Colosseum was one of the seminal progressive bands that emerged in the late sixties; they disbanded in 1971.
Drummer Jon Hiseman, sax man Dick Heckstall-Smith, keyboard player Dave Greenslade, and guitarist James Litherland were all exceptional talents on their instruments, and the band's extensions on blues and rock forms gave them all room to shine. Their debut album, Those Who Are About to Die Salute You (1969) spotlighted their talents in unusual compositions, and the follow-up, Valentyne Suite (from later the same year), featured the extended title composition filling an entire side of the original LP. As with many British bands of the era, their US releases featured different tracks than the original UK versions. There were some personnel changes before the band's breakup, including Dave Clempson, Chris Farlowe, and Louis Cennamo.
A few years after the demise of Colosseum, Hiseman recruted keyboard player Don Airey (later of Deep Purple), vocalist Mike Starrs, guitar player Gary Moore (ex-Thin Lizzy) and bass-player John Mole in order to form COLOSSEUM II.