Category Archives: DAVE GREENSLADE
Angel Air’s latest anthology showcases a fascinating selection of unpolished demo recordings from the prog-rock keyboards ace, including some pieces which would go on to grace future Greenslade and Colosseum albums and others which have never seen the light of day until today.
Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (October 2015)
Fans of Greenslade and Colosseum will find this interesting and for the uninitiated, there’s certainly enough here to encourage further exploration of the works of Mr. Greenslade and his friends.
Classic Rock Society (September/October 2015)
My favourite track is the more progressive sounding instrumental “Koblenz” which benefits from Dick Heckstall-Smith’s saxophone and an enjoyable symphonic arrangement that at times has a Parson’s feel. The moody blues of “Blues In The Night” is also enjoyable highlighted by Greenslade’s stellar keyboard work. The title track is another winner with its uplifting orchestrations and feel good sound.
Sea Of Tranquility (September 2015)
First a bit of history for those who don’t know. Dave Greenslade is a keyboard player who was a founder member of the band Colosseum, and he had his own eponymous band that was mainly active in the 70s. These original tracks, written between 1979 and the mid-90s have never been released before, and feature his own vocals as well as him playing all the instruments (bar tenor sax played by the late Colosseum member Dick Heckstall-Smith). I have been a Dave Greenslade fan since the early 1970s when, for my third ever gig, saw the superb Greenslade live at Birmingham’s Town Hall. From then on I was a fan for life.
Dutch Progressive Rock Page (August 2015)
These are one man recordings featuring Dave on all instruments and vocals. Nine well-conceived songs that have that nice cool feel of music that was probably made without the confines and restraints of a clock ticking away in the background. A pleasant musical universe where progressive rock meets mature adult pop. An interesting look behind the scenes.
babysue (July 2015)
This intriguing collection is made up of nine preliminary studio recordings, some of which would later emerge as the basis for pieces used in particular Dave Greenslade roles – whether he was composing and playing keyboards as part of the jazz-rock ensemble Colosseum, masterminding the prog band Greenslade or putting out solo albums released simply under his own name. It’s a rare chance to peep behind the curtain at a combination of fulfilled ideas and works-in-progress.
The Beat magazine (July 2015)
Still, ‘Koblenz’ didn’t need words to be touching, although they color its final result, COLOSSEUM’s ‘I Could Tell You Tales’, as Dick Heckstall-Smith’s sax solo does most expressive talking on the original recording, one harking back to Greenslade’s other band’s oeuvre without sounding dated…Such a charting of Dave’s back story requires much more investigation, and possibly a box-set treatment, and it is time indeed to reassess his contribution to popular music.
DMME.net (July 2015)
The album has a ‘summer music’ feel, mostly calm, gentle, melodic, as if moved by a gentle breeze – just beautiful. Occasionally, for example, if at the only time on the CD, another musician may contribute something, it will become gently jazzy. A CD, which should be given on prescription in these times of stress.
musikansich.de (June 2015)
…this is every bit as good as most of the Greenslade band output, with a snappy opener ‘Pedro’s Party’, the politically minded ‘Gettysburg’, the excellent title track and the closing epic ‘Finale’ standing out in particular. As a bonus, Dave’s theme tune to the TV programme Gangsters is included as a bonus track, and very good it is too…a welcome chance to check out a highly enjoyable album that many might have forgotten or even overlooked entirely. And that’s a good thing. A very good thing.
Classic Rock Society (August 2018)
There are certainly some very familiar elements that immediately recall earlier Greenslade albums (most notably those wonderful keyboard sounds). But with different artists backing Dave, as you might expect…the overall sound is more spacious and varied. Artists lending their talents on this album include Tony Reeves, Simon Phillips, Steve Gould, Dave Markee, Mick Graham, John Perry, and Bill Jackman. Plus the orchestra on “Finale” was conducted by Martin Ford and arranged by Simon Jeffes.
These tracks have held up exceedingly well over time, and the sound quality is excellent. This is highly recommended for anyone into 1970s progressive rock…or anyone who enjoys progressive music in general. Although it was a favorite among critics, this album unfortunately fell through the cracks when it was first released because the band had broken up and it was released under Dave’s name. Wonderfully melodic cuts include “Pedro’s Party,” “Gettysburg,” “Forever and Ever,” “Cactus Choir,” and “Country Dance.” Also includes the bonus track “Gangsters” (the theme for the BBC TV series). Recommended. Top pick.
babysue (May 2018)
This is an interesting and welcome reissue of an underrated album…the sound is good overall and there’s still a vibrancy here that some overly remixed albums can lose. Featuring the original, stunning, Roger Dean artwork, Cactus Choir stands up well to scrutiny some forty-plus years after its initial release.
Sea Of Tranquility (May 2018)
Greenslade had split up in 1975 but Dave Greenslade had already written what was in effect a new album’s worth of music and he didn’t want it to go to waste so he assembled a cast of stellar musicians…and Cactus Choir was released on vinyl in 1976. Having written in 1974 the theme for a one-off BBC TV programme Gangsters, Dave then wrote the theme tune for the follow up TV series Gangsters and got Chris Farlowe to sing it. This now appears as a bonus track on this budget priced CD release.
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (April 2018)
Greenslade’s collective decision to reluctantly call it a day in 1975 left their creative mainstay Dave Greenslade with a weighty pile of still unrecorded material on his hands, and this provided the musical content of his first solo album “Cactus Choir”. The highly accomplished keyboardist assembled some fine musicians to underpin his efforts, including drummer Simon Phillips and Rare Bird vocalist Steve Gould, and although the finished product was well received critically sales figures were sadly underwhelming despite the presence here of impressive prog rock concoctions such as ‘Country Dance’, ‘Gettysburg’ and ‘Swings and Roundabouts’.
Regional newspapers, Kevin Bryan (April 2018)
While there’s a hint of underlying hiss in the mix, the sound quality is nonetheless very good, so each instrument can be heard clearly. The drums and bass sound fantastic here making this a worthy CD release indeed. The CD booklet contains the album art in full, although rather small, along with an essay and album credits. I felt that the quotes from Greenslade in the essay could have been kept a bit more concise for readability, but it’s all still interesting. It seems that Dave Greenslade’s solo career is ripe for a re-appraisal!
The Progressive Aspect (September 2016)
Here’s an advent of heavenly choir, a natural progression from ‘Valentyne Suite,’ a choir whose openness Dave Greenslade has never returned to, so it remains a glorious reminder of his most fantastic era. ****1/3
DMME.net (February 2015)
Cactus Choir may not be a landmark album, but it’s sad this Greenslade relic has been unavailable since its original release – it contains some interesting ideas, and great playing.
Classic Rock Prog magazine (January 2015)
Cactus Choir still sounds great. Smooth flowing melodies, dreamy vocals, precise arrangements…all of the pieces fit together here exactly as they should. This release features all seven tracks that were on the original album plus the bonus track “Gangsters” which was recorded for the BBC TV series of the same name and features Chris Farlowe on vocals. Recommended for Greenslade fans as well as anyone else who appreciates great progressive rock. Top pick.
babysue (December 2014)
Really a symphonic prog record, a branch of the genre that, by 1976, was creaking under its own weight – this album is a highlight of its type and further proof of Greenslade’s unique sonic vision; tracks such as opener ‘Pedro’s Party’ and ‘Forever and Ever’ retain a continuity with the instrumental meanderings of Greenslade’s eponymous band.
Record Collector Magazine (December 2014)
I found much to enjoy here: Pedro’s Party’s uplifting synth lead backed by lots of busy percussion, the broad array of keyboard sounds on the lively ‘Swings & Roundabouts’, the ponderous ‘Forever & Ever’ which utilises the gloriously rich sound of the mellotron for an exquisite background wash, the brisk up-and-at-’em attack of ‘Country Dance’, and the grand finale of ‘Finale’ which twists and turns through many settings and also features a full orchestra…it’s a very good CD and I’m delighted to be able to fill a digital hole in my Greenslade collection.
Pipeline Magazine (November 2014)
As always, Angel Air has done a great job with this reissue of a long overlooked album in the discography of keyboard legend Dave Greenslade. Those into ’70s keyboard dominated prog who didn’t investigate this one after the breakup of the Greenslade band should definitely take advantage and do so now.
Sea Of Tranquility (October 2014)
…the major surprise comes just when the maestro makes his entry with ‘Routes’ dissolving his piano jive in a big band sound – a one-man orchestra for there’s no other players on the record – and then goes for the synth-led fusion, all filled with emotion.
DME Music Site (September 2011)
With elements of classical, jazz, prog rock and other musical influences in the mix, it rewards repeated listening. ‘Routes/Roots’ has echoes of both his own eponymous band and of Colosseum.
The Beat (September 2011)
…there are enough excellent moments, not least on the delicious ‘Conversations’, to keep fans happy.
Classic Rock Society (November/December 2011)
…this is very plainly a record made for the love of music alone. An exercise in deft tinkling of the ivories that covers a wide range of musical styles from robust pseudo-classical through to light jazz and on to airy instrumental pop-rock, there is plenty here that reaffirms Greenslade’s compositional and technical abilities.
Classic Rock Magazine (October 2011)
…it should certainly appeal to anyone who has ever been captivated by Dave’s mildly cerebral brand of music-making in the past.
Kevin Bryan, Stirling Advertiser (October 2011)
…as second keyboard player and sometimes vocalist Dave Lawson adds even more grandeur to proceedings. Vocally Lawson is far more assured on this second recording and that maturity also become more obvious throughout the whole band when they perform ‘Sundance’.
Fireworks magazine (November/December 2011)
Keyboard king Dave takes us on a musical journey that reflects his career in jazz influenced progressive rock.