Camel
Moonmadness


4.5
superb

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
August 9th, 2010 | 1021 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the two seminal Camel records and a hell of a ride.

Camel’s fourth LP Moonmadness closely rivals their second one Mirage: they are similar in the fact that they both feature some of the most energetic, original and awe-inspiring compositions the group ever created, and of course both appear in their classic era, which’ formation would be altered by the departure of bassist Doug Ferguson. Despite the obvious similarity in the overall vibe though, Moonmadness is also quite different. Mirage contained three vocal tracks, two of which were epics, woven around two instrumentals. This album is spread out a great deal more, the average song length being about five and a half minutes, and that makes it a smoother experience altogether.

The short Aristillus will, as is the sworn duty of any good opener, grab your attention immediately. The bumpy tune is heavy on synthesizers, creating a spacey sound that works very well and shows a new side of Camel; one that shows throughout the rest of the album as well. Another feature that starkly contrasts Mirage is the inclusion of several gorgeous melancholic tracks. The soothing flute and voice of the first part of Song Within a Song; the short and mystical Spirit of the Water; the floating atmosphere of Air Born: Camel once again takes you places.

For those looking for the more vibrant type of progressive, however, worry not. Chord Change is another classic Camel mood-changer (as its title already implies), and goes through some rockin’ passages. Another Night is even better, featuring a main riff closely bordering on hard rock, some of the best vocals on the album, and, top really top things off, both a guitar and organ solo near the end of the track. The best moment is however the instrumental closer Lunar Sea (also known as Lunacy), using whacky synthesizers, aggressive bass playing and the sound of blowing wind in its last minute to wrap things up in a truly unique manner.

Without a doubt, Moonmadness is one hell of an essential progressive album, very closely rivalling Mirage for Camel’s magnum opus. The group’s sound is not a bit outdated, still able to amaze the ears of new listeners today. The record has a strong sense of energy, melancholy, and a unique atmosphere that truly makes it stand out, not only amongst the band’s own other works, but the works of other artists in general. Sadly Camel’s heyday suffered a bit of a blow after their fist four superb LP’s, and even if they recovered in a few spots, those are still the absolute essentials, waiting for the devout proggie to pick them up and put them on.

Camel Classics:

Song Within a Song
Spirit of the Water
Another Night
Air Born
Lunar Sea


Moonmadness’ Camel was:

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


TO BE (POSSIBLY) CONTINUED...



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
August 9th 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That's it for Camel for now. This is pretty amazing.

Lakes.
August 9th 2010


27750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listened to some Camel tracks on last.fm. I heard "Air Born" and that was enough for me to pick this up in a few days.

Digging: Arthur Russell - World of Echo

vanderb0b
August 9th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice job with the first four Camel albums! From what I've heard, this is probably my favorite one.

Nagrarok
August 9th 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That's great Joe, I somehow have a feeling you'll enjoy this most, but if you like it enough, be sure to pick up Mirage as well. Thanks vanderb0b, and yes, you should love this.

Jethro42
August 9th 2010


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome review for a classssic album. This, Mirage and Snowgoose are essentials to any
prog collection. I invite you progheads to take a look at any of their output since they
all contain some gems.
Have a pos, mate.

EVedder27
August 9th 2010


6088 Comments


Real nice review, really liked s/t so I should be continuing on

Nagrarok
August 9th 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks me lads. Mike, you should indeed. Mirage and this absolutely destroy s/t even though that was excellent already.

Lakes.
August 11th 2010


27750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I looked for this at the record store but couldn't find it : (

They didn't have any of their first four records, just their late 70s and 80s stuff

Nagrarok
August 12th 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That's too bad; maybe you could ask them to order it for you.

Jethro42
August 12th 2010


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Lakes, the very best way to start is their first 4 records for sure, but their last 3 albums are excellent as well. In fact, you just have to avoid 'Breathless' and 'Single Factor'.

Lakes.
August 18th 2010


27750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

FINALLY BOUGHT THIS

Nagrarok
August 19th 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

AND YOU LOVE IT

Like the avatar too.

Jethro42
August 19th 2010


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

FINALLY BOUGHT THIS


ENJOY CAMEL CHEERS

Lakes.
August 20th 2010


27750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album takes you places without drugs

Jethro42
August 20th 2010


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Camel is the drug.

Lakes.
August 20th 2010


27750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh yeah

[img]http://theora.com/images/camel2.jpg[/img]

Thinking of bumping this to a 5.

Jethro42
August 20th 2010


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ahah Give it another ride!..

Lakes.
August 20th 2010


27750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm actually towards the end of Lunar Sea right now! Still gotta listen to all the live tracks and goodies on my two disc version though.

Jethro42
August 20th 2010


12440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cheers man. 'A Live Record' is The live to get, just saying.

Lakes.
August 20th 2010


27750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely will be checking that one out after Mirage and Snow Goose. They had 'On the Road 1972' at the record store I went to as well.



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