Camel (band)

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Camel are an English progressive rock band formed in 1971. An important group in the Canterbury scene, they have been releasing studio and live recordings steadily, with considerable success, since their formation.[1]




Andrew Latimer (guitar), Andy Ward (drums) and Doug Ferguson (bass) had been playing as a trio called The Brew around the Guildford, Surrey area of England. They recruited Peter Bardens (keyboards) and after an initial gig to fulfill a Bardens commitment on 8 October 1971 in Belfast, Northern Ireland under the name of Peter Bardens' On, they changed their name to Camel. Their first gig was at Waltham Forest Technical College, London supporting Wishbone Ash on 4 December.

In August 1972 Camel signed with MCA Records and their eponymous debut album was released six months later. The record was not a success and the band moved to the Deram Records division of Decca Records (UK).[1]

In 1974 they released their second album, the critically acclaimed Mirage on which Latimer showed he was adept on flute. Although failing to chart at home, it gained success on the U.S. west coast, prompting a three month tour there.[1]

Released in 1975, the instrumental, orchestrated concept album Music Inspired by The Snow Goose, had been inspired by the Paul Gallico short story of the same name. This was the breakthrough album that brought Camel wider attention, but not without controversy. Gallico, who loathed smoking, thought the band were related to the cigarette brand and threatened to take legal action. Camel avoided this by adding the prefix 'Music inspired by...' to the album's cover. The album's success led to a prestigious sell out concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, with the London Symphony Orchestra in October 1975.

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