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RENAISSANCE

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Renaissance picture
Renaissance biography
Founded in 1969 - Disbanded in 1987 - Reformed between 1998-2002 and again since 2009

There were two groups under the banner of RENAISSANCE. The first group included Keith and Jane RELF (vocals) and came from the YARDBIRDS ashes. The second and better known incarnation produced some of the best music that I have ever heard. Annie HASLAM's five octave range fit perfectly with the classical/orchestral rock (lot of piano playing & full symphony orchestra backup) created by the other members. The quick description I usually give is they are sort of like the old MOODY BLUES with a an incredible female vocalist. The soprano voice of Annie and the piano virtuosity of John TOUT allied to the beauty and refreshing melodies, the refinement of the arrangements gave their music its magnificent splendour.

Photo by Brian Tirpak

My favorite RENAISSANCE albums are "Ashes Are Burning" and "Turn of the Cards". I also recommend "Novella", "Scheherezade and Other Stories" and "A Song for All Seasons" are must haves. I would add "Live At Carneige Hall" and "King Biscuit Hour Parts 1 and 2" as their 'prime' material. Plenty to fill a day with class, power and ethereal delights. The best introduction to the band would be the "Tales of 1001 Nights" compilation, which together contain of the band's best material from 72 through 80. Also the very first album from '69 is essential. After 1979, the band moved towards a more pop direction, like many other bands did in the late 70's.

RENAISSANCE Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy RENAISSANCE Music


NovellaNovella
Esoteric 2019
$17.60
$25.10 (used)
Live At Carnegie HallLive At Carnegie Hall
Esoteric Antenna 2019
$18.01
$20.00 (used)
Song For All SeasonsSong For All Seasons
Esoteric 2019
$19.38
$32.59 (used)
Ashes Are BurningAshes Are Burning
Esoteric 2019
$10.33
$10.39 (used)
Live at the BBC: Sight & SoundLive at the BBC: Sight & Sound
Repertoire 2016
$20.58
$25.68 (used)
Delane Lea Studios 1973Delane Lea Studios 1973
Cleopatra 2015
$14.07
$14.40 (used)
Academy Of Music 1974Academy Of Music 1974
Cleopatra 2015
$13.98
$15.17 (used)
ProloguePrologue
Esoteric 2018
$10.34
$15.77 (used)
Scheherazade and OtherScheherazade and Other
Repertoire 2007
$10.13
$8.12 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Savall/Hesperion Xxi Borgia Dynasty-Church & Power In The Renaissance 3 SACD Alb USD $75.07 Buy It Now
Rudis / Custodio / Diaz-Infante ?Crashing The Russian Renaissance USD $8.50 Buy It Now
DAVID MUNROW - MIDDLE AGES & RENAISSANCE INSTRUMENTS - SLS 988 2xLPs box EX++ USD $44.00 Buy It Now
In Our Eye * by Tystnaden (CD, Jul-2008, Renaissance Records (USA)) USD $9.75 Buy It Now
SOL-R 330 - DANCES OF THE RENAISSANCE - Susato / Phalese WOLTECHE - Ex LP Record USD $15.92 Buy It Now
Music From The Renaissance & Baroque Periods German Reflexe Digitally LP NM USD $6.01 Buy It Now
Novella by Renaissance. USD $19.68 Buy It Now
ASWAD - RENAISSANCE - ALBUM - CASSETTE TAPE USD $6.11 Buy It Now
Renaissance by David Bradstreet 1998 CD Signed USD $7.52 [0 bids]
USD $11.28 Buy It Now
M PEOPLE - RENAISSANCE 7" VINYL SINGLE USD $2.56 Buy It Now
Renaissance on Capitol 11216 - Ashes Are Burning - 1973 USD $10.97 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE Azure d'Or LP USD $8.58 Buy It Now
Hilliard Ensemble - Renaissance And Baroque Music (NEW 7CD) USD $25.72 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE Illusion French LP 70s Prog Rock USD $31.99 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE Renaissance French LP Pink Label Prog Psych USD $44.99 Buy It Now
MUSIC of SEPHARDIM & RENAISSANCE SPAIN Songs of David LA RONDINELLA Sephadic USD $0.99 [1 bids]
RENAISSANCE -7"Single -Back Home Once Again/The Captive Heart, EX+ USD $6.11 Buy It Now
First World War I Music (War Requiem Britten) Dracula Elizabethan Renaissance USD $25.00 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE Ashes Are Burning CD Japan 6 tracks Capitol TOCP-6800 obi USD $7.99 [0 bids]
RENAISSANCE Prologue CD Japan 6 tracks Capitol TOCP-7368 obi USD $7.99 [0 bids]
Renaissance "Scheherazade And Other Stories" 1975 Rock LP, Nice VG++!, Orig Sire USD $5.24 Buy It Now
Fight Dirty by Charlie (CD, Apr-2011, The Renaissance) New, ships fast. USD $8.98 Buy It Now
FROM THE RENAISSANCE The Story of Great Music Time Life Records STL 150 USD $14.92 Buy It Now
B536 VICTORIA DE LOS ANGELES SPANISH SONG OF THE RENAISSANCE ANGEL USD $9.99 [0 bids]
Time Traveller: The Italian Renaissance, , Audio CD, New, FREE & Fast Delivery USD $10.87 Buy It Now
Renaissance by The Freemans (CD, 1996, Daywind) USD $15.00 Buy It Now
RENAISSANCE Midas Man rare promo 45 from 1977 USD $9.99 Buy It Now
@MEDIEVAL Medieval Kills USA ORIG 1987 New Renaissance HEAVY METAL PRIVATE LP USD $21.80 Buy It Now
Renaissance ?- Novella VINYL USD $3.68 [0 bids]
Classical Guitar Masters: Musical Renaissance - Various - CD 1999-09-09 USD $4.99 Buy It Now
Renaissance Worldwide - London (2 X CD ' Various Artists) USD $2.44 Buy It Now
Tales of 1001 Nights, Vol. 1 by Renaissance - 1990 - CD USD $6.98 Buy It Now
JoanovArc - JoanovArc (CD 2019) Renaissance Records USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Renaissance A Song For All Seasons Lp And Live At Carnegie Hall (Promo) Lp USD $29.99 Buy It Now
Vanilla Fudge - Renaissance 1968 US 1st Press ATCO SD 33-244 VINYL USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Illusion-Out of the Mist+Illusion(their 2nd) 2on1 CD SEALED x-early Renaissance USD $30.00 Buy It Now
Etheral Beat E.F. 050 Renaissance - The Dance Version of Can You Understand 1988 USD $19.97 Buy It Now
THE RENAISSANCE - IN GOD WE TRUST - OTIS SKILLINGS - 1974 RARE SEALED LP ! ! ! ! USD $11.95 Buy It Now
VANILLA FUDGE:RENAISSANCE-HAND CLEANED AND TESTED VG+ USD $3.99 Buy It Now
Renaissance Worldwide - London 2CD - Robert Miles & Dave Seaman RARE Sasha GU USD $12.25 Buy It Now
Various Artists - Renaissance Worldwide (Singapore, 1998) Morales, Seaman, BT USD $12.25 Buy It Now
Renaissance Choral Music: ALLEGRI/PALESTRINA/BYRD The Sixteen new sealed BBC CD USD $4.89 Buy It Now
2 NEAR MINT LPS by RENAISSANCE - PROLOGUE & AZURE D'OR USD $12.00 Buy It Now
Renaissance - Novella LP - VG+ USD $9.50 Buy It Now
33 RPM Vinyl Telemann Trio Sonatas and Duetto Renaissance Records X12 011315SM USD $14.99 Buy It Now
'RENAISSANCE' Self-Titled ELEKTRA Vinyl LP VG++ Prog USD $8.99 [0 bids]
James Zabiela - DJ - RENAISSANCE - UTILITIES 2-CD Set USD $14.99 Buy It Now
CHIMURENGA RENAISSANCE - Girlz With Gunz - Vinyl (LP + MP3 download code) USD $20.45 Buy It Now
Carissimi: Oratorio Di Dan [WESER-RENAISSANCE Bremen; Manfred Cordes] [Cpo: 7774 USD $18.94 Buy It Now
VANILLA FUDGE RENAISSANCE TRI COLOR LABEL !! USD $8.00 Buy It Now
Various The Sound Of Renaissance, Vol. 3: Ibiza 2 X CD Renaissance 2006 USD $12.24 Buy It Now
Pink Renaissance, Nlf3, Audio CD, New, FREE & Fast Delivery USD $23.94 Buy It Now
SEALED PROMO "In the Beginning" RENAISSANCE 2-LP Capitol Records 1978 SWBC-11871 USD $11.95 Buy It Now
Beat Street by Prism (CD, Jan-2009, Renaissance Records (USA)) USD $12.00 Buy It Now
Sinners & Saints: The Ultimate Medieval and Renaissance Music Collection USD $5.57 Buy It Now
Joel Cohen/Boston Camerata A RENAISSANCE CHRISTMAS - Turnabout TV-S 34569 SEALED USD $15.00 Buy It Now
LP MUSIC OF THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ENGLAND G. Burgess USD $6.13 Buy It Now
Time Life Classic Rock (Rock Renaissance III) Music CD (1990) Sealed USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Time Life Music classic rock rock renaissance III - CD Compact Disc USD $8.77 Buy It Now 3m 52s
RENAISSANCE "MIDAS MAN / MONO" 45 PROMO USD $3.75 Buy It Now 10m 57s
KEES OTTEN/LEBENDIGE MUSIK DES MITTLEALTERS UND DER RENAISSANCE JPN AA9582-3 USD $48.00 Buy It Now 13m 7s
TIME LIFE MUSIC 'Classic Rock' ? Rock Renaissance III ? USD $10.00 Buy It Now 23m 5s
Renaissance Self-Titled Prog; Psych UK Press Pink Rim Palm Label USD $12.50 [12 bids]
28m 11s
Renaissance Illusion Prog UK Press 1977 Issue USD $12.50 [13 bids]
28m 40s
The Banks Brothers and The Renaissance Choral Ensemble LP..."There's Power" USD $9.95 Buy It Now 30m 50s
KONRAD RAGOSSNIG / TANZMUSIK DER RENAISSANCE / ARCHIV 2533 111 / 1972 / EX- USD $36.74 Buy It Now 35m 8s
Renaissance - Self Titled - Repertoire Records USD $3.76 Buy It Now 35m 14s
RENAISSANCE OF CELTIC HAR USD $16.51 Buy It Now 40m 3s
Swings by Calliope (Renaissance Band)/Calliope (CD, 1999, Equilibrium) (cd7712) USD $8.31 Buy It Now 41m
Renaissance Jean Martin CD USD $12.25 Buy It Now 41m 8s
BT - Mercury & Solace (Quivver Remix) VINYL 12" Good Condition Renaissance USD $11.01 [0 bids]
44m 50s
RZA, Real Live - Wu-Wear Garment Renaissance / Get Down For Mine 12" VG+ 0-95658 USD $10.50 Buy It Now 46m 27s
Renaissance 1976 Double LP "Live At Carnagie Hall" in VG+ on Sire cover VG USD $3.00 Buy It Now 53m 41s
Renaissance LP "Azure d'0r" 1979 on Sire Records in excellent condition USD $3.00 Buy It Now 53m 41s
Renaissance Double LP "In The Beginning" 1978 on Capital in VG+ USD $5.00 Buy It Now 54m 26s
Renaissance LP "Turn Of The Cards" 1974 on Sire in VG+ USD $4.00 Buy It Now 54m 27s
Bernard Brauchli The Renaissance Clavichord II LP TI-27 SEALED Vinyl Record USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 3m
Renaissance Music For Brass~Gabriel Masson~Nonesuch H-71111 Complete Orig MINT USD $15.83 Buy It Now 1h 6m
The Renaissance Lute Italy England France Germany Spain Poland Rare Vinyl MINT USD $13.00 Buy It Now 1h 17m
707 - THE BRIDGE [RENAISSANCE] NEW CD USD $12.33 Buy It Now 1h 19m
Adu - Brixton Renaissance NEW CD USD $13.18 Buy It Now 1h 22m
New York Pro Musica The Renaissance Band Gatefold Rare Gold Label Series MINT USD $13.00 Buy It Now 1h 25m
TIME-LIFE - ROCK RENAISSANCE III - MINT CD USD $12.95 Buy It Now 1h 25m
Past Times Present: medieval & Renaissance Music on Hammered Dulcimer - CD USD $24.50 Buy It Now 1h 28m
ANTHOLOGY OF RENAISSANCE MUSIC LP Dufay, Des Prez PRIMAVERA SINGERS *SEALED* USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 44m
Piffaro The Renaissance Band Canzoni e Danze Archiv Debut Recording SEALED / NEW USD $18.95 Buy It Now 1h 51m
Mozart Piano Concerto Balsam Gimpel Paumgartner Saillet Renaissance X-29 lp RARE USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1h 52m
English Renaissance (CD, Mar-1995, RCA) USD $3.72 Buy It Now 1h 58m
RENAISSANCE - TURN OF THE CARDS NEW VINYL RECORD USD $24.04 Buy It Now 2h 5m
RENAISSANCE ILLUSION - THROUGH THE FIRE NEW CD USD $13.39 Buy It Now 2h 6m
The Flowering of Renaissance Choral Music - Pro Cantione Antiqua USD $120.86 Buy It Now 2h 6m
MINISTERS OF ANGER - RENAISSANCE NEW CD USD $21.47 Buy It Now 2h 6m
Renaissance Music - Flemish Dances and Venetian Music Susato Viadana Gabrieli lp USD $15.99 Buy It Now 2h 7m
Music of the Renaissance Richard Levitt / Vocal Arts Ensemble CPT 601 LP USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 7m
VARIOUS-RENAISSANCE PORTUGAL CD NEW USD $15.55 Buy It Now 2h 15m
LOVE SYNDICATE RARE EP MEXICAN PSYCH POKORA DIAZ ORDAZ sindicate RENAISSANCE 7" USD $750.00 Buy It Now 2h 27m
Piffaro (The Renaissance Band)-Vespers CD NEW USD $17.41 Buy It Now 2h 33m
Miniaturen fr Akkordeon und Schalmei - Renaissance Musi... CD NEW SEALED [T10] USD $3.66 Buy It Now 2h 33m
Musica Canterey Bamberg ( Gerhard Weinzierl ) Renaissance Musica Mundi lp USD $24.99 Buy It Now 2h 38m
Masters of the Renaissance - Victoria & Palestrina John McCarthy L'OISEAU-LYRE USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 38m

More places to buy RENAISSANCE music online Buy RENAISSANCE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

RENAISSANCE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RENAISSANCE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 335 ratings
Renaissance
1969
3.08 | 239 ratings
Illusion
1971
3.74 | 427 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.22 | 698 ratings
Ashes Are Burning
1973
4.09 | 606 ratings
Turn Of The Cards
1974
4.31 | 1159 ratings
Scheherazade And Other Stories
1975
3.74 | 376 ratings
Novella
1977
3.67 | 343 ratings
A Song for All Seasons
1978
3.02 | 200 ratings
Azure D'Or
1979
2.48 | 123 ratings
Camera Camera
1981
1.62 | 111 ratings
Time-Line
1983
2.14 | 70 ratings
The Other Woman
1995
2.88 | 58 ratings
Ocean Gypsy
1997
2.15 | 60 ratings
Songs From Renaissance Days
1997
3.03 | 102 ratings
Tuscany
2000
3.26 | 127 ratings
Grandine Il Vento [Aka: Symphony Of Light]
2013

RENAISSANCE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.26 | 223 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall
1976
3.81 | 57 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 1
1997
3.70 | 54 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Part 2
1997
3.85 | 26 ratings
BBC Sessions
1999
4.10 | 13 ratings
Day of the Dreamer
2000
2.42 | 12 ratings
Unplugged - Live at The Academy of Music, Philadelphia USA
2000
3.14 | 14 ratings
Can You Hear Me
2001
3.31 | 12 ratings
Mother Russia
2002
3.92 | 12 ratings
Live + Direct
2002
3.57 | 40 ratings
In The Land Of The Rising Sun
2002
3.15 | 13 ratings
British Tour '76
2006
3.17 | 14 ratings
Dreams & Omens
2008
4.16 | 30 ratings
Turn Of The Cards & Scheherazade And Other Stories - Live In Concert
2011
3.92 | 3 ratings
Past Orbits Of Dust: Live 1969/1970
2012
3.21 | 19 ratings
DeLane Lea Studios 1973
2015
3.86 | 14 ratings
Academy Of Music 1974
2015
3.19 | 16 ratings
A Symphonic Journey
2018

RENAISSANCE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.89 | 22 ratings
Song of Scheherazade
2008
3.97 | 13 ratings
Kings And Queens
2010
4.41 | 11 ratings
Live at the Union Chapel
2016
3.92 | 5 ratings
Live at the BBC Sight & Sound
2016

RENAISSANCE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.83 | 14 ratings
In the Beginning
1978
4.00 | 3 ratings
Rock Galaxy
1980
3.45 | 31 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 1
1990
3.21 | 30 ratings
Tales of 1001 Nights Volume 2
1990
3.46 | 17 ratings
Da Capo
1995
2.53 | 5 ratings
Innocence
1998
2.57 | 4 ratings
Trip To The Fair
1998
3.83 | 3 ratings
Songs For All Seasons
2002
4.00 | 2 ratings
Heritage
2003
2.00 | 4 ratings
Midas Man
2003

RENAISSANCE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Island
1970
3.10 | 2 ratings
Prologue
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Carpet of the Sun
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mother Russia
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Back Home Once Again
1977
3.00 | 2 ratings
Midas Man
1977
3.33 | 3 ratings
Northern Lights
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jekyll and Hyde
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Winter Tree / Island of Avalon
1979
1.25 | 8 ratings
Faeries (Living At The Bottom Of My Garden)
1981
3.57 | 18 ratings
The Mystic And The Muse
2010

RENAISSANCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ashes Are Burning by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.22 | 698 ratings

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Ashes Are Burning
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review N 273

'Ashes Are Burning' is the fourth studio album of Renaissance and was released in 1973. It was the first of several Renaissance's albums to feature an orchestra. It's notable for being Renaissance the first band to bring an orchestra with the group, a characteristic that was extended by several works of the band in the 70's. This was also the album that turned Renaissance in one of the most famous and best symphonic progressive rock bands in the 70's. 'Ashes Are Burning' is considered one of Renaissance's better works. It makes part of what is usually called their baroque/folk era. It belongs to their golden era that began in 1972 with 'Prologue' and ended in 1978 with 'A Song For All Seasons'.

The line up of Renaissance on this album suffered a small change from their third previous studio album 'Prologue'. On 'Ashes Are Burning', the guitarist Rob Hendry was substituted by Michael Dunford. Michael Dunford, who had been working with the group only as a composer, had joined the band by the time that 'Ashes Are Burning' was released. So, the line up on this album is Annie Haslam (lead and backing vocals), Michael Dunford (acoustic guitars), John Tout (backing vocals and keyboards), Jon Camp (vocals, and bass) and Terry Sullivan (backing vocals, drums and percussion). The album has also the participation of Andy Powel (electric guitar), as a guest musician.

'Ashes Are Burning' has six tracks. All songs were written by Betty Thatcher and Michael Dunford except 'On The Frontier' written by Betty Thatcher and Jim McCarty. The first track 'Can You Understand' is one of the best songs ever composed by the band and is simply brilliant. The song begins with a fantastic and incredible classical piano solo and the rest of the song is performed in a magnificent symphonic folk/rock style. The vocal performance of Annie Haslam is also absolutely brilliant. This song has a rare and superb electric guitar solo performed by the guitarist of Wishbone Ash, Andy Powell. This is clearly one of the highlights of the album. The second track 'Let It Grow' is a simple, beautiful and relaxing ballad with another incredible vocal performance by Annie Haslam. Again, we can notice the melodic and beautiful piano performed by John Tout. This isn't a very emotional song, but it's, for sure and for everybody, very pleasant, because its musical structure is very simple, making of it a very accessible song to listen to. The third track 'On The Frontier' is for sure the weakest song on the album and is also my less favourite song too. However, it's far of being a bad song and it has also some pretty and good musical moments. In reality, it has the same beautiful and pretty voice and the same nice vocal harmonies. But, in fact, it's very vulgar and it doesn't have anything really new and remarkable to show. The fourth track 'Carpet On The Sun' is a simple and beautiful song that is perfect and a nice orchestral musical work. This is the shortest song on the album that remains with its very particular style a very nice song. It's a very melodic piece of music where again Annie Haslam offers to us her great vocal talents and where she can brings to the song a nice and peaceful ambient. It's a very catchy song but it isn't one of the highlights of the album. The fifth track 'At The Harbour' is a return to a more complex and ambitious musical compositions than the previous three songs. The song is a classic dark ballad and is also one of the darkest pieces of music that Renaissance would recorded. But, it's in reality, a fantastic piece of music with brilliant musical arrangements and fine melodies, which provide to the song a real and truly dramatic effect. The sixth and last track is the title track 'Ashes Are Burning'. This is the magnum opus of the album, and fortunately, it was chosen to close brilliantly this excellent musical work. This can be considered probably the greatest epic of Renaissance but this can't only be attributed to the long duration of the song. We all know that it isn't in reality the duration of a song which makes of it an epic. 'Ashes Are Burning' has everything what an epic must have. It has a very complex musical structure, blending nice melody, excellent individual musical performance, by all members, and the beautiful voice of Annie Haslam. This is in reality a memorable piece of music. It can be considered without any doubt as one of the greatest progressive songs ever made.

Conclusion: In my humble opinion, I think 'Prologue', 'Ashes Are Burning', 'Turn Of The Cards' and 'Scheherazade And Other Stories' are the four best studio albums from Renaissance and constitute the best musical period of the band, their famous musical golden era. However, and after all these years that I know very well these musical works, I still consider 'Scheherazade And Other Stories' their best studio album and the only masterpiece of the group. Despite 'Ashes Are Burning' be one of their best pieces of music, it isn't, in my opinion, a masterpiece and I even doubt if it's better than 'Prologue'. As 'Prologue', 'Ashes Are Burning' has only three songs that can be considered truly masterpieces, 'Can You Understand', 'At The Harbour' and especially 'Ashes Are Burning'. Unfortunately, the other three songs aren't as good as the others and 'On The Frontier' is, in my humble opinion, even inferior to all the others.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Midas Man by RENAISSANCE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1977
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Midas Man
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars "Nothing is worth nothing unless it's made for Midas Man"

An edited version of Midas Man from the album Novella was released as a single in 1977. The single edit is 3:32 compared to the album version's 5:45, and appears for the first time on CD as a bonus track on the 2019 re-issue of Novella from Esoteric Recordings. It's a good song, but as is normally the case with single edits of album tracks, this one offers no real value over and above the full version and will be of interest only for curious fans and collectors. The Esoteric Recordings 3CD expanded and re-mastered version of Novella that comes in a clamshell box is however a simply gorgeous package and the ultimate edition of that excellent album.

The B-side of the single is The Captive Heart, also from Novella. This one is identical to the album version. Both songs are rather low key and therefore not really representative of the range of the album from which they are taken.

 In the Beginning  by RENAISSANCE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1978
2.83 | 14 ratings

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In the Beginning
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review N 268

"In The Beginning" is a very special compilation of Renaissance. This is a very economic package that includes their third studio album "Prologue", released in 1972 and their fourth studio album "Ashes Are Burning" released in 1973, on only one package. It's a very interesting compilation because it includes two absolutely indispensable musical works of the band at a cheap price, which would be a very worth purchase, at the time, for those who didn't have both albums.

Those albums are two absolute indispensable musical works of the band that represent the two previous studio albums released by the reborn line up of the group, the second Renaissance's incarnation, which is considered in general the beginning of their golden era. Despite "Prologue" and "Ashes Are Burning" be the third and fourth studio albums from the band, they are often considered, especially for the new band's members, the two first studio albums from the band. This new line up doesn't include any founder member of the original line up of the band. The original line up of the band recorded two studio albums, "Renaissance" and "Illusion", which were released in 1969 and 1971, respectively.

As I've already reviewed these two albums previously on Progarchives, in a more extensive way, I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know, in more detail, what I wrote about them before, I invite you to read those my both reviews. However, in here I'm going to write something about them in a more short way. So, of course, I'm not going to analyze them track by track, as I did before, but I'm only going to make a global appreciation of both albums.

"Prologue": "Prologue" is, without any doubt, a great album and is almost perfect. This is a superb album of lush melodies, full of originality, great song writing, and great performances. It represents excellent progressive rock music with the undeniable classical influences, a trademark of the band so typical on their golden era. The songs "Prologue", "Kiev" and "Rajah Kahn" are truly masterpieces, but unfortunately the other three aren't, especially "Spare Some Love" which is, in my humble opinion, a little bit inferior to the others. However, "Prologue" is an excellent start for this new reborn line up of the band and a fantastic prologue to their most classical musical manifestations. "Prologue" is with "Ashes Are Burning" and "Scheherazade And Other Stories" my first three contacts with their music and I must confess I love these three albums. So, "Prologue" was a beloved album by me, since the first minute, and even after so many years and when I know almost all the others, it represents, even today, one of my favourite works of Renaissance.

"Ashes Are Burning": In my humble opinion, I think "Prologue", "Ashes Are Burning", "Turn Of The Cards" and "Scheherazade And Other Stories" are the four best studio albums from Renaissance and constitute the best musical period of the band, their famous musical golden era. However and after all these years, and I can assure you that I know very well these musical works sice the beginning, I still consider "Scheherazade And Other Stories" their best studio album and the only masterpiece of the group. Despite "Ashes Are Burning" be one of their best pieces, it isn't, in my humble opinion, a truly masterpiece and I even doubt if it's better than "Prologue". As "Prologue", "Ashes Are Burning" has only three songs that can be considered truly masterpieces, "Can You Understand", "At The Harbour" and specially "Ashes Are Burning". Unfortunately, the other three songs aren't as good as the others and "On The Frontier" is, in my humble opinion, even inferior to the others. It's true that the title track "Ashes Are Burning" is, in reality, a memorable piece of music, and it can also be considered, without any doubt, as one of the greatest progressive songs ever made. However, I think that song isn't enough in order to can consider "Ashes Are Burning" a real masterpiece.

Conclusion: In the distant years of the 70's, "Prologue", "Ashes Are Burning" and "Scheherazade And Other Stories" were my three first contacts with Renaissance's music and, in my humble opinion, "Prologue", "Ashes Are Burning", "Turn Of The Cards" and "Scheherazade And Other Stories" are the four best studio albums from Renaissance and constitute the best musical period of the band, their famous musical golden era. However, and after all these years, I still consider "Scheherazade And Other Stories" their best studio album and the only studio masterpiece of the group. I must confess that I don't have this compilation. If you have, like me, the two studio albums in two individual packages, you don't need to buy this compilation because it hasn't anything new to offer, like bonus tracks. Unless you haven't yet the two individual albums, in this case, this compilation album is a good option for you because it's cheaper than the two separated albums. So, if you don't have these two albums yet, you need urgently to leave your home to buy them, because they are essential in any progressive rock musical collection, and in this case, this is the better option because you save on price and space, if it's possible to buy it, yet. So, I think this compilation deserves to be rated with 4 stars because, in my humble opinion, none of these albums are two real masterpieces but only two essential albums.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Camera Camera by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.48 | 123 ratings

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Camera Camera
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by rogerthat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's safe to say that this is the least favoured phase of Renaissance's long journey. In the album notes, the late Betty Thatcher was vocal in expressing her displeasure with the direction the band took on Camera Camera. She said and I quote, "I'd become disenchanted with the outlook of the group when I wrote this (Bonjour Swansong). They were looking for a follow up single and said things like, 'We should be more like Genesis.' I thought the whole motivation of classical rock had been abandoned." Annie Haslam too has disowned this album and its follow up, Time Line. She has said that had she been as strong a person as she is now, she wouldn't have stood for it. A pretty big hint, if you will, as to why Jon Camp isn't with the band anymore (though much of this album is still written by Michael Dunford). Nevertheless, at the time, Camera Camera at least fared better than its predecessor Azure D'Or (the album that nuked their Warner Bros contract). And Bonjour Swansong is one of its better tracks. That kind of sums up Camera Camera.

You THINK Renaissance attempting new wave is going to be an outright disaster. Instead, it works really well in patches with a few misses that aren't grotesque either. Just as the 80s outfits and hairstyle Annie sported in the Camera Camera tour weren't particularly gross though not as graceful as in the 70s (but certainly more adventurous). A band that hadn't taken risks for a long time was bound to misfire here and there. But when they get it right, the payoff is twice as awesome.

The album gets off to a flying start with the opener (and title track), reminding me of Michael Schumacher at the Sao Paulo GP back in 2000 when he jumped two places into the outright lead right at the start. Whatever you may have expected from Renaissance going New Wave, the title track isn't it. It starts off with a guitar riff interplaying with keyboard. Holy moly, is that even a Renaissance album at all? It gets into another proggy keyboard motif (which will make another appearance at the end of the first verse/chorus) before launching into the main keyboard/guitar new wave riff. It's a somewhat foreboding riff and doesn't prepare you for Annie chirping in an ultra thin tone high up in the fifth octave, flexing it in impossible ways, again like Schumacher redlining bends in jawdropping ways. This ultra thin tone is accompanied by a cool and almost cynical expression, not something you'd dream of hearing from Annie, again (and I used that word again!). In the chorus, she switches to a more chesty, bossy tone. But in the middle, "I am pleasant and kind..." reverts to a soft, faux-operatic tone, the expression continuing to be disdainful. She goes back to the chesty voice and finishes the chorus with a long sustained note. An even longer version of said note will appear in the second chorus. If that's not enough, she goes off into high vocalise. Did I mention the production yet? It's crisp in a way no Renaissance album has ever sounded. The sound isn't thin and compressed either the way Song for All Seasons was. It's also yet to be infected by the robotomania of the 80s. Early 80s truly saw some great productions like Mob Rules or Moving Pictures and Camera Camera, it has to be said, is one of them. And the title track is my joint favourite.

The other favourite couldn't be more different. Okichi San. Where Camera Camera is urgent and full of brash confidence, Okichi San is leisurely and languid and also calculated down to the last note. If Camera Camera rocks out, Okichi San is jazzy lounge. The similarity is both use Annie's versatility as well as her ability to do high vocalise beautifully, as if it were an instrument all by itself. This is one of their more progressive tracks in general (and not just on the album). It manages to borrow from New Wave without dumbing down the songwriting.

That, unfortunately, cannot be said for some of the other tracks like Fairies, Jigsaw or Running Away With You. Something about the playfulness of Fairies perhaps appealed to Annie and she runs with it but I don't find her delivery particularly convincing on Jigsaw (barring that shriek :P) or Running Away with You. Running...in particular is a jarring precursor to the terrible Missing Persons (both written by Camp, incidentally). If Dunford wanted to keep some prog going amidst the New Wave embrace, Camp was more eager to go all out New Wave and grab that hit (which never came, as it transpired).

As mentioned earlier, Bonjour Swansong has a lot of heart and works just because. There's nothing unusual or amazing about it, just a simple but nice melody sung really well (as usual). Also worth mentioning is Remember, one of Renaissance's most beautiful melodies. Again, where earlier their melodies were written so Annie would make them come alive, here at last they show the potential to write melodies that were truly interesting just standalone. Remember in particular has a beautiful progression. It is marred a little by whatever it is that Peter Gosling does at the end. Elsewhere, Gosling and Barron's considerable chops do give a much needed fillip to the band's energy levels, something also noticeable in their live set during this period. The stately sounding Tyrant Tula and Ukraine Ways don't work so well for me, but they also don't annoy me. Ukraine Ways in particular is an attempt to fit the symphonic approach of Renaissance in 80s sounds. But these tracks needed the light touch of Sullivan; Barron's energetic thumping combined with electric guitar and 80s keyboards makes it altogether a little oppressive (for me).

All in all, Camera Camera is very much a mixed bag. But to evoke the "life is a box of chocolates" metaphor from Forrest Grump ( I know, I heard you groan), why miss out on the ones that taste delicious just because some of the other chocolates suck? The parts of Camera Camera that work, work so well you will be amazed Renaissance could pull this off. For a long time, fans have been unhappy that these albums derailed the band into liquidation back in the 80s. But it's all water under the bridge. Annie has ably led the band into new frontiers since the 2009 reunion. So the time is ripe to relax and enjoy those tracks from Camera Camera that still hold up after all these years. For the intent to take risks and for pulling it off well at least in parts, I give this one three stars, placing it above Azure D'Or and Grandine Il Vento.

 Prologue by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.74 | 427 ratings

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Prologue
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review N 265

'Prologue' is the third studio album of Renaissance and was released in 1972. However, it can be considered the first studio album from Renaissance Mk. II. The original Renaissance's band released two studio albums, 'Renaissance', in 1969 and 'Illusion', in 1971. After the disbanded of the original line up, in 1972, Annie Haslam and John Tout remained to building a new band, although they never have been part of the original line up of the first Renaissance's version.

So, the reborn line up of Renaissance, started with this first or third studio album, as you wish, and is constituted by Annie Haslam (lead & backing vocals and percussion), Rob Hendry (vocals, guitars, mandolin and chimes), John Tout (backing vocals and keyboards), Jon Camp (vocals, bass and tamboura) and Terry Sullivan (backing vocals, drums and percussion). The album has also the participation of Francis Monkman (synthesizer), as a guest musician.

'Prologue' has six tracks. The first track is the title track 'Prologue' and was written by Michael Dunford. This is clearly one of the highlights of the album and is also, in my humble opinion, one of the best songs written by them and it's also one of my favourite songs too. This is essentially an instrumental song, despite it has female vocals, but there are no lyrics and the vocals only singing the melody. Musically, this opening song shows us how strong the influence of the classical music on their music is, and indicates clearly which path the band would follow in the near future. The second track 'Kiev' written by Betty Thatcher and Jim McCarty is another great song and is extremely beautiful. It's somehow an unusual song because the singing is lead by a male voice. Musically, it's a tradition based piano piece of music which became a classic piece on Renaissance's musical catalogue. It represents the type of the music that the band would forward in the future and where the better example of that is, without any doubt, their greatest masterpiece, their sixth studio album 'Scheherazade And Other Stories'. The third track 'Sounds Of The Sea' written by Betty Thatcher and Michael Dunford is a very beautiful piano ballad and where Annie Haslam sings wonderfully. Some reviewers consider that it suffers from being very long, especially the last part, which isn't properly much necessary. Sincerely, I don't agree with them and I think that the song flows naturally and beautifully along it. Personally, I think it has one of the Annie Haslam's best vocal performances and every time I hear this song I feel this is a perfect song and full of emotion. The fourth track 'Spare Some Love' written by Betty Thatcher and Michael Dunford is also a very good and interesting song, but, in my humble opinion, is a little bit inferior to the previous three songs. It's a song with an unusual musical introduction because the song starts with acoustic guitar instead of piano, as is usual. It's also another extremely beautiful song with the perfect and clear voice of Annie Haslam very well accompanied by all members of the band and also by a nice choral work. However and although an indisputable quality of the song, I think it lacks to it some of the musical complexity that the group had already accustomed us all over the album. The fifth track 'Bound For Infinity' written by Betty Thatcher and Jim McCarty is another song sung beautifully and wonderfully by Annie Haslam. It's a mellow pastoral ballad very simple, nice and melancholic featuring soft and nice piano and a transparent and beautiful voice. It's a song that shows us the perfection between two worlds, the world of the voice of Annie Haslam and the world of the piano of John Tout. This song also shows us why Annie Haslam became as one of the brightest stars in our progressive rock world. The sixth and last track 'Rajah Khan' was written by Michael Dunford. This is the lengthiest and the epic track on the album and represents the most complex and progressive song on the all album. It represents also probably the most ambitious and the best song of this album and consequently it represents also its highest musical moment. As like the opening track 'Prologue', it's basically an instrumental song with no lyrics, but where we can hear female vocals merely leading the melody. This is the most original and powerful song on the album with some influences of the Oriental music, according with its title. This song had the addition of Francis Monkman from Curved Air on the synthesizers. This is a wonderful closing track to this magnificent piece of music.

Conclusion: 'Prologue' is, without any doubt, a great album and is almost perfect. The songs 'Prologue', 'Kiev' and 'Rajah Kahn' are truly masterpieces, but unfortunately the other three aren't, especially 'Spare Some Love' which is, in my humble opinion, as I wrote before, a little bit inferior to the others. However, 'Prologue' is an excellent start for this new reborned line up and a fantastic prologue to their most classical musical manifestations. 'Prologue' is with 'Ashes Are Burning' and 'Scheherazade And Other Stories' my first three contacts with their music and I must confess I love these three albums. So, 'Prologue' was a beloved album by me, since the first minute, and even after so many years and when I know almost all the others, it represents, even today, one of my favourite works of Renaissance.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Novella by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.74 | 376 ratings

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Novella
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The London based RENAISSANCE had an interesting journey early on but finally on the band's fourth album "Ashes Are Burning" hit upon a progressively infused symphonic folk rock type of sound fortified with Baroque pop. The album found the perfect mix of cleverly crafted tracks that teased addictive pop hooks into the progressively worked out epics. The album allowed them to move on to the bigger BTM (British Talent Management) label and with a larger budget, the following album "Turn of the Cards" allowed the band to go for broke and create a lusher orchestral sound that ultimately led to its pinnacle of perfection with "Scheherazade and Other Stories" in 1975 which found its way into the top 50 albums on the US Billboard chart, no small feat for a symphonic prog band in the prog's waning years.

After three albums with a similar approach the band decided that there is no need to fix something that ain't broken. It took two years to record and release the following NOVELLA with the lauded "Live At Carnegie Hall" released in between but the musical landscape had changed dramatically in that short time. Progressive rock was no longer fashionable and punk rock was having its day in the sun however RENAISSANCE was not the ordinary prog band and managed to stay relevant even as Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols were calling for anarchy in the homeland. NOVELLA was released in January 1977 and succeeded in hitting the top 50 album charts in the US mostly because of the loyal following that the band had attracted outside of the influence of radio, TV and other popular forms of media.

In many ways, NOVELLA sounds like a "Scheherazade Part 2" as the same lush orchestrated pop hooks find themselves twisted into lengthy progressively infused creations with different movements although there is nothing even close to the epic scope of the previous album's title track. NOVELLA is sort of easy listening prog with easily digestible melodic hooks, soft acoustic guitars, careful displays of piano arpeggios and lush orchestration and as usual Annie Haslam's vocals bring an angelic heavenly presence to the whole thing. The music sounds like it could be the soundtrack at the pearly gates to heaven! Whereas the previous album had only four tracks, NOVELLA had five with the opening "Can You Hear Me" approaching 14 minutes and the closer "Touching Once (Is So Hard to Keep)" at nine and a half.

It's easy to understand why so many are turned off by this album. It is recycling the whole narrative theme with the female story reader recounting tales only this time to children rather than kings however there is no doubt that this album was playing it safe and milking the formula for as long as could be tolerated. Apparently for some it was one too many of this style but for others it was a welcome return to the familiar and after all, the sounds that emerge from these tracks are quite pleasant even though the album may lack the dynamic flair of its predecessor. It has been stated that Annie Haslam could sing the phone book and it would sound like a gift from angels and there is probably some truth to that but personally i find this album to be a nice breezy listening experience despite everything said about it pretty much being quite true.

While RENAISSANCE would hang on for a couple more years with their unique brand of classically infused progressive pop and far outlive many of the majority of the prog universe, the band would ultimately succumb to the inevitable gravitational pull of the burgeoning new wave scene, however on NOVELLA all of the sugary sweet melodies and unthreatening orchestrated melodic hooks are still on display as if the world was the same exact place as when they hit upon this formula in 1973. While i'll admit this is a major step down from the sheer perfection of "Scheherazade and Other Stories," i can't help but loving this album despite it all. The instrumental interplay is just as tight and Haslam's vocals are soothing and as brilliantly displayed as what came before. While the tracks are less compelling than the three albums that preceded, they are still catchy as hell with all the RENAISSANCE mojo still firing strong. Yeah, not the band's best but certainly not as bad as many claim it to be.

 Grandine Il Vento [Aka: Symphony Of Light] by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.26 | 127 ratings

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Grandine Il Vento [Aka: Symphony Of Light]
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by Awaken 6am

3 stars Hi all From Argentina where Renaissance had only one vinyl pressed locally ("Novella") with no commercial sucess and where i had my dream-come-true experience in attending a Renaissance show in its last incarnation in 2017, needless to say it was the first time this band played live here in front of some 150 people. Despite of all this I have been a huge Renaissance fan and loyal listener and collector since age 15 (that is, 41 years ago...) While shocked and deeply pleased to experience "Annie and his band" first row-centre somehow I felt that a bit of the glory of old times has been lost. Despiite the undeniable beauty of their music it sounded tired and a bit slower. No doubt there`s something unique in master Tout ok Keyboards, Camp`s bass, even Sullivan`s drumming all absent today. There`s Annie, a 70 Yr old lady who sings as if still 25, and manages to fill the air with her fantastic voice bringing the old songs some of it`s past spirit.

I felt so pleased while getting this last CD Grandine Il Vento...maybe too much expectations. My feel is that you should take it as a new Annie solo album whith a touch of more progressive approach. As I read on so many other reviews, it`s correctly defined as "bland", it`s played as if musicians are low blood pressured, in fact for me it should be qualified as 2 - 1/2 stars, while it`s not bad at all, it lacks almost everything we love from the Renaissance Brand. In terms of sound and Dynamics it`s absolutely the opposite you can hear on "Running Hard" to name just one old tune. On GIV you can find some interesting music and twists on both first and last tracks. The Music in between is what I would call something in between filler and half baked songs...Above all, is again Annie `s voice in perfect shape as usual and very present all along the disc (should I Say Too much Present..., at times seems she`s too loud over the mix)

Get Grandine Il Vento, but maybe it will be archived after 1 or two complete hearings.

 A Symphonic Journey by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2018
3.19 | 16 ratings

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A Symphonic Journey
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars A fair trip

A Symphonic Journey is a brand new live release, celebrating nearly five decades of Renaissance's music. A DVD video of the performance is included, but I am only familiar with the audio content. The band is performing together with a 10-piece chamber orchestra on this occasion, in contrast to the more intimate band setting evidenced on the band's previous live release Live At Union Chapel. Personally, I prefer Live At Union Chapel, and think that the orchestra adds little of value to the proceedings - but it is a matter of taste.

As is to be expected, there is some overlap between these two releases with about half of the songs being present on both. But there are also some surprises to be found here. One of these is Island, the oldest inclusion, originally from the band's self-titled 1969 album. I could be wrong, but I believe this is the first time Annie Haslam has sung a song from the Jane Relf-era. Another surprise inclusion is Kalynda from 1979's Azure d'Or. With the exception of Illusion and Novella all of the band's 70's albums are represented in the set list.

Highlights for me include A Song For All Seasons, Trip To The Fair, and Symphony Of Light. From a vocal perspective, the latter is especially great - as it was also on Live At Union Chapel. The closer Ashes Are Burning re-introduces the electric guitar solo from the original album version.

Overall, A Symphonic Journey is a nice release, and a good addition to Renaissance's live catalogue.

 Prologue by RENAISSANCE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
3.10 | 2 ratings

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Prologue
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Sparing some love for Prologue

Released as a single in 1972, Prologue is my personal favourite piece of music by Renaissance - a brilliant composition that was the first track on the album of the same name and often used as the opening number at the band's live concerts. It is not exactly an instrumental as it does feature lots of wordless vocals, but no lyrics. This classical, jazzy instrumental is in my opinion a masterpiece of Symphonic progressive Rock and one that I never tire of even if played on repeat.

The other track on this single is Spare Some Love, also taken from the album Prologue. The single version is an edit that is 3 minutes and 49 seconds compared to the album version which is over 5 minutes. The single version was released on CD for the first time as a bonus track on the 2018 CD re-issue of Prologue by Esoteric Recordings. I am not very fond of this song, so the edit does not offend me.

As I understand it, on some versions of this single it was Spare Some Love that was the a-side whilst other versions (as the one showed here) had Prologue as the a-side. It was brave to release something like Prologue as a single, and though it probably did not do much in the charts it is a classic of the genre and a great piece of music.

 A Symphonic Journey by RENAISSANCE album cover Live, 2018
3.19 | 16 ratings

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A Symphonic Journey
Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by SteveG

3 stars The end of 2017 found the reconstituted Renaissance briefly touring with a chamber orchestra and the result is this double CD and DVD of the second ever concert of the two performing together. Annie Haslam's voice is starting to get more strident then sweet these days, but rest assured that she can still sing in key and sustain those long notes. The band, who now seem to be ever changing aside from keyboard player Rave Tesar, were mostly accomplished aside from some brief timing issues. Tesar was the standout, as usual. Second keyboard player Geoffrey Langley played like measured clockwork until he was allowed to cut lose on synths on the concert's encore song. The rest of band played in workman like fashion except for guitarist Mark Lambert, who resurrected the electric guitar lead (originally played by the great Andy Powell from Wishbone Ash) at the close of "Ashes Are Burning". It should have been more interesting but something was amiss.

To break up the monotony, the band decided to do two odd ball songs, "Kalynda" from Azure D'or and "Island" from the first Renaissance album which featured Jane Relf instead of Annie. While these songs in themselves were not terrible, some of the other songs that the group decided to do, both with and without the orchestra, were not good choices. The now ever present "Prologue" and "Trip To The Fair", played without orchestra, came off poorly. "Prologue", accompanied by faux synth strings would have been better served had the actual orchestra provided real orchestral backing, while "Trip To The Fair" suffered the most from timing issues. Compounding this was the fact that Annie sounded a bit strained at times, like she was still trying to get warmed up. The songs that worked the best with the orchestra were "Carpet of The Sun", "Mother Russia" and "A Song For All Seasons", all of which were recorded with stunning orchestral arrangements on their respective studio albums. One song that was greatly enhanced by the addition of the orchestra was the haunting "At The Harbor" from the Ashes Are Burning album as the studio cut features only Haslam's lone vocal, piano, acoustic guitar and some brief bass guitar notes. With the orchestra, the song was transformed from a dirge into an emotional lament. What did not work as well with the orchestra were "Grandine Il Vento" and " Symphony Of Light" from the last Renaissance studio album Symphony Of Light. However, these were the exceptions where Annie's voice rose to the occasion as she is quite proud of these two songs. I think the band and the orchestra would have been better served had they focused on songs that incorporated an orchestra in the studio releases like "Can You Here Me?" from Novella. Or a song which substituted the orchestra in place of the synths used for symphonic accompaniment like "The Flood At Lyon" from Azure D'or. The latter would have been especially welcomed and note worthy.

In the liner notes, Annie states that it was her dream to perform again with an orchestra and the occasion filled her with joy. I'm happy for her but now it's time for her and the band to give joy to their long time fans with a new album of studio material. There are enough talented musicians still in the Renaissance fold after the death of songwriter Michael Dunford a few years back. The band just needs to believe that they can make new music without him. 3 stars for A Symphonic Journey.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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