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TRACK LISTINGS

ALLAN's REVIEWS

1973

CAMEL

1. Slow Yourself Down
2. Mystic Queen
3. Six Ate
4. Separation
5. Never Let Go
6. Curiosity
7. Arubaluba
Re-mastured Bonus Tracks:
Never let go (single edit)
Homage to the God of light
(live at the Marquee)

Camels first album which is also available re-mastered with two bonus tracks, not three as I first indicated. The single edit of Never Let Go is simply a cut version of album track, and about half the length. It works well but the original album track is far better. Homage To The God of Light is over 19 minutes long and if you have not heard the track it is not the familiar Camel style. It has more of a Santana feel about it, but never the less a very strong rock track with some very interesting sinth sounds towards the end. Getting back to the original album. I consider it to be quite progressive for its time and a very strong timeless production. I still play and enjoy it fairly regularly, particularly in the car. Never Let Go has always been a popular track with the fans and various versions are to be found on the collection and live albums.

Favourite track - Never Let Go
Favourite track bonus track - Homage to the God of light

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1974

MIRAGE

1. Freefall
2. Supertwister
3. Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider
4. Earthrise
5. Lady Fantasy: Encounter/Smiles for You/Lady Fantasy
Re-mastured Bonus Tracks:
Supertwister (Live)
Mystic Queen (Live)
Arubaluba (Live)
Lady Fantasy: Encounter/Smiles for You/Lady Fantasy

Also available re-mastered with four additional tracks, the first three being live recordings and the sound quality is not the best. The forth track, Lady Fantasy, was the original studio mix and my favourite bonus track. The original album, only having five tracks, is another timeless production that I still play regularly. Tends to be a little more toward the jazz rock theme which, in my opinion, gives it that edge on the first album. "Lady Fantasy" has always been a favorite at live concerts but I prefer the subtle tones of "Supertwister".

Favourite track - Supertwister
Favourite bonus track - Lady Fantacy

 

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1975

THE SNOW GOOSE

1. Great Marsh
2. Rhayader
3. Rhayader Goes to Town
4. Sanctuary
5. Fritha
6. The Snow Goose
7. Friendship
8. Migration
9. Rhayader Alone
10. Flight of the Snow Goose
11. Preparation
12. Dunkirk
13. Epitaph
14. Fritha Alone
15. La Princess Perdue
16. The Great Marsh
Re-mastured Bonus Tracks:
Flight of the Snow Goose (Single Edit)
Rhayader (Single Edit)
Flight of the Snow Goose (Alternate Single)
Rhayader Goes to Town (Live)
Snow Goose/Freefall (Live)

I would say this is the most popular and well known Camel album if not the most successful. It is a purely instrumental concept album based on a short story, The Snow Goose by author Paul Gallico. The book is subtitled A Story of Dunkirk, and it is the story of a lonely hunchbacked artist who lives in an abandoned lighthouse in the marshlands of Essex, and his friendship with a young girl, Fritha, who brings him an injured Canada Snow Goose. The hunchback, "Rhayader" helps to save people at the battle of Dunkirk, and during the battle the Goose comes back to help. Rhayader is killed in the battle, and the Goose is then named La Princess Perdue. It is only a short book - sixty four pages - but it is quite lovely.

The album reached number 22 in the UK charts and continues to sell well today. There is now a re-mastured version available with five bonus tracks. These includes two versions of the single Flight of the Snow Goose, the Rhyander single edit being my favourite bonus track, and two live recordings. This makes the re-mastered album great value for money at £4.99, (well that's what I paid for it I hadn't better say where but you can always e-mail me).

Every fan most certainly will have a copy of this album and is a must to those who wish to discover more of Camels music.

Favourite track - The Snow Goose
Favourite bonus track - Rhayader (single edit)

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1976

MOONMADNESS

1. Aristillus
2. Song Within a Song
3. Chord Change
4. Spirit of the Water
5. Another Night
6. Air Born
7. Lunar Sea
Re-mastured Bonus Tracks:
Another Night (Single Version)
Spirit of the Water (Demo Version)
Song Within a Song
Lunar Sea
Preparation/Dunkirk

This album reached number 15 in the UK charts and I get the distinct feeling that it is one of Andrew Latimer's favourites as he always seems to be wearing his Moonmadness t-shirt. Quite rightly too as it is an extremely good album which reflects Camels strength at that time. Another Night is a very strong rock track that was released as a single and Lunar Sea shows a similar strength but more as a production. But me being a softy I prefer"Air Born" which demonstrates those Camel subtle tones at their best but "Song Within a Song" wins through as it is everything about the Camel feeling.

This album is also available re-mastered with five bonus tracks as listed. The single version of "Another Day", a studio demo version of "Spirit of the Water" and three live recordings. My favourite bonus track is Lunar Sea, it always seems to sound better live. Great Track.

Favourite track - Song Within a Song
Favourite bonus track - Lunar Sea

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1977

RAIN DANCES

1. First Light
2. Metrognome
3. Tell Me
4. Highways of the Sun
5. Unevensong
6. One of These Early Days I'll Get an Early Night
7. Elke
8. Skylines
9. Rain Dances
10. Highways of the Sun (Single Version - on later release CD only)

This is my favorite album and, believe it or not, the first Camel album I ever heard. Yes, I also missed out for the first few years but once hearing "Rain Dances" I was sold and never looked back. The strength was definitely still there Unevensong being my favorite track as well as demonstrating those subtle tones to the full it goes everywhere that Camel music takes you. This being still a difficult choice as there are many very good tracks here. I am not sure if First Light was ever released as a single but even today, if promoted properly, I consider it could well make it into the charts. The album did reach number 20 in the UK charts.

Favourite track - Unevensong

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1978

BREATHLESS

1. Breathless
2. Echoes
3. Wing and a prayer
4. Down on the farm
5. Starlight ride
6. Summer lightning
7. You make me smile
8. Sleeper
9. Rainbow's end

This album tend to be a little more commercial and many fans love as well as other not being so keen but it does maintain that Camel spirit. I understand that camel at the time were under some pressure to produce a hit album being the reason for the more pop feel. "The track Down on the Farm" is another story, where did that come from. It simply is not Camel at all but it probably is one of the most debated tracks amongst fans. Apparently it was the only track that Andrew Latimer contributed no writing input and came from Richard Sinclair who was originally from Caravan.

Sadly, this is the last album that Peter Bardens played on in fact I understand he left the band before the promotional tour. My favorite track "Echoes" is in the true Camel spirit with a little jazz twist but a close second is "Summer Lightning" although very poppy due to its liveliness it just appeals to me. Overall I really do like this album but it comes just short of a full five Camel rating, probably due to "Down on the Farm".

Favourite track - Echoes

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1979

I CAN SEE YOUR HOUSE FROM HERE

1. Wait
2. Your love is stranger than mine
3. Eye of the storm
4. Who we are
5. Survival
6. Hymn to her
7. Neon magic
8. Remote romance
9. Ice

 

Yet another excellent album which runs a very close second to my favorite Raindances. I am pretty sure that the track, Wait, was released as a single but no idea how it faired in the charts. But what a great track and as a single and should have done well. All the tracks are very good and continue to show the strength of the band during the late seventies. Hymn for her is a very subtle track but does contain that Camel feel. Ice is the track for me and many other fans as well and yes it does move those hairs on the back of your neck and even gives me a lump in the throat. The album track is the best recording for me rather than the various live versions. It ends with an acoustic, Ice part two, in a very similar format as Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" part 1 and 2. I have recently been informed that Phil Collins actually features on Ice with his innovative percussion talents.
The album reached number 45 in the UK charts.


Favourite track - Ice

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1981

NUDE

1. City Life
2. Nude
3. Drafted
4. Docks
5. Beached
6. Landscapes
7. Changing Places
8. Pomp and Circumstance
9. Please Come Home
10. Reflections
11. Captured
12. Homecoming
13. Lies
14. Last Farewell: The Birthday Cake/Nude's
15. Nude's Return

For some reason, that I haven't quite put my finger on yet, this album has never been one of my favorites. It does follow the usual theme being also based on a novel and there is some excellent tracks on it which have been regularly used in live concerts. But to me it's not one of Camels best it just does not seem, some how, to work for me. The one track, "The Homecoming", sounds very similar to the intro. of the track, "Nimrodel", from the Mirage album. You will from time to time get the odd repeated excerpt included from the earlier albums, it just keeps you on your toes, I know I've heard that bit before, which album track did that come from ?. I have not given up on Nude yet, I did go to the Nude concert in Birmingham which was excellent, so I do keep playing the album, nice and loud, to try to recreate that atmosphere.

Favourite track - Drafted

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1982

THE SINGLE FACTOR

1. No easy answer
2. You are the one
3. Heroes
4. Selva
5. Lullaby
6. Sasquatch
7. Manic
8. Camelogue
9. Today's goodbye
10. Heart's goodbye
11. Heart's desire
12. End piece
Once again not one of my favorite but still a good album. It's one of those albums you just love when you first here it and perhaps when you play it again but that's it you put it on the shelf and it stays there. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh but although it's got some great tacks such as, Heroes, Sasquatch, Manic and Camelogue it lacks that raw edge and overall it's just too commercial for me. The only track that maintains any presence is Sasquatch being the only track that I can remember being played live following the album promotion tour. And yes I was at that tour at Birmingham and it was great but the old stuff was the best. At that time members of Alan Parsons Projects had joined the band and although I also love what Alan Parsons does, in his own right, the two just did not seem to blend.


Favourite track - Sasquatch

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1984

STATIONARY TRAVELLER

1. Pressure Points
2. Refugee
3. Vopos
4. Cloak and Dagger Man
5. Stationary Traveler
6. West Berlin
7. Fingertips
8. Missing
9. After Words
10. Long Goodbyes

The theme of this album revolves around the Berlin Wall following the second world war. It is an extremely good concept album that gives you the feeling of the problems and emotions of those times in Berlin.

I have Just listened to this album again and increased it's Camel rating. I originally marked it down because of its commercial aspect but I now consider it genuinely deserves a four Camel grading. There are many moving and Camel feeling tracks, Pressure Points, Refugee, West Berlin and Long Goodbyes to name a few but my favorite track "Stationary Traveler" is one of those Andrew Latimer guitar tracks that really moves you. Once again I did attend the live Pressure Points promotional tour which was the best performance I have seen to date.

Favourite track - Stationary Traveller

1992

DUST AND DREAMS

1. Dust Bowl
2. Go West
3. Dusted Out
4. Mother Road
5. Needles
6. Rose of Sharon
7. Milk and Honey
8. End of the Line
9. Storm Clouds
10. Cotton Camp
11. Broken Banks
12. Sheet Rain
13. Whispers
14. Little Rivers and Little Rose
15. Hopeless Anger
16. Whisper in the Rain

The theme of the album is the American dream of moving West and the trials and tribulations in doing so, hence the excellent title of Dust and Dreams. It is based on the novel, The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, which was also made into a film by John Ford, in 1940. The story tells the tail of poor farmer's of Oklahoma, moving from the "Dust Bowl", West to California during the depression.

Following a long absence this album was finally recorded in 1991. Apparently it was originally conceived around 1984 but due to conflicts with Camels recording contract it was not recorded until Andrew Latimer and Susan Hoover set up Camel Productions in the USA. This opened a new chapter for Camel, which continues today, allowing them to produce their music without any contractual restrictions.

But back to the album and it was well worth the wait, an excellent theme album that must be played in it entirety to appreciate the concept. Having said that there are some excellent individual tracks, Go West, Mother Road, End of the Line and all the last eight instrumental tracks which effectively compliment each other as one. Once again there is some excellent guitar work by Andy which is complimented by the quality of all the musicians on this album.

Favourite track - End of the Line

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1996

HARBOUR OF TEARS

 

1. Irish Air
2. Irish Air (Instrumental Reprise)
3. Harbour of Tears
4. Cóbh
5. Send Home the Slates
6. Under the Moon
7. Watching the Bobbins
8. Generations
9. Eyes of Ireland
10. Running from Paradise
11. End of the Day
12. Coming of Age
13. Hour Candle (A Song for My Father)

Another four year break, a frustrating wait for the fans, but at least the albums keep coming, (every two years would be better though).

The theme of the album came to Andy whilst searching for his family roots, following the death of his father in 1993. To quote from the album cover, "Co'bh Harbour is a beautiful deep-water port in County Cork, Ireland. It was the last sight of Ireland for hundreds upon thousands of fractured families who departed her shores for fates unknown. They called it the Harbour of Tears". (The album is dedicated to Pan who waited as long as she could). I think this quote says it all.

The album itself is once again an excellent theme album. The mix of the Irish feel and blues'y rock works very well together. The only reason I marked it down slightly from the previous album is that the last few tracks tend to take you to a lot of places but end up nowhere. A little erratic compared to the excellent production of Dust and Dreams. The final track, The Hour Candle has been dedicated as "A song for my father", a very soul feeling track, (as you would expect) followed by 15 minutes of the simple sound of waves crashing to the shore.

Favourite track - Watching the Bobbins

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1999

RAJAZ

1. Three Wishes
2. Lost and Found
3. Final Encore
4. Rajaz
5. Shout
6. Straight to My Heart
7. Sahara
8. Lawrence

Excellent album and my youngest sons favorite, (well he is 16). A very moody album which sets the theme with the tittle track Rajaz, meaning "The Rhythm of the Camel" being also the theme of this web site, (that's just in case you hadn't noticed). To quote from the album cover, "The music of poets carried caravans across the great deserts. Sung to a simple metre of the animal's footsteps, it transfixed weary travellers on their sole objective .... journey's end. This poetry is called 'rajaz'. It is the rhythm of the camel". With the Egyptian theme it certainly does transfix you and does give you the feel of those caravans of camels crossing the desert.

Some fans consider it to be a little boring but I find it far from that and it does give Andy the opportunity to demonstrate his guitar skills, (not that he has anything to prove). Yes it is very different to the last two albums but I consider the Camel feeling is much stronger here. Prior to writing this review I played the album several times, sometimes very loud when the wife was out, (its a good job I live in a detached), and the album certainly gets stronger the more you play it. The Final Encore, was my first choice for best track but now, Straight to the Heart, has nosed ahead. I assume it relates to Andy's early introduction the his fathers red guitar. An excellent blues track.

Favourite Track - Straight to the Heart

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2002

A NOD AND A WINK

1. A Nod and a Wink
2. Simple Pleasures
3. A Boy's Life
4. Fox Hill
5. The Miller's Tale
6. Squigely Fair
7. For Today

 

 

A nod and a wink takes you through a journey of life, who's life I am not quite sure, could it be ? well perhaps not. Again a traditional Camel theme album with plenty of feeling but different again to Rajaz. Starting with a train journey it takes you into a dream world with the title track. If you do not know Camel you may think during the track intro, what is going on, particularly with the, some times out of tune, whistling but hang on the rock soon follows. Track two, Simple Pleasures, continues the journey with more of a blues rock theme, this track grows on you and has become one of my favorites on the album. The journey continues through the tracks but wait till you here tack four, Fox Hill, this reminds me of, "Down on the Farm", from the Breathless album. If you haven't worked out what's going on yet this will totally throw you. The track is an incredible production and musically excellent but the lyrics may leave you a little dumb struck. My daughter has grown to love it and I have caught her singing it around the house. Moving on through the album to the final track, For Today, this is one of those Camel numbers you have just been waiting for. The type that moves those little hairs on the back of your neck, Andy's guitar is just out of this world and I just can not wait to here it live. Apparently this track relates to the awful disaster of September 11th, no wonder it is so moving and emotional. Know one of my top five Camel tracks ever. Well done Camel you certainly can still turn it on.

Favourite Track - For Today

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