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RENAISSANCE BIOGRAPHY

Renaissance was originally formed in 1969 by ex-Yardbirds Keith Relf and Jim McCarty. In this incarnation they recorded two albums but never quite made it, only garnering success with the UK campus crowd where such folk acts (like Fairport Convention) were finding their niche. A parade of members came and went, including Relf's sister Jane. By 1971 only Mc Carty remained from the original line-up and he departed early that year. The new lineup centered around the core of guitarist Michael Dunford, keyboardist John Tout and vocalist Annie Haslam. Haslam had an impressive three-octave range thanks to years of operatic training, and it was around this talented core that Renaissance developed a hardcore following that grew with each album release. A rotating string of bassists and drummers kept the band from developing an "identity."

In 1972 Miles Copeland took over as the band's manager -- one of the first acts he associated with after going into the music business. Copeland insisted they hold more auditions to find permanent a bass player and drummer. The band found their matches in bassist Jon Camp and drummer Terry Sullivan.

This line-up's first album, Prologue, was an ambitious effort, compared to the work of the previous version of Renaissance. Haslam's dynamic vocal range and the skilled instrumental passages highlighted the band's talent. Copeland got the band signed to Sire Records and with each subsequent release their following grew, among both fans and critics, even though popular chart success eluded them. However by the late 70s and no longer under Miles Copeland's wing, their following diminished to only a hardcore cadre of devoted fans. By the late 70s progressive folk-rock was a dying breed and the band found the music world around them evolving into the punk and new wave booms. They were soon relegated to being an anachronistic cult favorite prog-rock/folk band.

In the 1980's it was sort of like "old home week" for Renaissance with the band returning to Miles' fold as they were signed to his I.R.S. Records label, releasing two albums. The first, Camera Camera was well received by both fans and critics. The follow-up, Time-Line was less warmly received, but is a satisfactory album despite showing little growth in the band since Camera Camera. Soon after Time-Line was released the band, amid reported personality conflicts, disbanded. Various members, however, have worked together subsequently on each others solo albums.

As far as solo careers go Annie Haslam has produced a half dozen outstanding recordings, sounding very similar, thanks to her voice, to Renaissance. She was sidelined briefly in the late 80s and early 90s with a throat ailment that threatened to end her singing career. Fortunately she recovered, continued recording and, in 1995 made an effort with Dunford to revive Renaissance. Nothing more than a collaboration or two with Dunford resulted. Then in 2001 Renaissance reunited for a tour and have recorded a new album, Tuscany scheduled for release in the Summer of 2002. In October of 2002, Annie posted a farewell message on her website indicating that Renaissance was now done and each of the members were moving on to other projects... Only time will tell if this progressive folk-rock act will yet again unfurl its wings and grace the world with its beautiful music...



RENAISSANCE IRS DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only RENAISSANCE's recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for RENAISSANCE, below...

Albums & EPs

SP70019 CAMERA CAMERA
IRS SP 70019 (Released 15 October 1981)

Vinyl & Cassette.


Produced & Arranged by Renaissance
Engineered by John Acock
Recorded at Herne Place Studios, Sunningdale, Berkshire, England
Photos by Chris Dawes
Make Up Craig Harrison
Design by Vermilion Sands - Insult Design


Musicians:
Annie Haslam vocals, percussion
Michael Dunford guitars, vocals
John Camp bass, guitars, vocals
Peter Gosling keyboards, vocals
Pete Barron drums & percussion
Additional Musicians:
John Kirke Camera on track #1


Track Listing:

  1. Camera Camera (Camp/Dunford) 6:05
  2. Faeries (Living At The Bottom Of The Garden)(Dunford/Gosling) 4:02
  3. Remember (Dunford/Thatcher) 4:36
  4. Bonjour Swansong (Dunford/Thatcher) 3:40
  5. Tyrant-Tula (Camp/Dunford) 6:00
  6. Okichi-San (Dunford/Thatcher) 6:00
  7. Jigsaw (Dunford/Thatcher) 5:07
  8. Running Away From You (Camp) 3:54
  9. Ukraine Ways (Camp/Dunford) 6:26
Review Coming Soon!


SP70038 TIME-LINE
IRS SP 70033 (Released 20 Sep 1983)

Vinyl & Cassette.

Produced & Arranged by Renaissance
Engineered by John Acock
Recorded at Herne Place Studios, Sunningdale, Berkshire, England
Mastered by Kevin Metcalfe at Utopia Studios, London
Cover Photo by Brian Aris
Sleeve Design by Graham Humphreys


Musicians:
Annie Haslam vocals, percussion
Michael Dunford guitars, vocals
John Camp bass, guitars, vocals
Peter Gosling keyboards
Pete Barron drums

Additional Musicians:
Eddie Hardin & Nick Magnus keyboards
Bimbu Acock saxaphone
Ian Mosley drums
Dave Thomson trumpet

Track Listing:

  1. Flight
  2. Missing Persons
  3. Chagrin Boulevard
  4. Richard the IX
  5. Entertainer
  6. Electric Avenue
  7. Majik
  8. Distant Horizons
  9. Orient Express
  10. Auto-Tech
Review Coming Soon!


Singles

IRS 9904 "Bonjour Swansong"/"Remember"
IRS IR9904 (Released 14 October 1981)

Produced & Arranged by Renaissance



Musicians:
Annie Haslam vocals, percussion
Michael Dunford guitars, vocals
John Camp bass, guitars, vocals
Peter Gosling keyboards, vocals
Pete Baron drums & percussion

Review Coming Soon!


IRS 9914 "Richard the IX"/"Richard the IX"
IRS IR9914 (Released 1983)

(PROMOTIONAL - RADIO STATIONS ONLY)

Produced & Arranged by Renaissance

Review Coming Soon!


Compilations & Soundtracks

HEARING AIDS(No #): features "Richard the IX" and "Flight"


RENAISSANCE LINKS AND OTHER COOL STUFF

For a band with such a hardcore fan following, there's surprisingly little on the WWW. Fortunately what is out there is actually very good and very informative:
Return To The I.R.S. CORNER HOME PAGE
Return To The I.R.S. CORNER ARTIST ROSTER
Return To The I.R.S. Records A&M Era Discography
Discuss Renaissance in The DISCUSSION FORUM
This Page Last Updated 5 October 2002

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