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Renaissance - Back Home Once Again CD (album) cover

BACK HOME ONCE AGAIN

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Symphonic prog band Renaissance started to change their style a bit poppier and more accessible on A Song for All Seasons (1978), which however is a much more rewarding album, also from prog's point of view, than what was to follow. I have always liked it very much, but it contains a couple of songs I'm not that fond of, and the other one is 'Back Home Once Again'. Had I been a child in Britain at the time, I might have a closer and warmer relationship to the song, which after all is pretty nice when judged as a chorus-structured pop song instead of being seen as a weaker song on a good prog album.

That's because it was the signature tune for "The Paper Lads", a children's television series broadcast in the U.K. from 1977 to 1979. The series was set in the northern industrial city of Newcastle upon Tyne and recounted the adventures of a group of newspaper delivery boys and a girl. There were two series made, each of seven episodes. William Corlett's four scripts won him the Writer's Guild Award for Best Children's Writer. Personally I knew absolutely nothing about the series (Wikipedia did) or if I would have enjoyed it as a kid or not, but I believe that at least I would have liked the song, at the age of ten or so. Even today I can't think of many TV series theme songs as good and refreshing as this one. The mere idea of hearing the lovely voice of Annie Haslam from the telly is charming.

Since the album in which the song would appear the following year didn't yet exist, it was quite natural to choose a B- side song from Renaissance's previous album Novella (1977), which by the way is my personal favourite -- even though it is generally regarded slightly weaker than the seminal classic albums before it. 'The Captive Heart' is a beautiful short song from that orchestral and highly symphonic album, and it concentrates on John Tout's classically oriented piano and Annie's double layered vocals, featuring also bassist Jon Camp's backing vocals.

Both songs on this single were composed by Jon Camp and Michael Dunford. Renaissance were definitely an album oriented band at the time, and a single with two album tracks is thus quite unnecessary. But rarely a single contains as good music as this one, and an extra point for making it to the TV!

Matti | 3/5 |

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