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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply outstanding
Having owned the album since its first release, I can confirm that Valentyne Suite just edges their other albums to be Top Dog. This is primarily because of the Suite itself which took up the whole of side two of the vinyl version.

To have seen musicians of the calibre of these performing the Valentyne Suite, both back in the early Seventies, and more recently...
Published on 4 Jan 2007 by Question_of_Balance

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars COLLOSAL COLOSSEUM
In the late sixties,this was an excellent example of "blues rock" and could they rock!!
Those of you who brought "Colosseum Live"will recognise samples of this work,particularly on the extended works outs,the magnificent"Valentyne suite"dominates this album,
Jon Hiseman(Drums)is majestic throughout,Dave Greenslade(Organ and vibes) is ebuliant and Lythe creating...
Published on 13 Jun 2009 by Finbar the looney


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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply outstanding, 4 Jan 2007
This review is from: Valentyne Suite (Audio CD)
Having owned the album since its first release, I can confirm that Valentyne Suite just edges their other albums to be Top Dog. This is primarily because of the Suite itself which took up the whole of side two of the vinyl version.

To have seen musicians of the calibre of these performing the Valentyne Suite, both back in the early Seventies, and more recently until the most untlimely death of Dick Heckstall-Smith (we miss you, Dick), was a privilege.

The double disc version comprises the original UK album plus two Top Gear recordings, and the "The Grass is Greener" US album compiled from tracks that were recorded as soon as Clem Clempson joined the band.

Please avoid the Essential remastered single disc release of 1998. It was incorrectly mastered with one channel of the stereo mix populating both channels. This was corrected for the Castle release of 2000, CMAR631.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure bliss, 23 Mar 2007
By 
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valentyne Suite (Audio CD)
In 1969 (when some other guys were doing something trivial like landing on the Moon) Colosseum's Valentye Suite stood out head and shoulders above everything else being played - quite magnificent!

The Valentyne Suite (when I were a lad) only had 5 tracks - but is almost perfect. Hiseman's drumming is astonishing, Dave Clempson's guitar playing on a par with Clapton, along with the incredible Dick H-S (RIP) on sax - and the swirling organ from Dave Greenslade.

The Tracks

1. Kettle - Roaring start to the album. Everything a jazz-rock track should be, but with that special, distinctive, Colosseum magic.

2. Elegy - just beautiful, with delicate strings. Tears to the eyes.

3. Butty's Blues - Yes, it's a Blues piece with great sax

4. Machine Demands A Sacrifice - Hiseman's drums tear along and then a VERY strange ending - never did work out what was going on...

5. Valentyne Suite - The best bit on the album - three movements that showcase the entire band (including some wonderful phased drums), and some spine-tingling organ from Mr. Greenslade.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Album, 24 Jan 2011
By 
DJ Treasure (Preston England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valentyne Suite (Audio CD)
I was given this album as a Christmas present in 1969. I remember listening to it all christmas day,nursing a hangover from the night before, to the annoyance of the rest of the family. Shortly after that I went to a party from college where some kind soul put a huge scratch on side 1. It still played but with an annoying tick on each revolution throughout. Fortunately the "Suite" side was unharmed. To hear the whole thing again in this quality is great. Pity they don't make music like this anymore. Fantastic musicians.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars COLLOSAL COLOSSEUM, 13 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Valentyne Suite (Audio CD)
In the late sixties,this was an excellent example of "blues rock" and could they rock!!
Those of you who brought "Colosseum Live"will recognise samples of this work,particularly on the extended works outs,the magnificent"Valentyne suite"dominates this album,
Jon Hiseman(Drums)is majestic throughout,Dave Greenslade(Organ and vibes) is ebuliant and Lythe creating a typical prog rock hammond organ sound that he was to use later on in his band "Greenslade",
Dick Heckstall smith blows up a storm on sax,James Litherland is as good a guitarist as his contemporaries and Tony reeves is masterful on bass.
The album finds the band placed between a more bluesy "Nice" and less heavy "Deep Purple" although later Chris Farlowe Joined on vocals and Dave Clempson(Later to join Humble pie)on guitar beefed up the sound somewhat
Tracks of note are "Elegy" and a storming version of "Lost angeles" again dig out the Live Chris Farlowe Version,although the version here is from "Top Gear" and sounds just as good with a marvelous solo by Dick Heckstall smith.
The second Cd brings us the Us version of the album,which is completely different!
"Jumping off the sun" is pure british psyche with Hiseman bashing away like Keith Moon,another version of "Lost Angeles" with nice interplay between all musicians
"Elegy" follows sounding similar to "Long Train Coming"by the Doobie Brothers.
"Buttys Blues" is exactly as the title says a blues song!
"Rope ladder to the moon"is the jack Bruce song,that also features so strongly on the Live album,the vocals are reminiscent of Steve Winwood,
lovely vibes playing,sounding at times like "Gentle Giant"
and next for all you skating fans "Bolero" I kid you Not,Torville and dean will have nightmares trying to skate to this though,jazzy and free flowing ,this is good,this also sounds like aband called "Circus" who had a great eponynemous album at the same time,another version of "The machine demands a sacrifice" is followed by "The grass is greener".
A fine album indeed
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding prog. rock suite, 23 Sep 2011
This review is from: Valentyne Suite (Audio CD)
I first heard The Valentyne Suite when it came out on vinyl back in '69, and I remember the tremendous reception it received amongst my rock fan buddies. We all loved it. Listening now, after the passage of more than 40 years, it still sounds as passionate and exciting as ever.

The suite showcases each musician throughout, but the stand-out players for me are Dave Greenslade, Jon Hiseman and Dick Heckstall-Smith.

Dave Greenslade's Hammond sounds about as wonderful as a Hammond should, and there are a number of notable passages of play where he wrings the most amazing sounds out of the organ, something like Keith Emerson did when with The Nice, but never losing sight of the theme. A highlight comes at around five minutes in where he makes the thing whine like a tortured tom cat, possibly using the fantastically complicated technique of switching it on and off.

Jon Hiseman's drumming is magnificent throughout: tight, accurate, hard as nails and underpinning the suite with a rock solid foundation. There is again a brief but special treat for fans when Jon's drums are phased, just like Mitch Mitchell's on Jimi's superlative Bold as Love album track from '67.

Dick Heckstall-Smith's sax adds that intangible jazzy mood something to what would otherwise be a flat-out rock romp, and it's a very enjoyable addition too, full of raw energy and commitment.

The other two players aren't half bad either, but maybe not much above average for what was an extraordinary time in the history of rock music. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Jack Bruce ... It would be a struggle for any guitarist to stand out in that company, but James Litherland and Tony Reeves make a worthy contribution to the suite.

I once saw the band perform the suite on TV in '71 ... and they were awful. The tight coherence of the original album had been lost, and been replaced by extended, loose, 'freak-outs' in which all musical discipline was ignored. Shame.

But no worries really. Just get this original studio recording, crank up the stereo and enjoy what was one of the best concept rock suites ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Kettle Boils, 13 Mar 2011
By 
H. Llewelyn "Hugh Llewelyn the Welshman" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valentyne Suite (Audio CD)
I first saw Colusseum at (yet again) Swansea University in 1969 and thought James Litherland's ethereal voice was the epitomy of jazz-rock. Simply wonderful. When he left and, eventually, Chris Fartlowe (sorry, genuine typo there but I'll leave it in as it represents my view of Chris Farlowe's vocals perfectly) joined, this ended my interest in Colosseum, I'm afraid, even though I'm a fan of Dick-Heckstall-Smith's superb sax playing. I just can't stand Chris Farlowe's voice - even though many regard his voice as the epitomy of jazz-rock! For me, this album (and the previous "Those who are about to die salute you") represent the best Colosseum era. Rather sacriligously, I prefer the first four tracks to the perhaps over-long Valentyne's Suite. "The Kettle" is just a "boiling" opener but for me "Elegy" is unmatched. Litherland's voice is just heart rending on this. For a song which is quite fast paced, it somehow manages to be so sad. And the sudden ending is unique - but is just right for this song. Magical. Definately a Desert Island Disc for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Period, 26 May 2010
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This review is from: Valentyne Suite (Audio CD)
I remember watching colosseum perform this in Folkstone and it was the highlight of the evening, brings back many memories of those wonderful days, a must for anybody into prog rock, every band member where gods in that era, easy to listen too and good value for a double CD, a great buy and highly recommended

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still brilliant after all these years, 7 Jan 2010
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J. G. McMillan "Wee Jim" (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valentyne Suite (Audio CD)
Had this album in vinyl originally way back in the day - still some of the most amazing rock/jazz playing, and have just realised how good James Litherland's guitar playing is. He was probably overshadowed by Jon Hiseman and Dick Heckstall-Smith's names in this version of the band, but he shines and I 've never really noticed it as much before.
Anyway, buy this album if you want to hear some "progressive" rock music without the prog-rock stigma.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brit-jazz goes rock, 17 Oct 2006
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This review is from: Valentyne Suite (Audio CD)
I'm only familiar with the original issue of this album, so can't comment on any extra material included herein, but if it's up to the standard of the main attraction then you need not worry too much. Originally released right at the end of 1969 as the first LP on the spiral Vertigo label, this is Brit-jazz beefed up for a late-60s rock audience. It's mostly instrumentals, and these are the best cuts: the 16-minute long title track allows everyone to, uh, stretch out (man) without descending into noodly pretension. Heavy on the Hammond and tenor sax, with a top-notch rhythm section propelling the whole show along: live, this lot must have been pretty hot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colosseum, 18 Jun 2009
By 
D. Edwards "diammeter" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valentyne Suite (Audio CD)
I still have the album from when I was at University, but no record player. It is so beautiful, so uplifting.
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