2147-3902 Live At Carnegie Hall
Produced by Renaissance
Released on 1976
Find it at GEMM
2147-3902 cover
[high resolution photo]

A ndrew Carnegie must have been rolling in his grave. Renaissance had released some good records and was about to release another (Scheherazade) when they performed these concerts in the summer of ‘75, but were they worthy of Carnegie Hall? And did part of the New York Philharmonic really have nothing better to do? The four sides of live music here are timid presentations (as timid as ambitious music like this can be, anyway), sticking too close to the original arrangements (as earlier critics have pointed out) and featuring a five-minute bass solo during “Ashes Are Burning” that would have made Spinal Tap snigger. The shows did introduce fans to “Ocean Gypsy” and “Scheherazade," and both songs benefit from the band’s close kinship to the material. “Ashes Are Burning” and “Can You Understand” are other highlights from the show, but there’s nothing on Live At Carnegie Hall you won’t hear on the original studio albums. In fact, there’s very little magic to be found here. A spoken introduction to “Scheherazade” becomes a pale primer, and the revelation that it took three months to read “Thousand And One Nights” begs the question of whether anyone read Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago” before writing “Mother Russia.” I don’t mean to come down hard on Renaissance, since they write good songs and perform them capably here. But live shows are supposed to be a window into the band’s soul, minus all the makeup of the studio, and Live At Carnegie Hall instead takes pains not to let the seams show. If you want to collect everything by Renaissance, or you want to avoid collecting everything by getting to the heart of their best music, then Live At Carnegie Hall awaits you. As prog live albums go, however, this is a lame duck.

2147-3902 inner gatefold 2147-3902 back cover
2147-3902 inner gatefold 2147-3902 back cover


  1. PROLOGUE    7:35
  2. OCEAN GYPSY    7:55
  3. CAN YOU UNDERSTAND    10:20
  4. CARPET OF THE SUN    4:15
  5. RUNNING HARD    9:43
  6. MOTHER RUSSIA    10:48
  7. SCHEHERAZADE    (Michael Dunford/Betty Thatcher/Jon Camp/John Tout)    28:30
  8. ASHES ARE BURNING    23:50

    All songs written by Michael Dunford/Betty Thatcher unless noted


JON CAMP -- bass, bass pedals, vocals
MICHAEL DUNFORD -- acoustic guitars, vocals
ANNIE HASLAM -- lead vocalsm, inside cover concept and research, photography
TERRENCE SULLIVAN -- drums, percussion, vocals
JOHN TOUT -- keyboards, vocals
Tony Cox -- orchestra conductor
Members of the New York Philharmonic -- orchestra
Carmine Rubino -- engineer
Dick Plant -- mixing engineer
Aladdin Light -- lights
Sound Specialties -- sound
Fred Marcellino -- cover artwork and collage
Chuck Pulin, John Kuczynski, Dennis Degnan, Bob Gruen -- photography

return to RENAISSANCE discography

UK/FRA 1976 BTM Records 2LP BTM2001 gatefold cover
US 1976 Sire 2LP SASY 3902 gatefold cover
CAN 1976 Sire 2LP 2147 3902 gatefold cover
JPN 1976 BTM/RCA 2LP 9117/8 gatefold cover, lyric insert
US   Sire 2LP 2XS6029 gatefold cover
US/EUR 1994 Repertoire 2CD 4506  


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