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Renaissance (group)

Renaissance were a 1970s progressive rock band.

Former Yardbirds Paul Samwell-Smith, Keith Relf[?] and Jim McCarty[?] organised a new group devoted to experimentation between rock, folk, and classical forms - Renaissance. This quintet (bassist Louis Cenammo, pianist John Hawke, and Relf's sister Jane as an additional vocalist) released a respectfully reviewed debut on Elektra in 1971. But the group dissolved almost as quickly as it assembled, leaving McCarty to reform the band into a very different lineup. This new lineup - pianist John Tout, bassist Jon Camp, guitarist Rob Hendry, and operatically trained singer Annie Haslam - premiered with Prologue in 1972. They soon dropped Hendry in favour of acoustic guitarist Mick Dunford (McCarty had long left the group) and went on to a commercially successful career, avatars of a flatted but endearing enough folk-rock with classical overtones that was fractured by too many veerings into sheer pretentiousness and the group's inability to seem as though they were doing anything much beyond robotic concert reproductions of their studio recordings. Not even Haslam's shimmering voice and gracious, almost loving stage style, could obscure that flaw. As enjoyable as it is for summing up the first four years of their career, Renaissance At Carnegie Hall could have been their original recordings with an overdubbed orchestra and canned applause, except for a surprising version of "Ashes Are Burning" that actually found the quintet loosening up and unfurling a patient round of improvisation. Still, by the time of this album, any connection between this Renaissance and the one which rose from the ashes of the Yardbirds was in name only.

Renaissance scored a number 1 hit single in 1978 with Northern Lights, taken from the album A Song for All Seasons.

This needs an album listing, and more about their later career and the fact that two Renaissances emerged from the ashes of the old



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