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RENAISSANCE

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Renaissance picture
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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Turn of the CardsTurn of the Cards
Import
Repertoire 1994
Audio CD$6.86
$5.22 (used)
Live at the BBC: Sight & SoundLive at the BBC: Sight & Sound
Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$22.97
$29.52 (used)
Delane Lea Studios 1973Delane Lea Studios 1973
Purple Pyramid 2015
Audio CD$8.79
Scheherazade And Other Stories-The Deluxe EditionScheherazade And Other Stories-The Deluxe Edition
Remastered
Friday Music 2015
Audio CD$19.97
$13.97 (used)
Ashes Are BurningAshes Are Burning
Import
Repertoire 1995
Audio CD$6.60
$6.50 (used)
Song for All SeasonsSong for All Seasons
Import
Repertoire 2012
Audio CD$6.86
$3.98 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Renaissance Lionel Richie European CD album (CDLP) 5482222 MERCURY USD $16.17 Buy It Now
Renaissance USD $5.58 Buy It Now
Time Life Rock Renaissance CDs Set I, II, III - Hendrix, Cream, Van Morrison... USD $35.80 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE 45 " Cherche Quelqu'un / Cette Étrange Sensation " FLEURS Canada USD $5.20 Buy It Now
BT Godspeed CD single (CD5 / 5") UK RENCD002 RENAISSANCE MUSIC 1998 USD $12.29 Buy It Now 11m 29s
Renaissance Kid Golden Virgins UK 7" vinyl single record REKD32S REX RECORDS USD $14.18 Buy It Now 12m 31s
Ancient Instrum... French Dances Of The Renaissance USA vinyl LP record USD $24.54 Buy It Now 16m 12s
SOWETO STRING QUARTET - Renaissance - CD ** Brand New ** USD $16.49 Buy It Now 23m 6s
SOWETO STRING QUARTET - Renaissance - CD ** Like New - Mint ** USD $14.95 Buy It Now 27m
NEW WORLD RENAISSANCE BAND - Where Beauty Moves and Wit Delights - CD ** New ** USD $61.75 Buy It Now 32m 8s
NEW WORLD RENAISSANCE BAND - Where Beauty Moves and Wit Delights - CD USD $29.95 Buy It Now 32m 21s
Renaissance Renaissance - 1st - VG UK vinyl LP album record ILPS9114 ISLAND USD $43.96 Buy It Now 33m 28s
Renaissance Christmas by Renaissance Revival Band USD $3.96 Buy It Now 42m
Renaissance Of The Celtic Harp Alan Stivell UK vinyl LP album record PRICE51 USD $16.45 Buy It Now 47m
The Renaissance by Q-Tip (CD, Nov-2008, Motown (Record Label)) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 50m 3s
RENAISSANCE - LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL - 2 LP, 2XS 6029 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 51m 7s
Ben Webster At The Renaissance - Sealed vinyl LP album record USA C-7646 USD $37.49 Buy It Now 1h
In Concert 1975 + Ticket Stub & Cutting Renaissance tour programme UK USD $101.58 Buy It Now 1h 2m
Novella Renaissance USA vinyl LP album record SA-7526 SIRE 1977 USD $18.06 Buy It Now 1h 13m
Oesterreich / Weser-Renaissance / Cordes - Psalms & Cantatas [New CD] USD $14.97 Buy It Now 1h 21m
RENAISSANCE A Song For All Seasons LP 1978 SIRE US Issu USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1h 24m
Renaissance Renaissance - 1st - EX vinyl LP album record UK ILPS9114 ISLAND USD $63.39 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Andrew Kirkman - Renaissance Wedding Gift [New CD] USD $14.47 Buy It Now 1h 41m
Pre-Classical Two Renaissance Dance Bands vinyl LP album record UK HQS1249 HMV USD $15.47 Buy It Now 1h 56m
David Munrow - Instruments Du Moyen-Age Et de la Renaissance [New CD] Portugal - USD $9.25 Buy It Now 1h 58m
A Celtic Renaissance Wedding by The Brobdingnagian Bards (CD, Jun-2006, Mage... USD $17.99 Buy It Now 2h
Factor orbis - Sacred Vocal Music of the Renaissance - Victoria, Lassus, Obrecht USD $14.07 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Live at the Renaissance by Jimmy Witherspoon. USD $12.50 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Musica Contexta - Candlemass in Renaissance Rome [New CD] USD $15.67 Buy It Now 2h 6m
TIME-LIFE CLASSIC ROCK CD - Rock Renaissance III USD $6.50 Buy It Now 2h 24m
Renaissance Azure D'Or UK vinyl LP album record K56633 WARNER BROTHERS 1979 USD $18.06 Buy It Now 2h 26m
Back Home Once Again Renaissance 7" vinyl single record UK K17012 WARNER 1977 USD $14.18 Buy It Now 2h 32m
Renaissance Northern Lights 7" vinyl single record UK K17177 WARNER BROTHERS USD $12.87 Buy It Now 2h 32m
New York Pro Musica Spanish Music Of The Renaissance USA vinyl LP album record USD $24.54 Buy It Now 2h 44m
RENAISSANCE Folk Prog LP NOVELLA Original US Issue Gatefold 77 SIRE ANNIE HASLAM USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2h 51m
RENAISSANCE Folk Prog LP Scheherazade & Other Stories SIRE Records 1975 WLP USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2h 51m
VA Ladykillers LP New Renaissance GWD 90541 US 1986 HELLION HIGH RISK SIGNED VG USD $39.99 Buy It Now 3h 2m
RICHIE,LIONEL-RENAISSANCE CD NEW USD $18.31 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Renaissance USD $7.48 Buy It Now 3h 23m
RENAISSANCE ILLUSION-THROUGH THE FIRE-JAPAN CD BONUS TRACK G88 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 3h 32m
PROMO 1981 RENAISSANCE BOUNJOUR SWANSONG / REMEMBER 45 I.R.S. RECORDS 9904 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3h 33m
Various Composers : A Rose of Swych Virtu - Reverence from the Renaissance CD USD $6.93 Buy It Now 3h 36m
Face Fate [EP] by Blood Feast (CD, Nov-1999, New Renaissance) USD $39.99 Buy It Now 3h 38m
LP Album: BRANFORD MARSALIS "Renaissance" 1987 CBS ~ AUTOGRAPHED Vinyl Record USD $73.88 Buy It Now 3h 43m
Classical Renaissance - Jerusalem Vinyl 12" 45RPM UK2000 Electronic Trance CR 01 USD $10.35 Buy It Now 3h 55m
DENIS STEVENS-GERMAN MUSIC OF THE RENAISSANCE-LP-VINYL-FACTORY SEALED-NEW! USD $5.86 Buy It Now 4h 14m
Corporate Power Renaissance Its A Rap (explicit lyrics) CD USD $7.99 Buy It Now 4h 35m
GORAN SOLLSCHER - THE RENAISSANCE ALBUM - CD - DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON USD $4.53 Buy It Now 5h 10m
?FREESHIPPING?RENAISSANCE?PROLOGUE?JAPAN RARE MINI LP SHM-CD NEW?TOCP-95065 USD $44.00 Buy It Now 5h 34m
Renaissance - A Song For All Seasons - 1978 Germany - Warner Bros - Vinyl LP USD $9.00 Buy It Now 5h 36m
1975 - RENAISSANCE - Turn Of The Cards + UK Tour -Press Advertisment Poster Size USD $11.64 Buy It Now 5h 56m
Renaissance Keyboard - Fabio Antonio Antico / Cavazzoni / Fa (CD Used Very Good) USD $6.28 Buy It Now 6h 2m
NORDSTROM/RENAISSANCE BAND US ORS6905 USD $13.00 Buy It Now 6h 23m
RENAISSANCE Northern Lights Warner 7" K17177 C/w Opening Out USD $1.29 Buy It Now 6h 40m
VILLAGE PEOPLE - Renaissance - Excellent Con LP Record USD $11.64 Buy It Now 7h 22m
Spanish Songs of the Renaissance - Victoria De Los Angeles LP Record Vinyl USD $5.17 Buy It Now 7h 23m
M-People Renaissance UK 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) 194131 BMG 1994 USD $14.81 Buy It Now 7h 24m
Jamaaladeen Tacuma Renaissance Man - Sealed vinyl LP album record German USD $37.49 Buy It Now 7h 28m
English Renaissance - Music For Great Cathedrals [CD New] USD $13.43 Buy It Now 7h 30m
Songs & Dances of the Renaissance & Baroque Minstrelsy Audio CD USD $3.99 Buy It Now 7h 40m
L'ensemble Musica Avrea De L'université De Liège Danceries De La Renaissance D USD $24.54 Buy It Now 7h 41m
Chimurenga Renaissance Rize Vadzimu Rize vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $34.32 Buy It Now 7h 52m
V.V.S.I No Ace At Hand vinyl LP album record USA NRR21 NEW RENAISSANCE RECORDS USD $24.54 Buy It Now 7h 53m
Renaissance vinyl LP album record Novella - 2nd USA SR-6024 SIRE 1977 USD $28.42 Buy It Now 7h 54m
The York Waits - City Musicke : Wind Bands Of Renaissance Europe 1550-1600 (NEW) USD $6.41 Buy It Now 8h 2m
Early Music Consort Of London Instruments Of The Middle Ages And Renaissance V USD $40.85 Buy It Now 8h 2m
Renaissance (Eng). USD $14.57 Buy It Now 8h 11m
Novella by Renaissance. USD $9.76 Buy It Now 8h 11m
The Renaissance of Italian Music. USD $13.97 Buy It Now 8h 12m
As our sweet Cords with Discords mixed be: English Renaissance Consort Music. USD $16.58 Buy It Now 8h 12m
Time Traveller: The Italian Renaissance. USD $10.81 Buy It Now 8h 12m
Renaissance-The Classics PART 2 Various 2006 set 3 X CD**NR MINT CD'S** FR POST USD $9.05 Buy It Now 8h 27m
BARNES,LINN & ALLISON HAMPTON vinyl lp...RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE MUSIC...M-/M- USD $10.25 Buy It Now 8h 35m
Renaissance - Masterpieces - Choir of New College Oxford - 5CDs Box Set USD $21.98 Buy It Now 8h 53m
Renaissance - Music for Inner Peace - CD Album - 16 Great Tracks - 2005 USD $10.27 Buy It Now 8h 53m
ASWAD - Renaissance (CD 1988) USD $10.36 Buy It Now 8h 54m
RENAISSANCE~'MOMENTS OF TRUTH'~ RARE ITALIAN CD 1992~LLRCD154~NEW USD $32.36 Buy It Now 9h 8m
Alan Stivell - Renaissance Of The Celtic Harp 1982 Rounder USD $17.00 Buy It Now 9h 11m
Renaissance Live At Carnegie Hall EU vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $48.50 Buy It Now 9h 13m
A Song For All Seasons Renaissance Vinyl Record USD $20.65 Buy It Now 9h 14m
Berlin Saxophone Quartet - Renaissance [New CD] USD $13.27 Buy It Now 9h 22m
Ben Webster - At the Renaissance [New CD] Italy - Import USD $6.65 Buy It Now 9h 22m
Various - Renaissance - The Classics pt. 2 - Various CD HYVG USD $18.19 Buy It Now 9h 27m
RENAISSANCE:SCHEHERAZADE PAPERSLEEVE CD USD $14.23 Buy It Now 9h 27m
Renaissance 2001 by Marsalis, Branford *NO CASE DISC ONLY* USD $2.98 Buy It Now 9h 31m
Music From The Court Of Burgundy: 1965 Classical Renaissance LP Album Rare USD $5.60 Buy It Now 9h 51m
Vanilla Fudge / Renaissance - 1968 Atco Original USD $1.00 [1 bids]
9h 57m
CLEMENCIC, RENE - Clemencic Plays Late Gothic & Renaissance Masterworks on Clavi USD $74.49 Buy It Now 10h 6m
The Da Vinci Era: Masters Of The Italian Renaissance On Audio CD Album Very Good USD $4.15 Buy It Now 10h 24m
The Da Vinci Era: Masters Of The Italian Renaissance On Audio CD Album Brand New USD $4.15 Buy It Now 10h 25m
Various Artists - Renaissance Sound Of Vol 2 - Various Artists CD WIVG USD $11.97 Buy It Now 10h 54m
MXPX - Life In General LP + The Renaissance EP 12" NOFX Green Day AFI Blink 182 USD $96.00 [3 bids]
10h 56m
Renaissance Deluxe Expanded Mono Edition - Association (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.40 Buy It Now 11h 2m
~COVER ART MISSING~ CD Courts Kings & Troubadors: Medieval & Renaissance Import USD $4.79 Buy It Now 11h 8m
RENAISSANCE THE CLASSICS 2 52 TRACK BOX SET 3 CD INNER CITY ERIC B RAKIM SNAP USD $6.20 Buy It Now 11h 13m
Michael Lucarelli - Renaissance [New CD] USD $17.21 Buy It Now 11h 15m
The Waits of Southwark Renaissance Band - Silence Is Deadly [New CD] USD $16.56 Buy It Now 11h 16m
A Song For All Seasons Renaissance Vinyl Record USD $20.65 Buy It Now 11h 24m
Renaissance: The Masters Series - Satoshi Tomiie - 2CD USD $24.99 Buy It Now 11h 26m
REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE AGE OF AQUARIUS BRAND NEW SEALED CD USD $9.00 Buy It Now 11h 40m

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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)

3.73 | 294 ratings
Renaissance
1969
3.06 | 211 ratings
Illusion
1971
3.71 | 376 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.22 | 625 ratings
Ashes Are Burning
1973
4.08 | 548 ratings
Turn Of The Cards
1974
4.31 | 1022 ratings
Scheherazade And Other Stories
1975
3.72 | 341 ratings
Novella
1977
3.63 | 306 ratings
A Song For All Seasons
1978
3.00 | 176 ratings
Azure D'Or
1979
2.42 | 114 ratings
Camera Camera
1981
1.61 | 101 ratings
Time-Line
1983
2.13 | 65 ratings
The Other Woman
1995
2.89 | 53 ratings
Ocean Gypsy
1997
2.16 | 59 ratings
Songs From Renaissance Days
1997
3.04 | 95 ratings
Tuscany
2000
3.28 | 116 ratings
Grandine Il Vento [Aka: Symphony Of Light]
2013

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

4.24 | 197 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall
1976
3.80 | 54 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 1
1997
3.68 | 51 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2
1997
3.87 | 23 ratings
BBC Sessions
1999
4.08 | 11 ratings
Day of the Dreamer
2000
2.45 | 12 ratings
Unplugged - Live at The Academy of Music, Philadelphia USA
2000
3.19 | 14 ratings
Can You Hear Me
2001
3.32 | 12 ratings
Mother Russia
2002
4.10 | 10 ratings
Live + Direct
2002
3.50 | 38 ratings
In The Land Of The Rising Sun
2002
3.20 | 11 ratings
British Tour '76
2006
3.19 | 14 ratings
Dreams & Omens
2008
4.19 | 24 ratings
Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert
2011
3.91 | 2 ratings
Past Orbits Of Dust: Live 1969/1970
2012
3.26 | 14 ratings
DeLane Lea Studios 1973
2015
4.08 | 10 ratings
Academy Of Music 1974
2015

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

2.89 | 21 ratings
Song of Scheherazade
2008
3.97 | 12 ratings
Kings And Queens
2010
4.70 | 8 ratings
Live at the Union Chapel
2016
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live at the BBC Sight & Sound
2016

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

2.57 | 12 ratings
In the Beginning
1978
4.00 | 3 ratings
Rock Galaxy
1980
3.44 | 30 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 1
1990
3.21 | 30 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 2
1990
3.45 | 16 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 | 1 ratings
Heritage
2003
2.00 | 4 ratings
Midas Man
2003

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Island
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prologue
1972
3.00 | 2 ratings
Northern Lights
1978
1.20 | 7 ratings
Faeries (Living At The Bottom Of My Garden)
1981
3.57 | 16 ratings
The Mystic And The Muse
2010

RENAISSANCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live at the BBC Sight & Sound by RENAISSANCE album cover DVD/Video, 2016
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Live at the BBC Sight & Sound
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by rogerthat
Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Repertoire Records has previously dug out the De Lane Studios and Academy of Music concerts of Renaissance for official release. In comparison, this 'Live at the BBC Sight & Sound' package includes material that fans are well acquainted with. It draws from the previous BBC Sessions CD and adds, as the main attraction, video of the concert performed by Renaissance at the Hippodrome, London in 1977 as part of the Sight & Sound in Concert series. However, this main attraction has already been available, 'unofficially', on youtube for a few years now, something that the band acknowledged while promoting this release on their facebook package.

I was excited as this was the only colour footage taken from a live performance given by the band in the 70s. And it is a beautifully shot concert, way ahead of all of the band's DVDs including the recent ones in that aspect, covering the band from a whole variety of angles. However, when I saw the nervous look on Annie Haslam's face in the first close up shot in the concert as they perform Carpet of the Sun, I began to have misgivings. After a somewhat glaring misstep (hard to be too harsh when somebody's got a voice like that) towards the end of that song, her confidence seems to drop even more and she wears a kind of anxious and downcast look through the rest of the show, for the most part. The wide variety of giggles and grins sported by her in shows over the years attest to how unusual it is for her to be that aloof while performing. I didn't mind the show on the whole but I was also not overwhelmed and just said to myself that you can't have it all. Maybe best quality audio and video had to come at the (slight) expense of musical quality and show(woman)ship.

So I decided to play the audio CD version of the concert, just to see if the audio was better on it as compared to the DVD (it was). And I began to get a different impression of the concert, indeed of Annie's singing. On video, she looks tentative, perhaps weighed down by her perfectionist streak and perhaps also battling a throat that was protesting the workload she had imposed on it. But, on audio, I heard beautiful, confident and expressive renditions, as always. Yes, with those little missteps hither and thither, but it is much harder to notice when the sheer quality of her vocal delivery overwhelms you.

Turns out the Sight & Sound concert is another fine example of Annie's quiet resilience. Perhaps she may have been embattled by inner demons and may have completely abdicated the role of frontperson for this show to the more composed Jon Camp but she was still striving to give her best song after song and did not disappoint the eager fans who had turned up to watch the show. I could finally put in perspective the enthusiastic cheering from the crowd after every song. No, it is not that they were forgiving. It is that she and the band as such had truly mounted a wonderful show, in spite of the somewhat scripted quality these Sight & Sound shows have compared to less high profile performances by Renaissance (or other bands). My pick would be Ocean Gypsy but don't miss John Tout's wonderful piano work on Mother Russia. There are some fine, subtle variations in there that he's sneaked in unobtrusively without altering the spirit of the composition.

He is bolder still on the 1975 Sight & Sound show, also performed at the Hippodrome, shining especially on Ashes Are Burning, where he attempts a modest harmonic expedition rather than trying to play fast. No, it's not the second coming of Dave Stewart but it's still the most interesting keyboard solo I have heard from John Tout on this track. He's on a roll as such on this show and some of his best work on Ocean Gypsy can also be heard here. Annie is in finer voice, that is to say more like her usual, frighteningly invincible self and knocks Ashes Are Burning in particular out of the park. If I haven't said much if anything about the others, it's only because there isn't much to add except to say they are all in reliably good form, just as fine as on any of the other shows from the 70s.

The Paris Theater show is also a fine set but there's little to add because the song selections overlap, barring Song of Scheherzade. It is a more by-the-book set compared to the 1975 show. There is also a little trio of songs performed as part of 'BBC Sessions' first released on radio in 1978. Of these, Day of the Dreamer turns out best and has some lovely bass playing by Camp, especially in the slow second verse.

So, is it worth it at the end of it all? If you are only interested in the DVD, maybe not, because you necessarily have to buy the full compilation of Renaissance's BBC appearances. Maybe they could have (and can still) release the DVD as a standalone purchase. But if you don't have the earlier BBC Sessions release, it is well worth the money. Not only because the performances are good but because the recordings are top notch too, easily better than Live at Carnegie Hall or Live at Albert Hall. You do miss the orchestra here, but as I have said in other reviews, the orchestra was never a quintessential aspect of Renaissance's live shows, only a special addition in a select few shows. If you want to hear Renaissance the way they usually were, except a bit more formal, this is a fine place to start.

 Live At Carnegie Hall by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 1976
4.24 | 197 ratings

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Live At Carnegie Hall
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 114

"Live At Carnegie Hall" is the debut live album of Renaissance and was released in 1976. It features songs from all their studio albums that were attended by the new Renaissance's line up, until then, which corresponds too, to their musical golden era. The release of this live album was taken from a live show recorded at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1975, which was performed with the backing of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Carnegie Hall is a famous New York theatre better known for its classical performances than for rock concerts. Curiously, or maybe not, this was the local chosen by Renaissance to present this live performance. Sincerely, I'm convinced that this local was purposeful and not by chance, because their sound is so close to the classical music that made a complete sense to play this live show in that place.

However, Renaissance was for some unknown reasons always more popular in the USA than in Europe. So, it was quite natural to record their classic live album over there. "Live At Carnegie Hall" featured songs from their four previous studio albums, and proved that the band could pull off their complex and orchestral compositions and arrangements very well on stage, too. When I say "their four previous studio albums", I mean the first four studio albums from their second line up, "Prologue", "Ashes Are Burning", "Turn Of The Cards" and "Scheherazade And Other Stories". So, it not includes "Renaissance" and "Illusion", the two debut studio albums that belong to their first and completely different line up. Anyway, these four albums are in general considered their four best studio albums, at least three of them, "Scheherazade And Other Stories", "Turn Of The Cards" and "Ashes Are Burning", for this precise order.

About the performance of the line up on this album, Annie Haslam is the obvious starting point with her pure five octave range that she uses so well. To the keyboardist John Tout lacks, perhaps, the stage presence of Rick Wakeman, but his playing is a key part of Renaissance's instrumental sections. The acoustic guitarist Michael Dunford is equally retiring. He composes the bulk of the material with the non playing lyricist Betty Thatcher. The bassist Jon Camp is all over the play and often his runs are more like lead than part of the rhythm section making a perfect interplay with the energetic drumming of Terence Sullivan. It's the interplay between both that gives the band such a vibrant energy.

The tracks performed on this live set were "Prologue" from "Prologue", "Can You Understand", "Carpet On The Sun" and "Ashes Are Burning" from "Ashes Are Burning", "Running Hard" and "Mother Russia" from "Turn Of The Cards" and "Ocean Gypsy" and "Song Of Scheherazade" from "Scheherazade And Other Stories". About the live performance of them, the title track from "Prologue" kicks it all off, and is followed by strong versions of "Ocean Gypsy", "Can You Understand", "Carpet Of The Sun", "Running Hard" and "Mother Russia". All these versions may not add anything that the studio recordings didn't have, but it's still great to listen to them in a live setting. The band also talks and comments a lot between the songs, adding a very interesting and familiar magic live atmosphere that far too many live albums lack. These are all tracks included on the first record. The second record in the set is taken up by only two tracks. First we have, of course, their great suite "Song Of Scheherazade". What is really very interesting about this track is that the album itself was actually still not released when the band played it here. So, you can imagine that the audience must have gotten some quite enormous expectations for it after listen to this track for the first time, that night. But the real highlight of the album is the fantastic 23 minute version of "Ashes Are Burning". This is one of the best performances the band ever caught on vinyl, and Camp delivers some of the most beautiful bass playing I've ever heard from him. In reality, "Live At Carnegie Hall" remains as one of the best live albums from a progressive rock band in the 70's.

Conclusion: There are some bands that are equally good performing on studio or live and Renaissance is one of those cases. "Live At Carnegie Hall" has great live performances, the repertoire chosen is magnificent and the live sound quality is excellent. All of these factors contribute that "Live At Carnegie Hall" be one of the best live albums ever made. This album is simply amazing and it has true fantastic musical live moments and basically it represents some of the best material from their golden era. All their musical performance is absolutely irreproachable, but the live performance of the second part of the concert is completely unforgettable. The 30 minutes of the "Scheherazade" suite is absolutely amazing and particularly the live version of "Ashes Are Burning" is, for me, even better than the original studio version. It's the highest musical moment of this live set. "Live At Carnegie Hall" is, perhaps, the best way to describe Renaissance's music for those who aren't yet familiarized with the typical sound of the band. This is one of the best postcards of the group and subsequently, one of the best musical works that can introduce anyone into their music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Grandine Il Vento [Aka: Symphony Of Light] by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.28 | 116 ratings

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Grandine Il Vento [Aka: Symphony Of Light]
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars A fitting Tribute to Michael Dunford, and a Great Return to Form.

It took a long time. Thank goodness for crowd-funding. Like so many other wonderful 70s bands, record company pressure forced a change in their sound. You first hear it in 1979's Azure D'Or (although still a decent album), but the changes would continue with Camera Camera and degenerate to the point of no return in Time Line (where the band's time line literally ended, for a long while). For some reason, it took Renaissance much longer than other bands for the two key members to get back together to make a new album (both Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford tried their own separate versions of Renaissance in the 1990s, but those don't cut it). I am very glad they finally did. Michael Dunford passed away during the recording of this album, after writing most of the material. It is a testament to his strengths as a composer that this material is as good as it is. Annie Haslam writes all the lyrics here, which are (mostly) very good, and although her voice has aged she sounds very good for a 65 year old. She has that same presence, and is still able to hit those (very) high notes.

Musically and stylistically, this album comes closest to A Song for All Seasons. The song "A Symphony of Light" opens the album, and (on the first release, before the bonus tracks) the song "The Mystic and the Muse" closes it. These are the two best and most musical songs, as well as the longest and most progressive, on the album. In between are a number of songs of mixed quality, with most of the album fairly soft, slow and mature. (So, again, in its structure it mirrors A Song for All Seasons). Some of the other tunes are quite good. "Blood Silver Lake Moonlight" is probably the third-best tune, and features a duet with Annie Haslam and John Wetton. In also find "Waterfall" to be quite musical, as well as parts of "Grandine Il Vento" and "Air of Drama". On the other hand, I find "Porcelain" and "Cry to the World" to be weak, in the same way that some of the songs in the middle of A Song for All Seasons are weak (that is, a bit too cheesy, with some trite lyrics). Three bonus tracks were added to the initial release, with two of these explicitly written as tributes to Michael Dunford and recorded after his death ("Immortal Beloved" and "Renaissance Man") although the third also sounds like a tribute to my ears ("Tonight"). These are all decent. Of these three, I like "Tonight" the best musically, but all three fit very well with the rest of the album, and together add up to a very fitting tribute. I agree that this is the best Renaissance album in almost 40 years. Who knows if Renaissance will make another album, but even if this turns out to be their last it is a great gift to the world. All taken together, I give this album 7.4 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to (high) 3 PA stars.

 Illusion by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.06 | 211 ratings

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Illusion
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 83

The original line up of Renaissance fell apart during the recording of this second album. Jim McCarthy was the first to leave. Then, he was followed by Keith Relf and Louis Cennamo who left the band to form a new group called Armageddon. John Hawken kept the band alive recruiting new members like Michael Dunford, but after several short lived transitional line ups, he also departed with Jane Relf. Later and after the disband of Armageddon, immediately after the tragic dead of Keith, the rest of the original Renaissance line up regrouped and formed a new band called Illusion. This new band released two studio albums "Out Of The Mist" and "Illusion" and also was disbanded in 1978. So, the new Renaissance group that would arise in 1971 is based almost in a completely new line up.

"Illusion" is the second studio album and the last of this line up of Renaissance and was released in 1970. It was originally released only in Germany. "Illusion" had a very difficult birth and was a very difficult album in the history of Renaissance. Despite the serious problems with the line up for the band's second album, it hardly had any kind of effect on the music. "Illusion" can be considered almost as strong as their debut album, only partly with different musicians. On both albums, the sound is identical and they both contain a fine blend of rock, prog, folk and classical music which make of them mature releases. "Illusion" is even an incredible album, although not as aggressive as their debut, "Renaissance" is. In my humble opinion, it's almost at the same level of their previous one, in terms of quality.

"Illusion" has six tracks. The first track "Love Goes On" written by Keith is a very short song very simple and pleasant to listen to despite being a little repetitive on some parts. It isn't for sure one of the best musical moments of this band but I'm convinced that we are in the presence of a good song and a very decent song to open the album. The second track "Golden Thread" written by McCarthy and Keith is better than the previous song and is composed in the same vein and style of the previous album. It's a fantastic song where Jane shines with her vocal performance. It has a beautiful and lovely classical melody and has also a phenomenal piano performance and a beautiful choral work. This is without any doubt one of the highlights of the album and one of my favourite songs of this line up of Renaissance. The third track "Love Is All" written by McCarthy and Thatcher is another short song very simple and pleasant to listen to, in the same vein of "Love Goes On". It's, for me, better and more beautiful than "Love Goes On" and has beautiful vocal performance, a lovely chorus and a beautiful piano work. It's a song oriented to pop, but it's extremely beautiful and nice to listen to. The fourth track "Mr. Pine" written by Dunford is one of the most beautiful and sophisticated songs on the album. It starts as a medieval piece that turns into jazz and rock styles, and that, in the end, returns to the medieval style. This is really a truly progressive song with so many musical changes that it almost seems to be various songs into only one song. This is another highlight of the album and it's also one of my favourite songs on it. The fifth track "Face Of Yesterday" written by McCarthy is a slow piano based song and is another beautiful and pleasant song to listen to and where Jane has her greatest vocal moment on the album. Finally, she can show to us all of her great vocal talents and that at times she even makes us believe that we are in the presence of Annie Haslam. In reality, this is a great song with a superior and unforgettable vocal work of Jane. This is the kind of songs that can only raise the overall quality of any album. The sixth track "Past Orbits Of Dust" written by McCarthy, Keith and Thatcher is a completely different song from the others, as happened with "Bullet", the last song of their previous album "Renaissance". It's an extensive psychedelic piece of music with a jazz touch, very experimental, and like with "Bullet" it's also a little bit lengthy and boring to my taste. As with "Bullet", "Past Orbits Of Dust" is also my less favourite song on this album. Anyway, "Illusion" remains almost as good as their previous eponymous debut studio album.

Conclusion: I don't agree with most of the people about this album. Sincerely, I'm absolutely convinced that "Illusion" is an underrated album in the history of the progressive rock music. It's possible that in some musical parts, it isn't as brilliant as "Renaissance" is, but otherwise, it's in a certain and strange way, more balanced and cohesive than "Renaissance" is. "Illusion" remains as an excellent album, very melodic and with some great progressive parts, and the vocal performance of Jane is, in my humble opinion, better than on their previous debut album. It's truly a pity that during the most of the songs of the first two albums of the band, she was mostly confined in a subordinate vocal role and not in a more important role. She deserved much more, because he has a brilliant voice with a beautiful timbre. So, this is really a nice album with great moments that can't be missed by any true fan of the progressive symphonic style.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Renaissance by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.73 | 294 ratings

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Renaissance
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 82

Renaissance is a progressive rock band that emerged from the ashes of The Yardbirds, a band mostly known as the starting point of three of the best British rock guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. However, the history of Renaissance is essentially the history of two separate groups with two completely different line ups. The original group was founded in 1969 by the ex-Yardbirds members, the drummer Jim McCarthy and the vocalist and guitarist Keith Relf. With the addition of the keyboardist John Hawken, the bassist Louis Cennamo and the singer Jane Relf, the sister of Keith, the group was completed. The first line up of the group released only two studio albums, this debut album "Renaissance" and the following second, "Illusion". Their self titled debut working has mixed influences of rock, folk and jazz with some frequent quotations from various pieces of classical music. Despite be a very good album, it's quite an embryonic album compared to their classic albums from the 70's, the albums of the second line up.

So, "Renaissance" is the debut studio album of Renaissance and was released in 1969. The line up of this album is Jane Relf (vocals and percussion), Keith Relf (vocals, guitar and harmonica), John Hawken (piano and harpsichord), Louis Cennamo (bass) and Jim McCarthy (vocals and percussion).

"Renaissance" has five tracks. All songs were written by Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, John Hawken and Louis Cennamo, except "Wanderer" which was written by Hawken and McCarthy. The first track "Kings And Queens" is the opening track that clearly proves what will be the personal landmark of the future band's music. It's a long and complex song heavily influenced by the classical music and where its musical structure would be relevant on their later musical compositions. It's a song extremely very well constructed, very melodious and at the same time very dynamic. It's without any kind of doubt a truly progressive song, very beautiful and represents probably the best musical moment on the album. The second track "Innocence" is a much simpler musical composition than the previous song. Its musical structure is different from their debut track and it's more influenced by the psychedelic sound of the 60's than by the classical music. It's a very good song again centred on Hawken's piano work and Keith's vocals and guitar workings, and it has an interesting and typical psychedelic guitar playing from the 60's. The third track "Island" is another beautiful and melodic song and represents also one of the best musical moments on the album and is also one of my favourites. It's again an acoustic guitar and piano based song with great melody and where this time the main vocal duties goes to Jane, despite it has also a male vocal performance. It's true that Jane isn't Annie Haslam but she sings beautifully and she can also reach the high notes. The fourth track "Wanderer" is another fantastic song, this time more close to the medieval sound. Here we can listen to the beautiful sound of harpsichord and where Jane is once more fantastic and unforgettable with her high octave notes. This is, in my humble opinion, one of her best vocal performances. Despite being the shortest song on the album, it represents also one of the best and one of my favourite musical moments on it. The fifth and last track "Bullet" is a completely different song from the others. It's a moody and darker track, very long and influenced by different musical styles that ranging from rock, blues and psychedelic music. The musical composition of this song is performed in avant- garde music style with several musical explorations of different sounds. It's a song where we can clearly see a great appetite for free musical improvisation, an ideal track to be performed live with some individual solos. I think this is a track with high and low points and sincerely it's my less favourite song on the album and it's probably the main reason that I don't consider this album a masterpiece.

Conclusion: I know Renaissance since the 70's. However, for so many years, I only knew from them three studio albums, "Prologue", "Ashes Are Burning", "Scheherazade And Other Stories" and the live album "Live At The Carnegie Hall". All these albums are from their second and better known line up. So, unfortunately I ignored the original line up for too much. Finally, some time ago, I bought the first two albums of the original Renaissance and I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised with them. So, now I'm ready to say that, although I prefer the second line up of the group, both are great. In relation to this previous debut album I need to say that we are in presence of a great album. It's commonly accepted that "In The Court Of The Crimson King" is the first progressive rock album in history. However, "In The Court Of The Crimson King" and "Renaissance" were both released in the same year, 1969. So, it's difficult for me to say which of the two albums, the first one was. However, for me, about one thing I'm sure. Both albums introduced radically new musical ideas and both were responsible for the birth of progressive rock.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Time-Line by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1983
1.61 | 101 ratings

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Time-Line
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Renaissance, once a renowned and ambitious symphonic prog act took the turn that sadly all too many bands of the genre have taken at one point or another in the late seventies and eighties. Yes produced disco radio-friendly hits, Genesis got to things in the area similar to Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer produced the pop sell-out Love Beach while Mike Oldfield recorded dance music with techno strains. Renaissance was no exception. Time-Line is probably the worst album in the band's discography. Mike Dunford's guitar solos are not unskillful by any means, but are being put in a scenario that makes me cringe. While listening to the band's previous works, you wouldn't be able to imagine Annie Haslam's voice in such terrible music. All in all, this is a complete junk, I recommend you stay away from this!
 Live at the Union Chapel by RENAISSANCE album cover DVD/Video, 2016
4.70 | 8 ratings

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Live at the Union Chapel
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by rogerthat
Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Renaissance has a surprisingly rich treasure trove of live recordings, especially so for a second tier band. Are there some superfluous releases in this humongous catalogue of concert performances? Perhaps, but Live At the Union Chapel is surely not one of them. What follows is a review of the DVD and not the audio only CD.

What makes this DVD special is, aside from all other things, it is one of only two colour DVDs of Renaissance mk ii and the third yet overall. The only DVD representing the 70s classic line up - you know which one - is Song of Scheherazade and that much maligned black and white release is no competition. The main competition then is with the Turn of the Cards/Scheherazade and other Stories DVD from 2011. Yeppers, if you didn't know about that one and don't have it yet in your collection, you should because it has both albums performed in their entirety with a little bonus.

On the face of it then, this DVD, taken from their concert at aforesaid venue in London, is up against the odds when compared with Cards/Scheherazade. But, leaving aside this obvious disadvantage, Renaissance score over the 2011 DVD on two counts. One, the video footage is much better shot here (though I'll leave providing the technical justification for that comment to somebody else!) and the audio too is stunning. The audio is available in two modes - stereo and surround sound. The surround sound set up is incredible. Listening to Annie Haslam's voice on surround can almost lull you into believing it's the 70s. Two, the concert features three tracks from Grandine Il Vento/Symphony of Light. That would perhaps be regarded as a problem by some but, as somebody who is no great fan of that album, I must say these three tracks really come alive in the concert setting. I had already enjoyed Mystic and the Muse on the 2011 DVD and now enjoy Symphony of Light as well as Grandine Il Vento a lot more on the DVD compared to the studio versions. The energy and emotion that was perhaps a touch subdued in the studio recordings really flows in the concert performances and makes them a lot more engaging.

I have minor quibbles here and there of the band's playing (like the way Mark Lambert performs the opening guitar riff of Northern Lights...just compare it to the way Dunford played it and you'll see my point) but overall they are splendid. Annie Haslam continues to amaze, as ever. It's not that her instrument is completely untouched by the demands of touring for so many years and a purely vocal acrobatics-oriented track like Prologue spotlights what's changed. But on the other tracks (which have lyrics) her phrasing seems to have gotten even better as compared in 2011 (which was already - dare I say it - better than the 70s). As I mentioned earlier, the surround sound set up adds that little bit of 'beef' to her voice which was missing in the 2011 recording, closing the gap even more on the 70s. These are nitpicky considerations of a long time fan (or not so long time by Ren fan standards!); suffice it to say that those who are less demanding will have nary a complaint of any hue to make.

Time for the rating, then. From a Renaissance fan perspective, this is five star material. I am not comparing this with DVDs of other bands and wouldn't advise a casual listener (of Renaissance) to start here. But if you already like this band, then this is a must have for sure.

 Songs From Renaissance Days by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.16 | 59 ratings

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Songs From Renaissance Days
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

2 stars Songs From Renaissance Days is a compilation of unreleased outtakes and demos that the band had recorded around the time of the Camera Camera and Time Line album sessions. Except for a couple of songs, there was good reason not include these songs on the afore noted albums. They simply are not up to snuff as either new wave prog or straight pop songs. But this compilation does give one the ability to see clearly the two diametrically opposed musical avenues the group was deciding in the wake of poor sales of the Camera Camera album that was just released in 1981.

Dream Maker is a gorgeous emotive song that features some of Jon Camp's best lyrics that were placed together with Michael Dunford's hypnotic melody. Annie Haslam shines on this track but it would be only one the few where she does.

Africa and You are outtakes and demos, respectively, from the Camera Camera sessions and are good for a look at other musical ideas the band were playing with at that time. Unfortunately, these are failed experiments that involved tribal rhythms and chanting in a faux tribal language in the case of Africa, and long almost repetitive musical passages in the case of You.

This compilation also features two solo demos from Annie that are a stiffy electric slowed down version of the band's UK hit Northern Lights ,and the last song ever co-written by lyricist Betty Thatcher and Dunford for the band to record as a Renaissance album track titled No Beginning No End. No Beginning No End features another gorgeous Dunford melody and it is surprising that the song was not resurrected during any of the band's recent re-incarnations.

Only When I Laugh and The Body Machine are slick synth pop songs that are pleasant mostly due to Haslam's emotive vocals. Writer's Wronged is a song that doesn't know if it wants to be prog, pop or jazz and probably illustrates the confusion in musical direction that the band were experiencing at that of its recording.

The band's cover of Paul Simon's America seems redundant in that it was Yes' encore piece during their many US concerts, and the band do little to better Yes' version.

All in all, Songs From Renaissance Days was a postcard to old Renaissance fans that should have never been sent. 2 stars.

 Camera Camera by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.42 | 114 ratings

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Camera Camera
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

5 stars Eight rapid fire old time camera shutters clicking open and closed signal the invisible metronome of Camera Camera's opening title track and we're off. Jon Camp's bass takes over the beat with five identical propulsive bass notes that climax in a quick four note melody, while long time acoustic guitarist Michael Dunford shadows Camp's leading bass with surprise stabbing stereo electric guitar chords that are actually rhythmic notes that cascade around the soundstage. New drummer Peter Baron adds electrifying drum fills and briefly detours to hit his snare on the offbeat before rejoining the song in conventional rock band style. Briefly, images of Bill Bruford and Chris Squire fill my head before Peter Gosling's distinctive synth notes fill the sound stage joined by Annie Haslam's distinctive vocals. But Haslam herself surprises and climaxes her multi tracked choruses with some never before heard high octave vocal hijinks.

This is how I first remember hearing the formally symphonic progressive rock band Renaissance back in 1981 and I was thrilled. I recently played a near mint copy of the original vinyl album of Camera Camera and the initial rush is still the same.

For very good reasons. After the departure of long time members John Tout and Terry Sullivan following the release of the more 'radio friendly' Azure D'dor album in 1979, the remaining group members, Annie Haslam, Michael Dunford and Jon Camp found themselves without a record contract while facing a wholesale change that invaded the pop music scene of the early eighties when New Wave ruled the pop radio waves. And frankly, the band's longtime orchestral sound was sounding long in the tooth ever since the release of the Novella album in 1977.

Realigning themselves with former manager Miles Copeland, who now owned IRS Records' subsidy label Illegal, the group recruited keyboardist Gosling from their offshoot band Nevada and added crack studio drummer Baron. With full financial backing from Illegal, the band produced a terrific electric prog album while still maintaining elements of their classical sound. Gosling settled on a distinctively thick synth sound that incorporated elements of dissonant sound, space age whooshes and buzzing into his melodic tones. Baron brought a more prog style of drumming with solid beats backed up with lightning tom fills and deft cymbal work. Aside from Dunford taking up rhythmic electric guitar in place of his previous percussive acoustic, Camp forsook his trebly bass sound for a fat grubby tone that was still the melodic anchor of each and every song.

Camera Camera revealed the new band's penchant for dynamic instrumental sections that were based around Baron's rapid hi hat and encircling tom tom fills that bring to mind Phil Collins without being outright derivative. A rich thick sound mix that gives a prog fan a lot to sink his musical teeth into. Other standout tracks include Tarant-tula, with its creepy electric guitar arpeggios that are chased with a menacing bassline from Camp, and the moving acoustic guitar based Okishi-san, which conjures up images of ancient Japan with the story of a lovelorn Geisha taken away to another village far from the gentleman caller she has fallen for.

Long time lyricist Betty Thatcher shines in her stories of lost love on this song as well as in the heart rending Bonjour Swansong (only available on the CD version.) I once read that a critic stated that Bonjour Swansong was Northern Lights recast in waltz time. While the song does have a strong resemblance to Northern Lights in it's slow but not quite waltz time chorus,and execution could not render the song more different. Less complex and presented as a pop song, Bonjour Swansong displays the return of Dunford's beautiful acoustic strums that supports Haslam's multi tracked vocals for the choruses before Haslam stops the show with one of her ethereal moments in the song's middle eight section. Camp's bass is confined to simple scales in the song's catchy choruses instead of his complex melodies that were displayed in the more prog tinged Northern Lights, and this the main reason why the song succeeds and sounds original.

Jigsaw is Thatcher's mirror of the band's fortune and interpersonal relationships which were fractured after the release of Azure D'or, and the band does another incredible job of transferring the chaotic feelings into dramatic time signature changing music.

Ukraine Ways is another of the band's neo-classical prog pieces that conjures up images of the cold former Soviet Union, Cossacks, and Russian men dancing. The song goes through several changes from dynamic prog to dramatic vocal yearning with Gosling playing cascading classical piano around Camp's melodic bass lines in the chorures. The song's musical climax is Camp's pounding bass notes in the instrumental section that's supported with more rapid fire drum fills from Baron before a very distorted guitar lead, almost reminiscent of a garage rock tone, briefly teases before returning in full force for the songs climactic lasts moments. Great waves of whooshing synths slowly die off as this great album draws to a close.

Camera Camera is not without its faults. Fairies (living at the bottom of the garden) and Running Away From You are bland pop songs that evoke feelings of the band having gone New Wave as synths are used for the quirky rhythms, and Gosling's sometimes noisy synth tones can be off putting to some people. But in a time when Yes and Genesis were devolving into pop acts and King Crimson actually embraced New Wave, Renaissance still put quality into their music.

Camera Camera was a brave album that Renaissance bet their professional future on. Too complex in some instances and too fey in others, the music would never be appreciated by anyone other than a diehard electric and symphonic prog fan. Camera Camera manages to encompass both of those subgenres easily. Thirty plus years after it was first released, it's time for diehard fans of the band's older sound to drop their prejudices and gave this album a deservedly fresh listen.

How fortunate are the fans who got the message the first time around. Five stars for this essential album in the Renaissance canon.

 In The Land Of The Rising Sun by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2002
3.50 | 38 ratings

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In The Land Of The Rising Sun
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

3 stars The Tuscany reunion tour yielded this fine album that's probably a bit less precious to fans now in light of the band's 2011 reunion, subsequent live CD/DVD and the new Grandine Il Vento album.

Live in Japan 2001 does not feature the old ever familiar band members and it shows in their sometimes metered but still accomplished performances. What is immediately apparent is how much better sounding the four songs from the Tuscany album, Lady From Tuscany, Dear Landseer, Pearls Of Wisdom, and One Thousand Roses, sound live with two keyboardists filling out and adding the more immediate and dynamic sound to these live versions.

This would be the first time Renaissance utilized two keyboard players, the incredible Mickey Simmonds and the equally talented Rave Tesar, who stunningly bring this material to another level.

Other notable songs are the evergreen Northern Lights, and text book covers of Mother Russia and a very full and dense sounding Trip To The Fair. Annie is in good but measured voice throught.

The highlight of this live collection, all recorded in one night in Tokyo, is a brilliant extended encore of Ashes Are Burning. This song features Simmonds and Tesar in a wonderful dueling piano jam before touring bassist David Keyes performs a very Jon Camp sounding bass solo before Simmonds goes ballistic on synth leads that mimic distorted lead guitar. Annie concludes the piece with a 'primal' sounding wordless vocal that closes out the song.

In The Land Of the Raising Sun is far the more immediate sounding and orchestrated Carnegie Hall and King Biscuit concert albums. However, a good time is guaranteed if you're one of the few that's particularly partial to owning the myriad of live Renaissance recordings. 3 stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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