Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Renaissance with all that means
I just love Renaissance's music and this is one of their later albums. Annie Haslam's voice is just heavenly. The rendition of "Trip to the Fair" shows what the group could do in its lighter moods but this is contrasted by Scheherazade - 20+ minutes of music to get lost in - almost like a good book.
Published on 12 May 2001 by I. Jones

versus
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neo-classical rock for the connoisseur
Over the years I've dusted off my Renaissence vinyl collection on several occasions, reminding me of the occasion when I saw the band perform at the Apollo, Manchester sometime in the early 80s. Musically, they were always highly competent and professional, never gave less than good value and were capable of reproducing their studio act on stage to an uncanny degree,...
Published on 12 Mar 2004 by Andy Millward


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Renaissance with all that means, 12 May 2001
By 
I. Jones "icj" (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I just love Renaissance's music and this is one of their later albums. Annie Haslam's voice is just heavenly. The rendition of "Trip to the Fair" shows what the group could do in its lighter moods but this is contrasted by Scheherazade - 20+ minutes of music to get lost in - almost like a good book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of an odyessey..., 18 Aug 2008
By 
Joy Andis "Angel Joy" (Ware, UK and Sedona AZ) - See all my reviews
This was the first album I ever purchased by Renaissance. Because I was always a fan of progressive rock, a band with a female singer was intriguing to say the least. Annie Haslam on vocals, John Tout on keyboards and piano, Jon Camp on bass, Michael Dunford on guitar with Terry Sullivan on drums did not ever dissapoint. I still play this album (vinyl) on occasion. It opens up with a haunting melody about a trip to a fair that is more out of Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes" than any good time. The song "Ocean Gypsy" has been covered by Candice Night and Ritchie Blackmore and their band "Blackmore's Night", proving the enduring quality of work here.

The Sheherazade suite was the entire side of side 2, and as a body of work in itself provides the listener with a kaliedescope of musical imagery that truly transports you into another time. For those who were unaware, Annie had one of the most unique vocal traits, having a range that spanned five octaves. The average singer has a range of about 2-3.
That was complimented by the songs that were written by Michael Dunford and Betty Thatcher. This songwriting team was sadly, one of the most underrated in music, and were one of the best!
I love hearing when younger people get turned onto this type of music. This band could also replicate live what they did in the studio, which was rather remarkable considering the multilayered sound that was favoured to showcase Annie's voice.
This album, and band is well worth checking out.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neo-classical rock for the connoisseur, 12 Mar 2004
By 
Andy Millward (Tiptree, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Over the years I've dusted off my Renaissence vinyl collection on several occasions, reminding me of the occasion when I saw the band perform at the Apollo, Manchester sometime in the early 80s. Musically, they were always highly competent and professional, never gave less than good value and were capable of reproducing their studio act on stage to an uncanny degree, given that this was before the age of PCs and tapes on stage. Live music played by live musicians, plus the distinctive voice of good old Annie Haslam from Bolton.
And the specialism of Renaissence was not 3-minute pop songs but epics in size, scale, grandeur, and especially time. A Renaissence special might start at about the 9 or 10-minute mark (Running Hard, Touching Once is so Hard to Keep etc.), and sometimes lasting as long as the 20+ minutes of Scheherazade on this collection. That apart, there is a 10+ minute Trip to the Fair, a fine piece of music with a spooky interlude towards the end; the slightly nondescript Vultures Fly High; and a haunting melody called Ocean Gypsy, with Annie supported by a phalanx of strings.
One of the songs they performed live on stage was an extended - that's right - version of the aforementioned Vultures, and frankly I wished they'd stuck to the shorter version. In fact, the band often performed at their best on comparatively brief numbers and simple arrangements like So Cold is Being Lonely, but that is not a lesson they learned easily. The fans of 70s neo-classic rock liked to spread out, and that's what they got.
This is not to criticise Renaissence, just to say they were a product of their time and deserve every credit for that. I don't think this is their best effort, but it's dripping with all the ingredients that make the band unique and memorable!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for the Music......, 19 April 2003
Well what can I say, Aged 32 and been into rock and metal all my life and then to hear Northern Lights playing on a radio station one afternoon on my way home from work... I thought it was a new record just released and oh no... a whole back catalogue of a sound I hadnt heard before with such pure vocals and perfect symphonic music... Trip to the fair (shouldnt that be fayre?) is just an astounding track with the smooth piano breaks and the choir intro. astounding... Finishing with Sheherazade, a 25 minuite Anthem of pure genius (check out the live version on Carnegie...) You will *NOT* be dissapointed in this recording... I havent yet heard any of Annies solo Material yet, but will be getting there in time :-)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars classic(al), 11 April 2014
By 
Peter Hill ""yoghurtknitter"" (Waterville Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is music that doesn't easily fit into an easily explained single genre, which of course is mostly a good thing.
I remember them vaguely from the early to mid 70's but for whatever reason i have always categorized them (in my head) as folk. However when reading Stephen Lambe's book 'Citizens of Hope and Glory-The Story of Progressive Rock' i was surprised to see this album highly recommended as "neo-classical prog rock" so i took the plunge and bought it.
Having listened a few times now i can just about see the prog-rock reference but for me it's more in the vein of symphonic/pomp/folk and although a good album i'm not (yet) totally convinced by it.
Only 4 tracks but one is nearly 11 minutes and the piece de resistance, the title track, nearly 25 minutes.
I think the folkiness comes from Annie Haslam's beautiful voice as she could easily be the singer for Steeleye Span or Fairport Convention etc.
The opener 'Trip to the Fair' has a dramatic piano (an instrument used extensively throughout the album) introduction lasting 3 and a half minutes and sounding at times a lot like Keith Emerson, and also includes an hysterical laugh before settling down into a lovely ballad with hints of jazz and a fairground sounding ending.
The next 2 tracks 'The vultures fly high' and 'ocean gypsy' are more standard affairs with the former having a rockier tone and the latter being more orchestrated although both are quite catchy.
I actually prefer these first 3 tracks and can't get that excited over the closing multi-faceted piece 'Song of Scheherazade' as although technically very clever i've never really been a lover of strings/orchestras and i thought they were too invasive.
I'd give 3.5 stars if i could or 7 out of 10.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative, invloving, 1 Aug 2013
By 
Christopher Wells "Chris James Author" (Warsaw, Poland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A wonderfully powerful selection of songs. Although the first track, Trip to the Fair, is probably the most difficult to get into, everything else on this is quite breath-taking, led by the highest quality musicianship and Annie Haslam's outstanding vocals. An album to get lost in, again and again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Trip to the fair, 29 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This album is divided in two, the first part contain three songs. They are are very nice, with the exception of Ocean Gypsy, which is a great song with cool singing from Annie Haslam. But the real diamond here is Song of Scheherazade, which is a multi-part suite. Long, complex and heavily influenced from classical music. Annie is in top shape here, her vocals are amazing, she is a great singer with beautiful voice.

Scheherazade is a Masterpiece which worth acquiring the album alone, a great addition to any prog collection
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Memories from my past, 12 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Renaissance should be part of your music collection. Just great sounds from a time lost in history. Annie Haslam's voice is mesmerising - never to be repeated.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars But it Now, 26 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Only 4 tracks on this "Song of scherharazade" is nearly 25 minutes so nowt to complain about here, "Trip to ther Fair" and "Ocean Gypsy" are allways well come tunes to listen to.
I think alll these sea songs are down to lovable Betty Thatcher and her love of the sea and I for one am sure glad of that.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars More Annie Haslam magic, 24 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not quite the magic of "Turn Of The Cards" but Annie Haslam's voice is still a joy to hear again (and again and again....)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xae1cb7ec)

This product

Only search this product's reviews