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Camel - Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)  CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.45 | 12 ratings

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3 stars Review Nš 178

"Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)" is a compilation of Camel and was released in 1997. It was released to commemorate the twenty-five years of their career. It covers the period that goes from 1973 to 1984, with songs that belong to their first ten studio albums. Some of the tracks here are single versions, edited versions or live versions.

"Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)" has eighteen tracks. The ninth track "Never Let Go" was released on "Camel". It's a wonderful piece with Bardens on vocals. He made an amazing keyboard solo very well accompanied by a marvellous Latimer's flute work, too. It's my favourite song on that album. This is a live version. The fifteenth track "Supertwister" was released on "Mirage". It's the nice and most peaceful song on that album. It's a great instrumental track partially dominated by a great flute work by Latimer. He proved on this track that he is a great flute player too. The third and fourth tracks "Rhayader" and "Rhayader Goes To Town" were released on "The Snow Goose". Both tracks have some hints of their classic rock sound. "Rhayader" has a memorable flute melody supported by an organ solo and "Rhayader Goes To Town" as an extended great guitar solo. Both are timeless Camel classics that must be enjoyed in its entirety. The twelfth and eighteenth tracks "Another Night" and "Lunar Sea" were released on "Moonmadness". "Another Night" is the rockiest song on that album with its great riffs and the strong Latimer's vocal work. This is the most aggressive track on that album. Still, it keeps the usual, special and unique Camel's charm. "Lunar Sea" is a song with great individual and collective musical performances. The melody of the song changes and evolves all over the theme. It reminds me something spatial, as its name suggests. Both tracks are single versions. The sixth and fourteenth tracks, "Highways Of The Sun" and "Tell Me" were released on "Rain Dances". "Highways Of The Sun" is a song with some commercial mood and some pop characteristics, but with the final touch of Camel's sound. It's a good example how to make a good pop song by a progressive band. "Tell Me" is a very calm, delicate and beautiful ballad with a fine Latimer's flute working. This is a song that makes us dreaming. "Highways Of The Sun" is a single version and "Tell Me" is a different version. The seventh and thirteenth tracks "Rainbow's End" and "Breathless" were released on "Breathless". "Rainbow's End" is a short song, very calm and melancholic with beautiful chorus and good arrangements. It closes that album with a certain beautiful musical style. This is a single version. "Breathless" represents one of the most beautiful and melodic songs, with a touch of pop, that I've ever listen to from a progressive band. This is an excellent example how a progressive group can make a really good pop song. The first and seventeenth tracks "Remote Romance" and "Wait" were released on "I Can See Your House From Here". "Remote Romance" is unqualified for a Camel's song. It's a pop electronic new wave song completely dislocated of the group's music and even of that album itself. It's really an awful song. This is a single version. "Wait" is a good song in the vein of many Camel's usually open tracks. It has interesting keyboard workings and it has also a nice Latimer's guitar solo. The eleventh and sixteenth tracks "Beached" and "Please Come Home" were released on "Nude". "Beached" is one of the instrumental tracks on that album. There are enough varied elements involved to hold your interest on it. "Please Come Home" is a very short track. It's a very tenderness track that keeps the great beauty of that album. The second and tenth tracks "You Are The One" and "No Easy Answer" were released on "The Single Factor". "You Are The One" is a commercial song, very well structured that keeps the good quality of that album. This is an edited version. "No Easy Answer", that despite be a song written in a pop style, is a song with a typical Camel's sound. The fifth and eighth tracks "Cloak And Dagger Man" and "Fingertips" were released on "Stationary Traveller". "Cloak And Dagger Man" is an electronic song that sounds in the new wave pop style with a very fast and frenetic rhythm. This is a song written in a commercial style that reminds many bands of those times. "Fingertips" is a beautiful, melodic and cool ballad. It's a love song, one of the most commercial songs on that album. It doesn't represent one of highest points of that album.

Conclusion: At a first sight, it seems this is a very good and a very well representative compilation of Camel. It has songs from all their studio albums, at the time, and it covers their golden musical era that goes from 1973 to 1975, the time of their first four studio albums. By the other hand, I sincerely think that Camel never released a real bad album and even their two weakest studio albums "I Can See Your House From Here" and "The Single Factor" are still two good albums. However, "Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)" is a collection of Camel's short and more commercial songs. But even worse, some of the versions included on this compilation are single versions. As all we know, the single versions are in general shorter to be more commercial. By the other hand, I also don't like very much to see studio and live versions put together on the same compilation. So, the final result is this is merely a good compilation.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 3/5 |


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