‘Underage’ is a covers album and prog rock rarity. And in case you were wondering, this is NOT the ‘Camel’ more widely known in prog rock circles, it’s another band altogether.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Camel (#2)
SERIAL: PSL 10449
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Alex Jackson – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, leslie organ * Dave Summer – lead guitar, vocals * Martin Fischer – guitar, vocals, piano, organ, harpsichord * Pete Huish – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Pinball Wizard * 02 Where Is My Mind * 03 Tin Soldier * 04 Forget It, I Got It * 05 Mystery Tour * 06 Can’t Be So Bad * 07 Society’s Child * 08 Sitting On Top Of The World * 09 Evil Woman
No connection to the Andy Latimer fronted band of the same name although this Camel also hailed from the UK. Reliable information on the band is scarce although vocalist Alex Jackson is actually Alex Ligertwood.
He would later go on to gigs with Brian Auger and the Average White Band. But more importantly was his association with Santana during their commercial best period.
Camel’s only album was recorded in four days at the state-of-the-art RCA Studios in picturesque Rome, Italy. The record was released in tandem with a West German issue. However it would languish in obscurity before collectors got a whiff of what is a pretty good album.
Well, this a good album of covers although it’s very well done with interesting choices. The Who‘s ‘Pinball Wizard’ typifies the Camel sound – heavy proto progressive with a soulful psychedelic feel. Both ‘Where Is My Mind?’ from Vanilla Fudge and Small Faces ‘Tin Soldier’ are inventive takes on what were already killer songs. The latter featuring some really nice harpsichord.
Spooky Tooth‘s ‘Forget It, I Got It’ dare I say is more energetic and preferable to the original. But the album’s cornerstone has to be the Fab Four’s ‘Mystery Tour’ which trips-out and tunes-in to all sorts of Syd Barrett/Pink Floyd styled weirdness.
Pretty cool, not to mention the unusual but brief spoken word/bric-a-brac snippets that play out between a few tracks. Then there’s the versions of Moby Grape‘s fast rockin’ ‘Can’t Be So Bad’, and Janis Ian‘s ‘Society’s Child’.
Along with Cream‘s bluesy workout ‘Sitting On Top Of The World’ all three sound acceptable. The riffs on yet another Spooky Tooth classic ‘Evil Woman’ are heavy as hell. No surprise that it’s akin to early Uriah Heep hooking up with the Pink Fairies.
Reissued on the shadowy German based Walhalla label, the sound quality is good although the packaging is sparse. Still, it’s cheaper than an original LP and a no-brainer for fans of early classic and prog rock rarities.