Label: WHD Entertainment, Inc. - IECP-10135 • Series: Camel Productions Paper Sleeve Collection - 11,Official Camel Bootleg • Format: CD Album, Reissue • Country: Japan • Genre: Rock • Style: Prog Rock
No Easy Answer 2. You Are the One 3. Heroes 4. Selva 5. Lullabye 6. Sasquatch 7. Manic 8. Camelogue 9. Today's Goodbye A Heart's Desire I think Latimer was forced into making this one in order to keep his contract and made this half-hearted album full of potential singles hence the title to please the record company.
This allowed him to make the following concept album Stationary Traveller. Look elsewhere because this is a true dudthat would deserve a lesser rating CAMEL here can definitely be sentimental. Compared to "Nude", it is clear here that the songs are less progressive, but they are more accessible. The songs rather differ from each other. The keyboards are varied and their force resides in the floating mellow parts. The electric guitars are very good with their often clean distortion-free sounds.
So this record is keyboards and electric guitar oriented, in a simple, sentimental an accessible way. But it took me a long, long time to appreciate "The Single Factor", and even now it remains my least favorite album from their catalog. If you're one of those CAMEL fans still holding a torch for the progressive music of their past, then pass on this. I am not sure if the title is a reference to the generally more commercial nature of the tracks here, but it is certainly appropriate.
While there is nothing which immediately comes across as having the potential to be a huge hit single, the tracks are virtually all short and direct. This was the first album A Hearts Desire / End Peace - Camel - On The Road 1982 drummer Andy Ward who according to the sleeve- notes had suffered a serious injury to his hand. He had of course previously suffered at the hands of drink and drugs, especially around the time of the "Nude" album.
This meant that of the original band members, only Andy Latimer remained. On the plus side, the appearance of David Paton and Chris Rainbow on vocals instantly addresses the weary criticism which Camel have A Hearts Desire / End Peace - Camel - On The Road 1982 suffered in that department.
Paton's delivery on tracks such as the emotive "Heroes", one of the album's highlights, is superb. Latimer's partner Susan Hoover provides the bulk of the lyrics for the album, with only the first two tracks and the very brief "Lullabye" featuring Latimer's own words.
Latimer does not surrender vocal duties completely by any means though, the opening "No easy answer" Gaspard Royant - Europe a pop structured song with his lead vocal, and accompanying la las by Rainbow and Paton.
The following "You are the one" initially sounds like it is to be a bluesy dirge until A Hearts Desire / End Peace - Camel - On The Road 1982 lightweight upbeat chorus bursts in, sounding as out of place as a prog song in the Eurovision song contest.
The aforementioned "Heroes" starts with an instrumental which sounds for all the world like it has been lifted straight from "The Snowgoose". It really is a beautiful piece, which understandably could easily be mistaken for the aforementioned APP. The song is followed by an emotional lead guitar instrumental "Selva" where Latimer's fine Gilmouresque lead guitar work is backed by the classical guitar of Anthony Phillips and the synthesiser of Duncan MacKay.
We return to more pop based territory for the surprisingly rock based "Manic", one of the heaviest songs Camel have ever recorded.
The following "Today's goodbye", while on the face of it telling the tale of a romantic break up, may well also relate to the difficulties within the band. Ironically, there's a "Local hero" film feel to Andy Latimer's guitar work here, Anthony Phillips' keyboard landscapes providing the perfect backdrop for this emotionally charged performance. While there are undoubtedly some worryingly commercial aspects to some of the songs, scratch the surface a bit further and there is actually a significant proportion of quality material.
The problem, if there is one, is that the album is inconsistent. Worth exploring for fans of the band though. Camel did not sound great in those days.
This album is not worse than "I Can See Very little inspiration throughout this album although some songs have catchy melodies. The track I prefer is the instrumental "Selva" : a typical Camel song : full of emotion and beauty.
Latimer's guitar sound is great. Although it is shorter in lenght, this one reminds me the grandeur from "Ice". It's a pity they did not expand it more. Very good song.
Earlythe inevitable came to be. Unable to stop abusing alcohol, Ward could not continue with Camel. Nearly Party Ride - Eric Morillo* - Best World DJs (MP3) - Volume 05 years to the day he had joined Ferguson and Latimer, Andy Ward formally left the band and never performed with them again. Two stars. Musically this album is not much different with any album of The Alan Parsons Project but the recording quality which I think it's inferior, even against any previous albums of Camel.
I actually don't understand it as this was recorded at Abbey Road Studio. The first two opening tracks are really light music and they can be categorized as pop rock music with no special things that need to be mentioned. They're just straight pop rock songs. But when it reaches track 3 "Heroes" there is something nice that I can enjoy. The song itself is a mellow one but it has a strong melody. It sounds like a combination of both styles: The Alan Parsons Project Fessôra - Osvaldo Nunes - Com Aquêle Abraço - O Melhor de Osvaldo Nunes classic style of Camel music.
The following "Selva" is also a good one, followed with a short bridge "Lullabye" which brings to attractive "Sasquatch" I purchased this CD was to complete my collection of Camel albums just to trace back how the band's music has evolved over time. I do not intend to give any conclusion on whether or not you should own the CD if you do not collect Camel music.
Musically, this is a good album even though it has some mediocre tracks. Keep on proggin'.! To give Camel the credit they deserve but do not always receive, that they were still a going concern in is miraculous in and of itself.
Their albums were still striking the mid ranges of the top British charts, in the company of bands that were mostly in diapers when the group's debut appeared. So in Shadows On The Street - Gentle Giant - Civilian Camel were already elder statesman by this time, albeit largely ignored by anyone but their still sizable faithful fans.
The presence of various Alan Parsons project personnel gives this one some commercial credibility, especially on "Heroes" which could easily pass for a good APP song. There are some overly mellow tracks here and there but still reminiscent of passages from "Nude" and the "Snow Goose", but "Camelogue" is a great autobiographical tune with some creative Latimer licks.
It is decidedly light fare and not to the tastes of Embraceable You - George Gershwin - Best Of Gershwin on this list, but "Single Factor" represents another facet of Camel, a diversion if you will, tried on for size but ultimately rejected by The Fight Song (Crash And Burn) - Mae - (A)fternoon a newer audience and the band.
There are some songs that are partially enjoyable like Heroes and Camelogue but the songs are generally very weak and A Hearts Desire / End Peace - Camel - On The Road 1982 something I want to use my time on. Camel has made so much better music that this album seems a bit superfluos. The musicianship is good as always. Andy Ward was unable to record the drum parts as a result of a bad hand injury but was still a part of the band at this time Even though he was suffering severe problems with alcohol and drugs in those days too.
The production is thin and very much in eighties style. The best comparison I can come up with for this album is Steve Hackett's Cured that was released only a couple of years before Camel's The Single Factor.
Many people hate Hackett's Cured, and I am quite certain that those are the very same people that would hate The Single Factor. There are actually many similarities between these two albums and the respective musical careers of Andy Latimer and Steve Hackett. Both Andy Latimer and Steve Hackett are, of course, incredible guitarists both playing in legendary Symphonic Prog bands of the 70's.
But I mean to make a somewhat "deeper" comparison Rondo - Pierre Rode, Friedemann Eichhorn, Jena Philharmonic Orchestra, Nicolás Pasquet - Violin Conc concerning their respective situations in the early 80's when they both ventured towards Pop territory while still retaining their respective amazing guitar work and progressive touch and III - Magnus Lindberg, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Toimii Ensemble, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra* - Piano some very good and emotional songs in the process.
Steve Hackett had formed a band around himself in the late 70's, but by he was basically alone with only keyboardist Nick Magnus and his brother John still by his side. Hackett handled all the lead vocals by himself for the first time on Cured and he grew a lot as a singer during the 80's and 90's just like Andy Latimer would do. Latimer was actually in a similar situation at this point being basically alone with some guests in creating this album hence the title The Single Factor.
There are mostly shorter tunes on The Single Factor and it is a diverse album with several different styles being explored. Another similarity with Hackett's Cured is the presence of some poppy songs as well as some more progressive instrumentals. The instrumental Sasquatch, for example, became a live favourite that was often played live by the band during the 80's and 90's. However, this is not quite as nice as Ice. For me personally both Cured and The Single Factor are actually more than decent albums though Cured is the better of the two!
Fans of progressive Rock usually fear the very word 'Pop', and for good reasons I hasten to add, but The Single Factor should not be put together with Invisible Touch or This album is not a "sell out" by those standards.
Even if the songs are shorter here, these are hardly potential chart toppers. As a follow up to Nude, it is, of course, very disappointing indeed. But Nude was, after all, great! Overall, this album is quite soft, but Manic, with its dramatic organ, sounds almost like it could have been the soundtrack for some A Hearts Desire / End Peace - Camel - On The Road 1982 Lullaby is a very short but beautiful piano ballad with a very good vocal performance by Andy.
The song A Heart's Desire is very nice but completely out of place here, I think. It does not have a Camel feeling. This is largely due to Andy Latimer not singing it. This is certainly not a bad album even if it is one of Camel's least good ones.
The Prophet - The Blue Notes - The Back Room At The Fabulous Balmoral Beach Hotel, Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland - Eddie Condon And His Windy City Seven* - Windy City Seven And Jam Ses, Hot On The Wheels Of Love - April Wine - All The Rockers, The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World (Radio Version) - Keith Murray - The Most Beautifullest T, Red River Jane - Stompin Tom Connors - The North Atlantic Squadron