Annie Haslam - Annie in Wonderland

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former MLO owner/operator
Dec 27, 2004
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Rancho Mirage, California
Artist: Annie Haslam
Title: Annie in Wonderland
Year of Release: 1978
Record Label: Warner Bros.
Genre: "Symphonic Rock" (hmmm.. not sure about this, but that's what it says on wikipedia)
Notes: $6.99 via iTunes

We all know that electrostatic loudspeakers shine when it comes to reproducing the female voice. Well, they will really shine when listening to anything by this wonderful singer Annie Haslam.

I learned of Annie Haslam from my motorcycle mechanic. I walked into his shop and coming thru his stereo system was one of the most beautiful voices I think I have ever heard. I inquired who it was and he told me it was a band called Renaissance. "Never heard of 'em", I said, and so began my discovery of this amazing voice.

I asked a friend if He'd ever heard of her and his response was this:

"She was the front vocalist for a '70s band called Renaissance (I have a bunch of their stuff on vinyl) and then split off in the '80s for a solo career. Her voice is a sweet, pure soprano, similar in tone to the women from The Sundays and Mazzie Star, only brighter, higher...

I love her sound, even if she has produced a lot of EuroPop trash...

From Wikipedia:

Annie Haslam (born 8 June 1944) is an English progressive rock vocalist and songwriter.

She was born in Bolton, Lancashire. Originally a fashion student, she began studying under opera singer Sybil Knight in 1970 and developed her extraordinary five-octave vocal range. In 1971, she became the lead singer of Renaissance after answering an ad in a magazine and auditioning for the band in Surrey.

In 1977, she began her solo career with her album Annie in Wonderland, produced by Roy Wood who played most of the instruments, and who also duetted with her on one track, and also performed on the one-shot Intergalactic Touring Band album. Haslam and Wood were later married for a while. She has since released eight studio albums, three of which were released through her own record label, White Dove. She has also collaborated with Steve Howe on a number of projects.

In 1993 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she survived and which became the inspiration for her 1994 album Blessing in Disguise.[1]

Her latest release, Live Studio Concert, has also been released as her first solo DVD. Annie Haslam released an EP called Night and Day, her first solo recording for some years, with Welsh rock band Magenta in 2006. The song was specially written for her by the band.

Annie Haslam currently resides in Central Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

I downloaded several of the Renaissance CDs, my favorite so far is "Ashes are Burning" and have ordered several more of them from and am
awaiting their arrival. I began to investigate Annie and her career and like my friend said, she made many solo CDs that were pop-trash, but "Annie in Wonderland"
was her first and it was produced by Roy Wood, of ELO and was said to be one of her best. I looked for it and the CD is very hard to come by, but it was available on iTunes for 6.99, so I immediately bought it and listened to it several times.

Annie's voice is so beautiful and this disc is phenomenal from start to finish. Stand outs are "Nature Boy" and the last track on the disc, Dvorak's "Going Home", which nearly brought me to tears.

This one is a MUST HAVE!


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Tom, a huge +1 on Annie and Renaissance. I've been a fan since the '70's and had the great pleasure of hearing them in concert at the Greek Theater. If you want the very best SQ, pick up the Repertoire remasters

So far, they've published everything up thru Scheherazade. God willing, Novella will be next, etc. Ashes are Burning has been remastered particularly well.
I have all the Renaissance recordings issued on vinyl. I saw them at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan with Al Stewart ("Year of the Cat") sometime in the 70's. They were a staple of early free-form FM rock radio. One (or more) of their disks is on the Absolute Sound's list of recommended recordings.
One (or more) of their disks is on the Absolute Sound's list of recommended recordings.
Novella, I believe. I, too, have them all on vinyl, including the MoFi Scheherazade, though I haven't had a turntable in 20 years.:eek:
My shipment from Germany came today!

I went home for lunch..

While eating my meatloaf sammich, the doorbell rang.. It was the mailman… I had to sign for the CDs from Repertoire Records (Germany)... LUCKY I was home!


Renaissance – Renaissance (their First CD)
Renaissance – Prologue
Renaissance - Turn of the Cards
Renaissance - Illusion
Renaissance – Ashes are Burning
Renaissance - Scheherazade and Other Stories

I quickly ripped their debut, Prologue, Turn of the Cards and Illusion and got them on my iPhone so I could listen to them all afternoon back at the office.

Later, I’ll rip them into a lossless format for critical listening on the Summits.

“Turn of the Cards” is on right now… her voice is just so lovely. Thanks for the link!! Money well spent..
Tom, you won't find Annie on Illusion.:( The band was formed initially by ex-Yardbirds and the lead vocals were performed by Keith Relf and his sister, Jane. The band was in flux, as Dunford joined for their second, Illusion. The third album, Prologue, was the first to incorporate Annie and the rest of the "popular" Renaissance crew.

Haslam and Dunford's harmonies toward the end of "Things I Don't Understand" on Turn of the Cards always send shivers up my spine. One of those magical, musical moments, of which there are many on these albums.
Yep.. I'm listening to the here at work on my iPhone... Illusion and Prologue are good, but no Annie!! :mad: That's OK.. Turn of the Cards is VERY good... WOW. "Black Flame" and "Mother Russia" tracks are so good.. Whole CD is so good, really...
The pop music critics of the day were not particularly kind to Renaissance.* One of their songs (I believe it's called "The Vultures Fly High") is a diatribe against the critics who attacked their music. That song is on the Album Scheherazade.
just discovered that they put out a new CD last year (2013) and I just bought the digital version (FLAC) and am listening to it now.. My jaw is on the floor.. full review in the next few days... WOW.
Looking forward to it, Tom. Was sad to see Michael Dunford had passed away in late 2012.

I keep hoping Steven Wilson will get 'round to remastering one of the classic Renaissance albums, but his tastes seem to lay elsewhere.