Renaissance Live At Carnegie Hall

I had a long drive from Westchester county back to New Jersey tonight, involving holiday shopping traffic around two major malls, a Hudson River crossing and a lot of toll booths. All made significantly easier with the re-issued Renaissance Live At Carnegie Hall.

I'm firmly convinced that Renaissance was primarily an East Coast, Philly to Boston, late baby boomer phenomenon. The best description I've heard of their music is "electric folk," but sparse adjectives don't do justice to Jon Camp's amazing bass lines, or Annie Haslam's vocals, or composition that draws on Russian literature and Persian folklore. Nearly 30 years after its release, I still get shivers when I hear Annie Haslam hit the final notes of "Sheherazade" or "Ashes are Burning." Annie Haslam has an unheard-of five octave range. All the more amazing to me since I have about two octaves and one of them is consistently out of whatever key we're in.

What happens when you take all-time favorite vocalist (Annie Haslam) and mix with all-time favorite guitar player (Steve Howe) on top-five all-time favorite Yes composition (Turn of the Century)? No, you don't get a recording session with MaryMary. But you can find out on Tales from Yesterday, a CD of Yes covers. It's magic.

Comments:

So Hal, did you ever hear the original Renaissance, before Annie Haslam? I did, and I have the double CD that contains the two LPs they released before it all went pear-shaped. Very good, but very different.

Posted by Geoff Arnold on December 04, 2005 at 01:43 AM EST #

East Coast? Does that include London, where I remember Kenny Everett mercilessly plugging them on Capital Radio? He hooked me by playing the opening crescendo from "Can You Hear Me?" and I never looked back. Was just listening to that and "A Song for All Seasons", in fact - spooky. Now, what <em>I</em> want to find is The Enid on CD...

Posted by Simon Phipps on December 04, 2005 at 08:07 AM EST #

I saw them at Hull University in the UK (I guess the other East Coast) around 1976. I have to admit I never heard anything from their pre Haslam days (the Yarbirds offshoot I guess). Sadly the 3 or 4 albums I have are all on vinyl for which I do not have a player any more. Now if only it was the rights to the content I owned rather than some dead ended (and much worn) media... Good to know it is not just me that is 'that old' :-)

Posted by Steve Elliott on December 06, 2005 at 01:48 AM EST #

If you can bring yourself to re-invest it's all there on Amazon, including my favourite, Novella.

Posted by Simon Phipps on December 06, 2005 at 02:55 AM EST #

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