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Camel - Lunar Sea - An Anthology 1973-1985 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.91 | 42 ratings

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3 stars Review Nš 444

"Lunar Sea ? An Anthology 1973 - 1985" is a compilation of Camel and was released in 2001. It was made to cover all the musical career of the group released in the 70's and in the 80's. It includes some of their best works between 1973 and 1984. The tracks span the great career of the band. The ten studio albums released in that time are represented here. Especially, it includes some of the tracks that belong to their golden musical era, their first four studio albums.

"Lunar Sea ? An Anthology 1973 - 1985" has twenty-six tracks. "Never Let Go" and "Slow Yourself Down" are from "Camel". "Never Let Go" is a wonderful piece with Bardens on vocals. He did a great keyboard work, accompanied by a nice Latimer's flute work. "Slow Yourself Down" has a great organ work and a relaxed vocal work. It has a good rhythm section too. "Freefall", "Nimrodel/The Procession/White Rider" and "Lady Fantasy" are from "Mirage". "Freefall" is almost an instrumental track with nice moments and a nice melody. It's influenced by several styles. "Nimrodel/The Procession/White Rider" is one of the best tracks on that album, with frequent time changes and musical soundscapes, It has a great symphonic climax. "Lady Fantasy" is the most celebrated track on that album and is one of the most famous and progressive tracks of Camel. This is a live version. "The Great March", "Rhayader" and "Rhayader Goes To Town" are from "The Snow Goose". "The Great March" is a punchy and nice tune played with the flute. It opens and concludes that album with an exploration of nature sounds. "Rhayader" has a powerful melody combining flute, guitar and organ. It has a memorable flute melody supported by a solo of an organ. "Rhayader Goes To Town" brings the music into a faster tempo, with good combination of guitar and organ with energetic beats. "A Song Within A Song", "Spirit Of The Water", "Air Born" and "Lunar Sea" are from "Moonmadness". "A Song Within A Song" is a beautiful and melancholic track with a nice and relaxing guitar and flute works. "Spirit Of The Water" is a short track, an atmospheric pretty ballad with a nice piano work complemented by a distant vocal singing. "Air Born" is a good developed track. It begins with flute and piano, which suddenly explodes with instruments and vocals. "Lunar Sea" is an instrumental track with great performances. The melody changes and evolves all over the theme. This is a live version. "Tell Me" and "Elke" are from "Rain Dances". "Tell Me" is a calm, delicate and beautiful ballad with a fine Latimer's flute work. It's a very dreaming track. "Elke" features an excellent electronic experimentation by Brian Eno. It's a nice, peaceful and atmospheric instrumental track. "Echoes" and "The Sleeper" are from "Breathless". "Echoes" is a typical Camel's track and one of the most progressive songs on that album too. It has a great Latimer's guitar work. "The Sleeper" is an instrumental track. It's a typical Camel's track with a slight jazzy touch. "Ice" and "Hymn To Her" are from "I Can See Your House From Here". "Ice" is a classic Camel's instrumental, the only progressive on that album that shows Latimer at his best. "Hymn To Her" has a traditional Camel's sound. It's a beautiful ballad with a good instrumental section. "City Life", "Drafted" and "Lies" are from "Nude". "City Life" is a bit poppy but is well done. Mel Collins adds some nice sax work to it. "Drafted" is a track with nice melodies and guitar themes in Camel's style. It shows that the band was back at their most pure roots on that album. "Lies" is a strong vocal track. It delivered a Mackay's organ solo proving he could understand the kind of keyboards that a prog band should use in the 80's. "Sasquatch" is from "The Single Factor". It's an interesting instrumental. It's the only track on that album that features the presence of their former keyboardist, Peter Bardens. "Cloak And Dagger Man", "Stationary Traveller", "West Berlin" and "Long Goodbyes" are from "Stationary Traveller". "Cloak And Dagger Man" sounds in the new wave pop style with a fast and frenetic rhythm. It was written in a more commercial vein. "Stationary Traveller" is an instrumental track with the typical Camel's sound. It's the best track on that album where we can see Latimer at his best. "West Berlin" is a good track with a nice rhythm and good musical passages. It's influenced by the new wave style, with fine textures and is well produced. This is a live version. "Long Goodbyes" is an epic and mellow ballad, and is a nice way to close that album and this compilation too.

Conclusion: "Lunar Sea ? An Anthology 1973 - 1985" is similar to "Echoes", another compilation released by Camel in 1993. Still, this compilation more or less supplants in some ways and also enhances the 1993 compilation. However, with a slightly longer running time and a fair difference in song content, though with the same number of tracks, the overlap between the two compilations is surprisingly very limited. Covering almost their entire musical career, Decca era at least, this double set includes their most progressive music, as well as a few rather misguided attempts at hit singles. Anyway, Camel was always an album's band, like this compilation shows, with some extended instrumental pieces. Concluding, this is another good compilation of the band that serves as a good introduction for anyone who's not familiar with Camel's music, especially the selection tracks that represent their earlier and most progressive phase.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 3/5 |


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