Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock
1991 reissue on One Way of the respected prog veterans third album, originally released on Capitol in 1972. The album marked several major turning points in their career - it was their first for Capitol after leaving Isl... more »
1991 reissue on One Way of the respected prog veterans third album, originally released on Capitol in 1972. The album marked several major turning points in their career - it was their first for Capitol after leaving Island Records; it was the first with vocalist Annie Haslam; and it was the first without founders/ ex-Yardbirds members Jim McCarty & Keith Relf. Featured here are the original cover art & all six tracks, including 'Prologue' and 'Kiev'.
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3RD RENAISSANCE ALBUM, 1ST BY THIS GROUP...
Larry L. Looney | Austin, Texas USA | 01/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If that title seems a little confusing, there's a good reason. This is actually the third lp from Renaissance, the group formed out of the ashes of The Yardbirds, founded by Yardbirds vocalist Keith Relf and drummer Jim McCarty. After two imaginitive early albums, Relf died in a freak home electrocution and McCarty left the band. Between the second album and this release, the entire personnel of the band changed -- not one person who plays on this recording was on the last one (the band's name, meaning of course 'rebirth', is now doubly appropriate). There is some continuity -- McCarty had a hand in two of the songs ('Kiev' and 'Bound for infinity'), and the band's classical influences remain strong.This is the first time listeners were exposed to the beautiful vocals of Annie Haslam, soon to become one of progressive rock's most respected voices. John Tout's masterful keyboard work dominates instrumentally -- from the open bars of the first track, a causal listener might think a classical disc might have been substituted by mistake, but with the entry of Jon Camp's bass and Terry Sullivan's drums, the classical and rock influences mesh thoroughly and effectively. Rob Hendry's guitar work is tasteful throughout as well. An added treat is the guest appearance by Francis Monkman (ex-Curved Air) on synthesizer on the final track, 'Rajah Khan'.Throughout their long career, the music of Renaissance was always very impresionistic and evocative -- and the evidence of that can be heard very clearly on this excellent recording. By the time of their next release, ASHES ARE BURNING, the band had gelled even further, and they were off and running, composing their own material and making a very respectable name for themselves in the area of progressive rock.An essential audio document of an important genre. Nice to see it available at a reasonable price."
The begining of something special
Larry L. Looney | 03/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"John Tout's impressive piano playing and Annie Haslam's high flying soprano brought Renaissance back with "Prologue," the band's first album with the completely revamped lineup the went forward with the name after an earlier carnation with ex-Yardbird Keith Relf. It was this lineup that brought the group its greatest success. For that reason, "Prologue" can be ultimately viewed as a debut effort. While not flawless, it remains a noteworthy album.Here it is the keyboards that provide the groundwork for the band's music, unlike the more orchestral approach it would take on later efforts. The majestic "Kiev," and the soft, gentle "Bound For Infinity" are the real highlights here. While occasionally sounding a mite dated, each perfectly sums up the band's sound at this stage of the game.The only real misstep here is the eleven minute closing instrumental "Rajah Khan" which may have sounded good in 1972, but today comes across as little more than a pretentious experiment -- the kind that often (and rightfully) gives 70's "progressive rock" such a bad name.But on the whole this is an enjoyable effort, and one that should be of great interest to those who enjoyed later efforts like "Turn of the Cards" and "Scherazade.""
First effort lays out the group's classical foundations
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 09/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This initial album from the most beloved of the progressive/classical rock bands is certainly a mixed bag and it is not surprising that only the opening title track was included on the initial two-volume Renaissance CD. Michael Dunford, who had yet to become as comfortable with performing as he was with composing, wrote the music for four of the six songs but officially left the group before "Prologue" was recorded. However, there are clear signs of what was to come from the group. The influence of classical music is seen in Dunford's "Prologue" interpolates Chopin and Bach while the Jim McCarty piece "Kiev" quotes Rachmaninoff. All of the lyrics are penned by Betty Thatcher, the reclusive Cornish poetess, and sung by the glorious Annie Haslam. In retrospect it is certainly interesting to look at the the rough beginnings of "Spare Some Love" as a "pop hit" and "Rajah Khan" as a lengthy instrumental set piece and then compare them with "Carpet of the Sun" and "Ashes Are Burning" on the group's very next album (the two albums were released as a CD set "Renaissance: In the Beginning") by Capitol some time back), the point at which Renaissance can truly be said to have found its voice."