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Renaissance - Songs From Renaissance Days CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.13 | 60 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars No, not those days

Released in 1997, the title would more accurately be "Songs from Renaissance latter days", for that is precisely what we have here. This album consists of tracks from the 1980's, well after their classic prog era.

That said, this is actually a far better album overall than "Camera camera" and "Time line" from the same period. The songs, while hardly progressive are much closer to what we came to expect from Annie Haslam, Michael Dunford and Jon Camp. Two of the songs, "Africa" and "Writers wronged" had previously appeared on the "De Capo" compilation, while a live version of "You" features on the "King Biscuit" albums. The version of "Northern lights" included in this set is different to that on "A song for all seasons", being slightly slower and more laid back. The sleeve notes report that this version, along with "No beginning, no end" were aired on progressive rock stations in support of Annie Haslam's solo career.

There are a few more notable songs in this set. The ballad "Dreamaker", one of four songs recorded after "Time line", has a wonderful melody, and the brief "Island of Avalon" is the only track to feature former band members John Tout and Terry Sullivan, the song dating from 1979. "America" is an extremely rare cover by the band of the classic Simon and Garfunkel song, also covered by Yes. The song reportedly featured in Renaissance' live set in the 1980's. The final track "You" is a two part 8 minute piece which has a slightly more complex structure but remains firmly linked to the band's 80's materal.

On the down side, "The body machine" and "Only when I laugh", both also from the post "Time line" sessions, and "No beginning, no end" (one of the last collaborations between Dunford and Betty Thatcher-Newsinger), are unashamed ABBA facsimiles.

In all, an interesting collection, which while not essential for Renaissance fans, is a worthy addition to any collection of their recordings.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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