Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Camel Camel on the Road 1981 album cover
3.51 | 89 ratings | 5 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

Buy CAMEL Music
from partners
Live, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Never Let Go (7:03)
2. Song Within a Song (7:20)
3. Lunar Sea (10:50)
4. City Life (4:43)
5. Nude (0:27)
6. Drafted (3:55)
7. Docks (4:06)
8. Beached (3:44)
9. Landscapes (3:22)
10. Changing Places (3:32)
11. Reflections (2:24)
12. Captured (3:19)
13. The Last Farewell (4:05)

Total Time 58:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Andrew Latimer / lead guitar, flute, vocals
- Colin Bass / bass, vocals
- Andy Ward / drums
- Kit Watkins / keybards, flute
- Jan Schelhaas / keyboards

Releases information

CD Camel Productions - CP-007CD (1997, US)
CD Canyon International - PCCY-01097 (1997, Japan)
CD Sampony - D-1359 (1997, South Korea)

CD WHD Entertainment, Inc. - IECP-10134 (2007, Japan)
CD Belle Antique - BELLE-162566 (2016, Japan, remastered, SHM-CD, mini LP)

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

Buy CAMEL Camel on the Road 1981 Music

CAMEL Camel on the Road 1981 ratings distribution

(89 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

CAMEL Camel on the Road 1981 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This "Live On The road" collection is somewhat difficult to follow. a live recording from 1972 released in 1982 for the ten years'anniverary of the band. Another one recorded in 1981 and released in ... 1997 (this one) and a last one recorded in 1982 but released earlier than the previous one (in 1994). Do you understand something ? Rather difficult.

Anyway. Camel outputs an album consisting some old songs from the early days :" Never Let Go" from their first album; "Song Within a Song" and "Lunar Sea" from "Moonmadness). These three tracks belong to the good part of their catalogue. These live renditions are really good.

Then comes an almost complete version of their "Nude" album which was not really my cup of tea. The live versions are a bit better than the studio one. Two-third of the fifteen songs are played here.

This live effort is not too bad, mostly thanks to the legendary tracks. It is far from being a great live album though : track list is too week. We'll still have to wait to get it (in terms of when the concerts were recorded, not when the albums were released of course). But do not worry, it'll come. Three stars.

Review by progrules
3 stars Well, this could never be a bad release because my very favourite Camelsong is on it. But I have to be carefull here of course because it's live and that can always be disappointing. This one isn't though and it means already a 4 star score to begin with. Song within is the one with the beautiful flute as we know, excellently executed here and also resulting in 3,75 stars at least. Next is another Camel classic (Lunar Sea, in an extended version) and certainly one of their very best for my taste. It also gets the full 4 by me. But unfortunately the best is behind us after this threesome treat and the other songs are good at best ranging from 2,75 to 3,5.

So that results is a good live collection nevertheless but nothing to go overboard about. A solid three stars for Camel on the Road 1981.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars A nude Camel

There are quite a few Camel live albums on the market (but I can never get enough of Camel live!). The present one was recorded in 1981 (the year I was born) and features a large portion of the (at the time) most recent Camel studio album, Nude. Indeed, with the exception of the first three tracks, this whole live album is dedicated to material from that album. This might seem excessive until one remembers that Nude was a conceptual album telling a story and as such it deserves to be performed in its entirety. It is abbreviated somewhat, but one gets the picture.

The concert opens with Never Let Go from the self-titled debut album, a song that I always have loved. This is a good live version of it with some modern keyboard sounds as opposed to the old school organ sound of the original recording. Next up is Song Within A Song from the Moonmadness album and this one is a real treat as it is not available on many other live recordings. An 11 minute version of the classic Lunar Sea follows before they get nude, sorry get to Nude. The performances are good and the sound too, but I still feel that not much value is added in relation to the studio album.

While overall a very pleasant live release, it is hardly essential in the light of what else there is out there. If Nude is your favourite Camel album, then this live album might be of special interest. Otherwise, there are other live albums and videos that offer a more diverse selection of tracks and even stronger performances. I think that this is primarily aimed at fans and collectors, but it is nonetheless just too good to only receive two stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars This is another entry in Camel's On the Road series of archival live releases, hailing from a BBC concert recording from the Nude tour. On the Road (and the Gods of Light release) seems in part to have been a "beat the boots" endeavour on Camel's part - putting out decent-quality recordings in low-cost packaging to try and push back against bootleggers trying to flog the material in question, and since radio broadcasts are common fodder for bootleggers it makes sense that the band would make an effort to get on top of this.

After some decent runthroughs of older material, the bulk of this set consists of a run-through of Nude itself - or at least "edited highlights" thereof, taking in the entire first side of the studio album and the better bits of the second side. This is actually beneficial, trimming a bit of the fat from the concept and giving the back third a bit more focus.

Notably, Kit Watkins (formerly of Happy the Man) is here on keyboards, having been in that post for I Can See Your House From Here but not actually taking part in the studio sessions for Nude, so I suppose he was here on a touring basis to provide backup. In fact, a dual keyboardist lineup applies here - Jan Schelhaas is also helping out - giving this a fairly lush sound on that front, albeit with 1980s technology that is perhaps less warm than the synths and keyboards used in the band's prime 1970s years, to the slight detriment of the sound of the earlier material. (The stuff from Nude comes off better, since it was composed with such equipment in mind.)

This is also notable for capturing Andy Ward on drums in his last days in the band; by this point his struggles with alcohol had become severe and his mental health was approaching the crisis point. A few months later, he would attempt suicide, thankfully surviving but injuring his hand in the process, and Camel would attempt to go on hiatus, since everyone needed time off to recover from the shock and Ward in particular needed space to tackle his problems and begin the road to recovery.

Unfortunately, Decca would make loud noises about contractual obligations and demanded a new album in 1982, well before there was any prospect of Ward being able to return and prompting Andrew Latimer to knock together The Single Factor in order to keep the record company satisfied, and subsequently Ward would have a brief and disastrous stint in Marillion, during which his old issues flared up again; Ward would never return to the Camel fold.

Whatever was going on backstage with Ward, however, isn't really evident on his drumming here. He's a little lower in the mix than one might like, but otherwise he's on decent form, and it's particularly valuable to have a good-quality recording of him playing on the Nude material.

It's worth noting that the Air Born boxed set includes a significantly tied-up version of this BBC session, along with a couple of tracks - Summer Lightning and Ice from Breathless and I Can See Your House From Here respectively - which didn't emerge on the original release of On the Road 1981. Chances are that if you're a hardcore enough Camel fan to want to delve into live releases like this, you're probably keen enough to want to get that set - but if that's too rich for your tastes, I'd say On the Road 1981 is a pretty decent standalone release, particularly since it captures a more interesting and appealing time in the band's history than On the Road 1982 - confusingly similar in title (only one digit off!) but fatally different in composition, hailing as it does from the contractual obligation tour in support of The Single Factor.

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nš 746

"Camel On The Road 1981" is the sixth live album of Camel and despite be recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, England, in 1981 by the BBC, it was only released sixteen years later in 1997. As happens with "Camel On The Road 1972" and "Camel 73 ? 75 Gods Of Light", "Camel On The Road 1981" is also a live bootleg. But, despite the similarity of these three live albums, "Camel On The Road 1981" is a different live album compared with the other two. "Camel On The Road 1972" and "Camel 73 ? 75 Gods Of Light" have some similarities because they were both recorded in the 70's in the golden era of Camel, three of the live versions of the songs are based in the same original songs of the band, and finally, the line up of these two live albums are the same and corresponds to the original and that is also considered the best and most important of the band. Relatively to "Camel On The Road 1981", despite have three old songs from the 70's, this is a live album based in the Camel's sound of the 80's and has a completely different line up.

Anyway and despite all I said before, "Camel On The Road 1981" is also an important landmark in the history of Camel. It was the last album featuring the original drummer of the band Andy Ward. In the mid of 1981, Andy Ward stopped playing drums due to alcohol and drugs and years latter it emerged that Andy Ward had attempt suicide. So, with the departure of their former bassist Doug Ferguson in 1977, the departure of their former keyboardist Peter Bardens in 1978 and the departure of their former drummer Andy Ward in 1981, their guitarist Andrew Latimer remains the only former member on the group, despite some occasional fleeting appearances of Peter Bardens as a guest musician.

So, the line up on "Camel On The Road 1981" is Andrew Latimer (vocals, guitar and flute), Jan Schelhaas (keyboards), Kit Watkins (flute and keyboards), Colin Bass (vocals and bass) and Andy Ward (drums).

"Camel On The Road 1981" has thirteen tracks. We can clearly divide the album into two distinct parts, the old songs and the new songs. The three initial tracks correspond to the old songs and the remaining ten to the new songs. So, the first track "Never Let Go" was originally released on their eponymous debut studio album "Camel". The second track "Song Within A Song" was originally released on their fourth studio album "Moonmadness". The third track "Lunar Sea" was also originally released on "Moonmadness". The fourth track "City Life", the fifth track "Nude", the sixth track "Drafted", the seventh track "Docks", the eighth track "Beached", the ninth track "Landscapes", the tenth track "Changing Places", the eleventh track "Reflections", the twelfth track "Captured" and the thirteenth track "The Last Farewell" are all songs that were originally released on their eighth and most recent studio album, at the time, "Nude".

The album opens with the inevitable "Never Let Go", which is put down nicely here. "Song Within A Song" remains a beautiful song and in this line up it gets an extra dimension because of the duel between Latimer and Schelhaas. "Lunar Sea" is here almost two minutes longer than the original and the version on "A Live Record". Especially on this piece, having those two keyboard players pays off. The music sounds richer, fatter and better thought through. This is a very nice version. "Nude" is a fantastic album, but also a child of its time. There are shorter, more pointed parts, more songs than Camel produced before that time. On the other hand, you can also consider the album as a whole. In that sense, the lack of four pieces and some order changes is a bit annoying, because the connection is gone. But, musically, the band puts a little more fire in the music than can be heard on the studio versions, making the album a bit more bombastic and sounding more exciting. So, you can hear the audience react very enthusiastically in some parts of the show. So, "Camel On the Road 1981" has some nice extra touches, and a final curtain call for the talented Andrew.

Conclusion: I like Camel's sound of the 80's and "Nude" is, for me, their best work in the 80's. I think Camel passed with honour and elegance by those troubled times for the prog rock music, better than some many other contemporary bands. So, I've no problems with "Nude". As I wrote above, "Camel On The Road 1981" has two distinct musical parts, the old and the new songs. The three old songs are some of my favourite songs of Camel and they're all great live versions. They've some modern keyboard sound, especially due to the presence of two keyboardists. I like particularly of the live version of "Never Let Go" and the extended version of "Lunar Sea". In relation to the new songs, "Nude" is a conceptual album and I think that would make sense performed live the entirely album and not a punch of songs of it. By the other hand, "Nude" has few lyrics. It's essentially an instrumental album and it should have been differently performed live with more creativity and improvisation. As it was the live presentation of "Nude", probably they didn't want changed it very much. But, it doesn't bring practically anything new to the studio version. So, "Camel On The Road 1981" isn't a very cohesive and balanced live album. Still, don't get me wrong, "Camel On The Road 1981" isn't a bad album. Despite lack to it some musical creativity and improvisation, it's a solid album that deserves 3 solid stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of CAMEL "Camel on the Road 1981"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.