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Song of Scheherezade

3.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

NTSC/Region 0. The first ever DVD from Renaissance, one of the greatest British Progressive Rock bands of all time. Song Of Scheherezade features two separate live performances: seven songs from a live show, filmed during a 1976 US tour plus seven songs filmed during a different US performance three years later. Renaissance were originally formed in the late 1960's by ex-Yardbirds members Keith Relf, and Jim McCarty - but both eventually departed leaving the classic line-up of Annie Haslam (Vocals), John Tout (piano), Jon Camp (bass pedals/Vocals) and Terence Sullivan (drums).The later line-up were responsible for the groups most recognized albums, which gained the group a significant fanbase. 14 tracks. Cherry Red.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Renaissance, Annie Haslam, John Tout, Michael Dunford, Jon Camp
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Cherry Red UK
  • DVD Release Date: June 16, 2009
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001GB67WC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,937 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bruce C. Patterson on July 23, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After reading the other reviews of this, the only video recording available of the best lineup of Renaissance, I decided to take a chance on it. I saw them at their peak in 1978 and have always considered them the best kept secret of the glorious progressive rock era of the 1970's. The DVD is in keeping with the descriptions written by other reviewers in that the picture is in black and white and the sound is decidedly disappointing, but considering that it must never have been intended for distribution, I find the camera work to be fairly polished and the audio more than acceptable.
There are two concerts on the disc. The 1979 show is playing now and represents such a tragic decline for Renaissance that it pains me to hear it. I find it incredible that they could have plunged to such depths. Personnel changes took place between the two shows recorded for this offering, and the one is 1979 is horrible. Annie Haslam is out of tune. Need I say more.
The 1976 concert at The Capital Theater is transcendent. It was very similar to the ones I remember in Austin and Houston two years later. The material is a wish list for Renaissance fans, and Annie's five-octave voice is in full bloom. The group was in perfect form as they moved through the best of their catalogue in what really was a dream set list for the knowledgeable fan.
Aside from the overall excellence of this performance by this criminally obscure band, Jon Camp's bass playing marks him as one of the best of the era, as he treats his four-stringed guitar like a lead instrument.
Annie Haslam is captured exactly as I remember her: beautiful, elegant, and flawless. Great possibilities came to fruition when Renaissance mixed an opera singer with virtuoso rock. I fell in love with her thirty years ago along with every other guy in Jones Hall, and I am now left to pine anew.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There has been much written about the faulty disc that marred the release of this DVD. I received my copy from Amazon a couple of days ago and the speed problem has been fixed.

The two concerts represented on this DVD have been filmed in black and white, and as the result the video isn't what one would hope. That said, there is a dearth of video material for Renaissance so anything is welcome. And the best part is that the two concerts are actually of the band... they were shot from the stage and give you an up-close and personal view of the group in action. There isn't any of that vertigo-inducing MTV editing that seems to be so much part and parcel of many modern concert vids.

I give this a definite five stars. The video isn't perfect and the audio isn't exquisite, but the music represents two really great periods of Renaissance output.

If you're a fan, I highly recommend it!
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Although it's only listed with three movements on the disc, the 1976 show contains ALL of Song of Scheherezade (although some sections use the orchestral backing tapes from the original recording).
Much has already been made of the fact that the sound and video quality on this disc is less than optimal (ah, the anal retentive prog-rock fan), but please try to remember that this was the 70s, and video documentation of this group is sadly negligible to begin with (apart from some even poorer quality footage of the group on Rock Concert which you can find on YouTube). Despite all that one can still enjoy the fruits of this extraordinary ensemble. Their music, so full of wonder and bereft of the desperate, self-conscious fear and irony that completely dominates modern music, is an oasis for the soul. Also, in a strange way, the black-and-white footage lends a kind of poignancy to the proceedings, giving the musicians the look of phantoms from the past, which in essence is what they are.
Here are some highlights:
-- Annie Haslam giggling and laughing between songs, chatting it up with the rowdy Jersey crowds.
-- Jon Camp's left hand, which never stops moving over the neck of his bass.
-- Camp's intro to Scheherezade, which is snarkier and racier than on Live at Carnegie Hall.
-- John Tout, like an octopus, replicating all the various orchestral parts on his ARPs.
-- the ultra-cheesy 70s disco flying saucer lights on Secret Mission.
-- Annie Haslam dancing with her hands on her hips, and the guy in the audience proposing to her (and, of course, her zillion-octave vocal range).
--oh, and did I mention ALL OF FRIGGIN' SCHEHEREZADE!!
There is much humanity in this music. Renaissance in the 70s embodied youth, passion, imagination, and joy. You almost want to caress this band. Thanks to Cherry Red UK for releasing this, and working out the technical glitches. Enjoy!
(If they had performed Trip to the Fair, I would have been in tears.)
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Format: DVD
"Renaissance DVD Faulty, DO NOT Purchase.

Sadly, the first 'Renaissance' DVD was released to the public as a faulty product. The company, Cherry Red Records, is working on correcting the problem.

Please do not purchase the DVD until we give the go ahead.

If yours is faulty, please contact Cherry Red directly. Contact information will be on your copy.

Renaissance assumes no responsibility for this, as it was out of their hands. They are very upset this has happened and are sad about the disappointment felt by many fans."
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As the other reviewers have stated, this is a 2 concert DVD, both shot in black in white. They're probably only 45 minutes to an hour each. They are not full concerts. But given the fact that Renaissance never officially filmed and released any of their past performances, it's a real treat to see this amazing band performing anything live from back in the day. While the musical portion of the performance isn't the best the band has ever done, Annie's voice is absolutely fantastic. If you're a Renaissance fan, it's definitely worth picking up.

Now for the good news! Renaissance has just recently released a professionally shot DVD from their recent tour of the performance they did at the Keswick Theater in Glenside Pa. on 9/23/11. They perform 2 of their best albums in their entirety, Turning of The Cards and Scheherazade and Other Stories, as well as one new tune, The Mystic and The Muse. The only original band members left are Annie Haslam on vocals (naturally) and Michael Dunford on guitars. (Who wrote practically all of the material performed on the DVD.) Joining them on stage are the newest band members, Rave Tesar on keyboards; David J. Keyes on bass guitar and vocals; Jason Hart or keyboards and vocals; and Frank Pagano on drums, percussion and vocals. Using all of the electronic technology now at their disposal, along with 4 vocalists, their music has never sounded better. The 2 keyboardists are able to complement the music with all of the orchestrations found on the original releases plus more, giving their music a fullness not heard since they performed live at Carnegie Hall with an orchestra. I was at this show, and while I initially thought that Annie's voice didn't sound as strong as it use to back in the 70's, after watching the DVD, I've changed my opinion.
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