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Renaissance Song of Scheherazade album cover
2.90 | 23 ratings | 7 reviews | 13% 5 stars

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DVD/Video, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

Capital Theater, Passiac, New Jersey, 21st May, 1976

1. Running Hard
2. Ocean Gypsy
3. Carpet of the Sun
4.Mother Russia
6.Song of Scheherazade: Sultan
7. The Young Prince and Princess
8.The Festival

Conventional Hall, Ashbury Park, New Jersey, 28th July, 1979

1.Can You Understand - Intro
2.Vultures Fly High
3.Jekyll and Hyde
4.Northern Lights
5.Forever Changing
6.Secret Mission
7.Mother Russia
8.A Song For All Seasons
9.Flood at Lyons

Total Time 125 min

Line-up / Musicians

- Annie Haslam / vocals
- Jon Tout / keyboards
-Michael Dunford/guitars, vocals
-Jon Camp/bass guitar, vocals
-Terry Sullivan/drums and percussion

Releases information

Label: Cherry Red

Thanks to rogerthat for the addition
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RENAISSANCE Song of Scheherazade ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

RENAISSANCE Song of Scheherazade reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rogerthat
4 stars I had reviewed this DVD around the time of its release. A rewrite seems appropriate two years hence. As I'd have expected, the DVD did not fare too well with the fans and the band don't appear very keen on unveiling more concert DVDs from the 70s at this point. I have mixed views on that one.

I can fully understand the reaction of most people to this DVD. The video is indeed not very good at all. Not only is it in black and white but there are ghost images and the like and the camera angles are no great either. Unfortunately, nor is the sound quality which would make this a little easier to overlook. It is not really bootleg quality. The sound is fairly clear throughout and on both concerts - Passiac, New Jersey, 1976 and Ashbury Park, New Jersey, 1979 - but it is kind of quiet and muffled. There is so little 'delay' in the 1976 concert that singer Annie Haslam almost sounds as if she is singing without a mike! As such, if somebody were to be introduced to this band via this DVD, that would be fairly disastrous.

And yet, I leave my rating unchanged at 4 stars. I guess I need to do some explaining, then. Though it is not my profession, I am personally keenly interested in singing and am all ears if it's a great one. Therefore, the opportunity to watch Annie Haslam perform the best Renaissance material is well worth the money to me, even with this picture and sound quality. The stupefying ease with which she delivers massive grand Bs on Prologue and, later, on the Scheherazade epic, makes my jaw drop in disbelief. Her relaxed approach as she cruises through the 1976 gig with only two mistakes, and very minor ones at that, has to be seen to be believed and I am able to relate to the audience's spontaneous rapture of applause mid-song in Ocean Gypsy. It must have been a heavenly treat for the ears and since I never got to see it in the flesh and blood, this will do very well, for me.

Speaking of which, the saving grace is the setlist of the 1976 gig, running through their classics from the first four albums of the Haslam-lineup. The 1979 gig was meant to promote the Azure D'Or album and is predictably a weaker selection. The band appear quite tired on this gig, understandable being that this was apparently their last evening of a long tour. A fine performance of Forever Changing and also Mother Russia shore up things in the second gig.

Which is why my rating is a heavily qualified one. For my personal satisfaction, this was a valuable purchase for me and one that has given me a lot of pleasure. I have to dock the one star because it is not the most ideal, neither in terms of audio and video quality nor the selection of the second concert. But I am not sure general prog rock fans would receive this DVD with nearly as much enthusiasm. Four stars for diehard Annie Haslam fans and two for the consumption of the prog rock community as such.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars The first ´official´ Renaissance DVD! I was always amazed by the fact that a band of such importance and fame did not have a single video available in the market all these years. Ok, there were some bootlegs you could find, but usually they were either of awful quality or didn´t feature the classic line up of the 70´s we all wanted to see. I´ve wondered if they ever had filmed their Live At Carnegie Hall concert in 1977...So I was quite happy to know that Song Of Scheherazade was planning for release, even if, burned with previous experience, I was a bit aware of how it would turn out. Was it good?

To make matters worse the first copies were defective, with Annie Haslam´s voice not really in sync with the images. Incredibly, one of those came into my hands and I had some trouble getting a new one. After all this hassle, the resulting DVD is really worth it? Well, the answer is both a yes and a no. Yes, because it is really Renaissance classic line up we all love: Annie Haslam (vocals), John Tout (keyboards), Jon Camp (bass, vocals), Terry Sullivan (drums) and Michael Dunford (guitars). the repertoire is also fantastic: over two hours of live music recorded during a couple of shows, one in 1976 and the other in 1979. Unfortunately the ´no´ part relies on the quality of the the video itself. First of all, it all shot in black & white, believe it or not. Second, the sound quality is far from perfect (although not nearly as atrocious as some bootlegs I´ve have seen of them).

Being a big fan of the band I went on and dug inside: the two shows are excellent. The former is of course the best one since it includes a stronger setlist with fine performances of classics like Mother Russia, Running Hard and practically the whole Scheherazade suite. The second concert´s repertoire relies mostly on their weak (compared to their previous ones, of course) Azzure D´or album, which, surprisingly, work better on stage than on the studio. And a good version of Song For All Seasons also appears. Camera angles and shots of the band members are good, but clearly nothing like today´s multi camera angles and stuff like that, but, after all, those were the 70´s and good filming of rock concerts were the exception, not the rule.

So, in the end was it worth it? to me it was, since it is still classic Renaissance. If it was at least shot in color, I´d give it a four star rating. The sound quality is only ok, but certainly a big improvement over the ones I´ve seen before. While I´m still waiting them to release Live At Carnegie Hall, this one will have to satisfy my need (and others) to see them live. I´d give it 4,5 stars for the song selection (but the lack of a whole Can You Understand is unforgivable) , 2,5 stars for the sound and 2 stars for the images. So a 3 star rating is fair enough.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars Since I heard about this DVD, been searching for it, asked my sister to buy it in USA, but she bought me the Sheherezade and other Stories (well a new copy of a perfect album is always welcome), at last and after a year got it and placed it on the Blu Ray player ready for a great show......What a disappointment.

Of course I knew that the images were in black and white, but this wasn't a problem, I was sure that the band had invested effort in making a good DVD for their faithful fans, but I was wrong, this is probably the worst recorded DVD I ever bought. The images are poor, the sound is infamous, there are sections of Song of Sheherezade that are practically unlistenable, really a waste of money but what is worst, awaste of expectations from an avid fan ready to spend his hard earned bucks in a less than mediocre product.

Please, believe me, I'm not talking about the music, I know each and every song of the band and all are delightful, I'm a fan of RENAISSANCE and there will always be a place in my CD players for songs as Carpet of the Sun, Mother Russia, Ocean Gypsy and of course for their magnificent epic, but this DVD is a disrespect for the fans who waited decades to receive this terrible video.

If a band is not ready to invest in cleaning or remixing old tapes and offer at least a decent DVD, please don't kill our expectations with this kind of subpar releases. Remember that some of us due to our age or nationality were never able to see the band with the amazing Annie Haslam, the mental image we had made about the RENAISSANCE shows is ruined forever and we feel deceived.

5 stars for the selection of tracks, but 0 for the recording, so it's 2 stars in average.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
3 stars Renaissance is a band I've been in love with since I listen to Ashes Are Burning (1973) around 13 years ago. After that I've been through their discography and I'm still in love with the band.

There was always a curiosity about their live shows, in video format. And nothing could be found. Not even the famous bootlegs.

So, when I've heard about a DVD that had been released with two of their concerts from 70's I was really happy and run to get my copy.

The DVD captures the band in two completely different moments, one in 1976 and other in 1979. Unfortunatelly, it's not worthy!

Of course that if you're a die hard fan this is heaven. But for me, it's really hard to watch the full of it. The video quality is REALLY poor and the audio... is bad (just to not be mean and use another word).

But, even with this really bad overall quality Song Of Scheherazade (2008) can be treated as a historical document, cause there's not much options recorded by the band in the 70's.

One delicious thing about the DVD is seeing Annie Haslam telling sweet jokes and laughing on-stage between the tracks!

Latest members reviews

3 stars THIS IS AN ESSENTIAL ITEM FOR RENAISSANCE DIE-HARD FANS. This said I consider this dvd with mixed feelings. It's lovely to see Tout and Camp shining in the greatest period of this band (the 76 section) and still rocking hard (pun intended) in their farewell album Azure D'Or tour. On the othe ... (read more)

Report this review (#765758) | Posted by moodyxadi | Wednesday, June 6, 2012 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I am a truly fan collector of Renaissance. But what was the purpose of editing this DVD? Wasn,t possible to make the technical arrangements to have a good product. Is not enough to be a lover of Renaissance music to appreciate this . Sorry to prejudice ,but it seems this product had the main ... (read more)

Report this review (#251874) | Posted by robbob | Friday, November 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It is Renaissance on stage - playing their magnificent opus. At least, we are able to see them playing live. For a Renaissance die hard fan as I am, it is a gift from heaven ! But please do not introduce the band to someone with this video. Knowing and loving all the tracks here included, ... (read more)

Report this review (#248234) | Posted by Ultime | Thursday, November 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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