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4 stars Finally one of their best live albums, enriched with such a good choice of the songs; above all tracks like "Mother Russia" and "Running Hard" from their album "Turn of the Cards" and "Ashes are burning",from their pretty album with the same title!! Naturally it's an high quality live concert performance and its unique defect is that their majestic top tracks are not balanced by means of an extract-at least- from other symphonic works. In fact the album "Novella" is not perfectly represented by their usual ballad "Midas Man", even though it could be one of their most famous songs...instead "Touching at Once" is always versatile and in this live version as well...of course I should have appreciated other songs like "Trip to the fair" from Scheherazade or mini-suites like"Day of the dreamer" and "A song for all Seasons" from the homonymous album, not included in the recent live ("In the land of the rising sun") concerning their reunion; even though I don't know whether "A song for all Seasons" was edited before the "Mother Russia live" or not...well let me know about it!!

Try to check it out!!

Report this review (#20162)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the same CD as the King Biscuit Concert Vol.2 from 1979. Well it's my favourite period of the group. But Disky changes the order of the songs! And they do this on all their King Biscuit Re-releaseas for contractuel reasons I suppose, stupid isn't it! In the worst cases I think it's on the Gentle Giant Re-release the group announces one song- cut-and you hear another song, because they recut the whole concert with a chainsaw!So, better buy the King Biscuit release unless you broke. By the way the concert Re-Releases on Deja-Vu Gold use the same method of changing the order of the songs. So normally 5 stars gets one less for chainsaw massacree!
Report this review (#20163)
Posted Monday, September 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is the second volume of material principally derived from a 1977 concert originally released in 1997 as Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2 [King Biscuit/BMG-70710 88026 2]. This is a budget-label re-issue, re-packaged with no liner notes or any other information except basic track listing, and they have seen fit to present the tracks in a different order. Hence, two 'bonus' songs which are not from the concert are here given as tracks 1 and 3!

This album suffers from the same technical flaws as its sister volume [Can You Hear Me]: a seriously distracting buzz throughout the main concert tracks, and some perplexing mixing decisions regarding the orchestra. These mar an otherwise good performance from the band in its heyday, offering an alternative to the classic Carnegie Hall set, though unaccompanied solo spots in Ashes Are Burning soon become very tedious. The 'bonus' tracks interfere with the flow somewhat, the synth-laden You being an unreleased studio track from circa 1982.

Overall, an inferior companion to the earlier volume, but a useful addition to a collection that already contains the better live offerings from Carnegie Hall [1975] and Tokyo [2001].

Report this review (#98424)
Posted Sunday, November 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars A cheap, but still a good intro to this excellent band.

I am painfully aware of that this album is a ripped off version of another live album and the songs has been thrown around to hide that rip off. I believe this is not the fault of the band. It is still a good intro to the band and I cannot knock it taken into account that the live album this album is ripped off from is next to impossible to find. I would love to get my hands on the original though. Please........

The album starts with a studio version of Prologue. Don't ask me why it has been included. It is still a great song. The live songs starts with the excellent and riveting version of Ashes Are Burning which clocks in at almost half an hour. I am drawing comparisons with LED ZEPPELIN's live version of Dazed And Confused here. It is a long jam which sends the listener onto something that can be described as dancing. In my case; scaring my neighbours. The next song Running Hard is also a long song and the live rendition is superb. The next song You is good, but not essential. The rest of the songs proves why this band was such a good band. Driven by the excellent vocals of Annie Haslam and the tangents of John Tout, the music is riveting. Mother Russia closes this live album.

This live album is a good taster of what this band is capable of. It was my entry to this band and I am now a fan of RENAISSANCE. I am also a collector of their albums. That's the only value of this album as far as I am concerned. ......And the good music off course. If you can find this album cheap; buy it.

3.75 stars.

Report this review (#200849)
Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2009 | Review Permalink

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