Exposé Online banner

Colosseum — Those Who Are About to Die Salute You
(Talking Elephant TECD222, 1969/2013, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-06-08

Those Who Are About to Die Salute You Cover art

John Mayall often gets lost in the list of influential musicians but it wasn't just the blues alone that he had a powerful influence on. Just off the top of my head, he was largely responsible for starting off the careers of Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, and Colosseum. In fact, if you consider John Mayall's different albums in the 60s that included these musicians, you at least have part of the puzzle about how the blues got progressive, what happened when the already venerable artform moved into the psychedelic era. As a result, drummer Jon Hiseman started the absolutely amazing British jazz-blues-rock group Colosseum, which overall is one of my top 10 favorite ensembles in all of its incarnations. Mayall's influence is still strong on their bluesiest of albums, the one whose title I always accidentally confuse with a certain AC/DC album. Colosseum here is already bold and brassy with a huge swing and some great organ from Dave Greenslade, and they manage to check off a lot of blues forms from the aggressive to the ballad with a lot more musical intricacy due to the shot of jazz. When I listen to this, I'm always amazed that Hiseman traded out James Litherland for Chris Farlowe, as I absolutely love Litherland's voice and he's so passionate and bluesy over the songs here (mind you this is no slight on Farlowe who's also brilliant on the later albums), in fact it was his vocals that really drew me in when I first heard this. From here the band would get even more ambitious and more musically assured, but for me this first one was the game changer and really maybe only the early Groundhogs or Savoy Brown were pushing the blues this much at the time (John Peel would refer to this stuff as progressive blues on the radio show of the time).


Filed under: Reissues, 2013 releases, 1969 recordings

Related artist(s): Colosseum, Dave Greenslade

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Simon Steensland - Fat Again – Steensland's is a musical world of sharp edges, intense contrasts, brutal aggression and mysterious beauty all served up in an expressive way that is both challenging and engaging. This makes around...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues