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Renaissance - Prologue CD (album) cover

PROLOGUE

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 441 ratings

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Peter
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I bought this album back in the early 70s (attracted mainly by the "far out" cover art), then soon acquired copies of later LPs "Turn of the Cards" and "Scheherazade." I found the former to be disappointing (though "Mother Russia" is a great track), and the latter to be too overtly classical for my then teenage tastes. (I might well love Sheherazade now, but, alas, I sold it when my turntable and I parted ways....) In any case, "Prologue" is the only Renaissance album that I replaced on CD, and I was delighted to find it.

I find myself in agreement with Andre, an earlier reviewer, who wrote that Kiev (a beautiful song) and the title track were "highlights" of this album. I give the disc a higher rating, however, because I find that "Spare Some Love" and "Rajah Khan" are at least equally praiseworthy. "Spare Some Love" offers some positive advice (clearly expressed in the title) that we could all benefit from trying to follow. That it does so within the constraints of a catchy five-minute piece of prog/folk rock only makes its message the more palatable. The closing track, the 11+ minutes "Rajah Khan," however, is to me the most original and powerful song on the album. It opens with blistering electric guitar (a sound notably absent from later Renaissance releases) that segues into an Eastern-flavoured opus, with vocalist Annie Haslam (who possesses a truly wonderful voice) chanting atop excellent and varied music that is driven by the piano of John Tout and the guitar of Rob Hendry. The disc's other two tracks, "Sounds of the Sea" and "Bound for Infinity" are very nice in parts, but a tad uneven, and prevent me from giving this recording a five-star rating.

If you want to hear a harder-edged Renaissance, before their "classical" and later mainstream pop manifestations (a regrettable, if predictable path for prog bands struggling to survive at the end of the 70s), then give an ear to this unique CD!

Peter | 4/5 |

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