Customer Reviews


22 Reviews
5 star:
 (15)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars long lost masterpiece has finally been done some justice
In the dark ages of vinyl, after much hunting, I had found a copy of the first Camel album. Although the quality of sound was woeful, I still dug the tight rhythms. My favorite pieces were, of course "Slow Youself Down" and "Never Let Go". Now I have finally found this rarely released album on compact disc and must say that I'm pretty gratified. The quality of...
Published on July 22, 2002 by Robert Cossaboon

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK if you want your Camel collection complete
With the exception of the track Mystic Queen, most of this CD sounds really bad. Thin, scratchy. If you can get beyond this, it is an OK introduction to Camel's music.

Mystic Queen must be one of their best tracks. I play it over and over. Not so much the rest.
Published 11 months ago by Amazon user


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars long lost masterpiece has finally been done some justice, July 22, 2002
By 
Robert Cossaboon "devil doll" (The happy land of Walworth, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Camel (Audio CD)
In the dark ages of vinyl, after much hunting, I had found a copy of the first Camel album. Although the quality of sound was woeful, I still dug the tight rhythms. My favorite pieces were, of course "Slow Youself Down" and "Never Let Go". Now I have finally found this rarely released album on compact disc and must say that I'm pretty gratified. The quality of remastering is nothing short of revelatory; Camel had much more substance to them then their brilliant follow up album Mirage had let on.
This is of course a progressive rock album, and it's progressive in every way. Both rhythm and melody circle each other like duelling snakes. Within these circles you can hear snatches of jazz and the occasional snippet of a blues riff. The best examples are the instrumental, "Six Ate" as well as "Curiousity". The album closes with the fine heavy meltdown of "Arubaluba".
Of the bonus tracks, my CD didn't include the single edit of Curiosity. Never Let Go, strangely enough, sounds somewhat murkier that the album version. All will be forgiven, however, when you listen to Homage To The God of Light, which has captured Camel in heavy jam mode. In all, the debut album by Camel is one of the great overlooked gems of progressive rock, that has been overshadowed by the more commercially successful albums of Mirage and Snowgoose that came after. This was a band that hit the ground running and kept going for 30 more years.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great debut, May 29, 2006
By 
Jeffrey J.Park (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Camel (Audio CD)
This 1973 album was the first by English prog band Camel and features their distinctive brand of progressive rock with subtle jazz-rock textures. Although this debut (like so many others) has a sound that was not yet fully developed and is harder rocking than their other albums, enough of the Camel sound is in place that it makes for great listening.

The musicians on this debut comprise the classic Camel lineup including great guitarist Andy Latimer (vocals on Slow Yourself Down and Separation); keyboardist Peter Bardens (Hammond organ, mellotron, VCS3, acoustic piano, and vocals on Never Let Go), great drummer Andy Ward; and bassist Doug Ferguson (vocals on Mystic Queen and Curiousity. All of the guys are fantastic musicians and the vocals are not bad at all, although they do not seem very confident about their vocal abilities. Andy Latimer is a great guitarist and easily quotes from range of styles. I also like Pete's use of the synthesizers and the mellotron - he was a very tasteful player and knew exactly where certain sounds worked best on this album. I guess it is worth noting that synthesizer use is pretty scarce on this album, although synthesizers would be used a lot on subsequent albums. Sadly Pete Bardens passed away in 2002, and this reissued album was dedicated to him.

The seven tracks on the album are all in the 4-7 minute range and are great examples of Camels jazzy, yet very English, brand of progressive rock. In fact, the instrumental track Six Ate is probably the best illustration on the album of Camel's ability to seamlessly mix jazzy and prog styles together. For those of that are wondering, there is a rock side to Camel on this debut, which really comes through with Andy's guitar work - especially on the thunderous and riff-heavy Separation and instrumental track Arubaluba. Other tracks that are great include the spacey Mystic Queen, and my personal favorite Never Let Go, which features haunting parts played on the acoustic guitar and a ton of glorious mellotron with string setting, before breaking into a vigorous rock workout. Believe it or not, Never Let Go features a sprightly mellotron solo. In that this instrument was notoriously difficult to play, it was never used as a solo instrument but more as a sustained backdrop. I guess it shows you just how good Pete was. The remaining tracks are also excellent and feature tight musicianship.

This remastered album features excellent sound quality, along with the restored cover art, a few band photos, and loads of liner notes. There are two bonus tracks including a single version of Never Let Go and a 19'01" live track entitled Homage to the God of Light. Homage to the God of Light was recorded on October 29, 1974 at the Marquee Club. The live track is pretty well recorded and is a great jam.

All in all, this is a great Camel album and is very highly recommended along with Mirage (1974); my personal favorite, The Snow Goose (1975); Moonmadness (1976); and Rain Dances (1977), which features Richard Sinclair on bass/lead vocals.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic debut, August 4, 2004
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Camel (Audio CD)
It'a amazing. Hardly no one knows about this wonderful rock album! It's a darn shame. This is beautiful and complex progressive rock dominated with jazzy, electric guitar. The early 70's had a ton of great music: not just prog-rock but it seemed like ALL the music back then was really good. I think Camel's first album stands up with all that excellent 70's music.

I don't know what it is about Camel's debut that makes it so great. I can tell you one thing, it took a few serious listens to get into this album. The instrumental parts (which is a HUGE portion of the album) REALLY jump all over the place, going from one beautiful guitar melody straight into another, without letting up. We're talking some *serious* jumping!

Because the instrumental parts are all over the place, it takes time to remember the music but I guarantee if you're a big prog-rock fan eventually the instrumental shifts will click and become exciting for you.

It's funny though, because as complex and melodic as the many guitar parts on this album are, the singer gives the listener very simple melodies that should take NO time at all getting into.

Let me mention a few of the songs. "Mystic Queen" and "Never Let Go" give me the strangest pictures. I don't know what it is about these two songs, but unusual feelings enter the dreamy part of my head every time I listen to them. It's weird because both of these songs are beautiful and soothing, and yet so DARK and haunting at the same time! Nothing should be giving off such strong, creepy feelings. Right now I can't think of another album that gives me the creeps more than this album. And I can't understand why! Something in the music scares the crap out of me and I'll probably never figure out what it is. That's the fun thing about Camel's debut.

I just have to say it- Camel has a PERFECT guitar sound. It's impossible to hate it. Pink Floyd's guitar sound is a favorite to many people, but there's something about Camel's soothing and brilliant guitar sound that really keeps your attention (once you get into the complex guitar melodies, that is).

If you like the instrumental parts of Genesis or King Crimson's music, PLEASE give this album a try. Camel may not be as diverse as Genesis or King Crimson, and certainly not as influential, but that's okay because Camel can be known for having the perfect guitar sound. If someone told me that they hate the sound of the guitar on this album, I wouldn't believe them!

Camel never had another album quite like this one. The electric guitar is really noticeable throughout the album, along with the keyboard and the heavy, constant drumming (which sound REALLY cool if you have a good stereo set-up). I think "Slow Yourself Down" could pass for a Santana song. "Arubaluba" is a strange standout because it's almost like surf-rock.

Look at me, I need to stop writing this review because I've said quite a lot already, and you're probably tired of reading my review! Just remember this-

Camel's debut- The electric guitar is relaxing, exciting and melodic all at the same time, the keyboards are haunting, the male singer has a soothing voice and he sings nice, peaceful and simple vocal melodies. If this sounds good to you then pick it up and enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Camel, August 1, 2006
This review is from: Camel (Audio CD)
As I write this review, I'm not exactly a Camel expert knowing almost nothing about the middle of their career. Judging by reviews of albums of that era, though, it seems I'm not missing much.

Camel's self-titled debut is, however, one of my very favorite albums and quite possibly Camel's strongest album as well. There's virtually no filler on this one and their energy is at its peak.

And in fact, this is not prog in the same way early Genesis is prog, to cite a reference in the genre. Camel from this age is quite a bit more rythmic and rocking. This doesn't happen in later albums, particularly towards the end of their career, when everything getts much more mellow, yet beautiful.

"Slow Yourself Down" sets the pace for the entire record, an upbeat track sang by Andy Latimer in his quite original tone. But it's "Never Let Go" (which has an even better rendition on "A Live Record") - my favorite Camel track - and "Arubaluba" that steal the record for me. "Six Ate" has this great grooving bass line as the backbone of the entire track while "Mystic Queen" is the most mellow track yet doesn't disappoint, being beautifully sung by bassist Doug Ferguson and featuring Bardens intensely exquisite keyboards. And everywhere Andy Ward's drumming is perfect for the mood.

I find Camel to be an essential band in the genre, and as I find this to be their best effort, this record is also essential, even if you're probably better served with next year's "Mirage" for a more progressive output.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic debut album, January 27, 2005
By 
Perbes (Madrid, Spain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Camel (Audio CD)
I really can't see why this cd is getting so mediocre ratings - it's very good. Maybe cause there are no ''classics''? A silly reason to low-rate it.

Slow Yourself Down is an awesome track with great keyboard/guitar interplay by two overlooked players - the late Peter Bardens and Andy Latimer.

Mystic Queen is a superb ballad whose soft-spoken vocals contributes a lot. The acoustic intro is beautiful and so is the later crescendo until the pace slows down again.

Six Ate is not my favorite instrumental on the cd (That is Arubaluba) but nevertheless shows how accomplished musicians they were, even at this very early point in their career.

Separation is an average song on the album but not mediocre either.

Never Let Go is my second-favorite sang-track on the album. Lovely acoustic intro once again and superb playing by everyone.

Curiosity is another average song but enjoyable once again.

Arubaluba rocks all the way through. The musicianship here is stunning - the keyboards, guitar, bass and drums shine all the time. Perhaps due to being an instrumental, it has been severely underrated, when in fact it's an incredible song.

In a nutshell - an overlooked debut album, and although not their best, it deserves to be among the best Camel has ever done.

4/5.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but rough debut, November 26, 2004
By 
kireviewer (Sunnyvale, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Camel (Audio CD)
This LP was not originally released in the US and was only avaible as an import. A CD version was released in the US. Now, there is this remastered version, with 2 extra songs. The original CD was about 39 minutes long. This new version is 63 minutes.

This is one of Camel's three best albums. They play progressive rock, but with the emphasis on rock. The music is a little rough in places, having a garage band quality. But, it gives the music a very nice edge. Every track is energetic and interesting. There is not a bad track on the album.

The bonus tracks are a 3 minute single edit of Never Let Go (which is worthless, in my opinion) and a 19 minute live number called Homage to the God of Light. This is a piece that Camel used to always play in concert in the early days. It is a rambling jam. It reminds of the early jams Deep Purple used to do (Wring That Neck or Mandrake Root).

From this point on, Camel's music would slowly get softer and softer until they started playing New Age Jazz in the eighties. In the nineties, some of the spark would return.

After Camel's fourth album, the band slowly broke apart, with one member leaving after each album, until only guitarist Andy Lattimer was left. He eventually moved the band to California.

Pete Bardens went on a solo career, playing mostly New Age type music. He did a guest appearance on Camel's live album, Pressure Points. He formed a band called Mirage, which featured members of Caravan and Camel's old drummer. They toured playing Camel and Caravan songs. He then reformed Mirage with 3 studio musicians and but out a lack luster live album. He died in 2003.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Let It Go, April 18, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Camel (Audio CD)
This is a great progressive rock album that was made before it was called progressive rock. This is a jazzy, trippy, rockin, trip into the 70's. A friend of mine in college bought this album because he thought the cover was cool and it was an expensive import. He hated the album, so he let me have it but he kept the cover. Thank God for CD technology because this version sounds so much better than that old LP did. The sound is mostly old fashioned Hammond Organ (Peter Bardens), trippy blues guitar (Andy Latimer), great bass playing by Doug Ferguson and Andy Ward is something special on the drums.

"Slow Yourself Down" and "Mystic Queen" are a great way to start this trip back in time. "Six Ate" is one of the highlights with the whole band shining on this instrumental gem. "Separation" is just a simple rock and roll song, that is well done. "Never Let Go" is a Camel classic and the one that sticks in your head after the album is over. Just a great classic rock song.

"Curiosity" is a blues influenced song that sounds a little like early Caravan. Latimer is a talented guitar player and with Bardens form a great pair that would go on to produce some of the best mellow rock ever played. I just love the stripped down sound of this song. "Arubaluba" finishes off the original LP and it is a Peter Bardens written jam. Andy Ward sticks out on this one and proves why he was considered a drum prodigy. Never let is be said that Camel couldn't rock.

There are two bonus tracks: one is the single version of "Never Let Go" and is not really necessary, but the second bonus track is the gem of this package. "Homage To The God of Light" was recorded live in October of 1974 at the Marquee Club. Taken from a Peter Bardens solo album and turned into a 19 jam session. The quality of the recording is amazing. You will want to hear this one.

This is my 50th review and it had to be a 5 star classic from one of my all time favorite bands. This isn't only for fans of progressive rock as it is a very timely early seventies sounding classic rock album, more than a progressive one. Why bother with titles, if you haven't heard this one: Why not?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good unknown gem, September 13, 2006
This review is from: Camel (Audio CD)
Camel debut is lovely. A bit different than their other albus (more prog), this one has a prog-rock feel but much more cool, with hints of funk and groove, this remembers me Brian Auger Oblivion Express or the german Embryo (look for their Disconform remastred series). There is here very good chill-out material. The musicians are equally superb.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and creative band, June 2, 2004
This review is from: Camel (Audio CD)
Camel was one of the most imaginative bands in the seventies. I bought the vynil album and I haven't been able to buy this CD yet.
But when you are in the mood for Camel you won't believe the wide sense of harmonies depicted musically, the clever use of the spanish guitar in several pieces. Think in Arubaluba, for instance, and my favorite track Mystic queen , one of the most striking themes in all that glorious decade. And watch for the amazing bands in that age.
Undoubtly, we'll always be in debt with U.K. about resisting the no mercy invassion of the disco music that literally struggled so many raising promise rock bands in USA, specially between 1975 and 1979.
Buy that album. This was a true cult band.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Diamond in the rough, May 16, 2006
This review is from: Camel (Audio CD)
I totally bought this album by word-of-mouth after reading about some dude in a guitar mag that liked it. He stated that it was progressive sounding and i like exploratory styles of music such as some of the yes albums and pink floyd and stuff so i bought it. What a great record! It totally reminds me of something that the dudes on that 70s show would be listening to in some dark basement sitting around an old elecrical spool! Really mellow, instrumentally driven album. It has some really wacky guitar licks in it and rhythm changes that remind me of the early yes albums such as "Close to the Edge" or "The Yes Album". I really dig "Mystic Queen", and "Slow Yourself Down" erupts out of nowhere into a pretty good rocker. Instrumental tracks like "Arubaluba" and "Six Ate" are almost hypnotic. A definite must have "chill out" record. I looked into other albums by Camel.. Moonmadness and Snow Goose seem pretty popular, but i've only listened to Moonmadness and found it a little to "experimental" for my taste. If this is your first taste of Camel, make this your #1 buy. It will blow you away.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Camel
Camel by Camel (Audio CD - 2002)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.