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RENAISSANCE

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Renaissance picture
Renaissance biography
Founded in 1969 - Disbanded in 1987 - Reformed between 1998-2002 and again since 2009

There were two groups under the banner of RENAISSANCE. The first group included Keith and Jane RELF (vocals) and came from the YARDBIRDS ashes. The second and better known incarnation produced some of the best music that I have ever heard. Annie HASLAM's five octave range fit perfectly with the classical/orchestral rock (lot of piano playing & full symphony orchestra backup) created by the other members. The quick description I usually give is they are sort of like the old MOODY BLUES with a an incredible female vocalist. The soprano voice of Annie and the piano virtuosity of John TOUT allied to the beauty and refreshing melodies, the refinement of the arrangements gave their music its magnificent splendour.

Photo by Brian Tirpak

My favorite RENAISSANCE albums are "Ashes Are Burning" and "Turn of the Cards". I also recommend "Novella", "Scheherezade and Other Stories" and "A Song for All Seasons" are must haves. I would add "Live At Carneige Hall" and "King Biscuit Hour Parts 1 and 2" as their 'prime' material. Plenty to fill a day with class, power and ethereal delights. The best introduction to the band would be the "Tales of 1001 Nights" compilation, which together contain of the band's best material from 72 through 80. Also the very first album from '69 is essential. After 1979, the band moved towards a more pop direction, like many other bands did in the late 70's.

RENAISSANCE Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy RENAISSANCE Music


Symphonic JourneySymphonic Journey
Symphonic Rock Recordings 2018
$19.76
$19.82 (used)
TuscanyTuscany
REPERTOIRE 2011
$7.54
$10.30 (used)
Scheherazade and OtherScheherazade and Other
Repertoire 2007
$9.00
$8.88 (used)
ProloguePrologue
Esoteric 2018
$10.76
$10.77 (used)
Turn of the CardsTurn of the Cards
Repertoire 1994
$8.21
$7.42 (used)
Ashes Are BurningAshes Are Burning
REPERTOIRE 1995
$12.99
$19.50 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
RENAISSANCE DANCE BANDS/Early Music-Morley Consort London MUNROW EMI HQS 1249 LP USD $12.00 Buy It Now
Renaissance-Live At Fillmore West 1970-PROG ROCK-NEW LP USD $35.00 Buy It Now
Renaissance Masters series 4 - Revelation Nick Warren & Danny Howells, - 2 x CD USD $5.78 Buy It Now
Frontiers Yousef & Behrouz RENAISSANCE 2XCD NEW & SEALED USD $9.63 Buy It Now
GOMBERT LP «Missa Da Pacem - Renaissance Motets» CAPELLA CORDINA Venitian Lyr USD $12.00 [0 bids]
Revolution Renaissance / Age of Aquarius JAPAN+1 Stratovarius Timo Tolkki *P USD $21.24 Buy It Now
Gary Motley - Renaissance- a Tribute to Oscar Peterson [New CD] USD $19.88 Buy It Now
Alan Rinehart-Renaissance Masters and Latin Romantics CD NEW USD $15.19 Buy It Now
C. Dillon-El-Moorish Renaissance CD NEW USD $7.03 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE OF THE CELTIC HARP Philips LP ALAN STIVELL Breton 1971 Folk Classic USD $7.50 Buy It Now
ALAN STIVELL renaissance of the celtic harp 1970s UK PHILIPS 6414 406 VINYL LP USD $8.97 Buy It Now
Renaissance - The Sunday Times Music Collection (CD Album) Used very good USD $2.57 Buy It Now
ALAN STIVELL, RENAISSANCE DE LA HARPE CELTIQUE - LP USD $5.00 Buy It Now
La Dolce Vita - Music in Renaissance Naples. King's Singers, Tragicomedia. EMI. USD $5.12 [0 bids]
Two Renaissance Dance Bands Vinyl LP Record 1971 HQS 1249 USD $6.42 Buy It Now
MIKE-RENAISSANCE MAN (UK IMPORT) VINYL LP NEW USD $16.74 Buy It Now
AMULANCE "HOLOCAUST" "FEEL THE PAIN" NEW RENAISSANCE METAL PROMO w. INSERT ~HEAR USD $9.50 [4 bids]
Ben Webster At the Renaissance & More MQG Master Quality Gold CD USD $60.00 Buy It Now
Renaissance Renaissance LP 1969 US Original EKS-74068 W/Insert Progressive Rock USD $10.00 [0 bids]
Renaissance Man - Renaissance Man Project NEW CD USD $12.54 Buy It Now
BARRELHOUSE JAZZBAND PLAYS NEW ORLEANS RENAISSANCE LP 1987 JAZZ NEAR MINT VINYL USD $11.38 Buy It Now
Lionel Richie - Renaissance (2001) 14 TRACKS USD $1.27 [0 bids]
?FS?RENAISSANCE?ILLUSION+4?JAPAN MEGA RARE OOP SHM-CD NEW?UICY-20130 USD $32.00 Buy It Now
ANDREW WATTS, ROBERT ALDWINCKLE, - Music Of Portuguese Renaissance - CD - Mint USD $25.95 Buy It Now
STEEL FURY "Lesser of two evils"ORG cd New Renaissance 89,Indestroy USD $169.99 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE Novella 1977 VINYL LP GF Sire 6024 PROG Annie Haslam USD $6.00 Buy It Now
CD: Lamentations de la Renaissance Huelgas Ensemble PAUL VAN NEVEL 2008 HM USD $15.18 Buy It Now
The Renaissance EP [EP] by MxPx (CD, May-2001, Fat Wreck Chords) - Great Punk CD USD $5.97 Buy It Now
(3) CD LOT LIONEL RICHIE--RENAISSANCE--TIME--DONT WANNA LOSE YOU USD $11.99 Buy It Now
Art Department-Renaissance The Mix Collection (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $14.82 Buy It Now
Con Chitarrone: Italian Sonatas from Early Renaissance to Baroque CD NEW USD $15.48 Buy It Now
Renaissance - Novella [New CD] Germany - Import USD $13.20 Buy It Now
P ALAN STIVELL Renaissance Of The Celtic Harp LP Eliz Iza Pontkalleg Gaeltacht USD $7.70 Buy It Now
MIRACLES=RENAISSANCE LP.1973 STMA 8010.UK COPY.WITH SONG SHEET.EXC.COND. USD $8.99 [0 bids]
Renaissance Azure d' Or Record Vinyl LP 1979 USD $8.98 Buy It Now
The Flowering of Renaissance Choral Music - Pro Cantione Antiqua USD $249.86 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE: A Song For All Seasons LP (Germany) Rock & Pop USD $15.00 Buy It Now
Illuminations by Wishbone Ash (CD, Nov-1996, Renaissance Records (USA)) USD $35.99 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE: Turn Of The Cards LP (Japan, lyrics insert, sl cover stain) USD $35.00 Buy It Now
Renaissance Christmas - The Boston Camerata & Spandauer Kantorei - Vox CD USD $2.95 Buy It Now
The Story of Great Music From the Renaissance USD $20.00 Buy It Now
`Dallaire, Helene`-Noel Renaissance CD NEW USD $11.77 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE THE MIX COLLECTION 2 JOHN DIGWEED 3 X CD 1995 SASHA ATLAS OPUS III USD $6.42 [9 bids]
Alan Stivell - Renaissance Of The Celtic Harp (UK Vinyl LP) Near Mint USD $8.97 Buy It Now
Sacred Songs of the Renaissance CD NEW USD $16.68 Buy It Now
MARK SCHULTZ - RENAISSANCE CD (2011) - NEW IN SHRINK WRAP USD $5.95 Buy It Now
Offenbach-Renaissance CD NEW USD $16.07 Buy It Now
BATES-DANCES & CHANSONS OF THE FRENCH RENAISSANCE CD NEW USD $17.04 Buy It Now
Con Chitarrone: Italian Sonatas from Early Renaissance to Baroque CD NEW USD $16.34 Buy It Now
Renaissance Presents Ian Ossia and Nigel Dawson by Ian Ossia (CD, Aug-1998, Ren. USD $11.00 Buy It Now
MIKE-RENAISSANCE MAN (UK IMPORT) VINYL LP NEW USD $18.02 Buy It Now 5s
harp music of the italian renaissance andrew lawerence -king arpa doppia cassett USD $8.57 Buy It Now 13m 7s
SASHA LIVE VOL. 1 - RARE 1993/94 CD THE ECLIPSE - RENAISSANCE MIX COLLECTION FAN USD $12.84 [0 bids]
17m 49s
Wind Riders The Renaissance Of The Native American Flute + Native Spirit Two CDs USD $17.50 Buy It Now 18m 59s
Geistliche Vokalmusik Der Renaissance CD NEW USD $6.08 Buy It Now 24m 17s
JAYE CONSORT : An Elizabethan Evening - PRT 1982 UK LP, Renaissance/Madrigals USD $3.20 Buy It Now 24m 50s
Renaissance by Soweto String Quartet USD $5.00 Buy It Now 33m 48s
Renaissance and Baroque Organ Music (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $7.41 Buy It Now 44m 33s
Nazim Rashid & New Renaissance-Remembrance CD NEW USD $18.22 Buy It Now 1h
Blue Heron Renaissance Choi...-Motets, Hymns, Chansons, Sanct CD NEW USD $15.48 Buy It Now 1h
KnightSong-A Renaissance Christmas CD NEW USD $17.79 Buy It Now 1h
Headkrack-The Second Renaissance CD NEW USD $16.85 Buy It Now 1h
SINNERS & SAINTS - THE ULTIMATE MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MUSIC COLLECTION USED - USD $10.58 Buy It Now 1h 10m
Renaissance and Baroque on the Pan Flute by Claude Gervaise, Francois Dieupart, USD $80.10 Buy It Now 1h 21m
Renaissance Noel by Various Artists USD $11.73 Buy It Now 1h 21m
RENAISSANCE RADIO USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $15.79 Buy It Now 1h 25m
Cobra - Help / Stepz 7" VG+ Vinyl 45 2004 Renaissance Records Jamaica USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1h 49m
BLACK RENAISSANCE BODY MIND AND SPIRIT / LUV N HAIGHT REISSUE USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1h 49m
RENAISSANCE Novella SA 7526 KEV LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG++ GF Sleeve USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1h 52m
PROMO WHITE LABEL / RENAISSANCE ASHES ARE BURNING / JAPAN USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1h 59m
New Era by Revolution Renaissance ( STRATOVARIUS MEMBERS) CD USD $9.88 Buy It Now 2h
RENAISSANCE-8CD Set-Azure D`Or/Tuscany/Ocean Gypsy/The Other Woman/Camera/Sun USD $74.49 Buy It Now 2h 6m
OH FLANDERS FREE: FLEMISH RENAISSANCE MUSIC CD NEW USD $12.38 Buy It Now 2h 6m
Renaissance: 20 Crucial Tracks Comp Aswad 1988 Vinyl 15296 USD $8.82 Buy It Now 2h 6m
Larry Keith-Renaissance Man CD NEW USD $12.90 Buy It Now 2h 6m
Renaissance: 20 Crucial Tracks Comp (Aswad - 1988) SMR 866 (ID:15296) USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2h 7m
VANILLA FUDGE "RENAISSANCE" LP 1968 1ST PRESS PSYCHEDELIC SEASON OF THE WITCH USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2h 14m
RENAISSANCE LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL PROG ROCK DOUBLE LP 1976 SIRE GATEFOLD NM USD $24.00 Buy It Now 2h 15m
Mint- Renaissance Carnegie Hall Live Sire Records 2 LP Record set USD $19.99 [0 bids]
2h 17m
English Music for a Renaissance Band, New Music USD $14.02 Buy It Now 2h 20m
Piffaro; Renaissance Band-Waytes: English Music For A Re CD NEW USD $16.34 Buy It Now 2h 20m
RENAISSANCE northern lights 7" VINYL RECORD K 17177 USD $0.77 [0 bids]
2h 24m
ECVM ~ Circuit Breaker [ SHINICHI ] DeepDish Dubfire RENAISSANCE autoKat USD $5.12 [0 bids]
2h 29m
RENAISSANCE LIVE / 2LP GATEFOLD COVER / MINT VINYLS USD $49.99 Buy It Now 2h 32m
Citadel by Starcastle (CD, Jan-1997, Renaissance Records (USA) PROG USD $7.99 [0 bids]
2h 42m
James Zabiela - Renaissance Master Series (Incl. 2 Bonus Trac (CD Used Like New) USD $12.01 Buy It Now 2h 42m
Fountains of Light by Starcastle (CD, Jan-1997, Renaissance Records (USA) PROG USD $7.99 [0 bids]
2h 42m
MIKE - Renaissance Man - Vinyl (180 gram vinyl LP) USD $19.06 Buy It Now 2h 43m
MIKE - Renaissance Man - CD USD $15.07 Buy It Now 2h 43m
`Britten, Mark`-`Britten, Mark - Celtic Renaissance` CD NEW USD $13.61 Buy It Now 3h 30m
Association - Renaissance Deluxe Expanded Mono Edition (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.30 Buy It Now 3h 32m
CLEMENCIC TRIO-Les Plaisirs De La Renaissance (1976) HARMONIA MUNDI France LP USD $8.49 Buy It Now 3h 35m
Renaissance Portugal: Sacred Music of Cardoso and Lobo by The Sixteen, Harry Ch USD $7.96 Buy It Now 3h 51m
VILLAGE PEOPLE RENAISSANCE VINYL LP AUSTRALIA USD $10.24 Buy It Now 3h 57m
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RENAISSANCE Turn Of The Cards LP NM Vinyl Annie Haslam 1974 Prog USD $4.99 [0 bids]
4h 19m
Akercocke - Renaissance In Extremis [CD] USD $14.69 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Renaissance - Scheherazade & Other [New CD] USD $12.73 Buy It Now 4h 34m
DAVE SEAMAN - Renaissance America - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $32.95 Buy It Now 4h 34m
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RENAISSANCE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RENAISSANCE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 322 ratings
Renaissance
1969
3.07 | 234 ratings
Illusion
1971
3.71 | 407 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.22 | 669 ratings
Ashes Are Burning
1973
4.08 | 587 ratings
Turn Of The Cards
1974
4.31 | 1105 ratings
Scheherazade And Other Stories
1975
3.73 | 365 ratings
Novella
1977
3.66 | 331 ratings
A Song For All Seasons
1978
3.01 | 194 ratings
Azure D'Or
1979
2.41 | 120 ratings
Camera Camera
1981
1.62 | 108 ratings
Time-Line
1983
2.12 | 68 ratings
The Other Woman
1995
2.87 | 56 ratings
Ocean Gypsy
1997
2.15 | 60 ratings
Songs From Renaissance Days
1997
3.02 | 100 ratings
Tuscany
2000
3.26 | 122 ratings
Grandine Il Vento [Aka: Symphony Of Light]
2013

RENAISSANCE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.26 | 215 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall
1976
3.81 | 57 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 1
1997
3.70 | 54 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2
1997
3.85 | 26 ratings
BBC Sessions
1999
4.07 | 13 ratings
Day of the Dreamer
2000
2.42 | 12 ratings
Unplugged - Live at The Academy of Music, Philadelphia USA
2000
3.14 | 14 ratings
Can You Hear Me
2001
3.31 | 12 ratings
Mother Russia
2002
3.92 | 12 ratings
Live + Direct
2002
3.51 | 40 ratings
In The Land Of The Rising Sun
2002
3.15 | 13 ratings
British Tour '76
2006
3.17 | 14 ratings
Dreams & Omens
2008
4.15 | 29 ratings
Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert
2011
3.92 | 3 ratings
Past Orbits Of Dust: Live 1969/1970
2012
3.21 | 19 ratings
DeLane Lea Studios 1973
2015
3.86 | 14 ratings
Academy Of Music 1974
2015
3.29 | 9 ratings
A Symphonic Journey
2018

RENAISSANCE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.89 | 22 ratings
Song of Scheherazade
2008
3.97 | 13 ratings
Kings And Queens
2010
4.40 | 10 ratings
Live at the Union Chapel
2016
3.91 | 4 ratings
Live at the BBC Sight & Sound
2016

RENAISSANCE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.57 | 13 ratings
In the Beginning
1978
4.00 | 3 ratings
Rock Galaxy
1980
3.45 | 31 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 1
1990
3.21 | 30 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 2
1990
3.46 | 17 ratings
Da Capo
1995
2.53 | 5 ratings
Innocence
1998
2.57 | 4 ratings
Trip To The Fair
1998
3.83 | 3 ratings
Songs For All Seasons
2002
4.00 | 2 ratings
Heritage
2003
2.00 | 4 ratings
Midas Man
2003

RENAISSANCE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Island
1970
5.00 | 1 ratings
Prologue
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Carpet of the Sun
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mother Russia
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Back Home Once Again
1977
4.00 | 1 ratings
Midas Man
1977
3.33 | 3 ratings
Northern Lights
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jekyll and Hyde
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Winter Tree / Island of Avalon
1979
1.25 | 8 ratings
Faeries (Living At The Bottom Of My Garden)
1981
3.55 | 16 ratings
The Mystic And The Muse
2010

RENAISSANCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Island by RENAISSANCE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1970
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Island
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

— First review of this album —
2 stars The first sounds of the sea

The first single by Renaissance, released in 1970. The A-side is an edited version of the song Island taken from the band's superb self-titled debut album, and the B-side is a non-album track called The Sea. Both tracks have been included as bonus tracks on some CD re-issues of the debut album.

The single edit of Island is just over three and a half minutes long, while the original album version is six minutes long. The edit simply fades out, just before the interesting instrumental part - so, at least for me, it is clear that the longer album version is far superior.

The Sea is a nice little song that was perhaps an inspiration for the similarly titled Sounds of the Sea on Prologue, by the later line-up of Renaissance. It is considerably less adventurous compared to the tracks that made up the album, but it works well enough as a single B-side.

 A Symphonic Journey by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2018
3.29 | 9 ratings

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A Symphonic Journey
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

3 stars This was recorded and filmed in 2017 at Keswick Theatre, Philadelphia, finally put together to a DVD/2CD set. 'A Symphonic Journey' marks a highly professional performance by Annie Haslam & Co., which here also includes the Renaissance Chamber Orchestra. This will feature additional strings, woodwind, brass and percussion. A real advantage concering all the songs which already included orchestral instruments on the original studio recordings. Burden or benefit, as I'm in the position to compare? For some reason it's not exactly the same feeling anymore. Have seen the band live decades ago, reminding me of some really really special magic, with Annie visually and vocally appearing like an impressive angel.

Now, when speaking of the most successfull mid 1970s line up, also including Michael Dunford, Jon Camp, John Trout and Terrence Sullivan, she's the sole remaining member on the stage on this occasion. Her voice is still exceptional, not that crystal clear anymore, but who seriously should wonder or even complain about that? And it may not be a surprise, that the majority of the played songs originally has been recorded by those aforementioned band members. Ashes Are Burning and the orchestrated Mother Russia are still outstanding here. Very good performance, while considering that I do not have the DVD at hand. Not necessarily essential for me, for others though it may be so. 3.5 stars.

 Midas Man by RENAISSANCE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1977
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Midas Man
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars After a year of no new studio material from Renaissance (only the double album Live at Carnegie Hall came out in 1976), 1977 saw the release of Novella, which I definitely count among the group's finest achievements. Sadly some critics don't agree at all, for example All Music Guide's Bruce Eder rates Novella strangely with two stars only. That beautiful album contains lengthy symphonic epics 'Can You Hear Me?' and 'Touching Once (Is So Hard to Keep)' and three shorter tracks, the whole leaning towards introspective and melancholic feeling which may put some listeners off. This single has two shortest songs from Novella, but they are nevertheless very representative of the album's overall atmosphere. It must be quite rare to have a single with both songs this firmly in minor key.

'Midas Man' sees Annie Haslam in a very central role while the acoustic guitar oriented arrangement is kept rather simple. The deeply melancholic and moving song about greed makes me imagine a Renaissance-era group performing in a Medieval church.

B-side's song 'The Captive Heart' is coloured by classically flavoured, decorative melodies of piano. Haslam's gorgeous voice is again the true star of the song, with excellent vocal harmonies in the chorus. While this song is slightly more light-hearted and brighter than 'Midas Man', also it has a deeply melancholic undertone. It's very understandable that not all Renaissance fans value such minor key intimacy so highly, but I love these songs as much as I love Novella as an album.

 Live at the Union Chapel by RENAISSANCE album cover DVD/Video, 2016
4.40 | 10 ratings

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Live at the Union Chapel
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Still burning

Renaissance was never among my favourite groups, being a bit too meek and lacking in Rock substance for my tastes. They are somewhat more meaty in the live setting however, compared to the studio. This fact together with keyboarder Tom Brislin's involvement was what drew me to check out Live at the Union Chapel. I previously knew Brislin from the Symphonic Yes DVD, as well as Camel's The Opening Farewell DVD. And having played with both Yes and Camel - two of my all-time favorite bands - I was curious to hear what Brislin could do for Renaissance. I was not disappointed, Brislin plays very well indeed, sharing keyboard duties here with Rave Tesar. The latter concentrates mainly on piano, leaving Brislin to focus more on synths; he even throws in a rousing solo in Ashes Are Burning.

The rest of the band consist of Mark Lambert on acoustic guitar, Leo Traversa on bass guitar, Frank Pagano on drums, and of course Annie Haslam on vocals. Despite the fact that Haslam herself is the only member with a long history with the band, they do a very good job to reproduce the classic songs in this intimate live setting. Personally, I like best the opening instrumental Prologue, the epic Symphony of Light, and Ashes are Burning.

A high quality performance, and one of the best I've heard from Renaissance

 Azure D'Or by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.01 | 194 ratings

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Azure D'Or
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nș 173

'Azure D'Or' is the ninth studio album of Renaissance and was released in 1979. This was the first album where the band stopped using an orchestra, the first album where the band exclusively features short songs and where the long epic pieces were gone and it was also the first album with the only full instrumental song ever released by the group.

The line up of the album is the same of their last previous studio albums. So, the line up on 'Azure D'Or' is Annie Haslam (lead and backing vocals), Michael Dunford (guitars), John Tout (keyboards), Jon Camp (vocals, backing vocals, guitars and bass) and Terence Sullivan (backing vocals, drums and percussion). However, this was the last album to feature this line up. John Tout who was dealing with some personal problems due to the death of his sister left the band and Terry Sullivan, long time friend of John Tout, also left the band as well, by a principle of solidarity.

'Azure D'Or' has ten tracks. The first track 'Jekyll And Hyde' written by Betty Thatcher and Michael Dunford is a good song to open the album. Annie Haslam's voice sounds as good as ever, and despite the new rhythm, more pop than was usual, it remains an unmistakable Renaissance's song, as fresh and cool, as always it was. The second track 'The Winter Tree' written by Betty Thatcher and Michael Dunford is a great example of a good pop music with excellent musical composition. It combines a nice acoustic guitar work with a beautiful keyboard working. It isn't as good as the previous song, but it's still a good song. The third track 'Only Angels Have Wings' written by Jon Camp is a different track from the previous, especially because it has the male voice of Jon Camp. It's a song with excellent orchestration and a great keyboard working. We may say that this is a typical symphonic track, very interesting and pleasant to hear, which curiously hasn't any drumming work. The fourth track 'Golden Key' written by Betty Thatcher and Michael Dunford is an excellent track and it's probably my favourite track on the album. It's a wonderful song, probably the best musical composition on the album, and it's also probably, the most progressive track on it. This is a great melodic song with an absolute irreproachable orchestration, completely in the same vein of some of the best songs composed for their previous great studio albums. The fifth track 'Forever Changing' written by Betty Thatcher and Terry Sullivan represents another good musical moment on the album and represents also another highlight on it. This is another great melodic song with a memorable melody and where, once more, we are in presence of a fantastic vocal performance and a great acoustic guitar working. The sixth track 'Secret Mission' written by Jon Camp is another good song where all the musical elements, combined together, turned this song complex enough, to can be called a good progressive song, really. Once more the vocal performance of Annie Haslam is great and the keyboard work of John Tout is also, and once more, absolutely remarkable. No doubt about it. The seventh track 'Kalynda (A Magical Isle)' written by Jon Camp is a nice melodic song full of emotions. It has another great and perfect acoustic guitar working. Once more the vocal performance of Annie Haslam deserves a special mention. It's a very beautiful and simple song and although it can't be considered one of the most progressives on the album. The final result is another catchy and pleasant song to hear. The eighth track 'The Discovery' written by Jon Camp is a rare instrumental track for the band, the only composed on the album. Sincerely and despite being a very simple and vulgar instrumental song, I consider it a delightful and very interesting track, with great orchestration and with a classical touch. The ninth track 'Friends' written by Betty Thatcher and Michael Dunford is another beautiful and melodic song. It's true that it's another very simple song, in terms of musical composition, and a little bit repetitive. But, once more, the final result is sufficiently catchy, nice, pleasant and enjoyable to hear. The tenth and last track 'The Flood At Lyons' written by Jon Camp and Michael Dunford was the song chosen to close the album. This is another good song that brings us the same mood and musical arrangements of their best good old times. Once again the vocal working of Annie Haslam is absolutely great and contributes powerfully to turn this song into a great musical moment and ending this album magnificently.

Conclusion: Despite 'Azure D'Or' be the weakest musical work released by Renaissance in the 70's, it remains, for me, a good album. It's true that it's a more commercially oriented album only with short songs, but in general, we can say that it's a very pleasant and nice musical proposal to hear, nothing disastrous and sufficiently good to be considered still a classic Renaissance's album, a minor classic it's true, but nevertheless, it's still a classic album from them. If you don't know Renaissance's music yet, you may like 'Azure D'Or'. I even sincerely think that even who knows their best albums shouldn't be disappointed with it, because it isn't as bad as some think. However, I wouldn't advise you to start with it. My advice is to start with 'Ashes Are Burning', 'Turn Of The Cards' or 'Scheherazade And Other Stories'. Their compilation album 'De Capo' is also another great proposal to start with this great 70's band.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 A Song For All Seasons by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.66 | 331 ratings

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A Song For All Seasons
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nș 172

"A Song For All Seasons" is the eighth studio album of Renaissance and was released in 1978. It marked the return of the electric guitars to the band's music after several years of absence. Like happened on "Novella", the line up is the same. So, the line up on the album is Annie Haslam (lead and backing vocals), Michael Dunford (guitars), John Tout (keyboards), Jon Camp (vocals, backing vocals and bass) and Terence Sullivan (drums and percussion).

Renaissance had deeper roots in the classical tradition than did most of the other progressive acts, often incorporating lesser known late romantic, (and beyond), motifs into their recorded workings. Such ties may have helped them to remain true to their musical commitments at a time when many other progressive bands were collapsing artistically, somehow. However, "A Song For All Seasons" was Renaissance's last album to have a real progressive feeling.

"A song For All Seasons" has eight tracks. The first track "Opening Out" written by Michael Dunford and Jon Camp is, in a certain way, a strange song. It's a very beautiful and melodic song that has everything to be an epic song, but due to a mysterious and surprising motif, doesn't develop and ends somewhat in an abrupt way. However and despite that, we are in the presence of a great track. The second track "Day Of The Dreamer" written by Michael Dunford and Jon Camp follow the steps and the style of their greatest predecessors songs. This is clearly a very good progressive track with several musical changes, all over the song, with some great musical moments. It's probably not fresh and enough inspired as other great epic songs composed by them, but in its essence, it keeps the excellence of Renaissance's music. The third track "Closer Than Yesterday" written by Michael Dunford and Jon Camp is a very brief song and is also one of the shortest songs on the album. This is a song with a very simple musical structure, very nice and pleasant to hear. It's a typical acoustic ballad especially composed for the duo Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford with a lush orchestration on the back. It's a simple but a nice song, too. The fourth track "Kindness (At The End)" written by Jon Camp is an excellent song that at some times reminds me strongly the music of Barclay James Harvest. It's a very good song with good bass line by Jon Camp, great classical piano by John Tout and where the excellent performance of John Tout marry perfectly well with the voice of Annie Haslam. The fifth track "Back Home Once Again" written by Michael Dunford and Jon Camp is with "Closer Than Yesterday" one of the smallest songs on the album, and because of its musical structure, it has a more commercial sound. It's a nice song but it represents one of the weakest songs on the album. And because of that we wouldn't rank it among the finest songs on their musical catalogue. The sixth track "She Is Love" written by Betty Thatcher and Michael Dunford is another weak point of the album and represents probably the weakest song on it. We can't say this it's a bad song but, in a certain way, the song doesn't catch, and the only thing I can say is that they should have been kept this song out of this album, perhaps. A totally incomprehensive decision made by them, I think. The seventh track "Northern Lights" written by Betty Thatcher and Michael Dunford is another beautiful and catchy song on the album. It's true that is 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 hear it. The eighth track "A Song For All Seasons" is the title track and was written by Betty Thatcher, Michael Dunford, Jon Camp, John Tout and Terry Sullivan. This is the epic and pompous track on the album, but unfortunately, it represents also the last great Renaissance's symphonic progressive epic. The title track is a truly progressive song full of pure joy, melody, sweetness and grandiosity, and once more, the vocal performance of Annie Haslam is absolutely irreproachable. This song proves the grandiosity of this great band and closes this album with a golden key.

Conclusion: "A Song For All Seasons" is a great album but is also the last great Renaissance's album. In a world with The Sex Pistols and The Clash, there is no space for the progressive music of bands like Renaissance, Genesis and Gentle Giant, for instance. Those bands needed to be more commercial. Renaissance and Genesis did it with some success, or they would to have an end, which is the case of Gentle Giant. "A Song For All Seasons" was produced by Genesis' producer David Hentschel and he did an excellent job. I can see a certain parallelism between Renaissance and Genesis. Both bands belong to the same symphonic prog sub-genre, 1978 is the year of "A Song For All Seasons" and is also the year of "And Then There Were Three?", and both albums were produced by Hentschel. Finally, both albums are, in my humble opinion, the last great studio albums released by them. 1978 was also the year of Gentle Giant's tenth studio album, "Giant For A Day". However, while "A Song For All Seasons" and "And Then There Were Three?" are great works, "Giant For A Day" is a complete fiasco and represents Gentle Giant's worse musical working.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Novella by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.73 | 365 ratings

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Novella
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nș 171

"Novella" is the seventh studio album of Renaissance and was released in 1977. When we talk about the years of 1976 and 1977 we mustn't forget the arising of the punk movement. Those were times of great turbulence for all the progressive rock music. Renaissance was able to manage and to last longer, than most of the other progressive rock bands, before beginning their period of musical decline. During the period of 1977 and 1978, when bands such as Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant and Emerson, Lake & Palmer fell part way or whole way into pop mediocrity, Renaissance managed to come up with a great album "Novella", in 1977 and one very good album "A Song For All Seasons", in 1978.

The line up on "Novella" is Annie Haslam (lead and backing vocals), Michael Dunford (backing vocals and acoustic guitars), John Tout (backing vocals and keyboards), Jon Camp (vocals, backing vocals and bass) and Terence Sullivan (backing vocals, drums and percussion). The album has also the participation of Richard Hewson.

"Novella" has five tracks. The first track "Can You Hear Me?" written by Betty Thatcher, Michael Dunford and Jon Camp is an excellent song to open the album. It's a kind of a mini epic track extremely well performed especially by John Tout's piano and Michael Dunford's acoustic guitar, and once more the beautiful voice of Annie Haslam is absolutely perfect. The musical arrangements, which consist mostly of instrumental parts, are superb, and the addition of the orchestral arrangements is fantastic and complete perfectly well this piece of music. The final result of this fantastic work is a great progressive track. The second track "The Sisters" written by Betty Thatcher, Michael Dunford and John Tout is a soft orchestrated ballad with a very melancholic feeling and with a superb angelical vocal work by Annie Haslam with a great dramatic interpretation, very well supported by a nice choral work. It's a very beautiful song with a very special Spanish touch done by the performance of Michael Dunford on his acoustic guitar. Musically, it's a very simple track but with an extremely beautiful melody and where the gorgeous voice of Annie Haslam shines brilliantly in all its magnificence. This isn't a typical song of Renaissance, because in reality, this is very distinct to everything the band had done before, but it works perfectly well and once more we are in presence of a great Renaissance's song. The third track "Midas Man" written by Betty Thatcher and Michael Dunford is a beautiful classical track with a folky touch. It's mostly an acoustic song very well performed and with nice musical final result. This is mostly a song performed by the acoustic 12 string guitar of Michael Dunford and where we can hear, in some parts, the sound of the tubular bells. Because is essentially a repetitive song is considered by many a boring song. However, I think that is perfectly unfair because it has a very good musical arrangement which can be perfectly audible on any good audio system. The fourth track "The Captive Heart" written by Michael Dunford and Jon Camp is another beautiful track of Renaissance and represents, in my humble opinion, one the most beautiful songs made by them and where the voice of Annie Haslam is absolutely superb and unforgettable. It's a track with wonderful piano work with a classical style introduction. The main components of this song are the piano of John Tout and the voice of Annie Haslam supported by male voices on the back. This is a typical Renaissance's song strongly influenced by classical music and with a very nice touch of folk music. This track represents how a song composed with a simple musical structure can be as superb as it is. Only few bands can do that, and Renaissance is for sure one of them. The fifth and last track "Touching Once (Is So Hard To Keep)" written by Michael Dunford and Jon Camp can be considered the epic track on the album. It retakes the style of the opening track, a long symphonic suite, very classical and with great orchestration. This is another excellent song once more with great accentuation in the style of the voice of Annie Haslam. This is a very progressive track with several musical changes all over the song and where we can listen to, the sound of a saxophone. The main beauty of this song is on its nice melody and also on its superb orchestral arrangements. This is another great progressive track.

Conclusion: Despite "Novella" isn't as good as "Prologue", "Ashes Are Burning", "Turn Of The Cards" and especially "Scheherazade And Other Stories", it's without any doubt, a great album. At least it's at the same quality level of their first two studio releases, "Renaissance" and "Illusion". However, we mustn't forget that "Novella" was released in 1977, at the height of the punk movement. That movement would have, in a short time, disastrous consequences in Renaissance, as happened with Genesis, Gentle Giant and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, for instance. "Novella" can be considered the beginning of the end of an era in Renaissance's music. "Novella" can be also considered, perhaps, the last great studio album of Renaissance and also the last truly progressive album released by the group. Unfortunately, soon another great progressive band would be defeated by the immediate commercial interests of the record labels.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Academy Of Music 1974 by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2015
3.86 | 14 ratings

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Academy Of Music 1974
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Kingsnake

3 stars This live album is rather good sounding. Mostly live-recordings salvaged from the beginning of the seventies have a terrible bootleg-quality.

Mostly when it was recorded for radio, the quality is much better. I don't know the history of this live album, but it sounds good. Although there's a lot of audience talking throughout the recording. Wich is rather annoying. So apart from playing the album as a novelty, I won't come back to this album rather often.

The tracklist isn't really suprising, the band play their stand-out tracks. Because the band wasn't a singles-band, they could just go on and play their 10+ minute epics. Annie is of course outstanding, but that is no suprise. The rest of the band is really tight, and one of the tightest progbands from that era.

Anway, because I'm a fan, I'm rather happy listening to it, but I cannot imagine other music-lovers to have an interest. So I recommend this one to Renaissance-fans and not so much to other listeners.

 British Tour '76 by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2006
3.15 | 13 ratings

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British Tour '76
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

3 stars With the advent of 2015's "legal bootlegs" of off air Renaissance concerts coming to light, its good see at least one former radio broadcast from Renaissance that is licensed by surviving member. In this case its Annie Haslam's White Dove organisation. While this, like many taped Renaissance performances of the era, are stellar concerts, this one is sonically a bit hard on the old eardrums. While the band sounds full and has good presence, Annie's singing sounds a shrill and tinny which was usual for the EQing for a radio broadcast but seems a bit over the top this time around. However, the band is note perfect as is Annie but there's little variation in the song arrangements to be found on this recording except for added vocals by bassist Jon Camp and guitarist Michael Dunford on "Prologue" that adds little to the song as compared to it's studio version. There is no orchestral accompaniment for this concert and the longer epic songs do suffer. However, Annie goes full ballastic on another show stopping version on the great concert closer "Ashes Are Burning". Two stars as more exciting radio broadcasts are available from this band's great era.
 A Song For All Seasons by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.66 | 331 ratings

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A Song For All Seasons
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

5 stars Just like you're favorite friends, sometimes you're favorite albums have their faults. That doesn't make them any less great or enjoyable, you love them just the same. A Song For All Seasons was both a blessing and a curse for Renaissance in that it help to bring them to a somewhat wider audience, but having thrown out all the stops to do, I feel that it left the band with clear direction forward. More on that at the conclusion of the review.

First off, the music. ASFAS sticks with the band's penchant for orchestra and band epics such as the sublime "Opening Out", "Day Of The Dreamer', and the album's breathtaking title track, along with lesser short songs that are their want such as "Closer Than Yesterday" and "Back Home Once Again' and fiery Kindness (At The End). The epics are all stellar but the lyrics were mostly written by uber bassist Jon Camp, instead of the erstwhile Betty Thatcher for this batch of songs. Thatcher is still in the catbird seat for the album's highlight songs, the UK hit "Northern Lights" and the mystically evocative title track. Now on the production and here is where we run into some faults. To say that the album is overproduced would almost be an understatement as producer David Hentshel throws in everything but the proverbial kitchen sink as well as many sonic tricks like adding long phasing and heavy flanging to the sound mix. This works extremely well for the afore noted epics but absolutely suffocates the quieter more pastoral short songs with Annie Haslam being overdubbed three or more times for "Closer Than Yesterday' and the added 'orchestra on steroids' to "Back Home Once Again". With it's symphonic percussion never out of sight, "Back Home Once Again" closes with tympani blasting out the song's fade out ending.

This was a serious misstep as more stripped down arrangements would have served these less complex songs much better. I can only guess that this heavy production, which worked so well for "Northern Lights" blinded both the producer and the band that more instruments in the sound mix was always better. But the UK hit "Northern Lights" is so magnificent with it's multi tracked vocals, catchy acoustic strumming and driving, almost hypnotic, bass and drums that this goof can really be forgiven them. Even the multi-tracked keys of John Tout shine as he plays fugue like synth notes at the end of the primary verses along with his always gorgeous piano.

Another song that fares well with the album's production is the heavy prog of Camp's "Kindness (At The End)", which really shines as his lyrics, while still dramatic, are more earthy and go over better than his faux poetry of the album's epics. It's one of two songs song by Camp on the album and it gives some much needed variation. And the band does much to carry the weight of the epics and make them immediate and rememberable. Such as Annie's touching and heart rending middle section to "Day Of The Dreamer" as a lesser vocalist would have been drowned out in the the song's thick music mix.

So, where dos that leave us? With a 5 star album (rounded up from 4.5), as any group that can scale the shear granite cliffs of this type of musical overproduction and produce moving, evocative symphonic prog while still turning the spotlight on themselves and their talent truly deserves PA's essential rating. The band is so good that they are almost always served by their orchestral arrangements and rarely the reverse. The only downside I see to A Song For All Seasons is that Renaissance hit a creative climax with this album and it never fails to occur to me that they could not progress musically from this point. I believe that is partially the reason for the band's turn to shorter songs following ASFAS, along with the obvious commercial and business concerns. A Song For All Seasons is Renaissance's grand symphonic farewell and is a monument to both their genius and skill, and is simply a blissful pleasure to listen to.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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