Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1978 album from British Progressive Rock act including one bonus track. The enhanced packaging contains many rare and previously unseen photographs and sleevenotes. 10 trac... more »ks. Esoteric. 2009.« less
Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1978 album from British Progressive Rock act including one bonus track. The enhanced packaging contains many rare and previously unseen photographs and sleevenotes. 10 tracks. Esoteric. 2009.
The last great Camel album
John Engstrom | Dublin, CA | 05/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On Breathless, you can begin to sense that Bardens and Latimer are going in different directions in their musical vision. But much like the Beatles' "Abbey Road" the divergence expands the group. (In this analogy, Richard Sinclair's "Down on the Farm" is Ringo's "Octopuses Garden"). In particular, the songwriting seems to be stronger, albeit less collaborative. The instrumentation for the band was never tighter, and Mel Collins' studio contributions are tremendous.
There is less of a cohesive feel than on some previous Camel albums, and a greater concentration on individual songs, but it tends to make each of the songs stand out a little more because of it.
Camel meets Caravan
Mark R. Roberts | London, England | 07/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a life long Camel fan, I am used to certain quarters criticising Camel's change of style for this album. Sinclair's exceptional Bass guitair adds a jazzier feel to the music while his vocals are more refined and are a vast imnprovement on Latimer's or Bardens. Admittedly there are one or two weaker tracks such as "Wing and a Prayer" and "You make me Smile" but the inclusion of "Summer Lightening" with its rippling keyboards that builds to a blistering guitar solo and Andy Ward's exceptional drumming, is enough to place this in my top 5 favourite Camel albums.
"Down on the Farm" is a whimsical Canterbury-esque piece, unsurprisingly penned by ex-Caravan member Richard Sinclair while "Echoes" and "The Sleeper" are strong tracks that you would expect from Camel, with the latter not sounding too disimilar from the classic "Lunar Sea".
Dont be put off by the change of style - this album is a must for all Camel fans and lover's of good music."
This is actually not bad at all
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 04/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have to confess that this 1978 album is not nearly as bad as people have made it out to be - (the reviews of the album on ProgArchives are particularly merciless and vicious). In fact, while Breathless may not necessarily present the band at their finest hour (especially in contrast with albums like The Snow Goose (1975) and Moonmadness (1976)), there is some good material to be found. Then again, Camel was no different from the other English prog bands active at the time and suffered from the same confusion with respect to what musical direction they were supposed to head in. Furthermore,(without naming names) Breathless is certainly no worse than other albums floating around in 1978.
The lineup at this point included Andrew Latimer (acoustic and electric guitars, Yamaha CS80/50, Vocals); Peter Bardens (electric piano, acoustic piano, synthesizers, Hammond organ, Vocals); Mel Collins (Flute, Saxophones); Richard Sinclair (Bass guitar, Vocals); Andy Ward (Drums, Percussion); and Dave Sinclair (Keyboards (uncredited)). In general the playing by all members is very good, with Andy Latimer contributing some fine playing. I have always been a fan of Richard Sinclair's vocals and bass playing, so his presence on the album works for me. Following this album, Peter and Richard left the band. Apparently Peter and Andy Latimer were having problems (creative differences), which precipitated his leaving the band, and he was replaced by two keyboardists for the Breathless tour including Dave Sinclair and Jan Schelhaas. For the I Can See Your House from Here album (1979), the two keyboardist approach was maintained, yet with Jan and ex-Happy the Man player Kit Watkins.
The tracks on the album range in length from 2'59" to 7'17". In general the music on Breathless is considerably different from previous albums and includes a greater percentage of mainstream styles, including a sizeable chunk of disco (Summer Lightning, You Make me Smile). The inclusion of Richard's whimsical Canterbury track `Down on the Farm", while entirely appropriate for a Caravan album, seems a bit out of place on a Camel album - although his vocal part is very interesting. Wing and a Prayer is not completely awful, and is actually just a very nice and well-written pop song, with great woodwind parts.
Although this may all sound very unappealing, there are however some nice "Camel-ish" pieces on the album that are actually very good including the highly melodic title track, the vigorous progger Echoes, the delicate Starlight Ride, another atmospheric/proggy track The Sleeper, and the synthesizer heavy and gloomy closing track Rainbow's End. I am of the opinion that the album is worth picking up just for those five tracks alone, albeit at a "used copy" price.
Well there you have it. While Breathless may not represent Camel at their finest hour, there is still some good material here. For those of you that are new to the band, start out with any of these albums: Camel (1973); Mirage (1974); The Snow Goose (1975); Moonmadness (1976); and Rain Dances (1977). Of these albums, The Snow Goose is a fan favorite (mine too)."
A Hidden Treasure
Nariaki Imamura | Osaka | 12/21/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a shame more people don't know about this album, because it is one of the gems of rock/pop music. It's one of those rare instances where the songwriting and arrangement is just so damn good that it stands out as something special and worthy of notice. In addition to the quartet, Mel Collins adds some flute and soprano sax parts, but the album never has the 'orchestral instruments for their own sake' syndrome that plague so many other albums that try to incorporate these elements. Rather, one can't picture the arrangements as being nearly as complete without them ('Wing and a Prayer' is a perfect example of this) and they fit into the ensemble as naturally as Latimer's guitar or Sinclair's electric bass. While I'm not totally enamored of the instrumental that clutters up the second side of the album, the overall product is so skillfully and tastefully conceived and crafted that I can't help returning to it time and again, as I do with other monumental records that--contrary to 'Breathless'-- have received virtually universal acclaim and notoriety (such as "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" or "Going for the One.") Permit a total stranger to do you a service, and let me advise you to plop down twenty of those new-fangled bucks to get a copy of what is surely one of the undiscovered treasures of pop music."