By August 1972, Camel were signed to MCA Records. They quickly entered the studio to record their first self-titled album, Camel. A collection of individual songs, chiefly from Andrew Latimer and Peter Bardens, the album was greeted with muted success and MCA did not take an option for a second album. By then, the group had acquired the management team of Geoff Jukes and Max Hole of Gemini Artists (later to become GAMA Records) and had moved to Decca Records, where they would remain for the next 10 years.
In their ranking of the band's 14 albums, Prog Sphere placed Camel at #4, calling the song "Never Let Go" the real highlight on it. They wrote "this debut is not just another example of a stepping stone, but an accomplished work in its own right. While not as good as the group’s later albums, it is a most excellent start and an essential Camel release, as well as a very good starting point to get into their wonderful music."
The album was remastered and reissued in 2002 on London Records with two bonus tracks: the single version of "Never Let Go" and a live version of "Homage to the God of Light", a staple of the band's early shows. A studio version of the latter had appeared on keyboard player Peter Bardens' debut solo album The Answer in 1970.