Search - Illusion :: Out of the Mist & Illusion

Out of the Mist & Illusion
Out of the Mist & Illusion
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

Illusion played a pleasant form of soft progressive rock that made much of Jane Relif's ethereal vocals, and released these two fine records, now on one picture disc.


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CD Details

All Artists: Illusion
Title: Out of the Mist & Illusion
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Edsel Records UK
Release Date: 5/16/1994
Album Type: Import
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 740155136925


Album Description
Illusion played a pleasant form of soft progressive rock that made much of Jane Relif's ethereal vocals, and released these two fine records, now on one picture disc.

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CD Reviews

Two overlooked progressive rock gems on one CD
K. A. Levine | Stow, MA, USA | 03/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Illusion was called Renaissance at the dawn of the 70s before the evolutionary process resulted in the better known version of that group featuring Annie Haslam, Jon Camp after 2 albums. While what they were doing in 1970-71 was of little more than historic interest, their reformation in the mid 70s as Illusion produced two essential recordings, both contained in full on this CD. Broadly speaking, both bands played a similar style, that of progressive rock with strong folk and classical leanings and featuring a female lead singer, but enough differences emerge to keep everyone interested. Illusion was a little less ornate and more folky, with the singing of Jane Relf at a lower octave than Annie Haslam, the keyboards of ex-Strawb John Hawken warmer but no less technically proficient, and the participation of ex-Yardbirds creating an edge on some tunes. The CD includes the first 2 albums, Out of the Mist and Illusion (yes the self-titled was actually the second). While the first is instantly likeable and contains more songs in the romantic classical vein, such as the wonderful "Isadora", "Beautiful Country", and "Face of Yesterday", it also contained a few excesses, especially "Candles are Burning" which sounded dated even in 1977. In contrast, the second album (tracks 8-14) is more of a slow burn. The release notes express a disappointment in the output but I do not share this sentiment. In fact to me it wears better than the first, from the awesome kickoff of "Madonna Blue" through to the dignified ancient sound of "The Revolutionary", with simple delights like "Never Be the Same" and "Wings Across the Sea" in between. Note the reduced participation of Jane Relf as lead singer may rightfully upset some, but I believe it is worth seeing beyond this error in judgement to the high quality of the compositions, production, and even the voice (which I believe belongs to Jim McCarty). This 2fer may well be one of the greatest CD bargains currently available in the progressive genre. Get it while you can!"
Great sound, haunting lyrics and piano
Brian F. McElroy | Elizabethtown, PA United States | 12/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this on LP (Out of the Mist) when it was released way back in the 70's. The reason I bought it was that John Hawken from the Strawbs was on it playing Keyboards (Ghosts and Hero & Heroine on A & M records). I had no idea who Illusion was at the time. The album has a great sound quality. The vocals sung by Jane Relf are great. Unfortunately she does not sing on all of the tracks. One song, "Solo Flight" seems really out of place on this album. The other half of the CD, simply self titled is actually an earlier recording. The sound quality isn't as good, but since I also have that CD on LP it is really nice to get this two for one package. If you like Annie Haslem, you'll like Jane Relf. You can't beat the price on this either."
A band that deserved to be a lot better known
woburnmusicfan | Woburn, MA United States | 05/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The original lineup of Renaissance split up after two albums. When they decided to get back together some years later, the name Renaissance was still in use, so they named themselves Illusion, the title of their second Renaissance album. Keith Relf, ex-Yardbirds, died before Illusion recorded anything. Drummer Jim McCarty, also ex-Yardbirds, moved up to front the band and share vocals with Relf's sister Jane. The band's sound was somewhere between folk and prog-rock, with the primary musicians being keyboardist John Hawken and bassist Louis Cennamo. Relf had a fine voice, while McCarty was good at sounding wistful. The music tended to sound a little melancholy even on the happier numbers. If you like Justin Hayward's "Forever Autumn", you will probably like Illusion. This CD includes both of Illusion's albums, 1977's phenomenal "Out of the Mist" and the lesser 1978 follow-up, "Illusion" (which at the time wasn't deemed worthy of release in the US). McCarty provides a history of the band in the liner notes."Out of the Mist" is the reason for the five-star review. Several of the songs have the timeless sound of Fairport Convention's best, joined to keyboard-based folk-rock music. "Face of Yesterday" is a work of jaw-dropping beauty, an old Renaissance song recorded much better here (I was lucky that my local radio station gave it some play in 1977). The parting-lovers tune "Candles Are Burning" starts with an energetic 12/8, then turns into a ballad that grows to a wall-of-sound finish. "Isadora" and "Beautiful Country" are also excellent songs, "Solo Flight" provides some harder rock for balance, and "Everywhere You Go" and "Roads to Freedom" have a Fleetwood Mac flavor.The songwriting wasn't as consistent on "Illusion" (by McCarty's own admission on the CD liner notes), and the added strings sometimes overwhelm the band. There are still some strong songs, particularly "Madonna Blue" and "Cruising Nowhere". "Louis' Theme", on the other hand, would have been a pleasant three-minute song, but is dragged out for almost eight."