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Turn Of The Cards (Remastered)

Turn Of The Cards (Remastered)

9 May 2012
4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Turn Of The Cards (Remastered)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My favorite album by the band, this edition has been remastered expertly so all of the glorious simple and complex passages can be enjoyed as they used to be on vinyl. Remastering deserves 5 stars.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very good, excellent quality recording.
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Format: Audio CD
..and the sound is stunning. (Cat # REP 5079)
mini LP case with a nice insert, and UPC is on a sticker on the cellophane-not on the cover.
These were rather quietly released and much love was put into them.
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Format: Audio CD
"Turn of the Cards" is my favorite Renaissance album, although as I listen to them all in order I am struck by how it also perhaps the most atypical example of their progressive (nee classical) rock. Taken as a whole these songs are relatively unadorned. "I Think of You" is a relatively simple piece, ending with one of those wonderful high notes by Annie Haslam followed by some nice harpsicord work by John Tout. Likewise "Black Flame" begins with the simple elegance of an acoustic guitar (a reminder that the forthcoming "Unplugged" Renaissance album is not really breaking new ground for the group).
Of the two set pieces, "Running Hard" is most decidedly in this simpler vain, which has the overall effect of better showcasing Haslam's glorious voice. The other showpiece, "Mother Russia," shows that the group was paying attention to Russian dissidents (the song is dedicated to Alexander Solzhenitsyn) as much as they were Russian classical musicians and offers an emphasis on percussion quite usual for a Renaissance song in the driving conclusion. Again, Haslam's voice soars over and above, as well as through, the rhythmic progression of the music as proves that she does not need to be singing actual words to contribute to the beauty of a song.
Perhaps it is insightful to recall that in terms of Michael Dunsford's music, "Turn of the Cards" is the album that proceeds his most ambitious project, the Scheherazade cantanta. Whatever the reason, this is the Renaissance album that best showcases the vocal talents of singer Annie Haslam.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I like creative music and music with melody but I wouldn't describe mysefl as a "progressive rock" fan and I don't think this music IS progressive rock or experimental, it's simply good music. Vast orchestral arrangements with good melodies that interweave throughout the tracks give this album instant gratification bit with depth too. It reminded me of the earlier Kate Bush albums which I also love, and for me Mother Russia is up there with Wuthering Heights at the very top in terms of depth, feeling, meaning, production and melody.

On the remaster issue. Personally I never did like cardboard sleeves for CD's and prefer jewel cases. A fold out sheet with new sleeve notes is included and the on-disc printing is pretty too. The sound quality is better here, notably a little brighter and there is definately more stereo space but that said unless you compare this with the 2002 release one after the other then I doubt anyone would notice the difference.
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Format: Audio CD
What _is_ it about this album?

I mean, I like Renaissance a lot, they tick all my prog boxes. Dense, symphonic song structures? Check. Soaring multi-octave feminine vocals? That'll be Annie Haslam then - check! Atmospheric and slightly pretentious lyrical conceits? Let me see: existentialism, the Cold War, mystical mumbo jumbo - check again! Already this album is scoring high. Plus, I like their other stuff: A Song for All Seasons is a delight, with that lovely one-off hit single they had (Northern Lights); Novella sounds great on a sunny Sunday morning; that Carnegie Hall live album works as a sort of Greatest Hits. But this album, "Turn Of The Cards"... this album is in a league of its own.

I came across this disk on vinyl back when I was at school and took a C90 cassette tape to college (with Genesis on the other side, I recall). Long after the cassette had frazzled I hungered after the disquieting arctic tones of this record, so back in 2000 I scoured the internet for a CD release. Slipping it into the disk drive I expected disappointment. It would sound naff, dated, a paean to my adolescence. But no! Out rolled that chilly, driving opener 'Running Hard' with its none-so-Seventies vocal chorus reminding me of the old Pearl & Dean ads in the cinemas. Sit back. Enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this album on vinyl from a second hand record shop 25 years ago. I loved it then but hadn't listened to it for years. Since buying the album again on CD I've barely stopped playing it. Musically brilliant, its haunting melodies, enchanting and pure vocal, and the quality of the orchestration are simply superb. Cold Is Being (based on Albinoni's adagio) is probably the best blend of classical and progressive music ever. Renaissance were a much under-rated outfit - and this is without a doubt one of their best.
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