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The Camel appreciation thread

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Kingsnake View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kingsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Camel appreciation thread
    Posted: September 14 2016 at 06:44
A lot of small topics about Camel, but not one single appreciation-thread for this awesome band.
 
To kick it off, my top 5 albums:
1. The Snow Goose (both studio albums and the live-version on A Live Record)
2. Mirage (my first prog-album)
3. Rain Dances (i love the autumn-feel to it)
4. Nude (excellent)
5. Moonmadness (another flawless album)
 
My top 5 (instrumental) songs:
1. La Princesse Perdue
2. Rhayader/Rhayader Goes to Town
3. Skylines (the best fusion/prog instrumental I know)
4. Lunar Sea (2nd best fusion/prog instrumental I know)
5. Fritha Alone (one of the most beautiful piano pieces I know)
 
My top 5 songs with vocals:
1. Lady Fantasy
2. Never Let Go
3. Drafted
4. The White Rider
5. Echoes
 
Top 5 line-up:
1. Bardens/Latimer/Ferguson/Ward
2. Bardens/Latimer/Sinclair/Ward/Collins
3. Latimer/Bass/Clement/Leblanc
4. Latimer/Bass/Stewart/Scherpenzeel
5. Latimer/Bass/Hart/Scherpenzeel/Clement
 
Top 4 bassplayers:
1. Colin Bass
2. Doug Ferguson
3. Richard Sinclair
4. David Paton
 
Top 5 keyboardists:
1. Peter Bardens
2. Ton Scherpenzeel
3. Guy Leblanc
4. Kit Watkins
5. Jan Schelhaas
 
Top 5 drummers:
1. Andy Ward
2. Denis Clement
3. Dave Stewart
4. Simon Phillips (on Sasquatch)
5. Paul Burgess
 
Top 5 vocalists:
1. Andy Latimer (yes!)
2. Richard Sinclair
3. Colin Bass
4. Peter Bardens
5. Guy Leblanc (on The Paris Collection)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Magnum Vaeltaja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2016 at 09:36
Camel was one of the first bands that really got me into exploring prog so they'll always have a special place in my heart. I used to consider their debut, Mirage and Moonmadness to all be masterpieces but in the past few years my feelings towards them have settled a little. I still consider Mirage to be a flawless album, though. 

As far as later Camel, I picked up a vinyl of Rain Dances a while back and listen to it from time to time. Aside from that, the song Echoes from Breathless is a favourite of mine (don't care for the rest of the album) and Rajaz is about as good as it gets for albums released by a band 20+ years after their debut. A little (controversial?) opinion of mine is that the 2013 re-recording of The Snow Goose is far, far superior to the original. 

All in all I'd say that they weren't necessarily one of the best or most consistent classic bands, but they're still a great reference point in the genre and were perhaps one of the best bands of all time for crafting beautiful melodies. I also find that Latimer is the best of the famous prog flautists; he absolutely smokes Anderson and Gabriel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kingsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2016 at 10:35
I find the new re-recording of Snow Goose very good. The album sounds really balanced.

The two Snow Gooses are recorded in completely different line-ups and have different arrangments. I never mind a re-recording, if it's done right. I also enjoy Less is More by Marillion (great stuff!).
Sometimes a prefer a live-rendition of a full concept-album, but a studio-re-recording is fine by me.

Back to Camel. I dislike the sterile production of Dust and Dreams and Harbour of Tears, but both albums were played and recorded live in its entirety. You can find them on Never Let Go and Coming of Age. So, the songs and arrangments are great, they just needed a different productional approach.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mechanicalflattery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2016 at 11:47
Camel and Mirage are definitely flawed but have some really great material. The Snow Goose and Moonmadness are both great. Haven't heard much else (part of Breathless, which was mostly just depressing), although I've been sitting on a copy of Rajaz which I should get to eventually.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darious Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2016 at 11:58
Originally posted by Kingsnake Kingsnake wrote:

3. Rain Dances (i love the autumn-feel to it)
..and quite rightly so, as the album was issued just before the Autumn started
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlanB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2016 at 12:20
One of my favourite prog bands, although I only really like the albums where Peter Bardens was involved. I saw them live twice - once on the I Can See Your House From Here tour, and the second time was about 15 years ago in a small club in Leicester. My favourite tracks by them are Lady Fantasy, Lunar Sea, Rhyader/Rhyader Goes To Town and the Live Record version of Never Let Go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote POTA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2016 at 15:27
Song Within a Song is one of my favorite songs from any band.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenethlevine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2016 at 16:15
I've been a huge fan since I heard Never Let Go on FM radio around 1976.  Initially bought the debut and Mirage and was not crazy about them, but I persisted and was rewarded with Snow Goose and Moonmadness.  Pretty much all their albums have something to recommend.  I'm alsio a big fan of "Stationary Traveller", where they really blended prog and new wave effectively.  They struck me as a band with no egos, perhaps because none of them could sing very well but they all tried!  They wrote material that they were able to sing to by and large.  Never saw them live, as they have never toured near where I have lived that I know of.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2016 at 17:31
Just to mention a few things...
1) I saw them live three times (all in the eighties) and they were great. Latimer would always put together musicians who really know their trade.
2) The Live Record version of Never Let Go is just so stunning. I love the song anyway but the solos and the rhythm section Ward/Sinclair are as good as it gets.
3) I actually love Breathless. True there's the odd downer on it but it has so much variety and such a positive mood and a number of tracks are among their best - and it's still Sinclair/Ward, I think I'm addicted to them.
4) "They struck me as a band with no egos" - not too sure about this, at least after Bardens departed, I think Latimer was clearly the boss and would make use of this position.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2016 at 21:46
I really like the first era. I have "Mirage" and "Moonmadness", plus "A Live Record" with the whole "Snow Goose", so I don't feel the urge to get the studio album. I got some bonus live tracks from their debut, plus some more tracks from a compilation album, but I guess I should get it at some point. Given the tracks I heard on the compilation, I don't really feel I want albums after Ferguson left... even though the live tracks on A Live Record from the first albums played with Mel Collins do sound great with that added sax.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlanB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2016 at 03:24
Originally posted by Lewian Lewian wrote:

Just to mention a few things...

2) The Live Record version of Never Let Go is just so stunning. I love the song anyway but the solos and the rhythm section Ward/Sinclair are as good as it gets.

I agree. I'd also like to say that Mel Collins' additions to this and other songs on that album take them to another level.

Originally posted by Lewian Lewian wrote:


3) I actually love Breathless. True there's the odd downer on it but it has so much variety and such a positive mood and a number of tracks are among their best - and it's still Sinclair/Ward, I think I'm addicted to them. 


I like Breathless too. Apart from the "bunnies are bouncing" song which is a bit twee, there's some great stuff on there. Echoes, Summer Lightning and the title track especially.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flight123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2016 at 03:59
Great band - I first saw them live on the 'I Can See Your House..' tour (the line up with Kit Watkins) and then the 'Nude' tour (Andy Ward's last with the band).  Then I saw them last year and they were fantastic!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2016 at 05:50
One of the best live concerts I saw was in about 1988 by a strange world music band called 3 Mustaphas 3 with a certain Sabah Habas Mustapha on bass. Who was nobody else than...?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tuzvihar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2016 at 14:46
^ Colin Bass. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote noni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2016 at 15:16
I love this band!  Period!!!!...... Smile

Edited by noni - September 15 2016 at 15:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote noni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2016 at 15:18
Originally posted by Tuzvihar Tuzvihar wrote:

^ Colin Bass. Smile

He's cool too!..  Plays an awesome bass as well!...Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quinino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2016 at 15:46
When, as a young boy around 14, I listened for the first time to the Snow Goose LP in a friend friend's home, my immature musical taste underwent a profound  (and irreversible) earthquake, whose effects last to this day.

I love the music and have a huge respect and admiration of Andy, whom I had the pleasure to see live only 2 times, but can remember both very vividly (almost 30 years apart, just imagine).

The 4 albums from the 90's are for me just as good as those from the 70's everybody loves - do yourselves a favor and go listen to Rajaz, Dust & Dreams or A Nod & A Wink, great music all around (don't expect it to be the same sound as before, but then there's Andy...)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kingsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2016 at 01:49
A Nod and a Wink is really recommended.
 
Camel sounds more like a band, and it's almost retro-sounding.
 
Dust and Dreams and Harbour of Tears suffer from a sterile production and a depressing mood (altough i like it)
Rajaz sounds like a guitarplayer's solo-album. Heavy progressive rock with lots and lots of guitar.
 
Nod and a Wink is the first album in years to feature two vocalists, lots of flute, lots and lots of orchestral keybaords, even drumsolos. It could have been the album that followed Moonmadness.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote O666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2016 at 03:14
I am a huge fan of Camel. Unfortunately Camel is underrated band and I don't know why?!

Edited by O666 - September 16 2016 at 03:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kingsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2016 at 03:16

Camel is absolutely not underrated.

Who underrates Camel?

Almost anyone into progrock knows the band, and have at least one favorite album.
I really don't like the term 'underrated'.
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