Thursday, July 17, 2008

Renaissance - Can You Understand

Renaissance - Can You Understand

Really loved this group, and bought all of their albums. I no longer have a music collection as it was stolen by my daughter and sold for drug money. Thank goodness for Youtube, and Rhapsody.

Renaissance - Can You Understand

Dollars down the penny drain
Frozen in the clouds
Dream away the last of pain
In waterfalls of sounds

Float across the icy pools
Leaves with curl and sway
Now your mind is floating cool
And you can find the way

Can you understand you can really understand
When the darkness comes you still shine
Open up your eyes and make the day shine sunshine now
Open up your dreams and and make the way shine sunshine now
Can you understand you understand
Can you understand you understand
Open up your life and make your lifetime sunshine now
Open up your soul and make your lifeline sunshine now
Can you understand you understand
Can you understand you understand

Dancing without moving now
Growing with your soul
One with all around you now
Related to the all

Purple mist around your hair
Eyes are fading blue
Smiling into everywhere
Love is coming through

Renaissance - Carpet of the Sun

Needless to say I was in love with Annie, as was I'm sure many a young teenage boy who was lucky enough to hear her beautiful voice.

The combination of romantic trip mystical lyrics, fine instrumental performance, and great vocals made this British group one of my favorite groups.

I never shared this group with any of my friends, that I can recall, as I felt at the time that they just wouldn't get it.

Renaissance - Carpet of the Sun

Come along with me
Down into the world of seeing
Come and you'll be free
Take the time to find the feeling
See everything on it's own
And you'll find you know the way
And you'll know the things you're shown
Owe everything to the day

See the carpet of the sun
The green grass soft and sweet
Sands upon the shores of time
Of oceans mountains deep
Part of the world that you live in
You are the part that you're giving

Come into the day
Feel the sunshine warmth around you
Sounds from far away
Music of the love that found you
The seed that you plant today
Tomorrow will be a tree
And living goes on this way
It's all part of you and me

[Chorus 2x]

See the carpet of the sun
See the carpet of the sun
See the carpet of the sun
See the carpet of the sun

Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning

And no post about Renaissance would be complete unless it included a mention of their anthem song Ashes Are Burning.

The following is from Wiki


Former Yardbirds members Paul Samwell-Smith, Keith Relf, and Jim McCarty organised a new group devoted to experimentation between rock, folk, and classical forms. This quintet — Relf on guitar & vocals, McCarty on drums, plus bassist Louis Cennamo, pianist John Hawken, and Relf's sister Jane Relf as an additional vocalist — released a pair of albums on Elektra (US) and Island (UK-ILPS 9112), the first one being produced by Samwell-Smith, As touring began to grind on them, the band gradually dissolved one by one, leaving McCarty and Jane Relf to hold things together. As the rest drifted off, new or guest members were added. A barely finished second album, Illusion, was released in Germany in 1971. It was finally released in the UK in 1976. (Island, HELP 27)]

One of the new additions was Michael Dunford. McCarty and Relf soon left, and Dunford, inheriting the helm of the band, started auditions for a new lineup. Vocalist Binky Cullom came and went. Reflecting his academic training, Dunford started rebuilding the group with more classically-trained personnel. With some vocal training and local gigs under her belt, Annie Haslam saw an advertisement in the music sheet "Melody Maker" for a singer in Dunford's new group. She was hired, and the second incarnation of Renaissance was begun.

This lineup was the best-known and longest running, consisting of Annie Haslam (vocals), John Tout (piano), Jon Camp (bass pedals/vocals) and Terence Sullivan (drums). Rob Hendry (electric guitar) left the group after the first album was recorded. Michael Dunford took over as lead (acoustic) guitarist. The group released Prologue in 1972 on EMI-Sovereign Records (UK), with music composed by Dunford with the exception of one track by McCarty. Renaissance began its long-standing collaboration with Cornish poet Betty Thatcher-Newsinger as lyricist; Dunford sent her sheet music and demo tapes, and she wrote poetry to fit.

The next album, Ashes are Burning, was released in 1973. Dunford, McCarty and Thatcher continued as composers and lyricist, and Dunford debuted with acoustic guitar contributions. Andy Powell, of the group Wishbone Ash, was brought in for a blistering guitar solo on the final track "Ashes are Burning," which became the band's anthem piece.

The band left major label EMI, and was recruited by Stewart Copeland's new prog rock boutique label BTM Records-British Talent Managers. The label's first release was Turn of the Cards in 1975/76*. With a larger budget, the album went from folk-flavored to a more dark, lush, orchestral rock sound. One of the album's two standout pieces, "Things I Don't Understand" clocking in at 9:30, was Jim McCarty's last writing credit with the group. A lengthy tribute to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, called "Mother Russia", closed out the album, with lyrics inspired by his story "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich".

The LP was first issued in the United States on Sire Records in August 1974, capitalizing on the group's increasing popularity there in Northeast coast cities. It was released in the UK in March 1976, followed only a few months later by their epic tone-poem Scheherezade and Other Stories, released on both sides of the Atlantic in September 1976.

In the 1970s, Renaissance defined their work with folk rock and classical fusions. Their songs include quotations from and allusions to such composers as Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev. Renaissance records, especially Ashes Are Burning, were frequently played on American progressive rock radio stations such as WNEW-FM, WHFS-FM, WMMR-FM, KSHE 95 and WVBR. Although commercial success was limited during this period, Renaissance scored a hit single in England with Northern Lights, which reached #10 there during the summer of 1978. The single was taken from the album A Song for All Seasons. With the unionization of professional orchestral musicians that followed, it was no longer financially feasible for the band to continue with its traditional orchestral sound. Renaissance floundered following 1979's Azure d'Or, as many fans couldn't relate to a largely synthesizer-oriented sound. Michael Dunford and John Camp assumed most of the band's songwriting, and after Azure d'Or, John Tout and Terry Sullivan left the group. Subsequent albums Camera Camera (1981) and Time Line (1983) brought Renaissance more into the contemporary New Wave genre. Neither garnered enough commercial interest to make a viable future for the band, which then ended its second incarnation.

Renaissance albums were not available individually on CD for some time. A pair of compilations were issued in 1990. In the next decade most of their catalog appeared on cd from reissue record labels such as Repertoire Records (Germany). In 2006 Repertoire did much higher quality remasters of Ashes are Burning, Turn of the Cards and Scheherezade with markedly improved sound.

In the late 1990s both Haslam and Dunford formed their own bands using the name Renaissance and released albums with different line-ups.

Renaissance partially reformed in 2000 with several new musicians to record the cd Tuscany. They played one concert at the Astoria in London before embarking on a short Japanese tour. Annie Haslam, who had become the band's spokesperson, said that several factors made further touring and recording impractical. The band's short third incarnation was soon over.[1]

Terry Sullivan has since recorded an album called South of Winter with a studio group he named Renaissant. It is evocative of Renaissance's music, with lyrics by Betty Thatcher Newsinger and keyboard contributions by John Tout.


The original 1969 line-up comprised Keith Relf (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Jim McCarty (drums, vocals), John Hawken (keyboards), Louis Cennamo (bass) and Jane Relf (vocals). This lineup released Renaissance (1969) and appeared on most of Illusion (1971). (Note: The following list includes temporary replacements & sidemen.)

  • 1970 - Added Terry Crowe (vocals), Terry Slade (drums) Neil Korner (bass) replaced Cennamo, Michael Dunford (guitar) replaced Keith Relf. This lineup recorded one track for Illusion (1971).
  • 1970 - Binky Cullom (vocals) replaced Jane Relf
  • 1970 - John Tout (keyboards) replaced Hawken
  • 1971 - Annie Haslam (vocals) replaced Cullom
  • 1971 - Danny McCullough (bass) replaced Korner
  • 1971 - Frank Farrell (bass) replaced McCullough
  • 1971 - John Wetton (bass) replaced Farrell
  • 1972 - Crowe left, Terence Sullivan (drums) replaced Slade, Jon Camp (bass, guitar, vocals) replaced Wetton, Mick Parsons (guitar) and Dunford reduced his role to composing for the band.
  • 1972 - Rob Hendry (guitar) replaced Parsons (who had died in a car accident). This lineup released Prologue (1972).
  • 1973 - Peter Finer (guitar) replaced Hendry
  • 1973 - Michael Dunford (guitar) replaced Finer. This lineup released Ashes are Burning (1973) through Azure d'Or (1979).
  • 1981 - Peter Barron (drums) replaced Sullivan, Peter Gosling (keyboards) replaced Tout. This lineup released Camera Camera (1981).
  • 1983 - Gavin Harrison (drums) replaced Barron, Mike Taylor (keyboards) replaced Gosling
  • 1984 - Greg Carter (drums) replaced Harrison, Raphael Rudd (keyboards, harp) replaced Taylor
  • 1985 - Charles Descarfino (drums) replaced Harrison, Mark Lampariello (aka Mark Lambert) (bass, guitar) replaced Camp
  • 1998 - Terence Sullivan (drums) replaced Descarfino, Roy Wood (bass, keyboards, percussion) replaced Lampariello, John Tout (keyboards) replaced Rudd
  • 1998 - Alex Caird (bass) replaced Wood, Mickey Simmonds (keyboards) replaced Tout
  • 2001 - David Keyes (bass) replaced Caird, added Rave Tesar (keyboards)




Dave said...

You turned me on to Renaissance back in the mid '70s. And, as mentioned in the Wikipedia article, KSHE used to play them back then too. I was never as big a fan as you were, but I liked the band well enough.

JeromeProphet said...

I guess I must have then. KSHE, man, I haven't thought about KSHE in years. That was a very good station back then. A life influencing station.

There were those who listened to KSHE, and those who.., well, let's just say were unfortunate on many levels.

Of course KSHE isn't the same station any more than this is the 1970s.

Probably streaming away on the net. Would make an interesting topic for a post though.


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