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THE SNOW GOOSE (RE-RECORDING)

Camel

Symphonic Prog


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Camel The Snow Goose (Re-recording) album cover
4.19 | 612 ratings | 11 reviews | 49% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Great Marsh (2:09)
2. Rhayader (3:06)
3. Rhayader Goes To Town (5:28)
4. Sanctuary (Revised edition) (2:57)
5. Fritha (1:27)
6. The Snow Goose (3:02)
7. Friendship (1:50)
8. Migration (Revised edition) (4:29)
9. Rhayader Alone (Revised edition) (3:24)
10. Flight Of The Snow Goose (2:27)
11. Preparation (3:54)
12. Dunkirk (5:39)
13. Epitaph (Revised edition) (1:32)
14. Fritha Alone (1:47)
15. La Princesse Perdue (5:18)
16. The Great Marsh (1:35)

Total Time: 50:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Andrew Latimer / guitars, keyboards, flute, arrangements, producing & mixing
- Guy LeBlanc / organ (2,3,6,8,12), Moog (5,15), piano (14), keyboards (15), wordless vocals (8)
- Colin Bass / bass guitar
- Denis Clement / drums, percussion, keyboards (11,13,15,16), bass (12), sounds (12), arrangements, producing & mixing

Releases information

Re-recording of the 1975 album, with compositions revised by Andy Latimer (tracks 4,8,9,13)

Artwork: Michael Munday

CD Camel Productions - CP0014CD (2013) Mastered by Tony Cousins

Thanks to BrunoSamppa for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CAMEL The Snow Goose (Re-recording) ratings distribution


4.19
(612 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(49%)
49%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
29%
Good, but non-essential (16%)
16%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

CAMEL The Snow Goose (Re-recording) reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by admireArt
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars If it makes me an "expert", the fact that I heard the original CAMEL's (1975) "The Snow Goose" like 100s of times.

Not because I like the band, but my sister played that record on a daily basis in those prog years. Well, here is my point of view...

I always kind of never fell for this band and similar ones (by the way), due to their "tendency" to find over the top, sweet overcoats, to solve their compositions "highlights" and "ballads". That has never tickled my bone, in fact for me that is reason enough to ignore a band, I don't care if it is Supertramp, Tangerine Dream, Gentle Giant or Genesis, I am just repelled by those "aesthetics", like water and oil, can't help it.

The good news is that this "re-modeled" 2013 version comes as close, at last, to any of the "top-ten" PA's, symphonic category albums. I can say whatever of Camel, but I will never dare to say that Camel has no "self-acquired" and "personal" musiclanguage. For starters.

The "sweet-sickening" melodic lines that the "original" Goose suffered from, (IMnhO), have been polished away with very creative arrangements, which although they never modify the original score, "re-shape" these musical lines with "symphonic" instruments, that by nature are better suited, for this kind of "high pitched", sweet passages, that like this, aside of sounding better, enhance the structure of the songwriting and its scope.

So,.... A masterful re-arrangement that balances electric and acoustic instruments with uncommon good taste which actually turns for the better, which as such, is quiet miraculous. (Usually these symphonic arrangements work the other way around). A flawless, re-modeled masterstroke, beyond the band's own discography and "original" Goose, that by sheer genius can stand alongside any other *****5 PA star "Symphonic" work,..surely deserves the same rating!

Camel followers, this is a "must"!, that any other Prog enthusiast will enjoy.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Better than the original!

I am usually somewhat sceptical when a band decides to re-record one of their classic albums. But when I heard that Camel had re-recorded The Snow Goose, I was intrigued as I have always thought that this particular album deserved to be re-recorded. I have always found the original Snow Goose a bit timid and lacking in edge (and just generally not up to the high standard of the superb albums that surrounded it: Mirage and Moonmadness). Whenever bits and pieces of The Snow Goose has been performed live and included on various recent live releases (like the excellent Coming Of Age and Never Let Go sets), the material has been given extra energy and added "punch" that was missing on the original recording. I am happy to say that the band has gone to some lengths to remedy some of the insufficiencies of the 1975 classic with this 2013 re-recording.

The differences between the old and the new versions are rather subtle however, and you should not expect any radical departures from the original album. This is a somewhat revised and enhanced re-recording of a familiar work, not a novel reinterpretation of it. The context matters here since the band was preparing and rehearsing for a tour in which they were planning to perform The Snow Goose album in its entirety when the idea to re-record it in the studio arose. Also, Andy Latimer had just recovered from a very serious illness that he thankfully managed to survive and the band had no new material. In these circumstances it made sense for them to revive and revise an older classic and record the new arrangement of it to promote the tour. The band here consists of Latimer on guitars, keyboards, and flute, Colin Bass on bass guitar, Guy LeBlanc on keyboards, and Denis Clement on drums (with the four of them occasionally borrowing each others' instruments as can be seen by studying the individual credits for each track).

The new arrangement stays rather faithful to the original though one notices right away that this new version is about six and a half minutes longer in total. Four tracks that have been subtitled 'revised edition'. These are Sanctuary, Migration, Rhayader Alone, and Epitaph. Sanctuary, Migration, Rhayader Alone, and La Princesse Perdue have been noticibly elongated. On Migration the wordless vocalisations of the original have been replaced by electric guitar to great effect. What I still tend not to like though are the orchestral overtones on a few passages that have been recreated here, like that horrible crumhorn sound on Friendship. I would have preferred them to replace that with 'normal' keyboard sounds. But overall I think that this new version is both worthwhile and in several ways an improvement over the original.

The disc comes in a simple but very nice digi-pack with also the cover art having been improved. The new recording is dedicated to Peter Bardens who passed away in 2002, and Doug Ferguson and Andy Ward are also acknowledged for "their valued contributions to the original concept, development and recording of The Snow Goose, which have endured to this day".

Having at least one version of this classic of Symphonic Prog in your collection is essential. (Though, probably only fans like me will feel the need to have both versions.)

Review by VianaProghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Review Nš 326

'The Snow Goose' is the third studio album of Camel and was originally released in 1975. Camel's third work is a rather unique entry into their entire musical discography. Following the positive experience of the book 'Lord Of The Rings' of J. R. R. Tolkien that inspired 'White Rider', a musical suite that appeared on their previous second studio album 'Mirage', the band sought to further explore the creation of more conceptual storyteller on their next compositions.

When Latimer, Bardens, Ward and Ferguson retired to Devon to start working on their new studio album, they hadn't decided yet on what concept they would work. Until the last moment Bardens wanted to adapt Hesse's 'Steppenwolf' while Ferguson and Ward favoured 'The Snow Goose', a book by the American writer Paul Gallico. Latimer, who didn't have a clear favourite, managed to convince Bardens that Gallico's concept was better to their new piece of music.

Musically, 'The Snow Goose' is totally an instrumental album and is often regarded, by many people, as Camel's finest moment. The sound of the album was far more symphonic, polished and atmospheric than anything on their two first studio albums and featured some of their strongest melodies and themes ever. A few passages also included some orchestration, giving a very big and impressive sound. Many of the tracks on the album are rather short. There are sixteen pieces on it, but all of them float in one to another and that creates a forty five minutes constant flow of music.

Shortening the story, one day Rhayader, a lonely person who lived in the marshes, found a wounded Snow Goose and takes care of him. A little girl Fritha, also worried with him, became a friend of Rhayader. By the season's end the goose healed and was set free. Then, Rhayader stood alone again. Fritha doesn't come to visit him anymore. The story happened in the World War II when British troops retreat from Dunkirk and were under fire from the German army. Due to that, Rhayader decided to help, saving people on the battle of Dunkirk. During the battle, the Snow Goose came back to help him. Rhayader was killed in the battle. A German pilot destroyed Rhayader's lighthouse and all his work, except one portrait of Fritha painted by Rhayader. The painting showed a child with a wild snow goose in her arms. It was the way as Rhayader saw Fritha for the first time. After Rhayader's dead, the Goose was named 'La Princesse Perdue'.

'The Snow Goose (Re-Recording)' of 2013 draws upon the many strengths of the original album which was first released in 1975. In my point of view, the 2013 version at least matches the original in all departments. In many instances though, it's ultimately able to surpass the musical achievements of its illustrious predecessor. The more recent release is, in some places, arguably less mellow than the original. It has a greater overall energy. Some listeners might be attracted by its greater immediacy and drive. The crisply recorded and excellent sound gives many aspects of the piece a rawer spontaneous feel. As one might expect, Andrew Latimer's guitar parts are expressive and expansive throughout. His playing is graced with great skill, tone and control. In the newly recorded of the album, the quality inherent in his original playing is at least matched and, in my humble opinion, it's almost certainly improved upon. For the most part, the updated 'The Snow Goose' stays loyal to the overall composition of the original album, but a number of parts have been given revised with fresh arrangements. Some of the shorter pieces on the original album now have a longer running time and especially many of the positive facets of Camel's music can be found on its lengthiest parts.

This new version of the album has, almost, a new line up, with the exception of Andrew Latimer. These new players are able to build upon and positively enhance an already imperious piece of music. By the other hand, the superb production values present in the newer recording fully involve the listener and carry the music to an even higher level.

This new version was dedicated to the memory of the co-writer and keyboardist on the original album, Peter Bardens that sadly passed away in 2002, and acknowledging the input from their original bassist Doug Ferguson and their original drummer Andy Ward, for their contributions to the concept, development and recording of the original album.

Conclusion: As many of you know, I'm a big fan of Camel and I particularly love this album. 'The Snow Goose', 'Moonnadness' and 'Mirage' are my favourite albums of Camel and some of my favourite progressive albums of all time. So, it was with some expectations but also with some suspicions when I saw that Latimer decided re-recorded one of the Camel's classic albums. It would be a huge risk to Latimer. This new version could be a true deception. However and fortunately, my initial reserves fell completely. This new version of the classic 'The Snow Goose' is absolutely superb. It basically remains faithful to the original album, with some tracks slightly revisited. The tasty arrangements and enhancements made on the original album for the recent stage representation of 'The Snow Goose' are perfect. None of the charm of the original version lost in translation. So, despite this new version had nothing substantial new to offer, it's always a pleasure to revisit this fantastic album under the new light and vision of one of its great creators.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by Prognut
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The Snow Goose"

Music Inspired on the short story from Paul Gallico by the same name "The Snow Goose"

In spite of Camel being one of my favorite prog bands of all times, I completely missed this reissue/remastered in 2013 up until 2022. What a shame, but in my defense that proves that prog music is well and alive. There are so many good bands and albums around that it is very difficult if not impossible to keep track of all the releases.

In any event, this year I finally found out about the existence of this album in the strangest way. While surfing the net for the short story from Mr. Gallico, I came across a different cover album for Snow Goose. Honestly, Snow Goose was not my favorite album from Camel [I will explain later] and I was never a fan of that cover. So when I saw there was a new cover, I was blown away by it and did my research in finding this release.

I have never been a fan of reissues from the 70's, but there are some exceptions like the reissues/re-mixes by Steven Wilson, the new 2021 reissue/re-mixes of VDGG, and a few others. But in general I really try to avoid reissues of albums, because in my humble opinion the music loses the flavor from that era.

Anyway, after this clarification let's go over the album itself. I am not going to describe every song, since many of my fellow reviewers have done this already and also in the past with the original version. Instead, I would try to give the novice explorer of prog music and of Camel, and maybe some of the old dudes like myself, a guide on how to enjoy this album to the maximum.

Camel throughout the year has been very prolific in good releases. In my opinion, they have several excellent albums and while some are not as good as others, they do not have any stinkers. I know some prog heads will disagree, but that is a discussion for another time.

Many people would consider "The Snow Goose" as the pinnacle of Camel as a band, and rightfully so. But in spite of this, it was never my favorite album. For a good period of years, I would say Mirage was, but over the past decade I have grown more fond of "Moonmadness" from their old stuff and "Harbor of Tears" from their latest years.

This epic and conceptual album was outstanding in 1975 and the same applies to 2013, as CAMEL and Mr. Latimer were able to keep the flavor of the original album and reshape in the process some passages and tracks, without being "pretentious or pompous."

In my opinion, this release should stand alone since it is not just a reissue. There have been some changes that make this album unique. First, starting with the cover and then going through the band members [Guy LeBlanc (R.I.P) all keyboards, Colin Bass Bass guitar, Denis Clement on Percussion and more, and of course Andy) into the music itself [with many polish arrangement and passages] which keep you pretty engaged in the music.

Also, I do believe that Mr. Latimer and Co. have kept the concept and the inspiration for the music faithful to the original album. I know some people will disagree, but hear me out, I strongly feel this way since if you place the original album against this one, the 1975 album does not lose any of its magic. And for me that is one, if not the most important aspect. Yes, of course production and maybe sound is better, but then again it has been more than 40 years! It's a real recognition for his old pals and band members [Peter, Andy and Doug].

I do not have a favorite track, or at least cannot pick one in particular, as I always try to enjoy it as a whole. But certainly, if you burn the CD you must try to join tracks [1-3, 4-9, 10-12 and 13-16) and see how that sits in your mind.

I was lucky enough to still be able to obtain a Mini-Japanese copy [as well as having a second CD with the live version). If you can afford and find a copy, I would suggest getting that version.

My advice is for you to listen to the whole album entirely while you read the short story. You will find out that you should be able to read the entire story in about the same time you finish listening to the album.

This is probably in my opinion the best way to really enjoy the album, as it will show you the connection with the book and the story line, and the inspiration they had at the time.

A tale of a human and society rebuff, two people and their bond with not only the "Snow Goose" but with each other in spite of their differences. It is a simple and short story of war, courage, human spirit and a marvelous ending that is unforgettable!!. I am not going to ruin the end for you if you are planning to check it out.

It is a multi-sensory experience of vision, imagination, and listening. What better way to spend 50 minutes of your day, for a life-time lesson of hope and strength, while enjoying good music on top of that?

I did promise myself to start using less than 5 stars on my critiques, but if I do this with this album, it would be a real tragedy. So 5 stars Andy Latimer, keep on going please?

Latest members reviews

2 stars I'm no Camel expert, but along with the rest of the community here, I think well of their first four records (although I prefer Mirage and Moonmadness). This re-recording adds little to the original. Skip it, or at least start with the four significantly altered/extended tracks labeled "revised ... (read more)

Report this review (#2347498) | Posted by chikinn | Saturday, April 4, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I love Camel - I've seen them live sooo many times and have always come away from gigs with a huge grin on my face, loving the fact that they still exist. Of course over the last couple of years gigs have been a bit sparse due to Andy Latimer's illness, so the rerecording and subsequent tour to ... (read more)

Report this review (#1245000) | Posted by ProggyDon | Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I love Camel. Really, it's one of my favorite prog bands. There's a Pink Floyd feeling mixed with a touch of Caravan, and it's just wonderful. The guitar work of Latimer is delightful. The Snow Goose was my 2nd favorite Camel album just behind Moonmadness. When I saw that there was a re-recording co ... (read more)

Report this review (#1144628) | Posted by floflo79 | Sunday, March 9, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's hard to fathom as why Latimer has decided to do this, which is practically Camel doing a Camel cover. Furthermore, is it possible to improve upon one of the greatest prog classics of many decades? Many of us regard the original line-up as superior to later incarnations of Camel, that is ... (read more)

Report this review (#1121507) | Posted by Anon-E-Mouse | Sunday, January 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I must admit I am not terribly fond of Camel as a band. I find most of their music pleasant and orderly, but maybe a tad too orderly .. too docile to be hanging out at the wild prog party. I have all of their early albums on LP's, but I haven't listened to the Moonmadness and Mirage for years ... (read more)

Report this review (#1112432) | Posted by Argonaught | Saturday, January 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This could have gone wrong in countless ways, but it didn't. With some changes in recording and mixing really make the old masterpiece become sound fresh and interesting. It's generally slower and mellower than the original. They have extended some of the short songs ("Sanctuary", "Migration", and " ... (read more)

Report this review (#1108734) | Posted by Imperial Zeppelin | Monday, January 6, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, this is really something. To date there are three different (official) ways to enjoy the Snow Goose; the original from 1975, the integral live-version on Live Tapes (with orchestra!), or this new one. All three of them stand on their own, and that's really something. This 'new' version ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#1081326) | Posted by Kingsnake | Monday, November 25, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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