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 Colosseum

British Rock/Jazz/Prog group

Those Who Are About to Die We Salute You (1969)

Valentyne Suite (1969)

Daughter of Time (1970)

Colosseum Live (1971)

 

 

COLOSSEUM

Those Who Are About to Die We Salute You - 3.5

Walking in the Park/Plenty Hard Luck/Mandarin/Debut/Beware the Ides of March/The Road She Walked Before/Blackwater Blues/ Those About to Die

Colosseum's 1969 debut is a ragged affair meant to showcase the individual musicianship which immediately gave it a fractured feel with only Beware the Ides of March having any great merit. Even then it managed at times to sound like Procol Harum's Whiter Shade Of Pale. This was too much of an experimental jazz album to be effective and sounded like a group of musicians trying desperately to find their way.

 

Valentyne Suite - 6

The Kettle/ Elegy/Butty's Blues/The Machine Demands a Sacrifice/Valentyne Suite

The relevance of this album comes more in the fact that it was the first release on the Vertigo label than in the music itself. That said it certainly is a pretty good example of Jazz/Rock/Prog fusion from the late sixties/early seventies. Colosseum were never a band that were going to progress as they were stuck in something of an artistic time warp. There is much to commend Valentyne Suite, however, although you need to be in a specific frame of mind to enjoy it and it has to be played loud with no distractions. This certainly isn't background music. Overblown yes but its saving grace is that it can still be listened to and enjoyed today as an art form that has often been copied and perhaps done better. It has been dismissed as being basic but I certainly wouldn't go that far. There is plenty here to pick out and the lengthy Valentyne Suite which is divided into three sections is pretty rewarding if you stick with it blending the tuneful with the experimental.