Theme Switcher
Switch to:

Notes about GDM Themes
Click to learn more about GDM themes


Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Site Stats
Album Reviews: 6825
Comments: 16465
Ratings: 4520
Forum Posts: 21582
Latest Comments
Great band had forgotten ...
This debut is chocked ful...
The band really broadens ...
I've seen this many times...
A classic indeed and thei...
I hoped more from this al...
It was Heather Thomas in ...
Actually, 'Find The Lady'...
Cheers Dave, looking to g...
Great, Malcolm! I can hel...
Dave, it's already set up...
Great list, Jeffrey. The ...
Maybe an interview with G...
Finally got a copy of thi...
Thanks for the download y...
Yes Dave, I agree New Yor...
Very cool. I've always ha...
As a musician and avid li...
The problem with AOR as a...
Thanks Jose. However, man...
You must login to post a message.

21-01-2018 21:04
Lucky and now skint, judging by the winning bid!!

21-01-2018 20:47
Some lucky Jeff Lynne fan got a real rarity!

21-01-2018 09:43
Yep in Argent, especially as Rod Argent and Jim we’re cousins.

21-01-2018 07:43
Didn't Rodford also play in Argent and Charlie too?

20-01-2018 22:04
Jim Rodford, bass player, The Kinks, Phoenix (I think?), but I remember him with The Zombies, saw live a while back. RIP

17-01-2018 21:50
In response to Cyrille Regis, BBC 2 repeat the Adrian Chiles documentary, Whites v Blacks, How Football Changed A Nation, unbelievable true story, worth watching

17-01-2018 18:44
Review of the rather splendid `Hornal` album is in the works too.

17-01-2018 01:57
Dave and Jeff's best of 2017 wrap-up's just around the corner too.. computer work

17-01-2018 01:56
There is a three-part article coming up for E.L.O (Eldorado, A New World Record and Out Of The Blue). Look out for it soon.

16-01-2018 08:52
Stoke fans have my commiserations.Und
er Lambert the Villa played some of the most boring, unimaginative football I`ve ever had the misfortune to witness.Relegation
?,yes I`d say so.

Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1973 Articles » Renaissance - 1973 Ashes Are Burning
Renaissance - 1973 Ashes Are Burning

ARTIST: Renaissance
ALBUM: Ashes Are Burning
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-11216
YEAR: 1973
CD REISSUE: 1991, One Way Records, CDL 57575 and numerous other reissues.


LINEUP: John Tout - keyboards, vocals * Annie Haslam - vocals * John Camp - bass, vocals * Terrance Sullivan - drums, percussion, vocals

Additional Musicians: Andy Powell - guitar * Michael Dunford - acoustic guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Can You Understand * 02 Let It Grow * 03 On The Frontier * 04 Carpet Of The Sun * 05 The Harbour * 06 Ashes Are Burning


'Ashes Are Burning' is the second LP to feature the lovely Annie Haslam as lead vocalist. Now as pervey as it might sound as a hot-blooded teenager in the '70s it was always a toss-up between Haslam and Curved Air's Sonja Kristina as to who was prog's sexist singer. There was something almost angelic about Annie's flowing medieval gowns as opposed to Kristana's overtly glam rock gear especially in a genre not typically known to export anything remotely close to sexual, but looks aside and based on voice alone, Haslam won and still wins every time. Her first vocal appearance on 1972's 'Prologue' saw the band moving away from the Jim McCarty/ Keith Relf sound of the band which still held dear to the late 60's and even further into classically influenced territory. A re-tooled band and fresh direction, 'Prologue' put Renaissance on the musical map but it's 'Ashes Are Burning' that found Renaissance at it's creative peak and among fans and critics alike is considered to be their best work.

The Songs
With the exception of a guest appearance from Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash; electric guitar is almost non-existent on the record as keyboardist extraordinaire John Tout is found taking a much larger role in the band. Orchestrated to the hilt and autumnal in feel, this record is nothing like Yes or Genesis who sound rather pedestrian in comparison. Influenced by Russian classical music, opener 'Can You Understand?' is epic in scope with John Camp's rumbling bass and Tout's gorgeous piano runs make for an appealing entrance that is quintessential Renaissance. Here Annie sounds less tentative than on their previous outing and I can still remember hearing this song on the radio for the first time, absolutely stunned by what I was listening to. With that said 'Let It Grow' is just a little too Judy Collins for my tastes, but 'On The Frontier' and the soaring 'Carpet Of The Sun' which was released as a single and largely ignored, more than makes up for the record's only weak song. Bringing the album to close is the title track and a more beautifully arranged song you'll not find. Anchored by Haslam's remarkable voice and a sublime pop chorus, Renaissance creates a unique musical landscape that's worth visiting over and over again.

In Summary
Moving from strength to strength, the excellent 'Turn Of The Cards' would follow a year later, but by 1977's 'Novella' a malaise began to set in not helped by punk rock's overwhelming influence. 'A Song For All Seasons' released in 1978 showed a marked change in style with shorter songs and included the band's first hit single 'Northern Lights' while my personal favourite 1979's 'Azure d'Or' replaced strings for synthesizers to great effect. While Renaissance is still a going concern in the twenty-first century, 'Ashes Are Burning' remains the pinnacle of their catalog and should find a place in every serious prog collection.

All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.

#1 | swazi on August 11 2010 12:44:12
Great review, Eric! Thanks a lot! clap I love this album!
#2 | jefflynnefan on August 13 2010 06:57:52
This band is unique and original. Sorry Blackmore's Night they were first! I came to know of them through Roy Wood's association with them. Annie was Roy's girlfriend for a brief while before moving on to Ahshea. 'Scheherazade' was my first album by them and I still have a fondess for it. Although it doesn't get much love.
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

No Ratings have been Posted.
Articles Cloud
Stranded - 1999 Long Way To Heaven, Twelfth Night - 1981 Live At The Target, Metallica - 1991 Metallica, Chalice - 2005 Shotgun Alley, Blue (UK) - 1973 Blue, Steeplechase - 1981 Steeplechase, Omega - 1996 Transcendent, Magnum - 2012 On The Thirteenth Day, Nitefire - 1984 Nitefire [EP], Boston - 1978 Don't Look Back, Deep Purple - 1974 Burn, Snail - 1978 Snail, Frozen Rain - 2008 Frozen Rain, Dead Soul Tribe - 2002 Dead Soul Tribe, Love Chapter Band - 1980 City Of Refuge
David Bowie Prototype Foghat Rock Candy Records Toto Up All Night Blanc Faces Gerry Rafferty Oxendale and Shephard Markonee Existance Mike Tramp John Wetton Barry Goudreau Brad Delp Delp Goudreau Magnum Dennis Waterman Actors And Actresses Newman Stone Fury Kingdom Come Lenny Wolf Life By Night Lillian Axe Matinee EP Nowherefast Pipedream Arena West Of Sunset Fingerprintz Yesterrock Brownsville Station Deep Purple Gillan Ian Gillan Band Candy Live Albums Planet X Saga Oakley
All Tags
Search DDG