COLOSSEUM – The Grass is Greener

Talking Elephant 2012

At a glance, it’s the Brit band’s 1969 founding stone, ‘Valentyne Suite’. At a second, it’s a compilation album. At a third, it isn’t – it’s something more curious still. For ‘The Grass Is Greener’ affords a fascinating glimpse into why, though we share the same language, we’re ‘different’ from our cousins ‘over the pond’.

With a penchant for localising UK releases of the day, Dunhill Records released a US version of ‘Suite’ that was essentially more commercial than its British counterpart with jazz toned down and more, and shorter, tracks. Dunhill had already released more than half of ‘Valentyne Suite’s” tracks in the States in a reinvention of the band’s debut ‘For Those Who Are About Die We Salute You”.

To get round the problem, the label retained three “Suite” tracks and filled with then previously unreleased material in ‘Bolero’, ‘Jumping Off The Sun’, ‘Rope Ladder To The Moon’ and ‘Lost Angeles’, while the title track is in fact a band-only alternative version of part three of the ‘Valentyne Suite’ itself.

A must-have for completists, the result is more than a curio, standing up in its own right as a showcase of jazz-rock fusion proficiency of the day. This tidy digipak release’s bonus 13-minute live take on ‘Lost Angeles’ goes far alone in shoring up the band’s reputation as an icon of the genre.

Peter Muir ****


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Power Plays w/c 2 September (Mon-Fri)

BAD WOLVES Killing Me Slowly (Eleven Seven Music)
THE DEAD DAISIES Righteous Days (SPV)
DEEP DEEP WATER Something In The Water (indie)
MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST Sleeping With The Light On (Nuclear Blast)
GHOSTS OF MEN Crooked Back (Regent Street Records)
ANNIE HASLAM Blood And Water (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 2 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MICK DEVINE Here Now (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 MOB RULES Beast Over Europe (SPV)
14:00-16:00 THE PORTRAITS For Our Times (indie)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

STACKRIDGE A Victory For Common Sense (2009)



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