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Camel - Mirage CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.40 | 2778 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Rating #401!

Mirage is a Miracle! Every track banged the gavel down to make a statement of prog like no other album.

The main drawcard of this dynamic album is the epic multi-movement suite 'Lady Fantasy' that seems to turn up in a live form on many compilations. The studio version is as good as any live version mainly due to Latimer's vocals and scorching guitar solos. The melodies are compelling and the epic flows from section to section seamlessly, bookended by Latimer's main lead guitar motif. Ferguson's bass and Barden's shimmering keyboards throughout each track are accomplished musicianship.

'Earthrise' begins with howling wind effects and an ambience is created with keyboards and guitar. Then it launches into the main riff showcasing the keyboard talents of Bardens. The instrumental features some excellent drumming that compliments the piece and a very melodic refrain. The freakout section of fret melting guitar riffing and Barden's keys backed by relentless drumming is vintage Camel, never to be repeated on other tracks. The instrumental is reigned back in again with the main melody, but the fast paced drums from Ward are erratic and out of control. It then stops and a quieter keyboard chord structure ends the track. Wonderful.

'Supertwister' is yet another instrumental with a pretty melody, and there is an upbeat time sig that locks in with beautiful flute soloing. At the end there is the sound bite of a can of lager being ripped open and poured bubbling with froth. Here's drinkin' to your health, Camel.

Other quintessential Camel tracks include the fabulous 'Freefall' with its staccato stabs on organ and virtuoso guitar licks. It remains one of my favourite Camel tracks. 'Nimrodel/The Procession/ The White Rider' is a segue to the work they will cut on 'Snow Goose', told in multiple sections and blends three songs into one in about 9 minutes. It is also a concert favourite for good reason and appears on most compilations of Camel. A symphonic masterpiece that must be heard by every Symph prog addict.

'Lady Fantasy' is the mini epic that ends the album on a high note. A tri-part work of genius that never fails to be compelling and astounding. Overall this is one of the albums that no Camel fan should be without. The enigmatic image on the cover has become part of the 70s imagery of great rock albums and indeed in the prog world. Camel surely deserve at least one 5 star album and this is it. *****

AtomicCrimsonRush | 5/5 |


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