HiRez Poll Renaissance - AZURE D'OR [Blu-ray Audio]

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Rate the BDA of Renaissance - AZURE D'OR

  • 8

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 7

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  • 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5

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  • 4

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  • 3

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  • 2

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  • 1: Terrible Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    17

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this new reissue of the classic Renaissance album "Azure D'Or".
The album has been newly remixed in 5.1 surround by our friend @Stephen W Tayler.

(y) :) (n)

Renaissance-Azure-Dor-COVER-LRG-min.jpg
 
I don't have any Renaissance albums and this is the first time I really listened to the group. This album is a very nice fusion of Prog and Pop. I really like it. No run-songs. The material begs for multi-channel treatment, and Stephen's 5.1 mix is excellent.

The lead singer, Annie Haslam...what a voice! I usually don't watch the videos that come in these sets, but I wanted to see her perform. She often sings with her hands on her hips.

It's so nice to discover an older album like this. As with a number of albums, I probably would have missed out had it not been released in multi-channel.
 
This first time I ever heard this album and I find it very enjoyable. I have several Renaissance albums and this might be my new favorite. Songs are catchy. I just love The Winter Tree. Solid album from start to finish. I think it's one of the better late 70's prog album. Mix is excellent. I like the clamshell. You get two booklets! I'm quite happy with this purchase. I give it a 9.
 
I first heard Renaissance when they performed "Carpet of the Sun" on The Midnight Special back in the mid/late 1970's. Of course, fell in love with Annie Haslam's voice, but it was the big sound with great orchestrations that made me a huge fan. "Novella" is still probably one of my desert island discs. (Shame the masters were lost for that recording.) Azure d'Or was the last recording with the classic line up, with a completely different direction from what they had been doing. With David Henschel's "success" at turning Genesis into more of a pop act, it seems a similar thought was behind his production here. Gone were the long complex songs and the orchestrations, replaced by electronic keyboards, and instead were shorter more radio friendly songs. There are still some wonderful songs on this album. "Jekyll And Hyde," "The Winter Tree," and "Kalynda" are all great songs, and Annie's voice never sounded better. However, I REALLY enjoyed Stephen W. Tayler's mix of this. It breathed new life into the old songs. For example, "Only Angels Have Wings" I always thought sounded like a Camel reject. The vocals by Jon Camp were weak, especially compared to Annie's. But Stephen's mix fills the room with sound and brings out the best in the music. I thoroughly enjoyed his mix of the entire album. The best praise I can give is when something sounds new, even after listening to something for dozens of times. That is the case here. It was like hearing it for the first time. So I give the mix a solid 10. Content an 8, for a total of 9.
 
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I guess it's about time that I review a multi-channel release of mine. Being a longtime Renaissance fan I bought many of their releases on vinyl "a few years ago", including Azure d'Or. As mentioned by others, this release was a departure from their more classical music influenced ones in an attempt to remain relevant (and obviously make a living in the process!) While as many were at the time I'm sure, I was a bit taken aback by the "glossiness/sheen" of the production. However, the more I listened the more it grew on me as some of the songs have absolutely beautiful melodies. Not to mention the fact that this is a) Annie Haslam singing, b) a group of consummate musicians backing her in the classic lineup of this legendary group. But what about this surround sound release you ask. I'll say this and I say it in all seriousness...I was literally smiling while listening to much of it. In my non-professional opinion Mr. Stephen Tayler did a very good job with the 5.1 remaster, with the end result being a pretty impressive discrete mix overall. Sure, I guess the multi-channel aspect could have been even more pronounced (as could be the case with many releases), but I suspect he struck a happy medium here especially for those familiar with these songs from long ago. I think it's a wonderful release with the sturdy box, 2 booklets, etc. There are very few multi-channel releases that I would give a 10, however it's a 9 in my book! Kudos to Cherry Red Records and all involved.
 
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Although it's very different from early albums, other than Live at Carnegie Hall, it remains my favorite album since the live album. and I've long awaited its surround mix. My favorite track has always been Kalynda since its refrain is double tracked and harmonized by Annie herself, and that angelic voice times 3, wow, and in an amazing surround mix, amazing!!! Overall a 10 remix for me!!!
 
I finally bought this album last week and I've been spinning it a lot in the past few days, starting with the original mix, then the stereo remix, then the 5.1 mix. Wow, the stereo remix was already a revelation. Brings out so many details that were kinda hidden on the original mix (which, by the way, isn't bad at all in my view, but sounds a bit dated). The 5.1 builds on that and expands the soundstage and instrument clarity in a very tasteful way. It's not wild but, as I said in my review of the Turn of the Cards set, I think that's the way to showcase Renaissance in surround sound. Nicely discrete but nothing too crazy - it's pretty much like it had sounded in my head before listening to it. It sounds so lush and pristine now that it makes me smile every time I listen to it in this format. It makes the album sound less dated as well, and it's easier to realize that there are still some stunning songs here despite the stylistic change.

Another plus is the video content. It's been wonderfully restored and looks amazing on my 4K OLED TV. Love the acoustic rendition of Forever Changing.

My only gripe is that both the stereo and surround remixes seem to have been mastered a bit too loud for my tastes, and clearly louder that the original mix remaster. They're definitely not brickwalled, so it's not terrible by any means, but could have been better. Anyway, it hardly detracts from my enjoyment as it still sounds really good. Oh, and the tracklist for the video content is printed differently on the box and on the booklet, and BOTH are wrong :ROFLMAO:

Again, I always find these clamshell style boxes a bit cheap in looks and feel but on the other hand the content is terrific, the extras (bonus tracks, video content and really nice liner notes) are absolutely worth getting and what Stephen W Tayler did here is a gift for any Renaissance fan. This gets a strong 9 from me.

If only the full multitracks from the other Renaissance albums had been available :cry:
 
I finally bought this album last week and I've been spinning it a lot in the past few days, starting with the original mix, then the stereo remix, then the 5.1 mix. Wow, the stereo remix was already a revelation. Brings out so many details that were kinda hidden on the original mix (which, by the way, isn't bad at all in my view, but sounds a bit dated). The 5.1 builds on that and expands the soundstage and instrument clarity in a very tasteful way. It's not wild but, as I said in my review of the Turn of the Cards set, I think that's the way to showcase Renaissance in surround sound. Nicely discrete but nothing too crazy - it's pretty much like it had sounded in my head before listening to it. It sounds so lush and pristine now that it makes me smile every time I listen to it in this format. It makes the album sound less dated as well, and it's easier to realize that there are still some stunning songs here despite the stylistic change.

Another plus is the video content. It's been wonderfully restored and looks amazing on my 4K OLED TV. Love the acoustic rendition of Forever Changing.

My only gripe is that both the stereo and surround remixes seem to have been mastered a bit too loud for my tastes, and clearly louder that the original mix remaster. They're definitely not brickwalled, so it's not terrible by any means, but could have been better. Anyway, it hardly detracts from my enjoyment as it still sounds really good. Oh, and the tracklist for the video content is printed differently on the box and on the booklet, and BOTH are wrong :ROFLMAO:

Again, I always find these clamshell style boxes a bit cheap in looks and feel but on the other hand the content is terrific, the extras (bonus tracks, video content and really nice liner notes) are absolutely worth getting and what Stephen W Tayler did here is a gift for any Renaissance fan. This gets a strong 9 from me.

If only the full multitracks from the other Renaissance albums had been available :cry:
Yes, a wonderful release on all accounts in my opinion (including the clamshell packaging:).) Per my earlier comments, I think the 5.1 mix is very good and has only increased my enjoyment of a "lesser" release of theirs. You're right...it really is a shame that the multitracks for their other efforts aren't available for other releases that are comparable to this one audio-wise.
 
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