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COLOSSEUM - Those Who Are About To Die Salute You & Valentyne Suite (1969) & Live (1971)
This is one of the pivotal progressive bands that emerged in the second part of the Sixties. Unfortunalety the progressive world was more impressed by The NICE and KING CRIMSON, so in my opinion COLOSSEUM is a bit understimated progrock band. In '68 the founding members were drummer Jon Hiseman, tenor sax-player Dick Heckstall-Smith and bass player Tony Reeves, later joined by Dave Greenslade (keyboards), Dave Clempson (guitar), Chris Farlowe (vocals) and Mark Clark, he replaced Tony Reeves. COLOSSEUM made three studio albums: "Those Who Are To Die We Salute You" and "Valentyne Suite" (both from '69) and "Daughter Of Time" ('70). The music is a progressive mix of several styles (rock, jazz, blues) with lots of sensational solos and captivating interplay. In '71 the band released their highly acclaimed live album "Colosseum live", a proove of their great skills on stage but also showing that at some moments the compositions sounded a bit too stretched. After COLOSSEUM was disbanded in '71, most of these members formed or joined known groups like HUMBLE PIE (Clem Clempson), ATOMIC ROOSTER (Chris Farlowe), GREENSLADE (Dave Greenslade re-united with Tony Reeves) and COLOSSEUM II (founded by Jon Hiseman). In '91 the label Castle Communications released the comprehensive compilation CD entitled "The Time Machine".
The second album "The Valentyne Suite" is considired as their best. It sounds mature and varied with the epic titletrack as the highlight: it's build up around a mindblowing solo on the Hammond organ by Dave Greenslade and great guitarwork by James Litherland. And if you like brass (I don't!), Dick Heckstall-Smith delivers stunning tenor-saxophone work.
Those Who Are About To Die Salute You (1969): 01. Walking In The Park 02. Plenty Hard Luck 03. Mandarin 04. Debut 05. Beware The Ides Of March 06. The Road She Walked Before 07. Backwater Blues 08. Those About To Die
Valentyne Suite (1969): 09. The Kettle 10. Elegy 11. Butty's Blues 12. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice 13. The Valentyne Suite: Theme One: January's Search Theme Two: February's Valentyne Theme Three: The Grass Is Always Greener
Live (1971): 01. Rope Ladder to the Moon 02. Walking in the Park 03. Skelington 04. I Can't Live Without You 05. Tanglewood '63 06. Encore...Stormy Monday 07. Lost Angeles
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