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Colosseum II - Strange New Flesh CD (album) cover


Colosseum II


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.63 | 147 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars This band was the brain child of drummer Jon Hiseman and guitarist Gary Moore who were keen to work together. In order to get the band off the ground the record company insisted that they call themselves 'Colosseum' but in reality this has nothing to do with that original band that made the vitally important Valentyne Suite album.

I recently acquired the 2 disc remaster which includes two different line ups. The first line up for the original album included a specialist vocalist Mike Starrs and bassist Neil Murray as well as keys man Don Airey. The vocalist may have been another concession to the record company to try and make the music accessible to the wider audience.The title track is by far the best track on the album and probably my favourite Colosseum II track. Talk about hitting the ground running. Jazz rock doesn't get any matter After that the playing is still of a very high standard but with vocals. And there lies the problem for me. I simply don' t like the vocals at all. Nothing wrong technically but I just find them irritating a bit overly done and in the way. Who is this Mike Starrs anyway? I would give the album 2 stars.

The Colosseum II I know and love is represented on disc two which is all demos and early versions of new material. Vocal duties when required are done by Moore. There is also a change in bass player. Now this is significant because if they had kept Neil Murray, then along with Hiseman, Moore and Airey CII would have been a bona fide 'supergroup' to match any of the great seventies line ups. Murray's replacement is John Mole who turned out to be a very good player but nevertheless you do think , who??! As for the music the working versions of Intergalactic Strut and The Scorch are not a patch on the final versions that appeared on Electric Savage. Its interesting though to hear Gary Moore singing a lot more on the other tracks that are represented on the bonus disc but still it doesn't add to to a whole hill of beans. They recorded the next album Electric Savage straight off the back of touring to retain the energy , something lacking on the demos.

Overall this is one for the fans with much better to come.

richardh | 2/5 |


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