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LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL

Renaissance

Symphonic Prog


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Renaissance Live At Carnegie Hall album cover
4.24 | 156 ratings | 34 reviews | 56% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Live, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1: 50:36
1. Prologue (7:35)
2. Ocean gypsy (7:55)
3. Can you understand (10:20)
4. Carpet of the sun (4:15)
5. Running hard (9:43)
6. Mother Russia (10:48)

Disc 2: 52:50
1. Scheherazade (28:50)
2.Ashes Are Burning (23:50)

Total Time: 103:16

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Camp / bass, pedals, vocals
- Michael Dunford / acoustic guitar, vocals
- Annie Haslam / lead vocals
- Terrence Sullivan / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- John Tout / keyboard, backing vocals

+ The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Tony Cox

Releases information

2 LP: BTM Records BTM 2001 (1976)
2 CD: Repertoire Records REP 4506-WL (Ger1994)
2 CD: HTD Records CD 40 (UK 1995)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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Symphony of LightSymphony of Light
Red River Entertaint 2014
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Scheherazade & Other StoriesScheherazade & Other Stories
Hybrid SACD - DSD
Audio Fidelity 2014
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Ashes Are BurningAshes Are Burning
Import
Repertoire 1995
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Turn of the CardsTurn of the Cards
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Repertoire 1994
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$8.01 (used)
ProloguePrologue
Import
Repertoire 1995
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$5.98 (used)
TuscanyTuscany
Import
REPERTOIRE 2011
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Live at Carnegie Hall/ The Deluxe Anniversary Edition (2 CD) (Original Recording Remastered)Live at Carnegie Hall/ The Deluxe Anniversary Edition (2 CD) (Original Recording Remastered)
Remastered
Friday Music 2009
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RenaissanceRenaissance
Import
Repertoire 1995
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RENAISSANCE Live At Carnegie Hall ratings distribution


4.24
(156 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(56%)
56%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
35%
Good, but non-essential (7%)
7%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

RENAISSANCE Live At Carnegie Hall reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Chronologically speaking this came out before the Scheherazade album as it contains a preview of the future title track. This line-up (we'll call them MkII) never featured in concert anything from the first line-up . I bought this one as it came out , so it was my first exposition to this band. The cover is particularly awful if you look at the romantic other art work of the studio albums.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#20049) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2004

Review by NetsNJFan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This Album is basically a live best of of the material from 1972-75. Excellent live album. The 29 minute "scheherazade" is absolutley amazing, and this version of "ashes are burning' is much better than the studio version with an amazing bass solo. Haslam's voice holds up very well throughout the concert, and the playing is strong like usuall. Sadly, this is their last very good release, as Novella is formulaic and boring, and everythign after kind of sucks. Anyway - this ranks up their in terms of Live Prog with "Yessongs (1973- Yes)", "Welcome Back My Friends...(1974-ELP)" and seconds out is a little wors.

(a more extensive review to come soon!)

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Send comments to NetsNJFan (BETA) | Report this review (#20050) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 19, 2004

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I'm very fond of live albums, but often symphonic prog bands have done a bit duller live recordings, as carefully composed structured songs are often played on stage copying each note from the studio versions. This rule applies also to this album in some extent, but there are some slight re-arrangements, and some numbers have also space for free playing. There's also New York Philharmonic Orchestra backing up the band on some of the tunes. It's interesting to hear the reactions of the crowd, how the enthusiastic applauses and shrieks rise are quickly mute as they emerge during the short pauses of the music.

The song selection is very good, "Prologue" acts as a logical opening number choice, and "Ocean Gypsy", the very pretty minor key folk ballad is my favorite of this kind of numbers from RENAISSANCE. "Carpet of The Sun" is not a very essential pick in my opinion, but surely Annie has a right to perform one of her favorite songs. "Mother Russia" is also a very beautiful song, showing the clear influences of Russian classical music to their melodies. The second disc has two long epics, "Scheherazade" and "Ashes are Burning". The extra length for the first one mentioned comes actually from the narration of the story line, so the song structure is similar to the version on the studio album. "Ashes are Burning" is then an exceptional performance, the instrumental passages grow as long jams, and there's even a long bass solo here. What is incredible compared to the studio version here, is the decent composed finale of the song. On the 1973 album version the song ends in a very irritating fadeout.

As a conclusion, if you want to have just one album from this band, then I'll recommend you to get this!

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#20054) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 03, 2005

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars How to describe Renaissance for those who haven't listened them yet? Well the best way is giving them a copy of Live at the Carnegie Hall, because some bands are better on stage, others are worst, but Renaissance is just as good in both situations.

All the tracks are perfectly selected, almost as if this album was the best of Renaissance, they maintain the same spirit and atmosphere than in their original versions with the addition to listen the reaction of the audience.

But what is Renaissance? Maybe the most symphonic of the bands with an evident folk and classical influence that can hardly be compared with another progressive group.

Most people believe the wonderful Annie Haslam is 90% of the band, but they forget John Tout's impressive keyboards and amazing piano solos, Michael Dunford's efficient guitar (Better than on studio), Terrence Sullivan precise drumming and Joe Camp who adds strength with his bass, a complete band that represents the perfect example of what Symphonic Progressive means.

But back to Annie, there's not much to say about her voice that haven't been said before, she's by large one of the best female voices in all genres, well educated and sweet, sings with equal strength the symphonic Sheherezade as the folksy Carpet on the Sun, a complete vocalist.

All the tracks of this album are near perfection, but the ones that have impressed me most are:

Prologue: The first song I ever heard by this band and gave me the need to listen more of their stuff, a perfect opener for any concert or album, the piano introduction is simply astonishing, full of strength with a perfect backup by the drums and Annie's choirs, totally different to most Renaissance tracks but at the same time shows as how good and versatile they are.

Ocean Gypsy is a beautiful ballad where Annie's voice is obviously the center of attention, even when the rest of the band and The New York Philharmonic Orchestra enhance the music and vocals; the attention of the listener is based in the soft and sweet interpretation that Annie gives.

Can You Understand is another almost perfect song, opened by John Tout's piano and perfectly followed by all the band where John Camp's bass adds strength, this strong intro goes for three minutes when the music suddenly gets softer to let Annie Haslam does her part creating a very pleasant contrast between the powerful and electric intro and the acoustic mood that backups her voice. Around the middle, the band changes the mood again creating an Oriental atmosphere, which leads to another vocal section, but the best comes at the end, another frantic passage with the whole Band and Orchestra giving 110% of them. Ten minutes of Progressive Rock, simply incredible.

Another track that impressed me very much is Mother Russia, which represents carefully many aspects of that country, from the greatness of their monuments and buildings like The Kremlin to the sadness of their hard geography and weather. But again the most incredible achievement of the band is their versatility to change styles and influences from one song to another.

Of course no review about this album will be complete without some words about Song of Sheherezade, probably their most famous epic based in the 1001 Arabian Nights which the band describes before the track, don't ask me where did Renaissance added almost 5 minutes to the original version (which is only 24 minutes long) because I have no idea but that's not very important like saying that the song is full of changes, Orchestral passages plus male and female vocal sections that come one after another as if it was a musical collage, once again they achieve their goal to create a realistic Arabian atmosphere that fits perfectly with the story and lyrics, by far the best song of the album and probably from their whole career.

After listening Live at Carnegie Hall, I can't understand why Renaissance doesn't get the recognition that they deserve, because this album is a masterpiece that every progressive fan must own. Without any doubt I give 5 stars to the album.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#20055) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 17, 2005

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Andrew Carnegie must have been rolling in his grave. Renaissance had released some good records and was about to release another (Scheherazade) when they performed these concerts in the summer of '75, but were they worthy of Carnegie Hall? And did part of the New York Philharmonic really have nothing better to do? The four sides of live music here are timid presentations (as timid as ambitious music like this can be, anyway), sticking too close to the original arrangements (as earlier critics have pointed out) and featuring a five-minute bass solo during "Ashes Are Burning" that would have made Spinal Tap snigger. The shows did introduce fans to "Ocean Gypsy" and "Scheherazade," and both songs benefit from the band's close kinship to the material. "Ashes Are Burning" and "Can You Understand" are other highlights from the show, but there's nothing on Live At Carnegie Hall you won't hear on the original studio albums. In fact, there's very little magic to be found here. A spoken introduction to "Scheherazade" becomes a pale primer, and the revelation that it took three months to read "Thousand And One Nights" begs the question of whether anyone read Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago" before writing "Mother Russia." I don't mean to come down hard on Renaissance, since they write good songs and perform them capably here. But live shows are supposed to be a window into the band's soul, minus all the makeup of the studio, and Live At Carnegie Hall instead takes pains not to let the seams show. If you want to collect everything by Renaissance, or you want to avoid collecting everything by getting to the heart of their best music, then Live At Carnegie Hall awaits you. As prog live albums go, however, this is a lame duck.

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#47581) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Review by 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.

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Send comments to micky (BETA) | Report this review (#81783) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006

Review by Heptade
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I've own Renaissance albums for years, but for some reason never picked this up. Just did, and I have to say it's one of the finest live albums I've heard. I know that in the 70s bands did a lot of overdubbing on their live albums (Kiss Alive!), but something tells me this band didn't need to. In fact, I prefer all these renditions to the studio versions. The performance oozes class, but there is great energy, and songs like "Ocean Gypsy" and "Mother Russia" come to life in these dramatic renditions. Annie Haslam's voice is incredible, and the mix is amazing. Jon Camp's bass explodes out of the speakers. Recorded in front of an appreciative audience, that magical quality that a truly great live album possesses is here in spades. The album closes with a long version of "Ashes Are Burning" featuring great solos from Camp (a bass solo that isn't boring!) and John Tout, and some vocal improv from Haslam that only dogs can hear. If you haven't heard Renaissance, rather than getting a greatest hits collection, I'd suggest this excellent double album as the perfect introduction to their unique rock/folk/classical blend.

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Send comments to Heptade (BETA) | Report this review (#88855) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 03, 2006

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Anyone looking for an overview of Annie Haslam's first four albums with Renaissance could do worse than start here as it is effectively a 'Best Of', recorded live with the aid of choir and orchestra in front of an enthusiastic, but not intrusive, audience. It can hardly be beaten as a showcase for the band's unique blend of symphonic Prog song structures, orchestral and acoustic instruments, flavours of classical, jazz and folk styles rubbing shoulders with its rock baseline, and Annie's unique [in its field] voice. And they barely put a foot wrong!

In those days, Renaissance was one of the few band's able to reproduce a studio sound almost note perfect in the live arena. Which leaves us with something of a dilemma - the performances here are so slick, so professional, that really there are few differences from the studio originals. With one or two exceptions, you have to dig very deep indeed to be aware of those differences as mostly they are quite subtle. A preference for one or the other [ie live or studio version] is ultimately determined by personal experience and background rather than anything intrinsic to the performance.

As someone who has lived with this music for over thirty-plus years, it gets to the stage where you pick little pieces out - "I like this bit from this album, but I like the way they did that bit on the other album". So, for example, the long coda of Ashes Are Burning is brilliant, but it would have been so much more powerful had the organ been brought forward in the mix. In Running Hard, the orchestra is so majestic and a solo violin in the 'running' instrumental is damn near perfect, but on returning to the slow vocal a short bass phrase is played only once. I also feel Mother Russia is played a fraction too slow. Arrangements are all faithful to the original versions, with virtually no deviation except for the instrumental sections of Prologue and Ashes Are Burning. It is nice that the crowd gets behind Camp's bass solo session which makes this one a little more palatable than the King Biscuit set.

The thing that attracts me to live albums is the ambience of a live performance, complete with audience involvement, and a heightened sense of emotion that can engender in an artist. Often it can offer a new perspective on a musical work, a fresh insight into some facet that may have developed since its inception. Live At Carnegie Hall fails in that respect: the performance is so technically accurate that it seldom offers anything new, and occasionally detracts, from much loved studio originals. It has atmosphere, but not enough of the other elements to raise it onto a pedestal.

Having said that, the album is an astonishing achievement, an ideal blend of studio 'perfection' with live ambience and a recording quality to match, albeit a little 'soft' by today's standards. As a body of music it can hardly be faulted and it certainly contains near definitive versions of Prologue, Can You Understand?, Running Hard and Ashes Are Burning. Personally, I find the studio versions of Song Of Scheherazade, Ocean Gypsy and Mother Russia to be more fulfilling and detailed, but that doesn't detract from the overall achievement. Certainly a legend, and a vital purchase for all fans of 1970s symphonic Prog.

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Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I have mixed feelings about this album. On one hand it is a fine representation of what was the band in the mid seventies. On the other, it is a bit dated. Their performance is impeccable and that´s the problem: too perfect, no variations, no raw moments, the orchestra doing exactly what was on their studio albums. The 24 minute version of Ashes Are Burning is a typical case of 70´s overblowing, including a 5 minute bass solo. Were they not the fine musicians they are, it would be a disaster. But even then, it gets boring after one or two spins. I also miss the electric guitar parts of Prologue.

Ok, maybe I´m being too harsh. At the time this double LP was considered a masterpiece and I was proud to get it. Still I don´t listen to it too much. Looking back, I think they were better in the studio. Anyway, on stage they proved they were, techically speaking, no fake. Annie Haslam is probably the best female singer ever to grace a rock band and the five lads had an incredible rapport. They may not have too much stage presence or charisma, but they delivered the goods with technique and precision. Jon Tout being one of the most underrated keyboards genius of all rock history.

Conclusion: a good display of Renaissance on stage with an orchestra. If it sounds too much like their studio work, maybe that was the idea. Sometimes it works, sometimes it is a little better. In a few moments it gets a little boring. Typical 70´s live album, indeed. 3,5 stars.

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Posted Monday, September 24, 2007

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A masterpiece symphonic prog live act!

This live album represented one of the finest and best live recordings in the seventies. I did not have a chance to have the album at time of release because it was not available in my country by that time. I only got the CD version in 1999 and I immediately loved this CD. I imagined how the show was performed with the backing of New York Philharmonic Orchestra. I expected the album was something special because they brought in the full orchestra members for the show which by that time it was only Rick Wakeman "Journey To The Center of The Earth" who made orchestra as part of his concert.

The concert was as part of their promo of just released and ground breaking album "Scheherazade and Other Stories" - an album that represented my first introduction to Renaissance. It was quite surprising actually with the fact that this band happened after the break up of the Yardbirds in early 1968, because the music of Renaissance is totally different with The Yardbirds. But I favor Renaissance more than Yardbirds which the music is more on rock'n'roll. Renaissance redefined their previous band music style by including real orchestra in the band.

This live album sounds like it was played in a formal way as it is opened with a welcoming speech by Dunford for the audience in a formal way. The band selected the set list wisely, representing from their previous albums, starting with "Prologue" which is performed excellently through vocal harmony. From the style, it sounds fit the song represents a fit with the live nuance that starts something before the main body is presented through "preface" (prologue). "Ocean Gypsy" is a song with catchy melody and through this live performance, Annie Haslam presents her vocal wholeheartedly - and in fact it's more accentuation than its studio version.

The combined work or orchestra and keyboard / piano throughout this album indicates cohesiveness of the music. You can observe it through songs like "Can You Understand", "Carpet of The Sun" and "Running Hard". One thing noticeable also is on how tight the bass guitar was played. The bass guitar does not seem to played roles as beats keeper. "Mother Russia" is a great song from "Turn of The Cards" album and has become one of Renaissance favorites in addition to Ocean Gypsy as well as Scheherazade.

Disc Two contain two major epics by the band. The first one is "Scheherazade" which has its own beauty in its studio version. The key strength of this epic is on its catchy melody and complex arrangements using orchestra. In fact, this track is the main attraction for me to purchase the CD even though other tracks in this live set are all excellent.

Overall, I would recommend those of you who really want to explore progressive music from the glory days of the 70s. The music of Renaissance is quite unique that no other band emulated their style at that time. It's partly due to their unique compositions, and unique lead vocal by Annie Haslam. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
3 stars As representative of the live indulgences of the progressive rock era as "Welcome Back my Friends" and "Yessongs", ""Live at Carnegie Hall" is Renaissance at their peak of popularity. It includes material from the era generally regarded as their best, in fairly good live versions. The main criticism is in the somewhet muffled sound in places, and the tendency to stick very close to the original song structures. The major exception, apart from the rambling and sometimes tedious "Song of Scheherazade, is the side-long "Ashes are Burning", which really showcases the talents of all members individually and collectively, and is never close to boring for 24 minutes. Annie's vocal histrionics in the closing minutes are miraculous. It is strange that the group really never took to that level of improvisation again either inside the studio or in concert, but this version of "Ashes" is really their most monumental achievement. When combined with a cross section of their 1972-1975 material, it makes the album worthwhile if you want a taste of what the group offers, although I would favour the two "Tales of 1001 Nights" for that purpose.

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Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Carnegie Hall is a famous New York theater better known for its classical representations than for rock concerts. Of course, the "Renaissance" sound is so close at times with classic music that it made sense to play some concerts in this hall.

Most of the live albums available by the band almost feature the track list which you can find in this one. Vintage "Renaissance" my prog friends. Songs from each of their four (?) previous albums.

I put a question mark because when "Sheherazade" is announced, Jon Camp is speaking of their "upcoming" album. This double album was record during three sessions: from June 20th through 22nd, 1975. Just ahead of the release of the "Sheherazade" album. It will lead to a two minutes introduction to the song which explains the "1001 nights story". Quite a shortcut!

Even their old "Prologue" starts the show, which is quite logic of course. Then two songs out of each album from their bright period are featured.

What to say about this live album? That it is a brilliant representation of some of the best songs from their repertoire? Probably. That the interpretation is excellent? Probably. That the combination with the orchestra (New York Philharmonic) fits perfectly well (not too invading, but still present)? For sure.

This is valid up to the last number : "Ashes Are Burning". A great original which is here double the length, "thanks" to a dull and unnecessary bass solo. It would have been so nice to get a shorter version of this one and get the great "Trip To The Fair" instead.

For most of this live album, the band remains close to the original, and for once that they improvise a bit, it is a complete mess. A pity, since the original song was really good.

This is the main reason why I "only" give four stars to this very good live album. Do enjoy it, it delivers a lot of emotions and exhilarating moments.

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Posted Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Review by Starette
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a review that I put together about two years ago when this album really grew on me. Hopefully it will stand up to the cause now that I'm two years more maturer than I was before. But anyway- here we go:

This album is the only Renaissance I can actually get my hands on! For now. One of my best friends parents are lovely Proggers like myself, who actually got to see Annie Haslam and Renaissance live back in the day!...along with many other bands, such as Genesis. (Oh that I had their memories...) So I managed to borrow this album from them.

Prologue: Do-do-do-doooo Sounds very much like 60s lounge-jazz. One is reminded of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell singing the overtly CUTE 'Dida' actually. Haslam shows her gorgeous vibrating, high-range voice to the audience without falter- This is a good song for that as the melody goes all over the place and that aim seems to be to use the human voice as the main instrument. Watch out for a funky bass reving up before shakers come in. This leads to a Tango-like beat- something very typical of Renaissance. John Tout plays a fast minuet on the piano before we go back to Haslam's soulful voice again.

Ocean Gypsy: John Tout (I believe) introduces the band. Then into the song: the first time I heard this piece, I found it somewhat depressing, in a mystical way, if you listen to the lyrics. But depressing music tends to be good! (I can write a whole essay on that one. Contact me some time if you disagree and we can have a philosophical discussion.) The violins lead to fantastic piano-playing. This song definitely swings in and out of moods: from quiet to a good and moderate beat. A man and woman are singing in harmony and it doesn't sound cheesy at all (as that convention is wont to be, often.) We hear an except from one of Rachmaninov's famous Piano Concertos in the piano. This is, afterall, a classically-inspired prog band. They bring out the best in it. This carries on into the vocal Aaaaah!s so typical of the 70s (Yeah, sorry- I still can't help pointing that out!) After the last verse, the piano ends on an unexpectedly MAJOR chord....I love it when that happens!

Can you Understand: Now this track is my favourite... Before this song, the piano does a bit of fast jumping which is backed up by drum and bass...and shakers! Then a harpsichord-sounding instrument takes over its melody-sounding extremely cool. My lack of vocabulary here is simply the result of there being no other way to describe it IMO. Then back to the piano which builds up to a catharsis... in a very slow way. After a few solem chords, this leads to the song, and the crowd cheers- for Haslam stands up to them again! Annie sings one of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard the female voice sing. After such a gorgeous start, the guitar plucking turns to blue-grass style. Her voice sings a faster melody: Open up your eyes and make the day shine sunshine now. When she stops, the violins and piano turn the music into what sounds like the soundtrack for a movie with cowboys. Then a few falling chords threaten to turn it into Curved Air's Piece of Mind' (first thing to pop into my head anyway) After Annie sings the most beautiful melody from the beginning again. Purple mist around your hair; Eyes are fading blue. The orchestral ending is very much like Tchaikovsky and one of his Piano Concertos.

Carpets of the Sun: Annie verrry timidly states that this is one of her favourites and acknowledges the orchestra. This isn't the most charismatic of Renaissance's songs but one thing to look out for is how she quickly 'twirls' her voice at the highest notes she sings in the chorus.

Running Hard: The piano introduction of this reminds me of Keith Emerson- it really uses up the whole piano! After the orchestra makes its 'bang', the drums and piano convey the idea of 'running hard' quite well. Annie becomes quite strong-sounding and passionate for this song, probably because of how fast it is. Later- this becomes a very orchestra dominated piece but that doesn't undermine the wonderful complexity of its compostion.

Mother Russia: Annie tells everyone who this song is about: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. (Ooh! Must research more this man who was punished for his fame.) This is one of the songs I've heard the album recording of. I have to say- Live is much more atmospheric. Yes- thank you Little Miss Obvious. I guess, what I'm trying to say is that it sounds so much better this way. The orchestra adds some great percussion to this, though the bass, thumping like a giant towards the start of the singing, is a bit kitsch. The only weakness of this song is that you can *tell* what decade it was written in! And, of course, that in itself cannot really be a bad thing. This is also one that the sudience loves the most- we hear cheering as the flute and clarinet come in. The drums start one of those 'what is to come' beats as the piano slowly works up. Annie does her sweet siren-singing at this point. And the the whole band altogether now!: Red blood; White snow. He knows frozen rivers won't flow. Haslam is greatly affected by this performance- we can just hear her voice breaking a bit before the last long note. Or perhaps I've being too sentimental; perhaps she was only striving to achieve singing-perfection!

We're going to take a short break for a few minutes- See you soon.

Scherazade: Again, we hear the orchestra tuning up and the audience settles down. The reaction of the audience lets us know when the band are back onstage. John Tout explains the outline of the basic story' of this famous epic. He's a good story teller and it's interesting to hear cheering at absurd places. I don't want to start a raid-war or something! You would think Renaissance would just take Rimsky Korsakov's ballet music and turn it into a rock song....but noooo. This is a completely original compsition. The start is so orchestral and farflung that I would be mad to try and analyse it. It eventually drifts into an Aaah-ooh choral introduction to the actual song-part and John sings by himself for the first time. He sounds like a folk-singer in my opinion. I like the way they've made the melody 'orientalised'. The chord-progression turns into an apocalyptic one after Scherazade and the bass-melody has a snippet to play by from Korsakovs original music before the piano starts up. Up into a different melody now. Violins are especially prominent. You would cause the sun to see the light and then be shed... Oh my love. 'The Young Prince and Princess' is what this is referring to. All string instruments at first, guitar...even a harp He vowed to love her for the rest of all his days. Plucking, echoing, violins... then bone percussion as the violins quiver... all very scary, But the happy chords signal a happy ending. Annie's melody sounds rather like the background music to a 60s crime movie (I'm thinking of MAX in 'Get Smart'...the *original* not the god-awful remake!) I love the way they show the change in the Sultan's attitude: insane laughter out of nowhere then a scream of surprise. A flute with an acoustic backing makes for a nice change. This is the Sultan's wedding you see.Scherazade- your life you've won. This eventually leads to the same apocalyptic chord progression and melody that we heard when the charater Scherazade stepped into the epic. Scherazade! Haslam sings at last: impressive siren high-note!

Then they thank the audience tenfold... and Haslam introduces their most popular song. Ashes are Burning: As I said before with Mother Russia, this Live recording is far more atmospheric than the album recording. More drawn-out piano improvising. One thing to look out for is the bass-improv as well. Jon Camp really does take this opportunity to show how he can stand out. Adds a jazz touch to the scene... Bass and tambourine that is.. Yep- it's a very long bass-solo. He even gets the audience clapping in time with the beat. The bass is certainly synthed by an echoing-effect pedal. The audience cheers when they know it's getting back to the song. The piano goes back to the reved-up beat and brings us to the rest of the song. And people call out Annies name. Imagine buring embers...she sings. finally entering into the scene again. She draws the last line out (on Away!) and the emphasis makes her voice all the more gorgeous. which causes the audience to cheer even louder. And then ending goes on forever it seems- Annie wastes no time in flaunting her voice wherever she can- pushing her voice to its' limits. God- the musicians don't want to stop playing! This is afterall, the end of a concert,

Thank you vry much- hope to see you again soon. Thus ends the concert.

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Posted Sunday, October 05, 2008

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Awesome, exquisite, superb live album!!!

Yes it is, if you ever need a taste of live symphonic prog (70s) you should go and buy yourself a copy of this outstanding album.

Normally in my reviews i left my enthusiasm until the last part of if, i mean after i actually review the album itself, but this time i can't help but sharing my love for this live acta since the very few lines, and that is because i really fell in love with it since the very first listen, it definitely caused me goosebumps and an obvious thought, it would have been awesome to attend to that concert. Renaissance was probably the first prog band with female vocals and i actually knew them with the Haslam era, then i later listened to the Relf's era but it didn't caught my attention. With Haslam, the band did not only change it's vocal style, she has an angel`s voice, she is one of my favourite singers, but the band also changed direction musically talking. What a pity the same line up changed again in the 80`s, making poor music.

What we will find in this Live at Carnegie Hall is a double CD live album, featuring some of their best (if not their best) repertoire from the first half of the 70s, compelling together more than 105 minutes of the best Renaissance performances. CD One features 6 songs, being the bautiful Carpet of the Sun the only short song with less than 4 minutes, and all the others goes from 7 to 10 minutes, believe me, pure symphonic bliss! What you have to know, is that this concert has a plus, it is not only the band's members who play here, but you will also listen to an orchestra, The New York Philarmonic Orchestra who helped the band in this amazing live act.

The concert opens very properly with that song called Prologue, what a better way of starting somethin than with a prologue, here you will have a brief taste of what their music is about, besides Annie's voice, what i love is the role that both Jon Camp on bass and John Tout on keyboards play, they are excellent musicians and what they do with their instruments gives a unique style to the band. There will be some keyboard or piano moments that will make you smile and feel comfortable while listening to it, and the bas playing is excellent i like it a lot.

Then the album continues with Ocean Gypsy which is a very representative song of the band, their classic symphonic prog style is shown here and it will caught your attention without any doubt. Can You Understand is a song i like a lot, i use to sing it and it may be catchy sometimes, but musically is a masterpiece. Next is the short Carpet of the Sun which is a very nice melody.

And to finish the first CD you will find a couple of great tracks, firstly Running Hard which was the only track i didn't know when i bought this CD, so that made me pay more attention to it, and it is an amazing song, and the last song of this first part of the concert is an absolutely favourite of mine, Mother Russia which has something that enchantes me and makes me feel surrounded by it's moods, this is the track that lasts 1o minutes and it is a perfect song to finish this first part, so odon't go anywhere, stand by and put CD Two on!!!

We already had the short ones, now let's go for the long and bigger ones! Yes sir, CD 2 contains only 2 songs but what a songs they both are monsters of progressive rock and songs that any prog lover would be amazed while listening to them.

The second part starts with an introduction of what Scheherezade is about, in that time Scheherezade and Other Stories was about to be released, so besides being an ordinary concert, they used it to promote the album. So as was said, the first of the two tracks is that long epic called Scheherezade which is flawlessly performed on stage, some people may say that the good things about a concert is to see the band playing as good as they sound on studio, Renaissance did it and in an extraordinary way. With almost half an hour of music, you will feel really excited, well actually if symphonic prog is not really your cup of tea you may find it boring, but to me that symph is my favourite genre, i find this simply awesome.

And the second track of this CD 2, and sadly last track of this live album is another of my absolutely favourite songs, Ashes Are Burning which is another very repressentavie song from the band, but this time the song was extended with several instrumental moments where the members could show their talent as self-artists, there is a moment where Jon Camp takes the moment for himself and shows what he is capable of with his bass playing. After some moments and some solos, Ashes Are Burning returns and inspire the crowd to applause and yell of joy, at the last part of the song Annie's voice reaches his best and terrific notes, it is like heaven what a voice man, i would have love to see the band live, i bet it would have been a unique and unforgettable experience.

This album remains on my top 5 live albums ever and i still remember the day i bought it, and how excited i felt. For those who love symphonic prog, hurry up and but this album, and for those who are not that eager with this genre, go and listen to it as well, it may be interesting for you.

Extraordinary, 5 star album without hesitation!

Enjoy it, and love it!

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Posted Saturday, February 07, 2009

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars First an apology of sorts: in my misguided youth I had always politely dismissed Renaissance as middlebrow lightweights, hardly worth the attention of a partisan teen proghead devoted to the more abrasive sounds of Krautrock and KING CRIMSON. Now older and wiser, I can better appreciate the rich melodic beauty and easygoing sophistication in much of their music, and what better way to become reacquainted with the band than a concert from their creative peak in the mid-1970s?

Discovering this double-disc live album after nearly 35 years is like opening a lavish, long buried (and only slightly tarnished) time capsule from the Golden Age of symphonic prog. In retrospect they were never a band about to set the world on fire, practicing a refined blend of classical rock that was hardly rock 'n' roll at all (it lacked the authority of an electric guitarist), and never played loud enough to overpower all the woodwinds and strings.

Truthfully, Renaissance might be the perfect band for people who find early GENESIS too edgy. But the group had a not-so-secret weapon in its arsenal: vocalist Annie Haslam, whose golden voice was warm enough to illuminate the highest rafters of Carnegie Hall, and at the same time strong enough to span (according to some reports) a range of five full octaves.

Here the quintet was appearing alongside the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, a collaboration greatly enhancing the already lush symphonic depth of their setlist. I'm thinking of the majestic coda to the song "Running Hard" and the thrilling climax to "Can You Understand", and in particular the near 30-minute "Song of Scheherazade", which filled an entire side of the original twin-LP package.

The epic suite is probably the band's magnum opus, and this 1975 performance (introducing the music shortly before it appeared on the eponymous studio album) arguably marked the zenith of their entire career. The romantic Arabian Nights setting was the perfect vehicle for such a quintessential Prog Rock period piece, remarkably owing little to the Rimsky-Korsakov original, except for a brief orchestral nod to the Sultan's theme at the 10:30 mark.

And after the mannered classicism of "Scheherazade" it's nice to hear the band stretch out in a loose fusion jam during the climactic "Ashes Are Burning", doubling the length of the already generous studio original. The live presentation includes a long and somewhat clumsy bass guitar solo by Jon Camp that must have sounded really groovy in the mid- '70s, but never mind: the crowd eats it up, and the players respond with a rousing finale.

Little did the group know it was living on borrowed time, and soon to be swept aside in shifting musical tides. But for the moment, and with this live set, Renaissance would beat the symphonic pants off their orchestral rock competition: RICK WAKEMAN's likewise live "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (but of course that particular emperor never had any clothes to begin with); and ELP's forthcoming "Works, Volume One", by comparison sounding even more redundant than it already was.

If I had heard "Live at Carnegie Hall" back in 1976 it might have been a nostalgic five-star classic in my collection by now. And even if, like me, you missed it the first time around, the album provides an invaluable roadmap to a belated trip down memory lane.

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Posted Sunday, September 19, 2010

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars My favourite live ever.

Waiting for Song of Sheerazade to be released, Renaissance introduced that epic so that the live version was recorded very close to the studio one. The double vinyl (I think on CD it all goes on one disc) has six songs, three for each side on disc 1 and two long epics on disc 2.

The concert is opened by "Prologue" and is probably because of the song title more than because it's optimal as opener. This version is similar enough to the studio, just a bit longer.

"Ocean Gipsy" is another classic waiting to be included in the album-to-come at that time. It's one of my favourite Renaissance songs. On all this album's songs the volume of the bass is probably too high, but it gives this album a typical sound that we don't find in the studio releases. Great song, anyway. A strange thing is the absence of guitar. Not that it's really absent. There's plenty of acoustic guitar on Ocean Gipsy, but there are no electric solos. This is also the main difference between the studio and the live versions of Ashes are Burning.

"Can You Understand..." I have heard the intro used as base for a rap....it's really absurd. I was very upset that day. The bass behind the piano and "cymbal" intro is incredible. Well, it can sound dated but this is how bass was played in prog days. When the intro ends Annie Haslam sings on a 12-strings guitar. The harmonies, the sequences of chords are typical of Renaissance's music until the change to fast tempo. The instrumental part which follows has the effort of the symphonic orchestra. A great arrangement for a great song.

"Carpet of The Sun" is short and nice. Probably it's nice because it's short. It doesn't have the right characteristics to be longer. The only "pop" moment of this live. Strings and winds arrangements are remarkable also here.

A more intense moment arrives with "Running Hard" one of their best songs ever. A piano intro with some hints of Emerson, probably because Emerson as well as them, is more fascinated by Russians then by west european classic authors. Also here is the bass that helps the piano in joining the other instruments. Great orchestra also here.

The Disc 1 is closed by "Mother Russsia". Again a piano intro, but the music here is full of tension and has effectively a Russian flavour. While I'm writing I think to Prokov'ev, but there may be other authors to mention. This is really a great song, highly dramatic and totally symphonic.

Let's now go to the two epics of disc 2: "Sheherazade" is introduced by at least five minutes of talking, just to introduce the story and the characters from the 1001 nights. The music starts from a remind of the Rimsky-Korsakov suite, but quickly takes its own way. This is not a re-arrangement of a classical piece. It's a totally different piece based on the same story that includes a mention to the author who has been the furst to put it in music. Nothing to do with the excellent arrangement of Collegium Musicum on Konvergencie.

The last epic, "Ashes are burning", from the omonimous albums is my favourite as it contains my favourite bass solo ever. Not because it's the best solo technically speaking. I think it's the most "Progressive". Annie Haslam makes a great vocal work here, specially in the final when she shows how high and powerful her pitch can be. The orchestra is fantastic, as on the previous track, and if you compare this version with the studio you'll understand why the electric guitar solo has been removed.

Just the last two tracks are enough to make it a masterpiece. It's in my personal top 10 since when I purchased it about 30 years ago, and still the only live. It has an absolute value so I don't hesitate in rating it five stars

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#300663) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 27, 2010

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars An excellent double-live offering, 'Live At The Carnegie Hall' captures Renaissance at their very peak, playing to a large, enthusiastic audience just a few months before the release of their seminal 'Scheherazade And Other Stories' album in 1975. Featuring the group's classic line-up of Annie Haslam(vocals), Jon Camp(bass), Michael Dunford(guitar), Terry Sullivan(drums) and Jon Tout(keyboards, piano), Renaissance present a virtually faultless set, with Haslam's beautiful five-octave voice and Tout's vibrant keyboards illuminating great tracks such as 'Ocean Gypsy' and 'Mother Russia'. However, it is on the album's second-half that the group truly come alive, with the lengthy 'Ashes Are Burning'(from the album of the same name) topping things off nicely after a sparkling rendition of the 23-minute-long 'Scheherazade' which, once again, proves just how well Renaissance's brand of classically-infused symphonic rock(just imagine Mozart jamming with Italy's PFM) works in the live arena. Possibly their best release, 'Live At The Carnegie Hall' is a hugely-impressive album. Those with a taste for Yes, Greenslade, Rare Bird, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso and ELP's calmer moments should be more than satisfied. Fans of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath may not. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#304160) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars RENAISSANCE played three nights in a row at Carnegie Hall in New York City in June of 1975. Some of the highlights of this are recorded here on this double album. All but one track comes from three of their most popular albums including "Ashes Are Burning" , "Turn Of The Cards" and the yet to be released (at the time) "Scheherazade And Other Stories".

The opening track is the title track from an earlier record called "Prologue".This was the band at their most popular and this certainly is a highly rated recording for that reason. THE NEW YOK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA is very present throughout this concert as well. And that is a negative for me, i'm just not big on orchestral music although it does work for me at times.The first time I heard this was about five years ago when a friend lent it to me. I thought it was okay at the time but wasn't overly impressed. I borrowed it again last week to spend some more time with it thinking my feeling might have changed after many years. Sadly no but I do like it better than before.

No more than a 3 star recording to my ears, but then this is a band that just has never clicked with me. Not really my style I guess.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#329168) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 21, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Renaissance fans swear by this live album, but personally I find it rather unconvincing. The recording quality isn't what it could be, and for the most part the band don't do anything interesting with their material which they didn't accomplish better in the studio versions. The songs on the first disc sound more or less exactly like their studio equivalents bar for some audience applause, the version of Scheherazade opens with the band taking entirely too long to explain the concept before they commence to play though it. and anyone drooling at the thought of a 20+ minute version of Ashes are Burning should be aware that it includes an absolutely tedious bass solo from Jon Camp.

If you are a major fan of Renaissance and love all the albums the songs here are derived from (Prologue, Ashes are Burning, Turn of the Cards and Scheherazade), you'd probably really enjoy this album, but if you like them that much you don't need a review site to tell you whether or not to pick up a release. For anyone who, likes me, finds them a bit hit-or-miss, it's decent but much less compelling. Three stars.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#544336) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 06, 2011

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars I should like this album more than I do. Well, admittedly I once liked it more than I do now.

The main problem I have with this album is the sound. I never found a CD copy, so I can only base this on the LP version. The engineers do seem to have been able to deal with the acoustics of Carnegie Hall. Everything sounds like it was played in a cavern. And as much as I love Jon Camp's bass performance in this concert, he is mixed too loud, often drowning out the keyboards and drums. And the New York Philharmonic members who played with the band often sound too distant.

That said, the performance captures the band at it's peak, just before "Scheherazade" was released. There are two tracks release in advance of that album, one of which is the side long title piece. Those were one great reason to get the album. The other is an extended, twenty-three minute version of Ashes Are Burning.

I'd have to give this 3.5 stars, but rounded own due to the sound.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#719367) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 09, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars This album is the highlight of symphonic rock in the seventies. When Anne Haslam joined the band things really took off. All the albums since then are great, upto this live registration. I especially like the epic song 'Scheherazade'. The way the song is introduced by an telling the story from ... (read more)

Report this review (#247685) | Posted by Kanda | Sunday, November 01, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I am going to make this short and sweet. I was there for this show. For the person who says they did not show much stage presense you must have not been to one of the shows. Yes I agree when they played live it was almost to perfection. However if you have the album or CD and listen to Ocean Gyp ... (read more)

Report this review (#187394) | Posted by EcRocker | Thursday, October 30, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Live at Carnegie Hall was my first exposure to Renaissance's sound back in the 70's and it sure has come as a big thrill at that time. Can you understand, Ocean Gypsy and say, to round it up that all disk 2 with the long epics Scheherazade and a stunning version of Ashes are burning -i enjoy bet ... (read more)

Report this review (#162785) | Posted by bertolino | Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's funny, while I was passed my Yes, ELP and KC phase with them going on hiatus and buying every fusion album I could find, I never really got into Renaissance until my younger sister bought this album. I was into the more harder edged prog, but I have to say I was impressed by their more hi ... (read more)

Report this review (#113619) | Posted by marktheshark | Monday, February 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Do you want to know, how the mastery of live music looks like? Try this double album. As for perfection in music Renaissance was one of the greatest band ever. This live album prove it. If you want best of, this is also a good choice. The vast majority of great Renaissance songs are performed ... (read more)

Report this review (#103899) | Posted by Hejkal | Thursday, December 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars WOW. Absolutely incredible concert. I had no idea a band could perform this perfectly live. This record is flawless. I've had the vinyl for years, but had never listened to it until today, and man, do I wish I had given it a play earlier. Amazing, amazing stuff. Highly recommended. ... (read more)

Report this review (#88342) | Posted by Zoso | Tuesday, August 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I understand that in 1976, "Frampton Comes Alive" was the best selling live album of the year. This was apparently the 2nd highest selling live release back then. It is a frustrating album that I nonetheless, recommend. Musically, this is a terrific set. The songs presented in this collectio ... (read more)

Report this review (#46010) | Posted by | Thursday, September 08, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Yup..i was there and it was great!! The Ashes are Burning outro was haunting. And these days that lead bass is appreciated even more. Not really a bad song in this record and Scheherazade with the full orchestra is large sounding and beautiful as you could have imagined. ... (read more)

Report this review (#20059) | Posted by | Monday, May 09, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars MAGICAL is the only word I can find for this album. If ever I could have bene there! Renaissance were absolute masters in combining classical music and pop music, illustrating the once-common name "symphonic rock" in a never compassed way. The musicianship is good, albeit not as great as, for ... (read more)

Report this review (#20058) | Posted by Theo Verstrael | Monday, May 09, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What a fantastic piece of symphonic prog rock!!! That's the best Renaissance album - it's no doubt for me and, I see, for the majority of Prog Archives' collaborators... That is true, that the sound should be better, but the music is pittoresque, magically performed , I thought that I'm in hea ... (read more)

Report this review (#20056) | Posted by | Friday, April 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I don't like giving live albums 5 stars, but this may have been the finest live album I eveer heard. I don not have this yet on CD, but to this day still have the original vinyl edition. Before I heard this album, every live album I had ever purchased I found dissapointing because either the ... (read more)

Report this review (#20053) | Posted by rjeffreyr | Tuesday, March 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Probably the best introduction to the band's music, especially if you're like me and appreciate this particular period of their music the most. Annie Haslam is an absolutely stunning vocalist; her tremendous range and operatic vocals get the most press, but she's equally strong singing more u ... (read more)

Report this review (#20052) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the best records in rock history. A selection of great songs that sounds much better than in the studio versions, especially the magical version of "ashes are burnig". Am album you can't live without ... (read more)

Report this review (#20047) | Posted by | Monday, November 10, 2003 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Absolutely GREAT! Very good live performance with full orchestra, all of their best songs. Stunning version of "Scheherazade " and and awesome extended version of "Ashes Are Burning" with a bass solo and Annie showing off her high vocal pitch! ... (read more)

Report this review (#20046) | Posted by | Wednesday, November 05, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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