Title - 'Annie In Wonderland: Remastered'
Artist - Annie Haslam
For those not in the know, Annie Haslam is an English vocalist, songwriter, and painter who is best known as the lead singer of progressive rock band Renaissance since 1971; and for her long and diverse solo singing career.
Indeed, she has a five-octave vocal range and from 2002, Haslam has developed a parallel career as a visual artist, producing paintings on canvas, painted musical instruments, and giclées.
Esoteric Recordings have just released (October 4th, 2019) the release of a newly re-mastered edition of the 1977 debut solo album by the celebrated vocalist, Annie Haslam.
Recorded in London whilst Renaissance were taking a break from recording and touring, the album was produced by legendary musician and songwriter Roy Wood (who also wrote three songs and played a staggering variety of instruments on the recordings).
The album also featured two compositions by Jon Camp of Renaissance and three cover versions, including a stunning rendition of the spiritual ‘Going Home’.
1. 'Introlise (If I Were Made of Music)'
2. 'I Never Believed in Love'
3. 'If I Loved You'
6. 'Nature Boy'
7. 'Inside My Life'
8. 'Going Home'
Now featuring some rather crystalline pure digital remastering efforts, which mean you will (as a devoted fan) most certainly pick up on sounds you had never heard before within each song, Annie Haslam's wondrous (albeit not chart exciting) Annie In Wonderland is, from start to finish a right royal beauty, if you ask me!
Whimsical, fanciful, and verging on precious, tracks such as 'If I Loved You' and the adventurous 'Nature Boy' ensure that Haslam gets right to the heart of these beautifully, soulful songs.
Furthermore, Roy Wood, who as mentioned, also wrote some of the material, arranged all the songs, played nearly all of the instruments and such actually is an uncredited lead vocal on 'I Never Believed in Love'.
Oh, and he also illustrated the cover!
The album features a range of musical styles enabling Haslam to experiment with vocal styles outside the ethos of Renaissance. The range for which Haslam is well-known is still apparent, however, especially in the showcase number 'Rockalise'.
Sadly though, as aforementioned, the album peaked at a low #167 on the Billboard pop albums chart of the time, which meant it died a death, to be quite honest.
Which is why I'm happy as a clam that Esoteric Recordings have remastered it and brought it out once again for a whole new generation to enjoy. I mean, come on now, the London Welsh Male Voice Chorus on the album closer 'Going Home' is worth the price of admission alone!
Official CD Purchase Link