ColosseumFrom: Britain

Colosseum is a British progressive jazz-rock band that formed in September 1968. The band was formed by Jon Hiseman (drums), Dick Heckstall-Smith (tenor saxophone), and Tony Reeves (bass). All three had previously worked together in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers on the Bare Wires album. Other members included Dave Greenslade (organ) and Jim Roche (guitar). Roche only lasted with the band for one song, and was replaced by James Litherland (guitar, vocals). Hiseman and Heckstall-Smith had also previously played in Graham Bond’s band, and Colosseum used several of the songs from that period.

Colosseum made their live debut in Newcastle and were recorded by influential BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel for his Top Gear Radio program. This appearance gained the band great exposure and critical acclaim.

In 1969, Colosseum released their first album, Those Who Are About To Die Salute You, on the Fontana label. In March of that year, the band played at the Supershow, a recorded two-day jam session, along with Modern Jazz Quartet, Led Zeppelin, Jack Bruce, Roland Kirk Quartet, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, and Juicy Lucy. Colosseum also released a second album in 1969, Valentyne Suite. This album was notable as being the first album released on Vertigo Records, a branch of Philips Records established to sign and develop artists that did not fit the main Philips brand.

For their third album, 1970’s The Grass Is Greener, the band chose to release it in the United States only. At this time, Litherland was replaced by Dave “Clem” Clempson. Louis Cennamo then replaced Reeves on bass, but was only in the band for a month before he was replaced by Mark Clarke. Hiseman recruited Chris Farlowe (vocals) to allow Clempson to concentrate entirely on guitar. This lineup began recording the 1970 album Daughter Of Time.

In March 1971, Colosseum record its concerts at the Big Apple Club in Brighton and at Manchester University. Hiseman was impressed with the atmosphere at the Manchester show, so the band returned five days later for a free concert that was also recorded. These recording were released as a live double album called Colosseum Live in 1971. The album was released shortly before the original band broke up.

Several of the members of Colosseum would go onto other projects. However, the band would reunite in 1994 at the Freiburg Zelt Musik Festival. ~ Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1969 Valentyne Suite
Colosseum - Valentyne Suite (front)

  • The Kettle


  • ‘Those Who Are About to Die Salute You’