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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Renaissance album!
Renaissance's "A Song for All Seasons" is, for me at least, one of those mid-career peaks that not all bands are lucky enough to experience.

The album sees the band in transition from its pure early symphonic-rock of such albums as "Ashes Are Burning" (1973) and "Turn of the Cards" (1974) to its more conventional rock style of later albums such as "Azur D'Or"...
Published on 2 May 2007 by alextorres

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Last RENAISSANCE i can barely listen to…too bad BTM Record(uk) went bankrupt. Maybe Miles Copeland would have let them stay prog
This is just too poppy and commercial for me-they had to please Warner Bros Records and compete with punk. The album seems to be a caricature of a Renaissance album; a couple of good songs, but Jon Camps weeping and whining drove me crazy...
Published 3 months ago by Mark C.


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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Renaissance album!, 2 May 2007
This review is from: A Song For All Seasons (Audio CD)
Renaissance's "A Song for All Seasons" is, for me at least, one of those mid-career peaks that not all bands are lucky enough to experience.

The album sees the band in transition from its pure early symphonic-rock of such albums as "Ashes Are Burning" (1973) and "Turn of the Cards" (1974) to its more conventional rock style of later albums such as "Azur D'Or" (1979) and "Camera Camera" (1981). For my musical taste, then, it combines the intricacy of symphonic rock with the misleading simplicity and joy of pop, resulting in a melodic blend that is always makes enjoyable listening, whatever the mood.

"Opening Out", "Day of the Dreamer" and "A Song for All Seasons" comprise the album's symphonic elements. "Day of the Dreamer", a piece in four movements, follows on seamlessly musically from the first piece, "Opening Out" and is one of the album's highlights. Superbly conceived, the piece makes full use of the band's instrumental virtuosity on piano and keyboards, bass (Jon Camp plays his bass guitar in lead guitar style and produces a wonderful dynamic, driving sound that is a general feature of the band's overall sound) and acoustic guitar - all beautifully complemented by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Also, not forgetting Annie Haslam's voice, so near-operatic at times that it can be rightly perceived as an instrument in its own right and on this piece producing one of the most sublime moments when at the beginning of the third movement she breaks into "To stand and gaze upon your smile/A deep reflection/Held in my soul as a child...." with the most beautifully sung melody - it's enough to send shivers down your spine!

The album's other songs are more conventional rock band songs and they even include a UK top thirty hit in "Northern Lights", an almost unprecedented feat for a band playing "symphonic rock". Not that you could brand "Northern Lights" with that label; nevertheless it is an extremely good song, as are "Back Home Once Again" (which was the theme tune to the TV series "The Paper Lads"), "Closer Now Than Yesterday" and "Kindness at the End". The latter is, for me, the highlight of the album: written by Jon Camp and, unusually for Renaissance sung beautifully by him (not a trace of Annie Haslam on this!), it is a gorgeous, melodic song in a traditional pop format. It's a song that, in a sense, typifies the changes that the band was effecting at this time, its shift in musical style and it showed that they could move to a different style and still produce fine music.

However, this particular mix of the old and new leaves "A Song for All Seasons" as my favourite Renaissance album, beating other superb ones such as "Ashes Are Burning". It really was a mid-career high!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Memories & Future Hopes, 26 Sep 2006
By 
A. J. Rabet "Rabs" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Song For All Seasons (Audio CD)
I first bought this album on vinyl when I was at University in the 1970's and I was lucky enough to see Renaissance on tour during that time.

Absolutely fantastic melodies and arrangements not only is Annie Haslam's voice fantastic but the male members sing well and Jon Camp's vocals on She is Love are wonderful.

Finally I fancied Annie Haslam like rotten when she sang Northern Lights on Top of the Pops and my girlfriend at the time was most put out!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Woman?! Singing Prog Rock?!, 30 Aug 2004
By 
Steven Moses - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Song For All Seasons (Audio CD)
And what a voice! Perhaps not the voice of an angel that someone suggests earlier but Annie Haslam sets Renaissance apart from other prog/folk bands. It is Haslam's voice and the arrangements of most of the songs on this album that make it such a pleasurable listen. The opener (called 'Opening Out' funnily enough') introduces us to Haslam's fantastic vocals but the stand out tracks include a splendid prog rock/classical workout, 'The Day of the Dreamer' and the hit single 'Northern Lights'. Unfortunately Jon Camp adds his vocals to a couple of tracks and his surname reflects a tad in his singing style. Maybe I'm being unfair here as it would take an exceptional male voice to compare with Haslam on this album and sadly he doesn't compare. Haslam sings a slightly exscrutiating track, 'Back Home Once Again' which was the theme tune to a little known children's tv programme called 'The Paper Lads'. These minor quibbles apart, some of the tracks here compare with any of prog rock's finest and I recommend this album to lovers of this genre and absolutely anyone who enjoys a near perfect singing voice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Annie Haslam - icing on the cake, 23 Nov 2007
This review is from: A Song For All Seasons (Audio CD)
Comparisons with other bands are really not necessary here. Renaissance were unique and after a number of excellent albums (my favourite being Scheherezade and other stories), 'Song for all Seasons' really drives home what a truly great band they were. Fine compositions, coupled with superb musicianship topped out with Annie Haslam's fabulous voice. This is without doubt a stand-out album that the band were unable to match with later attempts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop music or progressive? Who cares?, 5 Dec 2007
This review is from: A Song For All Seasons (Audio CD)
It is a shame that Renaissance started giving up progressive rock, just when they were at their best at it. But this is still a great album. Most of it is still progressive enough even if 3 songs sound a bit like Abba. But if you like progressive rock AND Abba you've got nothing to complain about. And Anne Haslam's beautiful voice has probably never sounded better than it does here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still fresh and exciting after 30 years, 25 Feb 2008
This review is from: A Song For All Seasons (Audio CD)
This isn't just my favourite Renaissance album, it's my favourite album of all time. I return to it over and over again, and despite having heard it 100s of times, I still find it fresh and exciting. I can always find something new on each hearing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, 7 Aug 2001
By 
mike_ul@hotmail.com (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Song For All Seasons (Audio CD)
Having been a renaissance fan for a long time, I read the customer reviews of this album and decided to try it. I listened to it and thought 'Hmmm, Okay but not that good' and promptly never played it for a while. I then put it on again and started listening. Then again and again. I couldn't stop playing it. It's an album that grows on you - which are often the most rewarding ( chart music relies on instant gratification which wears off quickly ). This is a delightful album which warrants repeated play to savour the delights it has to offer. Certainly 'Back home...' is excellently done and very catchy. It's a mystery why the delights of the album only surface after a few plays. Strange. Buy this if you are a true music lover. You will not be disappointed. Just don't expect to play it the once to fully appreciate all that it has to offer ....
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One to share with the neighbours!, 27 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A Song For All Seasons (Audio CD)
Well, this is my favourite of my current set of Renaissance albums, and one that always gets me cranking up the volume rather more than perhaps one should - but for once I don't care. This is such a powerful, superbly crafted and arranged album that deserves to be heard and not just listened to. I feel confident that complaints from my neighbours are unlikely with this one.
Just occasionally reminiscent of BJH, this is otherwise pure Renaissance. Most vocals are from the excellent Annie Haslam, and this is very much a different offering to Ocean Gypsy; as my comments on the other would suggest. As you'll figure from an average that's currently 5 whole stars, this is not an album that merits much criticism. Instead, and finished as it just has while I write, with the silence decending once more my feeling is simply 'Wow!'.
So in my opinion this is an essential album for any Renaissance fan. If you're not a fan yet, I'd recommend this, and if not a fan after listening you probably never will be.
That's it. Enjoy!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite albums of all time, 13 Sep 2006
This review is from: A Song For All Seasons (Audio CD)
I have owned this on record, tape and CD and still can't get enough of it. The musical soundscapes are rich and varied enhanced by Annie Haslam's five octave range, the prog. rock band and the fitting orchestrations. Other reviewers have summed this album up well and I can't disagree with their comments.

One word of caution!! The album contains a song called "She is Love" sung by Jon Camp. It is more about castrations rather than orchestrations and is reminiscent of nails being dragged across a blackboard. It is so excrutiatingly awful that I have never listened to it ever since I have owned the album on CD and have been able to easily skip the track. Despite the presence of this piece of cack, Song for all Seasons still gets a five star rating from me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Old & The New, 11 Dec 2004
By 
Mr. Alexander P. Mcritchie "alexander_mcritchie" (Peterborough, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Song For All Seasons (Audio CD)
At the stage where the band were starting to explore the fusion of classical & commercial pop, this album still remains the best of both worlds. There are still the intense emotion from "Opening Out" and "Day Of The Dreamer' to the famous "Northern Lights" and the monumental epic "A Song For All Seasons". A must have for all fans and my personal favourite.
You will not be disappointed!
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A Song For All Seasons by Annie Haslam (Audio CD - 1996)
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