Founded in London, England in 1969, Renaissance is a prog band best remembered for their Top 10 hit “Northern Lights” (1978) and their unique approach to the progressive rock sound which featured orchestral flourishes and the angelic vocals Annie Haslam, one of the few female vocalists of the genre at the time. However, the group’s origins were fairly different to the sound of the band during their more successful years. Founded by former Yardbirds members Keith Relf and Jim McCarty and featuring Keith’s sister Jane Relf on vocals, the group released their self-titled debut in 1969, followed by Illusion in 1971. The line-up of the band continued to evolve with most original members leaving by the time the classic line-up of vocalist Annie Haslam, keyboardist John Tout, bassist Jon Camp, and drummer Terence Sullivan recorded the 1972 album Prologue. With the addition of guitarist Michael Dunford, the line-up was complete, and the band entered into their most successful period. Albums such as Ashes Are Burning (1973), Turn of the Cards (1974), Scheherazade and Other Stories (1975), Novella (1977) and A Song for All Seasons (1978) were extremely successful releases, with the 1978 album featuring the Top 10 hit single “Northern Lights”. Throughout this period, the band released classic slices of prog rock – including “Kiev,” "Carpet of the Sun," "Mother Russia," and "Ashes Are Burning" – that are still referenced as genre-defining moments to this very day. The group had splintered by 1981’s Camera Camera with only three of the classic line-up’s five members (Haslam, Dunford, and Camp). Renaissance continued until 1987 before splitting up. Members of the group reunited in the late 1990s and recorded the album Tuscany, but they had split up again by the time the album was released in 2001. Giving it another go, Haslam and Dunford reunited again in 2009 and recorded the album Grandine il vento. Michael Dunford died from a cerebral hemorrhage on November 20, 2012. His final album with the band, Grandine il vento, was released in 2013, and then re-released in 2014 as Symphony of Light. Vocalist Annie Haslam moved forward with a new line-up and continues to tour as Renaissance. Original keyboardist John Tout died on May 1, 2015, of lung cancer.

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Stations Featuring Renaissance

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