CD Review: Annie Haslam / Louis Clark - Still Life

First published in Music Reviews by

MARRYING classical and popular music is generally a good thing, and this album shows that type of marriage at its’ very best.

The idea is simple; get Louis Clark, the string arranger and the man behind the ‘Hooked On Classics’ albums, to record a number of classical favourites with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Then get the lead singer of rock band Renaissance Annie Haslam to sing lyrics written by the band’s lyricist Betty Thatcher, and you’ve got musical magic.

Annie has just the right voice for classical works, and after singing in local pubs and with a cabaret band, she actually trained under the opera singer Sybil Knight.

The young Annie joined Renaissance in 1971, and her voice – which has a five-octave range – helped the band to success, which reached it’s commercial high-point with the top ten hit Northern Lights.

Excellent solo albums followed – including a debut album called Annie in Wonderland which was recorded with Roy Wood.

Still Life was recorded and originally released in 1985 and features such classical greats as Bach’s Air On a G String, Satie’s Gymnopodie and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

Saint Saens, Wagner, Chopin and Mozart also get a look in as the Haslam voice soars beyond imagination.

This reissue has been remastered and comes with a bonus disc of instrumental versions of all tracks.

Gonzo Multimedia. HST073CD.

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