Renaissance – The Legacy Tour 2022: Album Review

Formed at the end of the sixties, Renaissance are still going strong and competing well with all the modern strands of the worldwide prog rock scene with their highly orchestrated versions of familiar songs, recorded here on The Legacy Tour 2022 album.

Release date: 8th August 2023

Label: Buy here

Format:  double CD (only available through the band’s website at:

The Summer of 69 is well remembered on account of the moon landing and an English golfer winning The Open but in the background, about to arrive on the music scene, was Renaissance. Most burgeoning groups at the time had a limited shelf life of recording and performing although their fame and memory lives on strong; Zeppelin and Genesis as examples. But an exception to the rule is Renaissance. With Annie Haslam at the front accompanied by her amazing vocal range, Renaissance is touring and releasing live material.  

Such was the competition in the rock music world you had to stand out from the rest and Renaissance’s distinctive sound was immediately recognisable by the trilling vocals of Bolton-born Annie and their orchestral compositions achieved that.

Three score and ten years may not be considered that old these days but like a Rolls, these days exceeding 80k miles is considered low mileage, Annie at a bit more than 70 can still carol like a lark. And – before anyone starts crowing she’s the only member of the Renaissance we know and love…Jane Relf, sister of Keith, was the singer in the original group and of course, Keith Relf and Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds originally created the band.

Symphonic Rock may have been the brand name given to those groups who could compose multi-layered compositions like an orchestra but these masterly arrangements and style have stood the test of time and this album from The Legacy Tour from the Fall of 2022  recorded from a live performance in Kentucky proves the band are still delivering.

The value of the support of Renaissance’s music is enhanced by the orchestra as Annie states: “An orchestra can take a piece of music and lift it to a higher plane, it just does, and my dream was to hear and perform my solo work with an orchestra. The Legacy Tour was the vehicle for that, the timing was right and my dream came true.

Long term Renaissance fans will be happy that  Turn Of The Cards, Ashes Are Burning , Song For All Seasons and Novella are all visited as well as a healthy helping of Annie’s solo work. Horns trumpet in the concert opener Carpet Of The Sun from the early 70’s album,  Ashes Are Burning immediately heralding how Renaissance music blends perfectly with orchestration and the sweetness of Annie’s voice shows she has not diminished her performance.
Tranquil keyboards and guitar start the sombre Black Flame, during which the Orchestra enhances the climax.  Turn Of The Cards is frequented again to complete the concert with the pacy Running Hard.

We hear Annie’s operatic qualities in The Sisters, which includes some delightful classic Spanish guitar.  Squeezed in between another trip to Novella through the dreamy sounds of The Captive Heart is Ananda with its Latin rhythms blended with Eastern strings.

Annie comfortably hits the top of her vocal range in the enchanting Symphony Of Light before we begin a run of Annie’s solo material with Blessing In Disguise.  Day Of The Dreamer, another from Song For All Seasons, is one of three pieces exceeding 10 minutes on the album, and shows how Renaissance can test and sustain the listenability of their audience in the live setting.

The album celebrates the sustainability of Annie’s vocal contribution to music over her career as she reaches the midway point between 70 and 80.  The first viewing I got of Renaissance was a night in Bolton’s Albert Hall when they supported Caravan back in the 70’s. What a delight it would be to attend a concert with both now as Caravan are still touring successfully.

Their longevity of both is in some ways down to their ability to re-invent themselves and of course, perform to the highest quality. Although most Renaissance fans will already have a live version of Renaissance music in their collection The Legacy Tour of 2022 album is a ‘must’  to be added to it. Congratulations Annie! ( Come on you Whites!!!…wonder if she knows what that means!!)

Renaissance online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Youtube

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