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Renaissance - Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 52 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Ashes are burning, and burning, and burning....

Volume two of the King Biscuit Flower Hour recordings gathers in some of the remaining tracks from Renaissance performance at the Royal Albert hall in London,UK. This concert saw Renaissance performing some of their finest material, supported by a full orchestra.

"Ashes are burning" was already an epic track, but here it takes on mammoth proportions, running to over 27 minutes. The vast extension of the piece is due to some interesting improvisation, including a vocal section by Annie Haslam, and some largely superfluous soloing. I am not averse to a bass solo, and while Jon Camp's one here displays his undoubted talent on the instrument, it tends to ramble somewhat. That said, the track as a whole is a fine prog statement. Three of the four other tracks from the main gig run to around 10 minutes, and as such are much more in keeping with their studio originals.

Since around an hour of material from the concert remained unreleased (after Volume 1), this album generously includes a further two songs. The first of these is an alternative version of "Prologue" performed live. The song was actually included in the RAH set, but it has already appeared on Volume one. This version is from a couple of years later, and is devoid of orchestra. On some versions, this track is missing, with "A song for all seasons" replacing it.

The final track, "You", is a previously unreleased studio recording from 1982 which runs to over 8 minutes. It is not really a hidden gem though, the feel being generally pop due to the wispy melody. The fine harmonies and competent instrumentation do though reprieve the song somewhat.

Note, the album called "Mother Russia" is a straight repackaging of Renaissance "Live on the King Biscuit flower hour Volume 2" album, with the tracks re-sequenced into a different order. The error mentioned above whereby initial pressings had "A song for all seasons" in place of "Prologue" is continued on "Mother Russia", at least on my copy!

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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