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The first Renaissance album is certainly a mixed bag
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.