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8 Jul 2017

Renaissance "Academy Of Music" 1974 Live bootleg UK Prog Symphonic 2x Lp released 2015 by Cleopatra Records








Renaissance  "Academy Of Music" 1974 Live bootleg  UK Prog Symphonic 2x Lp released  2015 by  Cleopatra Records

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Recorded live at The Academy of Music, New York, NY on May 17th 1974.
Renaissance performing live with a 24 piece orchestra, conducted by Howard Stein...............

Superb limited edition 2LP vinyl pressing of this extended live performance from ‘70s prog rock icons Renaissance performing at the historic Academy Of Music hall in New York!

Another unreleased treasure from the vaults - an extended live performance from 70s prog rock icons Renaissance performing at the historic Academy Of Music hall in New York! This superb performance covers most of the band s extraordinary fifth Turn Of The Cards, which earned the band rave reviews, as well as highlights from Ashes Are Burning, released a year earlier! --Cleopatra Records.....

Renaissance’s ‘Academy of Music 1974′ will be released on March 31st and is an astonishing live performance of the ensemble at the height of their career. The concert showcases the band’s latest release at the time ‘Ashes Are Burning’. Unlike other prog-rock groups, Renaissance forwent much of the technology in favor of acoustic instruments and orchestral arrangements. Electric guitars and synthesizers were seldom used, giving the band’s music more of a symphonic sound...............

This is a fairly decent recording of a concert just before Renaissance broke out in a big way in the USA. This concert was recorded for broadcast (? simulcast) by WNEW. As such, it has the problems one might expect from such a set up: various feedback/electrical problems, a smattering of conversations from someone too close to the microphone, & instrument recording imbalance. By the later I mean that the bass guitar is sometimes overwhelming, some of the orchestra instruments are jarringly isolated, & too often Michael Dunford's guitar is nowhere to be heard. That said, Andy Powell's guitar put a very interesting color on one of the songs.
I believe that we, as music consumers, have come to expect more polish in our expectations of live music. We've become less tolerant of imperfections in the digital age. However, I believe this CD represents a welcome, albeit somewhat raw, addition to anyone's collection of Renaissance recordings. Sometimes the band played too close to the studio versions when playing a song live. This concert shows a delightful crack in that veneer. Renaissance was on their way. They seemed to be having fun playing their music for the audience. Now the living room audience can enjoy their performance....ByKEVIN C. DELAHANTY.............

This was a radio broadcast that I totally missed at the time, capturing Renaissance (Mk2) as they were rapidly approaching the peak of their initial success -- with TURN OF THE CARDS either out or about to be released, and Scheherazade probably already starting to germinate in the minds of the group. Compared with the previous year's De Lane Lea broadcast, it's a world away, with a 25-piece orchestra backing the group and extended solos and boldly extended renditions all around (and Wishbone Ash's Andy Powell around for an electric guitar contribution at the right moment). Some of these don't work but most of them do, and the fact that Annie Haslam was in superb voice and the rest of the group spot-on in their playing is what's most important. Those virtues overcome some technical flaws in the tape, and make this an essential acquisition by any fan of the group.....By Bruce Eder.......................

Despite the sad loss of long-time members Michael Dunford and John Tout, there has been a lot of activity and releases keeping symphonic progressive legends Renaissance in the spotlight over the recent years. Live concert DVD's of the band performing some of their classic Seventies albums in their entirety, Annie Haslam's vivid and imaginative art works, a new studio album from a reworked version of the band with `Grandine il Vento' in 2013, and archived recordings from the group in their prime being dusted off for a fresh release like this album. `Academy of Music 1974' is a double CD that showcases the band performing alongside a 24 piece orchestra from the 17th of May of that year, and they deliver a set of favourite tracks from the first three albums that featured Annie as the leading lady of the group.
Thankfully the orchestra only enhances the performances during this concert, never leading the way, overwhelming the band or stealing the attention away from the main musicians. Although the compositions don't differ too much from the studio versions, there's an added urgency to the playing and a livelier energy that long-time fans of the band will appreciate. Annie's voice is vibrant yet more relaxed and perfectly controlled, there's an added warmth to the acoustic guitars, and Jon Camp's thrashing upfront bass mixed thick and upfront is especially satisfying. Superior versions of `Ashes are Burning' (showcasing some wilder guitar soloing in the extended instrumental middle from guest Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash), `Can You Understand?', `Carpet of the Sun' and the classic opener `Prologue' all feature.

But the band most seem to relish playing the new material from their just released `Turn of the Cards' album (they even mention between tracks that it "just came out a few days ago"). The orchestra rises to the occasion for grand interpretations of `Running Hard' and `Mother Russia', Annie's voice is full of wounded purity on the darkly regal majesty of `Black Flame', `Cold is Being' is even more of a chilly mournful dirge than the studio version, and there's a snapping driving heaviness to Terrence Sullivan's drumming on `Things I Don't Understand.'

Always an enjoyable aspect of Renaissance live shows is the cheerful, charming onstage banter between the group members. Considering their music was mostly always serious and dramatic, the band members are light-hearted, amusing and genuine in their interaction with the audience, and the occasionally rowdy crowd in between songs seem to be loving every minute of the show. And why wouldn't they? They're witnessing an amazingly talented band at the peak of their abilities delivering an impeccable performance!

This is a companion release to the `DeLane Lea Studios 1973' CD released earlier this year, and like that one, despite some audio imperfections popping up here and there throughout the recording, this set is certainly fancier than some mere `official bootleg'. After overdosing on the studio versions for so many years, it's a welcome and refreshing change to hear a different kind of life breathed into these classic works, and `Academy of Music 1974' is highly recommended for all fans of this defining and important symphonic prog band..... by Aussie-Byrd-Brother .........................

Line-up / Musicians
- Annie Haslam / lead vocals
- Jon Camp / bass, vocals
- Michael Dunford / acoustic guitar, vocals
- Terrence Sullivan / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- John Tout / keyboards

Special Guests:

- Andy Powell (Wishbone Ash) / guitar on `Ashes are Burning'
- Howard Stein - piano

DISC 1
1. Can You Understand
2. Black Flame
3. Carpet Of The Sun
4. Cold Is Being
5. Things I Don t Understand
6. Running Hard

DISC 2
1. Ashes Are Burning
2. Mother Russia
3. Prologue

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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