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RENAISSANCE

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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

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

Photo by Brian Tirpak

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

See also:
- ILLUSION
- Jim MCCARTY

RENAISSANCE Videos (YouTube and more)


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RENAISSANCE discography


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

3.77 | 431 ratings
Renaissance
1969
3.14 | 308 ratings
Illusion
1971
3.76 | 527 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.26 | 872 ratings
Ashes Are Burning
1973
4.15 | 743 ratings
Turn of the Cards
1974
4.32 | 1402 ratings
Scheherazade and Other Stories
1975
3.80 | 468 ratings
Novella
1977
3.75 | 447 ratings
A Song for All Seasons
1978
3.06 | 255 ratings
Azure d'Or
1979
2.52 | 153 ratings
Camera Camera
1981
1.59 | 145 ratings
Time-Line
1983
2.10 | 80 ratings
The Other Woman
1994
2.85 | 67 ratings
Ocean Gypsy
1997
3.02 | 127 ratings
Tuscany
2000
3.23 | 158 ratings
Grandine Il Vento [Aka: Symphony Of Light]
2013

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

4.34 | 270 ratings
Live at Carnegie Hall
1976
3.83 | 64 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 1
1997
3.74 | 62 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2
1997
3.74 | 31 ratings
BBC Sessions
1999
4.12 | 15 ratings
Day of the Dreamer
2000
2.42 | 14 ratings
Unplugged - Live at The Academy of Music, Philadelphia USA
2000
3.18 | 16 ratings
Can You Hear Me
2001
3.32 | 13 ratings
Mother Russia
2002
3.77 | 13 ratings
Live + Direct
2002
3.57 | 45 ratings
In The Land Of The Rising Sun
2002
3.73 | 16 ratings
British Tour '76
2006
3.14 | 20 ratings
Dreams & Omens
2008
4.14 | 34 ratings
Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert
2011
3.86 | 5 ratings
Past Orbits Of Dust: Live 1969/1970
2012
3.20 | 23 ratings
DeLane Lea Studios 1973
2015
3.89 | 19 ratings
Academy Of Music 1974
2015
3.26 | 26 ratings
A Symphonic Journey
2018
4.36 | 11 ratings
50th Anniversary: Ashes Are Burning: An Anthology - Live in Concert
2021
3.17 | 4 ratings
The Legacy Tour 2022
2023

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

2.90 | 23 ratings
Song of Scheherazade
2008
3.97 | 15 ratings
Kings And Queens
2010
4.28 | 15 ratings
Live at the Union Chapel
2016
4.04 | 9 ratings
Live at the BBC Sight & Sound
2016

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

2.90 | 19 ratings
In the Beginning
1978
4.04 | 6 ratings
Rock Galaxy
1980
3.41 | 40 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 1
1990
3.21 | 38 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 2
1990
3.36 | 19 ratings
Da Capo
1995
2.16 | 64 ratings
Songs from Renaissance Days
1997
2.53 | 7 ratings
Innocence
1998
2.55 | 6 ratings
Trip To The Fair
1998
3.71 | 5 ratings
Songs For All Seasons
2002
3.13 | 5 ratings
Heritage
2003
1.74 | 7 ratings
Midas Man
2003

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

2.09 | 4 ratings
Island
1970
3.25 | 5 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.04 | 4 ratings
Carpet of the Sun
1973
2.14 | 3 ratings
Mother Russia
1974
3.00 | 3 ratings
Back Home Once Again
1977
3.00 | 4 ratings
Midas Man
1977
3.60 | 5 ratings
Northern Lights
1978
3.00 | 2 ratings
Jekyll and Hyde
1979
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Winter Tree / Island of Avalon
1979
1.39 | 10 ratings
Faeries (Living At The Bottom Of My Garden)
1981
3.56 | 21 ratings
The Mystic and the Muse
2010

RENAISSANCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Legacy Tour 2022 by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2023
3.17 | 4 ratings

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The Legacy Tour 2022
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Recorded at the Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA on October 21st 2022, here we find Renaissance performing alongside the Renaissance Chamber Orchestra to celebrate Annie Haslam's 75th year. I have long been a fan of this band in its multiple iterations, and there is no doubt their 2002 live album 'In The Land of the Rising Sun' is one of my favourites, so when I heard about this I was definitely interested. There have been multiple iterations of the band over the years, but most people point to the line-up of Annie Haslam, Michael Dunford, John Tout, Jon Camp, and Terry Sullivan as being the classic, but Michael and John are no longer with us while Jon and Terry long ago departed, but Annie is still there keeping the flame alive. These days she is joined by Mark Lambert (guitar), who was a member in the Eighties, Rave Tesar (keyboards, piano), who played on the 'Rising Sun' album, drummer Frank Pagano (who has been there for more than a decade), Geoffrey Langley (keyboards, who joined in 2016) and new bassist Leo Traversa, so this is certainly a valid line-up as opposed to Annie and a host of session musicians.

This double CD set covers decades in music, and we get music from Renaissance, Annie Haslam's Renaissance and her solo albums, and there is no doubt great thought has gone into the arrangements as the use of the additional musicians provides amazing depth. There are two keyboard players, and their repertoire has been greatly expanded with the use of real strings and horns. I am sure anyone who went to see this tour would have had a wonderful time, and those who purchase the album will be the same people and will happily relive the experience, but I wonder how many will purchase this for pure listening pleasure as opposed to collectors? Musically this is wonderful, and one cannot fault anyone involved as their delicacy and accompaniment is superb, but we cannot look past the fact that Annie is now into her eighth decade, and it sounds like it. That she is not using effects to mask this is to be admired, but while the range is still there, her voice is now quavery and can be quite shrill. She hits and holds the notes, but sometimes they are a little sharp, and I soon found I was not enjoying the album nearly as much as I expected or wanted to. One could never give this to someone as an introduction, it is only for those who already know the material and are pleased to be able to experience Annie performing the songs which they did not expect to still hear played in this fashion. That she can still hit the notes in "Symphony of Light" is incredible, and "The Sisters" is a triumph with wonderful performances from all involved, but sadly somewhat let down by the vocals. Back in the Eighties I was one of the biggest Jethro Tull fanatics around, but when I last saw them in 2004, I vowed never to see them play again as Ian's voice was totally shot in the live environment.

The arrangements and performances from the musicians involved are superb, and there are plenty of opportunities for them to weave their magic, but sadly it is often let down by the vocals, which is a real shame as many of us view Renaissance as being built around Annie and her amazing voice. Sadly, time has taken its toll.

 Turn of the Cards by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.15 | 743 ratings

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Turn of the Cards
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by WJA-K

5 stars Another one I forgot to review. What a fluke. This is one of the brilliant albums of this brilliant band. Much of what I like of prog is what Renaissance does.

Running Hard - Great piano and bass to open the album. And then Annie's voice kicks in. They got me there. 10/10

I think of you - What an emotional song. It may be relatively simple in structure, but it's so expertly done. Love it. 9/10

Things I don't understand - Epic track with great musicianship, ebbs and flows and ... what a voice 10/10

Black Flame - Much to like, especially the musicianship and the voice. Some may not be fond of the track, but Renaissance lifts everything to another level 9/10

Cold is being - For me, this is the least appealing track on an otherwise brilliant album 7/10

Mother Russia - One of their classic tunes. It's so grand. 10/10

This one is an obvious 5-star album for me. Renaissance at its peak.

 A Song for All Seasons by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.75 | 447 ratings

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A Song for All Seasons
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Four Corners Guy

4 stars It was by shear luck that I came across this album in a used record store back in the mid-1980s and it was what I would call spontaneous serendipity that I bought it having never heard of the band or their music until that day. I was flipping through LPs and the album cover stood out to me. After reading the list of song titles, I was intrigued enough to purchased the used LP. I put it on the turntable as soon as soon as I got home and have been enjoying many, many times ever since.

A Song for All Seasons will always hold a special place in my musical soul where Renaissance is concerned. In my opinion, I don't believe it their best prog effort; however, it has excellent production values, superb musicianship, and a couple of real prog gems, i.e. Day of the Dreamer and the title song. The album is joy to listen to and, to me, that's what makes it worthy of a 4-star rating.

Needless to say, after hearing A Song for All Seasons, I instantly became a Renaissance fan and started collecting all their previous works...back to Prologue, that is. I'm not really fan of their pre-Haslam era material.

 Scheherazade and Other Stories by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.32 | 1402 ratings

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Scheherazade and Other Stories
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by AJ Junior

5 stars From the booming opening piano chords to the grandiose album, Scheherazade and Other Stories by English Folk Prog band Renaissance, is a masterpiece and progressive rock classic. This album is based on the story of the book "One Thousand and One Nights." Renaissance produced their magnum opus with this one 100%. The album seamlessly switches from intense instrumental sections to soft acoustic passages.

The album begins with a great piano intro from John Tout on "Trip to the Fair." The song is a 10-minute epic and includes many themes. After the intro, the song enters a soft xylophone-led passage with Annie Haslam's unique female vocals. The song then picks up and features some outstanding harmonies before going into a xylophone solo!! This is some truly fantastic work right off the bat. "The Vultures Fly High," starts off very rambunctiously. The song is a massive deep cut and I haven't seen it mentioned nearly as much as the other 3 on the album, yet it is one of the strongest. Towards the end of the song, a key switch occurs and very Pink Floyd-esque synths add to the atmosphere. Side 1 ends with the much more ambient "Ocean Gypsy," which is also the lead single off the album. Dominated by acoustic guitar and somber vocals the song has a very distinct chord progression which I really enjoy. The chorus of the song is really nice as well. Halfway through the song, the tone changes to a more uplifting one with more spectacular harmonies from Annie Haslam carrying it to the end. This song is an absolute mood, and I recommend listening to it while reading or doing something relaxing.

Consisting of 9 movements, the 25-minute epic "Song of Scheherazade" makes up side 2 completely. Beginning with booming horns (Fanfare), the song quickly turns to a high-paced section that is dominated by strings, horns, and xylophones. After the adrenaline rush, the song cools off with somber vocals entering into a much softer part (The Betrayal). Jon Camp sings lead vocals on this song, and his voice fits perfectly with the tone of the song. The melodic piano gives the impression that the mood will carry on (The Sultan) but drums pick up the song with strings and bassoon entering later as well. The song is carried by strings which are a more medieval substitute for mellotron. Annie Haslam's vocals enter (Love Theme) for an acoustic guitar ballad, which is broken by a pickup in the song with amazing strings. After about a minute of ambiance (The Young Prince and Princess) the song reaches one of its best parts where some very Gryphon-esque piano enters and pulls the song into a more fast-paced section. Horns and strings intertwine with each other creating various overtures, all over an amazing bass line from Jon Camp. After a short acoustic section (Festival Preparations) the song goes back to the main theme from prior in the song (Fugue for the Sultan) with some horn interludes. The song finds itself in a vocal-led section from Annie Haslam (The Festival), and some awesome xylophone also enters. After the haunting line, "The Sultan and Scheherazade are one," the song heads into its final movement (Finale) and returns to the main theme for a grandiose ending.

Overall an amazing progressive rock classic featuring some of the greatest raw musicianship of all time coupled with creative storytelling and lyricism. Highly recommended to ALL prog fans.

 Ashes Are Burning by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.26 | 872 ratings

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Ashes Are Burning
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by WJA-K

5 stars I can't believe I haven't rated this album yet. I love it. This is such a great album. I adore the voice of Annie Haslam, the piano from John Tout, and the bass from Jon Camp. But it is all so good.

The intro from Can You Understand alone, is brilliant. But so is the rest of the song. 10/10

Some hate Let It Grow. But I see it as a ten out of ten. Whenever you are down, you only need to listen to this to be up again. What a voice, what a hopeful message. 10/10

On the frontier is another superb track. The flow of this one, the piano, the harmonies, the bass. 10/10

Carpet of the Sun is another gem. Again such a hopeful message and the arrangements are so fine 9/10

At the Harbour is my least favorite track, but I still love it to bits. 8/10

Ashes are Burning is a great closer. Annie Haslam is a goddess. But the guitar and the closing drums are marvelous too. 9.5/10

I am so fond of this album. It is one of the best records I know. So it's easily a 5 out of 5.

 Dreams & Omens  by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2008
3.14 | 20 ratings

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Dreams & Omens
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by rogerthat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars OK, let me explain the rating first up.

The point of this review is to alert Renaissance fans and anyone else interested to the terrific Esoteric Records (Cherry Red) remaster of Song for All Seasons. This expanded edition also has two other goodies. The first is the BBC Radio One Session from 1978 (which was released previously on Renaissance Live At The BBC). The second is this here concert at Tower Theater, Philadelphia. But...the full concert.

The story of 2008 (as well as perhaps the period before that) was the story of weirdly truncated Renaissance concert releases! The black and white Song of Scheherazade DVD left out (in the 'infinite wisdom' of the label) the performance of Ashes Are Burning in both shows that were part of the DVD. I only learnt of this much later when Concert Vault made them available on their subscription service. Now...when you know that the black and white video is going to earn the wrath of fans anyway, why would you aggravate them even more by leaving out the one song that was always the piece-de-resistance of Renaissance concerts?

But, it now transpires, they did this on Dreams and Omens as well. This release is taken from their concert at Tower Theater, Philadelphia from 1978. But it does NOT Song for All Seasons, Touching Once and...Ashes Are Burning (again!), all of which were played at the show. It also excludes Opening Out which was played in the run up to Day of the Dreamer.

As a result, the only real reason to own this album was to have live versions of two songs from Song for All Seasons (and even then, if you had the 2000 release Day of the Dreamer, Northern Lights would be the only one you'd be missing and you'd have got the title track instead). As well as Things I Don't Understand which is not on any other official release of a concert performed by the classic line up. Naturally, then, Dreams and Omens is not one of the coveted live album releases of the band (quite apart from lacking the prestige of the Carnegie Hall and Albert Hall shows).

Speaking of, it's also missing the orchestra. Alas, there doesn't seem to be an orchestral version of Song for All Seasons performed by this line up (though the Annie-led incarnation did their best to fill that gap a couple or more years back). But since the band performed all but a select few of their shows without the orchestra anyway, they are habituated to this and more than make up for the lack. There is a good amount of punch in the drum sound on this recording compared to many other live recordings of the band (and even some of the studio recordings!).

Which is where I detour a bit to talk about the Song for All Seasons remaster. It brings the much needed bottom end to the recording. I have the previous CD edition and the one complaint about it was the somewhat trebly sound. Fixing that makes the title track in particular stupendous to hear. Even if the reissue had NOT offered the Tower Theater show as a bonus attraction, it would still be worth purchasing for the quality of the remaster alone.

But to have the full Tower Theater concert, including both Song for All Seasons and Ashes Are Burning, makes it even more special. With its multi layered chorus and spiky dynamics, Song for All Seasons was and is an awkward track to perform the vocals on live for Annie and it tended to show. But this is one of the best I have heard, better than the rendition on the Boardwalk show on the Song of Scheherazade DVD.

As for Ashes Are Burning, there's a good part and a bad part. The bad is this is one of those over-bloated, near-30 min versions where the endless soloing in the middle 10 min really tries my patience. But the good part is this is also from the period when Annie's vocal solo began to become, well, something else. Those in the know need no further elucidation but I am talking about the sort of rapid alternation of notes she would do up in the sixth octave on the Park West 1983 performance. The only other officially available version on which something similar can be heard is the Boardwalk performance. I can now add Tower Theater to that very short list (in reality, I am sure there were many other shows from that late 70s to early 80s period where she did this). If you really need to explain to someone what the fuss is about her range, this or the Park West performance of Ashes...would do the trick while Touching Once at the Tower Theater show has some fantastic gymnastics as well.

To repeat, the rating of 3 is for the Dreams and Omens standalone CD. But the combined Song for All Seasons remaster and full Tower Theater show easily merits 5 stars within the Renaissance catalog. Get it while you can for it's still available.

 Azure d'Or by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.06 | 255 ratings

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Azure d'Or
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This would be the last album from the classic Renaissance lineup; after this John Tout and Terence Sullivan would quit, and the remainder would reconfigure their sound for the much-derided Camera Camera and Time-Line albums.

The band are also attempting to change and evolve their sound here - but to my ears they do so more successfully. Yes, it's a departure from the sound which had largely served them well from Prologue to A Song For All Seasons, but they'd been ploughing that particular furrow to exhaustion; it was time to evolve or die, and though the classic line-up would ultimately take the latter route after this, they do make an honest bid at the former.

Synths are a bit more prominent, songs are shorter and tighter, and in general a lot of the features which had crept into the music on A Song For All Seasons are dialled up significantly. Another factor is that Michael Dunford is no longer so omnipresent when it comes to the songwriting; from Turn of the Cards he'd at least a co-writing credit on all of Renaissance's songs to Novella; and the only songs on Prologue and Ashes Are Burning which didn't have a Dunford credit on them were old Jim McCarty pieces left over from his tenure in the band, and the only song on A Song For All Seasons which didn't was a Jon Camp piece.

From Novella onwards, Camp had been contributing more intensively to the songwriting, but usually in collaboration with Dunford; here, however, the Camp/Dunford writing partnership is more or less dissolved, save for The Flood At Lyons where Dunford provides music and Camp does the lyrics. For the rest of the album, aside from Sullivan's Forever Changing, it's either Jon Camp pieces (with lyrics by Camp himself) or new Dunford/Thatcher numbers.

Camp even takes on lead vocals on Only Angels Have Wings; by this point it had become rare for Renaissance to feature male lead vocals, since they'd realised what an absolute gift they had in the form of Annie Haslam and, quite sensibly, didn't want to mess with that. Aside from that departure, though, the material here doesn't feel as disjointed as one might expect, with all the songs fitting into the general atmosphere of the album and the album itself representing an entirely acceptable development of the band's sound, adapting to a new era without dispensing with their spirit.

One can imagine Renaissance continuing into the 1980s developing this particular musical strand further and further - but the departure of Tout and Sullivan and the end of their old record deal put paid to that, and perhaps made the more radical changes heralded by Camera Camera seem necessary for the sake of survival. Yes, it's less orchestral, but with this Renaissance proved that they didn't need the orchestra to hand to work their magic - and there's ample evidence here that their prog chops remained sharp even in the context of shorter-form compositions. (Just listen to the brisk instrumental The Discovery if you don't believe me.) Azure d'Or is often left out of the classic run of Renaissance albums, and I feel like that's an injustice - it's at least as solid as A Song For All Seasons, which I'd consider it a companion piece two since it's the other album did in that general style.

 Scheherazade and Other Stories by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.32 | 1402 ratings

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Scheherazade and Other Stories
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by WJA-K

4 stars I love this album. The main highlights for me are the two longer tracks of the album.

Trip to the fair - I love how the opens the song and adore the accompanying bass, backing vocals and drumming of the intro. A bit more than 3 minutes in, the song starts properly. I love the dreamy atmosphere of it. 6 minutes in, the tempo changes and brings excellent keyboard soloing. Then we are back at the core part of the song with a superb outro. 9/10

The vultures fly high - I love superb bass and the instrumentation in general. I have some issues with the lyrics and especially the corny chorus. 7/10

Ocean Gypsy - great craftsmanship. But somehow, the song doesn't do it for me 6.5/10

Song of Scheherazade - Grand epic. A great combination of ebbs and flows, great instrumentation from the band and the orchestra, the singing, and the story. 9.5/10

Granted, the shorter songs aren't my thing. But the songs that bookend the album are superb. 4 stars

 Renaissance by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.77 | 431 ratings

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Renaissance
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by CosmeFulanito

4 stars Great Debut album, highly recomended.

This is my First serious Review (or something like that), i listened the first album from a random band, that band was Renaissance. I knew what Renaissance are, but i've never heard a song from this album. Lets go to the first song.

Kings and Queens: Interesing intro, piano sounds really good, the way that it sounds with the bass and percussion is great, then starts a section, here vocals start. The vocals are fine, but think it should be better. The rest of song has more instrumental sections and a vocal part. The entire song has a great instrumental and a good bass. 8.5

Innocence: Good intro, here is a noticeable improvement of the vocals, when it finish for the first time ,a very good instrumental section begins, this part ends with a piano section and then a small vocal part, when it ends, another instrumental section begins and the song ends after that. 8.5

Island: A song with guitar intro who in it first minutes, is more pop than previus songs, really good, all instruments here are fine. When this part ends, begins a instrumental section with a piano as a lead instrument, being more like the previus songs, here is a great combination of piano, bass and drums, then a vocal choruses sucesed by a intrumental section based on Beethoven's Pathetique, after this section, the song ends. 8.5

Wanderer: The shortest song on the album, has a good intro, then a instrumental section begins, here a harpichord is included, after this, another section begins, here vocals apears. This song has a great vocal interpretation by Jane Relf. After the last section, the song ends. 8

Bullet: The song begins with a bass and piano intro, then drums and guitar appears, starting a section with vocals,. This part has a incredible instrumental where the most of the instruments stands out. After this section, a instrumental with bass, drums, guitar, piano and a lead harmonica. When this part ends, begins an interlude with piano, percussion and bass. Then a solo/section bass, this part is a little weird, but has very interesting moments, this part concludes with a vocal chorus which can become a bit strange or disturbing, on this part, little by little ambient sounds appear with which the song ends. This song is the more avant-garde song from this album. 8

Conclusion: On a scale of 1 to 10, this album deserves 8.3/10, so I'll give it four stars ****

I'll rate the bonus tracks too, but not today because it's a bit late :P, so they'll be rated another day.

 Dreams & Omens  by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2008
3.14 | 20 ratings

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Dreams & Omens
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Dreams and Omens captures a December 1978 concert from Philadelphia. With the band on the tour for A Song For All Seasons, one can see this live release as a capstone of the most acclaimed period of the band; with 1979's Azure d'Or having a mixed reception among fans and the band largely losing interest in prog after that, A Song For All Seasons was the end of an era, and here we get to see material from it and preceding albums as far back as Ashes Are Burning together in concert.

The band didn't have an orchestra to hand this time around, but do a fine job using synthesisers to stand in, and they sound find. So why the mediocre score? Simply for this: this is a great concert, but they've hacked away over half of it! That's right, comfortably over 55 minutes of material has been trimmed, leaving less than 48 minutes. Whilst the desire to keep the release to a single CD might be understandable, the cuts include Opening Out and A Song For All Seasons, two of the best songs from the Song For All Seasons album - having live performances of those songs from the classic Renaissance lineup on an official release would be wonderful, and this was a golden time to do that, but Friday dropped the ball with these misguided editing choices.

If you are interested in this Renaissance show, I would say you are much better served by seeking out the Esoteric reissue of A Song For All Seasons, which includes the entire performance - with the cut songs restored and the correct running order reassembled - as bonus discs. The full concert is four and a half stars, but with these brutal cuts I have to give this release only 3 stars.

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

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