Colosseum were a seminal British proto-prog/blues/hard rock/fusion band that started up in the late 60's, then disbanded and reformed under various line-up configurations over the next decade. The Complete Reunion Concert Cologne 1994 sees the classic line-up of the band reforming after 23 years, and this DVD features the complete 2nd show in Cologne along with a lengthy documentary telling the story of the band. Along with band leader and drummer Jon Hiseman are legendary blues rock singer Chris Farlowe, sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith, guitarist Clem Clempson, keyboard ace David Greenslade, and bassist Mark Clarke. Most of these names should be very familiar to fans of 70's hard rock, blues, fusion, and prog, as they each went off to join or form various bands that had a bit of success, such as Uriah Heep, Humble Pie, Atomic Rooster, Greenslade, among others. On this reunion show, the band has not lost a beat, and there is plenty of fire and finesse to the playing here than many bands who play together regularly fail to match.
The individual skills of each member goes without saying, but seeing them here together again after so many years, playing better than ever (as Hiseman also points out in the documentary) is a joy to watch. Greenslade fires up his Hammond organ and duels some intricate passsages with a still ripping Clem Clemson on the complex and proggy instrumental opener "Those About to Die", a great way to kick off this set. Farlowe still has the same bluesy, ragged voice that he had 30 years ago, and while he can be an acquired taste for some, he still fits in so well with music that bridges the gap between blues, hard rock, and prog. The band as a whole really shines on the extended "The Velentyne Suite", which sees extended passages from Heckstall-Smith's sax, Greenslade's organ, and Clempson's lead guitar. Other highlights include a cover of the Mountain classic "Theme For An Imaginary Western", Jon Hiseman's rousing drum solo, and an emotional take on the blues classic "Stormy Monday Blues". Not a dull moment to be found in this exciting set, and Clem Clempson especially inspires with his tasty, melodic, and fiery guitar solos on his Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster guitars.
The documentary is a must see for long-time fans of the band, as it not only contains new interviews with the band but also concert footage from the early 70's. This will be an indispensible addition to every Colosseum and 70's music lovers DVD library.
1) Those About to Die
4) Tanglewood '63
The Valentyne Suite
5) January's Search
6) February's Valentyne
7) The Grass is Always Greener
8) Rope Ladder to the Moon
9) Theme From an Imaginary Western
10) The Machine Demands Another Sacrifice
11) Solo Colonia
12) Lost Angeles
13) Stormy Monday Blues
14) Walking in the Park
Bonus-The Story of Colosseum Documentary