Top positive review
40 people found this helpful
on 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.