Renaissance (first lineup) 3 CDs Renaissance, Illusion, Prologue

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Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of The Yardbirds, Renaissance then molted before spreading its wings as the most progressive of progressive bands ΓÇô if we use the original definition of 'progressive,' meaning, incorporating elements of other styles, primarily classical, into rock music. 

The band endured a dizzying array of personnel changes in its earliest years. For convenience I here label these three CDs (ΓÇ£Renaissance,ΓÇ¥ 1969; ΓÇ£Illusion,ΓÇ¥ 1971; ΓÇ£Prologue,ΓÇ¥ 1972) as the ΓÇ£first lineup.ΓÇ¥

Familiar fans will immediately cry foul, knowing that 1972's ΓÇ£PrologueΓÇ¥ was recorded by the ΓÇ£second,ΓÇ¥  canonical, lineup. But I include ΓÇ£PrologueΓÇ¥ here, because all the material on that album had already been written by earlier members of the band. 

(Earlier? Wasn't guitarist Michael Dunford a member of that later, canonical lineup? Yes he was. But at the time of recording ΓÇ£Prologue,ΓÇ¥ he had left the band. He rejoined the group in 1973, after ΓÇ£PrologueΓÇ¥ had been recorded, and released.)

You can read about the band's personnel changes on Wikipedia, if you have a few days to spare. For now I will merely point out that yes, female vocalist Annie Haslam and pianist John Tout do indeed appear on ΓÇ£Prologue.ΓÇ¥ Here I consider the ΓÇ£second,ΓÇ¥ canonical lineup, to begin with the following album, 1973's ΓÇ£Ashes Are Burning.ΓÇ¥ A subsequent torrent will include the works of that lineup.

Dagosto's own take: It's hard to believe ΓÇ£RenaissanceΓÇ¥ dates from 1969. The development of a progressive style must have taken place independently of King Crimson, whose first album debuted the same year. It's even harder to believe this band is genetically linked, quite closely, with Led Zeppelin. Moreover, the sound quality rivals (or exceeds) the best that even The Beatles could afford in those days of 4-track tape. The debut album is a stunning foray into sonic transport. Opening track ΓÇ£Kings and QueensΓÇ¥ is nearly eleven minutes of sheer awe, and ΓÇ£The IslandΓÇ¥ is as good as it got in those years, or better. The second album, ΓÇ£IllusionΓÇ¥ follows suit, although the material here is generally not as strong as before. Both albums remind listeners that, despite later reputation, Renaissance was always built around twin lead male & female vocals. ΓÇ£Prologue,ΓÇ¥ however, marks the debut of singer Annie Haslam (actually Renaissance's third female singer ΓÇô remember, I said their early personnel changes were dizzying). This third, transitional album also includes the track ΓÇ£Rajah Khan,ΓÇ¥ the only one to appear in the band's later live catalog. 

All three CDs are presented here in mp3 @ 320 kps. 
		
info/Renaissance I - 3 CDS.torrent 15.088 KB
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