UK reissue of 1976 album, remastered from the original tapes & includes 5 bonus tracks 'Another Night' (single version), 'Spirit Of The Water' (demo), 'Song Within A Song' (recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon, London 14t... more »h April 1976), 'Lunar Sea' (recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon, London 14th April 1976) & 'Preparation/Dunkirk' (recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon, London 14th April 1976). 2002.« less
UK reissue of 1976 album, remastered from the original tapes & includes 5 bonus tracks 'Another Night' (single version), 'Spirit Of The Water' (demo), 'Song Within A Song' (recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon, London 14th April 1976), 'Lunar Sea' (recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon, London 14th April 1976) & 'Preparation/Dunkirk' (recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon, London 14th April 1976). 2002.
A very warm and final album from the original lineup
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 03/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1976 album would prove to be the last with the classic Camel lineup and (after the epic, song-cycle suite The Snow Goose (1975)) returns to the format on Mirage (1974). Musically, Moonmadness continues Camels brand of progressive rock with a dash of jazz rock, yet is more synth-heavy than previous albums. The overall feel is a bit softer too, especially in contrast with the hard rocking 1973 debut and Mirage. My guess is that the softness is a holdover from the mellow Snow Goose album.
The lineup on Moonmadness includes Andrew Latimer (electric and acoustic guitars, flute, and vocals); Pete Bardens (Hammond organ, electric piano, acoustic piano, mini-moog, ARP Odyssey, and vocals); Doug Ferguson (electric bass and lead vocal on Song within a Song); and Andy Ward (drums, percussion and voice on Aristillus). All of the musicians are very good and I especially like Pete's Hammond organ and especially his synthesizer work on this album - he gets some great synth sounds. The ensemble work is very good too - this is especially surprising given that Doug was on his way out of the band at this point. With respect to the vocal department, they are not necessarily Camel's strong suit but it does not ruin anything for me at all. Come to think of it, they seem to try and get around the vocal problem by subjecting the vocals to various electronic effects on a few tracks.
The seven tracks on the album range in length from 1'56" to 9'07". Musically, Moonmadness presents an excellent mixture of sprightly prog/jazz rock instrumentals; vocal tracks; softer more pastoral tracks (Spirit of the Water; Air Born) and longish proggy tracks including the synth-heavy Lunar Sea. There is not much of a hard feel to any of the tracks and everything is very "warm" sounding. There is also good use of melodies and harmonies on this album - they really spent a lot of time on them. Oh one last thing - it seems that the emphasis on repeated riffs (ostinatos) has been lessened somewhat and ensemble work/counterpoint is favored more.
This remastered album by Decca is excellent and features great sound quality, restored cover art, and loads of liner notes and photos of the band. The bonus tracks include a mix of singles, demos, and live recordings of Song within a Song, Lunar Sea, and Preparation/Dunkirk (from The Snow Goose). The live recordings were taken from a concert held at the Hammersmith Odeon on April 14, 1976. The sound quality is just OK although the performances are very good.
Moonmadness is a fantastic album and one of my favorites from the group and is very highly recommended along with the debut, The Snow Goose, and Rain Dances (1977)."
What an amazing experience
B. E Jackson | Pennsylvania | 07/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have something important to say. Many times you've probably heard people say "If everyone heard such-and-such album, the world would be a better place". Camel seem to have been created to help make people better. I'm serious. These guys are good at writing music that's pleasantly soothing while at the same time extremely interesting for progressive rock fans, and because of this I have no choice but to declare Camel one of the best rock bands ever. They really deserve to be known as one of the best and I think you'll agree with me once you hear how incredible their songwriting skills are.
I also have another thing that urgently needs to be said, and this is also important- I'm an American who was born in the early 80's. I wasn't around when these 70's masterpieces were created and released to the public. I find it extraordinary that these musicians were able to write music that connects with me on a very personal level.
You know, people like to think "People from other countries have different traditions, and aren't really like me in any way" but that's completely NOT true because Camel manages to put creative images in my head that *very* few musicians seem to be able to do. Every time I listen to a Camel album and get caught up in the keyboards, guitar work or synth jams, a dream I had many years ago all of a sudden enters my head that I thought had been forgotten forever. Dreams that I had forgotten for years suddenly return and become the center of my thoughts.
It's amazing how these musicians who were writing music years before I was born were able to really glue me into their sound and style like it was completely natural. This music is just extremely *right* in every way. Sometimes I even think the band members feel like brothers to me.
When human beings write honest music, sometimes it works on a level that I believe they never thought was even possible, because the feeling of connection can be unbelievably strong sometimes. It's amazing, and goes to show how much alike people are. People like to say "Everyone's different" but not in this case. It's totally amazing to me how the dreams I have every night are very similar to the visions and the creations from this band. That will probably fascinate me until the end of time.
So yeah, Moonmadness is a great album, but so is everything else from Camel. You must look into this band. Put it on your "Must Do" list.
I know Camel didn't have as much success in the States that they probably wanted to, but I hope the surviving members are aware that the music they created back in the day really holds up well today, and that it's really a great experience listening to their music and getting caught up in their peaceful and honest dream world. I plan on keeping Camel's music alive forever. If I ever have kids, they will know this band."
Camel's masterpiece remastered
Mons | Norrpan | 02/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Moonmadness is the creative peak in Camel's career and one of the definitive progressive rock records of the 70s. The album's success can be attributed to a number of factors; fantastic songwriting, inspired production with Rhett Davies stripping down Camel's sound to just the basic instruments rather than building up complex orchestral layers like Genesis. This approach really works, creating a smooth, slightly ambient sound. Typically there are no hits to speak of (although Another Night was released as a single). The quality is high throughout, however, and there are no fillers. The highlights are numerous but Camel really soar on their instrumental outings like Lunar Sea and Chord Change, where Andy Latimer really lets rip on some dazzling solo guitar work, and showstopping ballads like Spirit of the Water. The artwork too is sublime with a beautifully designed album cover, graphics and band photo. The remastered CD has some extra toons thrown in including a corking live performance of Lunar Sea, a wonderful demo version of Spirit of the Water, and an alternate version of Another Night. This is an album to love. I remember the radio commercial for this on Capital Radio when it first came out in 1976, to the strains of Aristillus a woman's voice saying: "Moonmadness, the dreamy new album from Camel..." Amen to that. "
One of Camel's Finest Moments!
Rossi, Pasi-Pekka | Helsinki, Finland | 03/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very fine record and sadly the last one from Camel's excellent first line-up. The music throughout the record is very well crafted with rich instrumental parts and excellent melodies. I really like the tones of all instruments on this record. The interplay between Latimer's guitar and Bardens' keyboards is wonderful, but this wouldn't be a genuine band effort without the great rhythm section - Ferguson and Ward, whose playing is very intriguing and dynamic here. "Lunar Sea" is a showpiece of Camel at its best. Starting with a beautiful synthesizer intro it develops into a magical adventure where every sound has a meaning and each player gives his best effort. Other songs won't leave you cold either. They are all Camel classics! This record is definately an essential one, and not only in Camel catalogue, but in 70's prog and rock scene in general. If you're new to Camel, this might be a good record to start with. Highest recommendations!"