Thursday, August 7, 2008

Coming up to bat...Renaissance's 'Time-Line'...the album and other material

[This is a repost, with some editing of a recent article I sent over to a Yahoo Group in re: 'Time-Line' the last Renaissance album prior to Jon Camp eventually leaving and 'Tuscany' being released in 2000 ]

To these ears, upon much further review, Time-Line is not really that bad an album, if the cheesiness factor is taken away. What I mean is that yes there are a few pieces on it which are way out of character, but by the same token one can imagine some person out there remixing a 'funkier' version of let's say 'Orient Express'. How did yours truly come to this? More or less it is repeated listening to the CD version on the walkman while shuttling between doctor's offices over the past 3-4months [no sympathy being elicited here, just stating the fact] and thinking 'gee if they had only released _______ at this time'. But that is just speculation...which is part of being a fan of any band. There were at least 3, maybe 4 tunes on the disc that, with a little improvement could have made air and not seem out of place ['Flight', 'Distant Horizons' , 'The Entertainer' and the above mentioned, 'Orient Express'].

Secondly, it is amazing how some of the concert discs, even though they were recorded close to 20 years ago still stand up and how fresh the memories of seeing Ren on Camera Camera or Time-Line were and are. For example, I put the Time-Line concert on and I am back in NYC...sitting at the Palladium watching them on that Saturday evening going through not just the new material, but also the pieces that had not been played in concert for years. Let alone the of the few times that there is an ovation for a line from a song that mentions the state of New Jersey [referring to the song 'America', '...counting the cars onthe New Jersey Turnpike...' which while part of the closing set...really SHOULD have been released as a single]. Considering what is now passing for music from other bands...hearing these just stands as a reminder of how special Annie, Jon, Mickey, John, Terry and the myriad others who worked alongside them were.

Finally a few weeks back, I was in the market doing my usual shopping and had the Time-Line 'My Father's Place' disc going on in the headphones. Depending on where I am, I may just start whistling along with the tunes and then ,when the spirit hits, start playing an air Rickenbacker bass [Ok...'Great White'] along with Jon's riffs. Which makes for a rather interesting picture when one is in the diary aisle, deciding on Cheddar, Swiss or Provolone and they see this person in a close state of near possession playing along with the bassline from the abbreviated version of 'Touching Once'. Anyhow, I moved onto one of the next aisle and one of the clerks there had noticed I was whistling and was wondering what it was. I then went into a Cliff-Notes version of who Renaissance was, what concert this was I had on and the fact that the last album that was released was 'Tuscany' and that they have since ceased recording. Now who knows, I may have turned another person onto one of the best bands there ever was and this may happen again if someone notices me in the store playing an air-Addamas 12 string and wonders 'what is she on?'

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