Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

RENAISSANCE

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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

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

Photo by Brian Tirpak

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

RENAISSANCE Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all RENAISSANCE videos (8) | Search and add more videos to RENAISSANCE

Buy RENAISSANCE Music


Live At Carnegie Hall: Remastered & Expanded Boxset EditionLive At Carnegie Hall: Remastered & Expanded Boxset Edition
Esoteric Antenna 2019
$26.29
Ashes Are BurningAshes Are Burning
Esoteric 2019
$11.16
$15.39 (used)
NovellaNovella
Esoteric 2019
$24.69
Song For All SeasonsSong For All Seasons
Esoteric 2019
$22.98
$26.40 (used)
Turn of the CardsTurn of the Cards
Repertoire 1994
$8.75
$6.84 (used)
IllusionIllusion
Repertoire 1995
$11.34
$7.14 (used)
RenaissanceRenaissance
Repertoire 1995
$8.96
$10.40 (used)
ProloguePrologue
Esoteric 2018
$11.15
$65.07 (used)
Scheherazade and OtherScheherazade and Other
Repertoire 2007
$10.36
$8.88 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Glenn Gould plays Renaissance & Baroque Music: Byrd; Gibbons; Sweelinck; Handel: USD $14.78 Buy It Now
707 - THE BRIDGE [RENAISSANCE] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $10.67 Buy It Now
(GN884) Woman E, Another Renaissance - DJ CD USD $3.82 Buy It Now
`Britten, Mark`-`Britten, Mark - Celtic Renaissance` CD NEW USD $16.47 Buy It Now
LOVE & RECONQUEST: MUSIC FROM RENAISSANCE SPAIN USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $7.58 Buy It Now
Jacques Arcadelt : Music of the Italian Renaissance for Voice, Lutes, Viola da USD $3.69 Buy It Now
Village People Renaissance 80's Disco Pop new wave 1981 RCA AFLI 4105 rare OOP! USD $16.00 Buy It Now
Guy & Elisabeth Robert- Music Of The Renaissance For Lutes, Vihuelas & Citterns. USD $6.51 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE THE MIX COLLECTION/PRESENTS/REVELATION/IBIZA/CLASSICS CD'S FREE P USD $32.59 Buy It Now
Classical Record DAVID MUNROW RENAISSANCE SUITE (86)22 USD $3.18 [1 bids]
VARIOUS ARTISTS - RENAISSANCE PARIS VENDOME HOTEL USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $7.91 Buy It Now
Sinners & Saints: The Ultimate Medieval and Renaissance Music Collection USD $6.41 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE - ILLUSION USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $12.64 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE - LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $13.07 Buy It Now
REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE - NEW ERA USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $16.99 Buy It Now
James Zabiela - Renaissance Master Series (Incl. 2 Bonus Tra (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.71 Buy It Now
AMULANCE - Feel The Pain ['05] '89 RARE (NEW RENAISSANCE Rec. #643) BRAND NEW USD $64.99 Buy It Now
LOT OF 4 NATURE QUEST CD'S - A223 - ENDLESS OCEAN CELTIC RENAISSANCE CLASSICS USD $8.54 Buy It Now
LOVE BADE ME WELCOME: SONGS AND POETRY FROM THE RENAISSANCE USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $4.81 Buy It Now
THE RENAISSANCE TALK TO YOURSELF/TIME KAPP 2012 PROMO M- USD $7.99 Buy It Now 42s
Chansons de la Renaissance, , Acceptable Import USD $14.02 Buy It Now 9m 20s
Music in the Age of the Italian Renaissance: Met Museum of Art, 1998 CD preowned USD $4.00 [0 bids]
USD $6.00 Buy It Now
10m 16s
Doris Williams Singing Angel CD Renaissance & Beyond Sealed USD $6.00 [0 bids]
11m 46s
Out of Print CD - RENAISSANCE MAN - Hans Zimmer - Varese Sarabande USD $11.99 Buy It Now 16m 25s
SEALED RARE OOP JAPAN Renaissance soundtrack CD BOX Plaid LFO Chris Clark score USD $29.99 Buy It Now 29m 14s
Art Department - Renaissance The Mix Collection: Art Department [New CD] UK - Im USD $11.97 Buy It Now 39m 43s
Music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Vol. 2 LP-Otten/Syntagma Musicum USD $10.00 Buy It Now 56m 4s
THE SUMMIT CHORALE SUMMIT NEW JERSEY NJ Music Of The Renaissance USD $14.00 Buy It Now 57m 8s
The Boston Camerata - A Renaissance Christmas 1974 LP USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1h 2m
Village People ~ Renaissance ~ LP USD $1.99 [1 bids]
1h 4m
RENAISSANCE King Biscuit Flower Hour CD - PT 1 - 1997 BMG US issue USD $9.00 Buy It Now 1h 11m
Chip Davis Presents Renaissance Holiday - CD - MINT condition - E19-420 USD $11.50 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Renaissance LP "Azure d'0r" 1979 on Sire Records in excellent condition USD $3.00 Buy It Now 1h 18m
Renaissance 1976 Double LP "Live At Carnagie Hall" in VG+ on Sire cover VG USD $3.00 Buy It Now 1h 18m
Art Department - Renaissance The Mix Collection: Art Department [New CD] UK - Im USD $13.74 Buy It Now 1h 26m
Spanish Renaissance Music Ricercare Ensemble, Piguet, Savall 1973 EMI Germany LP USD $12.95 Buy It Now 1h 29m
The Song Company - For Emperor And Pope: Music For A Renaissance Court [CD] USD $17.67 Buy It Now 1h 31m
THE WAVERLY CONSORT LP "RENAISSANCE FAVORITES" CBS Masterworks 1985 NM- USD $1.99 Buy It Now 1h 33m
African Renaissance V5 "Ndebele & North Sotho" 2cd Set NEW & SEALED 40 Tracks USD $3.82 Buy It Now 1h 37m
RENAISSANCE OF ITALIAN MU USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $11.65 Buy It Now 1h 37m
RENAISSANCE MASTERPIECES USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $8.75 Buy It Now 1h 38m
Global Underground 006 - John Digweed: Sydney RARE CASSETTE MC Sasha Renaissance USD $25.57 Buy It Now 1h 39m
Sacred Music Of The Renaissance - 1000 Years Of Classical Music Vol. 3 [CD] USD $12.39 Buy It Now 1h 40m
RENAISSANCE "ASHES ARE BURNING" CD NEW+ USD $18.15 Buy It Now 1h 41m
Meisterwerke Der Renaissance - College Cambr King's Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $12.78 Buy It Now 1h 42m
African Renaissance V2 "Venda" 2cd Set NEW & SEALED - 42 Tracks Posted From UK USD $3.82 Buy It Now 1h 46m
Sancte Deus:renaissance Sacred Polyph - Of New College Choir Compact Disc Free S USD $10.29 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Hilliard Sound - Renaissance Masterpieces - Ockegheim / Desprez / Di Lasso CD-JE USD $21.06 Buy It Now 2h 4m
RENAISSANCE Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head / Never Fall 45 RPM PROMO Record USD $4.95 [0 bids]
2h 35m
Renaissance "Novella" LP 1977 EX USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2h 43m
RENAISSANCE 1969 S/T LP GERMAN ISLAND 87 609 GF VG+/EX- KEITH & JANE RELF USD $18.60 Buy It Now 2h 45m
RENAISSANCE 1977 LP NOVELLA ORIG CANADA SIRE 9147-7526 ANNIE HASLAM G/F EX/EX USD $8.16 Buy It Now 2h 45m
BEN WEBSTER At The Renaissance LP Vinyl OJC-390 C-7646 Cool Jazz Bop USD $18.36 Buy It Now 2h 46m
LP : Renaissance - Prologue (1972) Capitol Records USD $4.41 Buy It Now 2h 55m
Renaissance Music for Brass; Works by Franck, Frescobaldi, Schütz Vinyl LP EX/NM USD $6.74 Buy It Now 2h 58m
Mistress Bawd - A Touch of Renaissance - CD USD $10.00 Buy It Now 3h 13m
BEN WEBSTER At The Renaissance HQ180 PRESS/NM VINYL Beautiful Cover USD $99.99 [0 bids]
3h 36m
Renaissance - A Song For All Seasons 8-track tape, NEW & STILL SEALED 1978 USD $12.31 Buy It Now 3h 47m
Renaissance Giants / The Tallis Scholars by Tallis Scholars / Phillips. USD $15.94 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Guitar Music and Songs of the Spanish Renaissance Stereo Everest Record Album LP USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3h 59m
THE RENAISSANCE KEYBOARD USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $9.46 Buy It Now 4h 5m
PROMO 45 The Renaissance - Talk To Yourself / Time KAPP VG USD $7.00 Buy It Now 4h 7m
L'OISEAU-LYRE UK Renaissance Music from Advent to Christmas AMBROSIAN OLS-153 USD $6.75 Buy It Now 4h 34m
ENSEMBLE PRO MUSICA HISPANIARUM RENAISSANCE DANCES VOL XXIII LP '75 MHS 3103 NM- USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 39m
RENAISSANCE - Greatest Hits Live 1 - CD - Live Original Recording Mint USD $65.95 Buy It Now 4h 40m
**DISC ONLY** Renaissance, Lionel Richie, Used; Good CD USD $3.97 Buy It Now 4h 50m
OUR THEORY-RENAISSANCE-JAPAN CD C16 USD $16.50 Buy It Now 4h 51m
Serenissima-music from Renaissance Europe on - Rose Consort Of Viols CD-JEWEL CA USD $21.86 Buy It Now 5h 17m
RENAISSANCE JAPAN CD UICY-20051 2010 OBI USD $72.96 Buy It Now 5h 30m
Love and Dalliance In Renaissance France~Cambridge Consort~Joel Cohen~FAST SHIP! USD $7.16 Buy It Now 5h 39m
Music Renaissance Portugal - Lobo/Araujo/Cristo CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping! USD $15.20 Buy It Now 5h 40m
'RENAISSANCE, THE CLASSICS' Part 2 2006 EU 3 Disc CD Box Set - De'Lacy, Shannon USD $6.19 [0 bids]
5h 42m
Various Artist Saints & Sinners: Music Of Medieval & Renaissance 10 CD NEW seale USD $59.19 Buy It Now 6h 22m
RENAISSANCE Prologue EMS-50114 JAPAN LP w/OBI q63022 USD $16.40 Buy It Now 6h 35m
RENAISSANCE Azured'or P-10693W JAPAN PROMO LP w/OBI 088az11 USD $17.89 Buy It Now 6h 37m
C.D.MUSIC D394 MASTERS OF THE ENGLISH MUSICAL RENAISSANCE : 2 DISC SET USD $11.80 Buy It Now 6h 38m
Praetorius:easter Mass;ostermesse - Br Weser-renaissance Compact Disc Free Shipp USD $19.16 Buy It Now 6h 46m
Singer, Soldier, Lover, Priest: Renaissance Songs of Juan del Encina; Dir Master USD $3.99 Buy It Now 6h 48m
Oesterreich:psalms & Cantatas - Br Weser-renaissance Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $19.19 Buy It Now 6h 50m
Symphoniae Sacrae I - Schuetz / Weser-Renaissance Bremen / Cordes CD-JEWEL CASE USD $35.30 Buy It Now 6h 50m
Knupfer:cantatas - Br Weser-renaissance Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $21.90 Buy It Now 6h 51m
De Morales:o Magnum Mysterium Christm - Weser-renaissance Compact Disc Free Ship USD $18.76 Buy It Now 6h 52m
Franck:buspsalmen 1615 - Weser-renaissance Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $19.16 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Funeral Music from Schloss Gottorf - Br Weser-renaissance Compact Disc Free Ship USD $21.90 Buy It Now 6h 59m
Renaissance Radio - Scholars Tallis Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $21.90 Buy It Now 7h 27m
Renaissance Giants - Scholars Tallis Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $19.30 Buy It Now 7h 27m
Renaissance - Illusion 4009910221310 (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $22.58 Buy It Now 7h 34m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m
TIESTO / CHUCKIE / SUBLIMINAL / RENAISSANCE @ PACHA - IBIZA CLUB POSTERS - 2012 USD $8.94 Buy It Now 7h 36m

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

RENAISSANCE discography


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

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

3.75 | 330 ratings
Renaissance
1969
3.07 | 238 ratings
Illusion
1971
3.73 | 415 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.22 | 685 ratings
Ashes Are Burning
1973
4.09 | 596 ratings
Turn Of The Cards
1974
4.31 | 1137 ratings
Scheherazade And Other Stories
1975
3.74 | 371 ratings
Novella
1977
3.66 | 336 ratings
A Song for All Seasons
1978
3.01 | 198 ratings
Azure D'Or
1979
2.46 | 122 ratings
Camera Camera
1981
1.62 | 111 ratings
Time-Line
1983
2.14 | 70 ratings
The Other Woman
1995
2.88 | 58 ratings
Ocean Gypsy
1997
2.15 | 60 ratings
Songs From Renaissance Days
1997
3.03 | 102 ratings
Tuscany
2000
3.27 | 125 ratings
Grandine Il Vento [Aka: Symphony Of Light]
2013

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

4.26 | 222 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall
1976
3.81 | 57 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 1
1997
3.70 | 54 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2
1997
3.85 | 26 ratings
BBC Sessions
1999
4.10 | 13 ratings
Day of the Dreamer
2000
2.42 | 12 ratings
Unplugged - Live at The Academy of Music, Philadelphia USA
2000
3.14 | 14 ratings
Can You Hear Me
2001
3.31 | 12 ratings
Mother Russia
2002
3.92 | 12 ratings
Live + Direct
2002
3.57 | 40 ratings
In The Land Of The Rising Sun
2002
3.15 | 13 ratings
British Tour '76
2006
3.17 | 14 ratings
Dreams & Omens
2008
4.16 | 30 ratings
Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert
2011
3.92 | 3 ratings
Past Orbits Of Dust: Live 1969/1970
2012
3.21 | 19 ratings
DeLane Lea Studios 1973
2015
3.86 | 14 ratings
Academy Of Music 1974
2015
3.19 | 16 ratings
A Symphonic Journey
2018

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

2.89 | 22 ratings
Song of Scheherazade
2008
3.97 | 13 ratings
Kings And Queens
2010
4.41 | 11 ratings
Live at the Union Chapel
2016
3.92 | 5 ratings
Live at the BBC Sight & Sound
2016

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

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

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
Island
1970
3.10 | 2 ratings
Prologue
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Carpet of the Sun
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mother Russia
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Back Home Once Again
1977
4.00 | 1 ratings
Midas Man
1977
3.33 | 3 ratings
Northern Lights
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jekyll and Hyde
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Winter Tree / Island of Avalon
1979
1.25 | 8 ratings
Faeries (Living At The Bottom Of My Garden)
1981
3.57 | 17 ratings
The Mystic And The Muse
2010

RENAISSANCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Novella by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.74 | 371 ratings

BUY
Novella
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The London based RENAISSANCE had an interesting journey early on but finally on the band's fourth album "Ashes Are Burning" hit upon a progressively infused symphonic folk rock type of sound fortified with Baroque pop. The album found the perfect mix of cleverly crafted tracks that teased addictive pop hooks into the progressively worked out epics. The album allowed them to move on to the bigger BTM (British Talent Management) label and with a larger budget, the following album "Turn of the Cards" allowed the band to go for broke and create a lusher orchestral sound that ultimately led to its pinnacle of perfection with "Scheherazade and Other Stories" in 1975 which found its way into the top 50 albums on the US Billboard chart, no small feat for a symphonic prog band in the prog's waning years.

After three albums with a similar approach the band decided that there is no need to fix something that ain't broken. It took two years to record and release the following NOVELLA with the lauded "Live At Carnegie Hall" released in between but the musical landscape had changed dramatically in that short time. Progressive rock was no longer fashionable and punk rock was having its day in the sun however RENAISSANCE was not the ordinary prog band and managed to stay relevant even as Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols were calling for anarchy in the homeland. NOVELLA was released in January 1977 and succeeded in hitting the top 50 album charts in the US mostly because of the loyal following that the band had attracted outside of the influence of radio, TV and other popular forms of media.

In many ways, NOVELLA sounds like a "Scheherazade Part 2" as the same lush orchestrated pop hooks find themselves twisted into lengthy progressively infused creations with different movements although there is nothing even close to the epic scope of the previous album's title track. NOVELLA is sort of easy listening prog with easily digestible melodic hooks, soft acoustic guitars, careful displays of piano arpeggios and lush orchestration and as usual Annie Haslam's vocals bring an angelic heavenly presence to the whole thing. The music sounds like it could be the soundtrack at the pearly gates to heaven! Whereas the previous album had only four tracks, NOVELLA had five with the opening "Can You Hear Me" approaching 14 minutes and the closer "Touching Once (Is So Hard to Keep)" at nine and a half.

It's easy to understand why so many are turned off by this album. It is recycling the whole narrative theme with the female story reader recounting tales only this time to children rather than kings however there is no doubt that this album was playing it safe and milking the formula for as long as could be tolerated. Apparently for some it was one too many of this style but for others it was a welcome return to the familiar and after all, the sounds that emerge from these tracks are quite pleasant even though the album may lack the dynamic flair of its predecessor. It has been stated that Annie Haslam could sing the phone book and it would sound like a gift from angels and there is probably some truth to that but personally i find this album to be a nice breezy listening experience despite everything said about it pretty much being quite true.

While RENAISSANCE would hang on for a couple more years with their unique brand of classically infused progressive pop and far outlive many of the majority of the prog universe, the band would ultimately succumb to the inevitable gravitational pull of the burgeoning new wave scene, however on NOVELLA all of the sugary sweet melodies and unthreatening orchestrated melodic hooks are still on display as if the world was the same exact place as when they hit upon this formula in 1973. While i'll admit this is a major step down from the sheer perfection of "Scheherazade and Other Stories," i can't help but loving this album despite it all. The instrumental interplay is just as tight and Haslam's vocals are soothing and as brilliantly displayed as what came before. While the tracks are less compelling than the three albums that preceded, they are still catchy as hell with all the RENAISSANCE mojo still firing strong. Yeah, not the band's best but certainly not as bad as many claim it to be.

 Grandine Il Vento [Aka: Symphony Of Light] by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.27 | 125 ratings

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

Review by Awaken 6am

3 stars Hi all From Argentina where Renaissance had only one vinyl pressed locally ("Novella") with no commercial sucess and where i had my dream-come-true experience in attending a Renaissance show in its last incarnation in 2017, needless to say it was the first time this band played live here in front of some 150 people. Despite of all this I have been a huge Renaissance fan and loyal listener and collector since age 15 (that is, 41 years ago...) While shocked and deeply pleased to experience "Annie and his band" first row-centre somehow I felt that a bit of the glory of old times has been lost. Despiite the undeniable beauty of their music it sounded tired and a bit slower. No doubt there`s something unique in master Tout ok Keyboards, Camp`s bass, even Sullivan`s drumming all absent today. There`s Annie, a 70 Yr old lady who sings as if still 25, and manages to fill the air with her fantastic voice bringing the old songs some of it`s past spirit.

I felt so pleased while getting this last CD Grandine Il Vento...maybe too much expectations. My feel is that you should take it as a new Annie solo album whith a touch of more progressive approach. As I read on so many other reviews, it`s correctly defined as "bland", it`s played as if musicians are low blood pressured, in fact for me it should be qualified as 2 - 1/2 stars, while it`s not bad at all, it lacks almost everything we love from the Renaissance Brand. In terms of sound and Dynamics it`s absolutely the opposite you can hear on "Running Hard" to name just one old tune. On GIV you can find some interesting music and twists on both first and last tracks. The Music in between is what I would call something in between filler and half baked songs...Above all, is again Annie `s voice in perfect shape as usual and very present all along the disc (should I Say Too much Present..., at times seems she`s too loud over the mix)

Get Grandine Il Vento, but maybe it will be archived after 1 or two complete hearings.

 A Symphonic Journey by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2018
3.19 | 16 ratings

BUY
A Symphonic Journey
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars A fair trip

A Symphonic Journey is a brand new live release, celebrating nearly five decades of Renaissance's music. A DVD video of the performance is included, but I am only familiar with the audio content. The band is performing together with a 10-piece chamber orchestra on this occasion, in contrast to the more intimate band setting evidenced on the band's previous live release Live At Union Chapel. Personally, I prefer Live At Union Chapel, and think that the orchestra adds little of value to the proceedings - but it is a matter of taste.

As is to be expected, there is some overlap between these two releases with about half of the songs being present on both. But there are also some surprises to be found here. One of these is Island, the oldest inclusion, originally from the band's self-titled 1969 album. I could be wrong, but I believe this is the first time Annie Haslam has sung a song from the Jane Relf-era. Another surprise inclusion is Kalynda from 1979's Azure d'Or. With the exception of Illusion and Novella all of the band's 70's albums are represented in the set list.

Highlights for me include A Song For All Seasons, Trip To The Fair, and Symphony Of Light. From a vocal perspective, the latter is especially great - as it was also on Live At Union Chapel. The closer Ashes Are Burning re-introduces the electric guitar solo from the original album version.

Overall, A Symphonic Journey is a nice release, and a good addition to Renaissance's live catalogue.

 Prologue by RENAISSANCE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
3.10 | 2 ratings

BUY
Prologue
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Sparing some love for Prologue

Released as a single in 1972, Prologue is my personal favourite piece of music by Renaissance - a brilliant composition that was the first track on the album of the same name and often used as the opening number at the band's live concerts. It is not exactly an instrumental as it does feature lots of wordless vocals, but no lyrics. This classical, jazzy instrumental is in my opinion a masterpiece of Symphonic progressive Rock and one that I never tire of even if played on repeat.

The other track on this single is Spare Some Love, also taken from the album Prologue. The single version is an edit that is 3 minutes and 49 seconds compared to the album version which is over 5 minutes. The single version was released on CD for the first time as a bonus track on the 2018 CD re-issue of Prologue by Esoteric Recordings. I am not very fond of this song, so the edit does not offend me.

As I understand it, on some versions of this single it was Spare Some Love that was the a-side whilst other versions (as the one showed here) had Prologue as the a-side. It was brave to release something like Prologue as a single, and though it probably did not do much in the charts it is a classic of the genre and a great piece of music.

 A Symphonic Journey by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2018
3.19 | 16 ratings

BUY
A Symphonic Journey
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

3 stars The end of 2017 found the reconstituted Renaissance briefly touring with a chamber orchestra and the result is this double CD and DVD of the second ever concert of the two performing together. Annie Haslam's voice is starting to get more strident then sweet these days, but rest assured that she can still sing in key and sustain those long notes. The band, who now seem to be ever changing aside from keyboard player Rave Tesar, were mostly accomplished aside from some brief timing issues. Tesar was the standout, as usual. Second keyboard player Geoffrey Langley played like measured clockwork until he was allowed to cut lose on synths on the concert's encore song. The rest of band played in workman like fashion except for guitarist Mark Lambert, who resurrected the electric guitar lead (originally played by the great Andy Powell from Wishbone Ash) at the close of "Ashes Are Burning". It should have been more interesting but something was amiss.

To break up the monotony, the band decided to do two odd ball songs, "Kalynda" from Azure D'or and "Island" from the first Renaissance album which featured Jane Relf instead of Annie. While these songs in themselves were not terrible, some of the other songs that the group decided to do, both with and without the orchestra, were not good choices. The now ever present "Prologue" and "Trip To The Fair", played without orchestra, came off poorly. "Prologue", accompanied by faux synth strings would have been better served had the actual orchestra provided real orchestral backing, while "Trip To The Fair" suffered the most from timing issues. Compounding this was the fact that Annie sounded a bit strained at times, like she was still trying to get warmed up. The songs that worked the best with the orchestra were "Carpet of The Sun", "Mother Russia" and "A Song For All Seasons", all of which were recorded with stunning orchestral arrangements on their respective studio albums. One song that was greatly enhanced by the addition of the orchestra was the haunting "At The Harbor" from the Ashes Are Burning album as the studio cut features only Haslam's lone vocal, piano, acoustic guitar and some brief bass guitar notes. With the orchestra, the song was transformed from a dirge into an emotional lament. What did not work as well with the orchestra were "Grandine Il Vento" and " Symphony Of Light" from the last Renaissance studio album Symphony Of Light. However, these were the exceptions where Annie's voice rose to the occasion as she is quite proud of these two songs. I think the band and the orchestra would have been better served had they focused on songs that incorporated an orchestra in the studio releases like "Can You Here Me?" from Novella. Or a song which substituted the orchestra in place of the synths used for symphonic accompaniment like "The Flood At Lyon" from Azure D'or. The latter would have been especially welcomed and note worthy.

In the liner notes, Annie states that it was her dream to perform again with an orchestra and the occasion filled her with joy. I'm happy for her but now it's time for her and the band to give joy to their long time fans with a new album of studio material. There are enough talented musicians still in the Renaissance fold after the death of songwriter Michael Dunford a few years back. The band just needs to believe that they can make new music without him. 3 stars for A Symphonic Journey.

 Island by RENAISSANCE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1970
2.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Island
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

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

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

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

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

 A Symphonic Journey by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2018
3.19 | 16 ratings

BUY
A Symphonic Journey
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

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

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

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

BUY
Midas Man
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

 Live at the Union Chapel by RENAISSANCE album cover DVD/Video, 2016
4.41 | 11 ratings

BUY
Live at the Union Chapel
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Still burning

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

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

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

 Azure D'Or by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.01 | 198 ratings

BUY
Azure D'Or
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nº 173

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

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

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

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

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives