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Ocean Gypsy
Renaissance
Ocean Gypsy
Genre: Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

The New Version of Renaissance with New Vocalist Stephanie Adlington Doing Unplugged Versions of Old Favorites plus a Few New Tracks.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Renaissance
Title: Ocean Gypsy
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Transatlantic (Castle) (UK)
Release Date: 5/25/1999
Genre: Rock
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1

Synopsis

Album Details
The New Version of Renaissance with New Vocalist Stephanie Adlington Doing Unplugged Versions of Old Favorites plus a Few New Tracks.

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CD Reviews

Not the Renassance I was looking for
12/25/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Despite being listed on Amazon under "Annie Haslam", this album does not feature her at all, and although most of the songs are perfectly adequate covers of Renaissance songs, it was just not the same without Annie Haslam's range of lyrical expression and phenomenal ability to hold a sustained note."
Best Renaissance since the 70's! Viva Stephanie & Michael!!
J. M. Weathers | 11/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Like all hardcore fans of this band from the 70's, I love the bands most famous lineup with Michael Dunford (Guitars & compositions), Annie Haslam (Vocals), the horribly underrated Terrence Sullivan (Percussion), John Tout (Keyboardist extroidinaire) and John Camp (Bass & Vocals). Sadly, this band was to die in 1979 after the "Azure D'or" album. Sure, they attempted to carry on without keyboardist Tout and drummer Sullivan in a kind of "new wave" version of the band for 2 early 80's albums that pretty much all fans (as well as the band members themselves)disowned and stayed away from. After the last of these albums, 1983's "Time Line" the band continued to tour nontheless with various drummers and keyboardists. Eventually even Bassist Jon Camp also left, leaving only 2 of the original members from this edition of the band. Camp was no real loss. A decent bass player and backing vocalist, Camps' desire for a more mainstrem rock direction and his desire to be a lead vocalist and songwriter also helped ruin the 2 early 80's albums by the group (as well as the odd track from the bands 70's output). With guitarist Michael Dunford and Annie Haslam carrying on touring (and adding new members), the band decided to drop their "new wave" sound and went back to a more classical, acoustic oriented sound and stuck to playing the older 70's classics for pretty much the second half of the 80's. Then Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford parted ways (Michael stayed in the UK, Annie moving to the US), and essentially Renaissance was a memory. Eventually, in 2000 Annie and Michael would again team up with drummer Terrence Sullivan for 'Tuscanny" the first Renaissance recording of new material since "Time Line" in 1983. But even that recording to me doesn't capture the Renaissance feel of those 70's albums as well as "Ocean Gypsy". In 1994 Dunford discovered an incredibly talented female vocalist in Stephanie Adlington and decided to introduce another version of Renaissance. Sadly, the first album by his "new" Renaissance, "The Other Woman" was still in the vibe of the early 80's band with Haslam and Camp and was too electric and mainstream rock, although containing many decent songs. For some reason, Dunford wrote all the material for "Other Woman" but hired a band of studio guys to play and arrange the tracks, and he barely played his wonderful, expressive guitars on the album at all. Dunford himself said he was surprised at the modern rock sound of "Other Woman", so there's proof there of his lack of involvment. Realizing, perhaps, that he was wasting the precious talent of Adlington in a mainstream rock setting, Dunford decided that his next Renaissance album would be more acoustic, his involvment would be complete and the session rock musicians of "The Other Woman" would not appear. With "Ocean Gypsy" Dunford takes mostly his old Renaissance compositions from the 70's,along with 2 newer more recent fine songs, does some rearranging and sticks to a real, acoustic, "unplugged" type of recording (not even a trace of his own electric guitars anywhere on here). And it works!! Dunford's wonderfully expressive acoustic guitars are featured more here than on any Renaissance recording since 1977's "Novella", and, sorry to say it (and most Renaissance fans will hate me for this), good old Stephaine Adlington does an even better job on most of these songs than even Annie Haslam herself ever did. Haslam also recorded the two newer songs on her solo album as well as one being featured on the B-sides collection of leftovers "Songs From Renaissance Days" (with different lyrics and titles but the same melody lines)and these versions with Adlington are clearly far superior. This isn't a knock against Haslam, who I love as well, and it took some getting used to hearing another voice singing on the Renaissance classics, but once I did, I found myself preferring Stephanie's voice. Her harmonies and backing vocals alone are incredible, so much so that I often find myself listening to the vocal backrounds even more than the lead voice. Alas, I guess the sales weren't there and Dunford decided not to continue this version of Renaissance (also filled out by additional studio musicians but a much more talented bunch than on the previous "Other Woman" recording). Also, this recording pretty much drops the standard drum kit in place of some very nice, brezzy hand percussion work that is so intimate that it's just perfect fot this material in these arrangements. For me, I hope someday we will see Stephanie fronting this band again with Michael Dunford, and I hope that drummer Terrence Sullivan and keyboardist John Tout would be there too. A dream line-up for me. If you're convinced that Annie Haslam IS Renaissance, then nothing I can say will change your mind. However, Renaissance always was Michael Dunfords vision, he was the bands chief composer, as well as the architecht of it's acoustic guitar/classical/keyboard oriented sound and as such, is truly the most important member of this band. With Stephaine he hit gold a second time and apart from the bands 70's recordings, this is the most important Renaissance recording. Stephanie has exactly those same vocal qualities that I loved in Annie when I first discovered the band and I have to wonder if those fans who can't appreciate her talents on this album are just being closed minded. Haslam has made many solo albums now and for me, this is far superior to all of them, as good as they be at times."
Very good new recordings of classic Renaissance
J. M. Weathers | Marietta, GA USA | 09/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"For years, I've been meaning to get this CD. Alas, years after it was recorded, I finally found this at a pretty cheap price. I was pleasantly surprised. I never expected the classic sound of Renaissance when I listened to this. After all, Michael Dunford is the only member of the group that's on this. And, even though he wrote most of their music, the classic sound just isn't there. However, it is much better than one might think. Stephanie Adlington is a fantastic singer! Not as good as Annie, but that's not the point. She stood on her own very well on both this and "The Other Woman" CD. I was so impressed with her singing I just had to see if she were still recording. She now has her own web site and is planning on releasing a new CD of her own in the near future. I wish her well. As for classic Renaissance, they did get back together and released "Tuscany" and "The Land of the Rising Sun" (live in Japan) before calling it quits for good. Both of those are excellent works in the same vein as earlier releases. "The Land of the Rising Sun" is a very good live recording of some of the last live concerts they ever did. Wish that would come out on DVD. But as for this CD, I recommend it. Very good in all respects. If you like early Renaissance, coupled with the work of Grey Eye Glances, you will definitely like this CD."