"Ashes Are Burning" by Renaissance, a groundbreaking 12" LP vinyl under the Sovereign Capitol Records label, mesmerizes with progressive rock brilliance. Released in 1973, this album marked a pivotal moment for Renaissance, introducing orchestral accompaniment on select tracks. With ethereal melodies and intricate compositions, the band elevates the listening experience, solidifying their place in the world of progressive rock. A harmonious blend of innovation and artistry, "Ashes Are Burning" remains a testament to Renaissance's musical prowess.


High Resolution Photo #1 RENAISSANCE Ashes are Burning

Renaissance's "Ashes Are Burning": A Symphonic Masterpiece of Progressive Rock
Album Description:

In 1973, amidst the vibrant tapestry of progressive rock's golden era, the British band Renaissance released their fourth studio album, "Ashes Are Burning." This marked a pivotal moment in the band's musical journey and solidified their position as pioneers of symphonic progressive rock.

A Sonic Landscape of Orchestral Grandeur

Renaissance's sound was a unique blend of rock, folk, and classical influences. "Ashes Are Burning" showcased the band's ability to seamlessly integrate orchestral arrangements with their signature rock instrumentation, creating a rich and textured sonic landscape. The album's six tracks are a testament to the band's musical ambition and their willingness to push the boundaries of genre.

Musical Exploration and Genre Fusion

The album's centerpiece, the 11-minute epic "Ashes Are Burning," is a masterclass in progressive rock songwriting. The track's intricate structure, soaring vocals, and lush orchestration create a powerful and emotive listening experience. The album also features shorter, more concise tracks like "Carpet of the Sun" and "Let It Grow," which showcase the band's ability to craft memorable melodies and engaging rhythms.

The Production Team and Recording Process

The album was produced by Dick Plant, known for his work with artists like Black Sabbath and Traffic. The recording sessions took place at De Lane Lea Studios in London, where the band collaborated with a full orchestra to bring their ambitious vision to life. Controversies and Critical Reception

While "Ashes Are Burning" received critical acclaim for its musicality and ambition, it also sparked some debate among progressive rock purists. Some argued that the band's use of orchestral arrangements diluted their rock sound, while others praised them for their innovative approach to genre fusion.

Historical Context and Impact

Released at a time when progressive rock was at its peak of popularity, "Ashes Are Burning" solidified Renaissance's position as one of the genre's leading lights. The album's ambitious scope and artistic vision resonated with a generation of music fans seeking something beyond the confines of traditional rock. While it may not have achieved the commercial success of some of its contemporaries, the album remains a testament to Renaissance's enduring legacy as pioneers of symphonic progressive rock.

Music Genre:

Prog Rock 

Album Production information:

The album: "RENAISSANCE - Ashes are Burning Sovereign Capitol" was produced by: Dick Plant Renaissance , Richard Coldblatt

Album cover design: Hipgnosis

Hipgnosis was an English art group founded in 1968 by Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell, and Peter Christopherson. The group was known for their innovative and creative album covers, which became iconic in the music industry. Hipgnosis worked with some of the most influential musicians of their time, including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Yes.


The group's name, "Hipgnosis," was a play on the words "hypnosis" and "hip." They believed that their art had the power to hypnotize people and transport them to another world, which was reflected in their album covers. The group's style was surreal and often incorporated elements of fantasy, science fiction, and the occult. Their designs were highly detailed and often required extensive planning and preparation.

One of the group's most famous album covers was for Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon." The cover featured a prism refracting light into a rainbow, which became one of the most recognizable images in rock history. The design was so successful that it became synonymous with the band and their music. Another iconic design was for Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy," which featured a group of naked children climbing on a rock formation. The image was highly controversial but helped to solidify the band's rebellious image.

Hipgnosis also worked with a number of other influential musicians, including Peter Gabriel, Black Sabbath, and Genesis. They designed the cover for Peter Gabriel's first solo album, which featured a photograph of Gabriel wearing a mask with only his eyes visible. The image became another iconic design and was later referenced in Gabriel's music video for "Sledgehammer."

The group's success continued into the 1980s, with designs for bands such as Scorpions and Styx. However, the rise of digital technology and the decline of album sales led to the group's decline. Hipgnosis disbanded in 1983, but their legacy lives on in the countless album covers they created.

Hipgnosis was not just an art group, but a collective of artists who had a significant impact on the music industry. Their innovative designs helped to define the visual style of rock music in the 1970s and 1980s. Their work was not just a complement to the music, but an essential part of the overall experience. They created a world that fans could enter into and lose themselves in, just like the music they were listening to.

Here is a web-page with a gallery of album covers created by Hipgnosis


Record Label Information:

Sovereign Capitol ST-11216

Media Format:

12" LP Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  

Year and Country:

1973 Made in England
Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: RENAISSANCE - Ashes are Burning Sovereign Capitol
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Annie Haslam - lead & 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
  • Michael Dunford - acoustic guitar
Complete Track-listing of the album "RENAISSANCE - Ashes are Burning Sovereign Capitol"

The detailed tracklist of this record "RENAISSANCE - Ashes are Burning Sovereign Capitol" is:

    Track-listing :
  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
High Quality Photo of Album Front Cover  "RENAISSANCE - Ashes are Burning Sovereign Capitol"
High Resolution Photo #1 RENAISSANCE Ashes are Burning   
Album Back Cover  Photo of "RENAISSANCE - Ashes are Burning Sovereign Capitol"
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Inner Sleeve   of "RENAISSANCE - Ashes are Burning Sovereign Capitol" Album
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Photo of "RENAISSANCE - Ashes are Burning Sovereign Capitol" Album's Inner Sleeve  
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Close-up Photo of "RENAISSANCE - Ashes are Burning Sovereign Capitol" Record Label 
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 Note: The photos on this page are of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).