Camel is a progressive rock band that hardly broke into the mainstream but has had a dedicated cult following for the last 30 years. It has a two distinctive phases: an early prog act with strong psychedelic roots from their debut album to "Moonmadness" and a jazz-fusion outfit after keyboardist Peter Bardens left the band, from "Rain Dances" till the mid-80's.
If you must get just one album, get The Snow Goose, a concept album based on a story by Paul Gallico. Your next choice should be "Pressure Points Live".
Discography

(I have purposefully left out a number of live albums and compilations that don't add much to understanding the band. In fact, the only two live albums mentioned are "A Live Record" and "Pressure Points", since these offer radical reconstructions of the studio material)
  • Camel(1973)
    1. Slow yourself down
    2. Mystic queen
    3. Six ate
    4. Separation
    5. Never let go
    6. Curiosity
    7. Arubaluba
    Line-up
    Andy Ward: Drums and percussion
    Doug Ferguson: Bass and vocals
    Peter Bardens: Organ, mellotron, piano, VCS3 synthesizernd vocals
    Andy Latimer: Guitar and vocals

    Camel's debut album is probably one of their best. Very similar in sound and production to their second release, Mirage. Never got the success it should have had. The cover has a picture of a camel mixed with a train (?), with tears coming from the camel's eyes and turning to stars. Back cover has a black & yellow picture of the band. It was available on LP by MCA records, now available by Camel Production on CD. The CD has a lyrics sheet.

  • Mirage(1974)
    1. Freefall
    2. Supertwister
    3. Nimrodel / The Procession / The white rider
    4. Earthrise
    5. Lady Fantasy
    Line-up
    Doug Ferguson: Bass
    Andy Ward: Drums, cans, bottles & body mist
    Peter Bardens: Organ, piano, celeste, mini Moog, mellotron & vocals
    Andy Latimer: Guitar, flute & vocals

    A superb album, featuring lots of rythm changes and organ/guitar solos. Third track is based on Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". Mirage reached number 149 on the US Billboard charts, and was followed with a massive tour over the US. The cover features a distorted version of the CAMEL cigarettes pack, with the same CAMEL logo. The US version has the picture of the camel from the first album only now it has a dragon's body, and it's eating strange crystal pieces on a desert surface on some distant planet. Available on CD and LP. CD version has inner notes by John Tracy.
  • The Snow Goose(1975)
    1. The great marsh
    2. Rhayader
    3. Rhayader goes to town
    4. Sanctuary
    5. Fritha
    6. The snow goose
    7. Friendship
    8. Migration
    9. Rhayader alone
    10. Flight of the snow goose
    11. Preparation
    12. Dunkirk
    13. Epitaph
    14. Fritha alone
    15. La princesse Perdue
    16. The great marsh
    Line-up
    Andy Ward: Drums, vibes, varispeed percussion
    Doug Ferguson: Bass and duffle coat
    Peter Bardens: Organ, mini Moog, electric piano, pipe organ, acoustic piano, ARP Odyssey
    Andy Latimer: Electric, acoustic and slide guitars, flute, vocals

    Camel's most accessive album. Recommended for starters, and for everybody... Based on the novella "The Snow Goose" by Paul Gallico. It took Latimer and Bardens two weeks of intense work in a solitude cottage away from the world, in order to write this masterpiece. The Snow Goose reached 22 in the UK charts following a major success worldwide. The Snow Goose features an orchestra on some parts. There are Two vocal parts, but without any lyrics - This album is completely instrumental. Cover has the CAMEL cigarette logo with picture of a snow goose in white, blue and gold. Few versions has a short description of the story on the back cover, in reference to each song. It is said there is a double-fold version of the LP but I've never seen one. Available on LP, Cassette and CD. The CD release has some more inner notes by John Tracy.
  • Moonmadness(1976)
    1. Aristillus
    2. Song within a song
    3. Chord change
    4. Spirit of the water
    5. Another night
    6. Air born
    7. Lunar sea
    Line-up
    Doug Ferguson: Bass, lead vocal Song Within A Song
    Andy Ward: Drums, Percussion, voice on Aristillus
    Peter Bardens: Keyboards, vocal on Spirit of the Water
    Andy Latimer: Guitars, flute, vocal on Song Within A Song, Another Night, Air Born

    This album is very bombastic, most of it has a "Spacy" kind of music. Very strong rythem parts, Spacy guitars and lots of synthesisers. The sound of this one is completely different than the first two, a classic progressive album. It even tends, somewhat, to fusion. Cover has a bright picture of a woman (man?) sitting by a rock looking at the moon above. No more cigarette logos. It is said there's another double-fold version of the cover where the picture is in the inside while there's something else (what?) on the outside. Available on both CD and LP.
  • Rain Dances(1977)
    1. First Light
    2. Metrognome
    3. Highways of the sun
    4. Unevensong
    5. One these days I'll get an early night
    6. Elke
    7. Skylines
    8. Rain dances
    Line-up
    Andrew Latimer: 6/12 string guitars, pan pipes, fretless bass, flute, acoustic guitar, electric & acoustic pianos, mini moog, "string synthesiser", glockenspiel, treated guitars
    Peter Bardens: Mini moog, string synth, electric piano, organ, acoustic piano, car horns
    Andy Ward: Drums, Nocarina, Teeth, Cheek, Turkish Ring, Money, Percussion, Finger cymbals, glockenspiel, liquid boo bams, rototoms, talking drum, smurd, swanee whistle, tunisian clay drums
    Richard Sinclair: Bass, vocals
    Mel Collins: Saxophones, bass & concert flutes, clarinet, bass clarinet
    Brian Eno: Mini moog, electric & acoustic pianos, bells, random notes
    Fiona Hibbert: Harp
    Martin Drover: Flugel horn
    Malcolm Griffiths: Trombone

    Ferguson left, Sinclair joined, bringing a much Jazzy attitude to the music of Camel. Still very progressive. A good album for those who tend toward fusion / jazz rock. Cover features a boy standing behind a window with rain dropping and two women jumping to the sides. Back cover has a picture of the band. Available on CD and LP.
  • A live record(1978)
    1. Never let go
    2. Song within a song
    3. Lunar sea
    4. Skylines
    5. Ligging at louis'
    6. Lady fantasy
    7. The Snow Goose
    Line-up: Peter Bardens: Keyboards
    Andrew Latimer: Guitars, flutes, vocal
    Andy Ward: Drums and Percussion
    Mel Collins: Saxophones and flute
    Richard Sinclair: Bass on first 4 track, vocals on 2 first tracks
    Doug Ferguson: Bass on the rest of the tracks.

    A double live album, with very good sound and playing, although one may prefer the studio version of "The Snow Goose" which has a nice live performance (with an orchestra!) but not as accurate and impressive as the original album. Camel usualy play good live shows and this album is very recommended for all those who liked their first albums. "Never let go" is a radical jazz reconstruction of the track from the first album. "Liggin at Louis'" is a jazzy track from 1974. Cover is black with a robot's finger shooting a lightning into a red record floating in the air. Available on LP and CD.
  • Breathless(1978)
  • Breathless
  • Echoes
  • Wing and a prayer
  • Down on the farm
  • Starlight ride
  • Summer Lightning
  • You make me smile
  • The sleeper
  • Rainbow's endLine-up
    Andrew Latimer: Guitar, CS80/50, Vocals
    Peter Bardens: Keyboards
    Andy Ward: Drums, Percussion
    Richard Sinclair: Bass, Vocals
    Mel Collins: Flute, Saxes
  • Camel becoming poppier - this tendency will become stronger with the years. Sinclair wrote Down on the farm, featuring blechs and other stupid voices. During the sessions it was clear that Bardens was leaving the band when the recording was done. Cover has picture of a camel, on a mountain skyline background. There's also an inner sleve with pictures of the members. Available on LP.
  • I Can See Your House From Here(1979)
    1. Wait
    2. Your love is stranger than mine
    3. Eye of the storm
    4. Who we are
    5. Survival
    6. Hymn to her
    7. Neon magic
    8. Remote romance
    9. Ice
    Line-up:
    Andy Latimer: Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals
    Andy Ward: Drums, Percussion
    Colin Bass: Bass, Vocals
    Kit Watkins: Keyboards, Flute, Clavinet
    Jan Schelhaas: Keyboards
    J McBurnie: Lyrics
    Viv McAuliffe: Lyrics
    Mel Collins: Alto sax on "Your Love is Stranger than Mine"
    Peter Bardens left the band. Some songs are good, and Ice is a very strong guitar/piano classical piece. Cover has a picture of the earth viewed from space, with a floating astronout nailed to a cross. Available on CD and LP.
  • The single factor(1982)
    1. No easy answer
    2. You are the one
    3. Heroes
    4. Selva
    5. Lullabye
    6. Sasquatch
    7. Manic
    8. Camelogue
    9. Today's goodbye
    10. A heart's desire
    11. End peace
    Line-up
    Andy Latimer: Guitars, piano, vocals, keyboards, organ, mellotron, bass
    David Paton: Bass, fretless bass, vocals
    Graham Jarvis: Drums
    Duncan Mackay: Prophet synth
    Chris Rainbow: Backing vocals, lead on "A heart's desire" and "End piece"
    Francis Monkman: Harpsichord-synclavier
    Anthony Phillips: Grand Piano, organ, classical and 12 strings guitar, poly moog, ARP 2600, Marimba
    Pete Bardens: Organ, mini moog on Sasquatch
    Hydne Bendall: Yamaha CS-80
    Tristian Fry: Glockenspiel
    Jack Emblow: Accordion
    A popish record with much resemblence to Alan Parsons Project. (No wonder: same people on both groups: Chris Rainbow, David Paton). Lots of guest appearances: Peter Bardens on one track, Fry and Monkman were members of Sky at that time and both bands shared the same producer and engineer (Tony Clark and Haydn Bendall). "Camelogue" is undoubtedly the best song in this album. Cover is grey/blue "computerized" picture of a face (andy?). The back cover is slightly different, but same idea. Available on LP and CD. Some LP pressing are not fold out and have no inner notes/lyrics.
  • Stationary Traveller(1985)
    1. Pressure points
    2. Refugee
    3. Vopos
    4. Cloak and dagger man
    5. Stationary traveller
    6. West Berlin
    7. Fingertips
    8. Missing
    9. After words
    10. Long goodbyes
    Line-up
    Andy Latimer: 12 strings, acoustic, classic and electric Guitars, flute, bass, piano, PPG, Juno 60, Yamaha CS-60, Drumulator, pan pipes, vocals
    Paul Burgess: Drums
    Ton Scherpenzeel: Yamaha CS-80, Grand piano, PPG, prophet, accordion, Juno 60
    Hyden Bendall: PPG voices, Fairlight
    David Paton: Bass, fretless bass
    Chris Rainbow: vocals
    Mel Collins: Saxophone
    This one is even more Alan Parsons than Alan Parsons... Obscure concept by Susan Hoover about both sides of the Berlin Wall (now X - Wall). The cover has a b/w picture of woman standing on a street (in Berlin?... there are signs in German). The back cover is the same only the woman now stand backwards. same idea in the inner sleve where a woman stands on a road with buildings in the background. Inner sleve has lyrics and information. Available on CD and LP, maybe on cassette.
  • Pressure Points: Live in Concert(1985)
    1. Pressure points
    2. Drafted
    3. Captured
    4. Lies
    5. Sasquatch
    6. West Berlin
    7. Fingertips
    8. Wait
    9. Rhayader
    10. Rhayader goes to town
    Line-up
    Andy Latimer: Lead guitar and vocals
    Colin Bass: Bass guitar and vocals
    Ton Scherpenzeel: Lead keyboards
    Chris Rainbow: Vocals and keyboards
    Richie Close: Keyboards
    Paul Burgess: Drums and percussion
    Mel Collins: Sax on Fingertips
    Peter Bardens: Organ
    Camel's second live record is a very good performance of their (even weaker) songs on stage. Note Bardens playing with them the two songs from "The Snow Goose". The cover is dark, strange face flooded with light with marks all over it (ie pressure points). All this is in a box on a skyline background. Back cover has pictures from the show. Available on CD and LP.
  • Dust and Dreams(1992)
    1. Dust bowl
    2. Go west
    3. Dusted out
    4. Mother road
    5. Needles
    6. Rose of Sharon
    7. Milk n' honey
    8. End of the line
    9. Storm clouds
    10. Cotton camp
    11. Broken banks
    12. Sheet rain
    13. Whispers
    14. Little rivers and little rose
    15. Hopeless anger
    16. Whispers in the rain
    Line-up
    Andrew Latimer: Guitars, flute, keyboards, vocals
    Colin Bass: Bass
    Ton Scherpenzeel: Keyboards
    Paul Burgess: Drums
    David Paton: Vocals
    Mae McKenna: Vocals
    Christopher Bock: Drums
    Don Harriss: Keyboards
    Neil Panton: Oboe
    Kim Venaas: Timps, harmonica
    John Burton: French horn
    Camel's comeback is an intense and moving concept album, very close to Nude in the global sound but much more touching. Highly recommended for those of you who got used to the 80s Camel, but it is very different from the first five Progressive albums. Concept by Hoover about moving further along the road, based on a story. The last 8 songs are instumental, standing together as one piece (a la Nude and The Snow Goose). The record was inspired by John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" Cover has a b/w photo of a boy standing on a road. CD and Cassette available from Camel Production and some specialized prog outlets only.
    Apparently, there was another album in the mid-90's on which I can't find any information
  • Rajaz(2000)
      Three Wishes
    1. Lost and Found
    2. The Final Encore
    3. Rajaz
    4. Shout
    5. Straight to My Heart
    6. Sahara
    7. Lawrence
    I have only heard a few songs from this album in Camel's recent tour by South America. "Three Wishes" has some sensible flamenco influences, "Lost and Found" is a come-back to the early albums classic progressive style, and "Rajaz" is a very touching psychedelic rock song.

Camel - Ata Allah, Ship of the Desert

Simply put, a Camel is one of two species of long legged hoofed mammals, with humps on their backs. They are one of the few large mammals suited to living in a desert climate, and the only one domesticated for use as transport by humans. They are capable of going for extended periods of time without food or water. The two species of camel, Bactrian Camels and Dromedary Camels are most easily differentiated by the number of humps on their backs, although there are other differences as well. It is rather easy to remember which is which. The Bactrian Camel will have two humps, which will look kind of like a capital letter B on its side, whereas the Dromedary Camel has a single hump, looking much like a capital letter D on its side. With long legs. And a head on a rather long neck. And hair. You get the idea though.

Contrary to popular belief, the Camel's hump is not used to store water. The Camel stores excess water directly in its bloodstream, in a manner unlike any other mammal. The humps are excess fat used as fuel when it cannot get enough food.


Kingdom:    Animalia 
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:      Mammalia
Order:      Artiodactyla
Suborder:   Tylopoda 
Family:     Camelidae 
Genus:      Camelus
Species:    Camelus bactrianus OR
            Camelus dromedarius

Physical Stats:
Mass               600 - 1000 kilograms
Length             3 meters
Shoulder Height:   Dromedary Camels: 180 - 210 centimetres
                   Bactrian slightly larger at 180 - 230 centimeters

Camels are extremely well suited to life in arid climates. The Dromedary Camel, also sometimes known as an Arab Camel, has been domesticated for over 5000 years, and there aren't any wild groups of Dromedary Camels left. As domesticated animals, however, they range throughout the north of Africa and all of the Middle East, as far north as parts of Russia and as far east as India. There is also a rather significant population of feral camels living in central Australia. Zoologists wishing to study the behaviour of Dromedary Camels in the "wild" use these groups of camels, totalling about 700,000 in total. They are doing well there, so much that the government there has decided to cull the population, because they hog resources needed by local sheep farmers.

Overall, it is estimated that there are about 13 million Dromedary Camels living today.

The Bactrian Camel, however, is not doing quite as well. While there are still a few groups of Bactrian Camels who still count as "wild", they number only an estimated 1000 camels. These are located mostly in parts of the Gobi Desert, in southern Mongolia, and packets in the north west of China. As for domesticated Bactrian Camels, it is estimated that there are about 1.2 million left worldwide, mostly concentrated in and around their natural range.


Physically speaking, the main difference between Dromedary Camels and Bactrian Camels, other than the hump thing, is their coat. Because they live in regions that actually have winters, during the cold seasons the Bactrian Camels will grow a long woolly coat, in various shades of brown. Once winter is over, however this coat is very rapidly shed, and they begin to more closely resemble their Dromedary cousins.

The Dromedary Camel's coat (and that of the Bactrian Camel in the summer) consists of two layers. First is a warm down coat, and then a rougher coat of long hairs. Being multipurpose, the coat is used to help shed heat during the day, and to help keep warm at night. They will also group together, keeping each other cool during the day, and warm at night.

This is made easier by camels' rather impressive tolerance for temperature variances. They do not start sweating until their internal body temperature reaches 42 °C, and their body heating doesn't start up until their hit 34 °C. By comparison, if a human's body temperature reaches 42 °C, the brain's cells will start to cook itself. 34 °C would be considered a case of hypothermia, although not likely life threatening.

The camel fur has been used by humans for millenia, with the soft down being collected and spun into yarn for knitting. It is supposedly rather similar to Cashmere wool.


The flexible internal thermostat of the camel is one method they use to save both energy and water. It is the saving of water that is the most remarkable. Camels, unlike every other mammal, can store excess fluid in its own blood stream, and utilize that water when needed. Whereas most animals will die if they are dehydrated to the point where they lose 20% of their body weight, the camel can lose up to 40% of their body weight in water without serious consequences. 40 freakin' percent. That's a whole lot of water loss, and the camel does so without significantly thickening their blood. The plasma of their blood will the last part that loses water.

In addition, they are able to extract every bit of moisture out of any desert plants they eat. And they are not too picky about what they eat, being able to consume pretty much any plant matter they come across, thanks to their thick tough leathery mouth and tongue, and strong teeth, allowing them to consume rather thorny plants other animals wouldn't be able to touch. Although, the bulk of their natural diet consists of leaves, grasses, and shrubs, with domesticated animals often being fed oats, dates, and wheat.

Because of these adaptations, camels are capable of going for up to a week at a time without actually drinking, and without this becoming a health concern. And when they do finally encounter water, oh boy, do they ever drink. Camels are able to tolerate brackish water that is would be undrinkable for other animals, most notably us. And they drink fast, having been known to drink up to 100 litres of water in one go.

Myself, I can't even drink two pints before I have to go to the washroom.


As mentioned above, a camel's hump is used to store FAT. Not water. Fat. In addition to getting in the way when a camel is trying to pass through the eye of a needle, the hump serves as a backup for the water in blood trick. After all we can't have the camel being able to go forever without water if it drops dead of starvation after a few days. After a long enough time without food, the hump will get softer, and even flop over on the side, as it becomes basically an empty sack of skin. A healthy camel will be able to quickly regain that fat when it reaches a good spot for grazing.

Their eyes are protected from sand by a double row of long eyelashes, as well as a pair of thick bushy eyebrows. Should sand get in their eyes anyways, which let's face it, is going to happen, camels have more tear glands than most mammals, to clear it out. As well, their noses can be protected from sand and dust by simply closing their nostrils, by contracting some muscles surrounding them. Now that's cool. Their hearing is rather acute, and protected by fur lined ears. Their two toes are insulted from the heat of the sand they often walk upon, and spread out a great deal to distribute their weight more evenly.

All this stuff combined pretty much makes them the ultimate desert animal. They are perfectly suited for life in North Africa. Which makes it kind of surprising that fossil evidence indicates that they originally came from North America, via the Bering Land Bridge, over 40 million years ago. In South America, they left behind their cousins in the family Tylopoda, which includes Llamas and Alpacas. In recent years, efforts have been made to crossbreed Camels, and the other members of the Tylopoda family. This cross is called a Cama.

Camels will live up to 40 years on average. They reach maturity at 5 years of age, keeping with their mother until that time. The gestation period of a camel is an impressive 13 months, with the cow rarely giving birth to more than a single calf. In the wild, herds of cattle will be led by a single male camel, and generally consist of about 40 other cows and calfs. Males not lucky enough to lead a herd lead a quiet life of solitude.


Camels have a reputation for having a bad attitude. Some of my sources claim that this attitude is undeserved, but the fact remains that if they are annoyed, camels will expel bile at you. I'd rather avoid camel bile myself. It is this reason that led the short lived US Camel Corps experiment to be cancelled. That having been said, for use in arid climates, camels are unsurpassed. They make an excellent pack animal, capable of carrying up to 250 kilograms, for 50 kilometers a day.

Camel milk is healthier than cow milk, containing not as much fat, and more vitamins. It is traditionally drunk fresh and warm, pretty much straight from the camel. What am I saying, of course it's drunk warm. How would they cool it down? As well, their fur is used in everything from clothing to the manufacture of tents, and camel leather is quite strong. As well, their dung is dry, and flammable. Quite useful for throwing on the fire to keep warm on a cold desert night.

Camels have, for most of human history, been vital to the survival of humans in the desert. This is becoming less of a factor as time goes on, and people of the area obtain increased access to modern technology. Now a days, and likely in the future, the use of camels is increasingly focused towards the tourist trade, and racing. But, one needs only to look at the Bedouin of the Middle East, whose entire way of life revolved around camels, to realize what an impact camels have had upon human history. I have no doubt that without camels, many parts of Northern Africa and the Middle East would be uninhabited to this day. You certainly wouldn't want your camel to wander off.


Fun Fact! In Germany, an insult for dull-witted people is to call them a Kamel. Because, let's face it, Camels look rather stupid. Still, being called one might be enough to put me over the edge.

Sources:
Nature.ca. "Camel," Homepage of the Canadian Museum of Nature. <www.nature.ca/notebooks/english/camel.htm> (October 12, 2005.)
Catherine C. Harris. "Egypt: Creature of the Desert, Camel," Tour Egypt Travel, Tours, Vacations, Ancient Egypt, History and shopping. <www.touregypt.net/featurestories/camel.htm> (October 14, 2005.)
Brent Huffman. "Dromedary, Arabian camel," The Ultimate Ungulate Page. March 22, 2004. <www.ultimateungulate.com/Artiodactyla/Camelus_dromedarius.html> (October 12, 2005.)
Brent Huffman. "Bactrian camel," The Ultimate Ungulate Page. March 22, 2004. <www.ultimateungulate.com/Artiodactyla/Camelus_bactrianus.html> (October 12, 2005.)
ThinkQuest team 26634. "Ship of the Desert," ThinkQuest : Library. 1999. <library.thinkquest.org/26634/text/desert/camel.htm;gt (October 12, 2005.)
Wikipedia. "Camel," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camel> (October 12, 2005.)
Wikipedia. "Hyperthermia," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperthermia> (October 14, 2005.)
EnchantedLearning.com "Camel Printout," EnchantedLearning.com <www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/mammals/camel/Camelcoloring.shtml> (October 12, 2005.)
Paul Massicot, "Wild Bactrian Camel," Animal Info. January 12, 2005. <www.animalinfo.org/species/artiperi/camebact.htm> (October 12, 2005.)
ArabNet. "The A-Z of CAMELS," [ arab net ] - :: Always Leading The Way :: - 2002. <www.arab.net/camels> (October 12, 2005.)
Oakland Zoo. "Africa: Dromedary Camel," WELCOME TO OAKLAND ZOO. 2003. <www.oaklandzoo.org/atoz/azcamel.html*gt; (October 14, 2005.)

History

Introduced in 1913 by the American Tobacco Company founder, RJR Richard Reynolds, Camel cigarettes have been successful largely due to innovative marketing campaigns - allowing Camel to be one of the best known cigarette brands in the world.

In a move that was unique in the tobacco industry at the time, each cigarette contained a carefully blended combination of Virginia and Turkish tobacco, a combination that produce a smoother inhale, along with a distinctive 'browner' smell. While the smoke-ability of the brand played an important role in its popularity, what truly threw Camel into the spotlight was its many advertising campaigns.

The introduction of Camel cigarettes to the US marketplace employed one of the first examples of teaser advertising commencing three days from the brand's release. The first advertisement to appear in newspapers simply said "Camels".

Two days away from release, the newspaper advertisements where marginally more descriptive, now picturing a camel and the phrase "Camels are coming!". This was followed up on the day before release with advertisements picturing more camels and the text "Tommorrow the city will be crowded by camels more than in Asia and Africa together".

Now that the entire United States was enthralled with the concept of camels, yet not knowing what the advertisements actually meant American Tobacco Company (which would later be known as RJ Reynolds Tobacco) released the brand to the marketplace, with a final advertisement appearing in newspapers proclaiming that "Camel cigarettes are here!"

Camel immediately grabbed market share in the competitive cigarette industry, quickly becoming associated as a manly smoke. This initial success was followed up with one of the longest lasting, and affective marketing messages the tobacco industry has seen - "I would walk a mile for a Camel". However simple, the message and the advertisements based on it would be used by RJ Reynolds for many decades - strengthening brand loyalty within Camel smokers.

After only 10 years after the brand introduction, Camel had gained 45% of the cigarette market, placing it along with the premier brands at the time - Lucky Strike, Chesterfield, Old Gold and Raleigh.

Success continued for Camel, and by 1940 the brand was the dominant cigarette sold on the US market. Also, Camel became one of 3 cigarette brands (the other two being Lucky Strike and Chesterfield) that where distributed to US servicemen in World War 2, creating immediate demand for the brand once the war was over.

The re-release of Marlboro as a men focused cigarette in 1954 did significant damage to Camel's market share - Camel lost its place as the definitive 'mens' smoke, and as such by 1970 had dropped off the top 5 cigarette brands list.

However, innovative marketing continued to be developed by RJ Reynolds for Camel. The release in 1987 of 'Joe Camel', a cartoon smoking camel, elevated Camel's position with the younger smoker by illustrating Camel's sophisticated and suave side. Troublingly, this message also appealed to under-age smokers - resulting in Joe Camel being as recognizable to 6 year olds as Mickey Mouse.

This prompted calls from doctors in 1989 and 1992 to remove the Smokey Joe character from advertising - requests RJ Reynolds ignored. Due to changed tobacco laws as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement, Smokey Joe was cancelled - along with his competitor, the Marlboro Man.

RJ Reynolds has also faced significant criticism regarding subtle sexual imagery placed in their advertising messages. A popular example is the belief that you can see a naked man in the leg of the camel in the traditional packaging, or that Smokey Joe's face resembles a large penis. As far as anyone can tell, such situations are coincidences.

From 2000, Camel has focused on increasing market share, and in February 2007 it was announced that Camel was introducing Camel No. 9 - a cigarette designed for women. RJ Reynolds sees this as an opportunity to change Camel's largely masculine image to increase profits for the company.

Today, Camel continues to be a historic brand in the world wide tobacco industry, and is currently a global drive brand for both its US producer, RJ Reynolds Tobacco and its international trademark owner, Japanese Tobacco International.

Varieties - Past & Present

  • Subtle Flavou
  • Orange
  • Filters
  • Lights
  • Ultra Lights
  • Smoothes
  • No. 9 (Menthol and Regular)
  • Natural Flavour
  • Wides Filters
  • Wides Lights
  • Wides Menthol
  • Wides Menthol Lights
  • Menthol
  • Menthol Lights
  • Regular
  • Helander Rare
  • Camel Lights
  • Special Lights
  • Turkish Jade
  • Turkish Jade Lights
  • Turkish Silver
  • Turkish Gold
  • Turkish Royal

Exotic Blends - Recently canceled due to MSA

  • Samsun
  • Basma
  • Cinnzabar
  • Twist
  • Crema
  • Izmir Stinger
  • Rare
  • Rare Menthol
  • Dark Mint
  • Mandarin Mint
  • Mandalay Lime
  • Aegean Spice
  • Bayou Blast
  • Beach Breezer
  • Margarita Mixer
  • Midnight Madness
  • Back Alley Blend
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References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camel_cigarettes

http://constantshop.com/

http://www.snopes.com/business/hidden/camel.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlboro_%28cigarette%29

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/15/business/media/15adco.html?ex=1329195600&en=c045bad9ce514593&ei=5090&partner=rssuse

Cam"el (?), n. [Oe. camel, chamel, OF. camel, chamel, F. chameau L. camelus, fr. Gr. ; of Semitic origin; cf. Heb. gamal, Ar. jamal. Cf. As. camel, fr. L. camelus.]

1. Zool.

A large ruminant used in Asia and Africa for carrying burdens and for riding. The camel is remarkable for its ability to go a long time without drinking. Its hoofs are small, and situated at the extremities of the toes, and the weight of the animal rests on the callous. The dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) has one bunch on the back, while the Bactrian camel (C. Bactrianus) has two. The llama, alpaca, and vicuna, of South America, belong to a related genus (Auchenia).

2. Naut.

A watertight structure (as a large box or boxes) used to assist a vessel in passing over a shoal or bar or in navigating shallow water. By admitting water, the camel or camels may be sunk and attached beneath or at the sides of a vessel, and when the water is pumped out the vessel is lifted.

Camel bird Zool., the ostrich. -- Camel locust Zool., the mantis. -- Camel's thorn Bot., a low, leguminous shrub (Alhagi maurorum) of the Arabian desert, from which exudes a sweetish gum, which is one of the substances called manna.

 

© Webster 1913.

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