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Renaissance - Live At Carnegie Hall CD (album) cover

LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 147 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

micky
Prog Reviewer
5 stars "Lets have a warm welcome for Renaissance"

and so begins begins.... by many accounts...including my own... one of the greatest live albums of prog.

The song selection, even though I've never gotten over that the fact that Trip to the Fair wasn't done, is first class. Selections from the previous four albums are included in the double album set. The album kicks off, appropriately enough with the self-titled lead track from the album Prologue. Flawlessly done with the trademark Haslam/Camp harmonies in evidence. I can't recommend enough to anyone who hasn't listened to Renaissance to give them a try. If anything then for Annie Haslam. She truly does have the voice of an angel. The first side while very good, especially Can You Understand which is a tour de force. Jon Camp while no Squire, sure has the sound and that Rickenbacker is way up in the mix... as a Rickenbacker should be. This one above others on the first disk... I prefer substantially to the album version. The rest of disk one has great preformances of classic Renaissnce songs from the period. However is a meerly a great appetizer, a warmup, for what is to come. Disk two.

For many...again including myself.. the meat of this album is the second disk. A full version of their interpetation of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade is the main course. The group is backed by the New York Philharmonic and delivers a wonderful version of their standout epic of the 1001 Arabian Nights. An incredible performance. Honestly if not for Trip to the Fair.. I've never pull out the studio album hahah. To end the album we have desert.. Renaissance's signature song Ashes are Burning. As a show closer expanded by instrumental spotlights to 23 minutes. This song was my introduction to Renaissance, so I'll probably dwell on it a bit.. upon hearing it.. I snapped up every one of their albums. Part of me wishes I could relive the experience of hearing Annie's voice for the first time... I was knocked silly. Of course when I heard this live version.. I fell in love with it immediately. Annie's vocals are of course.. supurb... and the instrumental 'spotlights' are just enthalling. Keyboardist John Tout gets an extended showcase with Jon Camp's treble jack Rickenbacker dancing around underneath him. By the time Tout breaks into the jazzy section and Camp rolls out a sweet walking bass liine I am in ecstacy. This is just beautiful music, and for what it's worth, I prefer my prog a bit on the hard and aggressive side so I would consider this a ringing endorsement of the quality of the performance and the music. The jazzy Tout sections seques into a nice Rickenbacker bass solo by Camp. Nothing beats the sound of a Rickenbcker turned up to 11. A nice solo that realy got the crowd involved. The song picks back up (no drum solo to mess up this gem hahah) at the end of the solo with some group playing around the theme of the song until about the 15th minute when Tout's organ heralds the reappearence of the angel herself. And all I still find there...is love haha. I do feel the absense of Andy Powell's guitar though as the group takes five or six minutes to wind the song down though after Annie's climatic 'Ashes are burning... the WAY!!!!' A true prog classic of a song... and an incredible performance.. spotighted by the version on the King Biscuit Flower Hour album which doesn't approach the majesty of this.

The album... easy... 5 stars. There may be some as good, but you won't find a better prog live album.

micky | 5/5 |

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