Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Interesting, but frustrating
bruceski | FLA United States | 09/26/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Camel's Curriculum Vitae is an overview of the long history of this British Progressive Rock Band. Starting in the Mid seventies, Camel never acheived the status of contempories such as Yes, Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull, but they clearly helped define the genre of Progressive rock and are a frequently cited reference point among the subgenre known as symphonic progressive rock. Starting out playing a rock oriented version of progressive music, over time they morphed into a more varied band that was capable of rocking hard, playing fusion, utilizing an almost new age sounding gentleness or writing a classically oriented concept albums. This DVD utilizes interviews with the four original members (Andy Latimer, Peter Bardens, Andy Ward and Doug Ferguson)and details their formation in mid 1970's until the beginning of their splitting apart following their fourth album Moonmadness. The interviews are conducted independently (none are with all the members being together, although Latimer, Ward and Ferguson are seen together in a bonus section discussing their working on new project together) as excerpts of past performances are mingled in. Andy Latimer's struggles to keep the band alive while progressive rock legends such as Richard Sinclair, Mel Collins, David Sinclair and Kit Watkins passsed through the ranks during the late 70's and early 80's are also reviewed. Finally, Latimer explains how he moved to California in the 1990's, founded his own label and continues produce viable music, on his terms, under the Camel name into the new millenium.The interviews of the band are interesting. The fact that Peter Bardens died of cancer recently makes his interviews irreplaceable. Andy Ward's very poignant account of what finally lead to his leaving the band is also revealing and human. So to is the band's recounting of how they booted original bassist Doug Ferguson due to Andy Ward's musical progress and wanting to play more complex music that may have been beyond Ferguson's musical library (despite his having been a major part of keeping the band "grounded").However, the reason this release is frustranting and I only gave it 3 Stars is because it suffers from the worst mistake these "Rockumentaries" can make, that is; while conducting the interviews excerpts from performances are placed in the video without putting in the complete performance. The performances never go for more than a minute or two before before being cut off for more interview. Peter Bardens singing Never Let Go cuts off just at the instrumental break, a wonderful performance of 3 songs from the Snow Goose performed on The Old Grey Whistle Test is shown in 2 minute sections before more interview is placed in. Richard Sinclair singing Metrognome is cut for more interviews, a jazzy version of First Light on goes on for a minute or so, more recent bassist and singer Colin Bass just gets started singing Drafted before, you guessed...... Cut to more interview. If you are going to put out a DVD by a band, at least put complete versions of the material in the bonus section or include them in their entirety somwhere. Obviously some interesting video of this band exists. Please put out the performances!!!If you are interested in the history of this band, and want a "Behind the Music" style video, this isn't bad. But be warned you are liable to be left frustrated as performance after performance (not a single one is shown in a complete form) is cut."
A Must for Long-time fans of Camel
D. Hobbs | 12/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As someone else mentioned, all the musical footage that is cut-up here into small segments, is available on another DVD, Camel Footage from camelproductions.com
So...the trick? Own both DVD's.
I've been a Camel fan since the mid 70's. I have all the early stuff on vinyl, Brit Imports....mostly. And, I repurchased many of those on CD.
This DVD is great. It tells the story of Camel in such a way, that even a 30 year fan of the band like me, can find fresh and new things to learn about the band's history.
I really enjoyed watching it.
A little tip. I ordered both my Camel DVD's from Camel productions and they came signed by Andy Latimer himself. As a guitar player since 1968, I have long been influenced by Andy. To have him sign the copies was a fantastic bonus that I can hardly describe.
A Must for Camel Fanatics
Frank Stefan | Northwood, Ohio United States | 03/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are seaching for a live camel concert, then this DVD is not for you. However, if you are a camel fanatic as I am, then this DVD is a must. Although no complete songs are shown on this DVD, to have a glimps of video clips of Camel performing throughout the years, especially in the early 70's is a treat beyond compare (It certainly left me wanting more!). If you want to learn more about the history of this awesome progressive rock band (how they named themselves, their association with Camel cigarettes, the conflict with Paul Galico, the author of "The Snow Goose", and more), then you will love this DVD.
If you are looking for live concert footage from years gone by, check out Camel Footage."