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Renaissance: A Turn of the Cards (Remaster)

It really is a shame that this exclusive Japanese remaster is a limited edition issue. Renaissance's back catalog has been getting the CD mini lp treatment lately; that is, original LP artwork shrunk down to fit into a CD and the results are often stunning. A Turn of the Cards is a wonderful case in point.

For those not in the know, Renaissance was one of the very best symphonic classical rock bands of the 1970's. They released a string of classic albums, starting with 1972's Ashes are Burning through A Song for All Seasons in 1978. Singer Annie Haslam has one of the most gorgeous voices in the music business and it is a tragedy that Renaissance have always been relegated to cult band status. From 1974, here is one of my personal favorites, A Turn of the Cards. Perhaps not quite as celebrated as Scheherazade or Novella, this one nevertheless is prime Renaissance. Every song is a winner, from the opening piano driven "Running Hard" through the signature piece "Mother Russia", the band does no wrong here. "Things I Don't Understand" has always been an unheralded masterpiece in my opinion and it has never sounded better than on this remaster.

I do not know how many copies of this remaster were actually pressed. But if you want to (re)familiarize yourself with this sterling example of British progressive rock, it will be well worth your trouble to seek it out. Prog freaks should also know that the same Japanese label, Arcangelo, has given the same treatment to Scheherazade and Other Stories, Live at Carnegie Hall as well as releases by seminal Italian classic bands as Semiramis and Biglietto Per L'inferno. Newly remastered in 2002, do not miss these special editions.

Added: March 22nd 2003
Reviewer: Steve Pettengill
Related Link: Official Renaissance Homepage
Hits: 4675
Language: english

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