PETE BARDENS Big Sky (Talking Elephant TECD070) (2004)
Pete Bardens' passing in January 2002 was a sad footnote to that year: Bardens was the keyboard player with the classic Camel line-up. After leaving
that band in 1978 he fashioned a fairly quiet solo career, after jumping ship to warmer climes in the States.
'Big Sky' dates from 1994 and is a mixture of vocal and instrumental tracks. Listeners who revere Bardens' excellent 1979 'Heart To Heart' collection on Arista
will like this. Bardens' later solo works were always characterised by pleasant instrumentation and textures, if a tad laid-back. Probably something to do with the Malibu air.
On this, he collaborated with Neil Lockwood (who also performed vocals
with ELO II and the Alan Parsons Project), and Mick Fleetwood, whilst Camel's Latimer appears on backing vocals on 'On A Roll'.
With several tempting albums peppering the space between Camel and Mirage, the prog rock band Bardens fronted in 1994, a full career retrospective is long overdue. Over to you, Talking Elephant.