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COLOSSEUM

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Colosseum biography
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.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

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Buy COLOSSEUM Music


Morituri Te SalutantMorituri Te Salutant
Import
Ume Imports 2009
Audio CD$39.88
$71.35 (used)
Valentyne SuiteValentyne Suite
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Sanctuary UK 2004
Audio CD$590.98
$36.91 (used)
Chapter 2: NumquamChapter 2: Numquam
Metalhit.com 2012
Audio CD$17.95
$12.98 (used)
Chapter 3: ParasomniaChapter 3: Parasomnia
Metalhit.com 2012
Audio CD$11.24
$9.71 (used)
Chapter I: DeliriumChapter I: Delirium
Import
Firedoom Finland 2009
Audio CD$17.30
$8.98 (used)
Those Who Are About to Die Salute YouThose Who Are About to Die Salute You
Import
Talking Elephant 2013
Audio CD$11.05
$15.89 (used)
LiveLive
Import · Remastered
Universal I.S. 2004
Audio CD$8.57
$18.06 (used)
Bread & CircusesBread & Circuses
Intuition Music 1998
Audio CD$22.84
$22.82 (used)
Live05Live05
Ruf 2010
Audio CD$13.53
$5.89 (used)
Grass Is GreenerGrass Is Greener
Remastered · Import
Talking Elephant 2011
Audio CD$10.58
$17.59 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
DON AIREY-All Out 2011 CD AUTOGRAPHED DEEP PURPLE, COLOSSEUM US $49.99 Buy It Now 2h 25m
Colosseum - Daughter Of Time - 180 Gram - New US $15.00 Buy It Now 5h 52m
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Strange New Flesh, Colosseum II, Good US $14.51 Buy It Now 8h 22m
COLOSSEUM daughter of time LP 8 track second pressing in gatefold with small swi US $74.16 Buy It Now 10h 34m
COLOSSEUM "DAUGHTER OF TIME" ORIGINAL 1970 ABC DUNHILL PROMO LP EX US $24.99 [0 bids]
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11h 37m
COLOSSEUM Those Who Are About to Die Salute You CD MINI LP US $15.49 Buy It Now 11h 40m
COLOSSEUM:THE DAUGHTER OF TIME LP EX/EX US $62.00 Buy It Now 12h 49m
COLOSSEUM:THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO DIE LP EX/EX US $62.00 Buy It Now 12h 49m
COLOSSEUM:VALENTYNE SUITE LP EX/EX US $62.00 Buy It Now 12h 50m
HEART Fanatic Live From Caesars Colosseum DVD US $10.99 Buy It Now 13h 15m
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Colosseum II "Wardance" 1977 Rock LP, VG+, UK Pressing US $14.95 Buy It Now 13h 21m
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Colosseum - Valentyne Suite - CD (Sanctuary SMBCD386) US $11.20 Buy It Now 13h 39m
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COLOSSEUM - Live [Expanded], 1971 US $9.99 [0 bids]
16h 47m
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Live05 Colosseum CD US $19.51 Buy It Now 23h 30m
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SAINT-SAENS / GLAZOUNOV EMIL GILELS COLOSSEUM LP US $31.20 Buy It Now 1 day
DVORAK / GLAZOUNOV Violin Concertos OISTRAKH COLOSSEUM US $11.70 Buy It Now 1 day
ELLY NEY SCHUMANN SYMPHONISCHE ETUDEN SCHUBERT WANDERER FANTAISIE COLOSSEUM CD US $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
COLOSSEUM II -7"Single- Lament/The Scorch (EX+) US $11.75 Buy It Now 1 day
YEARNING frore meadow ORIG 2001 DIGIPAK HOLY RECORDS-agalloch,alcest,colosseum US $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
YEARNING with tragedies adorned ORIG 1997 HOLY RECORDS-agalloch,alcest,colosseum US $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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The Beatles Live From Sam Houston Colosseum 2lp Audifon German Butcher US $100.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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Colosseum PSYCH MOD DANCER DJ 45 Walking in the Park / Those Who are About to Di US $14.98 Buy It Now 1 day
FOLK DANCES-SONGS FROM RUSSIA 1960'S LP(COLOSSEUM 013)WITH ACCORDIAN US $8.95 Buy It Now 1 day
CD-The Best of Progressive Rock -HAWKWIND/NICE/COLOSSEUM/U.HEEP ETC. US $9.99 [0 bids]
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Paul Hindemith The Demon Colosseum # CLPS 1036 RARE 1952 release US $15.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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HERBIE HANCOCK V.S.O.P. TEMPEST IN THE COLOSSEUM JAPAN SACD HYBRID US $32.80 Buy It Now 2 days
COLOSSEUM FOR THOSE ABOUT TO DIE UK FONTANA STL5510 LP G/F 1969 2Y/1Y EX CON US $117.65 Buy It Now 2 days
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Colosseum II War Dance 1977 Stereo Import LP VG++ US $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
COLOSSEUM:THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO DIE SALUTE YOU/PROG US $11.75 Buy It Now 2 days
COLOSSEUM - LIVE RARE ORIG DIFF ISRAEL ISRAELI LP US $25.50 Buy It Now 2 days
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COLOSSEUM II Japan 1983 NM LP+Obi WARDANCE US $39.99 Buy It Now 2 days
COLOSSEUM (2LP) Live WARNER BROS. 1971 (EX) US $6.99 [0 bids]
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COLOSSEUM "Daughter of Time" LP - Dunhill 1970 US $9.99 [0 bids]
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COLOSSEUM DISCOTIC MIX VOLUME.3 - Japan CD - NEW US $15.19 Buy It Now 2 days
David Oistrakh , Gauk - Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto COLOSSEUM LP CRLP 101 lp US $19.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Shiokawa/Kloss: Reger Violin Concerto - Colosseum (Colos SM 514) US $27.16 Buy It Now 3 days
COLOSSEUM - CHAPTER 3: PARASOMNIA NEW CD US $22.74 Buy It Now 3 days
COLOSSEUM 11- Electric Savage - UK Unplayed factory sample LP US $25.21 Buy It Now 3 days
ELENA GLAZUNOV piano plays ALEXANDRE GLAZUNOV - COLOSSEUM LP STEREO GERMANY US $30.00 Buy It Now 3 days
BALLET MUSIC KHACHATURIAN PALIASHVILLI PROKOFIEFF GLIERE COLOSSEUM RECORDS 1952 US $25.50 Buy It Now 3 days
GREENSLADE COLOSSEUM KING CRIMSON PROG PSYCH AKARMA SUNDAY 180 G LP LIM 300 US $34.99 Buy It Now 3 days
HERBIE HANCOCK - THE QUINTET TEMPEST IN THE COLOSSEUM (Gatef) EX NM (CBS) 2LP US $31.95 Buy It Now 3 days
COLOSSEUM, Daughter of Time VERTIGO SWIRL 1Y3 matrix EXCELLENT- UK LP US $89.99 [0 bids]
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COLOSSEUM/RELATED - MAGAZINE CUTTINGS COLLECTION (REF T6) US $16.72 Buy It Now 3 days
CHRIS FARLOWE -put out the light MOD SOUL COLOSSEUM 7" single 1970 TURKISH PRS US $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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Colosseum - Those Who Are About To Die Salute You ~ Rare 1969 ABC Gatefold US $0.98 [0 bids]
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COLOSSEUM II War Dance (LP 1977) MCA EX Gary Moore Original Release US $1.99 [0 bids]
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COLOSSEUM II Electric Savage (LP 1977) MCA EX/VG+ Gary Moore Original Release US $1.99 [0 bids]
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COLOSSEUM II Strange New Flesh 2 CD MINI LP US $16.49 Buy It Now 3 days
COLOSSEUM-CHAPTER 1 : DELIRIUM-CD-funeral-doom-ambient-disembowelment-winter US $12.99 Buy It Now 3 days
(ROCK LP) COLOSSEUM II - ELETRIC SAVAGE (GERMANY) US $20.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Chapter 3: Parasomnia Colosseum CD US $12.89 Buy It Now 3 days
The Omen Trilogy by Jerry Goldsmith (CD, Dec-2005, 3 Discs, Colosseum) US $28.91 Buy It Now 4 days
Heart - Fanatic Live From Caesars Colosseum [CD New] US $14.98 Buy It Now 4 days
ADRIANA LECOUVREUR,MAFALDA FAVERO,FREDERICO,DEL CUPOLO (RARE)3 LP 1952 COLOSSEUM US $9.99 Buy It Now 4 days
ELLY NEY-BEETHOVAN SONATE,MENDELSSOHN-COLOSSEUM STEREO US $50.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Colosseum - The Best of Colosseum DVD AUDIO NEW 24-bit, 96kHz NEW SEALED US $6.99 [0 bids]
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Anthology by Colosseum (CD, Aug-2002, 2 Discs, Sanctuary (USA)) RARE US $59.95 Buy It Now 4 days
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ULTRA RARE GERMAN PIANO LP ELLY NEY IN MEMORIAM BEETHOVEN BACH BRAHMS COLOSSEUM US $24.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Colosseum - The Grass Is Greener Lp - ex cond! US $10.00 [0 bids]
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COLOSSEUM VALENTYNE SUITE JAPAN 1970īs PROMO LP EX/M- US $149.60 [0 bids]
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Rare Audiophile Colosseum Stereo SM 532 Siegfried Wagner/Jenny Abel NM+ Germany US $18.00 Buy It Now 4 days
COLOSSEUM "THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO..." ULTRA-RARE ORIGINAL JAPANESE PROMO W/OBI US $99.99 Buy It Now 4 days
COLOSSEUM "DAUGHTER OF TIME" ULTRA-RARE JAPANESE 2ND ISSUE ON BRONZE PROMO W/OBI US $99.99 Buy It Now 4 days
COLOSSEUM II Mini LP SHM-CD Electric Savage 2011 Japan NEW UICY-75038 US $48.41 [0 bids]
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COLOSSEUM II Mini LP SHM-CD Wardance 2011 Japan NEW UICY-75039 US $48.41 [0 bids]
4 days
Rare Colosseum Colos 9001 Genzmer 'Kantate fur Sopran/Trompete & Streicher' NM+ US $35.00 Buy It Now 4 days
A Split Second ?- The Colosseum Crash 92 Mixz Belgium Antler 12" 1992 ebm synth US $24.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Barbara Thompsons Paraphernalia Pure Fantasy 1984 Jon Hiseman Rare cd Colosseum US $19.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Fanatic Live From Caesar's Colosseum (CD/DVD Deluxe Ed.) by Heart (Audio CD) US $18.61 Buy It Now 5 days
V.S.O.P.,CD,Tempest in the Colosseum US $29.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Colosseum Ii - Strange New Flesh - Expande (NEW CD) US $23.10 Buy It Now 5 days
NEW FANATIC LIVE FROM CAESARS COLOSSEUM - Heart US $15.24 Buy It Now 5 days
TMN - Colosseum I - Japan CD J-POP TM NETWORK 1996 US $9.95 Buy It Now 5 days

More places to buy COLOSSEUM music online Buy COLOSSEUM & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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COLOSSEUM shows & tickets


  • Colosseum at Lucerna Music Bar, Praha on 19 Nov 2014

COLOSSEUM discography


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

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

3.60 | 83 ratings
Those Who Are About To Die Salute You
1969
4.19 | 234 ratings
Valentyne Suite
1969
3.84 | 54 ratings
The Grass Is Greener
1970
3.62 | 88 ratings
Daughter of Time
1970
3.17 | 26 ratings
Bread & Circuses
1997
2.72 | 22 ratings
Tomorrow's Blues
2003

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

4.23 | 81 ratings
Colosseum Live
1971
4.14 | 24 ratings
LiveS - The reunion concerts 1994
1995
4.50 | 12 ratings
Live 05
2007
4.57 | 7 ratings
Theme For A Reunion
2009

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

4.30 | 14 ratings
Colosseum Lives (DVD)
1997
4.97 | 5 ratings
Reunion Concert Cologne 1994
2008

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

4.00 | 3 ratings
The Collectors Colosseum
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pop Chronik
1972
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Time Machine: Collection
1992
4.09 | 4 ratings
The HTD Anthology
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
An Introduction To
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Epitaph
2006
4.92 | 4 ratings
Morituri Te Salutant: 1968-2003 On Stage & In The Studio (4CD)
2009

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Walking In The Park
1969
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Kettle
2001

COLOSSEUM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live 05 by COLOSSEUM album cover Live, 2007
4.50 | 12 ratings

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Live 05
Colosseum Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars Colosseum were one of the acts that turned me into a prog-fan when I was still in my formative years. Most of their works are still much cherished and stood the test of times well. Indeed, most of their previous works prior to this release are considered a Prog masterpieces. Band leader Jon Hiseman remains one of the finest British drummers.

But he made two mistakes. Firstly, on the disbanding of Colosseum, he established an overly ambitious project Colosseum II. Fast burning delivery with Gary Moore on guitars that in reality was going nowhere, but trying to imitate Return To Forever and even "remaking" the odd Stanley Clarke tune in a sneaky way - without giving credit.

Hiseman's other mistake was that on the passing of the one and only Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxes), he didn't call it a day for Colosseum. Instead, he installed his sax playing wife Barbara Thompson to fill shoes that just can't be filled. Thompson is a well recognized Jazz musician/composer, but her style would suit Jewish Kletzmer (anything goes with any instruments present) more than this fantastic band. I saw Thompson perform live with her (then) band BT's Paraphernalia in the 80's. I left the venue somewhat underwhealmed.

But what of this album? A very good performance by all, no doubt, but in comparison with their other live recordings, it remains my least favourite. Not bad at all, but I've only heard better than this before.

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 Valentyne Suite by COLOSSEUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.19 | 234 ratings

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Valentyne Suite
Colosseum Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Just a month after the debut of Colosseum, the band was honoured to be part of the Supershow jam session, a music documentary film, featuring several important names of Rock, Blues and Jazz music like Led Zeppelin, Buddy Guy, Jack Bruce and Buddy Miles.In November 69' the second album was released, the first ever publishment by Vertigo Records, a sublabel of Phillips.''Valentyne suite'' was the title and it was produced again by Tony Reeves and Gerry Bron, as the album was recorded around the same time with ''Those who are about to die salute you''.

While being fairly rooted in a late-60's sound, ''Valentyne suite'' show shines of a progressing style, especially in the long eponymous track.Actually the first side is not really impressive.With evident psychedelic and bluesy inspirations the four tracks explore Rock, Funk, Jazz, Blues and Horn Rock, based on the psych-influenced organ moves, the melodic sax solos, the smooth guitar parts and James Litherland's expressive voice.Some orchestral textures are also present, while ''The Kettle'' seems to be the most interesting piece with its powerful, raw, old-school Psychedelic Rock sound.On the flipside Colosseum attempt to deliver a long, daring and more experimental composition.''Valentyne suite'' is a 17-min. opus, divided in three themes, with long instrumental jams, where Jazz Rock meets Psych/Prog in one of the earliest examples of a growing Prog movement.Greenslade adds a slight dose of Classical preludes on his organ and piano performances and finally Colosseum come up with some enganging and trully fascinating material.Powerful and grandiose sax passages meet funky bass grooves, strong Hammond organ runs and irritating piano textures, while even James Litherland's guitar is more prominent with a main role to the music.Lots of nice breaks are placed between frenetic solos and more tighly structured ideas, while the individual performances are often stunning with extreme virtuosity and passion.This time no vocals are added, letting the musical execution speak of Colosseum's composing talent, except for some mellow choir lines in the second theme.

''Valentyne suite'' is considered by many fans as a milestone of an emerging Prog scene.The weaker A side prevents me from personally considering it so, but the long eponymous suite of the B one is certainly a nice musical experiment, full of good executions and powerful instrumental craziness.Recommended.

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 Reunion Concert Cologne 1994 by COLOSSEUM album cover DVD/Video, 2008
4.97 | 5 ratings

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Reunion Concert Cologne 1994
Colosseum Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars This one of those DVDs where everything comes together in a perfect package. The main feature is the complete reunion concert of Colosseum when they played in Germany in 1994. They kick off with "Those About To Die" and play many of their most well known pieces, such as "The Valentyne Suite". It is strange to think that it was some twenty years since they had last been together ? it is as if they had never been away. As a unit the band are incredibly tight, and produce music that is extremely complex with enough time changes and note density to please even the most unconvinced prog head. Add to that the power and presence of Chris Farlowe, who proves that he is still a vocalist to be reckoned with, and this concert is a joy from start to finish.

But if that wasn't enough, there is a 90 minute documentary detailing the complete history of the band, which is jam packed with interviews and relevant footage and photos. It is easily one of the best, if not the best, short history of a band that I have seen and it is worth buying the DVD for this alone. If you are a proghead yet have never heard Colosseum before (keyboard player Dave Greenslade also formed, um, Greenslade) then this is a wonderful introduction.

Originally appeared in Feedback #74, Jun 03

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 Valentyne Suite by COLOSSEUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.19 | 234 ratings

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Valentyne Suite
Colosseum Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Though really not that different from their debut, it's still quite an improvement. Retaining their strong blues and jazz influences they go into a more progressive jazz rock territory, making Valentyne suite a delight. While the title track is a true prog epic, the other tracks are pleasant but not necessarily progressive. "The machine demands a sacrifice" is proggish jazz rock while "Butty's blues" is a straight forward blues number and as such it is a splendid track. "Elegy" seems to be a continuation of "Beware the ides of march", in dome ways, with it's warm and pleasant ambiance.

Conclusion: Valentyne's suite is a slightly more prog-oriented album, still retaining the bluesy jazz rock of their debut. It is the pinnacle in the first three albums Colosseum released and as such theobvious choice for anyone interested in the band, proto-prog, prog and/or jazz rock. Brilliant and well executed.

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 Those Who Are About To Die Salute You by COLOSSEUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.60 | 83 ratings

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Those Who Are About To Die Salute You
Colosseum Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The boom occuring in Britain in the 60's resulted in many a terrific band and even more outstanding pieces of music. From America the blues took hold of the Is,es and rock'n'roll became a british affair, dominating the development of music throughout the 1960's. That is my opinion, anyway. Firmly rooted in the blues bands started exploring the boundaries of the genre, expanding it's sound and eventually inventing both progregssive music and hard rock. Cream were probably the leader of the pack, alongside John Mayall, at least when discussing the progressive blues scene. There were other bands aswell, of course. Led Zeppelin, for instance, or Black Sabbath even, who despite being honoured with being the godfathers of metal, still recordeda debut containing alot of mainly seld written progressive blues numbers.

Colosseum was one of these bands and their bluesroots are obvious for anyone. Their approach is somewhat different though, than the bands previoulsy mentioned. First of all the horns are very dominant, making the music very rich, and then they merge genres without effort, it seems, making the music a strange but very appealing brew. Maybe it is their name but I feel there are notes dating back from the ancient world all the way up to the present. Maybe I am raving now.

The albumis pleasant enoughbut really not that amazing. Though I enjoy listening to it and comes back every now and then, I feel the music making not all that big an impression. It is well played and arranged but basically it is progressive blues. Behind all the horns, amazing organ et al the foundation is built around mainly standard blues, though written by the band. It might seem I'm not that keen on the music but I am. Like I said, it is pleasant, grooving and kicking but not so much more.

My favorite track is "Beware the ides of March", with it's warm atmosphere and amazing interplay. Being an instrumental they manage to paint a picture of the death of Julius Caesar, as I interpret the music. Dramatic, pompous and daring. Exraordinary and a hint for the future.

Conclusion: The first album by Colosseum is a progressive blues album and as such it is pleasant and enjoyable. If you want more progressive music than blues, go for the next album - Valentyne suite. This is a great beginning for a short lived band, making great progressive music in a blues/jazz setting. Great but not an outstanding album in any sense of the word.

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 Valentyne Suite by COLOSSEUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.19 | 234 ratings

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Valentyne Suite
Colosseum Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by presdoug

5 stars Colosseum's "Valentyne Suite" was one of the first records of the group i ever heard and owned, finding an lp copy of it in 1988. I was instantly impressed with the combination of variety and cohesion here in this record which the band pull off incredibly well.

On the first track called "The Kettle", they remind me of Cream, and "outcream" Cream in a dazzling display of guitar-led, no holds barred aggression. The song is also a focus for the vocal work of James Litherland, who is a fine singer, as evidenced also by the remaining numbers on side one of the lp. Those other side one tracks display a crafty knowledge of both the blues and jazz that are united in a partly rock framework, and whether there are vocals or instrumental passages, things never drag for an instant or lose your interest.

A highlight of this whole record is the drumming of Jon Hiseman, who at times has a busy, aggressive delivery, but never can be summed up as only that , what with a creativity and colorful approach that has set many a benchmark for other drummers.

The greatest highlight of this record, though, is the three part "Valentyne Suite" comprising side two of the lp. A longtime staple of the band's live concert repertory, and rightly so, as it brilliantly displays the instrumental prowess and capabilities of Colosseum in a stunning, exciting work that was just made to be played live. There are a few backing vocals to the suite, but one of the really remarkable things about it, is how different instrumentalists, like Dick Heckstall-Smith on sax and Dave Greenslade on keys especially, have room to breathe and articulate some wonderful soloing, but never loose "the framework of the whole". (same could be said of Litherland's guitar soloing) And Tony Reeves on bass does a great job of bridging the gap between Hiseman's complex, multi-faceted drumming technique and the rest of the band. There is a cohesive direction to The Valentyne Suite, and near the end of "Theme Three", Hiseman plays some drum flourishes that unite the other band members and leave you at the end wishing things hadn't finished. This album has to be heard to be believed. Five stars.

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 LiveS - The reunion concerts 1994 by COLOSSEUM album cover Live, 1995
4.14 | 24 ratings

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LiveS - The reunion concerts 1994
Colosseum Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Considering the band were only in existence for three years they had enormous impact on the progressive and jazz rock scenes, and to hear them again some twenty-two years after they broke up is quite something (even more remarkable is that they are soon to release a new studio album and are touring again!). The band came from many backgrounds, but brought into the rock arena a strong love and understanding for both the blues and jazz.

Jon Hiseman has long been rated as one of the best jazz drummers around; while there can be few sax players in the world that can stay the pace with Dick Heckstall-Smith. Add to that the guitar skills of Clem Clempson and keyboard playing of Dave Greenslade, with the vocals of Chris Farlowe (surely one of our most under-rated singers) and bassist Mark Clarke and here was the 1971 line-up back in full flow.

Not really a band made for singles or the radio, this is a band that strived on improvisation and building on each other, and so many years later that is still very evident in their performance. Yes, there are loads of solos and long instrumental passages, but the music just sounds right ? created by people with tremendous skill and mastery of their craft but at the same time not being overindulgent (well, not too much). They know when the time is right to bring the rest of the band back in.

A tremendous gig by a band on top form ? Hiseman says that the years apart have meant that they now play better than ever, he could well be right.

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 Valentyne Suite by COLOSSEUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.19 | 234 ratings

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Valentyne Suite
Colosseum Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ozymandias

3 stars Not so much a review as a personal view of an album which I believe was the first to be released on the Verigo label, so found it interesting, as I like a lot of music from the same label.

Colosseum's, Valentyne Suite starts with the very energetic "The Kettle". As an opener, gets me going quickly. Not much of a brass man, so don't really care much for the brass segments in this release. Butty's Blues is as best they come when we talking The Blues'

Throughout this record, I find the keyboards of Dave Greenslade, to be exceptional. Valentyne Suite ' Theme One ' Excellent!

Overall an enjoyable album, but rates on the wrong side of 3.5, so a 3 is my verdict.

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 Valentyne Suite by COLOSSEUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.19 | 234 ratings

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Valentyne Suite
Colosseum Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by the philosopher

4 stars The Valentyne Suite is often seen as the peak of Collosseum's career. The styl is classified as fusion. In this case it's a fusion of brassrock and hardrock; a mixture of Chicago and Deep Purple flooded with solo's of guitars, saxophones, flutes and keys. This fusion sometimes comes close to progressive styles like eclectic prog or symphonic prog. For 1969 this belongs to the first wave of progressive rock together with King Crimson, Renaissance e.a..

-Side one- The first side is filled with four songs with styles differing from hardrock (The Kettle) to brassrock and also some jungleflute parts. While I'm not so fond of the vocalist I do admire the direct sound of the many solo's and the variation in sound.

-Side two- Just one long track - the titletrack: the Valentyne Suite. Someone could expect a romantic track because of the title, but this is not the case. The Valentyne Suite is just a long jazzrock/brassrock track with a nice theme and lot's of jams. The structure could have been more intellectual, but the solo's are great. This is one long instrumental piece.

This record has a great production for it's time and the musicians are highly skilled. If the songstructures were more intellectual this could have been a masterpiece.

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 Those Who Are About To Die Salute You by COLOSSEUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.60 | 83 ratings

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Those Who Are About To Die Salute You
Colosseum Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This was COLOSSEUM's debut released in 1969. It's very much a Jazz / Blues affair and very commercial sounding at times. I must admit that to my ears this doesn't compare to their next two albums in "Valentyne Suite" and "The Grass Is Greener". I would swear there were at least two horn players but apparently Dick Hectall-Smith could play two at once. Alrighty then.

"Walking In The Park" is catchy with horns and vocals standing out.Guitar before 1 1/2 minutes when the vocals stop but the horns continue to blast.Vocals are back late. "Plenty Hard Luck" is led by the guitar, drums and horns early.Vocals join in quickly though.The organ of Greenslade takes the lead then the horns are back out front.Vocals return 3 1/2 minutes in. Not much of a fan of these first two tracks.

"Mandarin" is my favourite track on here. Love the sound of this one right from the start. We get a bass solo too. Guitar leads after 2 1/2 minutes and we get a full sound before 4 minutes. "Debut" builds then guitar comes in after a minute but it's brief. Catchy stuff. The organ leads after 3 1/2 minutes then we get a drum solo 5 minutes in then the horns return with the organ. More brief guitar.

"Beware The Ides Of March" is perplexing to me with that "Whiter Shade Of Pale" melody. I do like the guitar and dissonant horns though. "The Road She Walked Before" features percussion and vocal melodies before the vocals arrive with horns. Piano leads 1 1/2 minutes in when the vocals stop.

"Backwater Blues" opens with guitar before the vocals come in.This is Bluesy stuff. A sax solo comes in after 3 minutes then the vocals return late.

"Those About To Die" is uptempo with horns, organ and drums leading. Guitar before a minute.

This certainly has it's moments but i'll stick with the two albums they did after this one.

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