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Camel - Pressure Points CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.45 | 211 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars If A Live Record was the major live release documenting Camel's 1970s symphonic prog prime, Pressure Points offers a 1984 show from deep into their 1980s phase, in which they dialled back their symphonic aspect, got a little more poppy, and put out albums like Stationary Traveller.

Indeed, if you get the expanded version of this (and I recommend that - it flows better and if you like this at all, you'll want as complete a version of the setlist as possible) you find that the track list includes a large majority of the songs from Stationary Traveller, with proceedings rounded out with a generous helping of Nude, a diversion into I Can See Your House From Here, and a brief dip into The Single Factor (the instrumental Sasquatch perhaps being the most salvagable piece from that particular misstep). It's only right towards the end that we get anything from Camel's original golden age, with two cuts from The Snow Goose and Lady Fantasy playing us out.

Is this a good or a bad thing? Well, it depends on how you feel about Camel in that phase they went into after Breathless and before Dust and Dreams. If you're the sort of purist who thinks they lost it at some point in the 1970s and can't stand Stationary Traveller, you can pretty much forget about this. For my part, though, I think that phase of the band has plenty of charm, even though it's far from my favourite, and this live set puts Camel's pop-prog phase in about as palatable a package as it ever received.

Tracks which came off as slightly chilly on Stationary Traveller get a little extra warmth here, and at its best the album sort of finds Camel staking a claim to being elder forerunners of neo-prog; the sonic lineage from Camel to early Marillion can be clearly discerned. On the whole, it's rather pleasant and lovely but not mind-blowingly groundbreaking, and so an accurate reflection of this era of the band.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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