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Valentyne Suite


Digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of the classic 1969 album by Colosseum. Originally released in November 1969 housed in a striking sleeve designed by Marcus Keef, Valentyne Suite was the first release on the progressive imprint Vertigo and spent nine weeks on the UK album chart, peaking at #15. The album featured the "classic" Colosseum line-up of Jon Hiseman (drums), Dave Greenslade (organ and vibes), Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophones), James Litherland (guitar, vocals) and Tony Reeves (bass). Valentyne Suite is arguably the finest album by the band, featuring such outstanding tracks as 'The Kettle' (with a distinctive riff later sampled by Fatboy Slim), 'Elegy' and 'The Machine Demands a Sacrifice' (with lyrics by Pete Brown). However, the album's focal point was the three part 'Valentyne Suite' which earned the band critical praise and is now regarded as a milestone in early progressive rock. This expanded reissue includes a bonus track of 'Tell Me Now' (recorded at Lansdowne studios in April 1969) and a bonus remastered CD of the US and Canadian album The Grass Is Greener, released on the Dunhill label in 1970. The album featured some material featured on Valentyne Suite, albeit remixed and featuring new member Dave "Clem" Clempson (guitar, vocals), who replaced James Litherland in the group. The album also featured a series of songs unreleased in the UK such as 'Jumping Off the Sun', 'Lost Angeles', 'Rope Ladder to the Moon' (written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown), and a version of Ravel's 'Bolero'. The Esoteric Recordings edition also features a booklet that fully restores the original album artwork of both Valentyne Suite and The Grass is Greener and features a new essay.

Customers Reviews

EXPLOSIVE! Both Versions Of This Album Are EXPLOSIVE!

5.0 out of 5.0 by Joe Eastlack on May 3, 2018
I must say that I have always held a very high regard for Colosseum.even through the personnel changes. I especially loved The Valentyne Suite because it sounds really classy and very brassy. The jazz and blues from this band comes at you like a freight train going top speed. The Valentyne Suite itself is an extremely well done classy set of three instrumentals with three different moments. The album starts off with one of the best prog rock songs of it's time known as "The Kettle" a rollicking tune with lead guitarist James Litherland at the helm. The drumming is really amazing handled by none other than Jon Hiseman, who previously had been with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers on the "Bare Wires" album. The bass guitar solos on "The Grass Is Greener" segment of "The Valentyne Suite" are really the best I've heard in a long time and performed by Tony Reeves who also came over from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and the amazing Dick Heckstall-Smith playng two saxes at once and doing such fantastic work of it. Lastly, but not leastly is Dave Greenslade on keyboards and vibes. But, wait, this is a 2 disc set. The first disc was the British lp from 1969 known as The Valentyne Suite and the 2nd disc was the American,/Canadian release known as The Grass Is Greener. The domestic release was quite different in track content as there is a tune which starts off disc 2 called "Jumping Off The Sun" which kind of reminds me of Cream and Dave Clempson who became the Guitarist after James Litherland split after completion of The Valentyne Suite was doing vocals. He sort of reminds me of a cross between Jack Bruce and Phil Shulman who was the lead vocalist for Simon Dupree & The Big Sound/ Gentle Giant. The guitat on this track is sort of reminiscent of Clapton especially when he is doing rhythm and the drumming is like Baker. The other tunes that are not on the import version Lost Angeles which is rather jazzy and Rope Ladder To The Moon which again we find Clempson doing the vocal chores also a different version of The Machine Demands A Sacrifice and an alternate version of The Grass Is Greener. The tunes that stand out for me on disc 2 are Jumping Off The Sun and Rope Ladder To The Moon..Both versions of this album are EXPLOSIVE! If you don't got it, get it.
Both versions

5.0 out of 5.0 by Jeffrey M. Peeters on August 15, 2018
I have the US version on vinyl. Was happy to find the entire collection in a remastered format.