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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars21
4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£16.16+ £1.26 shipping
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2005
I'm not a big fan of folk music, but then I'm no expert on classical music either. Its wrong to dismiss any one genre out of hand, and Rennaisance make things pleasantly hard for the listerner by fusing styles of music, your typical rock fan may choose NOT to listern too. 'Ashes are Burning' is a beautiful blend of rock, classical and folk, in just the right quantities of each. Annie Haslam is one of the most beautiful and haunting singers of the time, and along with John Touts virtuoso piano playing, their input forms the conerstone of this album. The album has a natural 'organic' feel, largely thanks to the dominance of the piano and acoustic instruments, and only tasteful and conservative use of electric keyboards. Also the production is the type that typifies 70's rock; honest, clear and un-enhanced. For that reason AAB has a pleasantly dated and melancholic feel, that I think ALL good prog rock albums of the era had a generous helping of.
Theres not a bad track in sight, but the strongest are 'Can you Understand' 'On the Fontier' 'At the Harbour' and the brilliant title track. I challenge anyone to listern to 'At the Harbour' and not come away moved, by the story of a disaster at sea, and so many men folk from a village dying and leaving their wives and children behind. Haslams lyrics reflect the drama and grief so precisely and so articulately it cant fail to move the most cynical of music fans. You're not likely to hear many other acts like Rennaisance although, Mostly Autumn can be similar at times. Ashes are Burning is the peak of their career in my opinion. I strongly reccomend this album.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2007
I'm not going to waste time evangelising people on Renaissance - You either love them or hate them. I love the band's output in the '70s and early '80s. This CD was long overdue. It carries the full version of "At the Harbour", not the castrated version on the US/Japanese import. The difference is immense, especially for John Tout fans. Both CDs are great, but this one is transcendental!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2002
The album is a perfect blend of rich almost orchestral sounds with good paced melodies and the beautiful voice of Annie Haslem. Track 5, At the Harbour, provides the definitive introduction to the voice which is Renaissance through a simple, evocative and haunting vocal piece. This is an album where you can appreciate the care and crafting that these classically trained musicians bring to the pop and rock arena. To my mind, there is no other music like this,.. which is a shame. Probably their best album.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2000
Annie Haslam is in particularly fine voice on this one. The songs are varied and often poignant. Carpet of the Sun is a lovely piece and contrasts with At The Harbour which captures the mood of a sea disaster brilliantly. I'm glad to see it re released on CD
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2013
In my opinion, this is probably Renaissance's strongest single album, and that's saying something given their body of work. The opening 2 minutes of the first track, Can you Understand, will leave you breathless, and after that it's a bit of a problem to remember to keep breathing. Song follows song with the very highest level of musicianship all dripping with Annie Haslam's matchless vocals. This really is remarkable piece of work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2011
In a time when hyperbole and over-used cliches pour from all corners of the media, its refreshing every now and again to remind oneself that this band from the 1968-78 era produced some of best music on the planet. Literally. (in the true sense of the meaning of the word 'literally'!) The melodies, harmonies, musicianship and musicality tied with Haslam's crystal voice are a marriage of the sublime. I agree with previous reviews - this is probably their best album, with 'Turn of the Cards' a close second. But no quibbles. Try this first and you'll buy the rest in any case. All re-mastered to digital perfection in 2006, but the previous 1994/96 recordings are arguably better. Very under-rated.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2013
Very creative and strong music with moving and complex melodies, delightfully executed to make this a 'must have' album for the Renaissance fan as well as many others who appreciate good music in this idiom. I recently played it to three of my PhD students (who were stuck in the car with me): of course they had never heard of the band and not listened to anything quite like this before, but they all wanted to have a copy for themselves (was it Stockholm syndrome? I don't think so).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2013
I really like the title song "Ashes Are Burning" no idea what it's about but that concerns me not, "Carpet of the sun" is a wonderfull evocative song basically it tells you wake up look around everything in the world is just tickety boo, Betty Thatcher at her most observational concise mode,I have listened to "At The Harbour" a lot and am getting into that, it's another of those Betty thatcher sea songs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2011
As a fan I have to say I love this, but then as a fan I would. I am slowly buying digital copies of their songs although I still have my vinyl.

If you have never heard of them then why not splash out on this one song and see what you think. It won't break the bank and you might find yourself a new band to enjoy.

Being able to buy the albums by individual songs is great, you can download them all or just the favourite songs from that album, and as already said gives the options to those that had never heard of the group to try them out without spending a fortune
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2008
so emotive, so beautiful,so haunting. A craftsmans work of art.
So much could be written about this band, Folk Rock mixed with poetry?, maybe, Classical Rock? again maybe. No. I don't think a label could be put upon them. Annie Haslams vocal purity is surely from heaven placed into musicianship highly skilled in its profession and here you have the perfect collage of sound fit for the angels to savour. Every song is an experience from Can You Understand down but the final two tracks 'At the Harbour' and the title track 'Ashes Are Burning' will live with you forever and ever. Sombre, atmospheric, thought provoking and hauntingly brilliant. Music at a peak of excellence! This album should be hung in the tate gallery for all, with headphones attached. it is a masterpiece. Ten Stars!!!
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A Song For All Seasons
A Song For All Seasons by Annie Haslam (Audio CD - 1996)

Turn Of The Cards
Turn Of The Cards by Renaissance (Audio CD - 1994)

Scheherazade and Other Stories
Scheherazade and Other Stories by Renaissance (Audio CD - 2011)

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