Renaissance is the seventh studio album by the Village People released in 1981. The title reflects the band's departure from the disco genre with which they had long been associated to a new wave style following the downfall of disco as well as the discontinuation of their signature costumes.
Most critics were turned off by the unexpected change in direction. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, writing for Allmusic.com, opined that the album "should have never been released" and was "simply an embarrassment that never should have seen the light of day." John Imatainte, writer for the acclaimed New York-based disco enthusiast magazine, DiSCO was reportedly so disappointed upon hearing the album for the first time that he refused to write a review of it, referring to it in the July 1981 issue of the magazine as "an embarrassment to recorded music that cannot meet even the most remotely respectable of expectations."
In spite of being universally panned by critics, the album peaked at #138 on the Billboard 200. The album includes two singles, "Do You Wanna Spend the Night" and "5 O'Clock in the Morning". It was reissued to CD in 1999 with additional tracks.
The album's artwork has found popularity as an Internet meme as one of the worst album covers of all time.