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Valentyne Suite Box set, Deluxe Edition, Double CD, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Nov. 2008)
  • Deluxe Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set, Deluxe Edition, Double CD, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • ASIN: B00024I0OC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,306 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Kettle
  2. Elegy
  3. Butty's Blues
  4. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice
  5. The Valentyne Suite - January's Search/ February's Valentyne/ The Grass Is Always Greener
  6. Arthur's Moustache
  7. Lost Angeles

Disc: 2

  1. Jumping Off The Sun
  2. Lost Angeles
  3. Elegy
  4. Butty's Blues
  5. Rope Ladder To The Moon
  6. Bolero
  7. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice
  8. The Grass Is Greener

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By Mark Shackelford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 Mar. 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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.
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Format: 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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Format: 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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