Renaissance - Scheherazade And Other Stories [Sire Records SASD-7510] (July 1975)

Dynamic Range Released: July 1975
Country: US
Label: Sire Records
Catalog: SASD-7510
Genre: Progressive Rock

Item# SR-SISASD7510
Ratings: C=VG+; LP=VG+

Pressing: Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Terre Haute

T R A C K L I S T:
01 Trip To The Fair
02 The Vultures Fly High
03 Ocean Gypsy
Song Of Scheherazade
04 Fanfare
05 The Betrayal
06 The Sultan
07 Love Theme
08 The Young Prince And Princess As Told By Scheherazade
09 Festival Preparations
10 Fugue For The Sultan
11 The Festival
12 Finale

Scheherazade And Other Stories

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Album Review

Bruce Eder []

This album was the group's magnum opus in the perception of many onlookers and fans, and it still plays well, though its flaws are more evident than they were at the time. The ''Song of Scheherazade,'' really a suite for the group supported by the London Symphony Orchestra and a chorus, started with guitarist-composer Michael Dunford, who had a personal fascination with the medieval literary work Tales of 1,001 Arabian Nights, and was realized by Dunford and his composing partner Betty Thatcher, with bassist Jon Camp and pianist John Tout. The piece, really nine sections assembled together, was one of the more ambitious works to come out of the progressive rock boom -- it fits together nicely and does have some gorgeous passages and many lyrical, powerful sections, although it also seems slightly repetitive, overstaying its welcome somewhat; additionally, it never uses the orchestra quite as effectively as one senses it might have, for anything except embellishment. Less ambitious and more completely successful are ''Ocean Gypsy,'' ''The Vultures Fly High,'' and ''Trip to the Fair'' on side one, all relatively unpretentious pieces which feature extraordinary singing by Annie Haslam.