I Can See Your House from Here
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|I Can See Your House From Here|
|Studio album by Camel|
|Released||29 October 1979|
|Recorded||1979 at Farmyard Studios, Little Chalfont, England|
I Can See Your House From Here is the seventh studio album by English progressive rock band Camel. Released in 1979, a new line up was introduced with founding members Andrew Latimer (guitar) and Andy Ward (drums) joined by bassist Colin Bass (to replace Richard Sinclair) and keyboardists Jan Schelhaas (who joined in 1978 for the Breathless tour) and Kit Watkins (ex-Happy The Man) who replaced Dave Sinclair. At one point, the album was going to be called 'Endangered Species'.
Throughout the summer of '79 this new quintet set about penning the contents of another long-player, seeking a fresh face to occupy the role of the producer. For this position they chose Rupert Hine, a top-notcher whose curriculum vitae already boasted the satisfied client signatures of such as Kevin Ayers (Confessions of Dr. Dream, 1972), Yvonne Elliman (Food of Love, 1973), Dave Greenslade (Cactus Choir, 1976); Quantum Jump (Quantum Jump, 1976; Barracuda, 1977) and Café Jacques (Round the Back, 1977; International, 1978). In addition to that he also recorded as a composer, coming out in 1976 with a track "Snakes Don't Dance Fast (Electric)", on which he supplied all the accompaniment – reputedly with just his mouth. He had a commercial pedigree, which made him an unconventional choice for the band.
The album was taped and mixed at the Farmyard Studios in Little Chalfont. The process also took place in an Elizabethan country house, a residential recording studio that suited the band well. The orchestral overdubs were added at London's celebrated AIR Studios establishment. An old friend of the band, Mel Collins (who also worked with Caravan) contributed to the band's sound on the saxophone, while Genesis' legendary drummer/vocalist Phil Collins was chosen to play percussion. Andy Latimer was delighted with the end product, emphatically saying: "Rupert was great fun to work with, he was really up and zappy. I enjoyed making that record. We did it rather quickly and it wasn't a lengthy production."
Rupert Hine thereon commented: "...extraordinary moment for me was Andy Latimer's improvised solo on "Ice." I hadn't realised just how passionate a player he was. As I recall the solo was just one take, not as was already typical by that time – a composite of 'best bits' of a number of different takes. This was a fine example of consciousness-flow through musical expression that only a player entirely comfortable with his instrument can achieve. Unlike so many guitarists of his era bent on illustrating how many notes could be crammed into a solo or how much overall noise could be produced from one instrument, Andy's approach seem to be born out of less is more with each note having both flow and feel".
The master tapes were delivered to 'The Supreme Record Company', and a release date was scheduled for mid-October 1979 as Decca TXS-R 137. On October 27th the album bounced into the charts, staying there for twenty-one days and peaking at No. 45. It was decided by the powers-that-be to issue a supporting seven incher to boost media interest, and it appears that the first choice item was allocated a catalogue number and then shelved temporarily to make way for what was felt to be a stronger maxi-single. From the new spectacle Andy Latimer and Kit Watkins ' Remote Romance was edited to form the 'A' side of Decca F-R 13879 (Rel.: 26 October, UK only), while its lower deck consisted of single version of Rainbow's End from Breathless (TXS-R 132, 22 September 1978) and a Camel / Mick Glossop production of Tell Me, a number first heard on Rain Dances (TXS-R 124, September 1977). Sadly, like all such Camel offerings, it failed to trouble compilers of the weekly best-sellers, but encouraged the radio play for which it was primarily intended. On 29 February 1980 that which had originally been intended as an inaugural single surfaced, when F-R 13871 called to admirers everywhere, this time cementing the latest set's Your Love is Stranger than Mine and Neon Magic back-to-back. While not breaking the mould of that which had gone before, sales figures were respectable. By their own admission, however, Camel never set out to create anything with the singles market in mind, but unlike many of their album-orientated contemporaries, readily accepted their disc outlets' attempts worldwide to broaden band appeal through the media mainstream as they wished.
At the time of the recording one of the somewhat popular jokes in England concerned crucifixion. Its punchline had an astronaut nailed to a cross stating to his beckoned observer, "I can see your house from here." This made such an impression on the band that they decided to develop an outer space theme adaption based on the joke for the sleeve of the album.
The world tour began on 8 October at The Dome, Brighton, England, following France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Spain and ended on 29 January 1980 in Koseinenkin Hall of Tokyo, Japan.
- Side one
- "Wait" (Andrew Latimer, John McBurnie) – 5:02
- "Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine" (Colin Bass, Latimer, Jan Schelhaas, Andy Ward) – 3:26
- "Eye of the Storm" (Kit Watkins) – 3:52 - this was an updated version of a track that Watkins had played with his previous band Happy the Man
- "Who We Are" (Latimer) – 7:52
- Side two
- "Survival" (Latimer) – 1:12
- "Hymn to Her" (Latimer, Schelhaas) – 5:37
- "Neon Magic" (Latimer, Viv McAuliffe, Schelhaas) – 4:39
- "Remote Romance" (Latimer, Watkins) – 4:07
- "Ice" (Latimer) – 10:17
- 2009 Expanded & Remastered Edition
- "Remote Romance" (Single version)
- "Ice" (Live 1981) – 7:15
- Andrew Latimer – guitars, flute, autoharp on "Who We Are", backing vocals, lead vocals on "Who We Are", "Hymn to Her" and "Neon Magic"
- Colin Bass – bass, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Wait" and "Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine"
- Kit Watkins – Hammond C3 organ, Solina synthesizer, Yamaha electric grand piano, Rhodes piano, Moog synthesizer, Minimoog, Clavinet, Prophet-5, Yamaha CS80, EMS Sequencer, flute
- Jan Schelhaas – Yamaha CS80, Yamaha electric grand piano, grand piano, Prophet-5, Moog synthesizer, Minimoog, EMS Sequencer
- Andy Ward – drums, percussion
- Additional musicians
- Mel Collins – alto saxophone on "Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine"
- Phil Collins – percussion
- Rupert Hine – backing vocals
- Simon Jeffes – orchestral arrangements on "Who We Are" and "Survival"
- Plichta, Matthew. "allmusic ((( I Can See Your House From Here > Overview )))". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
2. John Tracy, Decca 1989 CD edition
- "Camel – I Can See Your House From Here (LP, Album) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
- "CAMEL I Can See Your House From Here music reviews and MP3". www.progarchives.com. Retrieved 3 September 2009.