Camel (1975) The Snow Goose (LP) Janus 7016

Camel
The Snow Goose
Janus 7016 (USA)
1975
noteworthy ***

UK prog outfit’s third album, an instrumental set based on a children’s book.  It sounded like an awful idea (and of course it’s only for fans of head-rock), but it ended up being Camel’s best album, and other than Bo Hannson’s take on Lord of the Rings, this is probably the most successful example of a progressive-rock outfit taking on a piece of literature.  In fact, this set might have been inspired by Hannson’s work as the two offerings have some things in common.
   
 This Camel album and Bo’s Lord of the Rings are both all instrumental, and both sets effectively capture the elements of a story with low-key instrumentation rather than going over the top for the sake of showing off.  Also, both are clearly English, focusing on a classical/rock sound, and it’s always nice to hear English outfits take a break from playing American R&B, West Indies music or Eastern-flavored junk, and focus on sounds closer to home.  It often comes across sounding less forced and more natural.
At times, the Pink Floyd influence becomes quite clear, specifically Floyd’s more reflective moments of the early 70s (Meddle & Atom Heart Mother).  At one point, they even lift part of “the Albatross,” but ultimately, this is its own bird, essential listening for fans of head rock.
— winch
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