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Turn of the Cards Import, Original recording remastered

62 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, August 14, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Stunning vocals and superb musicianship were the hallmarks of Renaissance, the supreme art rock band of the Seventies. With Annie Haslam as lead vocalist, the group had a great advantage over most other bands whose singers lacked her finesse and purity of tone. "Turn of the Cards" was the their fifth album and was first released in 1974. The band's superb vocal harmonies and top class musicianship is in evidence on this six track collection of distinctive songs. Many connoisseurs regard such extended works as "Running Hard" and the "Mother Russi"' suite to be among their finest works and John Tout's rhapsodic piano playing is another highlight of this pearl of an album. This edition comes in mini LP vinyl replica packaging with the original artwork, including a booklet with authoritative and extensive liner notes by respected author and journalist Chris Welch.

1. Running Hard
2. I Think Of You
3. Things I Don't Understand
4. Black Flame
5. Cold Is Being
6. Mother Russia

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 14, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Repertoire
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,433 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lethe on December 8, 2002
Format: Audio CD
My personal favourite album by Renaissance, I choose this one along with "Scheherazade" and "Ashes are burning", followed by their first symphonic albums with melodic and pop colours: "Novella" and "A song for all season's"(these records having a few weak moments and a lot of memorable ones!!).
"Turn of the cards" is a poetical and monumental romantic album too, equal to the best Yes albums and sometimes giving something more...well the first track "RUNNING HARD" is characterized by a fantastic epic piano intro, followed by the magical introduction by Annie Haslam, who performed according to her finest voice-tone ever!! A great performance and absolutely flawless too..."Think of you" is a sweet song, like a "fairy-tale", while "Things I don't understand" is characterized by the final angelic voice's breakthrough, after the last symphonic excursus at the piano, enriched with the outstanding colors of Annie's voice, whose abilty to harmonize the melody is enormous and wonderful as well!! "Black fame" and the arrangement of Albinoni's Adagio ("Cold is being") are worth songs and an excellent interlude towards the final mini-suite "Mother Russia", which is enriched with amazing themes and the story of a famous russian dissident as well, even if the lyrics aren't always inspired (well the focuse is more on the instrumental performance than on the lyrics,nevertheless, is anyway flawless)
Highly recommended!! Absolutely a must have album from Renaissance ...
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Turn of the Cards was the third Renaissance album I ever purchased, A Song For All Seasons and Ashes Are Burning being the first two. This album takes a significant turn from the airy, dreamlike tracks featured on the earlier Ashes and the later Seasons LPs. On Turn of the Cards, Renaissance seems to provide an alter ego to Ashes, its immediate forerunner; the tunes, while equally grandiose and expansive, are much darker and more brooding in both music and lyrics. Some might describe this entire album as downright depressing, and this isn't entirely inaccurate. The haunting tone of the album however, doesn't detract from the pure beauty of either the whole or its individual parts, as Turn is certainly a masterpiece in its own right and offers listeners a level of excellence that the band, unfortunately, never managed to equal in any of their subsequent albums (although A Song for All Seasons comes very close).
Each song taken individually, "Running Hard" is probably closest to the sound that most Renaissance fans will recognize from the lighter Ashes. Still pensive and introspective, the song is about as upbeat as this album gets and starts out with a truly stunning piano solo that builds to a soaring splash of sound. Near the song's end, a similar climax drags the listener back down to earth with both lyrics and a style of music that evoke a palpable sense of loss. "Things I Don't Understand" is a whirlwind of instrumental flourish and tempo shifts, with a driving beat throughout and an ending that ultimately renders calm from chaos, a true Renaissance hallmark. Here, the band pulls out all the musical stops and leaves practically no sound or style unheard.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Mr D. on August 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Through the years there have been many, many great female singers, with powerful, angelic voices, Barbra Streisand, Grace Slick, Nancy Nevins (Sweetwater), Celene Dion, Enya, and some of my current favorites, Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation), Floor Jansen (After Forever), Vibeke Stene (Tristania) and Loreena McKennitt to name a few. However, to my mind, none have ever topped Annie Haslam when she was with Renaissance. Haslam's voice had a magical quality and a smoothness that few others had. Though she had no formal training, her voice, seemed to me, to be the most perfectly pure and the the most purely pretty voice of all. Perhaps it is good that no one messed around with her voice, when you are on top, any change is downhill. But I digress too much, let's get to Renaissance and their beautiful music.
"Running hard towards what used to be
Losing ground in changes sliding endlessly
Reaching out for mirrors hidden in the web
Painting lines upon your face inside instead"
I'm sure many of you are familiar with them but for those of you that know little of Renaissance, let me edify you. The Phenomenon of Renaissance was originally started by ex Yardbirds, Keith Relf and sister Diane. Renaissance created a unique niche in the 70s with their exhilarating, passionate brand of progressive, neo-classical rock with historical, folk tendencies that preceded and is somewhat akin to New Age music. Although it is somewhat common today for many European and some American bands to borrow classical melodies even symphonies to be blended with rock or heavy metal, Renaissance was the first band that I can remember doing that and none, in my opinion, have done it any better.
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