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Pays : England
Genre : Rock Progressif Symphonique
Dates : 1969
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Renaissance were an English progressive rock band popular in the 1970s.
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 (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), but dissolved quickly, leaving McCarty to reform the band into a very different lineup, though McCarty also soon departed.
The lineup that was eventually settled on was the best-known of the band's history, and consisted of Annie Haslam (vocals), Michael Dunford (acoustic guitar), John Tout (piano), Jon Camp (bass/vocals) and Terry Sullivan (drums). This new Renaissance -- with Dunford in a composer-only role for the time being, and Rob Hendry (electric guitar) filling the guitarist's chair -- released Prologue in 1972. The music was written by Dunford and McCarty with lyrics by poet Betty Thatcher. Hendry departed (to be ultimately replaced by Dunford) as the group turned away from the electric guitar in their music.
In the 1970s, Renaissance had a commercially successful career, their sound similar in many ways to folk rock with classical overtones. Renaissance included in their songs quotations and allusions from such composers as Bach, Chopin, Albinoni, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev and others. Renaissance's records, especially Ashes Are Burning, were frequently played on American progressive rock radio stations, such as WNEW-FM and WVBR. However, Renaissance's performances were normally faithful reproductions of the studio recordings, and this was not taken well by fans.
Renaissance scored a hit single in 1978 with Northern Lights, taken from the album A Song for All Seasons, but the band floundered following 1979's Azure D'or, as fans were unhappy with the band's turn towards synthesizers, a path followed ...
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