Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Illusion Out Of The Mist / Illusion album cover
4.01 | 13 ratings | 4 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

Out Of The Mist - 1977:
1. Isadora (6:58)
2. Roads To Freedom (3:55)
3. Beautiful Country (4:21)
4. Solo Flight (4:20)
5. Everywhere You Go (3:18)
6. Face Of Yesterday (5:43)
7. Candles Are Burning (7:10)

Illusion - 1978:
8. Madonna Blue (6:46)
9. Never Be the Same (3:18)
10. Louis' Theme (7:41)
11. Wings Across the Sea (4:49)
12. Cruising Nowhere (5:01)
13. Man of Miracles (3:27)
14. The Revolutionary (6:15)

Total time 73:12

* This album is a combination of the two first albums "Out Of The Mist" and "Illusion" on one CD. The cover is the same as "Out Of The Mist".

Line-up / Musicians

- Jim McCarty / vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion
- John Hawken / Fender Rhodes, piano, mellotron, Hammond, mini-moog, ARP, poly-moog, harpsichord
- Jane Relf / vocals
- Louis Cennamo / bass
- John Knightsbridge / electric lead guitar, acoustic guitar
- Eddie McNeil / drums, tubular bells, timpani, percussion, vibes, effects

Releases information

CD Edsel-2782 369 2-UK (1994)
CD PD-Edsel-EDCD-369-UK (1994)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ILLUSION Out Of The Mist / Illusion Music

ILLUSION Out Of The Mist / Illusion ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(62%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ILLUSION Out Of The Mist / Illusion reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Out of Renaissance

Although bearing the same name and cover illustration as their first album, this the CD version of "Out of the mist" in fact contains Illusion's two albums ("Out of the mist" and Illusion") released in the late 1970's.

The history of Illusion is very much intertwined with Renaissance to the extent that the line up which recorded these albums is by and large the band which was originally known as Renaissance (pre Annie Haslam). Of the Renaissance line up which recorded the confusingly titled "Illusion" album, and which subsequently disbanded, only the late Keith Relf is missing here. While the band called Renaissance came out on top in terms of success and longevity, the quality of Illusion's output should not be underestimated.

Vocalist Jane Relf has a fine voice not unlike Haslam's, further emphasising the similarities between the two bands.

The emphasis here is very much on strong melodies the songs being generally straight forward yet sophisticated, with pop influences but symphonic overtones. The opening track, "Isadora" is a strong lead off piece, with hints of prog, male/female vocal harmonies and a very appealing tune. Keyboard player John Hawkins provides some excellent piano here as he does throughout the album, his quasi-classical style coming through predominantly.

"Everywhere you go" and "Face of yesterday" prolong the highly melodic aspect of the album, the former being a particularly uplifting song, while the latter is more in the vein of the title track from Renaissance' "Prologue" album, especially in the non- lyrical vocalised sections. The closing track "Candles are burning" has obvious similarities with the title track from the previously released Renaissance album "Ashes are burning". It is by far the most progressive track on their first album, running to over 7 minutes, with a driving rhythm and soaring synthesisers behind a Curved Air like composition. The vocals are particularly powerful here, the track making for a wonderful climax to the original "Out of the mist".

"Illusion", the second album, is very much a continuation of the first both in terms of quality and style, giving a welcome continuity to this compilation. That said, the tracks on the second album are that bit longer, allowing the band to explore slightly more complex, indeed progressive, structures.

"Madonna Blue" seems at first to be a melodic but simple piece, but has a song symphonic coda where John Hawken's piano work is a particular feature. "Louis' Theme" is much sparser, even allowing for the orchestration. Relf's vocals here have a haunting quality. "Man of miracles" and "Wings across the sea" also maintain the soft reflective mood.

"Cruising nowhere" is reminiscent of IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY's "White Bird" moving at times towards almost trance like territory. The closing track "The revolutionary" is one of the band's most adventurous, starting with a a Moody Blues ("Question") like intro prior to some dramatic story telling and a softer middle section. The high pitched male vocal lead can be quite disconcerting at first, but the song weaves its historical tale in a Strawbs (Dave Cousins) like way. (Hawken was of course a member of the Strawbs for a while.)

Those who enjoy the music of Renaissance will find much to appeal the them here. This is a fine melodic album, which features talented musicians working as a coherent unit.

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars The original Renaissance reformed in 1977 with a different name to produce two albums superior to their output of the early 1970s (Renaissance and Illusion respectively). While those dabbled in somewhat precious baroque classical eclecticism, the albums under question are more like folk rock with classical and progressive underpinnings, and pack a lot more punch.

Jane Relf's voice may not have the dramatic operatic quality of her successor, but it is warmer and more suited to these compositions. She plays a big part in many of the best songs, particularly "Beautiful Country", "Face of Yesterday", and the staggeringly beautiful "Wings Across the Sea", but Jim McCarty holds his own in the epic openers of each album, "Isadora" and "Madonna Blue", and in the understated "Never be the Same".

Let's not forget John Hawken's keyboard augmentations on all of these tracks, as he is truly one of the most gifted players when it comes to sympathizing with the compositions. While he can trump up a piece, he knows how to color it softly. His work on the fascinating closer, "The Revolutionary", one part Strawbs "Hero and Heroine" and one part Clannad's "Ancient Forest" (from their Legend album), helps make this perhaps the most progressive and durable track on the entire two disk set.

While Illusion the band claimed that Illusion the album (the second one represented here) was rushed out the door and they were disappointed with it, I feel that it is superior to the first if not as instantly likeable. It avoids more banal songs like "Everywhere you go" and the somewhat sad "Ashes are Burning" wannabe "Candles are Burning", in favor of breaking new ground. Even "Cruising Nowhere" with its period rhythms is more appealing. That these Illusions rate 4 stars is reality.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars What a great treat for Illusionīs fans! Their two 70īs albums in one CD! While a lot of people discuss which one is better than the other, youīll get them both and see that they are very close to each other and equally good. The cover is a little misleading since it represents the Out Of the Mist album exactly (you can turn it back and have the second LP cover instead. So, pay atention to this detail when looking for this two in one release.

The sound is good although I still think it is not a remastered edition of them. But it is far better than the battered vinyl copies that I still have. I especially loved those vocals fo Jane Relf and Jim McCarty and John Hawkenīs lush, elegant keyboards. The booklet is ok, with some nice photos and a brief story of the band written by Jim McCarty himself. The covers are well represented, but no lyrics are included (nor bonus tracks).

Those two LPs together show that Illusion was more than a dilluted version of the symphonic Renaissance we grew up loving (in fact they were the first Renaissance incarnation, after Keith Relf and Jim McCarty left The Yardbirds in the late 60īs). They were quite good and had a strong potential to become very big. Unfortunatly they arrived too late on the scene to have a chance (punk and disco were taking over at the time). But they left two great works for the prog fans of all time. Illusionīs music is melodic, beautiful and does not sound dated 30 years after. Highly recommended

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!! Un peu de Re(Co)naissance

An impeccable 2on1 reissue of Illusion's two great albums of the second part of the 70's, filled with pictures (nothing live) and respecting both the front original artworks (a rare occurrence in these kind of releases), plus a good historic of the band's second life

Both albums fit perfectly in the same single disc and we have the full musical spectrum of Illusion, which is certainly wider than of the Haslam Renaissance. If Out Of The Mist clearly oogles in the direction of Renaissance (but not as soporific), the second self-titled album is definitely taking a much more adventurous twist, although the softness of half its tracks will need you full attention and maybe a set of good headphones. Indeed Hawken's use of sequenced synths (ala Tangerine Dream) on a few tracks was quite refreshing in suc a flogged to death symphonic rock. This 2on1 release is all you'll need about Illusion and it's such a sad thing these guys didn't persevere, but it looks like they fell to punk hate-spitting rise.

See my individual reviews of both albums to get the full picture of this reincarnation of Renaissance's first line-up and just how good they'd matured in 77 & 78.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of ILLUSION "Out Of The Mist / Illusion"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.