SRK 6068 Azure d'Or
Produced by David Hentschel
Released on 1979
US CHART POSITION #125
Find it at GEMM
SRK 6068 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

A t the moment, this is my favorite album from Renaissance. I never noticed how much they sounded like Yes, how much their logo looked like Yes’ logo, how much Annie Haslam sounded like Jon Anderson, how Jon Camp might well have squired under a certain teacher. As I’ve noted earlier, all this at a time when the old guard was limping into the new decade, at a time when new hands were needed to grab at the brass ring. (I really have to stop mixing my metaphors.) At the core of Azure d’Or are some of the band’s most succinct, magical creations: “Jekyll And Hyde,” “The Winter Tree,” “Kalynda.” I suspect this is what most progressive bands were trying to do in 1979: write smart and snappy arrangements within the context of four-minute songs. That few pulled it off (Camel and Genesis come to mind) shows what a fine line it was. Looking back, though, Renaissance often floundered in the epic format, lacking the fount of inspiration that flowed from the very heart of Yes, Gentle Giant, Tull, etc. On Azure d’Or, the band is able to pack very clever twists into the standard verse/chorus format, which results in songs that brim with goodness (as opposed to a handful of deflated opuses). Everything moves briskly, purposefully, without a leaky patch in the thatch. Maybe Renaissance were late bloomers, a rarity as progressive rock bands go. Azure d’Or remains a treat on the tree of late ‘70s prog, as tart and tasty a selection to grow from their limb as I can recall.

SRK 6068 back cover SRK 6068 lyric sleeve
SRK 6068 back cover SRK 6068 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. JEKYLL AND HYDE    (Michael Dunford/Betty Thatcher)    4:38
  2. THE WINTER TREE    (Michael Dunford/Betty Thatcher)    3:02
  3. ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS    (Jon Camp)    3:43
  4. GOLDEN KEY    (Michael Dunford/Betty Thatcher)    5:13
  5. FOREVER CHANGING    (Terence Sullivan/Betty Tatcher)    4:48
  6. SECRET MISSION    (Jon Camp)    5:00
  7. KALYNDA (A MAGICAL ISLE)    (Jon Camp)    3:43
  8. THE DISCOVERY    (Jon Camp)    4:23
  9. FRIENDS    (Michael Dunford/Betty Thatcher)    3:30
  10. THE FLOOD AT LYONS    (Jon Camp/Michael Dunford)    4:57

CREDITS

JON CAMP -- Dick Knight custom flanged bass, Hobourn cello, vocals, Antoria and Rickenbacker basses, Taurus bass pedals, MCI bass pedals, Ovation 12 string acoustic guitar, lead guitars
MICHAEL DUNFORD -- 12 string acoustic guitars, Yamaha 12 string acoustic guitar, Dick Knight custom electric guitars, Yamaha and Ovation adamas, mandolin, Ovation classical guitar, autoharp
ANNIE HASLAM -- lead and backing vocals
TERENCE SULLIVAN -- drums and percussion, vocals, timpani, glockenspiel, kalimba, gongs, chimes, xylophone
JOHN TOUT -- piano, Yamaha CS80, Yamaha CS30, ARP string ensemble, ARP pro-soloist, Hohner D6 clavinet, Yamaha electric piano CP 70, Hammond B3, ARP 2600, mellotron
David Hentschel -- engineer, vocal engineer
Dick Plant -- vocal engineer
Gered Mankowitz -- art direction and photography
Richard Gray -- design

return to RENAISSANCE discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1979 Warner Bros. LP K 56633 lyric sleeve
US 1979 Sire LP SRK 6068 lyric sleeve
BRA 1979 WEA LP 38027  
CAN 1979 Sire LP QSR 6068 lyric sleeve
GER 1979 Warner Bros. LP WB 56633  
JPN 1979 Sire LP P-10693W lyric insert
UK 1987 Thunderbolt LP THBL 045  
GER/NET February 23, 1996 WEA CD 26517  
US March 6, 2001 Wounded Bird CD 6068  

 

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