Valentyne Live

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Scant details are given as to the origin of this bootleg, other than that it was recorded live in the U.S. It's obvious from the personnel, songs, and closing announcement, however, that this must be from a performance in Boston during Colosseum's first American tour in the summer of 1969. Though there's quite a bit of hiss and a few minor varispeed glitches, actually the recording quality is otherwise very good, everything coming through pretty clearly. While there are only three actual songs on the disc, it lasts about 50 minutes. Those three songs include "Butty's Blues," "The Machine Demands a Sacrifice," and the 23-minute "Valentyne Suite," which encompassed the heart of their then-current album, Valentyne Suite. The big difference between the studio versions and these live ones is the length -- "Butty's Blues" is nearly doubled to 12 minutes, "The Machine Demands a Sacrifice" almost tripled to around the same running time, and even "Valentyne Suite" is stretched out an additional five or so minutes. While testifying to the band's in-concert prowess and skills at improvisation, these arrangements aren't necessarily an improvement on the studio versions, especially when Jon Hiseman goes into a long of-its-period nine-minute drum solo on "The Machine Demands a Sacrifice." It's still of value to serious Colosseum fans for showing an appreciably different slant on the material than is available in the group's official catalog.