Don’t be afraid to give yourself away…

Some records take on a life through memory. Camel’s Rain Dances is one of those records for me. I have a distinct memory of borrowing the album from the library, taking it out of the sleeve and placing it on the turntable.

After that I have nothing, no memory at all.

I just paid $2 for a copy, brought it home took it out of the sleeve and played it and have no memory at all of the music even though it stopped playing about 5 minutes ago. It was pleasant while it played, there was no reaction beyond that is nice. I cannot remember a melody or even any strong reaction to the music positive or negative. It is very curious.


My memory is that I liked the album. The sleeve has been fixed in my mind since that 14 yr old sat in his room staring at the cover and inner sleeve. My memory says this is an important album in my musical journey. My memory was so strong that when I saw a copy for sale I bought it almost immediately. I was expecting to be transported, to be reminded why this record seems to be stuck in my mind and is apparently so important. It has been on my mind recently and I was excited to see it in the rack but I still have no idea why.

I like other Camel albums, I have memories of I Can See Your House From Here, Nude and MoonMadness and I know I don’t want the Snowgoose.

I like prog. It has Mel Collins on it, Eno makes a guest appearance, Andy Latimer plays a tuneful guitar and it has a great cover. Everything is there to make for a great musical journey except it has had no effect whatsoever on me. I will try again but my fear is there is little substance to this memory or album despite the great lineup and the vague impression from years past that it is important to me..

In desperation I turned to the Fleet Foxes and Helplessness Blues to regulate my fevered thoughts and allowed their take on folk-rock to settle over me like a warm blanket on cold day. I have memories of this album, stopping the car at the side of the road the first time my friend played Montezuma to me. Mainly because he kept shaking my arm as I tried to drive on a muddy gravel road in the dark.



One thought on “Don’t be afraid to give yourself away…

  1. How odd. I feel the same way about ‘Breathless’. Pleasant enough, but no footprint. Or earprint. ‘Mirage’ is the one I wrote about a little while back (and enjoyed) and I’m with you on Moonmadness (and with you against Snow Goose – musically cloying). Might give ‘Raindances’ a spin now. If anything nibbles, I’ll comment. Probably best not to hold your breath.

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