Friday, 1 March 2019

Colosseum II - The Awakening (1976)

Back in September last year I posted a collection of rare tracks from Colosseum, and so it's only logical to follow it with a similar album from Colosseum II. Between Colosseum and Colosseum II Jon Hiseman had formed Tempest, and released a couple of good jazz-rock albums, but when Tempest broke up he decided to resurrect the Colosseum name for a band that would take jazz-rock fusion to the next level. By 1975 the line-up had been finalised as Gary Moore on guitar, Don Airey on keyboards, Neil Murray on bass, vocalist Mike Starrs, and of course Hiseman on drums. The sound was faster and heavier than the old band, and led the way for jazz fusion in the mid 70's. Their first album 'Strange New Flesh' didn't fare that well, and so they sacked the singer and future albums were mostly instrumental. While album sales were never astronomical, they were a very well-respected band at the time, and their reputation has only increased over the years, with the music being enjoyed much more today than it was when it was first released. The first three songs on this album are previously unreleased recordings from 1976, and the next three are unreleased takes from 1975, and like their first album they all feature vocals. Only six tracks, but a very strong 47 minute album. 

Track listing

01 Night Creeper
02 The Awakening
03 Siren Song
04 Castles (Version 1)
05 Gary's Lament
06 Walking In The Park