Camel - Rain Dances - SHM SACD

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2014 release

out of print

Rain Dances is one of those albums that demands and withstands repeated listening. I used to think the album started and finished with the opening track "First Light", which has to be one of progressive rock's all-time top instrumentals. The delightful atmosphere of the track is topped off perfectly with Mel Collins' magnificent sax solo, one that is liable to get the ol' tear ducts working if you're in the right head space. How does a group of musicians come up with something so lovely as this? As with many, many of my must-have records, I first heard this track one sunny Saturday afternoon in 1977 on Australia's ground-breaking rock station 2JJ and have worn out 2 vinyl copies since then.

As jaw-droppingly good as the opening piece is, there are many other highlights. "Metrognome" flows naturally on from "First Light" with some lovely guitar flourishes in its climax, "Tell Me" is reminiscent of 10CC's surreal arrangement of their hit "I'm Not in Love" and "Skylines" and "One of These Days I'll Get an Early Night" are wonderful examples of jazz-rock. The brilliant Brian Eno makes his presence felt on the title track, which is a gorgeous instrumental finale to this album. If creative tension between musicians, as happened between Peter Bardens and Andrew Latimer during these recording sessions, produces music as good as this, then such conflict should be a mandatory condition in bands.

David Maertin


SKU 4988005809070
Barcode # 4988005809070
Brand Decca / Universal Japan

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