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Renaissance - Renaissance CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 355 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars I originally found this album, and "Illusion" at the used record stores that I frequented in Boston and Cambridge way back in the seventies. I was looking for albums by the Renaissance of "Turn Of The Cards" and such, and knew nothing about the early history of the band. In fact, reading the liner notes on "Illusion", and the point where they say they had to change the band name due to "contractual hassles", I presumed this was a completely different band.

Now this album, containing none of the band members we know from Anni Haslam's Renaissance, is actually very symphonic for 1969. The start of Kings & Queens, in fact, is pure symphonic rock. And while the tone gets more psychedelic after the intro, the building block for the classic Renaissance sound is there. Innocence again is a blend of psychedelic and symphonic tendencies. And Island, with Jane Relf's vocals and classical piano interlude, would fit perfectly on a later album. Wanderer and Bullet are also excellent examples of piano driven early symphonic prog, with more psych mixed in.

As I mentioned above, I have the original LP version of this classic, so I don't have the luxury of the bonus track. But still, it's worthy of four stars.

Evolver | 4/5 |


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