Top Gear session,
19 February 1973

With pleasure, I present this document. It's a project I've been working on for about a year and that I've been able to complete only now, thanks to the help of the dimeadozen community. In February 1973, Camel released their first album. In the same month, they recorded at Langham Studio 1 their first (of two) BBC studio session, produced by Bernie Andrews. They recorded four songs: "Never Let Go", "Arubaluba", "Curiosity" and "Six Ate". The session first aired 15 March 1973, on John Peel's "Top Gear", and had a repeat 12 April 1973. Unfortunately, at the time, the BBC wiping policy was still active, which meant that the tapes used for the sessions had to be wiped after six months. Many things were lost this way. Of course, many other BBC sessions survived. Sometimes, the master would escape the hands of the engineers (they either forgot about the master, intentionally or not, or someone occulted the masters from them), they would be pressed on Transcription Discs (vinyl with BBC programs to import overseas) or, of course, they would be taped off radio from listeners. Luckly, this is the case for the Camel session. For ages, two out of four tracks ("Arubaluba" and "Curiosity") survived from off-air recordings made by a fan. The tape was not well-circoulated, but its existence was well known among fans and traders. Sound quality is very good, maybe a little more distorted on the bass, but perfectly clear: the signal was recorded directly on tape (as opposed to a microphone near the speaker). The remaining half of the session was considered lost. Actually, one other track ("Six Ate"), survived on a separate tape. Sound quality is a bit lower: this one was, likely, recorded from a microphone near the speaker. I received this track in a trade more than a year ago, and I wanted to present it along the rest of the session, something I've been able to do thanks to member Cybermoose. "Arubaluba" and "Curiosity" were first seeded in 2008 by member Hogweeds along with other radio sessions, but the seed was quickly banned because the other radio sessions were actually officially available on "God of Light". The tracks as originally seeded were a tad faster, I speed corrected them and now they sound fine to these ears. Unfortunately, the fourth track, "Never Let Go", is still lost. Now, remember the time in which you used to tape BBC programs off the radio? Still have those tapes? Good, check them! This is Camel's oldest circulating material, so far. All the tracks include Peelie's comments. Original seeder Hogweeds mistakenly identified the announcer as Bob Harris, but they both have an unmistakable voice.

01 Arubaluba
02 Curiosity
03 Six Ate

Just in case someone reads: the band also recorded a second BBC session, which is now lost or, at least, uncirculated. It was recorded again at Langham 1 studio, the 22nd August 1973, this time produced by Jeff Griffin. They recorded "White Rider", "Earthrise" and "Lady Fantasy". The session aired on Bob Harris' "Sounds of the Seventies", 3rd September 1973. Now if you have such a tape... well, you know what to do :-)

Andrew Latimer: guitar
Peter Bardens: keyboards
Doug Ferguson: bass, vocals
Andy Ward: drums

This version seeded by: JacoZappa
Original source material: Hogweeds, Art
File rescue: Cybermoose
Torrent dedicated to the people who helped me or, at least, tried to: Cybermoose, Readyeddy, Nicks22, Bruce958, Spacebandit, Longtalleric, Camelogue


1-2: Original flac files seed by user Hogweeds -> WAV (speed corrected -1%) -> FLAC

3: CDR received in a trade -> WAV (EAC secure mode, edited, normalized) -> FLAC

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