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Prologue
Format: Audio CDChange
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2005
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 "hits" collection. 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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 January 2011
In some ways, this may well be my favourite Renaissance album, principally because the music is consistently good throughout, and there are none of the weaker tracks which began to crop up as 'filler' in later albums. The tracks vary in style from progressive rock to almost a 'pop' sound, with exciting classical influences amongst the longer, more serious numbers.
The title track is a weighty and atmospheric opener, piano-driven, with influences from Bach amongst others, and Haslam's wordless vocal arcing over it all. The two longest tracks, 'Kiev' and 'Rajah Khan',are among the most powerful and memorable: the Russian influence is haunting, with echoes of Rachmaninov and Camp's thoughtful lyric, while the Eastern atmosphere of the latter has tablas, synthesiser, and Haslam's oriental vocalise. 'Sounds of the Sea' makes superb use of taped sounds (waves & gulls) married to Haslam's beautifully pure tones, to create a memorably arresting piece. Finally, 'Spare some love' and 'Bound for Infinity' are in a lighter vein, with simpler melody lines, given a touch of class by Haslam's effortless purity of voice. A lovely album throughout.
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on 24 February 2015
yeah I can't believe that all 7 (ignoring Azure Dor) albums were littered with Masterworks-and then bland forgettable pop rock-adult contemporary filler...Sheherezade perhaps was all good/great songs......and no filler.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2012
I had read reviews which said that this "first" album from the classic Renaissance line-up was unlike the ones that followed. After seeing their recent New York gig I ordered this and I've been playing it ever since. If you have the same gap in your collection don't hesitate. Look out for the new album in 2013 too. The two tracks they played from it sound very promising. Also check out the Live Sight and Sound video on YouTube.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2009
Prologue is probably the best album by Renassiance and it is one of the hardest to obtain. Some of the tracks are pure 70's in their sound but they also have a timeless quality which will make this album much sought after.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2013
This album is worth every penny for "Sounds of the Sea" alone, I previously downloaded a rubbish mp3 bootleg version of it but was glad to get the original, this was a time when i was looking into the Rennaisance back catalogue and did not neccesarily want to cough up the dough if it was gonna be a bit iffy, I need not have worried.

As an album it's not the best probably VFM would be something like "Scheharazade and other stories" but it's worth listening too and adding to your collection.

It reminds me of buying "weird scenes inside the goldmine" a compilation of the doors material totally blind as it were, and never regretting it, in fact that is the definative collection IMHO but I have it on vinyl.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Renaissance went through a whole range of record labels in its time and toward the end got rather confused I think. This being one of the earliest is a classic of its type. Renaissance are an acquired taste. They require you to listen and sit, and it is not dance music for sure. If you like real musicians who can actually play then you will like the classical influences especially the piano work. Its 6 tracks are full of different music so far from mainstream that for some it will be just too much. For a fan this is brilliant. For everyone else I would suggest you look at Song for all Seasons as a starting point rather than here.
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on 27 March 2015
good
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2014
YES. So good !!
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