Ashes Are Burning

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Ashes Are Burning
Studio album by Renaissance
Released October 1973
Recorded April–August 1973
Genre Progressive rock, symphonic rock
Length 40:39
Label Harvest Records
Capitol Records (US)
Sovereign Records
One Way Records (CD reissue)
Repertoire Records (CD reissue)
Producer Dick Plant
Renaissance
Renaissance chronology
Prologue
(1972)
Ashes Are Burning
(1973)
Turn of the Cards
(1974)
US release cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Ashes Are Burning is an album by progressive rock band Renaissance, released in 1973 (see 1973 in music). It was the first of several Renaissance albums to feature an orchestra playing along with the band on some songs.

Information about the album[edit]

Michael Dunford, who had been working with Renaissance in a composer-only role, had rejoined the band by the time this album was released. However, he wasn't officially part of the band when the album package was designed, so he doesn't appear in the cover photos and is listed as a guest musician.

The song "Can You Understand?" uses a quote from "Tonya and Yuri Arrive at Varykino", a theme from Maurice Jarre's score for Doctor Zhivago.[2] According to David Samuel Barr, a friend of the band who wrote the liner notes for the Tales of 1001 Nights compilation, Dunford had thought this melody to be a public domain Russian folk tune.[3] Because of confusion over the Jarre quote, some live collections (including Live at the Royal Albert Hall : King Biscuit Flower Hour Vol. 1[4] and some unauthorized releases) mistakenly credit "Can You Understand?" entirely to Jarre.

The song "On the Frontier" was previously released (also in 1973) by former Renaissance member Jim McCarty's band Shoot. It was the title track of their only album.[5]

The lyrics for "Carpet of the Sun" printed on the LP's inner sleeve included an extra verse which is not sung on the recording. The verse begins with "Come along and try, looking into ways of giving. Maybe we will try, find a dream that we will live in".

It was the band's first album to make the Billboard 200 album chart, peaking at #171.

In the Beginning reissue[edit]

In 1978 Ashes Are Burning was reissued, together with the preceding album Prologue, as a double album called In the Beginning. While Prologue was reissued in complete form, the Ashes song "At the Harbour" was edited down to 3:07. This was because a change in copyright laws in the interim had changed the copyright status of certain early 20th century works, including Claude Debussy's La Cathédrale Engloutie, excerpts of which begin and end the full version of "Harbour."[6] The 1988 CD version of In the Beginning (on one disc) had edited versions not only of this song, but of "Ashes Are Burning" and one Prologue song.[7] The early-1990s CD reissue of "Ashes are Burning," on One Way Records (not the 1970s Christian label), contains the full-length version of "At the Harbour."

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Dunford-Thatcher except where noted.

  1. "Can You Understand?" - 9:51
  2. "Let It Grow" - 4:14
  3. "On the Frontier" (McCarty-Thatcher) - 4:55
  4. "Carpet of the Sun" - 3:31
  5. "At the Harbour" - 6:48
  6. "Ashes Are Burning" - 11:20

Personnel[edit]

  • Annie Haslam – lead and backing vocals
  • Jon Camp (listed as "John Camp") – bass, backing vocals, co-lead vocal on "On the Frontier"
  • John Tout – keyboards, backing vocals
  • Terence Sullivan – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Additional personnel
  • Michael Dunford – acoustic guitar
  • Andy Powell – electric guitar solo on "Ashes Are Burning"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eder, Bruce (2011). "Ashes Are Burning - Renaissance | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Amazon.com: "Classical pieces recorded by progressive rock groups"
  3. ^ "Yahoo Groups". Launch.groups.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  4. ^ allmusic ((( King Biscuit Flower Hour > Overview )))
  5. ^ Renaissance Discography
  6. ^ Liner notes from the 1990 Tales of 1001 Nights compilations
  7. ^ The History Of Renaissance