4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The beginning of an odyessey...,
This review is from: Scheherazade and Other Stories (Audio CD)
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.