Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Illusion picture
Illusion biography
As the YARDBIRDS were disintegrating, most of the attention was focused on their guitarists Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page and the what lay in the future for them. But for progressive rock fans, the real interest will be what the remaining members would do. Singer Keith Relf and drummer Jim McCarty will assemble a new group - RENAISSANCE - and make drastically changed musical orientation mixing folk influences with rock and classical music. Another ex-YARDBIRDS bassist Paul Samwell-Smith will produce the band.

Their first album called "Island" will create the mould for all succeeding record that band will make. The group will also comprise Jane Relf (Keith's sister) John Hawken and Louis Cennamo. They will disband after a second album that only got released at the time in Germany. Relf will then join MEDECINE HEAD, Cennamo will join STEAMHAMMER then Both will form ARMAGEDDON for one album. Then in 76 , most of the original line-up of RENAISSANCE will regroup to attempt to pick-up where they had left off in 71 but Keith died electrocuted while rehearsal. The remaining members carried on, managing to find the same spirit of those earlier RENAISSANCE days but they did add an electric guitarist. By that time the second RENAISSANCE line-up had done six or seven albums and the two groups sounded much alike, but the public did not pay much attention to the newcomers. So they folded after two albums. Recently, ILLUSION released a new record.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

ILLUSION forum topics / tours, shows & news

ILLUSION forum topics Create a topic now
ILLUSION tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "illusion"
Post an entries now

ILLUSION Videos (YouTube and more)

Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to ILLUSION


Out Of The Mist /  IllusionOut Of The Mist / Illusion
$46.86 (used)
Limited Edition
Universal Japan 2005
$30.88 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Sarah McLachlan - Laws Of Illusion - Rare Promotional Giveaway CD - 1224 USD $4.99 Buy It Now
1979 Axe "Life's Just an Illusion" 45 RPM PROMO Single (MCA Records) NM+ USD $6.95 Buy It Now
Chastain ?- Mystery Of Illusion RARE CD! FREE SHIPPING! USD $22.00 Buy It Now
BLIND ILLUSION the sane asylum LP 1988 N.E.W Musidisc ?- 100812 USD $29.00 Buy It Now
Guns n Roses - Use Your Illusion II - NEW & SEALED VINYL 2-LP - Czech reissue USD $24.49 Buy It Now
Styx The Grand Illusion USD $7.95 Buy It Now
SHIRABE, Inoue - Automatic Illusion EP - Vinyl (12") USD $17.30 Buy It Now
The Leavin' Trains 10" Color Vinyl record w/Original Cover-LOSER ILLUSION PT. 0 USD $12.00 Buy It Now
Use Your Illusion I by Guns N' Roses (CD, Sep-1991, Geffen) USD $4.65 Buy It Now
Guns n Roses Vintage Get In The Ring Tour Shirt 1991-1992 sz L Use Your Illusion USD $53.90 [0 bids]
GUNS N' ROSES Use Your Illusion II GEFC24420 Cassette Tape USD $12.99 Buy It Now
Styx the grand illusion 33RPM SP4637 121816LLE USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion 2 Mega Rare Malaysia Cassette CS1725 USD $30.00 Buy It Now
Gun's N Roses - Use Your Illusion II / GEFD-24420 / CD USD $12.00 Buy It Now
STYX **Grand Illusion **BRAND NEW 180 GRAM RECORD LP VINYL USD $18.98 Buy It Now
Guns N' Roses 6 CD Live Greatest Hits Spaghetti Incident Lies Use your Illusion USD $11.99 [0 bids]
USD $15.99 Buy It Now
Illusion Orchestra - Autumn Leaves / Backtrackin' - R&B Records RBS-212 Ex USD $2.93 Buy It Now
The Sweetest Illusion by Basia (CD, May-1994, Epic) FAST FREE SHIPPING USD $4.69 Buy It Now
Christ Illusion [PA] by Slayer (CD, Aug-2006, American Recordings (USA)) USD $10.00 Buy It Now
Styx: The Grand Illusion - 8 Track Tape Cartridge USD $17.99 Buy It Now
Guns n Roses illusion longbox box cd rock metal gnr rare USD $50.00 [0 bids]
junior campbell - sweet illusion/ode to Karen USD $1.33 [0 bids]
LAWS OF ILLUSION Sarah McLachlan (CD, Jun-2010, Arista) NEW USD $6.99 Buy It Now
Starch, Michael: Illusion Audio CD USD $5.98 Buy It Now
Styx - The Grand Illusion Vinyl Record LP - 1977 - Rock USD $11.01 Buy It Now
Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion II 2LP NEW USD $24.99 Buy It Now
Illusion's Carnival 2002 by Sage USD $5.56 Buy It Now
Taylor & Spahn Loving Illusion Label: Sonopresse AB 46.901 Vinyl 7inch Single USD $16.13 [0 bids]
Use Your Illusion I [PA] by Guns N' Roses (Cassette, Sep-1991, Geffen) USD $7.19 Buy It Now
SHAZAM ! The Mighty Dr. Illusion #2372 Little LP 1977 Factory Sealed USD $30.00 Buy It Now
1 FROM LIGHTLY USED BATCH of CDs * BASIA The Sweetest Illusion *As Many still $3 USD $2.50 Buy It Now
K-Pop M.I.B. - Illusion (EP) (MIB01EP) USD $12.49 Buy It Now
Janis Ian, That Grand Illusion ~ 1978 Columbia promo 45 USD $1.00 Buy It Now
Stoned Again Rolling Stones Dutch vinyl LP album record ILLUSION006 IMAGINARY USD $39.01 Buy It Now
Destruction...Lies...The Road To Illusion - Sealed Guns N Roses box set GER USD $176.31 Buy It Now
Destruction...Lies...The Road To Illusion Guns N Roses German box set GED24434 USD $108.94 Buy It Now
BILLY ECKSTINE - Blue Illusion / Oh, My Pretty, Pretty - 1957 PROMO VG+ USD $3.85 Buy It Now
Orient Express - Illusion CD Motorpsycho, God Machine mood, strong 60s psyche USD $4.97 Buy It Now
NEW Raja - Dance Illusion [Belly Dance-Disco-Funk] (Vinyl LP 1984) FREE SHIPPING USD $46.99 Buy It Now
7 Styx CD's, Grand Illusion, Equinox,Cornerstone,Crystal Ball, & more USD $9.99 [1 bids]
Guns N Roses tour programme Use Your Illusion Tour UK TOUR PROGRAMME USD $38.33 Buy It Now
5m 40s
Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion II * NEW CD Album * Guns and USD $11.99 Buy It Now 8m 30s
Kenji's Illusion / Kenji no Gentou - Rare 1995 Tomohiko Kira Concept Album [CD] USD $39.99 Buy It Now 8m 38s
Willerby Rhythm Sisters vinyl LP album record UK ILLUSION027 IMAGINARY RECORDS USD $18.80 Buy It Now 9m 6s
Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I * NEW CD Album * Guns and & Roses (pa) USD $11.99 Buy It Now 16m 13s
Tee Mac featuring Majorie Barnes Night Illusion LP sealed vinyl + download RE USD $34.98 Buy It Now 20m 35s
new Illusion of Progress [ECD] by Staind (CD, Aug-2008, Atlantic) USD $19.99 Buy It Now 22m 43s
Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion I 1991 Geffen CD RARE USD $5.00 [0 bids]
34m 6s
Milk Music - Cruise Your Illusion [New CD] USD $13.46 Buy It Now 41m 3s
Guns N Roses 1991 US Tour Shirt Use Your Illusion Small USD $6.72 [0 bids]
45m 39s
Wickman Road - After The Rain (2016) AOR, Grand Illusion, Stage Dolls, Da Vinci USD $15.99 Buy It Now 1h 20m
Vintage Sealed Styx The Grand Illusion Vinyl Record! 1977! New! USD $7.00 [0 bids]
1h 21m
Imagination ?- Just An Illusion (The 1989 Remix), 12" USD $5.38 [0 bids]
1h 28m
Guns N' Roses ?- Use Your Illusion II...double Lp' 1991 ..Geffen Records USD $15.50 [8 bids]
1h 39m
GUS N' ROSES - Use Your Illusion I, 180 Gram 2LP BLACK VINYL + Download NEW! USD $23.99 Buy It Now 2h
Styx Grand Illusion Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-009 audiophile vinyl lp USD $20.50 [4 bids]
2h 2m
Illusion - Eero Q. Koivistoinen Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $19.24 Buy It Now 2h 17m
HEAR IT FUNK MODERN SOUL Illusion Of A Band JAS Star 0001 Party With You USD $100.00 Buy It Now 2h 38m
Love's Illusion Music From Montpellier Codex 13th Anonymous 4 Harmonia Mundi CD USD $6.99 [0 bids]
USD $9.99 Buy It Now
3h 22m
STYX - The Grand Illusion [Vinyl LP, 1977] USA Import SP-4637 Prog Rock *EXC* USD $13.45 Buy It Now 3h 26m
Hurricane #1 Just Another Illusion UK 2-CD single (Double CD single) USD $13.66 Buy It Now 3h 36m
Just An Illusion - The 1989 Remix Imagination UK 7" vinyl single record USD $13.39 Buy It Now 3h 51m
Isotope Illusion vinyl LP album record UK GULP1006 GULL 1974 USD $25.53 Buy It Now 3h 52m
STYX The Grand Illusion 8 Track Progressive Classic Rock Come Sail Away TESTED USD $14.95 Buy It Now 3h 58m
Guns N' Roses / Use Your Illusion l / Geffen MVCG 43 / JAPAN CD OBI C081 USD $9.99 [0 bids]
4h 14m
Guns N Roses Use Your Illusion II - 18... UK 2-LP (Double ) USD $59.62 Buy It Now 4h 18m
Shangri-La - A Tribute To The Kinks Kinks vinyl LP album record UK ILLUSION003 USD $25.53 Buy It Now 4h 20m
Slayer - Christ Illusion CD 2006 American Recordings USD $2.25 [2 bids]
4h 20m
The Illusion LP~self titled~Original Shrink Wrap~EXCELLENT~ USD $3.99 [1 bids]
4h 21m
Paradise Lost - Tragic Illusion 25 CD 2013 death doom Century Media USD $14.95 Buy It Now 4h 22m
Styx The Grand Illusion Chuck Panozzo Autographed LP Record Album 2007 JSA USD $40.00 [0 bids]
4h 27m
Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion II CASSETTE TAPE KOREA EDITION SEALED USD $39.99 Buy It Now 4h 27m
Use Your Illusion I by Guns N' Roses (Rock), Guns N' Roses (CD, Sep-1991, Gef... USD $4.99 Buy It Now 4h 30m
Hurricane #1 Just Another Illusion CD single (CD5 / 5") UK CRESCD264 CREATION USD $12.79 Buy It Now 4h 34m
Hurricane #1 Just Another Illusion Mixes CD single (CD5 / 5") UK CRESCD264X USD $12.79 Buy It Now 4h 34m
Sweetest Illusion, Basia USD $6.73 Buy It Now 4h 38m
Turtle Soup Mock Turtles Dutch vinyl LP album record ILLUSION012 IMAGINARY USD $18.80 Buy It Now 4h 42m
Blind Illusion The Sane Asylum UK vinyl LP album record FLAG18 FLAG ONE 1988 USD $52.48 Buy It Now 4h 48m
Imagination Just An Illusion UK 7" vinyl single record RBS208 R&B RECORDS 1982 USD $13.39 Buy It Now 4h 51m
Imagination Just An Illusion 7" vinyl single record UK RBS208 RRT 1982 USD $16.09 Buy It Now 4h 51m
SLAYER - "Christ Illusion" limited CD + DVD reissue 2008 American Recordings  USD $2.63 [4 bids]
4h 53m
Sarah McLachlan 2-disc CD/DVD set Laws Of Illusion UK 88697719912 SONY MUSIC USD $26.26 Buy It Now 4h 54m
Fox vinyl LP album record Tails Of Illusion UK GTLP006 GTO RECORDS 1975 USD $18.80 Buy It Now 4h 58m
Hurricane #1 Just Another Illusion 7" vinyl single record UK CRE264 CREATION USD $13.39 Buy It Now 4h 59m
Ten More Tales Of Grand Illusion by Balance of Power (CD, Aug-2000) Lance King USD $5.00 [0 bids]
5h 21m
Styx The Grand Illusion and Pieces of 8 Track Cassette Tapes Lot of 2 HD11 USD $29.95 Buy It Now 5h 24m
Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion II Japanese CD / MVCG-44 USD $11.00 Buy It Now 5h 33m
Illusion, Isadora ~ 1977 Island promo 45 USD $3.77 Buy It Now 5h 37m

More places to buy ILLUSION music online Buy ILLUSION & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

ILLUSION discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

ILLUSION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.43 | 58 ratings
Out Of The Mist
3.39 | 50 ratings
2.75 | 16 ratings
Enchanted Caress
3.57 | 11 ratings
Through The Fire

ILLUSION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ILLUSION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ILLUSION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.01 | 9 ratings
Out Of The Mist / Illusion

ILLUSION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Enchanted Caress by ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.75 | 16 ratings

Enchanted Caress
Illusion Eclectic Prog

Review by SteveG

2 stars "Enchanted Caress" was supposed to be Illusion's third album of the late seventies. Alas, it shows all the signs of a prog group trying to come up with a radio hit, as pushed by their record company. The demos, recorded in 1979, that make up this album are not terribly bad. They're just not terribly good either.

Sole songwriter and vocalist Jim McCarty tries in vain to bridge the gap between commercial concerns and artistic validation. It seems to succeed until listening to the late Keith Relf's lone demo titled, chillingly, "All The Fallen Angels", which was recorded, presumably, sometime in the early seventies, as Relf died in 1976 prior to Illusion officially forming and recording their first album in 1977. Even with it's hippy overtones, Relf's one demo sound's sincere as compared to McCarty's demos.

Uber keyboardist John Hawken, from the Strawbs' Hero and Heroine fame, is almost completely muted, and makes "Enchanted Caress" all the more harder to endure. Fortunately, his classical piano motifs would return on McCarty's excellent but tongue twisting "Renaissance illusion: Through The Fire" solo/reunion (?!) album released in 2001.

 Through The Fire by ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.57 | 11 ratings

Through The Fire
Illusion Eclectic Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars A wonderful little known album that should be in the possession of every fan of the Mach 1 Renaissance, and band Illusion, featuring Jane Relf as the female voice. This lineup also featured ex Yardbirds Keith Relf (Jane's brother) on guitar and vocals and Jim McCarty on drums and vocals. Filling out this early Renaissance line up was Louis Cennamo on bass and the great John Hawken on piano and keyboards.

All have returned in 2001, save the departed Keith Relf, to help Jim McCarty flesh out this wonderful material that has a deep Renaissance/Illusion spiritual vibe both musically and lyrically. McCarty is the sole songwriter and chief vocalist, with Jane singing warm emotive backing vocals. The star of this album is once again Hawken, who's seems to channel some of the late John Tout's regal touch and excels on piano on every track that features him. Even the two tracks that don't feature Hawkin showoff McCarty's growing skills as pianist, along with his drumming and percussion work on all but one track on this album. Cemanno demonstrates why the Mach 2 Annie Haslam fronted lineup had to be as good or better than the original. The depth of talent, even minus Keith Relf, is so staggering that it makes me wonder why the Mach 1 line up never hit it big in their short time as classical/symphonic proggers.

Guest players handle the mostly acoustic guitar parts admirably and the stand out songs are "One More Turn Of The Wheel" (which probably could have been the title track if it was not so similar sounding tho the Mach 2 group's album tilted Turn Of The Cards), "Good Heart", "Glorious One", "Mystery Of Being", and the album's title track "Through The Fire."

McCarty was an early songwriter for the Mach 2 Renaissance that followed him with songs like "Kiev", "On The Frontier" and "Bound For Infinity", so have no doubts that this album is a must have for fans of both Renaissance and Illusion, as McCarty has crafted a fine album that elegantly bridges the gap between both of those groups.

 Out Of The Mist by ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.43 | 58 ratings

Out Of The Mist
Illusion Eclectic Prog

Review by fudgenuts64

4 stars I'm writing this review mainly for the purpose of potentially getting some people to check this out. If Renaissance is your thing you'll love this. I'm not going into the history of this group in depth, but it comprises of most of the original members from Renaissance mk1. Anyway...

Illusion's first (third?) record, Out of the Mist, is a great late 70s folk prog record. It starts off with Isadora, a haunting track that has has an atmosphere for the ages, and this is something this record REALLY excels out. Atmosphere. It conveys moods so well. The song itself has a vocal duet with Jim McCarty and Jane Relf, and it works wonderfully. It might sound like it came out of the early 70s, but that's okay in my book. Next up is Roads to Freedom, probably a weaker track on the album. This one, along with "Solo Flight" doesn't have the atmosphere I discussed earlier, but it's pleasant enough. Beautiful Country is a fantastic folk ballad, with ominous lyrics and the great harmonies from McCarty and Jane Relf. Mentioned earlier, Solo Flight is a rockier track that, to my ears, falls flat. Thankfully it's over pretty fast. Everywhere You Go is a nice little pop ditty, but nothing remarkable. Now for the last two tracks. Face of Yesterday is a rerecording of the same song on the Illusion album from 1971. This version is much more polished and is as good as the original, keeping the mellow mood intact just fine. Finally, the big one at the end. If Isadora isn't enough to warrant having the record, Candles Are Burning is a tour de force of prog. In seven minutes, you get blazing synths, vocal harmonies at every corner, a hellish guitar solo, and at the end, one of the most powerful uses of the Mellotron I've ever heard by John Hawken which makes the song perfect. An absolute hidden gem of a song.

All and all, aside from a few forgettable tunes, this albums frequent atmospheric moods and attention to melody, vocal harmonies, and it's balancing between light and dark moods make it a nice record to own if you love 70s prog folk albums. While I wouldn't call the entire record "folky" it definitely feels that way most of time, with some obvious symphonic elements. Four folky stars.

 Illusion by ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.39 | 50 ratings

Illusion Eclectic Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars I understand this band's importance in the history of the major prog act Renaissance (they were Renaissance in the beginning), but honestly, there is little if any prog in the music they made since becoming Illusion (maybe that's what the name implies).

This album I find to be slightly more cohesive than their previous album (the first under the new name). But like "Out Of The Mist", this album lacks John Hawken's classical inspired piano that made their debut album as Renaissance such a treat. In fact this album seems to be more of a throwback to the psychedelic pop of the late sixties. There are hints of The Mamas & The Papas, Crosby Stills & Nash, and of course The Yardbirds.

It's pleasant enough as it is, but not terribly interesting, and certainly not memorable.

 Out Of The Mist by ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.43 | 58 ratings

Out Of The Mist
Illusion Eclectic Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars The original lineup made one strong album before they dissolve, and strangely turned into a different band, which became far more popular. In 1977, probably seeing the success that the new band enjoyed, most of the original members regrouped as Illusion.

Keith Relf, the original guitarist, was going to be in this band, but somehow electrocuted himself before they got into the studio. I wonder if this album would have been better had he lived to perform on it.

The debut Renaissance album had strong classical influenced piano playing by Jon Hawken, which led into psychedelic jams. On this album, Hawken rarely stands out. The psychedelic influence is there, and the band sounds like it's trying, especially singer Jane Relf, but the music rarely rises above drab.

The only song that comes close is Candles Are Burning, where Hawken finally shows some of that spirit that he had in 1969.

 Illusion by ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.39 | 50 ratings

Illusion Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The second album from this pre-Renaissance band. The band with Jane Relf as the vocalist. John Hawken did the tangents here too. See the interview.

This album builds neatly on their first album. But the songs here are a bit more varied and a bit more accessible too. The sound is a bit more folk rock too. Jane Relf sings beautifully here too.

Although a different entity, this band called Illusion has a lot of common with Renaissance, sounds wise. This album though is slightly more songs and folk rock focused than the outputs from Renaissance in the same period. The songs on this album is also a great deal shorter too. The best song on this album, The Revolutionary, just clocking in at six minutes. Another song is clocking in at seven minutes and that is as long as it gets.

There is no real weak tracks on this album and the overall quality is really good. With the exceptions of the two closing tracks The Revolutionary and Man of Miracles, there is no real great tracks too. There is some commercial light weighters here too which I don''t think really works out. But this is still a good album and essential for Renaissance fans.

3 stars

 Through The Fire by ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.57 | 11 ratings

Through The Fire
Illusion Eclectic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Silent meditation poses a problem for our constantly plugged in society, since it requires tuning out external stimuli and heeding one's inner voice for a change. One may not always like what one hears, but guided meditation and imagery can be an effective alternative that suffuses the yielding participant. Of course, as in any inward pursuit, that rare commodity of patience is essential, but the potential rewards are worth the sacrifice. Such is the case with this reunion, er- solo , ay - RENAISSANCE ILLUSION disk.

"Through the Fire" is essentially a JIM MCCARTY album consistent with his brilliant "Out of the Dark" (1991), meaning it amply retains the core values of the original RENAISSANCE albums and those of ILLUSION in the late 70s merged with his own tender idealism and spirituality. The main difference from his official solo albums is the presence of most of the contingent from those 70s bands as backing musicians. While JANE RELF sings backup, the main benefit of this reunion is in JOHN HAWKEN's mellifluous keyboards, chiefly piano. These elevate the effects of every song and impose a progressive footprint on what is otherwise a melodic soft rock album.

The most progressive piece here is the opener, the sprawling "Another Turn of the Wheel", which might be considered an alternate title, or at least theme track. Both "Good Heart" and "Glorious One" are solid uplifting songs with appealing blends of electric and acoustic guitars and McCarty's surprisingly mature and soothing self-taught vocals. "Mystery of Being" represents a cross fertilization with the more Native American sounding work of one of McCarty's other involvements, the band PILGRIM, which is recommended if you like the concept of BLACKMORE'S NIGHT but find you need lactaid pills to digest their kitsch. One of the biggest surprises is how much "Beat of the Earth" sounds like REM, even down to McCarty's MIchael Stipes impersonation, but musically as well. Not that there is absolutely anything wrong with that!

The consistency of McCarty's vision is beguiling, as he tenderly imparts every message in a manner that bears consistent rewards every time one listens, whether actively or passively, with headphones while drifting off to sleep, or perhaps with someone special. This is a man who has passed through the fire and come out stronger, and is generously sharing his experience to those of us who not only listen, but hear.

 Out Of The Mist / Illusion by ILLUSION album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
4.01 | 9 ratings

Out Of The Mist / Illusion
Illusion Eclectic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars 4.5 stars really!!! Un peu de Re(Co)naissance

An impeccable 2on1 reissue of Illusion's two great albums of the second part of the 70's, filled with pictures (nothing live) and respecting both the front original artworks (a rare occurrence in these kind of releases), plus a good historic of the band's second life

Both albums fit perfectly in the same single disc and we have the full musical spectrum of Illusion, which is certainly wider than of the Haslam Renaissance. If Out Of The Mist clearly oogles in the direction of Renaissance (but not as soporific), the second self-titled album is definitely taking a much more adventurous twist, although the softness of half its tracks will need you full attention and maybe a set of good headphones. Indeed Hawken's use of sequenced synths (ala Tangerine Dream) on a few tracks was quite refreshing in suc a flogged to death symphonic rock. This 2on1 release is all you'll need about Illusion and it's such a sad thing these guys didn't persevere, but it looks like they fell to punk hate-spitting rise.

See my individual reviews of both albums to get the full picture of this reincarnation of Renaissance's first line-up and just how good they'd matured in 77 & 78.

 Out Of The Mist by ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.43 | 58 ratings

Out Of The Mist
Illusion Eclectic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Each prog fan has a selection of singular songs that somehow affect them in a long term way, sometimes upfront (like "the Knife"), sometimes obscure little gems that go sadly unnoticed. This Renaissance offshoot was a short lived "Illusion" that issued a few albums and suddenly exploded into tattered shreds. That keyboardist (and one of my favorites) John Hawken went to huge fame and small fortune with the suave the Strawbs, decorating their proggiest albums with sublime grace and elegance is a known fact, but Eddie McNeil on drums , guitarist Knightsbridge and bassist Louis Cennamo sort of vanished in the meantime. Both leaders Jane Relf and Jim McCarty went on to lead their lives away from the rock limelight. "Isadora" is that song, a magnificent ode to bizarre but innovative dancer Isadora Duncan I presume, a miraculous melody that is very British, a heavenly concoction of pastoral beauty, where Hawken's fluid piano introduces a massive lyrical theme first sung by James and then blended in with wife Jane's crystalline voice. The electric guitar shrug is first utterly affecting and later dejectedly delirious in expressing the somber melancholy of this colossal piece, just enough to titillate, leaving the keys and the duet vocals do the real damage. The extended outro is the icing on the cake, a ambient, gentle refrain of the theme, fragile, limpid and delicate. A true quiet classic! "Beautiful Country "is the other stellar anthem, featuring another virtuoso performance from Hawken's piano, rippling along redolently in abating the delicious voice of Jane Relf, a haunty hushing version of Annie Haslam , expressing with conviction of a melody to expunge for. "Solo Flight" is not as the title implies the soloing spot but a faster-paced rocker that has a decidedly West Coast/ Jefferson Airplane feel, slightly psychedelic but accessible at the same time. "Everyway You Go" is more like British country, a slight folk, sing along at the pub feel (without the superlative playing though) that is quite pleasing. "Candles Are Burning" is a second mini-epic, though not as successful as the masterful first, it still has its merits supported by achingly effortless vocals, massive blasts of fabled mellotron. By the end, the consensus is obvious on a good album, with a couple of superb tracks. One in particular, that Bugatti-scarfed Isadora. 3.5 optical chimeras
 Out Of The Mist by ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.43 | 58 ratings

Out Of The Mist
Illusion Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars I have to say that the biography just serves to confuse me. As far as I have made out, Yardbirds splintered into two camps; Eric Clapton and some guys who went on to form Renaissance. The latter band released some albums, including some of my alltime favorite albums. Somehow, the original Renaissance setup splintered away again from Renaissance and formed Illusion. One of the members then got electrocuted and died. Confusing ? Holy camel, I am confused. But I think I got this one right.

Annie Haslam is not here so Jane Relf got the microphone. Although Jane Relf is a very good vocalist, it is absolute impossible to better Annie Haslam. The music here is too different from Renaissance to really give Jane Relf any chance to outshine Annie Haslam anyway. So I have not a bad word to say about Jane Relf. She does an excellent job here.

The album, Illusions career no less, starts with a very good song called Isadore. This is very much in the Renaissance mould. The album more or less follows this road...... with some important detours. One of them is a big look back at Yardbirds and the pinching of their clothes on more than one occasions. There is also a lot of elements from the San Fransisco hippie music scene on this album. Those are the differences from the Renaissance sound. The similarities are far greater though. The piano and the use of keyboards is the same. The closing song Candles Are Burning is a great song which could had been done by Renaissance.

I really like this album, although it has some major flaws. The hippie and the Yardbirds elements being the most serious of those flaws. The lack of any real killer tracks is another flaw. But as a Renaissance fan, I treasure this album. Three stars it is.

3 stars

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives