Camel
Mirage


5.0
classic

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
August 7th, 2010 | 1826 replies | 54,276 views


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Camel's magnum opus and a progressive rock classic.

13 of 13 thought this review was well written

Probably Camel’s most popular album and their best work, the group’s second effort Mirage both expanded and improved upon their self-titled début. Having truly found their sound and gained incredible confidence and daring in their writing and playing, this progressive classic opens strong and ends even stronger. Freefall, with its booming opening, outstanding guitar lines, seemingly effortless mood –and tempo changes and fitting vocals, is a definite statement about what Camel could unleash. Which, when listening to Mirage, was something quite astounding.

Split between the 3 vocal tracks that make up the beginning, middle and end of the album are two superb instrumentals. The shorter, more laid-back and playful Supertwister features a first appearance of Latimer’s abilities on the flute, introducing a new element that would play a part in Camel’s sound on many subsequent albums. The longer Earthrise is a free-flowing jam that features some fantastic interplay abilities between the quartet and is a perfect example of their strong chemistry.

Mirage’s most compelling moments are however its two epics. The middle track Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider, is once again full of signature Camel moments: Latimer’s gorgeous melodic guitar lines, relaxed vocals, Ferguson’s typical deep bass sound, and a smooth flow that makes it seem shorter than the 9 minutes it actually takes. The group’s storytelling ability is most prominent here. Latimer wrote the song about the Gandalf character from The Lord of the Rings (those fantastical kind of themes were really hip among the rock bands of the era, after all), which is easily derived from the lyrics: ‘Once he wore grey/he fell and slipped away/From everybody's sight/The wizard of them all/came back from his fall/This time wearing white.’

In traditional manner, the best epic is of course saved for last. Lady Fantasy, written together by the entire band (most of the band’s compositions were written by Latimer and Bardens), is one of the true highlights of Camel’s career. The lyrical content may actually be a little cheesy, but flows wonderfully with the music. Each section is extremely well though-out and Latimer’s playing, especially his highly emotional lead that recurs throughout the song, is to die for. These 12 minutes top off the accomplishment that is this record with proud determination, and are a reminder why it is held in such high regard. Mirage is a definite progressive classic, and should be owned by anyone who pronounces himself a fan of the genre.

Camel Classics:

Freefall
Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider
Encounter/Smiles for You/Lady Fantasy


Mirage’s Camel was:

- Andrew Latimer ~ Lead Guitar, Flute, Vocals
- Peter Bardens (R.I.P.) ~ Organ, Mellotron, Piano, Moog, Vocals
- Douglas Ferguson ~ Bass Guitar
- Andrew John Ward ~ Drums, Percussion


TO BE CONTINUED...



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user ratings (696)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
Shachar Sagui (5)
One of the greatest Progressive Rock albums of all time, if not the best. Mirage is essential to eve...

DrEpic4181 (5)
'Brevity is the soul of wit'...

Whale and Wasp (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
August 7th 2010



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If all goes well I will continue at my usual pace with The Snow Goose tomorrow and Moonmadness the day after. Album is amazing.

IAJP
August 7th 2010



378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wow, #1 for 1974? i would not agree with that but of course i haven't heard this album, so i must listen to it. is it the place to start with this band? great review man, especially considering i know nothing of these dudes. pozzo'd

Nagrarok
August 7th 2010



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

is it the place to start with this band?


This is definitely a great start, though listening to their first four albums chronologically would probably be a perfect introduction to the band.

IAJP
August 7th 2010



378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks! i don't really listen to a lot of progressive stuff these days but i do enjoy the Canterbury scene, which i understand they are well and truly a part of. will do that though just check the first four out, cheers.

vanderb0b
August 7th 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great job, yet again. Never really got into this one as much, say, Moonmadness.

cjgone
August 7th 2010



763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album still rules though. :DD

Nagrarok
August 7th 2010



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

will do that though just check the first four out, cheers.


Great, you will not be dissapointed. Do post your thoughts on the albums in these here reviews.

Never really got into this one as much, say, Moonmadness.


Moonmadness is fantastic as well. It was extremely hard to decide which one to give the classic rating.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2010



5895 Comments


i had my hands on Mirage the day before yesterday and i didn't got it in the end...

damn...

and it costed only 7 euros.

Digging: Electric Citizen - Sateen

Nagrarok
August 7th 2010



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You made a big mistake there Vovoid. Hey, are you also European then?

KILL
August 7th 2010



70298 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hell yes

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2010



5895 Comments


Hey, are you also European then?

I'm from Hellas and it's damn hot (34 degrees Celsius, 70 %RH) here these days......

Thank god for the air-conditioning devices!!

Nagrarok
August 7th 2010



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haha, I had no idea what Hellas was and then I looked it up. Why not just say Greece? Good to see some more Europeans here though.

EVedder27
August 7th 2010



6088 Comments


Pos. Just downloaded the debut so I should be listening soon.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2010



5895 Comments


The right word is Hellas. :smile:

KILL
August 7th 2010



70298 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

where you from nagarok

Nagrarok
August 7th 2010



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Just downloaded the debut so I should be listening soon.


Very glad to hear that. You could have just as well downloaded their first four together though.

The right word is Hellas.


Hmm, I suppose only Greek people know Greece as Hellas then, haha.

where you from nagarok


Holland.

Motiv3
August 7th 2010



8888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best camel album for sure.

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

IAJP
August 7th 2010



378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i really like this actually. the last 4 or 5 minutes of the nimrodel medley is exhilarating to say the least

KILL
August 7th 2010



70298 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

cant beat lady fantasy

Nagrarok
August 7th 2010



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Glad to see you're enjoying it.



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