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Camel - Coming Of Age CD (album) cover

COMING OF AGE

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 123 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Milk n'Honey

When I reviewed the DVD version of Coming Of Age--a long-standing personal favourite of mine--some five or more years ago, I assumed that this 2CD version of the same concert had the exact same audio content and thus that I didn't need not bother with it. Some days ago I noticed that this assumption was mistaken and that there are actually three tracks on this double CD release that were edited out from the video. These are Preparation and Dunkirk (both originally from The Snowgoose album) and Milk n'Honey (originally from Dust And Dreams). This means about ten extra minutes of music that was not included on the DVD. This justifies reviewing this double CD separately now that I have finally heard it.

There is about 15 minutes each from the albums The Snowgoose, Moonmadness, I Can See Your House From Here, Nude, and Dust And Dreams respectively, while nothing at all from Stationary Traveller, Breathless, Rain Dances, Mirage, or the self-titled debut. This might seem a bit lopsided, but everything that is here is excellent. One might speculate that one reason that the first two albums were overlooked is that this concert was recorded in America where these early albums may be less popular(?)

There is a strong focus here on the band's conceptual albums: The Snowgoose, Nude, Dust And Dreams, and Harbour Of Tears. The tracks taken from these albums are performed together in little sections, and in the case of Harbour Of Tears it is here in its entirety. There are four tracks from The Snowgoose (Rhayader, Rhayader Goes To Town, Preparation, and Dunkirk); three from Nude (Drafted, Docks, and Beached); four from Dust And Dreams (Milk n'Honey, Mother Road, Needles, and Rose Of Sharon); and, as I said, the complete Harbour Of Tears.

Moonmadness is represented by a brilliant version of Lunar Sea as well as the mellow Spirit Of The Water; I Can See Your House From Here by Hymn To Her and the superb Ice; and, finally, The Single Factor is represented by Sasquatch. Overall, about half of the numbers are instrumentals. The performances are absolutely top notch and filled with emotion. These versions are generally superior to their studio counterparts.

Coming Of Age is a live masterpiece. Having either this double CD or the DVD is essential, but having both is probably only essential for fans like me. Since neither is clearly superior to the other I have to give the CD version the same rating as the DVD, which is undoubtedly five stars. But also don't miss out on the equally fantastic Never Let Go live double album.

SouthSideoftheSky | 5/5 |

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