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Renaissance - Prologue CD (album) cover

PROLOGUE

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 441 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Following the break-up of The Yardbirds in early 1968 drummer Jim McCarty and guitarist/vocalist Keith Relf formed TOGETHER, an acoustic based group. This short lived then became RENAISSANCE in early 1969 with the addition of John Hawken (keyboard), Louis Cennamo (bass) and Jane Relf (vocal). Relf and McCarty virtually abandoned Renaissance and their places were gradually taken by fresh musicians who contributed and then helped form a whole new version of Renaissance - the band which then recorded "Prologue". The chief songwriters were acoustic guitarist Michael Dunford and Cornish poetess Betty Tatcher. The band also found a talented, operatic trained, vocalist Annie Haslam who later become the permanent lead singer that form the "sound" of Renaissance. [excerpted from CD sleeve notes; written by Chris Welch, 1995].

The music of Renaissance is most well known for its rich symphonic textures heavily influenced by classical music, stunning vocals, and poetic lyrics. The album opener "Prologue" indicates how strong the classical music influence (Bach) in this piano and vocalese style based composition. Practically there is no lyrics in this opening track and the music stream sounds like opening a "play" in any theatrical performance. "Kiev" is a nice and melodic song with classical touch featuring male vocal with some elements of blues music. This style of music is brought forward by the band to other seminal album "Scheherazade and Other Stories". It's a cool composition. "Sounds of The Sea" features Annie Haslam's melodic vocal in relatively slow tempo and classical music based texture. "Spare Some Love" is using acoustic guitar as opener and main rhythm section combined with piano and keyboard; augmented with percussion. Annie sings as lead singer with backing vocals by other band members. "Bound for Infinity" is a melancholic song featuring soft piano touch and transparent-powerful voice of Annie Haslam. "Rajah Khan" is a very interesting track which has middle east nuance through the use of mandolin by Rob Hendry (replacing Mick Dunford who was not in the band for "Prologue"). Curved Air's Francis Monkman fills the synthesizer solo in this track. Annie demonstrates her operatic talent through vocal line that is very ambient, with a floating style. Cool. It's probably the best track of this album.

Highly recommended album that emerged during the glory days of prog music in the seventies. Keep on proggin'..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |

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