rating: 5 stars.

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Posted Monday, June 27, 2005

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I remember quite well the evening of October 17, 1975. I had a good view of the stage from the circle on the right hand side of a full Royal Albert Hall as CAMEL performed "The Snow Goose" with the London Symphony Orchestra. The concert was good, but not as good as I had hoped, which rather sums up my opinion of the album too.

"The Snow Goose" is a concept album based on the short book of the same name by author Paul Gallico. The book is still available and I suspect the album has added to sales of the book over the years, which is ironic given that Gallico sued the band for copyright infringement. Mind you, I'm glad he stopped the band adding a narrative to the music.

I'm listening to the album as I write this, and it is indeed pleasant and relaxing music to have in the background. As with its predecessor "Mirage", this album showcases the musicianship of all the band members. The music is symphonic, dreamy (well, it rocks up in one track on the second side) and sometimes evocative (the waddling of a goose comes across perfectly, for example). It's very 'safe' Progressive Rock with oodles of melody. It's lovely, really lovely. In fact, it's so lovely you could play it to your grandmother and she would probably think it's lovely too - see what I mean by 'safe'?

The first side of the LP is better than the second side, in my opinion. Some real whistle-along stuff. Although I enjoy the music, I don't find it as good as "Mirage": it's simply not as interesting, and I don't think that's just because it's an instrumental album. For the pedants amongst you, there are vocalisations in a couple of places (male in one place, and female in another) so it's strictly not completely instrumental, but to all intents and purposes it's an instrumental album.

Now, I'm conscious that this is a well-thought-of album. I'm also conscious that the playing is first rate and the composition accomplished. But the album does not excite me particularly, so I'll have to settle for 3 stars (Good, but not essential). If you are new to CAMEL, I recommend you buy "Mirage" before this album, as it's the better of the two in my opinion. If you want lovely, relaxing music that just about anyone can listen to while reading the newspaper on a Sunday at home (I don't mean that pejoratively, I really don't) then this one will do. Highly accessible - I reckon it would make a good movie soundtrack. Just in case you think I'm damning the album with faint praise, I'm glad it was released.

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Posted Saturday, July 02, 2005

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An incredible instrumental album by Camel. All of the songs here are short and sweet, which means that there is no filler. It features awesome flute work (especially on Rhayader), great guitar work (especially with the solos, very Gilmour-esque), great keyboard work that really sets the mood for each track, and great bass and drum work that really shape the album. Each song has a completely different sound and approach to it, but there are many recurring themes throughout the music. My favorite tracks at the moment are Dunkirk and the reprise of The Great Marsh. The latter having a dark and murky feel to it, and Dunkirk having a grand and epic feel. Overall, this is one of Camel's best albums. I highly recommend it. 4.5/5.

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Posted Friday, July 08, 2005

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Iīm sure, i couldnīt live without the Snow Goose, is a classic, is a masterpiece, the last review i sae about it, the guy said that this couldīnt be a masterpiece because Andy Latimerīs voice doesnīt appears here, maybe he will be right, the voice of Latimer is the particular soun to Camel, and its great, but the Snow Goose doesnīt need the voices, only needs the awesome and intelligent way to create music, this album has all of this, also makes me fell good and happy, this is one of those albums that i want to hear and own for the rest of mylife, i couldnīt get tired of this, i could hear it about 100 times, and it still likes me a lot, all the songs are short, but are connected, one carries each other and carry us to the same destiny, is a journey of encounter of myself and itself ( sounds werid ), but i feel that, in fact i prefer this than Mirage, another masterpiece, but is my opinnion, you have to listen this album and then you cannot leave it!.

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Posted Monday, July 25, 2005

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4 - 4.25 stars

A concept album is a challenging task. An instrumental concept album following a storyline? Even more so. Given that this album is a clear success, it is proof of Camel's continuing maturity in songwriting.

While the 'sound' of the music is not so far from their previous work thanks to similar '70s' synthesizers and guitar tones, the band for the most part let go of the passionate classic rock roots, settling for a more elegant, whimsical venture into progressive rock as well as classical music. The instrumentation is very colorful and visual, highly essential to the concept.

An orchestra makes an entrance after a minute of peaceful and desolate keyboard textures. The next two tracks relating to Rhayader have some hints of their classic rock sound, particularly the heavier 'Rhayader Goes to Town' with an extended bluesy solo reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Also, 'Rhayader' carries a memorable flute melody and a distorted organ solo.

Afterwards, the brief classical guitar piece 'Sanctuary' is a huge departure from earlier sounds while 'Fritha' is a 'cute', child-like synthesizer piece. The progression from the previous albums is huge. 'Friendship' take it a step further but I find it too 'Disney-like' with corny bassoons and clarinets making the main theme too goofy despite the strength of the melody. It alternates with a gorgeous classical melody but the damage is already done. Luckily, the sad and emotional title track has very nice guitar melodies while the jazzy 'Migration' is uplifting and full of spirit: the scatting melodies are very very catchy. Of course, the happiness turns sour as the goose flies away, Fritha leaves, and Rhayader is left alone.

The second half begins with another uplifting fast-paced song, 'Flight of the Snowgoose', this one is more typical progressive rock with plenty of moog synthesizers. The protagonist finds a new purpose and prepares to sail to his heroic sacrifice during wartime, beginning with a melody from 'Friendship' that works better here. A hypnotic synthesizer loop, wordless female vocals (among other elements) create a crushingly depressing and unique electronica piece that is absolute genius. The war song 'Dunkirk' follows and is appropriately 'war-like' with an intimidating crescendo leading to a fast paced section with a shrieking guitar solo. Given that it follows the genius of 'Preparation', I find it a bit underwhelming and dated but it serves its purpose as the album's climax. Protagonist dies, more depressing electronica music. A lonely piano piece about Fritha being alone. You probably shouldn't listen to this if you're having a bad day.

Luckily, the darkness is cleared away by the snow goose, bringing the album to a close with a longer progressive-rock track that reprises various themes with a positive vibe, symbolizing the spirit of Rhayader passing to the snow goose. The album closes with the same sounds as in the introduction.

5 star parts: Migration, Preparation

4.5 star parts: Rhayader Goes to Town, Fritha, Epitaph

4 star parts: The Great Marsh, Rhayader, The Snow Goose, Rhayader Alone, Flight of the Snow Goose, Fritha Alone, La Princesse Perdue, The great marsh 2

3.5 star parts: Sanctuary, Dunkirk

2 star parts: Friendship

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Posted Friday, August 05, 2005

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The great mar(c)h of Camel...

Ah, finally I can listen to great, impressive, elaborate but simple catchy music! This album's lightness is my ears and heart relief! All instrumentation is accurate, "scientifically spontaneous". That oxymoron is the right way to define this superb music style, this "concrete higheness"!, this wonderful electric guitar and keyboards weave, this bass and drums stunning phrasing!

In 1975, after Mirage, Bardens, Latimer, Ferguson and Ward decided to make a conceptual album (what a conceptual album!!!). For that reason each Camel's member suggested a book on which elaborate the one- piece-album. Pete Bardens suggested first "Siddartha", then "Steppenwolf", both Herman Hesse's works. Bass player Doug Ferguson took his inspiration from a novel by Paul Gallico named "A Snow Goose". The story is about a Rhayader, a lonely boy who lives in the marshes. One day he finds a wounded Snow Goose. A little girl, Fritha, is also concerned about the goose, and she and Rhayader become friends. By the season's end the goose heals, and it is sent free. Following this, Rhayader is alone again, as Fritha doesn't come to visit him anymore. Rhayader helps saving people at the battle of Dunkirk, and during the battle the Goose comes back to help. Rhayader is killed in the battle, and the Goose is then named La Princess Perdue. Critic was confused by the lack of lyrics.Camel shocked the traditional audience! Paul Gallico's publishers threatened to put a court injunction on the album, and therefore the title was preceded by the words "music inspired by". Paul Gallico, a non-smoking author, had a bad impression from the band, due to its name.

Nice cover art, its clear and bright colours are the perfect graphic translation of such a pure music!

Very good Decca 2002 remastered edition, with 24 mns of extra tracks: single edits from Flight Of The Snow Goose and Ryader; live recordings at the Marquee Club featuring Ryader Goes To Town and a medley The Snow Goose/Freefall, the opener from Mirage.

This one and Moonmadness represent the HIGHEST apex (they had more than one, see the album Nude) from Camel, a perfect prog way to intend classical music.

No. 22 in U.K. charts, a top ten one in my personal prog-archive ever!

Snow Goose is not only recommendable: it heals your soul's wounds!!!!!

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Posted Monday, September 12, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Looking back the history, this album should be read as CAMEL music inspired by "The Snow Goose". Why? This concept album was composed with a reference to Paul Gallico's Snow Goose. Right after the success of "Mirage" which stayed at Billboard's Top 200 for a creditable 13 weeks peaked at 149, the band brainstormed the idea of making an acclaimed literary piece concept album. Peter Bardens voted for Steppen Wolf's but Ferguson and Latimer proposed Paul Gallico's. So the band created the music that revolved around The Snow Goose. Unfortunately, their record label failed to sign a deal with Gallico's publishers in the hope of obtaining official blessing for the project, ideally having the author pen a sleeve note and possibly arrange a tie-in between album and tome. That's why this tribute to our feathered friends had its title prefaced "Music Inspired By" and remained wholy wordless. [sleeve note].

Nevertheless, the streams of music featured in this album is a good one to enjoy and you may have a rewarding experience throughout some tracks. It starts off with an ambient "The Great Marsh" (2:02) which to me personally sounds like an opener for the whole atmosphere of the album. No one would argue that "Rhayader" (3:01) is an excellent track which has powerful melody combining flute, guitar and organ performed in classical influence music with medium tempo. This song has characterized the seventies music altogether with other common songs from Genesis or Yes or ELP or Pink Floyd. I used to associate this song with "Bouree" by Jethro Tull at that time because both of them are flute-based music. "Rhayader Goes To Town" (5:20) is a logical follow- up to Rhayader as it brings the music into faster tempo with great combination of guitar and organ solo with energetic beats. These two songs must be enjoyed in its entirety.

"Sanctuary" (1:05) and "Fritha" (1:19) are songs that I consider as bridges that connect to title track "The Snow Goose" (3:12) which contains guitar solo augmented with long sustain organ in the vein of Jan Akermann of Focus. Cool guitar-based instrumental. "Friendship" (1:44) is a bit boring exploration of keyboard / organ whicch may have more meaning if we can associate with certain part of the story - say our goose was running away or swimming quickly . things like that. Otherwise, it's a meaningless bridge. "Migration" (2:01) brings the music into up-beat style followed nicely with a cool quiet passage "Rhayader Alone" (1:50). "Flight Of The Snow Goose" (2:40) explores Bardens' keyboard virtuosity followed with good guitar fills that bring the melody of the music combined with a bit spacey keyboard work.

"Preparation" (3:58) is to me like a theme song that brings the introduction to the next track "Dunkirk" (5:19) with the use of Hammond organ as basic rhythm section plus some howling guitar work followed with guitar solo. The song is dominated with keyboard work even though guitar fills some parts and serves as melody in some other parts. It's a good track. "Epitaph" (2:07) and "Fritha Alone" (1:40) are bridges to upbeat music with keyboard solo in "La Princesse Perdue" (4:44). Again, I can smell a similarity with Focus music, especially the guitar part. "The Great Marsh" (1:20) concludes the album with an exploration of nature sounds .

Overall, through this album the band has demonstrated their capability to maintain their creation on par excellent with their previous album "Mirage". The album offers good combined work between organ and guitar performed in various styles. The music is cohesive to support a concept album. I think this album should be "in" any prog collection as it was one of the icons in the seventies that anyone should not miss. Recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Monday, September 12, 2005

Review by Philrod
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Now, what a disappointment... After some time thinking about purchasing an album from Camel, I decided it was time and went to a little boutique near my house. Only one Camel album was available: The Snow Goose. I was not that happy, because I am used to start buying albums from an artist with the first, and going from there. But anyways, I went home, started listening to the album, and was very impressed with first three songs, especially the solo on Rhayader goes to town, wich is incredibly good. After this those first three songs, the mood semms to change, and the songs, weaker. Sanctuary is a somewhat beautiful number, but after a few listens, it tends to get boring. Same thing on Fritha, but I adore the bass on that song. Simple, but is works well. The Snow Goose is an ok song, but nothing special. Th rest of the album is mostly equal , and does not stand out. An interesting album, but it does not tend to grow on you, and left me with a disappointment, as I tought Camel would be as good as other prog greats. But I finally decided I wasgoing to buy other albums from them to see what they were like. 3/5

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Posted Saturday, September 17, 2005

Review by Australian
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars For me "The Snow Goose" is just one of those albums that sticks with you for your entire life, you all know what I'm talking about. This album in my eyes is an absolute masterpiece and goes beyond description for me.

Camel decided to attempt another concept in their music, after the success of "The White Rider" in Mirage. Keyboardist Peter Bardens suggested "Siddhartha", and some songs were written before the idea was trashed. Another book by the same writer, "Steppenwolf" was also suggested but this concept proved unworkable for the band. Finally, bassist Doug Ferguson suggested the short story "The Snow Goose", which the band accepted. Peter Bardens and Andy Latimer went to a cottage in Devon to record the album in peace, they worked extensively to create something good. After coming off the fairly successful "Mirage", which charted number 149 in the US and slightly higher in England, the band decided to stay in America and do some shows in clubs and small theatres. From this the band gained some further recognition and consolidated their American audience.

The album is based on a short story by Paul Gallico called "The Snow Goose." The book is about a man named Philip Rhayader, who is a recluse and lives in a marsh and tends to birds. He was suggestibly a World War 1 solider and he is looked upon as odd in the surrounding area because of his deformed appearance and claw-like hand. One day a young girl named Firtha comes to Rhayader's house with a wounded bird. Rhayader determines it is a Snow Goose from Canada and wonders how it got to England. Over the next few months Firtha and Rhayader tend to the wounded bird and become friends, until one day the bird migrates, leaving Rhayder once again alone. The bird returns and Firth comes to visit Rhayader once more. Rhayader gets news of English soldiers pinned down by German forces on the beach at Dunkirk and he goes with his boat to rescue as many as he can. He manages to bring many boat loads of men to safety before being killed, the Snow Goose stays with the body of Rhayader until a group of English men find the boat.

The Album was initially intended to have narration, but the writer of the book, Paul Gallico did not allow the band to have lyrics as he was against smoking and the band was produced by a cigarette company. Hence this is why the album is actually called "Music inspired by The Snow Goose."

"The Snow Goose" opens with the appropriately named track, "The Great Marsh" which depicts where the recluse to Rhayader lives. The song begins very quietly with the quacking of various birds and soft piano chords before moving into a more melodic passage spanning around forty seconds. The song is sets the scene of the story very well and captures the atmosphere of the marsh.

"Rhayader" is next up and is obviously the song for the character. Considering his status and reputation among people around him, his tune is very happy. It consists of an opening flute melody played over the top of an underlying keyboard melody. The song them moves into a much more upbeat section with steady bass and percussion and a continuing flute melody. After the flute solo comes a guitar synthesizer solo from Latimer which then, in turn lead to a repeat of the opening theme. The song then connects directly to the next song.

As "Rhayder" fades out."Rhayder Goes to Town" Begins as the two songs, like the entire album are joined together. The song begins basically consists of some repeated themes on a variety of different guitar and keyboard synthesizers. One theme in particular is repeated many times before leading into what is a very good guitar solo around the 2:30 minute mark. This solo moves away from the repeating melodies and is just a great moment in the album, the solos spans basically the rest of the song. The character Rhayder goes into town every so often to get supplies, hence Rhayder goes to town.

"Sanctuary" is a very brief song and it is intended to sullen the mood of the album as the song is very beautiful. It is basically acoustic guitar, overlayed with a very mellow electric guitar melody. It is a very calm and peaceful song and it is slightly different from the jazzy "Rhayader Goes to Town."

"Firtha" Leads on perfectly from the previous track, and it is similarly structured to it. This time the tune is slightly faster and instead of being overlayed with an electric guitar, there is a synthesizer. "Fritha" describes the character Firth from the book.

"The Snow Goose" is quite a mellow tune and then entire song is a slow guitar solo with snippets of synthesizer and bass here and there as well as a steady drum beat. This is one song which is hard to appreciate first listen, it takes some time to "get it." The song describes the bird that Firth brings to Rhayader's house in the marsh.

Contrary to the last few songs, "Friendship" is a "happier" song and it is depicts the friendship between Rhayader and Fritha. The song is made up of a few wood winds, Bassoon, Oboe and clarinet I believe. The instruments seem to answer each other and create a very warm atmosphere.

"Migration" is the first of the songs with word less vocals; both Latimer and Bardens sing the lyrics less vocals. The song is happy, just like the previous one, probably more so. The song is tinged with synthesizers and the bass and percussion is strong here. The title requires no explanation.

With the migration of the snow goose, Rhayader becomes lonely again as Firth does no visit him anymore, hence why the song is called "Rhayader alone." It is quite a mellow song and follows the same vein of the quieter songs near the beginning of the album with mellow keyboard chords and lush guitar.

"Flight of the Snow Goose" begins with a synthesizer and guitar part gradually increasing in volume until finally and new theme comes in. This melody reminds me somewhat of the tune from "Rhayader Goes to Town", although here it is notably faster. There is also a splendid synthesizer solo which is then followed by another repeat of the main melody.

"Preparation" is probably the most monotonous song on the album as it consists of a very odd synthesizer and percussion rhythm which is repeated over and over. it is also the only instrumentation of the song. There are some more lyrics less vocals in the background by an unknown vocalist. The song describes Rhayader's preparation before he attempts to save the men stranded at Dunkirk.

"Dunkirk" is the longest and most progressive song on "The Snow Goose" and it features very strong symphonic traits. It features many very interesting instrumental passages played on guitar and synthesizers as well as bass and drums, of course. It is very fascinating listening to the different movements in the song. At Dunkirk Rhayader is able to save many men from the beach, before he is killed.

"Epitaph" is an echo of "Preparation" and is the song that indicates the death of Rhayader as he attempts to save the men stranded on the beach at Dunkirk. Nothing much else to say about this song other than it's essentially a repeat of "Preparation."

When Rhayader doesn't return, Firth soon discovers that he had died. She goes back to Rhayader's house and looks after the birds in his stead. "Firtha Alone" is very brief and simple, but it is a very sad.

When Firtha sees that The Snow Goose had returned, she is overjoyed and names it La Princess Perdue, which is where the name of the song comes from. The song is perhaps the best on the album and it sums up the last forty or so minutes of amazing music. Unfortunately, Rhayader's house in the Marsh is destroyed by German aircraft and Fritha returns to the swamp to find the house completely destroyed, all evidence of Rhayaders' existence is now gone.

The album is ended with a repeat of "The Great Marsh", only this time the song gets gradually softer opposed to louder. The song fades away, as all the evidence of Rhayader is washed away.

1.The Great Marsh (4/5) 2.Rhayader (5/5) 3.Rhayader Goes to Town (5/5) 4.Sanctuary (4.5/5) 5.Firtha (4.5/5) 6.The Snow Goose (5/5) 7.Friendship (4/5) 8.Migration (4/5) 9.Rhayader Alone (4.5/5) 10.Flight of the Snow Goose (4.5/5) 11.Preparation (4/5) 12.Dunkirk (5/5) 13.Epitaph (4/5) 14.Firtha Alone (4.5/5) 15.La Princess Perdue (5/5) 16.The Great Marsh (4/5) Total 71.5 divided by 16 (number of songs) = 4.46875 5 stars Essential: A Masterpiece of Progressive Music

Truly an amazing album from anyone's perspective, what's not to like about it? It is certainly the pinnacle of Camel's career and a gem of progressive rock music. Camel decided to go on a more lyrically based approach with their following album, "Moonmadness" and left "The Snow Goose" unspoiled. I'd recommend "The Snow Goose" to all prog fans as I believe it is an absolute essential to everyone's music collection. If you have read this far, then you have a longer attention span than me.

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Posted Friday, July 21, 2006

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars OK, let's try to be more critical!

After a zillion times that I listened to "Snowgoose" in my younger years, and after carefully studying all the instruments, arrangement, production, cover image, the plot-line story "inspired by" the namesake novel, and a cult-like devotion to this work, let's break for a while!

In fact, this album is all too often boring, flat sounding, very lukewarm and lame. At times it comes close even to "elevator" muzak. Many themes are repeated in a circle and if you suffer from insomnia, listening to it may help. To my recent astonishment, even probably the best moment on the album, dynamic military marching rhythm with effective guitar solo of "Dunkirk" seems to be not very original idea, having already heard CURVED AIR's "Metamorphosis"!

But, don't be too threatened by this sort of negative review given by an "experienced" listener, though. "Snowgoose" is still recommended to all novices and beginners to classic prog and it remains an obligatory "lecture". Just be aware that there are better art works and that this one is hardly a "masterpiece".

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Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I really don't like giving this album this low a review. It's a good album, unfortunately it has many parts that may bore you to tears. This is not CAMEL's best work, as many would like you to believe. People say it's interesting becuase it's all instrumental, well, that doesn't make anything interesting. You could add a set of Bagpipes to the music and that doesn't make it interesting per se.

The Rhayader sequence is the best part of the album. Too often though, one get's the feeling that the music flutters and doesn't have a bite to it. It isn't bad that it doesn't have a bite, but I find other of CAMEL's great works(Mirage, Moonmadness) more appealing.

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Posted Friday, August 11, 2006

Review by Melomaniac
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars My first Camel purchase, two weeks ago (I know, a bit late...) and was lucky enough to grab the Decca remastered release. I had heard two Camel albums in the past and did not really get it, but I took a chance with this one, and I won!!!

Great, great album! Every musician's work is a highlight. Latimer's guitar playing is amazing, as is his flute playing. Barden's keyboards are great and very original, Ferguson's bass parts are tight and creative and Ward's drumming is also exciting. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that Camel really stand out in the 70's prog scene. They sound like nobody and nobody sounds like them (not that I have heard every prog band, but from what I have heard).

About The Snow Goose, I think the only way one can review this album is as a whole, as one long song, not like a series of short songs. It is based on a book, and personally I judge a book in it's entirety, not chapter by chapter. Jethro Tull's 'Thick as a Brick' often came to my mind while listening to this, and is about the only comparison that I can make. So as one long song, it is really outstanding, exceptionally well written and executed. The variety of moods kept me interested all along, as did the musicianship. The lack of vocals does not put this album down in anyway (in fact I remember it was mainly due to vocals that I did not like Camel in the past), it just leaves more room for that excellent music they make.

A definitive five star masterpiece in my opinion.

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Posted Saturday, September 09, 2006

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars The only missing things in this album are the notes. It's very difficult to understand what a concept album means, when you don't know anything about the story. By the way, this is a masterpiece of progressive. The excellent guitar of Andy Latimer drives the first 3 tracks, then everything proceeds through an impressive athmosphere to the second part (I enjoyed the vinil, first). To be noticed, the second part of the suite where CAMEL give evidence of a Floydian influence with a track that reminds Atom heart mother. This is the 3rd CAMEL album. 5 start to this one, but if you are new at Camel, don't miss the first four.

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Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars For the reasons I mentionned in my review of their first album, I entered the Camel repertoire quite lately (in September ... 2004). with "Snow Goose" (together with "Moonmadness"). I must admit that I quite liked it at the first spins but I also got tired of it quite rapidly.

Since I discovered afterwards that the vocals were not really Camel's trademark, the fact that this album is an all-instrumental piece of work is not disturbing.

But the record company, specially in the US was horrified to find out that "The Snow Goose" had no vocals ! It was intended to have a written narrative thread by Paul Gallico (the author of the novel "The Snow Goose") linking each piece of music on the album sleeve. But he never granted permission to do so. To avoid legal matters, the band had to change the title into "Music Inspired by The Snow Goose". It is very hard for me to imagine a storyboard from an all intrumental piece, so I could not really enter into this "story".

It is made of lots of short tracks (16 songs for 43 minutes of music) which could provoke some kind of mixed feelings about it. The ambiance is sometimes very "Trespass-Esque" if I may.

The first six numbers flow perfectly one into the other with some good and passionate moments. The middle part of the album is weaker ("Friendship"and "Migration") and it sounds like the band lacks in enthusiasm. The remaining parts being in-line with the start : good music but no highlights (being a concept album does not mean that it could not contained highlights).

Even if it is a good record, it is not my fave one from Camel. Try and get hold of the remastered version for its 24 minutes bonus track (again, not essential, but good to listen to) : some single releases and some live ones (still recorded at the Marquee). It will peak at the 22nd spot in the UK charts. Three stars.

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Posted Monday, February 05, 2007

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A definite improvement over the uneven and sometimes gauche 'Mirage', CAMEL'S 'The Snow Goose' is best listened to in its entirety. Gentle musical themes wind their way from track to track, bringing a sense of symphonic continuity to what is clearly a concept album. No one track stands out, though some of the more well known tracks, such as 'Rhyader', 'The Snow Goose' and 'Flight of the Snow Goose', introduce the main themes. Each track segues into the next to create an organic whole unlike anything CAMEL had previously done.

I have to admit to having trouble with this album. The story of the Snow Goose was one of my favourites as a child, and I associate quite different music with the story. So it was only when I could ignore the concept and let the music tell its own story that I began to appreciate this album.

Neither this album nor any of CAMEL'S catalogue will satisfy those whose musical taste runs more to high drama and dynamic range. However, for a melodic, highly competent interlude from moe demanding music, you can't go past CAMEL'S 'The Snow Goose'. Except for CAMEL'S 'Moonmadness', of course.

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Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Review by Prog-Brazil
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is one of that prog-albums you have to listen entire to understand the wonderful project by Camel. Listening one or two songs you can't feel the beauty of the songs, you have to listen from "The Great Marsh" until "The Great Marsh". And learn about the Rhayander's sad story told by the colleague Australian in review above. So you will understand why the birds sing by many songs: in the great marsh, keyboards in the beginning of the snow goose, fagote on friendship. The highest moments to me are: Rhayader/Rhayader Goes To Town; The Snow Goose; Flight Of The Snow Goose/Preparation/Dunkirk and naturally La Princesse Perdue. But I can't forget the witty Migration, the misterious Great Marsh, the cool Friendship, the sad Fritha Alone and others. The album goes to the end like Supper's ready (Genesis) and Close to the Edge (Yes) remembering the main themes. So tighten your belts to the amazing finale: The snow goose reprise with mellotron and orchestra... you just want to cry! Especially if you know what the story is about. Of course this albums deserves five stars! It's better than Mirage and Moonmadness to me.

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Posted Saturday, August 18, 2007

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Third and boldest release from this great influential band from the 70īs. It was a huge step forward and quite daring to work with a full orchestra orchestra and do a totally instrumental album. And who could believe it would their most successful? but in hindsight we can see why: the music is BEAUTIFUL! Itīs very poingnant and the group is tigher than ever. This is a truly group efford: the sound is smooth all the way through. No ego trips here, everybody is working for the concept.

Snow Goose turned out to be what it is: a masterpiece of prog music. With all its marvelous simplicity lies the basis of a groundbreaking work that was surely one of the 70īs best effords. Just put it to play and enjoy! Highly recommended!

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Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007

Review by FruMp
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars A masterpiece of instrumental prog.

The Snow Goose is CAMEL's best album and one of the best prog albums of all time, it features extremely cohesive symphonic songwriting, strong melody and impeccable attention to detail, it's also very self contained and memorable with a lot of great moments. The Snow Goose is quite an upbeat and at times silly album (except for the beginning and end).

The album is full of highlights as I said before but Rhayader Goes to town is one of the standout tracks, it's triumphant and powerful, Andy Latimer's guitar is on fire here too. Dunkirk is another real strong point with it's ominous marching beat leading into a wailing slide guitar solo with the drums a real strength here.

The Snow Goose is an essential addition to any symphonic prog collection, it has very strong varied songwriting and a great overall theme.

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Posted Monday, October 15, 2007

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Good, for sure. Masterpiece? Ummm.

I don't think so. The Snow Goose is widely considered to be Camel's finest hour although that belief is as debatable as nailing down the finest Floyd album. Being an instrumental concept album the case can be made that Snow Goose is the most progressive album but some will charge that it doesn't have enough adrenalin, that it is a little too easy listening. Certainly the first two albums are more rocking but the strength of the Goose is that it does try something different and perhaps more elegant/grandiose than Mirage or the first album. An ambitious and often beautiful piece of light symphonic prog, the Snow Goose was conceived in a fashion similar to Dark Side of the Moon. The band was out on the road touring Mirage while working on this, just as the Floyd were while working on a piece titled "Eclipse." Giving the new material a pre-recording road work-out can often be helpful to the quality of what eventually hits the street and the theory works with Snow Goose as well.

The highlights include the whimsical and dancing flutes melodies of "Rhayader." Melody is king on Snow Goose and that's the main reason this work is so beloved. The playing is awesome as you'd expect and while most of the accolades go to Latimer, Andy Ward is the one who catches my ear all the time with his astonishing ability to deliver percussion parts that are just spot on without being showy. "Rhayader Goes to Town" is a favorite of mine with its sublime guitar leads by Latimer. "The Snow Goose" is perhaps the most instantly recognizable guitar lead of Latimer and its soaring repeating melody is my mind's definition of "the Camel sound." If you only hear this album once in your life, chances are you'll forget most of it but you'll take the Snow Goose lead guitar melody with you. "Migration" is a smooth jazz-pop track with wordless vocals and a very Caravan sound. "Dunkirk" injects some darker mood with the eerie keyboards and ominous growing rhythms. The guitar work here is positively Oldfield, in fact the whole track could fit right in on Hergest Ridge or Ommadawn. The climax of this track is as chaotic as the Snow Goose gets and it is a much needed shot of oomph. I'm a sucker for the lovely solo piano of "Fritha Alone." Lovely. "La Princesse Perdue" sort of reprises the main melody of the title track but changes it up a bit and adds other backing to make things a little richer.

Another nice booklet in the remastered edition tells the story of the time period and includes a funny story about how the record execs reacted when they heard the Goose had no lyrics: "They freaked!" I love instrumental albums but in this case perhaps some high quality guest vocals on certain tracks could have elevated Snow Goose in the way Maggie Reilly or Sally Oldfield could boost certain Oldfield tracks. For those who love the instrumental Camel sound on Snow Goose, I have to make my usual recommendation of Rousseau's "Flowers in Asphalt." It delivers a similar sonic experience with even better results.

The Snow Goose is a fine album but falls well short of an essential masterpiece in my opinion. It has its share of excellent moments but it also leaves me a bit unfulfilled. If it is the Camel magnum opus, then it supports those who feel that Camel is not of the same caliber as some of the other legendary bands. I don't think it stands up equal to the best of Floyd, Yes, Caravan, or Genesis. The main tracks are good but not jaw dropping, and the short bridges linking them together are pleasant but rather inconsequential in some cases. It is most successful at conveying the overall serene mood to the listener and it definitely has stellar playing but personally I prefer the Camel debut which I'm sure has many of you rolling your eyes. The Decca remastered CD will give your another generous batch of bonus tracks to wade through consisting of unreleased singles and live material. 3 ― affectionate stars for the Goose but don't miss the debut album for a livelier Camel experience.

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Posted Thursday, November 08, 2007

Review by Moatilliatta
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I don't like snow, and I don't like geese, so I knew I wasn't going to like this album. You might say something like "that's the wrong way to approach it" or "that's being biased" or "animals have feelings too" and to you I say "I don't care." I've already established my mindset and that's near impossible to change, and I love chicken tenders and steak too much (not to mention other delicious foods).

It may have been a good idea to take the instrumental approach here; Andy Latimer can't sing very well, and their instrumental sections are their strong points. But with The Snow Goose the band make it clear that their future is pretty hopeless. Their vocals are poor, but when they try making music without vocals it's even worse. Surprisingly, they managed to make their best record and fulfill The Snow Goose's prophetic portent in two year's time.

This record does have some moments of greatness. The main theme from "Rhayader" is quite a fun one, "Migration" is a great canterburian spurt and "Dunkirk" is one of those cool songs that slowly builds into an awesome climax.

This album is good, but it is inconsistent and a bit boring. I find it difficult to finish, but I have managed to do it more than once. Better than most Camel records, but not better than most not-Camel prog-rock records.

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Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars With The Snow Goose, Camel deliver one of the most beautiful albums out there. And this in 1975? The sound is so full and lively that Camel have really achieved something special with this album.

Given the ongoing debate about whether this album is a masterpiece, I will have to side with those that believe it is not. Why? Well, first off, I have to say that I could care less about the story. Along with that, I could also care less about whether the album is loyal to the story--I just care about the music. My take has long been that The Snow Goose gets off to a fantastic start, but things REALLY drag on the B side (though it is not without highlights).

For me, this first six tracks from one of my favorite series of songs, with great transitions and gorgeous playing. The mysterious intro (The Great Marsh) really sets things up for the Rhayader tracks, full of tempo changes, keyboard flourishes and interesting melodies. Sanctuary and Fritha slow things down, setting up the absolutely breathtaking title track, highlighted by the Gilmour-esque playing of Lattimer. (I only use the comparison as a point of reference--Lattimer is certainly as talented as Gilmour in my book.)

Then things really get boring, with tracks like Preparation that go nowhere and do little musically. The only songs after the first six that I really look forward to are Dunkirk (where Lattimer cuts loose a bit for an extended jam), La Princesse Perdue (as high quality as any track on the album), and Great Marsh reprise to tie the album to a close in a nice fashion.

The highlights are certainly good enough to warrant your money and attention, but things for me are maddeningly inconsistent on The Snow Goose. Respect the creativity, production and musicianship, but don't expect too much from the less interesting parts.

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Posted Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Review by The Pessimist
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Now I know I'm a sucker for melody, but this album does bore me. While most proggers worship this album for strong concept and melody, I don't like it, no matter how much I've wanted to. It's the fact that it's just pure melody and nothing else. Unlike Mirage and Moonmadness also, it goes on a bit too long. The tracks are too short and end too quickly, and overall I just get the feeling that this wonderful journey is too much to handle. Once again, sorry to slate a classic album, but I just don't see it really.

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Posted Friday, February 22, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well this album is certainly a prog rock classic if there ever was one. Camelīs third album The Snow Goose is one of the most famous albums in prog rock. Does it deserve the praise and all the positive words then ? hmmm...Iīm not sure. IMO this is a good album, but itīs not more than that. I like both Moonmadness and Mirage much better than The Snow Goose. An almost pure instrumental album is a bit hard to swallow for me and always has been. There are very few pure instrumental albums that I enjoy enough to either find excellent or even call masterpieces and this is certainly not one of them.

The music is a bit more easy listening than their previous album Mirage which I thought had a bit of an edge to it that I really enjoyed. Of course Camel isnīt the most edgy band in the world, but at least there were a few parts here and there on Mirage where I was intrigued by the mood ( for example the last part in Nimrodel). There is no edge to The Snow Goose, itīs just a pleasant listen all the way through which is fine sometimes, it just doesnīt rock my world to be frank. There are lots of nice guitar, flute and keyboard melodies which are the dominant lead instruments on The Snow Goose. The music is symphonic prog rock with the emphasis on melody and emotion.

The musicians are very good. They are very tight and there is nothing wrong with their technique or talent. Latimer and Bardens dominate the soundscape but both Doug Ferguson and Andy Ward also play a vital role. Andy Ward has always been one of my favorite drummers from the seventies and here he plays some of his best parts.

The production is nice, soft and pleasant. A typical seventies production in the professional end.

So whatīs all the fuzz about ? well I can understand peoples excitement over The Snow Goose as it is a pretty original album for the time, but personally Iīm not that excited. So the conclusion for me is a 3 star album. Iīll recommend Camelīs debut, Mirage and Moonmadness over this one.

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Posted Friday, April 11, 2008

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars For the most part I don't care to listen to progressive rock music in the morning hours. I prefer classical symphonic and/or piano fare at that time of day and bands/artists like Porcupine Tree, Yes, Flower Kings and Neal Morse don't belong in that grouping. Now, just because I don't want adrenaline- producing, boisterous, head-bobbing assaults on my tender psyche at that hour doesn't mean that I desire to wallow in sappy New Age noodlings, either. (If you know anything about Beethoven's or Haydn's symphonies you know that they're anything but boring or sappy.) I just prefer to take a more mellow approach to my waking moments, that's all, and the more melodic the better. Lately I've found much of Iona's inspiring work to qualify for A.M. listening and now I can add Camel's "Snow Goose" into that classification.

This is my first excursion into this heralded band's repertoire and it's about time. In the States this esteemed British group never garnered any attention for one reason or another. (My bet's on Decca's severe lack of intelligent marketing.) Their LPs made it into the record bins (I remember noticing their interesting cover art) but no one ever recommended them to me and they didn't get any radio play. They're not even mentioned in Rolling Stone's somewhat comprehensive Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll so that should tell you something about their overall anonymity. It wasn't until I started reading glowing reviews of their work on this very site that I realized they'd be a band I could appreciate. All I can say is that, judging by the high quality of this album, it's definitely my country's loss that they're still relatively unknown to the general public.

I never thought a non-jazz instrumental recording could be so satisfying to my prog sensibilities. These musicians without a doubt have their own unique style but they mostly appeal to the part of me that loves both Pink Floyd and Genesis. And that's not bad company to keep, my friends. "The Great Marsh" fades in with a ghostly Rhodes piano accompanied by wordless vocals and, farther along, bolstered by a Mellotron. "Rhayader" features a playful flute melody at first, then morphs into a cool organ segment. Here keyboard man Peter Bardens employs a warm and fuzzy distortion that reminds me of Mike Ratledge's approach on Soft Machine's debut. Love it. On the longer "Rhayader Goes to Town" the tempo takes a welcome upturn. Andrew Latimer's layered harmony guitar lines lead to a funky synthesizer riff before his electric guitar reenters with a David Gilmore-styled solo. "Sanctuary" has a beautiful melody played over a serene acoustic guitar and "Fritha" is an extension of the same feel, this time with a smooth synthesizer floating over more acoustic guitar. "The Snow Goose" further displays Latimer's delicate touch on the fretboard as he soars above Bardens' organ.

Variety is always a big plus in my book and I always hope for surprises when checking out a band for the first time so when the group stepped aside to allow bassoons, clarinets, oboes and flutes to calmly stroll in on "Friendship" I was delighted. What a great change of pace! Without missing a beat the band jumps headlong into a contemporary jazz motif on "Migration" complete with wordless jazz vocalizations before they settle things down again with the serene, gorgeous "Rhayader Alone" where Andrew makes his guitar utter lonesome emotions as the Rhodes piano holds the song together. Their honorable Genesis influence and attitude is most evident on "Flight of the Snow Goose" and they perform their homage well. A 12-string guitar opens "Preparation," allowing woodwinds and Latimer's flute to frolic overhead, paving the way for a "bubbling" synthesizer effect and a disembodied vocal to take over. A fat Hammond organ sound dominates the beginning of "Dunkirk," with a full brass horn section jumping into the fray to participate in a slow build-up. The tune culminates with hot slide guitar and flanged drum fills from Andy Ward. It's got a great Pink Floyd flavor and it's their most energetic track on the album.

"Epitaph" is a brief reprise of "Preparation," then Peter shows off his admirable grand piano skills on the too-short "Fritha Alone." He creates a truly elegant moment and I wish there was more of it to indulge in. "La Princesse Perdue" is a return to the up tempo groove of "Flight of the Snow Goose" but this time a full, lush orchestra joins in and the result is fantastic. "The Great Marsh" brings the whole thing full circle with a haunting rendition of the epic's eerie beginning. What a splendid journey it has been.

The first three bonus tracks are merely out of context edits of a trio of the piece's most memorable airs and only serve as a recap of what you just heard. But the two concert tracks are real eye-openers. Both were taped live at the famous Marquee Club in late 1974 and both have terrific sound. Unshackled by the necessary precision of the studio environment, the rhythm section of Andy Ward and bassist Doug Ferguson really get to spread their wings and fly. And these aren't just note-for-note renditions of "Flight of the Snow Goose" and "Rhayader Goes to Town," either. There's an excellent spontaneity going on in the performances that makes these cuts very exciting. At the very end they segue into "Freefall" where the vocalist reminds me a little of a young Kevin Ayers.

I can honestly state that I don't have anything else quite like this in my entire prog collection and that makes it worth having right there. Add in the fact that the musicianship, the wide spectrum of instrumentation, the melodic composing and seamless arrangements are all top notch and you have a wonderful album on your hands and in your ears. I can't think of a better prog CD to spin on a quiet morning while you get your mind ready for the day that lies ahead. 4.3 stars.

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Posted Sunday, April 20, 2008

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
5 stars Perhaps in response to critics assailing their vocal deficiencies, the members of Camel decided to produce an all instrumental album and base it on a children's book, initially without acknowledging the book or author, but that is another story. It proved to be their breakthrough album, and with good reason. "The Snow Goose" allows Camel to sport its increasingly skilled compositional and playing skills with a variety of musical hues, and is a simply beautiful album to boot.

Starting from the short opening track, we can hear a difference in Camel's whole attitude, with more of an emphasis on mood setting and less on unharnessed power as was sometimes the case on "Mirage". The thematic approach also allows one to consider individual segments in relation to the whole and not as a work in isolation. For instance, "Preparation" doesn't really have much to it on the surface unless one considers it in light of what is to come, the storm of "Dunkirk", even though I confess to loving its idiosyncratic sounds. The rousing chants of "Migration" have more impact in the context of an otherwise instrumental work. Nonetheless, some themes are clearly central to the goals of the band and stand alone quite nicely, in particular the oft performed "Rhayader/Rhayader Goes to Town" combination that lean on Andy's flutes and guitars, and the gorgeous title track with a melody that is revisited in a more orchestral and epiloguish form in "La Princesse Perdue".

My general bias against instrumental albums taken into consideration, the fact that I can even consider this one for a 5 star rating is sufficient endorsement. Camel conducts a grand lesson in how to create a masterpiece of symphonic progressive rock. Luckily for us, a lot of musicians were listening and are carrying on this rich legacy in their own ways.

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Posted Sunday, May 11, 2008

Review by TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Review 51, The Snow Goose, Camel, 1975

StarStarStar

For an album like The Snow Goose a complete track-by-track review would ultimately be pointless. Instead, I'll start with general comments and then give a sentence or two about each of the tracks.

The Snow Goose is, for some, the epitome of Camel's work, or even 'symphonic' prog. Alas, that does not hold true to me. While a very consistent album, and one without many moments so over the top that they will alienate the listener, it does only a limited amount to actually involve me. Generally, the way Camel work for me is with vocals or a clear idea as a focus. The Snow Goose not only lacks these, but also flops a bit on creating a genuine feel of continuity, and it feels more to me like a bunch of separate themes thrown together into a forty-minute piece rather than a fully cohesive album. The echoing is a bit blunt, where it happens, and doesn't feel clever.

The musicianship throughout is fine. Andy Latimer provides some cheerful guitar and flute, and even if his style at those doesn't always work for me, he does what he does quite well. Pete Bardens keyboards are Pete Bardens' keyboards. Rarely electrifying in performance, but they do the job and add another layer. Occasionally this layer seems a bit too thin for my liking, but there are equally moments of psychedelic ideas that are handled quite neatly. Andy Ward is the highlight player, drumming quickly, proficiently and in line with the feel of the music. Doug Ferguson never was my favourite bassist, and this album isn't an exception. I don't often feel impressed by a Ferguson bass-part, even when they don't reach the repetitive levels of Lunar Sea. Perhaps that's just preference, though. The inclusion of the orchestra varies from proficient to gimmick to childish, and is at times quite a nice extra, but at others nothing special.

The Great Marsh opens with birdsong and the relaxed aa-aa-aaa-ah vocal theme that will recur a couple of times. Latimer provides a tense guitar and the band move quite nicely to sort of mini-explosion with a fairly good use of the orchestra.

Rhayader features a classy flute solo, some sort of odd piano choice from Bardens (I want to say it's an electric, , a typically stalking Ferguson bass groove and neat relaxed percussion. An odder middle section features a rather over-stretched guitar solo.

Rhayader Goes To Town follows straight on with a rocking section, keyboard riffs galore and excellent soloing from Latimer. Ward again gives a sterling performance. It is unfortunate that the entire piece isn't up to the opening, with the following bits feeling more half-hearted than lighthearted. A more up-to-scratch showcase for Latimer's soloing features, which, while not exceptional, is fitting.

Sanctuary is plainly a boring piece, with a repeated, weirdly fast acoustic, a couple of bass taps and a mostly bland slow solo from Latimer. Fritha, ditto, but Pete Bardens provides clangeresque soloing instead and the acoustics are slowed to a more appropriate speed.

The Snow Goose again takes off a bit. Certainly more of a band piece, with everyone strutting their stuff carefully. Latimer provides the wonderful main theme melody, while Bardens merely supports with the organ. It's unfortunate that they chose to include a repeat which simply wasn't needed and Ferguson feels a bit redundant at times.

And from this, a whiny oboe/sax intro with a generic background dududu takes us to friendship. A pity that when the main melodic theme is so wonderful, the bland orchestra use leaves me basically uninterested in the piece. Migration again features the wordless vocals, and basically the good things about the song are rather masked by the number of times things are repeated with little or overly obvious elaborations. The gentle Rhayader Alone is one of the album's highlights, with a basic emotional appeal that many of the songs lack, a feeling of isolation and loss. Latimer's guitar solo is wonderful and the softer acoustic bass works very nicely. Not sure quite what the Bardens tone is, but it doesn't spoil the piece.

Flight Of The Snow Goose is another relatively uninteresting track. A slightly boring keyboard thing opens it, and it continues upbeat and uninspired for another two minutes. The foreboding Preparation is a bit of an acquired taste, and sounds better live from the Moonmadness remaster, in my opinion. Bardens haunting keyboard melody is superbly done and there is a gorgeous female vocal, but the rest, orchestra and all, is simply a bit duh. Ward taps on a glockenspiel.

Dunkirk is an odd piece. The brass is used in an entirely generic way, and the basic melodies are repeated for far too long, while the solo completely fails to inspire me. On the other hand, Bardens does have a very nice organ tone, and the basic material isn't all that bad and the final minute or so is a pretty good piece of music (especially from Ward's side). The guitar solo is alright, if not my favourite, and the slightly grittier sound is something I've always felt Camel needed more of.

Epitaph is directly echoing the keys on Preparation, with a large set of various key-based additions and an even darker feel. Ward provides some very odd percussion. Psychedelic and fairly brilliant. Fritha Alone is a piano solo, soft and emotive, if a little over-repeated.

La Princess Perdue is a true example of a song exemplifying the good and bad of its album. Upbeat, and initially annoying, with orchestral additions. As always, one melody is repeated far too much and others crop up in between the repeats. Later on, however, it takes off a little more, and I like the use of the orchestra. The Snow Goose theme is repeated. The Great Marsh concludes the album on the same sort of terms as it began, birdsong, bland keys, repeats. A fairly nice wheeeet sound in the background, though.

Onto the bonuses: the single versions are pointless. A much livelier live version of Rhayader Goes To Town is welcome. The Snow Goose is alright. Freefall is incredible, except the vocals, which truly wreck it.

I'd recommend this wholeheartedly to anyone who doesn't really need their music to challenge and constantly interest them. It's a decent album for relaxing with, and does have a few genuinely interesting ideas, however, it does not keep and hold my interest on any deep level while I'm listening. Good, yes, but non-essential for those who aren't fans of less involving music. While listening for this review (and this is after at least 20 listens), whole tracks went past without me noticing.

Rating: Three Stars. Favourite Track: Epitaph

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Send comments to TGM: Orb (BETA) | Report this review (#175354) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Flight of the snow camel

Camel's wholly instrumental concept album The Snow Goose was actually one of the very first real (as opposed to Prog related) Prog albums I ever heard. And it apparently made its marks on me as I'm still here (in the Prog world) now. And this is definitely a minor classic of the progressive Rock genre and an important album for Camel, one of my all time favourite bands. However, comparing it to Mirage or Moonmadness - the two albums that surrounded it - The Snow Goose does not quite hold up too well in my opinion (but few things do, on the other hand). There are passages of sheer brilliance on this album for sure, but nothing that is quite up to par with the material on Mirage, Moonmadness or even the self-titled debut. The present album is thus my least favourite of Camel's classic period (their first four albums). But it is still a very good album that should definitely be heard!

I have always liked this album but I do think that it is a bit too light-weight. I have heard live recordings of music from this album that sound a bit more powerful compared to this original studio version (there is a full live performance of The Snow Goose from the live album A Live Record, and parts of it are performed on the official live releases Pressure Points, Never Let Go and Coming Of Age). There could be more of an edge to these tunes.

Recommended

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Posted Sunday, July 20, 2008

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Touching and flawless album!!!

Undoubtedly, remarkable Camel again after Mirage! This time even better. I would like to discuss the album from different point of view. The Snow Goose is very tough for listening when you are in negative mood. It is strange, because the album is so gentle and astonishing. It's so complicated and hard - real magnum opus for Camel and masterpiece for progressive music as well. When you listen to this concept album for first time you don't know even what's going on. With every next listening it stuns you more and more. The concept composition is built completely. Highly recommended for all profound and complex fans.

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Posted Monday, July 28, 2008

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I know for a lot of CAMEL fans this all-instrumental concept album is their favourite. So let me first apologize for the low rating, but I cannot get into this one, never have been able to. Sure there's lots to like here, but it doesn't have those contrasts i like. This is mostly pleasant, well played melodic music. Again that's a good thing, but it's too much of the same thing. I am a big CAMEL fan, and if you look at my ratings for their albums you can see that I really do love this band.This is just one I can't get into although i've heard a couple of live versions of this that I have liked better.There i've defended my rating enough already. Haha.

Some highlights for me include "Rhayader" which is such a tribute to Latimer's flute playing. Barden's keyboard work also stands out. A feel good song for me. "The Snow Goose" features electric guitar, organ and drums that all create a beautiful sound.

"Migration" is a highlight for me because of the vocal melodies and the drumming of Andy Ward. "Preperation" is great with the flute, keys and guitar. Some haunting vocal melodies as well. "Dunkirk" is led by organ and drums until the guitar comes in around a minute.This one's my favourite.The tempo picks up late, great finish.

So yes this is for most one of the best CAMEL albums ever recorded. For others like myself not so much. I unnderstand though that if you look into the concept of it that it makes a big diifference.

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Posted Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Review by MovingPictures07
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Meh. Representative of Symphonic Prog? You have to be kidding me! This album may be consistent, but it's consistently a snoozefest last time I checked!

This album drags. And drags. And drags. The lack of vocals, even though in Camel's case may be good, really make the album uninteresting. The instrumentation is about average, nothing too special, nothing interesting. I never pull this album out, and for good reason. When I have listened to this, I hardly remember anything from it besides possibly Rhayader, which is the best song on here, primarily for decent flute from Latimer.

This album is definitely for collectors or fans only. I was really disappointed. I mean, it's better than most mainstream crap out there, but it's really samey and bland for me.

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Posted Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review by LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is one of those albums that it is hard to separate personal tastes from a more objective look at the album, but in truth it's not that big of a deal--it turns out that my subjectivity pretty well aligns with the objectivity here. There's plenty of good reason to truly love this album.

Camel has never been a band obsessed with defining their music with vocals and lyrics, that's for certain. Really, in light of their catalog, if they hadn't released something like The Snow Goose, we'd all have been confused. Here, in direct progression from Mirage, the gentle and cheerful songs take precedence over the straighter-edged rock found early on. The flute plays a much more major role in the songs, appearing a good number of them. The album features a lovely flow, with some filler sorts of tracks composed of gentle soundscapes and minimalist repetition, but the end result is quite a lovely excursion into Camel's softer prog side. That is, of course, not to say that there aren't fast guitar licks and powerful solos or furious drumming or Doug's classic bass lines. Rather, they are saved for special moments, turning the album into something of a whimsical yet on the whole exciting piece of classic prog music. The only true downside to this album is that it's not terribly worth it to listen to a single song, and so if you want to pop in a quick Camel tune or two, this album is likely not where you will turn to in the end.

Song by song analysis turns out to be quite difficult for an album like this, so I'll skip most of the shorter ones and focus on the more fully developed pieces. Rhayader showcases the whimsical, upbeat flute work and bass playing that will mark much of the album. Rhayader Goes to Town is a bit harder, a bit more of rocker, marked with blazing keyboards and a long guitar solo in the second half. Migration features one of the only instances of vocals present anywhere on The Snow Goose. They are, of course, wordless, but they are even more cheerful and (I need a new word, but I'm not coming up with one) whimsical than if they had lyrics. Flight of the Snow Goose kicks off the second side, building with a keyboard layer in the background and a very pretty guitar line. The drums sound great for this track, accenting the bouncy sort of bass quite handily. Preparation is a slow, soft tune that builds with nice flute and a creepy vibe to it, accented by some strange wailing over the top. Dunkirk segues perfectly from Preparation, turning into a repeating tune that plays mostly the same lick over and over again, building in intensity and depth every time until about three and a half minutes in, at which point the song turns to a much faster-paced guitar solo vehicle (and interspersed with neat phasered drum spots). Quite a dramatic turn, and very well composed. La Princesse Perdue is the final track proper on the album--followed only by the closing soundscape of The Great Marsh--and it feels like it reprises pieces of other songs off the album, though the accuracy of this I can't quite vouch for. Strings enter for their first truly prominent piece, wrapping this album up with an epic and upbeat blast.

In the end, this album might not sound like your cup of tea. And in truth, it might not be the best place to start with Camel--I'd aver that Mirage better fills that slot. Nonetheless, it is quite the musical morsel, very carefully composed and wonderfully performed. This is what soft progressive music should sound like. A very relaxing or very energizing album at the same time, depending on what you are looking for from it. This versatility (and for some, the lack of Camel's sometimes-considered lacklusted vocals) turn The Snow Goose into Camel's magnum opus, and quite a gem of 70s prog.

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Posted Monday, November 24, 2008

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars For one disinterested in instrumentals as a general rule, I was hesitant in purchasing this one. Damn good thing I ignored my "better judgment." This is easily the best series of instrumentals these ears have ever heard. They are not ostentatious, as most symphonic rock can be, but merely amazing arrangements of amazing pieces.

"The Great Marsh" What a way to open the album! From those haunting voices to that final theme, I am drawn into all that is to come.

"Rhayader" This is one of my favorite tracks on the album (silly thing, that, since the album must be ingested as a whole). I love the flute and piano riff, but the bass gives this piece what it needs to be awesome.

"Rhayader Goes to Town" This track kicks off with wild synthesizer work, but gradually becomes more mellow, leading into a Pink Floyd-like guitar solo, full of simple bass, drums and electric piano.

"Sanctuary" This short piece contains lovely acoustic and electric guitar, and leads into the next part. It fleetingly introduces the main theme of "The Snow Goose."

"Fritha" Continuing with acoustic guitar, this beautiful section brings back the synthesizer and flute.

"The Snow Goose" Easily my favorite Camel instrumental, Latimer's guitar just sings the notes. The music is peaceful and full of soul.

"Friendship" Quirky wind instruments and keyboards make this a suitable transition between the majesty of the title track and fleeting beauty of what is to come.

"Migration" This is another highlight for me, especially with the vocalizing and fast-paced music whisking me away, as it were.

"Rhayader Alone" Electric piano and guitar develops a somber mood based on the theme from "Rhayader."

"Flight of the Snow Goose" A synthesizer build-up brings in this exciting and happy track. The drums are exceptional on this one, but they fade out, leaving the clean guitar to usher in the next piece.

"Preparation" At first, the mood remains somewhat cheerful, but soon becomes somber, maintaining a 5/8 time signature throughout.

"Dunkirk" This ominous tracks comes in directly from the previous one, using that marching beat to musically describe war. It has a wild slide guitar solo, and thundering organ and electric guitar at the end.

"Epitaph" The melancholic second half of "Preparation" is revisited, only without the company of the female voices. It is the gravest track.

"Fritha Alone" Here lies a ninety second piano piece.

"La Princesse Perdue" This climactic instrumental rises out of the ashes of dejection and soars into an uplifting synthesizer run and a great revisiting of "The Snow Goose" theme.

"The Great Marsh" The album ends as it begins, but without the triumphant following. What's more, the voices are gone. The album ends in loneliness.

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Posted Friday, February 27, 2009

Review by crimson87
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Kings of elevator prog

The entirely instrumental Snow Goose is in my opinion Camel's finest achevement. Having realized Andy Latimer is no Greg Lake , the band decides to put emphasis on little instrumental passages instead of songs. Moreover , there are some orchestral arrangements that give this album an epic feel.

It would be hard to describe this record track by track since some of the sections are not even one minute and a half longer , so if you love sidelong epics you'd better try another record (or maybe another band) With the exception of being an instrumental record , The Snow Goose is typical Camel: subtle well composed tunes with an emphasis on Latimer's guitar. However this record has a bit of everything from acoustic pieces to energetic drumming passages to grandiose orchestrated sections. Some of my favourite moments are The Snow Goose ( Where Latimer shows all the shredders out there that less is more creating a teardropping little guitar solo) Dunkirk ( a song in constrant crescendo with military style drumming and a very good slide solo) or even the Canterbury flavoured Migration... Suming up , I don't think a single second of this album is wasted , it's all 5 star material.

That being said , I don't think this record would be suitable for everyone on this site since it does not have any particular standout moment like Tarkus Close to the Edge or Plague of Lighthouse Keepers Moreover , the playing is not impressive by any means , so those looking for sheer technical prowness may look elsewhere. So what's good about this record then?? The answer is simple: The Snow Goose's strength lies in it being a solid , well composed and cohesive album. So if you were to have just one beautiful and relaxing record The Snow Goose can be right at the top of your wish list.

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Posted Monday, March 09, 2009

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Camel explores very unique territory with each release. This is their third album and perhaps their most celebrated when it comes to pure progressive content, though Camel's first 2 and fourth album are better. The entire album is based on one concept, that of the snow goose story and the music reinvents the genre. It is difficult to digest at first as no songs are apparent, rather instrumental works that make up a whole.

As soon as the flute chimes in and those keyboards ring out on Rhayader, one is instantly transported into the beautiful ambience of one of the best instrumental albums of the symphonic Canterbury period.

Each track is beautifully, masterfully executed by the musical virtuosity of each member. It is best listened to as an entire work, rather than individual pieces, similar to a symphony orchestra. (Even my wife loved this and she despises most prog.) It features such a beauty it is calming and soothing on the senses.

Latimer's guitars are upbeat and his flute is cheerful and charming, perfectly balanced by Ward's drumming and the keyboard talents of Barden's. These talents are balanced by orchestral sections giving the work an overall epic majestic quality. The juxtaposition of orchestra and rock instruments works perfectly. At times their 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.

Sanctuary is repetitive and focusses on Latimer's drifting guitar solo, that really slows things down.

The Snow Goose is the band in full flair that includes catchy ambient melodies. A very high pitched saxophone can be heard in the tracks to follow and is a welcome change in pace to all the strings.

Rhayader Alone is another highlight and is quite a melancholy piece with marvellous soloing from Latimer and an acoustic bass tone from Ferguson.

Of note too is the addition of bonus tracks on the Decca remaster version. Over 24 extra minutes of Camel is irresistible. The bonus additions are great single edit versions of Flight of The Snow Goose, Rhayader and Flight Of The Snow Goose. There are also two excellent live 1974 versions of Rhayader Goes To Town and The Snow Goose/ Freefall. This last track clocks in at 11 minutes and is one of the highlights as it blends seamlessly from Snow Goose to one of my favourite tracks in Freefall. I have played this track most of all tracks on the album and count it as one of the top 5 Camel live tracks in my collection.

Overall, I believe The Snow Goose is an inspired work that demands attention. It is not for everybody's tastes due to the content, and it is a peaceful, tranquil instrumental album, however this is one of those albums that tends to grow on you over time.

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Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is my first Camel album, I got it around 10 yrs ago. There are plenty of reviews to this work on site, and mainly two opinions egsist: bigger part of listeners like it veru much, smaller part think that this is just very average album.

I can try to find , what is the reason in egsisting of two so different opinions ( and I do it just because I think it will help for new listeners to understand if this album is their cup of tea).

The music on this album is just BEAUTIFUL. With no comments and no other opinion possible. Bright melodies, perfect technique, well balanced sound. It's instrumental album, and the rare one, which contains easy listening with quite serious sympho-sound. So - if you like that kind of music - you will be really pleased in listening of this album.

If you are searching new sounds, new ideas, experiments, or just tension in prog ( and you know, ROCK -music is a right place for that!), I'm affraid you wouldn't be very happy there.

It's not a King Crimson, it's for sure. Very pleasant listening, but I am not sure how much people listen for rock-music because they are searching for just pleasant listening.

So,because I don't want to repeat everything was said about this albums in all that reviews there, just decide, what you're expecting to find there.

I like melodies,it's true, but pleasant listening isn't my best prerogative. So, maximum I can put for this beautiful album, is only 4.

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Posted Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars CAMEL is a special case for me, they have everything I like from a Prog band, their members are incredibly skilled, the music has coherence, is well elaborate and has the precise balance between complexity, melody and experimentation, in other words, and being a Symphonic fan, CAMEL should be one of my favourite bands.............But they aren't, I feel like their music needs more energy, strength and risk, they seem to play safe, the music is beautiful but a bit tame for my taste.

I used to avoid all their albums, until I bought "Moonmadness" which I found amazing, so why shouldn't I give a chance to The Snow Goose, a conceptual album based in the short story by Paul Gallico, but due to the hatred of the author towards cigarettes, and believing CAMEL had relation with the tobacco company, opposed to the use of lyrics that referred to his book, so CAMEL had to change the name to "Music Inspired in the Snow Goose" to avoid legal consequences.

This fact affected the album, it had to be instrumental and not even narration allowed, so the music had to be really descriptive to make sense, but sadly it isn't, the album is practically a whole long song with incredible beautiful passages and excellent performances, but is as boring as watching the grass grow,

I find no energy, no strength, the music consists in endless repetitions of previous passages, so after 5 minutes, there's nothing new, and in my case I wanted to burn the album, the excessive care for details of the members of CAMEL; made "The Snow Goose", so clean and chemically pure that is tedious.

The band seems to ignore that Rock is young, risky and strong, instead they dedicate their time to create beautiful but lame repetitions of the same music, over and over, there's no wild power, young strength only careful pieces of music with beauty but no life.

If it wasn't for the Jazzy "Migration" and the mystic but powerful "Flight of the Snow Goose", I would had gone to bed earlier, because the only thing "The Snow Goose" produces me is somnolence, but this two tracks gave me some hope to listen the album until the end.

Now comes the difficult part, the rating......It's very difficult to give a low rating to an album that has wonderful melodies and clear demonstration of skills, but this is Progressive ROCK and any form of Rock requires freedom, strength, and, energy, not only careful beauty that lacks of life.

My advice...Stay with Moonmadness", the only CAMEL album that doesn't work as a pill of Vallium

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Posted Monday, September 14, 2009

Review by The Sleepwalker
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Snow Goose is Camel's release from 1975. The album is completelt instrumental, which I don't think is a bad thing, as I don't think Camel has very good lead vocals. The album is very atmospheric. By this I mean that it's full of soft interludes and returning themes. Also I should mention that this is a concept album, and the whole album is one big journey.

The music on the album varies from short pieces that are meant to create some mood, like "Sanctuary", "Friendship" and "Preperation" to longer, more comlex songs like "Rhayader Goes To Town", "The Snow Goose" and "Dunkirk". Camel did really well on both sorts of tracks. The shorter ones really give the album a fitting mood, while the longer ones, that often resemble important moments in the story, could easily impress one because of their complicated composition, brilliant musicianship and emotional moments.

Atmosphere is incredibly important to the album, and is what makes this album unique. If one doesn't like the atmoshere of the album, he'll probably won't like the entire thing. The album has many themes that sound very much like other themes on the album. Also songs like "Preperation", "Dunkirk" and "Epitaph" have clear feeling of being far from only seperate songs. This is because of a mysterious theme, appearing in "Preperation" and "Epitaph" kind of surrounding the epic "Dunkirk".

One could dislike this album because of its focus on atmosphere over constantly moving and over-exciting music, but I like it. People liking a blend of symphonic music with a lot of soothing atmosphere and mood might really enjoy this album, so I really recommend it to those people. The Snow Goose is definitely worth four stars, as it's a fantastic album though not a masterpiece.

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Posted Sunday, November 01, 2009

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This instrumental album holds a fine place in any classic-prog lover's collection for its lush compositions and iconic feel, but doesn't have enough gusto to go the distance when the listener's mood isn't right.

"Snow Goose" features fine compositions and playing throughout, with the interplay between instruments and the transitions between movements standing out as the highlights for me. There aren't really any "songs", since the ablum flows together so well. Really, this is an album-length work spread out over several tracks. Its approachable and melodic tone takes the listener on simplistic journey through the realms of classic-prog. There are a few rousing upbeat moments, but overall "Snow Goose" takes its time to meander through delicate melodies. It has a definite '70's vibe to it, which is cool; it is uniquely optomistic feeling album, and makes for excellent, relaxing background music.

There isn't much here which will make the listener's ears perk-up, or challenge their sensabilities. The instrumentalists are all proficient, but lack energy. "Snow Goose" has a very luke-warm feeling which won't make an impression on some. I lean towards heavier music myself, but still enjoy this album's light symphonic feel, and appreciate it as an elegant snap-shot of '70's prog. Hardly comparable to the giants of the day though.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: NA Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

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Posted Saturday, November 07, 2009

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The snow goose from 1975 is a step in other directin after the masterpiece Mirage, now the album is almost entirely instrumental, with ocasionaly some vocal parts, but holds some very fine and beautiful moments in Camel career. Some say that this is their best album, some say that this is their weakest one from the famous trilogy who includes Mirage and Moonmadness , some say something in the middle, well to me is close to an essential listning. I have this album for years in my collection and I've listinin more then 10 times, now is time for a proper review. To me is a great album , less intristing then the predecesor - Mirage who I rated 5 stars, The snow goose is an important album in progressive rock music, both for the musical value and for sheer briliancy of the concept. Thake the name from a book, this album take the listner to a perfect journey in symphonic prog music. Alternating from mellow moments, to some more up tempo, smooth and very elegant, Camel never stop to amaze listners with this album. The combinations of acustic guitar with electric one make this album truly enjoyble, some orchestral moments are infiltrated in the songs and the resul is excellent. The music is very melodic only vary rarely get some amazing bursting moments like Rhayader Goes To Town - the best pieces from the whole bunch, amazing progressive tune who will pleases the listners without doubt. So, a great album to me, not a mastepiece for sure, even less enjoyble then Moonmadness, Brethless and of course the fabulous Mirage, The snow goos holds some of the best moments Camel ever done. Recommended or not is you to decide, but some spins worth, both for historical importance but aswell for the great and grandeur of the music delivered. 4 stars for me.

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Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars The Snow Goose was the first Camel album to find its way in my collection. Some oohs and aahs not withstanding it is an entirely instrumental album that yields a lot of classical music elements and where Camel's rocking edge is completely mellowed out.

Similar to Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, the album was supposed to have a narrative thread in between the songs based on a book by Paul Gallico. But the author, being greatly opposed to smoking, didn't want to grant his permission to a band that was obviously a walking advertisement for cigarettes. I think the end result works quite well without the narration. It would probably have slowed down the pace too much.

It is hard to single out individual tracks. This is an album you need to listen to in one sitting and that deserves your focussed attention. Without the proper focus you will not do it justice and the album will fade away in the background. No, this is not the kind of music to wash dishes to. The Preperation - Dunkirk - Epitaph section is probably the best but really, there are no weak parts.

The album goes through a whole range of styles and concentrates on delivering strong melodies. It's a great symphonic album but my advice is to approach it with fitting expectations. It can not be compared to Mirage or Moonmadness and by consequence it's an album that tends to result in mixed reactions. I'd say it's quite essential progressive rock. 4.5 stars.

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Posted Sunday, December 06, 2009

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Camel - The Snow Goose (1975)

Boring or masterful?

This is an album that is different from other albums that are considered a progressive masterpiece by the many. It lacks long epics, it lacks very intelligent compositions, it almost completely lacks vocals and thus quality lyrics but compensated with heart braking melodies that always get my soft, mellow sweet moods active. It is an act of tenderness and one might say it expresses love in a very artistic way. But that's not all. There is also the bombastic intro of Rhayader Goes to Town, the dark 5/8 Preperation, the serious Great Marsh and the rockin' Dunkirk.The ground-braking idea of making a concept album without lyrics is of course to be hailed as one of the most progressive concepts. My girlfriend likes this record so much she's got an vinyl version for herself.

Though there are plenty of lovely melodies and moods, there are some less interesting moments on the album like the solo parts of Rhayader Goes To Town and some low-volume short pieces, but I wouldn't say all the intimate moments are boring. It just might not appeal to proggers who like hardcore action prog.

Conclusion. In it's own way an intimate masterpiece of symphonic rock. If ELP or technical metal is your standard you'd better skip it, but this is great way to introduce your progressive hobby to your girlfriend and have nice time together. I prefer the live version of the album, but this is also four star material!

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Posted Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Review by ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Jenny Agutter Broke My Heart

Camel's 3rd album is arguably their best and probably richly deserving of all the plaudits heaped on it during the intervening years. It seems that the success of the Tolkien sourced White Rider on the previous Mirage album provided sufficient encouragement for Bardens and Latimer to expand their canvas to encompass a fully fledged conceptual work. Various literary sources were considered including Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, but Camel mercifully abandoned an adaptation of this grovelling apology for western wickedness (after just a casual glance at the lyric sheet provided with Close to the Edge presumably)

Paul Gallico's short novel The Snow Goose from 1940 seems an odd source for the muse to be sure. I mean it's a nice little heart-tugger and all but inhabits a world so soft and fluffy that Barbara Cartland could conceivably be summoned as the defendant in one of its obscenity trials. Enough already, I know that all male proggers of a certain vintage would have fallen hopelessly and madly in love with Jenny Agutter courtesy of the 1971 film version starring Richard Harris.

Given the particular historical events that the story rests upon (the Dunkirk evacuation during World war Two) it's hardly surprising that the accompanying music has a markedly English/Northern European flavour, shorn of all habitual rawk artifices and without a trace of blues anywhere to be found. Personally I find this refreshing as you can get a bit jaded with pale white boys from Solihull paying their dues to a Delta most of whom think is an Italian rally-car.

The Great Marsh - Seems to take an eternity for this little teaser to finally uncloak itself but a suitably atmospheric intro that sets the gentle and wistful mood appropriately enough.

Rhayader - Glorious and indelible theme that represents an amalgam of English folk music and the European classical canon. Think of Focus sparring with Jethro Tull and you might just be in the ball park/soccer stadium. When the core quartet embark on the central improvisation section they inhabit a sound world not a million miles away from Greenslade.

Rhayader Goes to Town - Clever use of disorienting electronica via the synth ostinato which punningly alludes to the protagonist's alienation from and reluctance to engage with the modern world (Rhayader is a hermit artist who lives alone in a lighthouse, although I can't recall too many reported instances of overcrowding in the lighthouse industry) Rips along like a high speed train containing one very uncomfortable commuter who clearly believes himself to be in a state of the art slave galley. Several of the melodic themes used on Snow Goose can be viewed as a Prog twist on Wagner's classical leitmotif idea i.e. the personality and mood of the characters is mirrored by the musical materials. That twee, clumsy but still loveable synth motif that lurches unannounced onto centre-stage, perfectly captures Rhayader's risibility in the eyes of a dismissive urbanity. The slower guitar solo section always reminds me of Gilmour in Floyd.

Sanctuary - Given the title, a fitting contrast to the disruptive urgency and frisson of the previous track. Gentle finger-picked acoustic guitar provides a soft bedding for a haunting flute stated melody which segues into a achingly beautiful electric guitar passage right up there on a par with any of Focus's finest contributions to instrumental rock. (Praise indeed)

Fritha - Were you to pan all the concealing mud, debris and rock out of many a celebrated prog epic, what remains would still be outshone by this humble little jewel.

Friendship - Jauntier than an epidemic of terminal jauntiness, this short classically inspired tune scored for reeds and wind just bounces joyfully around like a toddler on a bouncy castle. At less than two minutes such bonhomie is not requiring of any deflating pin from your reviewer.

Migration - A rare instance of vocals on this album, albeit wordless Hatfield & the North style critters. Migration always conjures up unrelated imagery of Carnaby Street, mini-skirts and the swinging 60's as envisioned by Ealing Studios for this rodent. (Dunno...Straight Edge Psychedelia?) Despite that, yet more very strong musical ideas that like so many on this record, prove resilient to the stylistic garb they are clad in.

Rhayader Alone - Introspective and moody electric piano that captures our hero's inevitable but still mourned isolation perfectly.

Flight of the Snow Goose - Crackling synth arpeggio that prefaces such use as implied harmony on what passes for sophistication in the dance fraternity. Another addictive guitar theme that is hard to dislodge once entry is permitted into the listener's head.

Preparation - Restive guitar picking wedded to some fondant flute which transitions into a foreboding drone based groove over which a cherubic female/prepubescent choirboy cast cloistered whispers. Those of you familiar with Rick Wakeman's No Earthly Connection will discern similarities between the former's The Reaper and this number.

Dunkirk - Possibly my favourite Camel track ever and a salutary lesson in how to gradually build and pace an arrangement that allows all the constituent parts to have their own little window from which to cast the sunlight. Camel also manage the very ticklish feat of combining orchestral sources with the electric band on Dunkirk which is often an elusive mixture even for the more celebrated Olympians in the prog pantheon. This would be the audible results of thematic ideas being allowed to organise and arrange themselves without an ego in the vicinity. Music would be this democratic but for musicians alas.

Epitaph - A short reprise of the Preparation materials.

Fritha Alone - Very plaintive and moving solo piano piece (although I detect an overdubbed part in the higher registers?) What proof is required for its beauty is that on ceasing, you just want it to start over again.

La Princesse Perdue - Emerging dancing village strings a la Bartok which preface a tremulous and exhilarating synth lead before Latimer's guitar, for all intents and purposes, practically defines noble, stately and borderline aristocratic in equal measure. I hear many textural similarities on this tune with that of Wakeman's more enduring work for electric band and orchestral forces.

The Great Marsh II - The sequel. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the swamp. Let's face it and forgive it: Prog concept albums have had these little tail-enders linking back to opening material since God was in short pants. (No I don't mean Jon Anderson, even short pants look like long un's on that elfin warbler)

If you were to recommend a starter pack for a prog newbie then you could do a lot worse than suggest The Snow Goose. It just might represent the perfect stepping stone for an inquisitive listener to venture into the wonderful world of Progressive Rock. The fact that it is almost entirely instrumental would certainly prepare an initiate for the abiding thrust of the genre's style.

Yes, the music is relatively gentle and accessible but never bland and as I alluded to in my review, musical ideas this strong are sufficiently 'well hard' to withstand any stylistic interpretation.

PS Jenny Agutter, we forgive you.

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Posted Saturday, January 16, 2010

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Although ranked by many as a 'classic', Camel's instrumental effort 'The Snow Goose' is a real marmite album. For some, it defined all that is graceful and beautiful about the symphonic-prog sub-genre, showcasing the link between classical and rock with graceful aplomb. For others, however, it is an anaemic reminder of all of Prog's deficiencies and an example of why punk rock came, saw and conquered the late-seventies musical world, as listeners found themselves looking for something meatier to chew on. Whatever your view - and there are many - there is no denying that 'The Snow Goose' features some enchantingly sumptuous moments of instrumental beauty. The lack of vocals can be distracting, but once the listener has adjusted to the style and tone of the interlocking pieces, there are many rewards to be had with the group's now-experiencd line-up combining flawlessly. Lighter than 'Mirage', much more overtly progressive than their self-titled debut and longer and more complex than 'Moonmadness', 'The Snow Goose' is a charming, if slightly self-indulgent addition to this group's impressive catalogue. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars What were Camel to do in order to top a strong album like Mirage? Well, since the band were in the middle of the golden age of prog, why not try to do an instrumental concept album?

The results of this experiment were quite pleasant to say the least! The Snow Goose is a great interpretation of a short story making it listenable almost on any occasion. The arrangements are symphonic but with a strong rock flavor to them and results in a very gentle sound combination which makes for a soft introduction to Camel's music. Of course nothing is without its flaws and even though the Snow Goose is an excellent piece of music, for me this doesn't come any near the greatness Camel achieved on Mirage. Unlike some of the lengthier compositions of Mirage, this follow-up album keeps the material quite short. But it's those slightly longer compositions, like Rhayader Goes To Town" and "Dunkirk, that really show the band's true potential.

I have to admit that I never really considered this album to be a serious progressive rock record, which has to do with the very gentle approach that Camel is going for with their sound. I rarely listen to it as a main course of my day's prog intake and instead either put it as an appetizer or a soothing desert. This doesn't in any way imply that the Snow Goose is a lesser release in comparison to albums like Moonmadness, but merely that there is a difference of moods connected to each of there experiences.

The Snow Goose is a second of the three fan-favorite releases by Camel at the time where this band just could do no wrong. In a way, this release can either be considered as a very daring attempt at trying something new with Camle's music or the complete opposite, due to it's pleasant arrangement that rarely diverse from the overall sound scheme. Either way, this is still a very strong album well worth your time and money!

***** star songs: Rhayader (3:01) Rhayader Goes To Town (5:20) Dunkirk (5:19) Epitaph (2:07)

**** star songs: The Great Marsh (2:02) Sanctuary (1:05) Fritha (1:19) The Snow Goose (3:12) Friendship (1:44) Migration (2:01) Rhayader Alone (1:50) Flight Of The Snow Goose (2:40) Preparation (3:58) Fritha Alone (1:40) La Princesse Perdue (4:44) The Great Marsh (1:20)

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Posted Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars There are some old albums in my vinyl collection that I, frankly, didn't give a damn about when my lovely old stereo system broke down after years of faithful service. I couldn't afford to replace them all with CD's, and I resigned myself to losing out on many pleasures for ever.

However, with a present of vinyl to digital hardware, and software, I can now revisit those pleasures, and this is most certainly one of them.

There is not much to say about this album that has not already been said, and I will keep this review shorter than most of my other efforts.

Suffice to say, I am genuinely of the opinion that great instrumentals are capable of speaking to you as well as, and in some exceptionally rare cases, more so than any concept album with lots of verbosity.

This is one such album, a glorious symphonic album which epitomises all that is great about that sub genre.

The piece has to be listened to as a whole, because it tells a story. The musicianship is absolutely incredible, and this is, in essence, a modern piece of classical music.

At times this is beautifully moving, and it remains to this day one of the most important works in the progressive canon.

Five stars - a true masterpiece in every sense of the word.

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Posted Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Maybe the best album to start your Camel experience with. Unless you're against instrumental only albums (I fortunately am not), you will probably (means most likely) be captured by beauty of this water bird.

One thing I noticed instantly when I heard it was Caravan keyboards and instruments of (that were most famously used in Prog by) Gryphon. In broader meaning, you can relate these facts to influencing sound of Snow Goose.

This album is simply lovely. Short songs (eh, the longest has a little bit over 5 minutes) are interesting enough, even some sound patterns are used more times (second half of Preparations and whole Epitaph are basically the same thing) and of course there is something like TSG adventurous theme. But it's too much of re-using to make whole LP length as interesting as normal album would be. It's concept album, even more, it's an adaptation. And it's nice, but still, just

4(+) for pleasant album with let's say 25-30 minutes of solid music. The rest are just echoes.

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Posted Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review by baz91
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Camel's third album, 'The Snow Goose' is an entirely instrumental concept album based on Paul Gallico's short story of the same title. This book, written in 1941, is essential reading if you want to follow what's going on in the album. It's only 40 pages or so long, and I finished it in a morning, but it is a deeply touching tale.

If you've heard Camel's first two albums, you'll note their constant aversion to lyrics, almost as if they don't like singing. It comes as hardly a surprise then that they wrote an entire album without lyrics! The entire feel to this album is different. This album feels more like a classical symphony, though with rock instruments. There are no less than 16 parts to this album, but they could easily be collected together and be known as a 43-minute suite. I won't review these songs track by track, as it is simpler and more effective to view the entire album as a single suite.

There is good news and bad news about this album. The good news is that the whole album is effortlessly beautiful from start to finish. If you wanted to put this record on in the background, prog-bashers have to come up with another excuse than 'It sounds awful!' The bad news though is that, certainly the first time around, the album is not very exciting. This is one of those albums that you have to listen to repeatedly to fully appreciate. The most exciting parts are the beginning of Rhayader Goes to Town and the end of Dunkirk. Many of the tracks, including Sanctuary and Fritha, feel like filler and are quite forgettable. My favourite track on the album is Dunkirk, where the first half builds the tension perfectly until we reach the climactic, exciting second half.

This music is certainly a work of genious, but it's sadly not quite a masterpiece. Those who say this album is 'accessible' are very mistaken. It's really quite tough to get into this strange, beautiful album. It is possibly too 'mature' and 'serious' for proggers who like their music to be just a bit mad. I definitely recommend this album to all serious proggers, but a better place to start would be 'Mirage', as 'The Snow Goose' sounds nothing like the rest of Camel's catalogue. I am reviewing the Camel albums in order, and once again, I am awestruck that in 630 ratings of this album, not one of them is a one-star rating. Camel's music obviously touches everybody, at least at some level!

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Posted Friday, April 08, 2011

Review by colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I've always loved Camel, but The Snow Goose was kind of let down upon first listen and it remains as one of my least favorite albums in the Camel disography. Upon first listen, with tracks full of energy and beautiful melodies like "Rhayader", I had high hopes for this album, but the majority of music here all feels like a boring let-down. The fact that there are no vocals on this album is fine with me (I've always preferred my Camel vocal-less). The great material on Mirage and Moon Madness seems to much more thought out that this, but this mostly is the band's soundtrack affair for a novel titled "The Snow Goose". That whole ordeal caused some controversy within the band, but all that can be forgiven. This basically being an above-average soundtrack with strong progressive leaning and some great melodies thrown in, I'll have to give this a three-star rating, but I would definitely recommend some of their earlier work.

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Posted Monday, April 11, 2011

Review by Starhammer
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Store in a cool dry place...

This orchestrated, fully instrumental release is based on the short novel by Paul Galico. It was originally intended to have lyrics, but after protests from the author due to the band's association with a major cigarette brand (he despised smoking), the plans were scrapped and the album renamed 'Music Inspired by the Snow Goose'.

The Good: The instrumental arrangement's throughout this record are all top notch, with a special mention going to Peter Barden's contribution on the keys. The ethereal vocals found on Migration remind me of One Size Fits All era Frank Zappa! Standout tracks include pretty much anything with Rhayader in its name.

The Bad: Side two is noticeably weaker than side one, and whilst I do enjoy listening to the studio recording of The Snow Goose, I also find it to be a little bit tame at times and prefer the stronger version found on A Live Record.

The Verdict: Tasty but melts towards the end.

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Posted Friday, April 29, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Camel's second masterpiece in a row benefits, of course, from the instrumentalists giving the performance of their lives - Andrew Latimer's guitar on the title track is just gorgeous, and Pete Bardens' keyboards on Flight of the Snow Goose are just as good - but I would say it also benefits from a broadening of the Camel sound. The orchestra is part of it, of course - though I do have to give props to Camel for incorporating an orchestra into their sound with far more taste than many other groups show - but it's clear the band were playing close attention to what was going on in the rest of the progressive scene after Mirage. The medieval airs of Friendship, for instance, remind me a lot of Gryphon's sound, whilst the first traces of Canterbury creep into the Camel sound on Migration, which comes complete with Hatfield- inspired vocal aah-aah-aahs and breezy, jazzy instrumental performance. The Snow Goose was the first Camel album I heard, and made me a fan for life - and I'm sure it will do the same for many others after me.

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Posted Monday, October 03, 2011

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
4 stars This completely instrumental third album is probably CAMEL's best known, or at least it was their triumphant breakthrough. It is perhaps slightly more accessible than Mirage preceding it, but not necessarily better. Moonmadness following it is clearly better in my opinion, and the best example of good balance between instrumental and sung CAMEL material. Yes, they were generally better without vocals which were never their strongest side, but the album tends to get a bit boring if it's completely without vocals. That's the case here.

Inspired by a Paul Gallico novella about relationships between a man called Rhayader, a girl, and a goose in a countryside at wartime, the album tries to tell the story in music. I have read that book, naturally because of this album (in English; not translated to Finnish which I truly don't wonder, I wasn't very impressed). By the way, I have read that the group voted for the source book and Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf lost the election. I'd be very curious how they would have managed to put THAT deep psychologic novel into music! Well, they succeeded with Snow Goose and the music has an airy feel very suitable for the story. But perhaps that story itself is rather thin and naive to be a best possible source of inspiration. And isn't it a children's book anyway? How proggy and exciting album could one make of it?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy this album a lot. It includes marvelous tracks with soaring melodies. But it also includes some tracks in between that either sound like fillers or repeat the same motif too much (that's why I doubt if the book is full enough of drama). This repetitiveness here and there annoys me, but as a whole the album is a well crafted suite with various moods. it has a symphonic feel, and the band did perform it accompanied by a large orchestra. For an advanced proghead this may be a bit boring, but if you want to introduce melodic prog to someone who listens to light classical music rather than rock, this album could be succesful. How else it could have been a bestseller in the first place!

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Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The idea of Camel doing an entire album sans vocals (except ''Migration'') does not sit well with me. Yes, I do agree that Camel normally does not have very dynamic singers within its ranks, but there was no bad vocalist in the group. Their lyrical sections were always in small doses, but they punctuated the songs so well that they're nearly magical.

The absence of singing proper is noticed by this reviewer. Surprisingly enough, the music is based on a novel of the same name, THE SNOW GOOSE. In fact, the official title of the album is called MUSIC INSPIRED BY THE SNOW GOOSE. So with a literary concept in tact, it would normally make too much sense to put a ton of words in. I believe there were legal issues involved with the original author, Paul Gallico, but I don't know enough information to confirm any facts behind the whole thing.

Even though I'm not much of a lyrics type of person, I can understand how it can be a bit difficult to follow this album without any words to sing along to. Through my newfound love of musicals, I've learned to follow stories of certain works without necessarily sitting down and reading anything because the stories ought to have some decent clarity without any lyrics sheet or libretto; I could very well use one of those librettos for this because the story is quite hard to track down just by listening to the music.

For more than just those factors, this is in my opinion the clear loser out of the first four Camel albums, and the lack of vocals is easy to blame for the lackluster-ness. There's a little bit more to it than that. Many of the longer tracks like the ''Rhayader'' sections and ''Dunkirk'' provide the heights progsters come to expect out of a Camel album. Unfortunately, there are equally boring pieces like the ''Fritha'' sections and the title track that bog the album down. The inclusion of a small orchestra in ''Friendship'' sounds enticing, but the actual product sounds like stock music. And I seem to notice a larger amount of jazzy shuffle structures throughout the album.

THE SNOW GOOSE is an album to be played as background music. Coming from a band that gave the world ''Lady Fantasy'', ''Never Let Go'', and ''Freefall'', that isn't exactly a compliment.

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Posted Saturday, December 01, 2012

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars ''Mirage'' had eventually a great selling success and by 1974 Camel had already completed four UK and one three-month US tour after three years of existence.For their next work the group leaned towards a concept album.Originally they intended to dress musically '' Siddhartha'' by Hermann Hesse, but after some initial writing ideas they finally settled on Paul Gallico's novel ''The snow goose''.They entered the Island Studios in London in January 75' next to legendary prog producer Dave Hitchcock and Camel were helped in the orchestral parts by The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Bedford.To avoid legal issues with Gallico's original title the album was released under the name of ''Music inspired by The Snow Goose'' in April 1975.

Once more Camel would surprise the public, as their new album was totally instrumental, based on different short movements and influences from Classical Music, Jazz as well as the delightful Canterbury sound.The unique sound of the ''Rhayader...'' pair of opening cuts sets the listener in the mood of a whole work.The grandiose orchestral prelude, the nasty flute of Latimer along with his slow, emotional solos, the quirky keyboards of Bardens and the light interplays are all Camel trademarks of a work deeply loved by their fans, making ''Rhayader'' one of the most favorite tunes ever written by the group.The following themes are split in short pieces played more or less in a similar vein, resulting a sum of 16 pieces, tightly connected to each other.Latimer slowly becomes a guitar hero with his deeply personal guitar touch. full of emotions and interesting melodies, always supported by his alter ego Peter Bardens on the Canterbury-flavored keyboards.There are strong symphonic themes, performed by The London Symphony Orchestra and connecting rockier overtones to each other.The only complaint comes from the general atmosphere, which seems to lack a serious amount of dynamics at moments.Not necessarilly a bad thing though, as Camel offer flashes of intricate musicianship in this album with a smooth but always competitive delivery.Classical Music meets mellow Canterbury Fusion meets melodic Symohonic Rock in an album of ever-twisting soundimages and romantic, instrumental textures.

Another very strong release by Camel, considered a classic of their repertoire, but a couple of steps behind the majestic and monumental ''Mirage''.Melodic, instrumental Progressive Rock with symphonic and jazzy tendencies, likely to please all fans of imaginative Rock music.Strongly recommended...3..5 stars.

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Posted Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars Somewhat by accident Camel, on their third album, managed to live up to their potential. It is well known that this album was originally meant to have lyrics taken from Paul Gallico's story, "The Snow Goose". When Gallico objected, due to copyright infringement, the project became all instrumental. This proved to be a successful move for the band. With out lyrics, the band stepped up their playing, and filled the voids when the lyrics should have been with some very imaginative performances.

The music is more symphonic than the previous album "Mirage", and the psychedelic jamming that filled the first album, and remained, to a lesser extent on the second is hardly to be found. Added are more Canterbury-like fusion tracks, and some more experimental pieces.

One thing that makes this album enjoyable is that either by design, or from the original story telling formatting, none of the melodies or song ideas outstay their welcome. All pieces are economically arranged, and concise enough to convey their musical messages, while the absence of vocals allows the guitar, keyboards and flute to stretch out.

My only complaint is that too many of the symphonic styled tracks are a little too light for my bombastic tastes. But I still love the album.

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Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Latest members reviews

5 stars When I first heard Music Inspired by the Snow Goose, I was unsure how to rate it. I had already quite gotten into the other "classic" Camel albums (especially Moonmadness and Mirage) and I recognized some great moments on The Snow Goose, but on the whole, the album was a little harder for me to get ... (read more)

Report this review (#1077772) | Posted by zwordser | Saturday, November 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Camel's third record "Music inspired by The Snow Goose" from 1975 has grown deeper and deeper in my musical mind and at last it gains recognition. It is a long lasting and very intelligent instrumental record that frees the thoughts and explores new worlds. This record should be played as a unite an ... (read more)

Report this review (#949291) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Thursday, April 25, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An instrumental concept album seems like an odd idea, but Camel makes it work to perfection. Latimer's vocals were never something I liked particularly anyway, so its absence doesn't really affect the quality of the music. The style of the music is mostly the same as the previous two; it is mostly u ... (read more)

Report this review (#811843) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Wednesday, August 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The greatest album of all-time. Okay, i may be bias. Camel is the perfect for me, and probably always will be my favorite band. I can tell you that this album deserves to be at the very top of prog albums and classified as a master piece. I understand when people say it bores them, but those ... (read more)

Report this review (#800055) | Posted by pfloyd | Friday, August 03, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It took me very long to visit this Snow Goose page and leave a proper review. There is an interesting quality to this particular Camel album .. it seems to be able to easily penetrate your emotional space and gently immerse you into a wholesome, positive musical experience without, so to speak, ... (read more)

Report this review (#792076) | Posted by Argonaught | Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A powerful story makes for just as powerful music. Paul Gallico's short story forms the basis of this adventurous and sublime album, an inspiring conceptual work that retains the emotion feelings of the novella whilst also demonstrating that classical, progressive instrumental music can make ... (read more)

Report this review (#782223) | Posted by Mr Faust | Thursday, July 05, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I find it amazing that the top review is a distorted view on this masterpiece of an album. It may not have any 'historical importance' only because of the fact that this is an all instrumental album. By far the best Camel album, sending you on a voyage right into the Great Marsh. ... (read more)

Report this review (#634966) | Posted by Raccoon | Friday, February 17, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After so many reviews it may be hard to tell something new, but in some way this doesn't matter me at all. The Snowgoose is a conceptalbum following the wel praisen Mirage. There is a real shift in sound into more symphonic harmonies and less (hard)rockin' parts. Some of the nicest moments c ... (read more)

Report this review (#623658) | Posted by the philosopher | Tuesday, January 31, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After a masterpiece, Mirage (1974), Camel did want to do a conceptual album about the book of Paul Gallico, The Snow Goose, but they didn't get the approval of Paul, so changed the name of the album for "Music Inspired By: The Snow Goose" and did an instrumental work. Even with trouble, they ... (read more)

Report this review (#597417) | Posted by Catalani | Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Strangely enough, I was (accidently !) watching Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet when I started to spin this album for the tenth time this week and was looking for an original approach to this review than just knot down 100 words. Both the Nutcracker and the Swan Lake ballets must have entered t ... (read more)

Report this review (#595531) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, December 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I know there's not much I can say about The Snow Goose that hasn't already been said, but if I were to recommend just one album to anyone anywhere, this very well might be it. A song is worth 10,000 words. Camel tell the story of the snow goose through music, and they do so beautifully. Lyrics ... (read more)

Report this review (#575622) | Posted by Midnight Lightning | Saturday, November 26, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars CAMEL'S "Music Inspired by The Snow Goose" is a full on instrumental prog album. This meaning there are absolutely no vocals. This may steer off some newer fans.. but I recommend fans of prog to give it a spin. I usually write reviews track by track, but I feel like this album is just one big ... (read more)

Report this review (#568087) | Posted by theRunawayV | Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars (2.5 stars really, I'll make up for it by giving the ideally 3.5 starred 'Moonmadness' 4 stars!) I've made a few conscious attempts to get into the music of 'Camel', but unfortunately I'm just not that enthralled by their sounds, particuarly on this album (Sorry to any Camel fans), which isn't ... (read more)

Report this review (#567847) | Posted by Ffogorp the Confused | Monday, November 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Snow Goose is a fantastical journey of prog that proves you don't need lyrics to tell a story. The emotion of the music pushes the story along and lets the listener interpret it in their own way. Camel were very ambitious here but pulled off something very special. The music contains majesti ... (read more)

Report this review (#504624) | Posted by Quirky Turkey | Wednesday, August 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album can only lose to "Mirage" as the best work of Camel. "The Snow Goose" is a unique case in the discography of the band: it is entirely instrumental, except for some female vocals that "echoes" from the album and the male vocias in "Migration". This is for me the pinnacle of creative Bar ... (read more)

Report this review (#405433) | Posted by voliveira | Tuesday, February 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Snow Goose" is a very touching piece of art that seems to sound better and more beautiful every time I hear it. It is a tightly structured instrumental that was inspired by Paul Gallico's novel of the same name. There's an excellent mixture of both orchestral and rock instrumentation. The Snow G ... (read more)

Report this review (#337699) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Monday, November 29, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I gave this 3 stars previously, but i came bake to change it and write some words. This album actually deserves 4 stars cos it's worth it. This album has no vocals and it's less likely that it can keep someone's attention until the end, but it certainly has it's artistic value. Inspired by a nov ... (read more)

Report this review (#329394) | Posted by parapet | Monday, November 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Let me start by saying that "The Snow Goose" is my favorite Camel album. Although I thoroughly enjoy both "Mirage" and "Moonmadness" as well as bits of other albums, it really has to be "The Snow Goose", and here's why: This is the album where the band shines brightest in every aspect of their art ... (read more)

Report this review (#309322) | Posted by The Blue Ghost | Tuesday, November 09, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was the first Camel record I, and because of that and the fact that it is a terrific record, itīll always be special to me. When I first found this record in my fathers vinyl colection as was intrigued be the recordīs cover and naturally became curious about the music. When I first hear ... (read more)

Report this review (#304946) | Posted by unarmedman | Sunday, October 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I am an unlucky person, I must say. I had the misfortune of being born in 1995, when a lot of great prog records like The Snow Goose had been long forgotten. I do enjoy the current wave of prog, with Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Frost* and what not, but there is something to the early days ... (read more)

Report this review (#291913) | Posted by Juan.Pablo.Gonzalez | Sunday, July 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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