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RENAISSANCE

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Renaissance biography
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.

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.

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Buy RENAISSANCE Music


Academy Of Music 1974Academy Of Music 1974
Cleopatra 2015
Audio CD$13.99
Turn of the CardsTurn of the Cards
Import
Repertoire 1994
Audio CD$5.46
$4.46 (used)
Ashes Are BurningAshes Are Burning
Import
Repertoire 1995
Audio CD$5.86
$7.59 (used)
Scheherazade & Other StoriesScheherazade & Other Stories
Hybrid SACD - DSD
Audio Fidelity 2014
Audio CD$16.09
$18.80 (used)
Symphony of LightSymphony of Light
Red River Entertaint 2014
Audio CD$7.13
$5.85 (used)
Renaissance Live In Concert Tour 2011Renaissance Live In Concert Tour 2011
Box set
MRI 2012
DVD Audio$10.63
$21.99 (used)
ProloguePrologue
Import
Repertoire 1995
Audio CD$5.72
$4.25 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
1974 BTM 1000 ed1 Renaissance: Turn of the Cards. PROG PSYCH, Italian pressing! USD $24.99 [0 bids]
USD $99.99 Buy It Now
2h 12m
Renaissance - Concrete E-town New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Shipping USD $17.36 Buy It Now 2h 20m
Pink Renaissance 3521383429891, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P&H USD $25.24 Buy It Now 3h 13m
Ben Webster - At The Renaissance 1960 CD USD $19.29 Buy It Now 3h 51m
Joel Frederiksen - Elfin Knight-Ballads & Dances From Renaissance Eng CD USD $23.89 Buy It Now 4h 37m
RENAISSANCE - A SONG FOR ALL SEASONS WB 56 460 VINYL LP RECORD USD $6.08 Buy It Now 4h 44m
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New World Renaissance - Live The Legend CD USD $25.39 Buy It Now 4h 50m
THE ASSOCIATION Renaissance UK ORIGINAL 1966 London MONO 1st Issue HAT 8313 EX USD $22.85 [0 bids]
5h 29m
two renaissance dance bands david munrow LP Rare Vinyl USD $1.52 [0 bids]
5h 49m
Doo Wop Renaissance - Vol. 1-Doo Wop Renaissance [CD New] USD $7.53 Buy It Now 5h 56m
Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning CD REPERTOIRE USD $17.89 Buy It Now 6h 19m
RENAISSANCE Northern Lights Ex+ Warner Brothers 1978 UK 7" USD $6.00 Buy It Now 6h 19m
R,MI BOLDUC - RENAISSANCE [R,MI BOLDUC] [CD] [1 DISC] - NEW CD USD $17.88 Buy It Now 6h 32m
Renaissance - Live At The Carnegie Hall [CD New] USD $14.14 Buy It Now 6h 56m
Kerry Livgren: Seeds of Change - CD 1996 Renaissance Records USD $30.00 [0 bids]
6h 57m
OH FLANDERS FREE: FLEMISH RENAISSANCE MUSIC CD NEW USD $10.10 Buy It Now 7h 5m
Herbert Tachezi Orgelmusik Der Renaissance Das Alte Werk Near Mint Condition LP USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning 2006 (NEW CD) USD $14.84 Buy It Now 7h 20m
GUTRIX - MUSHROOM SONGS (NRCD 106) NEW RENAISSANCE LABEL CD USD $25.00 Buy It Now 7h 28m
ELIMOT - A RENAISSANCE WEDDING GIFT: MUSIC FROM THE MEDICI CODEX OF - NEW CD USD $11.59 Buy It Now 7h 36m
The Hilliard Ensemble - The Hilliard Sound - Renaissance Masterpieces (NEW 3CD) USD $22.07 Buy It Now 7h 40m
Eddie Brian Presents A Doo wop Renaissance CD 25 Hits RELIC Original Brand New USD $16.59 Buy It Now 7h 41m
RENAISSANCE-A SONG FOR ALL SEASONS 1978 SIRE RECORDS LP SRK 6049 VG++ USD $4.99 Buy It Now 7h 47m
Renaissance Music from Advent to Christmas Ambrosian L'Oiseau-Lyre vinyl Lp USD $10.65 Buy It Now 8h 17m
Victoria & Palestrina Masters of the renaissance L'Oiseau-Lyre vinyl Lp USD $13.70 Buy It Now 8h 17m
Thousand Years of music Italy renaissance baroque melodiya vinyl classical LP USD $10.65 Buy It Now 8h 18m
RENAISSANCE ORIGINAL 1969 UK LP RENAISSANCE PINK ISLAND LABEL USD $60.92 Buy It Now 8h 35m
RENAISSANCE: THE CLASSICS - NEW CD BOXSET USD $9.99 Buy It Now 8h 44m
I Won't Be Home Tonight by Tony Carey (CD, Jan-2004, Renaissance Records (USA)) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 6m
REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE TRINITY SEALED CD NEW 2010 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 9h 10m
Time Life Classic Rock ~ Rock Renaissance III CD ~ Byrds, Troggs, Cocker, More! USD $4.99 [0 bids]
9h 13m
(EP690) Renaissance Girls, Oh Land - 2013 DJ CD USD $4.55 Buy It Now 9h 23m
Time Life Classic Renaissance III CD Classic 60s 70s MOODY BLUES TROGGS Rare USD $11.99 Buy It Now 9h 36m
BAROQUE 'N' STONES New Renaissance Society Hanna Barbera HBR HLP-8504 Rolling USD $18.95 Buy It Now 9h 37m
RECORDER MUSIC OF RENAISSANCE NM Blockflotenmusik Tye Bull Lupo Brade Ward USD $19.95 Buy It Now 9h 39m
JAMES TYLER Music Of The Renaissance Virtuosi LP Baroque Lute Mandolin /Saga '76 USD $22.85 Buy It Now 9h 55m
Renaissance - Back Home Once Again 7" 1977 Ex Warner K17012 USD $3.79 Buy It Now 10h 17m
Soweto String Quartet Renaissance CD BMG Africa USD $4.55 Buy It Now 10h 27m
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REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE - Age Of Aquarius CD USD $12.99 Buy It Now 10h 37m
RENAISSANCE ASHES ARE BURNING VG+ USD $4.00 Buy It Now 10h 46m
A Golden Treasury of Renaissance Music CD NEW USD $22.84 Buy It Now 10h 48m
Instruments Of The Middle Ages & Renaissance - 2 DISC SET - David (2007, CD New) USD $11.60 Buy It Now 10h 50m
RICOLTA BUBU: MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE MUSIC / VAR NEW CD USD $19.87 Buy It Now 10h 55m
OTHER BROTHERS Precious Memories Pt 1 45 NORTHERN SOUL (RENAISSANCE) 7" VINYL USD $15.22 Buy It Now 10h 57m
RENAISSANCE - ASHES ARE BURNING - VINYL LP w/ORIGINAL PHOTO/LYRIC INNER SLEEVE USD $2.99 [0 bids]
11h 21m
HI-FI PICK: Renaissance - SCHEHERAZADE - Sire SASD-7510 USD $12.99 [0 bids]
11h 31m
Orient & Occident In Spanish Renaissance - Flores De Espana (2013, CD New) USD $15.83 Buy It Now 11h 51m
Century Series - Vol. 9-Songs & Madrigals Of The Renaissance (CD New) USD $12.22 Buy It Now 11h 51m
J.A.A. ALEEM - RENAISSANCE NEW CD USD $23.70 Buy It Now 12h 16m
The Renaissance by Ernest Lee (CD, Jul-2006, Juana) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 12h 30m
Wolgemut - Schauspeluden II (CD,1998) OOP Rare Renaissance Medieval Folk Music USD $22.49 Buy It Now 12h 45m
Wolgemut - danza (CD,2002) OOP Rare Renaissance Medieval Folk Music USD $22.49 Buy It Now 12h 45m
Renaissance Brass Music (CD,1993) Eastman Brass Quintet & Paris Instr. Ensemble USD $22.45 Buy It Now 12h 45m
Annie Haslam Renaissance - Novella 1977 Sire vinyl USD $9.95 Buy It Now 12h 51m
O Lusty May: Renaissance Songs of Spring (CD, Apr-2000, Dorian) USD $5.98 Buy It Now 12h 52m
Collectus Interruptus 2Lp Set Manfred Mann/The Band/Renaissance/Etta James USD $3.99 [0 bids]
12h 57m
Rugged Intellect - Renaissance Music: The Introduction [PA] (CD) USD $7.49 Buy It Now 13h
Renaissance "A Song For All Seasons" CD 1978 Sire Records Japan USD $30.00 Buy It Now 13h 2m
ALAN STIVELL Renaissance of the Celtic Harp USD $12.19 Buy It Now 13h 4m
CENTURY 9: CHANSONS & MADRIGALS OF THE RENAISSANCE NEW CD USD $17.02 Buy It Now 13h 7m
Renaissance: A Song for All Seasons ~ Excellent CD (2001, Wounded Bird Records) USD $29.95 Buy It Now 13h 8m
From the Vaults by Prism (CD, Aug-1997, Renaissance Records (USA)) USD $13.00 Buy It Now 13h 9m
Rock Renaissance III USD $0.99 [0 bids]
13h 14m
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DAVID MUNROW - INSTRUMENTS DU MOYEN-AGE ET DE LA RENAISSANCE NEW CD USD $19.24 Buy It Now 13h 36m
WORKS FOR GUITAR FROM RENAISSANCE TO BAROQUE Pepe Romero *WHITE LABEL* USD $12.19 Buy It Now 13h 37m
Spanish Music of the Renaissance New York Pro Musica Greenberg DECCA DL 9409 USD $19.95 Buy It Now 13h 39m
Scrom (Argentina) Renaissance CD USD $6.75 Buy It Now 13h 50m
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RENAISSANCE a song for all seasons K 56460 uk warner LP PS EX/EX with inner USD $15.22 Buy It Now 14h 14m
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Dream Death- Journey Into Mystery- Very Rare Numbered New Renaissance USD $49.99 Buy It Now 14h 26m
Flores De Espana - Orient & Occident In Spanish Renaissance [CD New] USD $14.59 Buy It Now 14h 32m
Renaissance 1978 Sire 45rpm Northern Lights Long & Short Versions USD $5.40 Buy It Now 14h 48m
Time line [Import] [Audio CD] Renaissance USD $30.76 Buy It Now 14h 58m
Seraphim Guide To Renaissance Classical Music 3 Lp box set & book Kees Otten NM USD $8.99 Buy It Now 15h
MARCUS MILLER**RENAISSANCE**CD USD $11.95 Buy It Now 15h 25m
AURORA JULIANA ARIEL - RENAISSANCE OF GRACE NEW CD USD $18.29 Buy It Now 15h 47m
TIME LIFE CD..ROCK RENAISSANCE III CLASSIC ROCK USD $29.99 Buy It Now 15h 48m
RENAISSANCE - THE DEATH OF ART- CASSETTE USD $20.99 Buy It Now 15h 53m
RENAISSANCE- A Song For All Seasons CD (1996) 70s Folk-Rock/Prog from 1978 USD $7.22 Buy It Now 15h 55m
KLEZMER CONSERVATORY BAND: Yiddishe Renaissance (international vinyl LP) USD $20.00 Buy It Now 16h 15m
Renaissance - S/T - Elektra 1968 - White Label Promo - VG++ USD $15.00 Buy It Now 16h 19m
Renaissance Ensemble V. NESTEROV Madrigals & Songs LASSO, GABRIELI * MELODIYA USD $29.90 Buy It Now 16h 33m
American Girl by Juice Newton (CD, Oct-1999, Renaissance Records (USA)) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
16h 36m
Vanilla Fudge - Renaissance - VG+ Vinyl LP USD $9.99 Buy It Now 16h 43m
Organ in Italy: Renaissance & Baroque, New Music USD $11.41 Buy It Now 16h 47m
Sacred Music In The Renaissance Vol. 3 - 4 DISC SET - Tallis Scho (2010, CD New) USD $26.17 Buy It Now 16h 50m
Anthology [Remaster] by Pilot NEW SEALED CD, Jan-2007 Renaissance Records (USA) USD $15.98 Buy It Now 17h 9m
DeLane Lea Studios 1973 by Renaissance CD (2015) Brand New Ships Worldwide USD $28.99 Buy It Now 17h 20m
TALLIS SCHOLARS - SACRED MUSIC IN THE RENAISSANCE 3 NEW CD USD $33.59 Buy It Now 17h 27m
Music of the Italian Renaissance [CD] [Audio CD] Arcadelt, Jacques; Azzaiolo,... USD $6.32 Buy It Now 17h 40m
Renaissance Vinyl LP Sire Records, 1977, SA 7526, Novella USD $6.99 Buy It Now 17h 41m
Q-TIP**RENAISSANCE**VINYL USD $14.76 Buy It Now 17h 44m
Various - New Orleans Renaissance LP - Jazz Crusade - JC-2001 - Jazz USD $65.71 Buy It Now 17h 56m
CD a song for all seasons
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $11.58
CD ashes are burning
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $12.68
CD illusion
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $13.12
CD novella
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $11.58
CD prologue
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $6.40
CD renaissance
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $12.68
CD renaissance
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $13.12


More places to buy RENAISSANCE music online Buy RENAISSANCE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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RENAISSANCE shows & tickets


  • Renaissance at Spirit of 66, Verviers on 9 Apr 2015
  • Renaissance on 10 Apr 2015
  • Renaissance at Musiktheater Piano, Dortmund on 11 Apr 2015
  • Renaissance at The Stables, Milton Keynes on 14 Apr 2015
  • Gouveia Art Rock 2015 on 1 May 2015

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)

3.71 | 240 ratings
Renaissance
1969
2.96 | 170 ratings
Illusion
1971
3.68 | 319 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.21 | 526 ratings
Ashes Are Burning
1973
4.06 | 463 ratings
Turn Of The Cards
1974
4.31 | 854 ratings
Scheherazade And Other Stories
1975
3.70 | 294 ratings
Novella
1977
3.64 | 260 ratings
A Song for All Seasons
1978
2.97 | 148 ratings
Azure D'or
1979
2.31 | 96 ratings
Camera Camera
1981
1.63 | 88 ratings
Time-Line
1983
2.03 | 53 ratings
The Other Woman
1995
2.90 | 41 ratings
Ocean Gypsy
1997
2.31 | 45 ratings
Songs from Renaissance Days
1997
3.08 | 78 ratings
Tuscany
2000
3.29 | 95 ratings
Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
2013

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

4.24 | 169 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall
1976
3.77 | 49 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 1
1997
3.66 | 46 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2
1997
3.87 | 22 ratings
BBC Sessions
1999
2.38 | 10 ratings
Unplugged - Live at The Academy of Music, Philadelphia USA
2000
3.20 | 12 ratings
Can You Hear Me
2001
3.32 | 10 ratings
Mother Russia
2002
4.00 | 6 ratings
Live + Direct
2002
3.52 | 32 ratings
In The Land Of The Rising Sun
2002
3.15 | 8 ratings
British Tour '76
2006
3.11 | 10 ratings
Dreams & Omens
2008
4.16 | 20 ratings
Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert
2011
3.00 | 4 ratings
DeLane Lea Studios 1973
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
Academy Of Music 1974
2015

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

2.87 | 19 ratings
Song of Scheherazade
2008
4.10 | 10 ratings
Kings And Queens
2010

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

2.56 | 10 ratings
In the Beginning
1978
3.33 | 3 ratings
Rock Galaxy
1980
3.42 | 26 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 1
1990
3.18 | 26 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 2
1990
3.42 | 13 ratings
Da Capo
1995
2.51 | 3 ratings
Innocence
1998
2.56 | 3 ratings
Trip To The Fair
1998
4.03 | 5 ratings
Day of the Dreamer
2000
3.82 | 2 ratings
Songs For All Seasons
2002
4.00 | 1 ratings
Heritage
2003
2.00 | 3 ratings
Midas Man
2003

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
Northern Lights
1978
1.20 | 7 ratings
Faeries (Living At The Bottom Of My Garden)
1981
3.57 | 15 ratings
The Mystic And The Muse
2010

RENAISSANCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 BBC Sessions  by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 1999
3.87 | 22 ratings

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BBC Sessions
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars Truth be told, Renaissance is the type of band that seems to be able to perform their most stellar work in their sleep. An illusion given off by the fact that they are so familiar with their material coupled with their uber professionalism.

Their necessary BBC " live in the studio" session takes found sprawled across these two sixty plus minute double CD's issued from Wounded Bird Records in 1999 is quite a gem.

The main selling point is the inclusion and execution of later era material from the Novella album such as Can You Hear Me? and Touching Once (is so hard to keep), both carried off extremely well without backing from an orchestra. I can envision that John Tout did a lot of pre recording on the backing tracks to flesh out the sound along with percussionist Terry Sullivan. Or Perhaps Sir Johnalot simply did his one of his renown octopus imitations with Annie flailing a way on tambourine and maracas.

This material focuses mainly on the best material from the studio albums Ashes are Burning (which of course closes the concert as it's the band's MO) as well as another flawless full length version of Scheherazade (Again sans orchestra.)

It really saddens me that this album is currently out of print but I'm hoping that the BBC will see fit to rerelease this exquisite time capsule recording again in the not too distant future. This is nothing les than required listening for Renaissance's fans.

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 DeLane Lea Studios 1973 by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2015
3.00 | 4 ratings

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DeLane Lea Studios 1973
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

3 stars This 'live in the recording studio" recording sessions recorded at the celebrated De Lane Lea U.K. recoding studios for radio broadcast on an unstated radio station in 1973, was performed right on the heels of Renaissance finishing their second studio album containing the mark II "Annie Haslam" lineup.

Recorded in the company of both friends and family, the group seems usually enthusiastic and performs the material from Ashes are Burning technically perfect, which they do well without any orchestral support.

This album stays close to the Ashes are Burning numbers and includes a live version, for the first time that I'm of aware of, the beautiful melancholy At The Harbor. Another rare gem includes another rarely performed live song, Prolouge's Sounds of the Sea which the band executed flawlessly.

AAB starwarts include the evergreen Can You Hear Understand? along well as the killer closing track with Andy Powell reprising his lead electric guitar role. British folk stalwart Al Stewart also adds backing vocals this epic closer.

My only and really subsequent complaint regarding this album is that it seems to be "booted" from what has now become common practice to re-issue source tape copies after the original owners of the producing radio stations have folded and become public domain. The sound quality is a bit thin sounding but passable as is common from masters originating from this type of source tape, and as usual, has a louder than normal level of type hiss on a couple of songs.

As there are no copyright or copyright pending notations in the liner notes, this is probably the case.

The tape is also mastered from what sounds like a multi generation that has some extremely brief but loud extraneous noise for few seconds near the coda of Ashes are Burning.

Not a bad album per se, but there are of course other 'live in the studio albums' that are much better like the now out of print Renaissance at The BBC. If you see this gem for a good price, grab it and run like hell.

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 A Song for All Seasons by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.64 | 260 ratings

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A Song for All Seasons
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A Song For All Seasons was released in 1978, and is generally recognised as the last of the "Prog" albums released by Renaissance, although I personally find much merit in later albums. Not all "AOR" is bad.

Anyhow, that is for future reviews. This album, of course, contains the band's best known piece of music in the wider world outside of progressive rock music fans, Northern Lights, which, deservedly, became a smash hit. It contains, in my opinion, everything that is good about this great band, the soaring lyrics of the beautiful Annie Haslam, intricate and detailed songwriting, performed with panache. I fell in love with this track, and, as a result, with the band as a young 14 year old. I remember taking the album home with me on the school bus, with "who the f**k are they?" ringing in my ear!

The remainder of the album is a glorious example of how the best Prog rock bands from this "classic period" began to reinvent their sound, approach to songwriting, and musical commercial nous. Utilising the services of David Hentschel, he of Genesis fame, and the lovely orchestrations of The London Philharmonic Orchestra, the album still sounds wonderfully fresh and vibrant, and stands as a glorious buttress amongst much of the commercial new wave fodder of the day.

It is, in truth, symphonic folk Prog rock personified, only now, with the exception of two longer, "traditional" tracks, the wonderful Day Of The Dreamer, and the title track which closes proceedings, in a shorter form. This does not mean that any of the things which made this great band so vital are compromised. It merely made them more accessible, and that is never a bad thing to this reviewer's mind. The title track is one of the finest pieces of classical symphonic rock ever put to vinyl. Jon Camp's bass lines are simply to die for, and, at their best, as here, Renaissance most certainly gave Yes a serious run for their money in this sub-genre.

Of course, longstanding fans such as I will already have this album, and it is fair to say it still divides opinion. This review is rather directed to younger folk looking to see what they might enjoy whilst trawling through Prog Archives. If you want an immediately, beautifully performed, accessible introduction to the type of pastoral music that earned us lot the derogatory "bloody hippies" title in our schooldays, then look no further.

A joy to return to, four stars for this. An excellent addition to any serious progressive rock collection.

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 Prologue by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.68 | 319 ratings

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Prologue
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Renaissance is a band with a peculiar early history. Founded by Keith Relf and Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds, the band recorded two albums while experiencing considerable line-up changes. Relf decided to remain on as a producer and McCarty as a writer, and a new line-up was put together with Annie Haslam on vocals and Michael Dunford soon taking over the writing job, teaming up with poet Betty Thatcher-Newsinger. The Yardbirds alumni left and the manager re-organized the band and they prepared to record their first album, 'Prologue'.

The strengths of this album and indeed this new Renaissance are Annie Haslam's five-octave voice, John Tout's superb piano work, and the collaboration in song-writing between Dunford and Thatcher-Newsinger. I also find the bass is well in place and certainly of the progressive mould, as well the drums and percussion suit the classical tendencies of the piano-based music.

The opening track is a real seventies piano rocker with some great grooving bass over which some classically inspired piano is played. Annie provides a melody of 'do-do-do's, which can be a bit tiresome a times mostly because it makes me think of seventies hippie rock that could have been used in a Wrigley's gum or Coke commercial. But the music is quite a ride and it gave me a shiver the first time I heard it.

My favourite track is the next one, 'Kiev'. After a lovely classical piano intro, it turns a little dark before settling into the folksy piano and rhythm groove that carries the song. Bass guitarist Jon Camp takes the lead vocal here though Annie joins in for the chorus. The middle section features a galloping rock rhythm section and hectic piano playing. Classical themes race neck in neck with the rhythm section. The lyrics tell a story of a simple man living in or near Kiev. I feel there is also a bit of an Eastern European flavour to the music in parts.

The last track for side one is a slower and beautiful piece for piano and vocals. Annie truly is given the chance to showcase her vocal talents for the first time here and is accompanied by some harmony vocals from the male vocalists. The percussion is not heavy handed and only comes in to add some dramatic effect when required.

We start side two with 'Spare Some Love', another bell-bottom swaying seventies hippie tune with the piano still at the forefront. There's a short 'proggy' section in the middle with the bass and drums and a bit of electric guitar. Once more, the bass guitar really stands out at times.

'Bound for Infinity' is another slow piece but with some pleasant highlights and dramatic moments. Annie's voice sounds brilliant, and there is some clean electric guitar that actually comes closer to centre stage here than what we've heard so far.

The final track is really a step away from the classical piano-led music so far. 'Raja Khan', named after a dog, opens with an electric guitar instrumental that bears an Indian flare and resembles early Tea Party (a Canadian outfit that appeared in the 90's). The main melody segments of the song are very rhythm-oriented and include 'vocalese': more singing without words. Annie still sounds spectacular. There's a synthesizer solo here, the first one on the album, and the bass guitar is again rumbling along. The music turns more piano prog-like, similar to 'Kiev' and then there's a kind of experimental part before returning to the main sequence of the song again. For the final stretch, a rock theme carries us home.

Though the album is not as streamlined in sound nor as highly rated as some of their later albums, I'm of the opinion that this is a very strong beginning for this new Renaissance. It is quite an enjoyable album to pick up from time to time and give a spin.

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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.29 | 95 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by progbaby

4 stars 4.3 stars :-)

Best Renaissance album since "Song for all Seasons". Might even be better than that. Does not matter. Great stuff.

I respect everyone's review here on this album. I respect the low reviews and the high reviews. We all see/hear different things in the same album. What makes the world exciting.

I'm not hearing any "tiredness/weariness" from Annie's voice. I don't know how old she is now but I imagine perhaps in her early-mid 60's?

The opening "Symphony of Light" his you hard with her angelic/operatic style similar to what you hear on SCHEHERAZADE and other stories. Fabulous. Add in the usual classic 70's Renaissance classical riff sections with piano/bass, etc.. Just this song alone makes the album worth while.

"Waterfall" so much reminds me of the classic "Bound for Infinity" from Prologue. OMG, I'm back in 1972 again and it's 2014.

"Grandine il Vento" is another classic 70's sounding piece that could easily find a home on their "Ashes are burning" album.

Ian Anderson adds a nice touch with his flute solo on "Cry to the world"... Just fabulous.

"Air of Drama" sort of reminds me of the song "Kiev" from Prologue. Almost like a Dr. Zhivago soundtract song :-)

So nice to hear John Wetton on Blood/Siler/Like Moonlight. Haunting melodies.

Album closes with an attempt for the most powerful fairytale like song "Mystic and the Muse". Classic sound.

Personally, I prefer the opening track but this is a very strong effort from 2 of the members of their classic 70's period.

I wish Camp/Tout were back (for completist novelty sake) but this is not to take anything away from their replacements who were excellent.

This is a wonderful "return to the Prologue --> Scheherezade" period.

Annie's voice has not lost a step. In-fact, it's even more operatic here and she still hits those high notes.

One way or another, this album is a blessing. considering years back in the 90s I never figured they would ever reform. Tucsany (2000) was a nice album but was more 90's-like. This album is intentionally a return back to their 70's sound.

I am so grateful that they reunited back to do this. This is not just a ho-hum "lets do one for old time sake" albums. They put their heart and soul into this. And it shows. To Annie and the rest, I'm so appreciative for this album!!

Right on up there with the classic albums they did in the 70's. There's nothing "modern" sounding. You could have haev released this in 1973-1974 and it would have fit right in.

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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.29 | 95 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Billy900

4 stars I've enjoyed the work of Renaissance since the 70's but have recently revisited some of the core albums:-

1974 Turn Of The Cards 1975 Scheherazade And Other Stories 1976 Live at Carnegie Hall

I've spent many many hours in recent years swallowed up in these masterpieces which are all solid 4 and 5 star albums in my view.

Being a big fan of the original sound, I approached 2013's Symphony of Light with caution but was surprised and delighted with the material and the performances. This album is absolutely classic Renaissance in every way. Annie Haslam, who's voice is one of the defining qualities of the band, is spot on, hitting impossible notes and retaining that unique clarity of tone throughout. The quality of the compositions is right up there with their core albums as far as I can hear, and Symphony of Light can be listened to right after Scheherazade without skipping a beat - they flow so naturally, it could have been recorded the same year.

High points for me are "Porcelain" with beguiling atmosphere, hook and melody, the acoustic piano driven "Blood Silver Like Moonlight" with a great vocal duet, and the somewhat Lloyd- Webber-esqe "Tonight" - just a sublime anthem, with some headphone challenging high-notes!! Be warned. Weaker tracks: "Immortal Beloved" and "The Mystic and the Muse" are still engagingly theatrical songs that would be standouts in almost any other song-list.

It's very unusual that a band can connect to the muse so strongly 40 years later!

I'd really like to give this 4.5 stars, but 4 is fair!

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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.29 | 95 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Progulator
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Perhaps unlike some of you, my introduction to Renaissance's discography wasn't chronological; rather than starting from the beginning, my first exposure to the band was their 1975 album Scheherazade and Other Stories album, albeit many years later. The format of the album is engaging, starting out with several shorter, more accessible tracks, and climaxing with the massive beauty that is "Scheherezade" a piece that had me in awe of the classic British act due to their jaw dropping orchestrations, deft songwriting capabilities, and of course, the angelic voice of Annie Haslam. While for many, including myself, Scheherazade represents the pinnacle of Renaissance, their 2014 release, Symphony of Light, effectively reminded me of all the nice things that make these veteran symphonic rockers tick. Like their classic 70′s albums, Symphony of Light boils down to the knack Renaissance has for delivering solid art songs and epic symphonic rock pieces.

One thing that catches my attention about Renaissance is their keen ability to make songs that somehow call to mind something between pop rock, the classical art song tradition, and musical theater. "Air of Drama" is perhaps my favorite example of this, a track that would blend in perfectly on a stage musical production, particularly in the way that Annie and David trade vocal lines, calling their dialogue to the forefront, highlighting Haslam's darker parts with the more optimistic sections led by David Keyes. Throw in Hart and Tesar hammering it out on the harpsichord, Mellotron flutes, and swelling according and we get a nice art song with strong theatrical overtones. The John Wetton fans will be pleased to hear his duet with Haslam on the pleasant piano ballad, "Blood Silver Like Moonlight," and if you're looking for a nice pop track with a huge, uplifting symphonic chorus, "Cry to the World" will certainly suit your fancy. And even though I generally run like the dickens when a ballad appears, I can't help but feeling that "Tonight" absolutely nailed it with its romantic sway, pretty arrangements, and Broadway musical feel. And while Symphony of Light is mainly a re-release of last year's Il Grandine Vento with new cover artwork and two extra tracks, it is certainly well worth it due to the presence of the new closer, "Renaissance Man." A touching tribute to the late Michael Dunford, Renaissance's very own chief mastermind, "Renaissance Man" sports lyrics of grateful praise to Dunford's hard work, inspiration, and wide imagination. The dynamic of this song is absolutely lovely as the recurring piano theme walks the line between sadness and joy, while the 'chorus' spouts a majestic, symphonic swell before ending each time delicately with a major chord and gentle ritard before the return of the primary piano motif. Recognizing both the sadness in death and the hope in life, this track truly is a great tribute to Dunford's legacy.

And while Renaissance shows great skill at bringing art music elements to their more 'catchy' tracks, I would bet that what truly has won over our little prog hearts is their more dramatic, symphonic prog pieces. Such is the case with "Symphony of Light," "Grandine il vento," and "The Mystic and the Muse" all tracks which reminded me of why I love this band. In terms of dramatic flavor, the intro to "Symphony of Light" couldn't get any better with its surreal chord changes that undulate from dark to light alongside a solid dose of theatricality. Haslam's voice certainly has aged well, still feeling expressive but now taking on a more haunting edge. The first two minutes had me grinning, but the song only gets better as a break with tolling church bells leads the way to a duo of synth and acoustic guitar that introduces perhaps what would be the main verse, exhibiting loads of tension in its repetitive motion. As the drumming kicks in we get a more optimistic section full of symphonic elements prior to the next verse. Over various instrumental twists and turns we get all the things we love in Renaissance, including their classic piano playing and huge orchestral arrangements that always exhibit just enough dynamic bombast without forgetting restraint. A bit more on the 'symphonic rock-lite' side of things, "Grandine" really hits the spot with introspective, surreal lyrics, and deep sense of mystery. From its delicate piano to the gentle sparkling of guitars, ambient keys, and upbeat, operatic sensibility, we see Renaissance delivering their specialty, this time in a more conventional form. Just as the band kicked it off huge with "Symphony of Light," they make sure to give us an epic feast towards the end of the record in the form of "The Mystic and the Muse," my personal favorite from the album. In my opinion this track is right up there with the classics of Renaissance's catalog, a song featuring loads of feeling. Opening up like a horror film soundtrack, "The Mystic and the Muse" delivers dark, gothic chords under Haslam's roaring and eerie bombast. When the drum kit gets in the groove I must admit that there was a lot of head bobbing going on in the room and I could feel that the band was really going to take us on a big, musical journey. Repeated descending piano riffs contrasting orchestral arrangements make for a very visual presentation as Annie holds some fascinating verse melodies that scream out mystery and wonder. Following a beautiful narrative refrain, Renaissance takes us on an a powerful tour of symphonic rock through several key changes before a brief breather that takes 500% advantage of carefully placed notes on the vocal line for grand effect on a quiet yet intense middle section. I must say that I was also pleased that the song eventually led us back to that killer refrain and beastly vampire chords, big drums, and soaring vocals that ooze coolness.

If what you're looking for is something that deliver's 21st century Renaissance with the marvelous feel of the 70′s era of the band, Symphony of Light should be right up your alley. Essentially, what you get a slew of good art rock alongside a couple of ambitious symphonic rock pieces that marvelously succeed in their efforts to bring dramatic music, theatricality, and strong songwriting to the table. All in all, Symphony of Light is a worthy memory of Dunford and the band's sophisticated vision of what rock can be.

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 Scheherazade And Other Stories by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.31 | 854 ratings

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Scheherazade And Other Stories
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Dark Nazgul

4 stars Thousand and one words could not describe this beauty.

This album represents a sort of cornerstone in the career of Renaissance because with this record, on one side, the band released the sublimation of his progressive style (through one of the most successful fusion between rock and symphonic music of the 70s) and, secondly, show the first signs of wanting to give a more commercial appeal to their songs. It is also important to note the use of synth, which is very rare in the previous records. The centerpiece of the album is represented by the excellent suite Song of Scheherazade which occupies the entire second side of the 'original LP. The long epic is a top of the band's career, perhaps even the highest point ever reached in a single song from Renaissance. The lyrics refer to one of the most famous tales of the "Thousand and One Nights" but what really makes the difference is the excellent result of the fusion of rock music and symphony orchestra. The orchestral parts are performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, and they are absolutely fundamental in the construction of this long epic, so that in some moments the band is totally absent and the orchestra is the absolute protagonist of the scene. This aspect is a clear differentiation than in the past, where the orchestral parts were limited to give more redundancy to the sound of the band, in my humble opinion with not remarkable results. It should be emphasized above all the extraordinary contribution of the vocal choir of the London Symphony Orchestra, the section "The Young Prince And Princess" with a wonderful interpretation by John Tout on piano and Annie Haslam on vocals, and the amazing, majestic, grand finale.

The opening A Trip To The Fair is another excellent track. It opens with a long introduction by Tout on piano and various rhythm changes that lead to the vocal part, as always impeccably executed by Annie. The arrangements recall the classic music that you hear in markets or fairs.

The reasons why I will not rate with five star this excellent album are the other two songs: Ocean Gypsy," too melodic for my taste and monotonous after several listening, and the short and insipid The Vultures Fly High, clearly a filler.

In any case, this is an album not to be missed for lovers of symphonic genre, and the best album of Renaissance after "Ashes Are Burning".

Final rating 8/10.

Best song: Song Of Scheherazade

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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.29 | 95 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars The best Renaissance album for 35 years!

Renaissance has never been among my favourite bands, but they are one of those bands of which I have heard everything they have ever done. Like most people would probably agree, the band's output from the last three and a half decades has not been overly impressive compared to the output from their first decade of existence. Hearing this new album is a pleasant surprise and I would say without a doubt that it is their best since 1978's A Song For All Seasons. Indeed, Symphony Of Light stands heads and shoulders above the generally weak material the band has produced since then.

The most noteworthy track here is by far the 12 minutes plus opening title track (Symphony Of Light) which belongs to the band's all-time best compositions. It has all of the ingredients of classic Renaissance: the captivating voice of Annie Haslam, the piano and the acoustic guitar, the symphonic bombast. But it also has more than that, it has other keyboards beyond just piano (which I would have wanted to have heard more on the band's classic albums).

After such an excellent opening the rest of the tracks are not quite as interesting in comparison, but nonetheless the album continues to be enjoyable all the way. The band is helped by two stalwarts of progressive Rock in Ian Anderson and John Wetton. Anderson adds his characteristic flute to Cry To The World and Wetton his equally distinctive voice to Blood Silver Like Moonlight.

The Mystic And The Muse, Immortal Beloved, and Tonight were previously released as an EP, but are here tagged on as bonus tracks. The Mystic and the Muse in particular is another strong track in the style and quality of the band's 70's material.

Recommended, particularly for fans of classic Renaissance

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 Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light) by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.29 | 95 ratings

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Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars I have been listening to some heavier prog lately, so I was in for some culture shock with this album. My review is of "Symphony of Light," and not the original "Grandine Il Vento." Symphony of Light contains the additional two tracks from "The Mystic and Muse EP" and a new track "Renaissance Man" written as a tribute to the late Michael Dunford. Although it has been a year or so since I listened to Renaissance, it did not take long for me to be swept away by Annie Haslam's angelic voice. It absolutely sent chills through my soul, and she has never sounded better. I can only imagine what they were trying to achieve with this album by creating a homage to the 70s. This is a modern album, but they absolutely gave it some of that 70s magic that they had when they were younger. People change when they get older, and this achievement was very difficult as their frame of reference changed from all of the life experiences. With the addition of John Wetton's vocals on "Blood Silver Like Moonlight" and Ian Anderson's flute playing on "Cry To The World," that 70's vibe was complete. This is an absolutely solid album with no duds and many tempo changes to give it a very progressive feel. If you enjoy the music of Renaissance, the vocals of Annie Haslam, or progressive rock, there is so much to like about this album.

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