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Prologue [Import]

Annie Haslam, RenaissanceAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Prologue + Ashes Are Burning + Turn of the Cards
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 20, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Repertoire
  • ASIN: B000006X8W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,406 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prologue
2. Kiev
3. Sounds Of The Sea
4. Spare Some Love
5. Bound For Infinity
6. Rajah Khan

Editorial Reviews

First album to be released in the 70's with Annie Haslam.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Renaissance July 8, 2006
Format:Audio CD
It is a very rare thing indeed when a band breaks up, and then reforms again with a totally different line-up, and I mean a *totally* different line-up, with not one single original member remaining in the band. In fact, this virtually never happens, and some would even say that it's insane for a band to attempt a 100% makeover of personel. But this DID happen for the band Renaissance. The original version of the group split up in 1971 after two albums, but the two main founders of Renaissance, Keith Relf and Jim McCarty, though wanting to move on to other musical projects, still had enough affection for their old classical/rock band that they agreed to let an entirely new group of musicians carry on the Renaissance name without them. Auditions followed, and a brand new Renaissance band was born in 1972 with the release of "Prologue." Although this was the first album for the new Renaissance, they definitely---and brilliantly---carried on in the same classical/rock style of the original group, so "Prologue" is definitely the third Renaissance album. And it is absolutely fantastic. With founder Jim McCarty passing the torch to the new group by co-writing two songs on "Prologue," the third Renaissance album is a sparkling gem. The new line-up---including the gorgeous, soaring voice of singer Annie Haslam---is just as superb as the original group. The title track is an outstanding piece, with John Tout's thumping piano, John Camp's expert bass lines, Rob Hendry's tight guitar-playing, Terrence Sullivan's marvelous drumming, and of course, Annie Haslam's sweeping, heavenly voice. "Kiev" is instantly enrapturing, and "Sounds Of The Sea" is a beautiful number, magnificently sung by Annie, who hits a high note that still sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rockiest Renaissance December 5, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I will only add to what the previous reviewer (Alan Caylow) said: Everything the Renaissance did up to and including Scheherazade is outstanding music. Annie Haslam was not a professional singer but has easily one of the most haunting and beautiful voices in rock music. McCarty's "Prologue" is actually a variation of a piano piece by Rachmaninov but beautifully played nevertheless and in a very art-rock way. The rest of the songs are amongst the most rock-like sounding songs Renaissance made, no orchestra and there is some prominent electric guitar on the final majestic and somewhat trippy "Rajah Khan", a musical blend of the San Francisco sound, progressive rock, images of Rajasthan and echoes of Coleridge's Kublah Khan in its lyrics. The lyrics are beautiful throughout in the often dreamy, innocent way of the late sixties and early seventies. "Sounds of the Sea" is haunting with its seagull overdubs and Annie's voice soars over "Bound for Infinity", one of the most beautiful melodic moments of progressive rock, in my view not far behind King Crimson's Epitaph. Pete Constanteas, one of my favourite music critics of the 70s, had put this on his list of the 10 most undeservedly unknown records with It's a Beautiful Day's first album and Gryphon's "Red Queen to Gryphon Three" also in that list.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars oh wow, this is good July 8, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Prologue has its share of interesting moments, and they don't really resemble anything like the classic albums such as Ashes Are Burning and Turn of the Cards. I'm not necessarily complaining about the difference in styles though. Sometimes it works amazingly well, such as on "Rajah Khan".

Annie Haslam delivers a vocal performance that can best be described as soaring and heavenly in a psychedelic kind of way, where the vocals feel like a dream. It's really strange the way her voice soars in a way that sounds way ahead of its time. I've hardly ever heard a female musician sing like THAT from the early 70's, if at all. What's especially noteworthy about this track however, is the heavy metal-like guitar solo in the introduction. It's out of place in comparison to Annie's vocals, but... I wouldn't want it any other way. Reminds me of something from Amon Duul II's Yeti album.

For a 12-minute song, very little of it actually drags, despite no noticeable signs that this is supposed to be a folk/rock band. That's a nod towards Renaissance's strong songwriting skills- they can apparently tackle other styles with complete ease.

"Kiev" has a piano solo in the beginning that's entirely classical, and the vocal melody that follows is fairly standard, but it's sung in a beautiful kind of way and reminds me of early Fleetwood Mac and Peter Green just a little bit. The song then ventures back into full classical swing with some mighty fine and totally professional piano playing. This song is remarkably simple to adjust to. It's not like you have to be a classical music teacher to really grasp what the band is doing here. Renaissance had an ability to make music instantly likeable, and that's a gift we can't overlook.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising breakthrough February 27, 2009
By mianfei
Format:Audio CD
"Prologue" was released in 1972 following the complete break-up of the old Renaissance based around Keith Relf and his sister Jane after inter-band quarrels and major commercial failures. In their place was an entirely new line-up fronted by Annie Haslam, already in her late twenties but possessing training as a classical singer.

The new rhythm section of John Tout on keyboards, Terence Sullivan on drums and John Camp on bass guitar was what made "Prologue" a major improvement over Renaissance's first two albums. Combined, they provided a dense and tight groove and melodies that were sometime complex but never extravagant. The opening song, "Prologue", showed instantly that this really was a new band with the playing reaching a level of crispness no one would have predicted from the sound of the first two albums. The incandescent "Sounds of the Sea", however, is where Renaissance really showed they had a unique and innovative sound based around relatively simple, though not overtly repetitive piano patterns. The way in which Tout and Haslam draw out the song for the period they do is something the listener never manages to expect until (s)he hears it closely and sees the variety Sullivan's extremely austere drum sound and the Messiaen-like bird calls provide.

"Spare Some Love" was even more beautiful, need I say exquisite, than "Sounds of the Sea". Short-lived member Rob Hendry opened with a beautiful folksy guitar before Haslam's gorgeous, utterly sensual voice took over in a manner that can only be called mysterious in its purity. Hendry's piercing guitar is buried in the mix but was a vital contribution to a song of the most wonderful beauty. "Kiev", with Jon Camp on vocals, was a touching song with that folk sensibility I have come to love as an adult.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD
Excellent CD
Published 2 months ago by Jose F.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great cd
I never heard this album when this first came out 35 years ago. I was enchanted and in musical bliss to hear one great song after another. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Janet Nacca
5.0 out of 5 stars KNOCKOUT VOCALS
Been a fan of Renaissance since their beginning, decades ago. Annie Haslam has the pipes and training to make her singing look effortless, plus an awesome band to match.
Published 12 months ago by Patsy Palmadessa
5.0 out of 5 stars Early promise
In some ways, this may well be my favourite Renaissance album, principally because the music is consistently good throughout, and there are none of the weaker tracks which began to... Read more
Published on January 10, 2011 by Sentinel
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrid
This is just a grotesque example of over indulgence and tastelessness, even for Renaissance. It is also shameful that they rip off a famous classical piece in the ridiculous song... Read more
Published on July 20, 2010 by walt
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten classic.
This group successfully integrates various styles into its music: Prog-rock, classical, a bit of world music, folk, you name it. And it's done extremely well. Read more
Published on December 22, 2009 by B. Scheiner
5.0 out of 5 stars Renaissance - Prologue
Renaissance is perhaps my all time favorite group. I discovered their music in High School (SAHS class of '78). Read more
Published on November 1, 2009 by Kevin A. Lawton
5.0 out of 5 stars Melodic, enchanting, gorgeous!
Renaissance is the rare progressive rock band that sounds just as good some 35+ years after its heyday ... but then, Renaissance was never the typical prog rock band. Read more
Published on July 28, 2008 by William Timothy Lukeman
4.0 out of 5 stars I would wait before buying this...
Repertoire Records, of Gemany have remastered, in STUNNING sound, AAB, TOTC and SAOS in 2006.
(REP 5078, 5079, 5080)
I m certain this will get the same deluxe treatment... Read more
Published on July 10, 2007 by Mark C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite.
Alan, You forgot like everybody here to talk about the main composer (Genius) Michael Dunford, that was the composer of all songs of several renaissance albums since "Prologue". Read more
Published on June 4, 2007 by Personnalité- ( S. Robert Tod. )
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