Turn of the Cards

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Turn of the Cards
Cover design by Hipgnosis, tarot cards by Joe Petagno
Studio album by Renaissance
Released May 1974
Recorded 1974
Studio De Lane Lea Music Center, Wembley, UK
Genre Progressive rock, symphonic rock
Length 40:55
Label BTM (UK)
Sire (North America)
RCA (Europe and Japan)
Producer Renaissance, Dick Plant and Richard Gottehrer
Renaissance chronology
Ashes Are Burning
(1973)Ashes Are Burning1973
Turn of the Cards
Scheherazade and Other Stories
(1975)Scheherazade and Other Stories1975
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Turn of the Cards is the fifth studio album by the British progressive rock band Renaissance, released in 1974. It was the last Renaissance studio album to include excerpts from existing classical pieces.[2]

In the UK, this was the very first release (BTM 1000) on Miles Copeland's fledgling label, BTM Records (British Talent Managers). In 1977, after releasing a total of 10 albums, including 2 more by Renaissance (BTM 1006: Scheherazade and Other Stories, and the double LP, BTM 2001, Live at Carnegie Hall), the label folded due to bankruptcy.[3]

The cover picture features Warwick Castle. The first BTM UK pressings had an alternate back cover, with a moody close-up portrait of Annie Haslam framed in one of the 'cards'. Later pressings, and in the US, a rather bland picture consistent in style and size with the other members portraits were added.

"Things I Don't Understand" was founder member Jim McCarty's last contribution to the band. "Running Hard" quotes a melodic phrase first used in "Mr. Pine" from the Illusion album, as well as the piece "Litanies" by French composer Jehan Alain. The music to "Cold Is Being" is taken entirely from "Adagio in G minor" (attributed to Tomaso Albinoni) and, contrary to the album credits, was not composed by Michael Dunford; it was, however credited in the back notes ("Thanks to Jehan Alain for the opening piece of RUNNING HARD and Albinoni for COLD IS BEING").[4] "Mother Russia" is cited by Jon Camp as being a case where he made major compositional contributions without being credited for them.[5]

Some credits on the original album were later inexplicably cropped: "Many thanks to Miles Copeland, Julian, Shirley" had originally read, "Many thanks to Miles Copeland, Julian, Shirley, Richard and Natalie Halem."

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Michael Dunford and Betty Thatcher, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Running Hard" Dunford, Thatcher[nb 1] 9:36
2. "I Think of You"   3:08
3. "Things I Don't Understand" Dunford, Jim McCarty 9:28
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
4. "Black Flame"   6:25
5. "Cold Is Being" Dunford, Thatcher[nb 2] 3:02
6. "Mother Russia"   9:18



  • Annie Haslam – lead and backing vocals
  • Michael Dunford – acoustic guitar, backing vocals
  • Jon Camp (listed as "John Camp") – bass, co-lead vocals on track 3, backing vocals
  • John Tout – keyboards, backing vocals
  • Terence Sullivan – drums, backing vocals, percussion

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Jimmy Horowitz – orchestral arrangements


  • Dick Plant - producer, engineer
  • Richard Gottehrer - producer
  • Douglas Bogie, Mike Pela - assistant engineers
  • Jeffrey Lesser - remix engineer at Mediasound Studios, New York
  • Hipgnosis - cover design


  1. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Renaissance - Turn of the Cards review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Liner notes from the Tales of 1001 Nights compilations
  3. ^ Liner notes from CD reissue.
  4. ^ Turn of the Cards Lyrics
  5. ^ "Jon Camp Interview 2012". 


  1. ^ The introduction to the song is borrowed from "Litanies" by Jehan Alain.
  2. ^ The music to this song taken from "Litanies" Adagio in G minor" by Tomaso Albinoni.