Renaissance's live double-album—recorded on their Scheherazade tour at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic, with Tony Cox conducting—is by most accounts their best (and most consistent) document on record. The band integrates well with the orchestra; that's not much of a surprise though, considering that Michael Dunford's compositions were classical in nature. In fact, the band's music often comes closer to the sound of a Broadway stage show than that of a rock concert, which perhaps explains their significant audience in New England. The album highlights Renaissance's lengthier compositions, including "Can You Understand," "Mother Russia" and the Cox-arranged "Scheherazade." But "Ashes Are Burning" steals the show, largely due to Jon Camp's adept bass work and classic Rickenbacker tone. Here, with John Tout's keyboards providing ample color, the band ditches the symphonic embellishment to prove that they can play rock music after all. The album reached No. 55 in the US, while the following year's Novella also reached the US Top 50. Again, it was a solid effort, including the fan-favorite tracks "Midas Man" and "Can You Hear Me." With fiancé Roy Wood, Annie Haslam would record a solo album around this time, titled Annie In Wonderland.
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Taken from The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, here is an Album of the Week to enjoy and discuss.
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"Always ready with the ray of sunshine"