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Why do people like Camel?


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First, some background.  I like prog.  Genesis and Gentle Giant are two of my favourite bands.  I haven't listened to much Camel, but from what I have, I do not understand why people like them.  Can anyone explain?  Exception:  "The Sleeper" is brilliant, and is one of the best prog tracks I've ever heard. 

Any Camel likers out there who want to explain their affinity for Camel to me?

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I have seen them included in top 20 or so lists but I don't get them at all. Tuneless noodling of the worst kind IMO.

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Have you listened to their "Stationary Traveller" album?

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There is a Wammer who recommended several Camel albums, and said they are the best prog band, a couple years ago.  I will try to get him to come here to defend Camel.

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It's probably impossible to tell someone why they should like a certain type of music.

If it doesn't grab you no amount of explanation will convince you to like / enjoy a particular type of music.

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Copied from my reply to your private message:

  • All the band members are expert musicians and are good at playing their instruments.
  • The music is very well constructed and exhibits a great deal of intelligence.
  • The music speaks to me in a way that other music doesn't. I find it hard to tell you just what it says though.

HTH

PS Other favourite bands include Focus, Deep Purple, Wishbone Ash

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On 28/03/2021 at 13:53, glenhb said:

Have you listened to their "Stationary Traveller" album?

You should also hear Mirage, and Snow Goose.

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I agree they're experts.  audio_PHIL_e how do you feel about "The Sleeper" from "Breathless"?  I love that track, I think it's brilliant.  I listened to some of Mirage and Moonmadness and got nothing from them.  What should I try next, Stationary Traveller?  Also, can you recommend five Wishbone Ash songs to me?

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Wishbone Ash debut album is very good.

I like Camel too, but I have only heard a few albums, Moonmadness, snow goose and Mirage.

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8 hours ago, wildwildWes said:

I agree they're experts.  audio_PHIL_e how do you feel about "The Sleeper" from "Breathless"?  I love that track, I think it's brilliant.  I listened to some of Mirage and Moonmadness and got nothing from them.  What should I try next, Stationary Traveller?  Also, can you recommend five Wishbone Ash songs to me?

Nothing wrong with Stationary Traveller, but first try Snow Goose (the original recording). More recently Mr Latimer has been opting for some creamy well-overdriven gorgeous guitar sounds (examples are Ice from I can see your house from here, Long Goodbyes from Stationary Traveller, most of Harbour of Tears, and a fair bit of Dust and Dreams). He's one of my favourite guitarists.

The Sleeper begins with music for the last spliff of the day with the cat on your lap, then goes on to some repeated motifs on the synth and sax over a funky bass line which changes key every few bars. IMO typical Camel of the era and rather enjoyable.Then Andy Latimer lets rip on the guitar over the same kind of ideas, which then reverts to synth and sax, to fade out.

Wishbone Ash: Living Proof from Live Dates Vol II,  Throw Down the Sword, The King Will Come, and Warrior from Argus, Ballad of the Beacon from Wishbone Four. And if you let me have a bonus track it would be No Easy Road also from Wishbone Four.

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The first Camel I ever heard is still my favourite - "Rain Dances" dedicated to Michael Fish.

But they are a bit of a curates egg, I love Moon Madness (esp Lunar Sea), Rain Dances and Mirage (LOTR inspired), really dislike Snow Goose, Stationary Traveller, Single Factor...

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I have seen Camel several times and they are of an “ERA” where many bands just stayed in the background 

My favourite among the many albums I have is “Nude” based on a true story of a Japanese soldier marooned on an island never knowing the war was over

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I like a bit of Camel now and again, though I wouldn't say I am a huge fan. However the one track that I keep going back to and love is Rajaz off the album of the same name. There is something about that track that just does it for me, and it's a favourite of Radio Paradise, where I first heard it.

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My introduction to Camel was via Chris Harley (aka Chris Rainbow), a multi talented singer, songwriter, keyboard player and producer. Chris died in 2015 but had a fascinating career as a solo artist and with The Alan Parsons Project, The River Detectives, Jon Anderson, Wolfstone and Camel. He played  a pivotal role in the career of Runrig producing many of their best albums. Once I discovered that he had played with Camel I had to find out more. First via Stationary Traveller then The Single Factor.

I now have a fairly large Camel collection 45's, Allbums, CDs, video tapes, DVDs  etc. Can't say I love all of their output ( it can be a bit self indulgent sometimes) but, as stated previously, all members of the band over the years have been better than excellent musicians and Andy Latimer is a very underrated guitarist who doesn't get the recognition he deserves.

Saw them live at The Leadmill in Sheffield, excellent show.   

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