It is the same band.
Although the personnel changed, both Dunford and McCarty continued from the old band in a 'backroom' role.
An excerpt from the band's history on their website:
Actually, the original lineup started falling apart prior to the second
album's completion, giving rise to personnel and style changes over the
next year before reaching a stable lineup. McCarty hated to fly and left
the band in 1970 when they were about to embark on a European tour; Keith
Relf and Louis Cennamo left shortly after to pursue a heavier style,
eventually forming Armageddon. But before the original Renaissance had
completely fallen apart, McCarty brought back his friend, guitarist and
songwriter Michael Dunford to carry on and recruit new band members.
Dunford had worked with John Hawken in The Nashville Teens and had been
playing with the Plebs backing American artists but was introduced to the
Renaissance lineup in 1969. Keith Relf and Jim McCarty opted for more of a
background role where they could concentrate on writing songs.
When it appeared that there was not enough material to fill the second
album, the original lineup got back together, without Hawken, but adding
Michael Dunford to complete the Illusion album with the recording
of "Mr Pine" in the summer of 1970. Session player Don Shin, with whom
Louis Cennamo had played in James Taylor's backing band, joined the
original lineup for the track "Past Orbits Of Dust" on electric piano.
Hawken returned to lead the band while Dunford recruited vocalist Terry
Crowe, drummer Terry Slade to replace Jim McCarty, and Neil Korner to
replace Louis Cennamo on bass. This lineup -- Dunford, Hawken, Korner,
Crowe, Slade and Jane Relf -- went on to tour Europe in September and
After the Illusion album's drawn out completion and the European
tour, Dunford and McCarty, still behind the scenes with Renaissance,
continued to handle turnover in the band's lineup. Jane Relf quit after
the tour completed in the fall of 1970 and was replaced by American female
vocalist, Binky Cullom from late October to December 1970. John Hawken,
dissatisfied with the new vocalist among other reasons, left to join
Spooky Tooth and was replaced by keyboard player John Tout around the same
time. Hawken later joined the Strawbs in 1973-1974.
Louis Cennamo left to join Colluseum and played on the Daughter Of
Time album. He then put together Axis with ex-Jody Grind members, then
joined Steamhammer which evolved into instrumental band Bogomas which
ultimately folded in 1973. In February 1974 he met up with Keith Relf
again; they left for America with ex-Steamhammer guitarist Martin Pugh. In
Los Angeles they formed Armageddon with drummer Bobby Caldwell, rehearsed
for several months and flew back to London to record an album only to
break up immedately afterwards.
So by late 1970 all of the original performing band members had
left and been replaced. A bootleg video shot in late autumn 1970 of a live
Renaissance performance in Germany serves to commemorate this lineup and
the significant transitions occuring at the time.
Further changes were needed so Renaissance manager Jon Michelle worked
with Dunford and McCarty to fill in the new lineup. Melody Maker
advertisements were placed for new artists including one for a female
singer. Annie Haslam, a brilliant young singer with formal classical vocal
training, a beautiful five-octave range and a vivacious personality,
answered the Melody Maker advert and got an audition with the band
where she met founding members Keith Relf and Jim McCarty. Annie, who had
been trained by Sybil Knight, the famous opera singer, learnt the Kings
And Queens album back to front before the audition and her vocal
performance of the song "Island" got her the job on New Year's Day 1971.
Annie's stunning voice would begin a transformation of the band and become
one of the most recognised and well respected in the industry. The lineup
of Annie Haslam, John Tout, Terry Crowe, Neil Korner, Terry Slade and
Michael Dunford toured Europe extensively leading to further personal and
acoustic transitions. Danny McCullough, Frank Farrell and John Wetton each
took their turn at bass during the period. Keith Relf and Jim McCarty were
still very much involved in the direction of the band behind the scenes
and while Relf eventually became disinterested, McCarty remained involved
Miles Copeland had met John Tout years before in Beirut when John was
with Ruperts People; after making contact again, he took over as the
band's manager and John Sherry became the band's agent in 1972. At that
time Ed Bicknell, who later became Dire Straits successful manager, was
one of the booking agents involved. The current group was disbanded and a
new band was formed around Annie Haslam and John Tout while Dunford was
asked to concentrate on writing. Copeland arranged further auditions;
bassist Jon Camp was selected to replace Neil Korner and drummer Terence
"Terry" Sullivan replaced Terry Slade. This lineup of Renaissance played
11 gigs in 14 days and then went into the studio to record what would
become their first album entitled Prologue. Michael Dunford wanted
to focus on writing and production so he was replaced with young guitarist
Mick Parsons. Tragically, Parsons was killed in an automobile accident
right before the album was recorded so Rob Hendry was brought in last
minute to replace him, only to leave not long after the album -- dedicated
by Renaissance to Parsons -- was released.
The completed and finally almost-stable Renaissance lineup -- Annie
Haslam on vocals, John Tout on keyboards, Jon Camp on bass, Rob Hendry on
guitar and Terry Sullivan on drums -- released their first album,
Prologue, in 1972. With six tracks evolving out of the original
Renaissance sound to be more richly produced, it included two
McCarty-Thatcher songs, two Dunford-Thatcher collaborations and two
Dunford-written instrumentals with vocals but no lyrics. When asked how
the band remained solvent during the period from when Annie Haslam joined
and the release of Prologue, Michael Dunford replied, "the band
toured just about everywhere."