Illusion was started in the mid-'70s by former-Yardbird/Renaissance member Jim McCarty, as well as fellow Renaissance contributors Jane Relf (vocals), Louis Cennamo (bass), and John Hawken (keyboards). They drafted guitarist John Knightsbridge and drummer Eddie McNeil into the band and began to make progressive rock when it was one of the hottest genres in England. A self-titled release arrived in 1976, followed the next year by Out of the Mist. A third album was scrapped when the band broke up over the usual creative disputes and the growing disdain for progressive rock among the growing punk scene. The demos from these sessions saw the light of day in the '90s, which are notable mostly for having the last recorded appearance of former-Yardbird Keith Relf. Island Years from 2003 collected the best of their first two albums onto one CD.