Progressive rock is not a very popular genre, but it still managed to deliver some good bands back in the days. One of the most popular progressive rock bands in the history remains the English one named The Renaissance.
It was quite famous back in the 1970s and is known for songs like “Northern Lights” and “Mother Russia”. Here you can delight yourself reading some interesting facts about the band.
The history of two separate groups
Although many bands have their members changed throughout the years, The Renaissance basically tells the story of two different musical groups gathered under the same name. The original group was formed in 1969 by two ex-Yardbirds members, Jim McCarty and Kith Reif.
They are known for creating the band’s original progressive-folk-rock sound and recorded two albums. However, despite their local success in England and their second LP being released in the United States, the band didn’t become famous on the international stage.
By 1971, the membership of the band had changed entirely, welcoming four new people – keyboard player John Tout, bassist Jon Camp, drummer Terry Sullivan, and singer Annie Haslam.
The winds of change
Welcoming Annie Haslam into the band was a true blessing for the rest of the members as they managed to become famous in the following years. Thanks to Haslam’s unique voice, the band managed to create songs combining various musical genres, including rock, folk, classical music, and even jazz.
Between 1972 and 1979 Renaissance managed to release seven successful studio albums. They organized various tours and established a dedicated fan base in the northeastern part of the United States.
Unfortunately, the popularity of the band started to decrease at the beginning of the 1980s. The Renaissance released two unsuccessful studio albums and was yet again the subject of personnel changes. Finally, the remaining members decided to call it quits in 1987.
However, the band decided to reunite in 1998 and managed to record another album named Tuscany. It was released in 2001 and, even though it was well received by critics and fans, the members of the band decided to go on separate roads once again.
Another reunion of the band was made possible in 2009 thanks to leading members Haslam and Dunford. Although Dunford regrettably passed away in 2012, Haslam stated that the group would continue to tour. The latest studio album was released in 2014 and is named “Symphony of Light”.
Renaissance released several hits and albums throughout its existence. But, even though it never managed to gain a worldwide reputation, it was quite popular in the United Kingdom, the United States, and even Japan. In fact, the band released two different singles for the Japanese fans only, one in 1972, and the other one in 2010.