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Camel

Camel never achieved the mass popularity of fellow British progressive rock bands like Genesis, King Crimson, or Pink Floyd, but they cultivated a dedicated cult following. Over the course of their career, Camel experienced numerous changes, but throughout the years, Andrew Latimer remained the leader of the band.

Formed in 1972 in Surrey, Camel originally consisted of Latimer (guitar, flute, vocals), Andy Ward (drums), Doug Ferguson (bass), and keyboardist Peter Bardens, previously of Them. By the end of 1973, the group signed with MCA and released their eponymous debut. In ...read more

Camel never achieved the mass popularity of fellow British progressive rock bands like Genesis, King Crimson, or Pink Floyd, but they cultivated a dedicated cult following. Over the course of their career, Camel experienced numerous changes, but throughout the years, Andrew Latimer remained the leader of the band.

Formed in 1972 in Surrey, Camel originally consisted of Latimer (guitar, flute, vocals), Andy Ward (drums), Doug Ferguson (bass), and keyboardist Peter Bardens, previously of Them. By the end of 1973, the group signed with MCA and released their eponymous debut. In 1974, the band switched record labels, signing with Decca's Gama subsidiary, and released Mirage. In 1975, Camel released their breakthrough album The Snow Goose, which climbed into the British Top 30. The band's English audience declined with 1976's Moonmadness, but the album was more successful in America, reaching number 118 -- the highest chart position the band ever attained in the U.S. Following the release of Moonmadness, Ferguson left the band and was replaced by Richard Sinclair (ex-Caravan); at the same time, the group added saxophonist Mel Collins. Latimer and Bardens conflicted during the recording of 1977's Rain Dances and those tensions would come to a head during the making of 1978's Breathless. After Breathless was completed, Bardens left the band. Before recording their next album, Camel replaced Bardens with two keyboardists -- Kit Watkins (Happy the Man) and Jim Schelhaas (Caravan) -- and replaced Sinclair with Colin Bass.

By the time Camel released their 1979 album, I Can See Your House From Here, rock & roll had been changed by the emergence of punk rock, which resulted in less press coverage for progressive rock, as well as decreased record sales. Camel suffered from this shift in popular taste -- I Can See Your House From Here received less attention than any of the band's releases since their debut. Latimer returned to writing concept albums with 1981's Nude. In 1982, drummer Andy Ward was forced to leave the band after suffering a severe hand injury. Camel's 1982 album, The Single Factor, was a slicker, more accessible affair than previous Camel records, but it failed to chart. Stationary Traveller (1984) was another concept album.

After the release of the 1984 live album, Pressure Points, Camel entered a long period of hibernation that lasted until the early '90s. In 1985, Decca dropped Camel from its roster. Latimer wasn't able to find a new label because he was embroiled in a difficult legal battle with Camel's former manager Geoff Jukes; Camel eventually won the lawsuit in the late '80s. Throughout this period, Camel produced no new music. In 1988, Latimer sold his home in England and moved to California, where he founded the independent label Camel Productions. By the time Camel recorded their follow-up to Stationary Traveller in the early '90s, the band was, for most intents and purposes, simply Andrew Latimer and a handful of session musicians. Dust and Dreams (1991) was the first release on Camel Productions. In 1993, PolyGram released a double-disc Camel retrospective, Echoes. In early 1996, Camel released Harbour of Tears. « hide

Similar Bands: Wishbone Ash, Yes, Eloy, Caravan, Tantra

LPs
A Nod and a Wink
2002

3.9
134 Votes
Rajaz
1999

4.1
188 Votes
Harbour of Tears
1996

3.8
106 Votes
Dust and Dreams
1991

3.6
85 Votes
Stationary Traveller
1984

3.5
122 Votes
The Single Factor
1982

2.6
89 Votes
Nude
1981

3.5
124 Votes
I Can See Your House from Here
1979

3.1
110 Votes
Breathless
1978

3.5
151 Votes
Rain Dances
1977

3.7
205 Votes
Moonmadness
1976

4.4
622 Votes
The Snow Goose
1975

4.3
540 Votes
Mirage
1974

4.5
1,010 Votes
Camel
1973

4.2
441 Votes
Live Albums
The Paris Collection
2001

2.6
7 Votes
Gods of Light
2000

3.2
7 Votes
Coming of Age
1998

4.2
11 Votes
On the Road 1981
1997

3.3
6 Votes
On the Road 1982
1994

2.8
6 Votes
Never Let Go
1993

4
11 Votes
On the Road 1972
1992

3.6
11 Votes
Pressure Points
1984

3.3
11 Votes
A Live Record
1978

4.2
37 Votes
Compilations
The Snow Goose 2013
10/22/2013

4.1
9 Votes
Rainbow's End - A Camel Anthology 1973-1985
2010

4
1 Votes
Lunar Sea
2001

3.6
4 Votes
Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)
1997

2.8
3 Votes
Echoes
1993

4.1
7 Votes
Landscapes
1991

2.5
3 Votes
A Compact Compilation
1986

3.4
5 Votes
The Collection
1985

2.9
4 Votes
Chameleon: The Best of Camel
1981

2
2 Votes

Contributors: Divaman, dannyboy89, Mad., demon of surveillance, rockandmetaljunkie, MeatSalad, dariosoares, KILL, DinoX, mrguidogenio, Thor, Nagrarok, Wst, Hebrew Hammer, adr, Nagrarok, Mad., KILL, ruemorgue, Metalstyles, Mikesn,

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