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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Camel - 1984 Stationary Traveller
Camel - 1984 Stationary Traveller

ALBUM: Stationary Traveller
LABEL: Camel
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: Reissue List


LINEUP: Andy Latimer - guitars, lead vocals, piano, bass, synthesizers, pan pipes, flute * Ton Scherpenzeel - accordion, synthesizers, grand piano, organ * Paul Burgess - drums * Haydn Bendall - fairlight synthesizer, synthesizers, mixing * David Paton - bass, fretless bass * Chris Rainbow - lead vocals * Mel Collins - saxophone

TRACK LISTING: 01 Pressure Points * 02 Refugee * 03 Vopos * 04 Cloak And Dagger Man * 05 Stationary Traveller * 06 West Berlin * 07 Fingertips * 08 Missing * 09 After Words * 10 Long Goodbyes


Some years back, Eric reviewed Camel's 'The Single Factor' album for us. He pointed out that Camel had parked itself just off the outskirts of AOR Boulevard, much to the disbelief of hardcore prog fans! I really enjoyed that album, similar to what Barclay James Harvest were doing during this same timeframe. So, having a look through my Camel back catalogue, I decided to dig out their 1984 album 'Stationary Traveller' hoping for some similarly hidden jewels, and lo and behold, I was on the money. The album will appeal to fans who love that 80's crossover prog/AOR thing. By this stage, Camel was really just Andy Latimer in the drivers seat. The band had folded in 1981, but still had contractual arrangements to keep. That is why 'The Single Factor' and 'Stationary Traveller' sound very different to past Camel recordings.

The Songs
The short two minute lead off 'Pressure Points' is icy cold and stark, something akin to East European prog a la Omega, or maybe even Canadians FM. The bouncy 'Refugee' with its west coast styled piano lines is very melodic and pleasant. This will appeal to the GDM crew easily I reckon. Cinematic synths lead the way on 'Vopos', it retains a wintery disposition and regimented structure. Camel cut loose with the Saga like 'Cloak And Dagger Man', check out those staccato synth lines! The title-track 'Stationary Traveller' is probably Camel's best reminder of their prog back-catalog, whereas 'West Berlin' is more of that Eastern European style of prog with its melodies drenched in anti-freeze. 'Fingertips' is different altogether. A cruisy piece with a lush sax solo, this one just floats down the river. 'Missing' is one of the album highlights for me. Medium to fast paced, hi-tech, it's also an instrumental with a few twists and turns. 'After Words' is a brief affair, with a French flavour thanks to the Accordion part. 'Long Goodbyes' concludes this very good LP, a wistful tune played in a minstrel style.

In Summary
Further info on the album reveals the theme to be about East Germans trying to cross the Berlin Wall. Of course this was a good five years before the fall of the Wall in 1989. Hence, the song-titles all starting to make sense now. Kayak alumni Ton Scherpenzeel joined Andy Latimer for this record, along with Pilot member David Paton and solo artist Chris Rainbow, all ended up on the resulting tour for the album, with the exception of Paton (Colin Bass going out on tour instead) . The album was released worldwide during 1984, and also received several reissues in 2004 and 2009. After 'Stationary Traveller', Camel and Latimer's association with Decca Records ran its course. Latimer went into hiatus for about six years, moving to America with his wife Susan Hoover, where they built a new record label Camel Productions. Latimer continued releasing new music under the Camel name, no doubt I will be perusing these with interest.

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#1 | gdazegod on September 11 2016 04:52:27
Camel - 1984 Cloak And Dagger Man
YouTube Video:

[url=]Direct to YouTube[/youtube]
#2 | Jez on September 11 2016 11:40:52
Absolutely love this album and it would probably make my desert island top 10 of all time, it's that good.. The 2009 remastered version adds a full 6 minute version of 'Pressure Points' and 'Dance Of The Waltzing Freuleins' so is the version to check out if you haven't got it. A truly wonderful album
#3 | melodiapositiva on September 11 2016 13:23:07
Impressive album,one of the finest camel albums .Love the chris rainbow vocals, very similar to max bacon .Andy latimer must be the guitarrist with more feeling playing on the planet.
#4 | DEMONAOR on September 11 2016 14:16:53
Great album indeed
#5 | Eric on September 11 2016 17:19:25
One of their best!
#6 | gdazegod on September 12 2016 00:24:19
Wonderful to see all the Camel love guys!
#7 | bpdp3 on September 13 2016 01:28:12
Don't judge, but I'd never heard Camel until clicking on the video. Fantastic! Always nice to make a new (ok, old) discovery. Looking forward to hearing more!
#8 | gdazegod on September 13 2016 03:46:43
I am pleased the Camel is an (old) new discovery for you bpdp3. Thumbs Up
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