|On The Road 1972|
|Mastered by Andrew Latimer and Ranier Gembalczyk|
|Released on August 1992|
|no chart information|
|Find it at GEMM|
T he first of the “On The Road” series released by Andy Latimer’s Camel Productions, which shed some light into the small cache of recorded concerts that Camel had been storing in its hump all these years. In Andy’s own words from the limited liner notes: “I chose this tape because it has the feel that inspired (Camel) to work together, despite it being nearly 20 years old and not the best quality.” Now, I know what you’re thinking: my ears, my beautiful ears! Oh, sorry, I had the window open while a fox was chasing a rabbit. You’re probably thinking: am I just buying some legally sanctioned bootleg here? And you are to a very slight extent, except that the sound quality here is very, very good as archival releases go. Maybe they had the tapes stored in scotch whiskey, but 20 years hasn’t hurt the performance one bit. If you’re worried that you’re only getting four songs, it’s not the quantity that’s important, it’s the, um, the, geez I had it a second ago, ah well yeah four songs is kinda stingy, but you can’t change history. No doubt most people who scan the track listing will light up when they see that two of the tracks are “Lady Fantasy” and “White Rider.” In pre-Mirage incarnations! But before you pop your buttons to bend down with magnifying glass in hand, be warned that the arrangements here are nearly identical to the versions on Mirage. There are some slight differences, like Peter Bardens’ choice of keyboard sounds on “White Rider” (which more clearly shows the link to Soft Machine), but otherwise Camel already had these future visions drawn in full detail. To complement this Camel-to-be is the Camel-what-been: “Six Ate” from their first album (and who wouldn’t have hungered for “Mystic Queen” instead?) and a pre-Camel track from Bardens, “God of Light.” The last track is a mystical invocation performed at the altar of Santana, with Andy Ward troubling his tom-toms to generate a little Latin energy. Given that Camel didn’t release any live albums in the ‘70s (the Greasy Truckers elpee notwithstanding), On The Road 1972 is bound to intrigue fans. In fact, it’s a perfect supplement to the band’s early progressive period, which I’m happy to hear expanded. You can also read the original review at All Music Guide.
|CP-003CD back picture booklet|
PETER BARDENS -- keyboards
DOUG FERGUSON -- bass
ANDREW LATIMER -- guitar, vocals
ANDY WARD -- drums
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If you haven't yet, you owe yourself a visit to Camel on the Information Superhighway: www.camelproductions.com. This is simply one of the loveliest sites I've ever seen, a true camel of the tall spirit.
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