The Snow Goose (album)
|The Snow Goose|
|Studio album by Camel|
|Recorded||Island Studios, Decca Studios (overdubs), London|
|Genre||Progressive rock, instrumental rock|
The Snow Goose is the third album by the band Camel, released in 1975. The critical success of "The White Rider" suite (based on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and appearing on the band's previous album, Mirage), inspired the group to write more novel-inspired conceptual suites.
The band considered several novels on which to base their next album. For a time they settled on Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, and some songs were written before the idea was abandoned in favour of Paul Gallico's novella The Snow Goose. The album's name, originally The Snow Goose was altered to Music Inspired by The Snow Goose to accommodate legal protests by Paul Gallico. Gallico's protests were not, as is often stated, motivated by a disapproval of smoking – Gallico was in fact a keen smoker – but simply on the grounds of copyright infringement. The album was originally due to feature lyrics based around Paul Gallico's text, but due to his objections, an instrumental was made instead. The music was mostly written during an intensive fortnight in a cottage in Devon, England.
In January 1975 work on "Snow Goose" began at Island Studios in London with David Hitchcock undertaking production duties for the band once more and Rhett Davies as sound engineer. Overdubbed At Decca Studios was engineered by John Burns. The London Symphony Orchestra participated in the recording and composer and Conductor David Bedford was enlisted to write the highly evocative orchestral arrangements for Latimer and Bardens´ creation.
The album went on sale in April 1975, eventually reaching number 22 in UK album chart in the summer of the year (13 weeks on chart).Certified Silver. In USA the album was released on 19 July 1975, achieved a Billboard chart placing 162.
The album definitely opened the doors to international level and in the following years would achieve great prestige, especially in Europe and Japan. The album is considered one of the masterpieces of symphonic rock.
Musical passages description in the context of the short story.
1."The Great Marsh"
Just before dawn till sunrise.
He lives in an old lighthouse on the Essex marshes, caring for the wild birds.
3."Rhayader Goes to Town"
The townsfolk react coldly towards Rhayader because of his odd appearance. But their fear is mixed with curiosity for he has a noble bearing.
The Snow Goose swept off course by a sea storm just reaches the Essex coast. Fritha finds her exhausted and wounded on the beach and gently cradles her, for she has heard that nearby lives a man who is a great healer of birds.
When she meets Rhayader she too is frightened, but her concern for the Snow Goose overcomes her fear.
6."The Snow Goose"
While the Snow Goose gradually gains strength, tended to by Rhayader and visited by Fritha, a strong bond of affection grows between the three of them.
With the departure of the Snow Goose, Fritha no longer visits the lighthouse and Rhayader is once more alone with the melancholy sounds of the marshes.
10."The Flight of the Snow Goose"
One day high above the horizon appears the familiar shape of the great white bird. Rhayader in his joy sends for Fritha.
Rhayader gets ready to sail, together with the small Armada of other boats to help in the desperate rescue operation at Dunkirk.
As Rhayader departs, leaving Fritha behind he cannot prevent the Snow Goose following him out across the channel and right into the heart of battle.
Rhayader ferries many stranded soldiers to safety until at last he is hit, and the Snow Goose is seen circling low over the spot where the little boat has gone down.
15."La Princesse Perdue"
Fritha realising somehow that Rhayader will not return and is still looking out to sea when she spies the Snow Goose. She is filled with a sweet sadness as she follows her princess home in as if to land only to fly away, out of sight lost forever.
16."The Great Marsh"
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. The Melody Maker magazine to declare Camel to be Britain's "Brightest Hope" an accolade which resulted in ever increasing attendances at concerts and highly memorable appearance on BBC television's "Old Grey Whistle Test", (where the band performed with a woodwind section a medley of "Snow Goose" themes) and an equally memorable performance on the BBC Radio One "In Concert" programme. To follow up on the success of the album Decca decided to release an edited version of "Flight of the Snow Goose/Rhayader" as a single in May.
Apr-13: Greyhound – Croydon. Apr-20: Winning Post – Twickenham. Apr-22: Hippodrome Theatre – London. Apr-26: Leicester Polytechnic – Leicester. Apr-27: Civic Hall – Guilford. May-1: Cleopatra's – Derby. May-2: Newcastle University – Newcastle. May-3: Univ of Science & Tech – Manchester. May-4: Roundhouse – London. May-6: Music Hall – Shrewsbury. May-7: Bristol Polytechnic – Bristol. May-10: Stadium – Liverpool. May-13: Barbarella's – Birmingham. May-15: Winter Gardens – Cleethorpes. May-16: College of Fashion – London. May-23: Thames Polytechnic – Woolwich. May-24: Civic Hall – Guildford. May-31: City Hall – St Albans. June-6: Mayfair Ballrom – Newcastle.
June-15: Summerpop '75, Turfschip – Breda.
June-20: University Of Sciences – Manchester. June-21: Old Grey Whistle – London. June-25: Town Hall – Torquay. June-26: Johnson Hall – Yoevil. June-27: Regal Theatre – Redruth. June-28: Guildhall – Plymouth. June-29: Town Hall – Birmingham. June-30: Free Trade Hall – Manchester. July-1: City Hall – Glasgow. July-2: Charter Theatre – Preston. July-3: City Hall – Newcastle. July-4: Victoria Hall – Stoke. July-6: New London Theatre – London. July-12: City Hall – St Albans. Aug-1: Town HallWatford. Aug-3: Fairfield Hall – Croydon. Aug-9: Kursaal Ballroom – Southend. Aug-16: Stadium – Liverpool. Aug-24: Pavilion – Torquay. Aug-25: Winter Gardens – Malvern.
Sept-20: Schwabingerbrau – Munich. Sept-23: satori-Sale – Colonia. Sept-27: Münsterlandhalle – Cloppenburg.
Oct-3: Corn Exchange – Cambridge. Oct-5: Hampstead Pavilion – Hemel. Oct-12: Leith Theatre – Edinburgh. Oct-17: Royal Albert Hall – London. Nov-7: Town Hall – Birmingham. Nov-8: Friar's – Aylesbury. Nov-18: New Theatre – Oxford. Nov-20: Marine Hall – Peterborough. Nov-21: Walthamstow Polytechnic – Walthamstow. Nov-22: Leeds University – Leeds. Nov-25: Guildhall – Plymouth. Nov-26: Theatre – Redruth. Nov-27: Brangwyn Hall – Swansea. Nov-28: Trent Polytechnic – Nottingham. Nov-29: Kursaal – Southend.
Dec-5: Musikhalle – Hamburg.
Dec-16: City Hall – Sheffield. Dec-18: Town Hall – Reading.
Camel will embark on a brief tour in the autumn 2013, performing The Snow Goose for the first time since the Royal Albert Hall show in 1975, in loving memory of Peter Bardens and in celebration of Camel's long and illustrious musical career. Andrew Latimer will be joined by Colin Bass, Denis Clement, Guy LeBlanc and special guest Jan Schelhaas for the show, which marks the first time the band have played since their farewell tour.
A statement explains: “The evening pays tribute to former band member Peter Bardens, who died of cancer at the same time as frontman Latimer was battling a terminal illness.
"Ten years later, Latimer has regained health and is willing to celebrate a career that spans over four decades. This two-set show will also embrace compositions recorded throughout those years in a personal covenant of appreciation for a deeply rewarding life of music.”
To coincide with the tour, Camel have released a re-recorded version of the Snow Goose with new arrangements and artwork.
Album Track listing
- Side one
- "The Great Marsh" – 2:02
- "Rhayader" – 3:01
- "Rhayader Goes to Town" – 5:19
- "Sanctuary" – 1:05
- "Fritha" – 1:19
- "The Snow Goose" – 3:11
- "Friendship" – 1:43
- "Migration" – 2:01
- "Rhayader Alone" – 1:50
- Side two
- "Flight of the Snow Goose" – 2:40
- "Preparation" – 3:58
- "Dunkirk" – 5:19
- "Epitaph" – 2:07
- "Fritha Alone" – 1:40
- "La Princesse Perdue" – 4:43
- "The Great Marsh (Reprise)" – 1:20
- Bonus tracks on 2002 remaster
- "Flight of The Snow Goose" (Single edit) – 2:05
- "Rhayader" (Single edit) – 3:09
- "Flight of the Snow Goose" (Alternate single edit) – 2:49
- "Rhayader Goes to Town" (Recorded live at The Marquee Club) – 5:07
- "The Snow Goose/Freefall" (Recorded live at The Marquee Club) – 11:01
- Bonus disc on 2009 Japanese remaster
Tracks 1–11 recorded live from 1975 BBC Radio One concert
- Rhayader Goes to Town
- The Snow Goose
- Rhayader Alone
- Flight of the Snow Goose
- La Princesse Perdue
- The Great Marsh
- Selections from The Snow Goose (BBC 2 Old Grey Whistle Test 1975)
- Andrew Latimer – electric, acoustic and slide guitars, flute, vocals
- Peter Bardens – organ, Minimoog, electric piano, acoustic piano, pipe organ, ARP Odyssey
- Doug Ferguson – bass
- Andy Ward – drums, vibes, percussion
- 1975, UK, Decca Records 291,034, Release Date April 1975, LP
- 2002, UK, London 8829292, Release Date 3 June 2002, CD (remastered edition)
- 2009, Japan, Universal, UICY-94132/3, 27 May 2009, 2CD (SHM)
- Official Site: www.camelproductions.com
- "KEI" – Short animation inspired by "Camel" music "The Snow Goose" (Sanctuary)
- Erlewin, Stephen Thomas. "The Snow Goose – Camel | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- Author: Kris. "Snow Goose – Camel | Classic Album Covers". Classicalbumcovers.wordpress.com.
- "Camel (band)".
- "Camel – Biography".
- "Rainbow's End by Camel".
- "It's Cheaper To Chop Up Pound Notes". Charleston Daily Mail: 6. 17 July 1947.