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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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Academy Of Music 1974Academy Of Music 1974
Cleopatra 2015
Audio CD$10.00
$8.99 (used)
Symphony of LightSymphony of Light
Red River Entertaint 2014
Audio CD$7.31
$5.99 (used)
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
Audio CD$16.59
$15.19 (used)
Ashes Are BurningAshes Are Burning
Import
Repertoire 1998
Audio CD$5.27
$5.39 (used)
Scheherazade & Other StoriesScheherazade & Other Stories
Hybrid SACD - DSD
Audio Fidelity 2014
Audio CD$17.49
$17.50 (used)
Turn of the CardsTurn of the Cards
Import
Repertoire 1997
Audio CD$5.34
$4.99 (used)
ProloguePrologue
Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$5.42
$5.41 (used)
Song for All SeasonsSong for All Seasons
Import
Sire Records 1999
Audio CD$3.94
$2.74 (used)
British Tour 76British Tour 76
Import
Mlp 2006
Audio CD$11.30
$12.46 (used)
Renaissance Live In Concert Tour 2011Renaissance Live In Concert Tour 2011
Box set
MRI 2012
DVD Audio$10.53
$10.53 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
palestrina missa aeterna christi munera, renaissance singers, howard, argo USD $4.55 Buy It Now 38m 23s
Renaissance:1 CD+Turn Cards Promo Box Japan Mini-LP New (illusion annie haslam Z USD $125.00 Buy It Now 41m 57s
Renaissance:3 CD+Turn Cards Promo Box Japan Mini-LP New (illusion annie haslam Z USD $225.00 Buy It Now 41m 58s
René Croan ~ Renaissance ~ Rene' Marie CD New OOP Flat Five Press USD $55.55 Buy It Now 58m 15s
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WEBSTER BEN - At The Renaissance 1960 + bonus track - 4569901 USD $14.56 Buy It Now 1h 32m
Century 8 - Sacred Music of Renaissance 1500-1600 - Century 8 - Sacred Music of USD $13.11 Buy It Now 1h 45m
Century 9- Renaissance Song (1500-1600) - Century 9- Renaissance Song (1500-1600 USD $13.10 Buy It Now 1h 45m
Elfin Knight-Ballads & Dances From Renaissance Eng - Jo (2007, CD New) Frederiks USD $18.98 Buy It Now 2h 6m
Joel Frederiksen - Elfin Knight-Ballads & Dances From Renaissance Eng [CD New] USD $17.34 Buy It Now 2h 8m
Renaissance(7" Vinyl 1st Issue)The Sea-Island-WIP 6079-UK-Ex/Ex- USD $30.34 Buy It Now 2h 15m
RUDOLF LAMY / LASSUS the high renaissance - GERMANY - USD $15.60 Buy It Now 2h 16m
Deborah Allen Anthology CD (1998, Renaissance Records) RARE / MINT USD $39.90 Buy It Now 2h 17m
Renaissance-s/t-'71 MEXICAN WEIRD PSYCH CONCEPT ALBUM-NEW CD USD $16.99 Buy It Now 2h 35m
SEALED~ ANTIQUA PLAYERS LP - Florentine Carnival Songs Music Italian Renaissance USD $11.99 Buy It Now 2h 36m
VARIOUS ARTISTS " RENAISSANCE THE CLASSICS " 3 X CD ALBUM EXCELLENT USD $7.57 Buy It Now 2h 55m
Scheherazade and Other Stories - Renaissance New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Ship USD $25.48 Buy It Now 3h 2m
RENAISSANCE - SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER STORIES CD 4 TRACKS ROCK / ART-POP NEW+ USD $15.63 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Renaissance by David Bradstreet CD Free Ship #BA94 USD $27.76 Buy It Now 3h 49m
RENAISSANCE Bonjour Swansong 45 7" NM ORIGINAL US RARE 1981 LISTEN USD $5.87 Buy It Now 3h 55m
(ES557) St James's Consort, Easter Renaissance Music - 2000 CD USD $9.26 Buy It Now 4h 4m
Lute Music From Renaissance Italy - Milano / Borrono / Paladino / (2014, CD New) USD $13.19 Buy It Now 4h 10m
The Renaissance USD $4.00 Buy It Now 4h 20m
RENAISSANCE - RENAISSANCE CD 7 TRACKS CLASSIC ROCK & POP NEW+ USD $17.78 Buy It Now 4h 36m
ARION ARN 34260 *LES MUSICIENS DE PROVENCE* AGE ET DE LA RENAISSANCE Vol. 2 USD $18.20 Buy It Now 4h 40m
RENAISSANCE - ILLUSION CD 6 TRACKS CLASSIC ROCK & POP NEW+ USD $17.78 Buy It Now 4h 52m
VANILLA FUDGE RENAISSANCE 60s HEAVY PSYCH SUNDAZED CD USD $12.98 Buy It Now 5h 17m
Con Chitarrone: Italian Sonatas from Early Renaissance to Baroque CD NEW USD $20.25 Buy It Now 5h 23m
ROYAL BRASS: Empire Brass Quintet (1990) CD ~Renaissance & Baroque Music~ USD $3.95 Buy It Now 5h 25m
RENAISSANCE - RENAISSANCE CD 7 TRACKS ROCK & POP NEW+ USD $15.63 Buy It Now 5h 31m
Acoustic Renaissance Concert 1996 Folk Sampler - New 17 Song CD! Chicago Area USD $19.99 Buy It Now 5h 31m
Renaissance - Novella (NEW CD) USD $12.51 Buy It Now 5h 35m
Renaissance - - Beat 60s 70s USD $25.78 Buy It Now 5h 37m
Association - Renaissance (1966)...plus - Beat 60s 70s USD $21.86 Buy It Now 5h 37m
Ritual Trio - Renaissance Of The Resistance - Delmark Records Jazz USD $22.92 Buy It Now 5h 37m
LP MUSIC OF THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ENGLAND G. Burgess USD $7.59 Buy It Now 5h 39m
Witherspoon/Mulligan/Webster - At The Renaissance - Blues Vinyl LP-Records USD $20.27 Buy It Now 5h 41m
Kublai Khan Annihilation USA Cassette Tape New Renaissance Records NRC 32 Thrash USD $24.99 Buy It Now 5h 45m
RENAISSANCE Turn Of The Cards 1974 SIRE PROG FOLK LP USD $10.00 Buy It Now 5h 48m
RENAISSANCE Azur D'Or 1979 SIRE PROG FOLK LP USD $10.00 Buy It Now 5h 51m
ITALIA!: THE RENAISSANCE OF JEWISH MUSIC - NEW CD USD $25.41 Buy It Now 6h 42m
Renaissance Fantasias - Anthony Rooley - Hyperion A66089 USD $15.18 Buy It Now 6h 44m
BACH / GABRIELI / MORLEY / DOWLAN - BAROQUE ELIZABETHAN RENAISSANCE NEW CD USD $20.03 Buy It Now 6h 50m
Guitar Music & Songs Of The Spanish Renaissance - Renata & R (2013, CD New) CD-R USD $12.98 Buy It Now 7h 13m
At The Renaissance 1960 - Ben Webster (CD Used Very Good) USD $7.89 Buy It Now 7h 17m
(CD) Renaissance Lute Virtuosi Of Rome & Venice / Christopher Wilson USD $15.00 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Zz/Various Artists - Wind Riders The Renaissance Of (2001) - Used - Compact USD $7.76 Buy It Now 7h 37m
Alfred Deller Madrigal Masterpieces Renaissance vinyl LP Vanguard Records EX USD $7.95 Buy It Now 7h 37m
Renaissance Presents Behrouz & Yousef (2xCD) SEALED Nic Fanciulli Pashka Joeski USD $10.61 Buy It Now 7h 38m
Mark Brown Renaissance Masterpieces vinyl LP 1986 MCA Records EX USD $10.00 Buy It Now 7h 49m
AMULANCE - Feel The Pain - 2005 Ltd Edition Reissue Numbered CD New Renaissance USD $6.53 [10 bids]
7h 53m
Kerry Livgren: Seeds of Change - CD 1996 Renaissance Records USD $30.00 [0 bids]
7h 56m
RENAISSANCE "A SONG FOR ALL SEASONS" CD NEW+ USD $17.78 Buy It Now 7h 58m
RENAISSANCE TREMENDOUSLY RARE LIMITED 3 CD Replica LP JAPAN OBI Sealed Box Set USD $297.49 Buy It Now 8h 7m
CD ONLY: E-TOWN CONCRETE RENAISSANCE 2003 METAL SHIPS FAST!! USD $8.99 Buy It Now 8h 9m
AT WAR - Ordered To Kill - 1998 New Renaissance CD - US Thrash Metal Collection USD $6.37 [5 bids]
8h 10m
The Association-German LP-Renaissance USD $7.95 Buy It Now 8h 12m
Stivell, Alan, Renaissance of the Celtic Harp Audio CD USD $8.66 Buy It Now 8h 12m
Giuseppe Emmanuele Trio CAFE DE LA RENAISSANCE [digipak] CD new USD $28.00 Buy It Now 8h 22m
Canadian Brass Gabrieli Monteverdi Antiphonal Music Renaissance Akiyama Vespers USD $11.19 Buy It Now 8h 23m
Scheherazade & Other Stories - Renaissance 780014218324 (SACD Used Very Good) USD $18.87 Buy It Now 8h 47m
RENAISSANCE.A Song for All Seasons 1978 LP. U.S. press USD $4.55 [0 bids]
8h 59m
Sacred & Secular Music From Renaissance Germany (CD New) USD $12.44 Buy It Now 9h 5m
BEN WEBSTER - AT THE RENAISSANCE 1960 NEW CD USD $18.74 Buy It Now 9h 10m
The Banks Brothers and the Renaissance Choral Ensemble on Savoy Records MG14300 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 13m
RENAISSANCE "ASHES ARE BURNING" CD NEW+ USD $15.63 Buy It Now 9h 13m
Music in Europe at the Time of the Renaissance 5400439001060, CD Box Set, NEW USD $72.03 Buy It Now 9h 27m
RENAISSANCE "TURN OF THE CARD" CD NEW+ USD $15.63 Buy It Now 9h 28m
English Renaissance Music USD $6.50 Buy It Now 9h 53m
Arthur Maud - Royal Court of Cracow Polish Renaissance LP Concentus Musicus MN USD $20.00 Buy It Now 10h
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RENAISSANCE "AZURE D'OR" CD NEW+ USD $17.78 Buy It Now 10h 42m
TRUMPET RENAISSANCE BY BBC NATIONAL ORCHEST (CD) USD $23.09 Buy It Now 10h 47m
RENAISSANCE MUSIC FOR INNER PEACE BY SIXTEEN (CD) USD $21.53 Buy It Now 10h 47m
RENAISSANCE BY Q-TIP (CD) USD $15.81 Buy It Now 10h 48m
The Association. Renaissance. ....33rpm. USD $4.00 Buy It Now 10h 49m
VILLAGE PEOPLE Renaissance 25S-31 OBI LP At0858 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
11h 7m
LASSO / WESER-RENAISSANCE BREMEN / CORDES -RENAISSANCE BREMEN / CORDES - NEW CD USD $20.03 Buy It Now 11h 20m
SEALED LP The Renaissance - Seasons USD $3.00 Buy It Now 11h 30m
RENAISSANCE SINGERS OF MONTREAL 1956-67 - DONALD MACKEY USD $10.68 Buy It Now 11h 56m
RENAISSANCE "PROLOGUE" CD NEW+ USD $15.63 Buy It Now 12h 2m
RENAISSANCE "ILLUSION" CD NEW+ USD $15.63 Buy It Now 12h 2m
Novella - Renaissance (LP 1977) USD $0.50 [0 bids]
12h 10m
Folie Douce (Sweet Folly) Renaissance Improvisations (CD, Jun-1999, Dorian) USD $9.29 Buy It Now 12h 13m
Waytes: English Music for a Renaissance Band ECD (CD, Jan-2010, Navona Records) USD $11.44 Buy It Now 12h 14m
RENAISSANCE "NOVELLA" CD NEW+ USD $17.78 Buy It Now 12h 15m
RENAISSANCE JAPAN AUTHENTIC LIMITED SHM MINI LP CD NEW OUT OF PRINT UICY-94094 USD $69.99 Buy It Now 12h 23m
A Cheerful Noise Medieval & Early Renaissance Music Musica Antiqua~FAST SHIPPING USD $12.95 Buy It Now 12h 48m
CD 'Courts, Kings, & Troubadours: Medieval & Renaissance Music' 1999 SEALED USD $0.01 [1 bids]
12h 56m
(MINT CD! PERFECT!) SEPULTURA MORBID VISIONS (ORIG NEW RENAISSANCE) ISSUE USA USD $49.99 [1 bids]
13h 19m
WAVERLY CONSORT, LP, A RENAISSANCE CHRISTMAS WITH THE WAVERLY CONSORT, W/ INSERT USD $5.00 Buy It Now 13h 25m
Welcome Sweet Pleasure The Festival Musicians~Oregon Shakespeare~Renaissance USD $32.95 Buy It Now 13h 26m
Time Life Rock Renaissance III CD (1990) [22 Tracks] Classic [OPCD-2609] [3] VG+ USD $12.74 Buy It Now 13h 51m
Renaissance 3460503698222, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P&H USD $25.24 Buy It Now 13h 57m
The Best of the Renaissance (CD, May-1999, 2 Discs, Philips) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 14h
Renaissance Novella 1977 LP + CD - Play Graded - Strong VG+ Prog Rock SA-7526 USD $3.49 [0 bids]
USD $5.99 Buy It Now
14h
Renaissance by Higher Circle (CD, Dec-1999, Orchard (Distributor)) USD $119.99 Buy It Now 14h
VG++ 1984 Jamaaladeen Tacuma Renaissance Man GERMAN Press LP Album USD $1.99 [0 bids]
14h 10m
CD a song for all seasons
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $11.64
CD ashes are burning
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $12.74
CD illusion
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $13.18
CD novella
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $11.64
CD prologue
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $6.43
CD renaissance
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $12.74
CD renaissance
RENAISSANCE
~ USD $13.18


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RENAISSANCE shows & tickets


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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)

3.71 | 248 ratings
Renaissance
1969
2.99 | 178 ratings
Illusion
1971
3.68 | 320 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.21 | 531 ratings
Ashes Are Burning
1973
4.06 | 469 ratings
Turn Of The Cards
1974
4.31 | 869 ratings
Scheherazade And Other Stories
1975
3.69 | 295 ratings
Novella
1977
3.64 | 261 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
2.30 | 45 ratings
Songs from Renaissance Days
1997
3.08 | 77 ratings
Tuscany
2000
3.29 | 96 ratings
Grandine il Vento (Symphony of Light)
2013

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

4.21 | 175 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 | 21 ratings
Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Past Orbits Of Dust: Live 1969/1970
2012
3.07 | 5 ratings
DeLane Lea Studios 1973
2015
4.00 | 1 ratings
Academy Of Music 1974
2015

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

2.87 | 19 ratings
Song of Scheherazade
2008
3.93 | 9 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
 Academy Of Music 1974 by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2015
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Academy Of Music 1974
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

— First review of this album —
4 stars In spite of it's horrid album cover painting, which I doubt the band had any control over, especially after the passing of guitarist/songwriter Michael Dunford, who had own many of the group's copyrighted materials, Live At The Academy Of Music 1974 is both a concert and professional high point for Renaissance as it solidified the band's Tri-state area reputation as well as paving the way for the group's acclaimed Carnegie Hall concerts which took place the following year in 1975.

Live At The Academy is another Renaissance concert album, a double CD this time, put out by Pyramid Records that has no credits as to the source of a the radio broadcast tape. The broadcast was originally aired on WNEW FM Radio, who were one of the major FM radio supporters and proponents of the group, especially in their Ashes Are Burning and Turn Of The Cards album release and touring years from 1973-74.

Joining the band for probably their first orchestral concert was a twenty four piece orchestra which pumped up both the band and the concert crowd. Indeed, as this is probably the most raucous Renaissance audience that you will probably ever hear recorded. Everyone from vocalist Annie Haslam through to drummer Terry Sullivan raised their game and the performances are stellar. Especially prominent were the fantastic bass runs of John Camp who also sounds in exceptional form as a backing vocalist to Haslam.

The concert starts with the now familiar opener Can You Understand? that features Annie in wonderful vocalise and scat style colorings in this song's wonderful melodies. Outstanding.

The concert focuses almost exclusively on songs from Ashes Are Burning and Turn Of The Cards and it's odd not to hear the song in it's now familiar extended encore version. For this concert, Andy Powell, from Wishbone Ash, is once again a guest performer and does a fantastic solo as well as mirroring John Tout's synths in the song's compelling instrumental section. What is also odd and now idiosyncratic is that the band reprise the title rack Prologue from the mark II line up's debut album.

The sound quality is decent and sound's exactly as a FM radio broadcast would at the time with an exaggerated high end (bright sounding) along with some very good bottom end that was really never heard in that era's technology of 15 inch woofers and no subwoofers.

Live At The Academy is defiantly not for the audiophile as some minor stage buzzing, feedback and offstage chatter can be heard at times, but it's a must have for Renaissance fans. 4 stars.

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 Past Orbits Of Dust: Live 1969/1970 by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Past Orbits Of Dust: Live 1969/1970
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

— First review of this album —
4 stars Past Orbits of Dust: Live 1969/1970 is a tough album for me to review as it's made up of rare live recordings of the Renaissance Mark 1 lineup with varying degrees of sound quality. The Mark 1 lineup featured Keith Relf and Jim McCarty, formally of The Yardbirds, on guitar and drums respectively, along with Relf's sister Jane on vocals, John Hawken on piano and Louis Cennamo on bass. Hawken was a founding member of the one hit wonder The Nashville Teens, while Cennamo was a young but accomplished session player.

Only Jane Relf was a performing novice, but her contributions were mostly in the form of backing vocals and supplying Aeolian choral backing to all but three of the album's eight songs.

The thing most striking about these performances are how assured they are and are even more striking when one realizes that the entire first Renaissance album was road tested months before it was committed to vinyl. One of the circumstances that led to such stout performances was the fact that the band shared bills with harder rocking bands, as the concert promoters only knew that the group was formed from the ashes of the disintegrated Yardbirds , and placed them on concert bills with the likes of groups in the same vain as Humble Pie.

As a result, the group had to raise their game and were also much grittier and animated than the performances on their first album would suggest.

The album's two lead off tracks, recorded in late fall of 1969 in Helsinki, Finland are probably the album's two best sounding recordings, albeit a bit mono sounding, and amply demonstrate the band's chops as well as showcasing their new classical sound fused with rock music. The second of these Helsinki tracks features a more bluesy version of Bullit with excellent harmonica playing by Keith along with a Doors-like vocal break in the middle where Keith whispers, then shouts, about children playing with toy guns and what society implies to them about hand guns. The track ends with a great bass solo by Cennamo who employs an explosive fuzz tone and delay to his bass's sound and commences to play his own dark sounding symphony before all members rejoin to give the song it's final few notes.

Innocence is from a New York concert and again features Keith Relf on vocals before Hawken ends the song with his now usual homage to Beethoven, Bach, Johann Straus, Mozart and other popular central European classical composers, without sounding outright derivative of these composers. This track sports good sound with better stereo separation. The same cannot be said about the following track, Wanderer, sung by Jane, as this track has merely passible sound quality as does an early version of Sounds of Yesterday, which is considered one of the best tracks ever recorded by the Mark 1 lineup and was featured on the band's follow up Illusion album that was recorded and released (In Germany only) one full year later in 1971. It's fascinating for fans of this early lineup to hear how completely arranged this song was just a few months after releasing their first album.

The album closes with a jam that was latter partially incorporated into the studio version of Kings and Queens, titled No Name Raga, and a second version of Kings and Queens from a Swedish concert with features the Jane Relf showcased song Island sandwiched inbetween . All three tracks have good sound as does the closing track, an outtake from the 1971 Illusion sessions titled Statutes, which is as close as the Mark 1 lineup came to recording a commercial sounding "pop" song with it's catchy chorus and, it's little more, than two minute length. The song actually sounds unfinished to me as if it need's a lead guitar passage placed over it's bland middle eight section. Again, with it's varying quality of recorded sound, it's a hard album for me to rate. For someone who is an "archivist" of the group, like me, then Past Orbits of Dust is a four star essential. For those who cherish consistent sound qualtity, three stars would seem to be the best rating as these members or fans will rarely play this historical gem.

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 Illusion by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.99 | 178 ratings

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Illusion
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by fudgenuts64

4 stars A very odd album here. The lineup is a bit hodgepodge, however the tone of the album stays stronger throughout. Between simpler pieces such as Love Goes On, and um, Love Is All, we have one of the most fantastic epics from any version of the group, Golden Thread. Jane Relf's operatic vocals make this piece feel so grandiose, but it works. It then leads into a more simpler structure with Jim McCarty providing vocals, sounding absolutely beautiful with quite great lyrics. It has a nice little keyboard break in the middle before ending with a great vocal performance by Jim and co. again. Great song. Next up is Mr. Pine, a song penned by soon to be Renaissance member Michael Dunford. Vocals here are done by Keith Relf soundalike Terry Crowe. The atmosphere portrayed on this song is REALLY great, and has that Reanissance vibe you'd expect. The keyboard interlude is a direct predecessor of Running Hard four years later. It ends off back to the main melody and everyone harmonizing, Good stuff.

Two more tracks worth noting. First is the beautiful Face of Yesterday, really showing how good of a singer Jane Relf really is. A very soothing song, quite simple, honestly not very progressive, but just so beautiful and fits the sound here perfectly. This would later be re-recorded on the 1977 album Out of the Mist by Illusion, which I prefer. Finally, we end off with Past Orbits of Dust, a 14 minute... err... experiment. This one loses me quite a bit. Not surprising as it was quickly made to pad out the album for release.

All and all, we have three standout tracks, two decent ditties, and one polarizing avant garde piece that seems out of place. So yeah. Not too cohesive, but the overall atmosphere is so good I recommend picking it up if you love the self titled debut. Four stars for sure.

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 Live At Carnegie Hall by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 1976
4.21 | 175 ratings

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Live At Carnegie Hall
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by rogerthat
Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars In 1975, Renaissance played three nights at Carnegie Hall, New York, all three of which were sold out. The album Live at Carnegie Hall taken from these concerts also charted well. For the band as well in the eyes of ostensibly the press and the fans, LATC was the moment that marked out this upstart band striving for recognition as a force to reckon with. Novella improved upon the charting position of Scheherazade and Song for All Seasons was a silver disc in the UK. So LATC marked an inflexion point in the upward trajectory of Renaissance. I got the CD released in 2009 to mark 40 years since the birth of Renaissance (mk i, that is). In the album notes, singer Annie Haslam lavishes praise on the album and fondly remembers her being in a state of disbelief all through the time. She is also careful not to declare it their best concert.

And indeed, over the years, material has tumbled out of the archives (much of it bootleg quality, no doubt) that suggests that the reputation of LATC belies its quality. And when you put it together with the love showered on the Ashes-Cards-Scheherazade trilogy, LATC has acquired a (not entirely deserved) reputation as the high watermark of the band. As a young fan who did not witness the band live in the 70s, I am not too convinced about that.

One thing LATC does have going for it is it is one of only two Renaissance live albums that feature the orchestra (though I hear even the New York Academy concert of 1974 is now available in CD form?). And it features a more compact version of Ashes Are Burning than the ponderous one taken from the Royal Albert Hall concert (Live At Royal Albert Hall CD). It also neatly features Renaissance essentials from the albums Prologue through to Scheherazade.

While not denying the value of these considerations for a minute, I submit that Renaissance attained maturity after the LATC concerts rather than before it. The success of these concerts made them more assured and relaxed in their live delivery. They felt more confident of trying a few variations. This is especially noticeable in the vocal delivery of Annie, who sticks to note for note reproduction of the studio versions on this CD but allows herself the liberty of somewhat different accentuations and such in later performances.

Also, the presence of the orchestra is a double edged sword. Some would have it that Renaissance without orchestra is no Renaissance worth listening to. And yet, even in their heyday in the 70s, only a select few concerts featured the orchestra. Most others didn't and they capture the band in the settings that most concert going fans were familiar with. It would be revisionist to argue that that is not the essence of Renaissance in concert.

Further, the unique dimension offered by the concerts that did not feature an orchestra was the use of vocalise by Annie to substitute some of the parts performed by the orchestra. There is this black and white concert DVD Song of Scheherazade featuring a concert from 1976 (now also available in entirety on youtube). The band perform Running Hard in that concert too. The difference is that in the interlude, Annie takes over from piano. And frankly I find the effect of Annie hitting a spectacular C6 far more dramatic and spine tingling than the orchestra performing them exactly as on the studio recording. As recent a release as the Cards/Scheherazade DVD released in 2011 features one of the best renditions of Ocean Gypsy by the band. The Albert Hall discs feature an incredible performance of Touching Once, which doesn't even feature on this album (couldn't have as Novella was yet to be released!).

As for Ashes Are Burning. Yes, it is a more compact performance than the one on Albert Hall. I'd also direct you to the performance from their 1979 concert at Ashbury Park, New Jersey. Annie comes up with spectacular vocalise that mimics a guitar solo (similar to the one on the video of the famous 1983 performance) that comfortably eclipses the Carnegie Hall performance, great as it is. I have wondered why this unique facet of Annie's singing did not get the critical acclaim it deserved and perhaps LATC is the culprit!

Many of these alternatives being suggested are bootleg quality, you protest. Agreed. The problem is the LATC recordings are hardly stellar either. The sound is pretty thin and muddy. If you want great sound quality on a Renaissance live recording, look no further than the Cards/Scheherazade DVD of 2011. Hey, they actually feature those entire albums performed in running order. Even the Albert Hall recordings sound beefier than LATC, though they are also 'noisier'.

In summary, LATC is fine for what it actually is: one of the few live prog albums that work well as a best of compilation what with the performances being so ultra faithful. It is undoubtedly a good introduction to the band too. But it doesn't do justice to the band's live act and is certainly not, at least in my opinion, the last word in that aspect. It is also very far from being one of the best live prog albums, a superlative often conferred on it. It is an adequate, well rendered and moderately well recorded representation of a fine band, nothing more and nothing less. A definite notch below the high points of Royal Albert Hall and not lustrous enough to make up score over the low points of that album either. Three stars.

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 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, along with their super musicianship coupled with their always 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 Haslam flailing away 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 less than required listening for Renaissance's fans.

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 DeLane Lea Studios 1973 by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2015
3.07 | 5 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 with the killer closing track with Andy Powell reprising his lead electric guitar role that contributed to the studio version. 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 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 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 the BBC Sessions album 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 | 261 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 | 320 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 | 96 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 | 96 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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