Released: 22 September 1978
Recorded: 1978 at The Manor, Chipping Norton Recording Studios, Threshold, England
Producer: Camel and Mick Glossop
Breathless is the sixth studio album by the English progressive rock band Camel, released in 1978. It is the last album to feature the group’s original keyboardist, Peter Bardens, who left the group before the tour for the album. He was replaced with two keyboardists for the tour: Dave Sinclair (bassist Richard Sinclair’s cousin) and Jan Schelhaas.
The album focuses on shorter, radio-friendly songs, as the group was trying to gain some airplay. Also, the group gives their sound another feel on some tracks. For example, the humorous “Down on the Farm” sounds like Caravan (in the song’s feel, this is reinforced by having Richard Sinclair as the lead singer on the track), and “Summer Lightning” has a disco-feel with extended solos from Bardens and Latimer.
However, the group retained its jazz influence and progressive sound on other tracks. Notable examples of this are “The Sleeper” and “Echoes”, which sound similar to music contained on early albums like Mirage and Moonmadness. Both songs are highlights of the album, and “Echoes” also became a favourite on the group’s live repertoire, and is considered among fans as one of the best songs the group ever recorded.
This album shows how the band continued transforming their sound into a pop-like sound, while it also displays the group’s progressive and jazz roots and other styles as well.
- “Breathless” (Andrew Latimer, Peter Bardens, Andy Ward) – 4:21
- “Echoes” (Latimer, Bardens, Ward) – 7:21
- “Wing and a Prayer” (Latimer, Bardens) – 4:46
- “Down on the Farm” (Richard Sinclair) – 4:25
- “Starlight Ride” (Latimer, Bardens) – 3:26
- “Summer Lightning” (Latimer, Sinclair) – 6:10
- “You Make Me Smile” (Latimer, Bardens) – 4:18
- “The Sleeper” (Latimer, Bardens, Ward, Mel Collins) – 7:08
- “Rainbow’s End” (Latimer, Bardens) – 3:01
2009 Expanded & Remastered Edition
- “Rainbow’s End” (Single version) – 2:59
- Andrew Latimer – guitar, Yamaha CS80/50, vocals on “Echoes”, “Starlight Ride”, “You Make Me Smile” and “Rainbow’s End”
- Peter Bardens – keyboards, organ, vocals on “Wing and a Prayer”
- Mel Collins – flute, saxophones
- Richard Sinclair – bass, vocals on “Breathless”, “Down on the Farm” and “Summer Lightning”
- Andy Ward – drums, percussion
- Dave Sinclair – keyboards on “You Make Me Smile” and “Rainbow’s End”
- Engineered by Mick Glossop
- Artwork by Michael Munday & CREAM