Camel
Rain Dances


3.0
good

Review

by Brien C. Stevenson USER (37 Reviews)
April 6th, 2009 | 52 replies | 8,939 views


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Camel's attempt at radio-access leaves band denied.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Camel’s fifth studio excursion, 1977’s Rain Dances, is a record often hailed by critics as a reformation of the band’s early sound, with a more commercially accepted tinge. Not long into the album’s opener, First Light, the jazzy, free-flowing compositions of the band’s first pair of releases can be heard. It’s unfortunate that the prog-rockers didn’t let the spirits of music past dominate the overall scope of the recording - the addition of Caravan bassist Richard Sinclair and former King Crimson saxophonist Mel Collins could’ve seen limitless potential. Instead, while striving for radio acceptance, Camel seems to lack elements of their classic sound, further forgoing a progressive jazzy sound for prog-tinged rock numbers. In a sad twist for the unit, Rain Dances did little for Camel’s commercial appeal, and continued the band down a path of alienation of their early fan-base.

Beginning the disc with a pair of instrumental tracks isn’t the best way to help a band receive more air-play; though these songs are probably the most reminiscent of Camel’s past, they don’t do much in terms of kicking off the record. The songs are fun to listen to and littered with little bits of trademark Camel, but the lack of cohesion between them makes for a scattered listen. This trend continues with the third track, similarly instrumentally rooted, with minimal vocals added. By this point, however, the meandering tendencies of Rain Dances start to grow a little frustrating. The record does have a handful of good songs – hear Highways of the Sun and Uneven Song. These are probably the most reminiscent of the band’s early work, as well as crafting themselves with radio-playability. It’s a shame that the lack of focus on the rest of Rain Dances clouds the disc’s potential. Songs like Elke and Skylines throw off any bid at accessibility, while the disc’s title-track is a decent throwback, but a little too short to come off as memorable. The closer feels a little bit like a rip-off, taking the form of a single-version of Highways of the Sun. While the band tried to capitalise off the tracks hooks, the revamped version comes up stale in comparison to the original.

Camel’s attempt at a commercial record unfortunately fall pretty flat with Rain Dances, continuing a string of albums that seem to lie short of the output of Camel and Mirage. The wandering ways of the album make for a confusing feel for radio-play, leaving front-man Andrew Latimer’s motives a little unclear. There are definitely good tracks here, but the album yields nothing special enough to leave a lasting impression on the listener. Considering the band’s past and future output, a few hiccups in their discography is forgivable, and Rain Dances can undoubtedly still find praise amongst Camel’s fan-base.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
CrazyFool84
April 7th 2009



1078 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hmm, its a bit brief, don't let my criticism of this album deter you from the band, Camel still rock.

shindip
April 7th 2009



3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like the album, but it is far from their best

Mendigo
April 7th 2009



2299 Comments


good review. I only know Camel's earlier albums and they're all great. I guess I'll still check this out as it features both Richard Sinclair and Mel Collins. it's a pity most of the awesome 70s prog bands turned into rather mediocre money-driven radio-bands towards the end of the decade.

jrowa001
April 7th 2009



8749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is great. nice to see more Camel reviews

KILL
November 10th 2010



67082 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great album love the title track

eyehategod
August 28th 2011



493 Comments


nah

SWORD
September 4th 2011



111 Comments


YOUR WRONG

tarkus
September 4th 2011



5560 Comments


sex

Realm
September 4th 2011



2074 Comments


just got moonmadness on tape sup

tarkus
September 4th 2011



5560 Comments


oh is it really? I thought it was some fag alt

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 29th 2012



1776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It can't have been easy to follow up an album as successful as 'Moonmadness',particularly for a band as good as Camel too. What this album doesn't do is stick to the norm of what other similar bands were doing at the time, but the synthesisers and melody of near enough every single track suggests Camel were heading in an otherwise more mainstream direction. It wasn't that successful, but they had a bloody good attempt at it.

KILL
January 29th 2012



67082 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea agreed

justicedetty
August 13th 2012



104 Comments


unevensong all night

KILL
September 27th 2012



67082 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

all along the highways of the suuuuuuuun

ViperAces
October 6th 2012



12357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

So this is where they died, right?

ViperAces
January 8th 2013



12357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

gonna check later im super pumped

ViperAces
January 8th 2013



12357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this rules

ViperAces
January 8th 2013



12357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

damn this rocks so hard
come jam camel with me you faggots

ViperAces
January 8th 2013



12357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

rocks

ViperAces
January 9th 2013



12357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

best album ever



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