COLOSSEUM

Hello Colosseum fans!

About time: I've started some updates here (updated 14.4.2011)

I'm planning to change these pages in the near future with more information.

 

The Reunion video has been released on DVD by Angel Air. Besides "The Complete Reunion Concert 1994" it also has a 90 minute document well worth watching. You can buy it from Temple Music, Angel Air, or Amazon.co.uk....

Chris Farlowe's new album is Farlowe That! and was released spring 2003. Check out the official site!

"News" (March 30, 2001): Dick Heckstall-Smith has a new album "Blues and Beyond", out in April - check the info on Blue Stom Music's pages. Dick is joined by Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, John Mayall and other old friends.

Check out the official Temple Music's pages. There's a lot of information on Colosseum and Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia. It is also the place to check for Colosseum & Paraphernalia tour dates. You can also buy the two latest Colosseum CD from their shop as well as Hiseman's solo album "About Time Too" plus Paraphernalia CDs. Chris Farlowe is touring in the UK

Check out the page with Erich Mangl's pictures from Vienna, 22nd September, 2000

An 18-track Colosseum Anthology was released in November 2000

Colosseum links, history and recordings (under construction)

One of my favourite bands from the late 60s/early 70s. Other places for information are Delerium (as with eveything else of importance in rock before 1976) and and Alex Gitlin's Colosseum page (with text from the incomparably great Tapestry Of Delights book and the sleeve notes from the latest album Bread And Circuses + pictures of the CD covers). Some info about Colosseum can also be found on Miguel Terol's Clempson page. The Knights in Blue Denim site also has a Colosseum page.

More links: Colosseum - E-Werk Köln 28.10.1994 (Rockpalast); Index of Classic Rock Bands Colosseum and Greenslade page; Chrome Oxide's Colosseum page.

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Their albums (UK/Europe) - not including compilations with one exception (tracklistings below, more later):

  1. Those About To Die Salute You (Fontana STL 5510, 1969, made #15 in the UK album charts)
  2. The Valentyne Suite (Vertigo VO 1, 1969, also made #15 in the UK album charts)
  3. Daughter Of Time (Vertigo, 1970, made the UK Top 30; 1998 CD reissue adds Jumping Off The Sun)
  4. Colosseum Live (Bronze, 1971 - the CD issue has an extra track: I Can't Live Without You)
  5. The Collectors Colosseum (compilation - some tracks not on the above) (Bronze, 1971)
  6. Colosseum LiveS - The Reunion Concerts 1994 (Intuition, 1995)
  7. Bread And Circuses (Intuition, 1997)

The first four albums were released on remastered CDs in 1998.

Bootlegs: exist - at least 5 from the first incarnation

Video/TV (incomplete like crazy...)

There's also Colosseum II with Jon Hiseman and Gary Moore, but I have to confess not being too well aquainted with their 3 albums (Strange New Flesh, Electric Savage and Wardance). They also released only one (?) single.

COLOSSEUM - A SHORT HISTORY (Under construction)

Colosseum was formed in the autumn of 1968 by Jon Hiseman (drums), Tony Reeves (bass) and Dave Greenslade (organ, piano, vibraphone). This happened after John Mayall disbanded his Bluesbreakers #89 (according to Pete Frame's "Rock Trees"). Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophones) also played in the same "Bare Wires" (Decca SKL 4945) lineup of Mayall's Band with Reeves and Hiseman. "Bare Wires" made #3 in the UK album charts. Greenslade had left Chris Farlowe's Thunderbirds earlier in the year. The four were joined by first Jim Roche and then a few weeks later by James Litherland on guitar and vocals.

Besides playing with Mayall, Hiseman and Heckstall-Smith played in the Graham Bond Organisation. Heckstall-Smith joined in 1963 to replace the guitarist John Mclaughlin, and Hiseman joined later in 1966 when Ginger Baker left to form Cream. Both also played on Jack Bruce's first (but released as second) solo album "Things We Like" with John McLaughlin. Before all this Hiseman had played drums with Jack Bruce in the Mike Taylor Trio.

Lineup #2 (September 1968- September 1969). Lineup #1 had Jim Roche on guitar for a few weeks. Lineup #2 played on the first two albums plus about half the tracks on The Collectors Colosseum.

Those Who Are About To Die Salute You

tracklisting:
- Walking In The Park (Graham Bond)
- Plenty Hard Luck (Colosseum)
- Mandarin (Reeves/Greenslade)
- Debut (Colosseum)
- Beware The Ides Of March (Colosseum)
- The Road She Walked Before (Heckstall-Smith)
- Backwater Blues (Leadbelly)
- Those About To Die (Colosseum)

The first Colosseum lasted a year until September 1969 and released it's debut album "Those Who Are About To Die Salute You" in March 1969. The album included a version of Graham Bond's "Walking In The Park" that caught my attention and Colosseum have never since left my personal list of favourites. Heckstall-Smith and Hiseman had played the song while working in Graham Bond's Organisation. The song was
undoubtedly a good vehicle for the band to build their solos around. While the album went to #15 in the British album charts their only single "Walking In The Park" (Fontana TF 1029) made no impact on the charts. Colosseum are an album oriented band and their music is best heard in large doses. Still, I find "Walking In The Park" to be one of the truly great songs of all time.

The music on the album is best characterised as high-energy jazz-blues-rock fusion with classical influences. This is well exemplified by the track "Beware The Ides Of March".

Valentyne Suite

tracklisting:
- The Kettle (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman)
- Elegy (Litherland)
- Butty's Blues (Litherland)
- The Machine Demands A Sacrifice (Litherland/Heckstall-Smith/Brown/Hiseman)
- The Valentyne Suite:
    Theme One: January's Search (Greenslade/Hiseman)
    Theme Two: February's Valentyne (Greenslade/Hiseman)
    Theme Three: The Grass Is Always Greener... (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman)

The style continues on the band's second album "Valentyne Suite" released in November 1969 a couple of months after Litherland had left the group to form Mogul Trash, which lasted into 1971 making one album "Mogul Trash" on RCA. His later work includes Long John Baldry's album "Everything Stops For Tea" (1973), Leo Sayer's second album "Just A Boy" (1974) and The Bandit's debut album (1977). He also played guitar with Chris Farlowe and Dick Heckstall-Smith as well as on his own song "Another Time Baby" at the Alexis Korner Memorial Concert in May 1995.

"Valentyne Suite" starts with the energetic, guitar-driven, Litherland-dominated "The Kettle". The energy levels are kept high on the rest of side one. The suite fills side 2 and shows clearer the jazz (John Coltrane and Roland Kirk) influences in Heckstall-Smith's saxophone playing. Greenslade organ playing is spectacular and the drumming of Hiseman is in a class of its own. The music flows and even if there are three "parts" the suite plays as a whole from beginning to end. Incredible music IMHO :-)

Lineup #4 (1970-1971, and 1994 to now ). Lineup #3 had Clempson on vocals before Farlowe joined. Lineup #3 plays on three tracks on The Collectors Colosseum, and one with Farlowe's vocals overdubbed. Lineup #4 plays on all the other albums (that is: 3, 4, 6, 7)

Daughter of Time

tracklisting:
1. Three score and ten Amen
2. Time lament
3. Take me back to doomsday
4. Daughter of time
5. Theme for an imaginary western
6. Bring out your dead
7. Downhill and shadows
8. Time machine

Colosseum Live

1. Rope ladder to the moon
2. Walking in the park
3. Skelington
4. I can't live without you (CD only)
5. Tanglewood 63
6. Encore Stormy Monday blues
7. Lost angeles

The Collectors' Colosseum

Colosseum LiveS - The Reunion Concerts 1994

1. Those About To Die...
2. Elegy
3. The Valentyne Suite: January's Search/February's Valentyne/The Grass Is Always Greener
4. January's Search
5. February's Valentyne
6. Theme For An Imaginary Western
7. The Machine Demands Another Sacrifice
8. Solo Colonia
9. Lost Angeles
10. Stormy Monday Blues

Bread And Circuses

Other activitiess involving Colosseum members, for Farlowe see separate discography:

Among others Dave Clempson played in Humble Pie from about 1970 (I'll check that) replacing Peter Frampton, and you can find their discography here. Clempson has often played with Jack Bruce. I saw him in Helsinki with Jack Bruce & Friends in 1981 - great concert & great band! Miguel Terol runs the Musicians' Olympus webpages and as mentioned he has a page about Clempson. Check it out!!

Dave Greenslade formed the band Greenslade after Colosseum folded together with Dave Lawson (keyboards) and reunited with Tony Reeves (bass). He's also made some theme music for British TV.

Jon Hiseman came to my attention as the drummer in John Mayall's Bluebreakers. He replaced Keef Hartley in the Bluesbreakers after leaving the Graham Bond Organisation. When Mayall needed to cut costs and formed the Turning Point band without drummer Hiseman formed Colosseum. After Colosseum Jon Hiseman started Tempest, then Colosseum II and has made some solo albums (which I'll add later). Hiseman has worked a lot with his wife Barbara Thompson and her group Paraphernalia. Among other things they've written the theme to the rather enjoyable British TV series A Touch of Frost.

Mark Clarke spent a short spell in Uriah Heep before joining Tempest (as far as I know he didn't play on record until the live set from 1996, but I may be wrong).

Colosseum member discography (see also my Tempest, Greenslade and Tony Reeves discography pages)

Appearances on other artists' albums:

Last updated 27.10.2000

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