This two-disc, 28-track set gathers favorites by the jazz-influenced English progressive rock outfit Camel.
This double-CD set more or less supplants -- though in some ways it also enhances -- the 1993 compilation Echoes: The Retrospective. With a slightly longer running time and a fair difference in song content; though the same number of tracks, the overlap between the two is surprisingly limited. Gone are "Unevensong," "Breathless," "Skylines," the studio versions of "Lunar Sea" and "West Berlin," and "City Life," among other tracks -- in their place as "Stationary Traveler," "Long Goodbyes," "Slow Yourself Down," "Nimrodel," "The Great Marsh," and "Spirit of the Water," plus live renditions of "Lunar Sea" and "West Berlin." The sound here is also improved somewhat, although Echoes was very good in that department as well, and, to be fair, there's a limited amount that one can do with the earliest recordings in terms of raising the fidelity. The annotation is extremely thorough, and the overall quality of the package makes a worthy addition to any Camel collection, as well as a good introduction to the band for the uninitiated. ~ Bruce Eder