After the dissolution of the rock supergroup Colosseum, founding member drummer Jon Hiseman decided to reform the group and call it Colosseum II, this time with the help of guitarist Gary Moore (coming out of Thin Lizzy), Don Airey on synthesizers and keyboards, Neil Murray on bass and Mike Starrs on vocals. In this eclectic debut “Strange New Flesh” the rock influenced by jazz and blues, which had characterized the original line-up, was replaced with a hard-hitting jazz fusion outing, which shows impressive musical abilities. The compositions "Dark Side of the Moog", the second half of Joni Mitchell's "Down to You” and “Winds” are very much inflected by the major fusion bands of the time, Chick Corea’s Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Brand X and Weather Report with an emphasis on Moore's soulful guitar leads, while the funky "Gemini and Leo" and “Secret Places” retain the original flavor of the first Colosseum. This combination of both genres is a bit awkward as far as a concept album is concerned. Nonetheless, the result confronted the players with a challenge that has endured the test of time as it has left testament of the legacy of this super group. Castle Music Ltd. released an expanded version of this debut album in October of 2005, now available at iTunes and Amazon downloads, and there was a One Way Records release from 1994, which is currently out-of-print.
1. Dark Side of the Moog (sampled above)
2. Down to You
3. Gemini and Leo
4. Secret Places
5. On Second Thoughts
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