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Peter Bardens Seen One Earth album cover
2.77 | 30 ratings | 5 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1987

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Seascape (4:25)
2. Man Alive (4:28)
3. Seen One Earth (5:44)
4. Home Thoughts (2:18)
5. Prelude (2:26)
6. In Dreams (5:32)
7. The Stargate (6:28)
8. Many Happy Returns (2:17)

Total time 33:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Bardens / synths (Yamaha DX7, Roland JX3P/JX8P/505/707, Fairlight II/III, MiniMoog, Prophet 5, Oberheim Expander, Wave Term, ARP Odyssey, Emulator II), grand piano, drum machines (Linn, Simmons), producer

- Adrian Dessent / guitar
- Neil Lockwood / vocals (6)
- Honey Hylton / vocals (7)
- Peter Van Hooke / drums (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Roland Young (photo montage)

LP Capitol Records ‎- EST 2044 (1987, UK)

CD Capitol Records ‎- CDP 564-7 46868 2 (1987, Europe)

Thanks to chris stacey for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy PETER BARDENS Seen One Earth Music

PETER BARDENS Seen One Earth ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PETER BARDENS Seen One Earth reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars Far more ambient than his work with Camel, Bardens' career from the 1980s on tended to the new age genre, blended with light poppy prog in the Alan Parsons/Keats vein. On "Seen One Earth", he parlays the utopic vision of a space explorer gazing down onto this blue orb into barely a half hour sampling of his newfound musical interests.

Apart from "Seascape" and "Home Thoughts", which could be lighter tracks on some of the early Camel albums, and are both well crafted melodies, most of this album is atmospheric new age. "Man Alive" does adapt a catchy rhythm and bubbling synthesizers effectively, and the vocal tune "In Dreams" could easily pass for full on Alan Parsons project, which means it is instantly likeable even if its staying power is somewhat attenuated.

Worth noting is that the artwork and production are excellent on my LP version on Cinema, which was intending to become the progressive rock label of choice during the lean late 80s. A decent album within the restrictions of its style and worth picking up if its orbit coincides with yours.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars This is more a new-age than a prog album, even if something of Camel is still present. We are in the middle of 80s and finding very good albums is very hard. However, an "electronic" album is quite natural for a keyboardist, and this one contains some good moments. Unfortunately he can't give up to the Farlight as everybody else in the 80s. "Seascape", the first track, is not one of them. A couple of chords that somebody on the vynil back-cover has tried to compare with "The dark side of the moon", only because the two chords are the same of the beginning of Breathe. I think neither Bardens could agree. "Man Alive" is a little better. If only he had the Latimer's guitar that he tries to surrogate with the keyboards and some Andy Ward instead of the electronic drums... "Seen one Earth", the title track, starts with some background voices and the usual electronic drumming, but the keyboard is very relaxing and reminds to some quiet Camel's moments, but more to Vangelis' China. This is a quite nice track. "Home thoughts" is a short piano track filled with few guitar notes. Quiet and really in Camel's mood, even if the guitar is not comparable. "Prelude" opens the B-side of the Vynil. It's ambient or newage, with a few of gimmicks and the good thing is that it last just 2 minutes and half. "In Dreams" is the first track with lyrics. It's a bit more rock in the tempo, but still relaxing. I think it depends on the very clean sound that's a constant in the whole album. Not bad even if not essential. "The Stargate" is the longest track (more than 6 mins) and my favourite. The first part is just electronic. I hear the influence of Vangelis but it's only my impression. After 4 minutes the drumming stops and it's replaced by the vocalisms of Honey Hylton and the electric piano. It's the same athmosphere of the coda of Roxy Music's Avalon. "Many Happy returns" is the reprise of the first track with the addition of some sax. In brief, this album is son of its times, and has the same defect of ZEE's Identity: standardised sound. Not too many ideas, very short in duration (why fading out the tracks on a 30 minutes LP?). The recording quality is excellent, and there aren't very bad tracks. It's better than a two stars, but not good enough for three. You can enjoy it but don't expect to hear anything like Camel.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Eight years after the reasonable Heart To Heart, Bardens embarked on full frontal new age chill out sound. Some could argue he was a pioneer of chill out muzak, and why not? Anyway putting that all aside Seen One Earth is a wonderful, melancholic dreamy album. " Seascape" is a great opener with some great bass and keyboard interplay. " Man Alive" has some serious thumping sections, granted drum machines and loops but a really warm energetic tune " Seen One Earth" the title tracks almost sounds like Vangelis from the Short Stories era. Depiction of Earth from a spacesuit? The song is pretty harmless but not as good as the opening two tracks." Prelude" features the amazingly talented Joe Jackson and there is a distinct upping of the ante in the production on this song " In Dreams" very representative of some Camelogue and even Alan Parsons Project but it still remains a unique Bardens sound with soft laid back vocals. " Stargate" really excels in the new age department and has Honey Hylton providing some interesting backing vocals. A good album and on a par with it's predecessor.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars From Blues Rock to Symphonic Prog to Pop to Electronic music

There are two incredible things about Peter Bardens' career: (1) how very diverse his output is and (2) how bad (at least comparatively so) almost everything he did outside Camel was! His first two, pre-Camel solo albums were plodding Blues rockers very much of their time and with little or no indication of what was to be in Camel. Then Bardens co-founded Camel which is one of my all time favourite bands and he personally contributed enormously to the early output of this fantastic Symphonic Prog band, writing or co-writing some of their most well-known songs. What happened can be read in the Camel biographies, but the short version is that there was a tension between Bardens and guitarist Andy Latimer which led to Bardens leaving the band around the time of the Breathless album (while Latimer has carried on the flame till the present day, though with some gaps). Bardens' first post-Camel solo release was the awful Heart To Heart. For that album he radically changed his style once again and created something that was very different from both Camel and his pre-Camel solo material. There were Funk Rock and lounge Jazz tendencies on that one, but basically it was a Pop album. The most shocking aspect of it was not the change of style but the low quality of the song writing. How was it possible for the man who wrote such extraordinarily great songs for Camel to produce such weak tunes on his own?

Some eight years later, Bardens released Seen One Earth for which he once again radically changed his musical style. The closest comparison I can think of here is Vangelis! This is electronic/New-Age-type music. While not in any way remarkable, I actually think this is the best album Bardens ever did outside Camel. Three stars is a generous rating for this, but it does stand out from the rest of Bardens overall weak solo discography.

The opening song is a weak almost lounge Jazz tune that gave me a bad first impression. However, with the second and especially with the third track, faith was restored. There are some nice electronic keyboard noodling and towards the end of Man Alive some rhythmic piano that reminds of Vangelis' work. The title track, which is the highlight of this album for me, has a similar spacy feeling as the famous Camel song Lunar Sea. Indeed, the structure of the song is somewhat similar even if this is a very different kind of music overall. I'm sure this will appeal to at least some Prog fans, especially those with a special taste for Progressive Electronic. Almost everything here is electronic and instrumental, but there are some occasional non-electronic instruments on some of the tracks. Home Thoughts is a mellow piano instrumental with some sparse guitar lines and In Dreams features some lead vocals.

Overall, a quite pleasant electronic affair that stands out among a large number of weak solo releases by the former Camel man.

Review by Progfan97402
3 stars Seen One Earth was the first solo album Peter Bardens released since 1979's Heart to Heart. In the late '80s Capitol Records launched the Cinema subsidiary, hoping it will be the new progressive rock label, like it was to be the next Harvest label (which was distributed by Capitol in the States). What you really got was basically New Age from prog rock musicians, basically New Age with a prog rock bent, so if you're not put off by the 1980s productions by these albums, they're not the worst thing, but nothing like the best prog of the 1970s. Cinema advertised that Seen One Earth was something like "Dark Side of the Moon Revisited by former Camel keyboardist". With "Seascape" they got that right, it has that Dark Side of the Moon vibe going on, '80s style. It's full of digital synths and drum machines, so we're not exactly talking "Lunar Sea" from Moonmadness here. "Man Alive" features lots of drum percussion, but what's really surprising, is amongst the digital synths, Bardens actually brings out his analog synths, the ARP Odyssey is used here (likely the same one heard on The Snow Goose). It's still pretty '80s sounding, but it's nice to hear some analog synths. Title track featuring a sample of an astronaut saying, "If you've seen one earth, you've seen them all", obvious inspiration for the album title. Again, pretty '80s and digital sounding, but here are some Mini Moog solos, which really amazes me given no one gave a care about using such synths in the late '80s. "Home Thoughts" is just a short piece on piano, nothing much else. "In Dreams" was the hit on the album, the only song with vocals. Neil Lockwood tries his hardest to sound just like David Gilmour, you could imagine this guy in a Pink Floyd tribute band. It's basically a pop/New Age hybrid, the video apparently received airplay on VH-1. On the video nowhere do you see Peter Bardens' face. "Many Happy Returns" is basically a variant of "Seascape", this time a fake sax solo (that fake sax solo coming from a Yamaha DX-7, it's so obvious a digital synth trying to sound like a sax). He released one more album on Cinema, Speed of Light, unfortunately I found that album rather weak, trying too hard to be pop/New Age version of Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Seen One Earth isn't bad, if you don't mind the 1980s sound and production, but don't expect Camel at their finest.

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