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4.2 out of 5 stars17
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 22 December 1999
One of the great tragedies of Brit pop over the past quarter century is that Renaissance didn't get the status and following in these Isles that their music deserved. For once, Stateside audiences recognised and appreciated what must be about THE most melodic and beautiful band ever to come out of the UK whilst we Brits chose to largely overlook them. Have no doubt: Renaissance are up there with Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Moody Blues and (dare I say)the Beatles, in terms of musical creativity.
Can You Hear Me and Midas Man are the two outstanding numbers. Annie Haslam's classically honed vocals, complimented by the band's Classical Rock style of music,have you drifting between orchestral type scores and bloody good rock! The mark of a superb band or album is that, when you listen to it, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. After 25 years of Renaissance it still happens to me. May their music live for ever!
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on 11 November 2000
This is one truly wonderful album. It forces you to sit and actually listen to the music. So many levels and Annie Haslam's superb voice make this a must have album. I agree with the previous comment. Renaissance have been sadly neglected over the years but it is good that we can still get our hands on their music.
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on 10 May 2004
I originally heard this album as a callow youth in 1977, when it was playing at my first lovers flat. I was entranced with the melodious voice of Annie Haslam, and the harmonics of “Can You Hear Me” which has a fantastic introduction.
25 years, on and that lover is long gone, but I found this music again purely by chance last year and have played it endlessly since.
Purists might argue that the vinyl versions were better, but this CD gives a fair rendition.
Listen carefully for the different influences, including some of the Russian composers.
My particular favourites are “The Sisters” and “Midas Man”
This music BEGS to be listened too, and need to be heard at a fair level of volume!
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on 5 March 2003
When this first came out it was advertised on Capital Radio by Alan Freeman. I was struck instantly by the short soundbites of the add and had to find the album. Since then I have purchased it four times, three vinyl versions and a recent transcribed CD version from Japan. What I would really like is an original high quality remastered copy from the original tapes! I hope this version fits that bill!
The opening track is outstanding with its oh so quiet beginning followed by the sudden surge of drum vocal and orchestra returning in seconds to te quiet simple keyboard and accoustic guitar section only for the change to happen again. Vinyl does this justice but the CD is still somewhat lacking in dynamics (I think it was created by playing vinyl on a quite good system no doubt and creating a master from that) vinyl on a good system really sounds excellent!
As is to be expected this album follows on where previous albums left off. All the tracks here are fantastic. The words, the singing, the musicianship. I can't fault it at all! No doubt I'll be buying a new copy here again real soon!
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on 9 January 2016
Recorded in late 1976 and with some of it performed on the first Sight and Sound BBC / Radio 2 broadcast in early 1977, this album was not actually released until late 1977.
It is less commercial than A Song For All Seasons but I have always regarded it as being pretty good. It has an epic feel without feeling over-produced.
Can You Hear Me? is arguably the best track with a good mixture of orchestra and keyboards. It does not seem as long as its 13.5 minutes.
Personally, the depressing, lack of hope subject matter of the lyrics to The Sisters has always spoiled this next track for me but musically and vocally it is still good.
The acoustic guitar based Midas Man is excellent apart from a very brief bit of Dwain-Eddy-like guitar but perhaps I am being picky! It is a strong song and a nice arrangement.
The Captive Heart is short and simple and tends to get overlooked.
The final Touching Once has some great up-tempo sections and Jon Camp's base is to the fore. I recall that this is what finished off the aforementioned Sight and Sound concert.
Michael Dunford's acoustic guitar (along with Jon Camp's as well) is strong throughout.
Overall, it is pretty good in my view, especially after some 39 years!
I managed to get a new 1996 version for under £5 including postage.
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on 5 May 2008
has there ever been an album which covers so many genres in one go? prog rock, opera, classical, etc.this is the best album ever for sitting down and shutting out the world to. simply superb and a must for the collections of anyone who claims to like music. by musicians and writers with talent we all wish we had.
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on 7 November 2015
Sparse orchestrations as dry as a desert wind and in the vocals a warmth that is never warming. More a warning. Perhaps of the drought of emotion that threatens to desiccate our human qualities. Is this the only Renaissance album that goes nowhere near the snows of Russia, in lyric or sound? The menace here is entirely Spanish in feel; like it was conceived and recorded in an adobe church amid people the Magnificent 7 never came to help. The Sisters embodies that feel entirely, with the clear narrative the album's title suggests. But the whole album is desolate and achingly beautiful, leaving its mark in your mind after listening, like that single mission bell tolling across the empty, unforgiving plain.
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on 11 June 2013
Recording engineer Eroc does the best post production bringing out the sound the way was meant to be heard.
Forget all other versions of Renaissance this is the real deal.
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on 21 December 2014
This is just pure nostalgia for me. A mixture of rock/folk/Gothic style. I suspect its like Marmite- you'll either love it or hate it.
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on 28 December 2013
What a fantastic voice. Just great to be able to reminisce with sounds from the 70's, in 'modern' CD format.
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