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Renaissance Heritage album cover
3.13 | 5 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Can You Hear Me Call My Name (13:59)
2. Carpet of the Sun (3:44)
3. Back Home Once Again (4:00)
4. Ocean Gypsy (7:32)
5. Running Hard (9:27)
6. Prologue (7:37)
7. Midas Man (4:12)
8. I Think of You (2:44)
9. Black Flame (5:03)
10. Northern Lights (3:45)
11. Young Prince & Princess (2:42)
12. Trip to the Fair (6:27)
13. The Vultures Fly High (2:39)
14. Mother Russia (4:18)

Total Time: 78:11

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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RENAISSANCE Heritage ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RENAISSANCE Heritage reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nš 408

"Heritage" is a compilation of Renaissance and was released in 2003. It's a compilation album that comprises tracks from six studio albums of Renaissance Mk. 2. Well, we have tracks from "Prologue", "Ashes Are Burning", "Turn Of The Cards", "Scheherazade And Other Stories", "Novella" and "A Song For All Seasons". So, "Heritage" covers all the best albums released by Renaissance Mk. 2 in the 70's. Thus, "Heritage" is a compilation very well representative, really.

"Heritage" has fourteen tracks. The first track "Can You Hear Me Call My Name" is from "Novella". It's a mini epic well performed especially by John Tout's piano and Michael Dunford's acoustic guitar. The beautiful voice of Annie Haslam is perfect. The arrangements, mostly instrumental parts, are superb, and the addition of the orchestral arrangements is perfect too. The second track "Carpet Of The Sun" is from "Ashes Are Burning". It's a simple beautiful song perfectly orchestrated. It's a melodic piece where Annie Haslam offers her great vocal talents, bridging to it a nice and peaceful ambient. The third track "Back Home Once Again" is from "A Song For All Seasons". Due to its structure, it's a song with a commercial sound. It's a nice song but is one of the weakest songs on that album. So, we couldn't rank it among their finest works. The fourth track "Ocean Gypsy" is from "Scheherazade And Other Stories". It's a romantic and melancholic ballad that fits well with Annie Haslam's voice. It has a great piano work, nice guitar acoustic performance, wonderful vocal performance and a great choral work. It has an excellent melody and an emotional atmosphere. The fifth track "Running Hard" is from "Turn Of The Cards". It's a brilliant piece with clear and strong classical influences that begins beautifully with a great piano introduction. It has fine piano melodies, good drumming and is brilliantly sung by Annie Haslam. The sixth track "Prologue" is from "Prologue". It's essentially an instrumental song, despite it has some female vocals, but there are no lyrics and the vocals only singing the melody. This song shows how strong the influence of the classical music is into their music. The seventh track "Midas Man" is from "Novella". It's a beautiful classical track with a folky touch. This is mostly a song performed by the acoustic 12 string guitar of Michael Dunford and with where we can hear, in some parts, the sound of the tubular bells. The eighth track "I Think Of You" is from "Turn Of The Cards". It's a short and mellow ballad, nice and pleasant. However, it isn't at the same quality level of the most songs of that album. I think this song is too much conventional and soft, and is my least favourite song on that album. The ninth track "Black Flame" is from "Turn Of The Cards". It's a beautiful and melodic ballad with a nice touch of medieval music. The musical structure of it is simple. Here we have the perfect harmony between the acoustic guitar of Michael Dunford and the piano of John Tout. Once more we have a good choral work and beautiful vocals. The tenth track "Northern Lights" is from "A Song For All Seasons". It's a beautiful and catchy song. It's true that it's a more pop oriented song but it's very beautiful and nice to hear. I think it represents a very good pop song, composed with enough quality to can give us some pleasure when we listen to it. The eleventh track "Young Prince & Princess" is from "Scheherazade And Other Stories". This small part belongs to the suite "Song Of Scheherazade" which is a collection of related songs and instrumentals that are sometimes spellbinding but also sometimes repetitive. This part is perhaps a conclusion to the suite's first part, with lilting harmonies, tubular bells and wonderful flute melodies, sung by Annie in a sultry mood. The twelfth track "Trip To The Fair" is from "Scheherazade And Other Stories". It's one of the best and most triumphant songs of the band. The story is a dark tale of strange happenings at the fairground. It has an amazing grand piano work by John Tout and a great vocal performance by Annie Haslam. The thirteenth track "The Vultures Fly High" is from "Scheherazade And Other Stories". It's an energetic rock song with a beautiful vocal harmony and where the vocal performance of the chorus is brilliant. I can enjoy it very much. The fourteenth track "Mother Russia" is from "Turn Of The Cards". This is a massive classic and sophisticated piece that combines perfectly well the clear influences of the music of the classical Russian composers and the political vicissitudes of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian dissident against the regime in the USSR. This is one of the most beautiful and magnificent pieces of Renaissance.

Conclusion: "Heritage" is a very good compilation of Renaissance and is very well representative of their music in the 70's. Of course I'm talking about the second incarnation of the band, the incarnation that is more known and beloved of Renaissance. It has tracks from almost all their studio albums released in the 70's. The only exception is their album "Azure D'Or", without any track. Anyway, that isn't a bad thing. "Azure D'Or" is really a good album but it's clearly less good than all the others. It's a more commercially oriented album only with short songs. With it began the decline of the band. So, all in all, "Heritage" represents a good introduction that you need to get acquainted with Renaissance's music. Still, I think it can't substitute all those studio albums. So, this is a good but a non-essential work from the band.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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