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Country of origin:

Originally England, now located in California, U.S.A.

Type of music generally:

Progressive and Pop Rock—one jazz/fusion album, Rain Dances


Most recent release, A Nod and a Wink (2002)

See also:

Camel's site

a fan site

Wikipedia's entry on Camel


Alan Parsons Project, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd (

Covers/own material:

Own material

General comments:

Ah Camel. My Favorite Band during the '70s. I just finally snatched up their first album on CD, it was always one of my favorites. The band just wasn't the same after Peter Bardens left. But for five or six albums, they were wonderful. (

Camel is a soft-rock group of the English flavor. The album Mirage had any number of references to The Lord of the Rings. Their tunes can be very driving while never screaming or even yelling. I have the live album and the big crowd-pleasing runners are *not* something a pot-head would play 'air-anything' to: float, hum, tap toes, yes! While not as progressive as the Canterbury crowd, they share the flowing, rolling *feel* to their music. (

Recommended first album:

Breathless. (

Recordings include:

  • Camel (1973)
  • Mirage (1974)
  • The Snow Goose (1975)
  • Moonmadness (1976)
  • Rain Dances (1977)
  • Breathless (1978)
  • I Can See Your House From Here (1979)
  • Nude (1981)
  • The Single Factor (1982)
  • Stationary Traveller (1984)
  • A Compact Compilation (1985)
  • Pressure Points: Live in Concert (live, 1985)
  • Dust and Dreams (1991)
  • Warning: Camel on the Road 1972 (live, 1993)
  • Echoes: The Retropsetice (2-cd compilation with rarities, 1993)
  • Never Let Go (live double cd, 1993)
  • Camel on the Road 1982 (live 1994)
  • Harbour of Tears (1996)
  • Camel on the Road 1981 (live, 1997)
  • Coming of Age (live, 1998)
  • Gods of Light: Camel 1973-1975 (live, 1999)
  • Rajaz (1999)
  • The Paris Collection (live, 2000)
  • Lunar Sea: An Anthology 1973-1985 (double cd, 2002)
  • A Nod and a Wink (2002)


Release info:

1974—Gama Records/Deram (CD on Decca)

Group members:

Doug Ferguson—bass
Andy Ward—drums, percussion
Peter Bardens—keyboards and vocals
Andy Latimer—guitar, flute, vocals


Most of the work on this album is pretty, but not memorable. The instrumental passages tend to meander more than in later work, but when the vocals come in it begins to get interesting. The one GREAT track on the album is "Lady Fantasy", a nearly 13-minute piece with three movements. The opening number, "Freefall", is also a strong piece, but more guitar-oriented than most of their stuff. Both of these pieces are on the Compact Compilation. (

The Snow Goose

Release info:

1975—Gama Records

Group members:

Andy Ward—drums, vibes, percussion
Doug Ferguson—bass
Peter Bardens—keyboards, organ, piano
Andy Latimer—guitars, flute, vocals


This album features some of Camel's most beautiful instrumental work. It is almost completely instrumental, with some spare, lyricless vocals. There is also a little bit of orchestra accompaniment. One of my favorite Camel tracks is on this album (also on the Compact Compilation), "Rhayader", which features some gorgeous flute and piano work. The whole album has quite a symphonic sound, using mostly synthesizers but often highlighting the use of "real" instruments which really make the album: acoustic guitar, flute, and piano. (

Rain Dances

Release info:

1977—Gama Records

Group members:

Andrew Latimer—guitars, pan pipes, flutes, pianos, keyboards
Peter Bardens—electric and acoustic piano, organ, keyboards
Andy Ward—percussion
Richard Sinclair—bass, vocals
Mel Collins—saxophone, flutes, woodwinds
Eno—keyboards, piano, bells
Fiona Hibbert—harp
Martin Drover—flugel horn
Malcolm Griffiths—trombone


This album is quite different from Snow Goose. It has more vocals, (with lyrics this time) and has a more jazzy sound. I think this is my least favorite Camel album; there is really nothing all that interesting about it. The best tracks are featured on the Compact Compilation. If jazz/fusion is your thing though, you may enjoy this one. (


Release info:

1978—Arista/CD on One Way Records

Group members:

Peter Bardens—keyboards
Mel Collins—flute, saxes
Andrew Latimer—guitar, CS 80/50, vocals
Richard Sinclair—bass, vocals
Andy Ward—drums, percussion


This album marks a turn in the band towards a poppier sound, but without leaving behind the progressiveness. There are even singable verses and choruses here. I LOVE this album, I just can't get enough of it. There is lots of electric piano, but nicely in the mix to keep from being too tinny. The songs are almost all love songs with titles such as "You Make Me Smile", or "Wing and a Prayer". One low point is the song "Down on the Farm" which doesn't really seem to belong, and has some animal sounds (Pink Floyd's Animals, anyone?). I must recommend this album the most. It still has some long progressive-type numbers, but some really nice songs. Some of the work reminds me of Justin Hayward's work with the Moody Blues. Nice mix of electric piano and guitar. (

I Can See Your House From Here

Release info:

1979—Arista/ CD on One Way Records

Group members:

Andrew Latimer—guitars, flute, autoharp, vocals
Andy Ward—drums, percussion
Jan Schelhaas—keyboards, piano
Kit Watkins—keyboards, organ, flute
Colin Bass—bass, vocals

Guest artists:

Mel Collins—saxophone
Phil Collins—percussion


This album is more rock-oriented, but there are still some pretty progressive instrumental numbers. There are also a couple of love songs, like the ones on Breathless. Lots of guitar, synth, and some orchestra. The electric piano is all but gone, replaced by the synthesizers. There is one number, "Remote Romance", which is almost technopop. But the final song on the album, an 11-minute instrumental, is Camel at its best, with a piano, keyboards and electric guitars. The use of the orchestra adds a lot to the album. Some of the tracks remind me again of the Moody Blues, particularly some of their '80s stuff. (


Release info:

1981—Gama Records/CD on Decca

Group members:

Andrew Latimer—guitars, vocals, flute, koto & various keyboards
Andy Ward—drums and percussion
Colin Bass—bass and vocals
Mel Collins—flute, piccolo, saxophones
Duncan Mackay—keyboards
Jan Schelhaas—piano on "The Last Farewell"
Chris Green—cello
Gasper Lawal—all percussion on "Changing Places"
Herbie Flowers—tuba
Susan Hoover—concept idea and lyrics


Great concept album. Some beautiful instrumentals and lyrical work on this one. Mostly synthesizer, but avoids sounding synthetic. The story is about a newly drafted WWII soldier who is stranded on a deserted island for 29 years and, after being rescued, cannot adapt to "real" life. The music comes close to Roger Waters' Pink Floyd territory, but not close enough to corrupt the originality of the album. Not quite as progressive as earlier albums, but less pop than Breathless. Lots of beautiful synth work. (

The Single Factor

Release info:


Group members:

Andy Latimer—guitars, piano, vocals, keyboards, organ, mellotron, bass, piano
David Paton—bass, backing vocals, fretless bass
Graham Jarvis—drums
Duncan Mackay—Prophet synthesizer
Chris Rainbow—backing vocals, lead on "A Heart's Desire"
Francis Monkman—harpsichord synclavier
Anthony Phillips—grand piano, organ, classical and 12-string guitar, poly moog, ARP 2600, marimba
Peter Bardens—organ, mini-moog
Haydn Bendall—Yamaha CS80
Tristan Fry—glockenspeil
Jack Emblow—accordion
Andy Latimer and Susan Hoover—music and lyrics


This album has a more '80s synthetic sound than any of their previous work. There are also more synthetic rhythms, but still plenty of jangly guitar picking and some piano. Although most of the vocal numbers are uptempo, almost all of the lyrics have a melancholy quality to them, a connecting theme of inner turmoil. Also features some pretty instrumentals, but short in comparison to their earlier pieces. Doesn't seem to be a concept album, but creates the same mood throughout. (

Stationary Traveller

Release info:


Group members:

Andy Latimer—piano, bass, guitars, vocals, flute, PPG, Juno 60, Yamaha CS-80, Drumulator, pan pipes
Paul Burgess—drums
Ton Scherpenzeel—Yamaha CS80, grand piano, PPG, prophet, accordion, Juno 60
Haydn Bendall—PPG Voices, Fairlight
David Paton—bass
Chris Rainbow—vocals
Mel Collins—saxophone
Susan Hoover—lyrics
acknowledgement (to) Kate Bush for the Fairlight


Not really a concept album, but seems to have something to do with the Berlin Wall. The album starts off as pretty generic '80s synth/rhythm-machine heavy rock, but later on gets pretty darn good. There is a beautiful ballad called "Fingertips" sung by Andy (sounding almost Leonard Cohen-like) with some beautiful piano and sax parts. After that there are two gorgeous instrumentals, one composed and performed by Ton Scherpenzeel on Prophet and piano. The album ends with a beautiful number sung by Chris Rainbow that sounds like it could have been taken off of Breathless. Not their best work, but if you can get past the first few songs, it is worth it. (

A Compact Compilation

Release info:

1985—Rhino Records

Group members:

Peter Bardens—keyboards, vocals
Andrew Latimer—guitars, vocals
Doug Ferguson—bass, vocals
Andy Ward—drums, percussion
Richard Sinclair—bass (Rain Dances tracks only)


This is a nice compilation taken from 4 of Camel's first 5 albums (Why the first, Camel, is excluded, I don't know): Mirage, Snow Goose, Moonmadness and Rain Dances. Good introduction to the band's early progressive stuff. (

Thanks to Julie Bennack and Neal Copperman for work on this entry.

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