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4.6 out of 5 stars56
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 23 November 2005
Those who shamelessly lambast the 70s as 'the decade that style forgot' were never there. Sure, there was a lot of pap around (lots of chart stuff, for instance!), and yes, we all looked naff in our HUGE flares, but sheer musical diversity and quality was everywhere - whether you liked dance, metal, prog or even punk. The truth is that record companies in those days largely allowed bands a free creative reign (just ask the band members from Yes about this!) and that resulted in some extraordinary, long-lasting musical legacies. And this is one of them.....
Camel are a great example of a fine prog rock band who certainly found a niche for themselves in the mid 70s. Often put in the same bracket as Yes and Floyd, such comparisons were unfair, as Camel were as unique in their sound as those two prog rock giants. The Snow Goose is, of course, their tour de force and it was always going to be difficult to follow such an epic. No vocals to speak of, wonderful melodies and great musicianship all lead to a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Critics argue that such fare is self indulgent, but the music is very evocative and I defy anyone not to be carried along on this journey through Paul Gallico's classic novel.
I remember everyone in school borrowing my (now dead) vinyl copy of this when I was a spotty teenager. I saw the band - my first ever concert - in 1975 when they were touring with The Snow Goose. It was a memorable night, the band were on top form and I remember marveling at Andy Latimer's guitar work. To my mind, they never reached such heights again, with lineup changes and their musical style altering significantly to a more vocal sound (as it had to, I suppose).
I don't much like the extra tracks at all - totally superfluous in my view - but it would be cruel to take a star off for that. The release of this album on CD is a wonderful testament to Pete Bardens who died from cancer in 2002 - he had every right to be proud of this classic work.
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on 6 October 2002
Inspired by the book "The Snow Goose" by Paul Gallico, this album is amazing at the worst of times. Partly classical in places, rocky in others, it is very hard to place exactly what category this album quite fits in to. It was the bassist, Doug Ferguson who suggested this concept album after the success of the song "The White Rider" off their second album Mirage(inspired by Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings). The choice of the book "The Snow Goose" is genius. The book, which is only about 50 short pages long, can actually be read in time to the album, thus the album creates, for the first time in my knowledge a soundtrack to a book. The album opens with an eerie representation of Gallico's "Great Marsh" and throughout the album manages to portray the emotions written in the book with pin point accuracy through the music. The album however, is not only credible as a soundtrack alone. The variations of the theme originally laid down by the track "The Snow Goose" the whole way through the album are nothing short of brilliance, best portrayed by the track "La Princesse Perude", which heralds the final track, a variation of the first track, but similarly called "The Great Marsh". This however, is not the end of the album. To remember former keyboard player Peter Bardens, who died an untimely death, the album was re-released with 5 bonus tracks including live performances and original single tracks from the album. All in all, "Music Inspired by The Snow Goose" is, in a word: inspired.
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on 16 September 2009
I bought this album when it originally came out in the 70s on vinyl - somewhere along the way it got lost and I hadn't heard it for years. For some reason I remembered it recently and sent for the cd. It's just as good as I remembered it - haunting and evocative themes that take you through the story. Wonderful to chill out to. However, I don't know how much of my enjoyment of it is related to the fact that it formed an important part of my formative years, or whether it would be acceptable to new listeners from a younger generation. As my 20 year old son walked in while it was on and said "are you listening to an old album from when you were young, mum?" it is probably the former. However, I stick to my guns and give it 5 stars and thoroughly recommend it!
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on 4 August 2008
It's funny that when you love and know a certain piece of music so well you don't often play it. Such is the case with Camel's "Snow Goose", which I had on LP many years ago (!) but which I only recently added to my CD collection.

I'm glad I did. The sound quality on this remastered CD is first-class and the music sounds as beautiful as ever. All instrumental of course, apart from some superb vocalisations on a couple of the sections. This was a seminal album: Camel were on top form and allowed the music to speak for itself. It's not played at a fast tempo, allowing the listener to become drawn by the sumptuous, ever-changing melodic lines, the wonderfuly chosen keyboard sounds, the wistful flute and languid guitar lines. Those are the items that "glitter" in this aural soundscape, which is a shame because the rhythm section's playing is just as strong.

There are quite a few bonus tracks on here. For me, they detract from the overall feel of the album, which is perfect. I have heard many of these sections before on some other Camel collections and, whilst of interest, they really do not compare to the experience of the album listened to in its entirety.
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on 7 October 2009
This is the first ever Camel LP I have ever heard. Still sounds great after all these years, and still a pleasure to the ear. The tag 'progressive rock', which does not mean anything, is useless to define it. Latimer and friends were , and are, great professionals and musicians, and this was the start of their best period (even though Moonmadness had some good moments).
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2006
It's great writing reviews for music like this. Looking at the "purchasers of this also bought..." section sets me off on a tangent to dig forgotten treasures out of my collection...

I first heard Camel with the excellent "Mirage" and went to see them live when they were touring this album (and on other occasions).

Camel created some lovely soundscapes, some heavy, others quiet and melodic. This release is the first to truly bring it all together with no vocals this time.

The production is very good, if a little "bass light" by modern standards (listen on a pair of very large, decent speakers and all is then ok...). I understand the CD transfer WAS from the original masters that Decca had. The music, I suppose, is very much of its time, but is highly enjoyable nonetheless. I've just looked at some of the Gentle Giant discs on here and the sound samples presented from this band seem really dated, if very well played....

If you remember Camel with great affection as I do (I lost touch with their work in the late eighties), then I urge you to buy this disc and forget the cares of the world for three quarters of an hour or so.

Great music from a great band...

P.S. A real shame about the death of Pete Bardens, as he and Andy Latimer worked really well together...
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on 26 June 2009
Had this album as a kid. Lost it when the vinyl all went.
This is a wonderful example of turning a book into a musical work of art.
The music varies from stunningly haunting and beautiful, to sad, to happy to rocking. It plays wonderful tricks leading the mind along with the story.
Some of the melodies (remember them?) will stick in your mind for a long time.
Please dont get the idea this is for old prog rock survivors.
Any young bloods that want to make it in the music scene should listen to this. It will give you a feeling as to how songs can be crafted and interlinked.
If you have any kind of variation in your musical taste, listen to this memorable album.
It will grow on you. Enjoy.
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on 24 November 2010
Lovely, lovely piece of music. It's been on my wish list for some time, but seeing it remastered, well priced and with extra tracks was too much to resist. The music paints wonderful pictures thanks to skilled musicians. The guitar work is particularly delightful. The extra tracks are well worth having also. Recommended.
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on 21 October 2013
Have just seen Camel's first concert for 10 years following the serious illness of Andy Latimer. Absolutely magnificent. They played all the Snow Goose bringing a mixture of cheers and tears to the packed audience. In the lip read words of Andy to the group as they took their bow 'We're back!"
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Camel's delightful interpretation of Paul Galico's novel is a superb example of 1970's prog-rock at its most inventive.
Interspersing quiet, delicate, pseudo-classical passages with beautiful soaring guitar-work, the Snow Goose has a very different feel to the more visceral energy of Camel's previous album - Mirage. The charm of the Snow Goose lies in the very powerful and memorable themes merged and reprised throughout the work (most notably in the core of tracks 3 to 6) and in Andy Latimer's virtuoso performance. If you enjoyed Gilmour's guitar outro to Floyd's Comfortably Numb, you will *love* this!
Some of the bonus tracks (single edits and live versions) seem a tad surperfluous here, in particular, the final track - Freefall (taken from Mirage) reminds us why Camel were at their best when they skipped the vocals!
Still, this is a superb album that no prog-rock aficionado should be without.
I bought the Snow Goose at lunchtime. Listened to it on my long drive home after work, with a big smile on my face, and then woke up last night with the main theme of "Rhayader Goes to Town" stuck in my head.
Go on, treat yourself!
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