Camel – Mirage.
Mirage, their 1974 release following the previous years’ eponymous debut is not by general consensus Camel’s best album, it’s not even what I consider as their best, that accolade is reserved for the 1976 release, Moonmadness. Oh, OK, The Snow Goose was a bit good too!
I deemed Mirage worthy of inclusion here as it was at the age of 16, the first album I heard by Camel (thanks to my old mate Kev B) and ultimately the one that spawned a lifelong love of their polished brand of Progressive Rock.
There is not a single duff track on this album from the impressive rocky opener Freefall to the closing track Lady Fantasy, probably earning it’s inclusion by virtue of this track alone. Pete Bardens’ frenetic keyboard intro gets me every time and Andy Latimers’ guitar solo at around the 4 minute mark is sublime, not forgetting his spine tingling use of feedback 8 minutes in.
Despite having not released a new studio recording since 2002 Camel are still touring today (well not today obviously cos they are all locked down just like the rest of us). The ever present Latimer is now augmented by the appropriately named Colin Bass on bass, Denis Clement on drums and the rather brilliant Pete Jones of Tiger Moth Tales fame on keyboards. I had the great pleasure of seeing them live in 2018 at Newcastle Opera House and despite being sat in the front row of the Grand Circle where even an ant would struggle for legroom it was one of the best gigs I had seen for a very long time.
Oh, by the way, did I ever tell you my little pooch Pepsi is a dead ringer for Colin Bass? She’s rubbish on bass like!
Tomorrow we reach the heady heights of D – any predictions?
Stay in, stay safe and listen to Prog!