A quite fascinating album. Colosseum were one of the monsters of Jazz/Rock fusion, but after only a few releases between 1969 and 1971, they split up. In that time they produced three studio albums (for the UK market) plus another US only release and one live album. There have long been rumours that the fourth album still existed but never released – that included the track ‘A Pirates Dream’ over which there were so many arguments that the band split up.
The path that the band took, from a hard jazz outfit to a progressive rock band with jazz influences, is a fascinating listen.

At the very start of their journey they took part in a filmed event – ‘Supershow’ – along with members of Cream, Led Zeppelin plus many other star players. The first CD in this set features a raw version of ‘Those Who Are About To Die Salute You’ and a more polished version of ‘Debut’ plus the whole of ‘Valentyne Suite’ from a concert in 1970.

The second disc features 5 tracks from the unreleased ‘Upon Tomorrow’ album plus some alternate takes of three primary tracks.
The band here include Jon Hiseman on drums, Dick Heckstall-Smith on sax, Dave Greenslade on keyboards – all from the original lineup – plus Clem Clempson on guitar, Chris Farlowe on vocals and Mark Clarke on bass.
Musically, the tracks are excellent. Strong use of Heckstall-Smith’s saxes and flute and the tracks here were designed for Farlowe’s remarkable vocal range. Clempson brought a more rock sound that the outgoing James Litherloe and Greenslade’s use of Hammond & Mellotron gives the material a distinctly progressive sound.
The production and mixing is raw and I’m sure it would have been more polished if ever properly prepared for release, but the insight to the sound of the band is great.

Very much a release for fans of the band, I found it exciting and frustrating in about equal part.