Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Camera Camera – Renaissance (#241)

Camera Camera - RenaissanceCamera Camera – Renaissance

Prog is a funny old thing. Lots of twiddly widdly. Lots of showing off. Long songs. Nice things like that. Punk came along and ruined it; turned music listeners into consumers of sweet saccarine junk with about as much artistic merit as a lump of tar.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Camera Camera – Renaissance (#241)

#129 – BBC Sessions 1975-1978 – Renaissance

Renaissance - BBC Sessions BBC Sessions 1975 – 1978 – Renaissance

The third and final BBC sessions album in my collection. This time, Renaissance step up to the microphone.

We’ve seen Annie Haslam and her pals on this project before. This album highlights how popular Renaissance were at their time. Which only adds to the confusion as to why I had never heard of them until I was in my 30s. It was as if they never received any radio airtime during the 80s and 90s to wipe them from collective consciousness.

This is possibly my second favourite Renaissance compilation album. It’s a good showcase of the wide range of talent and output of the band especially to new listeners.

Comments Off on #129 – BBC Sessions 1975-1978 – Renaissance

#114 – Azure d’Or – Renaissance

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 16.44.35Azure d’Or by Renaissance

Annie Haslam and her chums get together one more time before the 1980s comes and bites them all on the bum and sends them into a downward spiral of obscurity.

With the exception of Jekyll and Hyde and Winter Tree, much of the original “wow” of early Renaissance seems to be fading like the memory of Quatro before the approaching onslaught of the anti-Prog movement.

Punk has a lot to answer for musically. It did more damage to creativity and expression than dub step and music factories owned by Pete Waterman and his ilk. Talented musicians were forced to cut short their masterpieces and musical wankery to fit in with the growing hunger for 3 minute pop songs. A bit like how Facebook and Twitter have massacred the blogosphere by reducing the media consumers attention to 140 character text bites.

A shame.

Comments Off on #114 – Azure d’Or – Renaissance

#101: At Royal Albert Hall With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Renaissance

Renaissance - Renaissance at the Royal Albert hall ''Live'' [part 1] (Front) renaissance16At Royal Albert Hall With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Renaissance

Earlier in the project I introduced readers to the artist, Renaissance; Annie Haslam, Michael Dunford et al.  Renaissance are one of those prog bands that have undergone many line-up changes and developed themselves into what they are today. Very much like Yes.

This is a live album spread over 2 discs. It was recorded at the Royal Albert Hall. Along with accompaniment from  The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Self explanatory really.

This line up has Annie, Michael and Orchestra joined by:

  • John Tout – keyboards
  • Jon Camp – vocals, bass
  • Terence Sullivan – drums, percussion

This is the best introduction to Renaissance as a band. It has all the “Classic” Renaissance favourites. Lots of twiddly and what sounds like a very enthusiastic audience. Again, I’m surprised I never encountered them until 2001. But, as you will read, there are many other albums to come.

Unfortunately I was unable to locate any Youtube footage of the actual Albert Hall concert, so instead, here is a broadcast recorded about the same time.



Comments Off on #101: At Royal Albert Hall With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Renaissance

Album #94 – Ashes Are Burning – Renaissance

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 11.00.07Ashes Are Burning – Renaissance

Sometime in the 1970s people with hair would gather and make music. Lovely music. Happy music. Nothing about killing policemen or getting your body parts ogled so you can become famous. Nor was there anything about “fucking the system” or being worthless. Music was a different place. A different time. A different meaning.

Out of the flotsam and jetsam of the musical ocean, a band washed upon my aural shore in the early noughties. A band I had no idea even existed and yet every song I heard seemed to slot into the crevices left by the ice age of Yes, Pink Floyd and Triumvirat. A band whose output left me feeling cosy in my jumpers, sated aurally and at one with the world. That band was Renaissance.

I would ask people if they had heard of them and most people would go “No” and yet they were massive in their time.  Like giants. But then something happened and no trace was seemingly left.

Like I said in the preamble of Sieben’s As They Should Sound, the mass theft of musical property did only good for bands like Sieben and Renaissance, introducing their works to whole new audiences who would then show their appreciation by going out and buying the albums they had heard. If it wasn’t for illegal downloads, I would never have heard of Renaissance and I would never have that Renaissance shaped gap in my auralscape plugged and I wouldn’t have spent lots of money on their music.

As with A Song for All Seasons, this is a typical collection of long haired folky tunes. The kind of stuff you might expect to hear on A Handful of Songs in the 1970s. Close harmonies, lots of piano and nothing overwhelming the acoustic craftsmanship that they make. Though not necessarily a good introduction to the band, Ashes are Burning is certainly one of Renaissance’s better  albums and contains fan favourites Let it Grow, Ashes are Burning and Carpet of the Sun. You can also find out more about Renaissance on Facebook and on their website because, yes, they have reformed recently and are touring again….


Comments Off on Album #94 – Ashes Are Burning – Renaissance

A Song for All Seasons–Renaissance [#43]

imageA Song for All Seasons–Renaissance


I first came across Renaissance in 2002 when I used to subscribe to’s radio service.


In case you didn’t know, supposedly checks what you listen to and then finds artists you might like and plays samples of their music mixed in with yours.


The song that kept being played was Northern Lights. It was one of those songs that made me think “Here! I’ve heard this before!”. It was more than probable that I had.


Keen to find out more, I spent a week downloading their catalogue and rapidly falling in love with their music. Bewildered by the fact that I hadn’t actually heard of them before that day.


They’re a mix of folk and prog. Prog folk? Maybe. Kind of like Fairport Convention meets Yes.


No..that’s not it.


It’s similar. But not.


Anyway, make your own mind up and, as usual, I would be interested to hear what you think about them too.

1 Comment »

%d bloggers like this: