Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
11 track compilation featuring rare & previously unreleased material by this legendary British prog act. Contains the previously unreleased cuts 'Prayer For Life' & 'Walking Away', plus 'Kings And Queens' & 'Innocence'. Ov... more »
11 track compilation featuring rare & previously unreleased material by this legendary British prog act. Contains the previously unreleased cuts 'Prayer For Life' & 'Walking Away', plus 'Kings And Queens' & 'Innocence'. Over 66 minutes of music. 1998 Mooncrest Records release.
Five stars aren't enough for this obscure masterpiece!
Merrill Hess | Albany, LA USA | 09/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a confusing history! When the Yardbirds broke up, Jimmy Page reformed the group but changed the name to Led Zeppelin. The rest of the former Yarbirds formed this group, Renaissance. What a contrast! As Renaissance, they released two records and broke up. One of the members reformed the group into the Renaissance that most people know, of Annie Haslam fame. More later.This record is original classical rock with jazz influences. It is much more cerebral and experimental than the second Renaissance group. Nothing cliche or pretentious here. Although well blended strains of Beethoven run throughout, they are used as launching pads for original compositions. Former Yardbird member Keith Relf and his sister Jane provide the vocals. 'Innocence' is such a subtle piece it may slip by you the first few listenings. Once you catch it its compositional and instrumental brilliance reveals it as one of the finest songs on the recording. 'Island' begins with a fine Beethoven interpretation and ends with the beautifully refined high pitched vocals of Jane Relf. The harpsicord in 'Wanderer' give it a Baroque feel while injecting jazz rhythms.After a while the members of this group reformed,but they could not use the name Renaissance because they had already given it away. This time they called themselves Illusion, after the second record they released as Renaissance. After two recordings, Illusion disbanded. The first Illusion recording is very good. Get these in memory of Keith Relf, who was electrocuted during a rehearsal session."
Very first album plus 6 bonus tracks.
kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 05/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the very first Renaissance album. It has 6 bonus tracks added and is now about 65 minutes long. If you already have the original, the bonus tracks don't make this worth getting. The first bonus track, The Sea, sounds very familiar, but I can't figure out why. I think it is just a variation on the theme of the album. The second bonus track is just a shorter version of Island. The four other bonus tracks don't sound like the rest of the album. They sound sparse and dated. The liner notes don't explain the origin of these tracks. My guess is that they are demo tapes from Keith and Jane Relf. I read somewhere that they are floating around and have been include on some CD reissues...maybe this is one of them. The last track sounds like the origins of Armageddon's Silver Tightrope. This is the original Renaissance and has none of the band members of the later, more popular version. The group was a spin off from the Yardbirds, after Jimmy Page went on to form Led Zepplin. They recorded this album, and another called Illusion. Illusion was very hard to find. As I remember, it was also very good, but I haven't heard it in a long time. You can now get it on CD.After the album Illusion, the group split up. Keith Relf went on to form Armageddon, which was a hard rock/progressive band. The rest of the group renamed themselves Illusion. Relf was electrocuted. One of the leftover musicians from Illusion reformed Renaissance with a completely new line up, but similar sound. Betty Thatcher, who is not a musician is credited with writing songs for every version of Renaissance.The original Renaissance, along with the Moody Blues and Deep Purple, were the pioneers in progressive/art rock. This album is musically rich, with classical keyboards, heavy guitar playing and soaring vocals."
1st Album in disguise, but good anyway!
Per Gulliksrud | Oslo, Norway | 08/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a new album from Renaissance; it's a re-issue of their first self-titled album from 1969 with the original cast, Jane & Keith Relf, John Hawken, Louis Cennamo and Jim McCarthy. In addition to the 5 album tracks, you got 6 bonus-tracks, incl. the very nice single "The Sea". Instead of using the original, fine cover-art, you got a picture of Mona Lisa with the face of a cat (!) Anyway, the music is as good as ever. Keith Relf and Jim McCarty, from Yardbirds, want to create a music that blends rock and classic. In these efforts they take some chances, so not everything stand the test of time, but some of the tracks do. The music is based around Hawkens keyboard, mostly piano, Cennamos bass, and Jane Relf's heavenly voice. Highlights; "Kings & Queens" is a long song with a lot of changes, and a Bach-theme put in, "Island" is a real classic, "Wanderer" with some nice harpsichord in addition to the vocals, and the bonus-track "The Sea", not unlike "Island".A strange thing occurs after their second album, "Illusion", (1971) originally only released in Germany, the whole band was replaced, but the music followed the same path! From "Prologue" (1972) the band is Annie Haslam, John Tout, Jon Camp, Terry Sullivan, and Jim Dunford, but that's another story.Some of the original members incl. Hawken, Jane Relf & McCarty comes together as the band Illusion and makes two records "Out of the Mist" (1977) and "Illusion" (1978). These are in the same spirit as the first album.All the Renaissance albums are enjoyable, but the 1st album is the most adventurous."