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Colosseum - Valentyne Suite CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.21 | 345 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Valentyne Suite" was released in 1969 which places near the beginning of the Progressive Rock movement. It really is an album of two very different halves. Side one is made up of mostly Blues / Jazz Rock tunes, while the whole of side two is made up of the very proggy title track. This all -instrumental title track is one of the best progressive songs from the sixties.That alone makes this album worth 4 stars in my opinion, but I like all the songs on here.

"The Kettle" is a song I liked instantly. It's really a guitar driven, psychedelic flavoured tune with great vocals. Very catchy as well. "Elegy" is a jazzy tune with the focus on the vocals. Sax after 1 1/2 minutes joined by a string section. I like this as much as the first track. "Butty's Blues" is a blues track obviously. Butty was a nickname that Dave Greenslade gave James Litherland. It's slang for a thick slice of bread and butter, which James apparently enjoyed a lot. Organ and drums to open with horns arriving a minute in. Vocals follow. If you like blues you should check this tune out. Sax solo after 3 minutes. "The Machine Demands A Sacrifice" is a little hard to enjoy for me because the vocals are a little harsh. I really like the organ / bass passage after 1 1/2 minutes though. It calms right down before 2 1/2 minutes before building back up in a powerful and spacey way. The second half of the track saves the day for me.

"The Valentyne Suite" is a 17 minute ride that's worth the price of admission alone. The organ early from Greenslade is fantastic. And the drumming is very impressive. Lots of vibes and sax too. A calm with piano and sax after 2 minutes. Drums join in. Some nice organ work 4 minutes in then it kicks back in with an uptempo drum / organ led melody. Another calm 6 1/2 minutes in as vocal melodies arrive then sax. They just seem to jam until the guitar come in before 13 minutes (and goes on and on) as drums pound and bass throbs. Love that section. Check out the drumming before 16 minutes. It ends with a melody from earlier.

These guys were all fine musicians with most of them having a Blues background playing with John Mayall's Bluebreakers. Greenslade was the exception, and he of course would go on to form the great GREENSLADE.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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