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Ashes Are Burning Import


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Audio CD, Import, June 20, 1995
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Amazon's Renaissance Store

Music

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Biography

The career paths of bands with long and rich histories are akin to fingerprints; no two are identical. No such statement could be more appropriately applicable than to the forty-four year career of British progressive rock pioneers Renaissance.

The band, acclaimed for their unique blending of progressive rock with classical and symphonic influences, can trace its origins back to 1969 ... Read more in Amazon's Renaissance Store

Visit Amazon's Renaissance Store
for 82 albums, photos, and 1 full streaming song.


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Ashes Are Burning + Turn of the Cards + Scheherazade & Other Stories
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 20, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Repertoire
  • ASIN: B000006X8V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,538 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Can You Understand
2. Let It Grow
3. On The Frontier
4. Carpet Of The Sun
5. At The Harbour
6. Ashes Are Burning

Editorial Reviews

Probably one of the best and first fully formed album, mixing Russian, French, and Indian influences in musical settings that are both lively and elegant. Features Andy Powell on title track. Now available on cd for the first time.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
80%
4 star
16%
3 star
4%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 50 customer reviews
This is one of my all-time favorite albums.
Catherine Tyree
And that is the kind of response that Renaissance evokes in the listener who cares for quality, intellectual truth, and true art in their musical experiences.
Kendra
Probably more than any other 70's era prog band Renaissance was able to blend rock with classical and folk to create their unique sound.
Steven Sly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Carl McColman on July 5, 2000
Once upon a time . . . back before the 80s marketing gurus dreamed up the term "classic rock" to describe anything that predated the Sex Pistols, there was a genre of popular music known as "classicAL rock," referring to rock musicians like Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, and Renaissance, who borrowed from classical repertoire to give their music a more expansive feel. Today this genre is mostly called "prog-rock" ("progressive rock"), but "classical rock" remains the more accurate term. Throughout Renaissance's music, melodies by Rachmaninov, Debussy, Barber, Rimsky-Korsakov, and other classical composers can be heard in their musical palette. And while classical rock was never hip enough for [those] who wrote for magazines like Rolling Stone, to those of us who heard beauty in this music, it was (and still is) transcendent and glorious, a testament to humankind's desire to reach for something greater -- greater beauty, greater happiness, greater understanding.Renaissance was the classical rock band par excellence, and Ashes Are Burning is, to this reviewer, the band's undisputed masterpiece. From the opening piano torrent of "Can You Understand" through to the elegant jamming at the end of the title track, this album soars with richly-textured musicianship. This disc marked the first time Renaissance used an orchestra while recording, adding additional depth to their already-symphonic sound. Nowhere do the strings sound better than on "Carpet of the Sun," a light-hearted celebration of nature and light.Read more ›
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on June 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This 1973 album marks the beginning of the bands signature sound and a four album period that shows them at a creative peak. The lineup on this album included lead vocalist Annie Haslam, John Camp (Rickenbacker 4001 bass and vocals), John Tout (acoustic piano, harpsichord, organ, moog synthesizer, and vocals), Michael Dunford (acoustic guitar), and Terence Sullivan (drums/percussion and vocals). Of the musicians, Annie Haslam's soaring soprano, John Tout's delicate acoustic piano playing, and John Camp's aggressive and trebly Rickenbacker bass sound really make this album work for me. Some people have complained about Michael Dunford's approach to the guitar but I actually like his folky strumming on the acoustic - it works well with the material. In addition to the core musicians, guest Andy Powell plays electric guitar on Ashes are Burning, and various pieces of an orchestra are featured here and there.

The six tracks on the album range in length from 3'34" to 11'24" (with most in the 3-7 minute range) and feature haunting melodies and soft acoustic textures, with some heavy bass playing. In general the overall style is that of progressive rock, with a great deal of English folk influences and European classical. In fact, there are a number of classical sounding melodies scattered throughout the album that sound awfully familiar - I am sure that if I took out some recordings by (for example) Debussy or Prokofiev, I would probably unravel the mystery. My favorite tracks include the proggy Ashes are Burning with it's churchy organ work and Can you Understand? although the rest of material is pretty strong.

This album is strongly recommended to prog fans that do not mind a lot of classical and folk mixed in with their prog rock. Other great albums include Turn of the Cards (1974); Scheherazade and other Stories (1975); and Novella (1977).
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Alan Caylow on July 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
1973's "Ashes Are Burning" is the fourth Renaissance album, which saw the band say goodbye to guitarist Rob Hendry and a hearty hello to guitarist/songwriter Michael Dunford. "Ashes Are Burning" is also the band's masterpiece, with stunningly superb songs & performances from beginning to end. It's just an incredible listening experience. All six songs on "Ashes" are musical works of art in their own right. The nearly 10-minute "Can You Understand" sees Renaissance thundering in like a powerful storm, before the thunder gives way to the calm and beauty of Annie Haslam's voice and the lovely accompanyment by the band. Then they go thundering out again at the end. It's brilliant! The next four pieces, "Let It Grow," "On The Frontier," "Carpet Of The Sun," and "At The Harbor" are simply gorgeous numbers. But the band save the best for last---the title track, which is 11 1/2 minutes of astounding, passionate classical/rock (with a thrilling, jamming instrumental bridge and powerful conclusion, too). It is without question the Renaissance signature song, the number they always concluded their concerts with, and rightfully so. Absolutely phenomenal work from the whole band---Annie Haslam's astonishing five-octave voice, and the equally astonishng playing of guitarist Michael Dunford, bassist Jon Camp, keyboardist John Tout, and drummer Terry Sullivan. "Ashes Are Burning" is a sensational album from a sensational group. Buy it now!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Half of the half-dozen songs on Renaissance's second album from 1972 are prime examples of the group's progressive (nee classical) rock sound. The best proof of this is that "Can You Understand?", "Carpet of the Sun" and "Ashes Are Burning" are also performed on the 1976 "Live from Carnegie Hall" album.
The title track is undoubtedly the ultimate Renaissance encore piece. Indeed, it serves as the final track on not only that pair of albums but also the two volume "Tales of 1001 Nights" set, where it is moved from its contemporary pieces on the first volume to the last track on the second. "Ashes Are Burning" is the perfect encore piece because it serves so well as an extended showcase for solos by the group's members.
In contrast, "Can You Understand?" has always been the ideal opening song for a Renaissance album, with its driving piano melody that spurns the rest of the band to match it as the song progresses. Yet within this 10 minute epic we are also treated to Annie Halsam singing accompanied only by acoustic guitar, before the song again builds upon a larger them appropriated from a Russian classical composer.
"Carpet of the Sun" remains the group's best known "single," not only because it is one of the few songs short enough to be given airplay, but also because Annie Halsam's vocals with that dazzling trill continues to delight. More than any other singer of her time, Halsam's singing voice was an instrument integral to the composition and performance of each song, which is why she is as effective singing a series of la's as she is singing Betty Thatcher's lyrics.
Michael Dunford wrote the music for all but one of the songs on this album, which marked his official return to the group.
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