Camel – Moonmadness

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Published on 4 March 2019 by

Camel – Moonmadness is an album released in March 1976 by English progressive rock band Camel. It was their fourth album and the last to feature the band’s original line-up (Latimer, Bardens, Ferguson, Ward). After the success of the tightly structured, instrumental The Snow Goose in 1975, the band added vocals to their music again.Camel – Moonmadness has an overall theme, just as their previous one did, but doesn’t follow a storyline since it’s mostly based on the band members themselves. As written in the CD Booklet: Overall, the tracks comprising the album were conceived as a loose concept based on the individual personalities that made up Camel; “Air Born” about Andrew Latimer, “Lunar Sea” about Andy Ward, “Chord Change” about Peter Bardens and “Another Night” about Doug Ferguson. The cover was designed by Field. The last song on the album, “Lunar Sea”, ends with a minute-long wind-blowing effect. When played on an LP, the record arm would skip during the end of this part and naturally return to the beginning of the effect, playing it endlessly.In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came number 23 in its list of “40 Cosmic Rock Albums”

Daevid Jehnzen:  Abandoning the lovely soundscapes of Snow Goose, Camel delved into layered guitar and synthesizers similar to those of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here on the impressive Moonmadness. Part of the reason behind the shift in musical direction was the label’s insistence that Camel venture into more commercial territory after the experimental Snow Goose, and it is true that the music on Moonmadness is more akin to traditional English progressive rock, even though it does occasionally dip into jazz-fusion territory with syncopated rhythms and shimmering keyboards. Furthermore, the songs are a little more concise and accessible than those of its predecessor. That doesn’t mean Camel has abandoned art. Camel – Moonmadness is indeed a concept album, based loosely on the personalities of each member — “Chord Change” is Peter Bardens, “Air Born” is Andy Latimer, “Lunar Sea” is Andy Ward and “Another Night” is Doug Ferguson. Certainly, it’s a concept that is considerably less defined than that of Snow Goose, and the music isn’t quite as challenging, yet that doesn’t mean that Moonmadness is devoid of pleasure. In fact, with its long stretches of atmospheric instrumentals and spacy solos, it’s quite rewarding.

 

Camel – Moonmadness Tracklist

  1. 0:00.00 Aristillus (Andrew Latimer) — 1:56
  2. 1:56.47    Song Within a Song (Peter Bardens, Latimer) — 7:14
  3. 9:10.66   Chord Change (Bardens, Latimer) — 6:44
  4. 15:55.18   Spirit of the Water (Bardens) — 2:07
  5. 18:02.36 Another Night (Latimer, Bardens, Andy Ward, Doug Ferguson ) — 6:57
  6. 24:59.21  Air Born (Bardens, Latimer) — 5:01
  7. 30:02.10 Lunar Sea (Bardens, Latimer) — 9:10

 

Pete Bardens – Keyboards, Vocals
Rhett Davies – Producer
Doug Ferguson – Bass, Vocals
Andy Latimer – Flute, Guitar, Vocals
Andy Ward – Percussion, Drums, Voices

Camel - Moonmadness

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