Colosseum II

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Colosseum II was a British progressive jazz-rock band formed in 1975 by former Colosseum drummer and bandleader Jon Hiseman, which featured guitarist Gary Moore.

Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid to late 1960s. Initially termed "progressive pop", the style was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. Additional elements contributed to its "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening, not dancing.

Colosseum (band) British band

Colosseum were a pioneering English progressive jazz-rock band, mixing blues, rock and jazz-based improvisation.

Jon Hiseman English drummer and sound engineer

Philip John "Jon" Hiseman was an English drummer, recording engineer, record producer, and music publisher.



Following the demise of his previous band, Tempest, Hiseman announced his plan for a new, as yet unnamed, outfit in November 1974, but only Moore was named as a member. Rehearsals were due to begin on 1 January 1975 but a permanent line-up was not finalised until May 1975. Among the musicians considered were singer Graham Bell, keyboardist Duncan Mackay and former Colosseum and Tempest bassist Mark Clarke. The line-up was eventually completed by singer Mike Starrs, keyboardist Don Airey and bassist Neil Murray. The band was oriented toward jazz fusion, much of which was driven by the guitar work of Moore, leading to a much heavier sound than the original Colosseum.

Tempest was a British progressive rock band active from 1973 to 1974. Its core members were Jon Hiseman on drums and Mark Clarke on bass. They released two studio albums before breaking up.

Gary Moore Northern Ireland guitarist, songwriter and record producer

Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish blues guitarist and singer-songwriter.

Graham Thomas Bell was an English pop and rock singer.

After disappointing sales of their first album, Strange New Flesh, Murray left and Starrs was sacked in July 1976. They continued with a new record label and a new bass player, John Mole, and recorded two further, largely instrumental, but still commercially unsuccessful albums. They also performed on Variations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, which also featured Julian Lloyd Webber on cello, Rod Argent on keyboards and Hiseman's wife, Barbara Thompson, on flute and sax. This album reached number 2 on the UK charts.

John Mole was an English bass guitar player.

<i>Variations</i> (Andrew Lloyd Webber album) 1978 studio album by Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber

Variations is a classical and rock fusion album. The music was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and performed by his younger brother, the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber.

Andrew Lloyd Webber British composer

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. Several of his songs have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals, notably "The Music of the Night" and "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and "Memory" from Cats. In 2001 The New York Times referred to him as "the most commercially successful composer in history". Ranked the "fifth most powerful person in British culture" by The Daily Telegraph in 2008, the lyricist Don Black stated "Andrew more or less single-handedly reinvented the musical."

In August 1978, Moore left to rejoin Thin Lizzy for a fourth spell, and Airey's brother Keith Airey replaced him on guitar. Plans for a fourth album fell through when Don Airey decided to join Rainbow in December 1978.

Thin Lizzy Irish rock band

Thin Lizzy are a hard rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group throughout their recording career of twelve studio albums, writing most of the material. The singles "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak", and "The Boys Are Back in Town" were major international hits. After Lynott's death in 1986, various incarnations of the band emerged over the years based initially around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes, though Sykes left the band in 2009. Gorham later continued with a new line-up including Downey.

Rainbow (rock band) English rock band

Rainbow are a British rock supergroup led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, active from 1975 until 1984, 1993 until 1997, and 2015 until present. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after their first album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio until 1979. Three British musicians joined in 1979—singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey and then-former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover—and this line-up gave the band their commercial breakthrough with the single "Since You Been Gone". Over the years Rainbow went through many personnel changes, with each studio album recorded with a different lineup, and leaving Blackmore as the band's only constant member. The singers Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White followed Bonnet, and numerous backing musicians have come and gone. In addition to Blackmore, Rainbow's current lineup includes Ronnie Romero on vocals, Jens Johansson on keyboards, Bob Nouveau on bass and David Keith on drums.


Don Airey English rock musician

Donald Smith Airey is an English keyboardist who has been the keyboardist in the rock band Deep Purple since 2002, after the retirement of Jon Lord. He has had a long and productive career, playing with such acts as Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Whitesnake, Saxon, Wishbone Ash, Steve Vai, Colosseum II, Ten, Sinner, Michael Schenker, Rainbow, Empire, Thin Lizzy, Brian May, Divlje jagode and Living Loud. He has also worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Philip Neil Murray is a Scottish bass player, best known for his work in Whitesnake, The Brian May Band, Black Sabbath and with Gary Moore.

Mike Starrs is a vocalist of Scottish origin. He left Scotland for London in the late 1960s and worked in various minor bands. Starrs was signed by the record producer Tony Atkins for Marquee Productions and released several unsuccessful singles. He joined Colosseum II in 1975 after being spotted singing in a local pub and featured on their first album, Strange New Flesh in 1976. Starrs' powerful and distinctive singing style, complimented the guitar work of Gary Moore, the keyboards of Don Airey and the rhythm section of Neil Murray and Jon Hiseman and the end result was a potential British supergroup in the making.


Strange New Flesh

Released in April 1976 on Bronze Records. Produced by Jon Hiseman.

Bronze Records independent English record label

Bronze Records was an independent English record label set up in 1971 by record producer Gerry Bron, and based in Chalk Farm, London.

Track listing

  1. "Dark Side of the Moog" (instrumental) (Airey/Moore) – 6:22
  2. "Down to You" (Joni Mitchell, instrumental middle section by Airey) – 9:10
  3. "Gemini and Leo" (Moore/Hiseman) – 4:50
  4. "Secret Places" (Moore/Hiseman) – 4:00
  5. "On Second Thoughts" (Moore) – 7:29
  6. "Winds" (Moore/Hiseman) – 10:25

Expanded edition

Released in 2005 on Castle Music. Re-released in 2012 on Esoteric Recordings minus the last 3 tracks.

Disc 1:

  1. "Dark Side of the Moog" (instrumental) (Airey/Moore) – 6:22
  2. "Down to You" (Joni Mitchell, instrumental middle section by Airey) – 9:10
  3. "Gemini and Leo" (Moore/Hiseman) – 4:50
  4. "Secret Places" (Moore/Hiseman) – 4:00
  5. "On Second Thoughts" (Moore) – 7:29
  6. "Winds" (Moore/Hiseman) – 10:25
  7. "Castles" (version 1) (Moore/Hiseman) – 11:09
  8. "Gary's Lament" (instrumental) (Moore/Hiseman) – 7:00
  9. "Walking in the Park" (Graham Bond) – 7:05

Disc 2:

  1. "Night Creeper" (Airey/Moore/Hiseman) – 3:46
  2. "The Awakening" (Moore/Hiseman) – 11:43
  3. "Siren Song" (Moore/Hiseman) – 6:55
  4. "Castles" (version 2) (Moore/Hiseman) – 5:00
  5. "The Scorch" (instrumental) (Moore/Hiseman) – 4:39
  6. "Rivers" (Moore/Hiseman) – 4:27
  7. "Interplanetary Slut" (instrumental) (Moore/Hiseman) – 5:32 (recorded on Electric Savage as "Intergalactic Strut")
  8. "Dark Side of the Moog" (live) (Airey/Moore) – 9:00
  9. "Siren Song" (live) (Moore/Hiseman) – 12:13
  10. "The Awakening" (live) (Moore/Hiseman) – 15:46

Disc 1 tracks 1-6: The original album.
Disc 1 tracks 7-9: Previously unreleased demos recorded August 1975.
Disc 2 tracks 1-4: Previously unreleased demos recorded mid-1976.
Disc 2 tracks 5-7: Previously unreleased demos recorded July 1976.
Disc 2 tracks 8-10: BBC In Concert, recorded June 1976.


Electric Savage

Released June 1977 on MCA Records. Produced by Jon Hiseman. All tracks are instrumental except track 3 which is sung by Gary Moore.

Track listing

  1. "Put It This Way" (Moore/Hiseman) – 4:55
  2. "All Skin & Bone" (Moore/Hiseman) – 3:46
  3. "Rivers" (Moore/Hiseman) – 5:50
  4. "The Scorch" (Moore/Airey)– 6:02
  5. "Lament" (Trad., arranged Moore/Hiseman/Airey/Mole) – 4:40
  6. "Desperado" (Moore/Hiseman) – 5:59
  7. "Am I" (Airey) – 4:16
  8. "Intergalactic Strut" (Airey) – 5:58


War Dance

Released November 1977 on MCA Records. Produced by Martin Levan and Jon Hiseman. All tracks are instrumental except track 4 which is sung by Gary Moore.

Track listing

  1. "War Dance" (Airey) – 5:56
  2. "Major Keys" (Mole/Moore) – 5:10
  3. "Put It That Way" (Moore/Hiseman) – 3:37
  4. "Castles" (Moore/Hiseman) – 5:40
  5. "Fighting Talk" (Moore/Hiseman) – 5:50
  6. "The Inquisition" (Moore/Hiseman) – 5:45
  7. "Star Maiden" (Mole) / "Mysterioso" (Airey) / "Quasar" (Airey) – 6:15
  8. "Last Exit" (Moore/Hiseman) – 3:22


See also

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