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SPECTRUM

Crossover Prog • Australia


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Spectrum biography
The Melbourne-based SPECTRUM was a highly regarded Australian progressive psych rock band that came together in 1969 around its central figure, expatriate New Zealand guitarist/singer/songwriter, Mike Rudd.

Rudd came to Australia in 1966 with the New Zealand group, CHANTS R&B, then moved through two other bands - PARTY MACHINE and SONS OF THE VEGETAL MOTHER - before assembling SPECTRUM with bassist Bill Putt (ex GALLERY and THE LOST SOULS), organist Les Neale (ex NINETEEN 87) and Putt's former GALLERY band mate, Mark Kennedy on drums.

In its formative year SPECTRUM played covers of work by its contemporaries, such established psychedelic / progressive artists like PINK FLOYD, SOFT MACHINE and TRAFFIC before developing a style of its own. The SPECTRUM sound was formed around Neale's skilled Hammond organ playing - mostly without the use of a Leslie speaker cabinet - and Rudd's extraordinary finger-picking guitar style (a style he reportedly used to avoid being compared to the more accomplished guitarists of the time), his often humorous and offbeat song titles and lyrics, plus his unusual and distinctive voice. Add to these two the very skilled and reliable rhythm section of Putt and Kennedy and the SPECTRUM equation is complete.

As regulars at many of Melbourne's concert venues SPECTRUM honed its sound and developed a swag of original material. This material would eventually find its way onto the first SPECTRUM album, "Spectrum Part One". SPECTRUM's polished stage show used a lot of equipment, a huge PA system and had a full light show. The hefty equipment costs meant that a lot of concerts were needed to create some kind of effective income, and bookings were not always easy to come by as some promoters thought SPECTRUM's sound 'too progressive'. As SPECTRUM is struggling to make ends meet via the concert circuit, a significant change comes about in Australian law when a number of states amend the Age Of Majority from 21 to 18. This lowering of the legal age for alcohol consumption gave birth to the pub rock scene, forever changing the Australian live music circuit; pubs had cheap beer to offer to a sharply increased cliental base, and could hire bands to play live music in the rowdy pub atmosphere that leant itself to the rock 'n' roll sound. This new phenomenon was to the detriment of the larger concert events held in unlicensed venues. SPECTRUM (and other "head" groups) needed the larger concerts and an audience prepared to sit and...
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Buy SPECTRUM Music


All the Colours of the Spectrum: Comp RecordingsAll the Colours of the Spectrum: Comp Recordings
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$11.90
$10.06 (used)
Soul KissSoul Kiss
Limited Edition
Bmg Music 1992
Audio CD$33.00 (used)
Refractions: Thru the Rhythms of Time 1989-1997Refractions: Thru the Rhythms of Time 1989-1997
United States Dist 2004
Audio CD$11.99
$196.81 (used)
Lake of TeardropsLake of Teardrops
Import
Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$36.98
$5.68 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY VOCAL POINT - SPECTRUM NEW CD USD $15.55 Buy It Now 1h 56m
SPECTRUM songs for owsley US CD EP spacemen 3 psych DIGIPAK limited edition USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 19m
SPECTRUM Sonic Boom Spacemen3 PROMO 7" To The Moon and Back/Capo Waltz USD $27.09 [0 bids]
2h 29m
Ghost & Other Great Hits by Spectrum (Easy) (CD, Jun-1992, Compendia Music... USD $0.99 [0 bids]
2h 53m
Richard Boldrey & Elizabeth Buccheri LISTZ, WAGNER, ONSLOW LP SPECTRUM SR 113 USD $2.50 Buy It Now 2h 53m
All The Colours Of The Spectrum: Complete Recordin - Spectru (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.27 Buy It Now 2h 56m
Little Angels - Little of the Past (CD, Jun-1999, Universal/Spectrum) USD $7.19 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Sacred Songs The Johnson Brothers~Country Christian spectrum DL614 USD $1.99 [0 bids]
USD $9.99 Buy It Now
3h 22m
SPECTRUM: Free / The Tale Of Wally Toft 45 (Spain, PS) Rock & Pop USD $15.00 Buy It Now 3h 32m
Sy Zentner et al Spotlight on Jazz All Stars 1962 Stereo-Spectrum SDLP-153 SS LP USD $10.00 Buy It Now 3h 33m
New Music Record The Nation Blue "Live At Spectrum" DVD USD $12.70 Buy It Now 5h 50m
MURTCEPS Esmeralda / We Are Indelible 1972 OZ 45 Spectrum USD $7.90 Buy It Now 5h 59m
AEROSMITH LIVE PUMPIN LIVE CD SPECTRUM PHILADELPHIA PA 1/19/90 EXCELLENT USD $29.99 Buy It Now 6h 2m
STEVEN HALPERN Japan 1985 NM LP+Obi Gramavision Records SPECTRUM SUITE USD $29.99 Buy It Now 6h 46m
70's (2 CD) ROSS RYAN~SHERBET~HUSH~SPECTRUM~STARS~COUNTRY RADIO~TED MULRY *NEW* USD $15.67 Buy It Now 6h 46m
Wind of Change: The Collection by Scorpions (CD, May-2013, Spectrum Music (UK)) USD $3.69 Buy It Now 6h 54m
JOE TURNER - Blues Spectrum LP BS 104 - R&B - Orig 1974 trks - M- USD $8.00 Buy It Now 7h 12m
CCM various Spectrum/The Colours Sampler/Maranatha/1985/Canada/NM- HEAR USD $3.53 Buy It Now 7h 12m
Various Composers : Spectrum 3 (Thalia Myers) CD (2001) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 7h 13m
Genesis "Spectrum 1983" 4CD USD $40.00 [1 bids]
7h 22m
Ace Spectrum " Live And Learn " 12" single USD $12.00 Buy It Now 7h 24m
The Best of the Velvelettes [Universal/Spectrum] by The Velvelettes (CD,... USD $3.69 Buy It Now 7h 34m
Maria Lagios, Elizabeth Buccheri, Songs Of Les Six - Spectrum SR-147 Vinyl LP NM USD $9.74 Buy It Now 8h 36m
The SPECTRUM of MUSIC / Selections for Grades 1 through 6 - Sealed LP (1983) USD $6.53 Buy It Now 8h 40m
Gunnar Staern & LSO - Smetana & Liszt (Audio Spectrum ?- ASC-10006) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
8h 53m
Yvar Mikhashoff, Virgil Thomson: Sixty Years of Piano Music, Spectrum SR 153 USD $20.00 Buy It Now 9h 12m
Spectrum: Anthology - Tony Williams & Lifetime - Audio CD USD $39.88 Buy It Now 9h 13m
Collection * by Central Line (CD, Jun-2003, Spectrum) USD $15.38 Buy It Now 9h 14m
David Crowell Ensemble-Spectrum CD NEW USD $14.17 Buy It Now 9h 55m
PROGRESSIVE EUPHORIA (Side Winder,Solar Spectrum) 2 CD NEW+ USD $32.09 Buy It Now 10h 5m
GENE KRUPA Jazz Spectrum Vol. 9 LP NEAR MINT GERMAN IMPORT USD $11.99 Buy It Now 10h 40m
Sparks In the Swing Compilation CD German Import 1993 Spectrum Germany USD $11.69 Buy It Now 10h 43m
BILLY COBHAM:SPECTRUM (1973 Album) Atlantic CD Inc. Red Baron & Quadrant 4~NEW USD $4.05 [0 bids]
12h 39m
Spectrum, New, Free Shipping USD $17.29 Buy It Now 13h 36m
SONS OF THE VEGETAL MOTHER / SPECTRUM - MEGA RARE FREE GIVEAWAY PSYCH 45 VAULT USD $26.98 Buy It Now 14h 24m
SOLAR SPECTRUM - DROPLETS FROM THE MATRIX CD NEW+ USD $26.23 Buy It Now 14h 31m
DON MIGUEL VALENCIA Fury Of The Matador SPECTRUM Stereo USD $7.70 Buy It Now 14h 53m
COSMIC PROGRESSIONS Samas Chitoon Solar Spectrum Beatspy 2 CD NEW+ USD $32.68 Buy It Now 15h 13m
SPECTRUM - MURTCEPS - GHOSTS: POST-TERMINAL REFLECTION - OZ RAVEN CD USD $18.25 Buy It Now 16h 6m
MUSIC LIBRARY NEW SOUTHERN spectrum MARK EMNEY 1983 UK STEREO LP USD $10.82 Buy It Now 16h 52m
Vernon Regehr-Full Spectrum CD NEW USD $15.66 Buy It Now 18h
The Music of Neil Diamond 2009 by Spectrum USD $4.89 Buy It Now 18h 5m
Tranquil Spectrum - Tranquil Spectrum: Guided Meditation [New CD] USD $28.11 Buy It Now 18h 16m
Vinyl Spectrum - Cosmic Desire [New CD] USD $17.05 Buy It Now 18h 17m
OFFENBACH: GAITE PARISIENNE-Reel To Reel Tape-AUDIO SPECTRUM~4 TRACK~7 1/2 IPS USD $24.99 Buy It Now 18h 50m
1984 - SPECTRUM CITY - LIES / CHECK OUT THE RADIO - PROMO - PUBLIC ENEMY DEBUT USD $16.93 Buy It Now 19h 55m
The Fontana Years by The House of Love (CD, Jun-2004, 2 Discs, Spectrum) USD $75.00 Buy It Now 20h 40m
V.A. : JOEY NEGRO...-THE BEST OF DISCO SPECTRUM-IMPORT 3 LP WITH JAPAN OBI I61 USD $36.99 Buy It Now 20h 46m
Grateful Dead at the spectrum rare 2cd USD $9.99 [0 bids]
21h 7m
Quannum Spectrum : Mo Wax Promo DJ SHADOW, Blackalicious, Dan The Automator etc USD $2.70 [0 bids]
21h 40m
CEDAR WALTON - SPECTRUM - PRESTIGE RECORDS-PRT-7591 - NEW - MINT USD $35.00 Buy It Now 21h 52m
The Essential Collection 1975-1982 by Poco (CD, Jun-1997, Spectrum) USD $3.70 Buy It Now 21h 53m
SPECTRUM - STARRING JANET LEIGH 039841472820 EU CD H-3562 USD $1.99 [0 bids]
22h 9m
HENNIE BEKKER - Spectrum: An Anthology of Relaxing Instrumental ** Brand New ** USD $25.95 Buy It Now 23h 3m
R&B CLASSICS Various Artists 18 CLASSIC TRACKS > NEW SOUL CD (SPECTRUM) DELETED USD $7.44 Buy It Now 23h 3m
21/8/93PGN06 SPECTRUM : INDIAN SUMMER ADVERT 7X5" TOUR DATES USD $6.77 Buy It Now 23h 14m
Radere i can't sleep, i can't wake up on Full Spectrum Records ?2016 USD $11.95 Buy It Now 23h 25m
Blue for You [Spectrum] by Dusty Springfield CD, 1993 Universal/Spectrum A1131 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 23h 52m
End of the Road: The Collection by Boyz II Men (CD, Sep-2011, Spectrum Music... USD $3.56 Buy It Now 23h 53m
Collection by Rose Royce (CD, Aug-2003, Spectrum Music (UK)) USD $13.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Spectrum, Billy Cobham, Good USD $8.96 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLAND PRESENTS DUB 1976 TO 1990 38 HARD AND HEAVY DUB CUTS - 2014 SPECTRUM 2xCD USD $8.13 Buy It Now 1 day
JAZZ SPECTRUM DIZZY GILLESPIE COUNT BASIE DUKE ELLINGTON 1974 RARE EXYUGO LP USD $34.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLAND RECORDS PRESENTS ROOTS 1974-1979 - 2013 SPECTRUM 2xCD TRINITY/RICO 37tks USD $6.77 Buy It Now 1 day
Spectrum - 'The Light Is Dark' 1969 UK RCA Intl.LP. Ex! USD $40.62 Buy It Now 1 day
SONY SONG SPECTRUM cd VARIOUS ARTISTS - 10 TRACKS USD $2.50 Buy It Now 1 day
MARY STALLINGS - Spectrum - CD ** Very Good Condition ** USD $36.95 Buy It Now 1 day
HOLLYWOOD SPECTRUM - I gotta get back - NORTHERN SOUL 7'' 45 RPM - LISTEN!!!!! USD $10.82 [0 bids]
1 day
CD STATUS QUO THE ESSENTIAL STATUS QUO VOLUME TWO Spectrum Music 1999 Rock Alb USD $2.02 Buy It Now 1 day
Spectrum : The Music of Genesis CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Tranquil Spectrum - Tranquil Spectrum: Guided Meditation [New CD] USD $18.18 Buy It Now 1 day
Music of Rod Stewart by Spectrum (Easy) (CD, Mar-1995, Intersound) USD $5.59 Buy It Now 1 day
Morbid Saint - Spectrum Of Death CD USD $10.49 Buy It Now 1 day
CD New Country Hits by Spectrum USD $6.90 Buy It Now 1 day
The Essential Collection by Dennis Edwards (CD, Sep-2002, Universal/Spectrum) USD $3.71 Buy It Now 1 day
Spectrum Plays the Music of Phil Collins - Instrumental CD USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1 day
New: SPECTRUM ROAD - Spectrum Road CD USD $9.98 Buy It Now 1 day
JOEY NEGRO AND SEAN P PRESENT DISCO SPECTRUM Various Artists TRIPLE LP VINYL USD $44.55 Buy It Now 1 day
The Essential Collection by Lesley Gore (CD, Feb-1999, Universal/Spectrum) USD $15.38 Buy It Now 1 day
H71220 CONTEMPORARY CHAMBER ENSEMBLE Spectrum New American Music Volume 2 LP USD $4.25 Buy It Now 1 day
Spectrum Forever Alien 2x Vinyl LP Record! sonic boom from spacemen 3/e.a.r NEW! USD $33.69 Buy It Now 1 day
SPECTRUM (COUNTRY) Opening Roll LP VINYL US Rounder 1980 12 Track Sleeve Has USD $6.76 Buy It Now 1 day
ROBERT PALMER Some Guys Have All The Luck CD UK Spectrum 2001 18 Track (5446072) USD $12.05 Buy It Now 1 day
STYLE COUNCIL Collection CD European Spectrum 2001 18 Track (5446432) USD $6.76 Buy It Now 1 day
MERSEYBEATS Very Best Of CD European Spectrum 1997 20 Track (5521022) USD $5.68 Buy It Now 1 day
BACHELORS World Of CD European Spectrum 1996 20 Track (5520172) USD $10.42 Buy It Now 1 day
ISLEY BROTHERS Essential Collection CD European Spectrum 2001 18 Track (5445162) USD $6.76 Buy It Now 1 day
TOMMY STEELE Best Of CD European Spectrum 1999 20 Track (5441722) USD $6.76 Buy It Now 1 day
JOEY NEGRO AND SEAN P PRESENT DISCO SPECTRUM Various Artists DOUBLE CD European USD $28.29 Buy It Now 1 day
JOHNNY CASH Best Of CD Aussie Spectrum 1998 22 Track (5543832) USD $13.67 Buy It Now 1 day
BACHELORS Very Best Of CD European Spectrum 1999 18 Track (5441772) USD $5.68 Buy It Now 1 day
JIMMY CLIFF Reggae Greats CD European Spectrum 1998 11 Track (5544592) USD $6.49 Buy It Now 1 day
STEVEN HALPERN SPECTRUM SUITE VINYL LP 1977 HALPERN SOUNDS HS 770, STEREO USD $19.95 Buy It Now 1 day
First Beat by Tony Sheridan & The Beatles (CD, Spectrum) MADE IN GERMANY USD $17.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Spectrum -The Music of Billy Joel - CD - NEW - FAST FREE SHIPPING !!! USD $6.95 Buy It Now 1 day
SOUTHERN COMFORT II - DANCE COMPILATION ALBUM Various LP VINYL UK Spectrum 1983 USD $100.22 Buy It Now 1 day
Janet Wagner/John Cobb HINDEMITH Das Marienleben - Spectrum SR-185 SEALED USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1 day
The Music of Fleetwood Mac - PERFORMED BY SPECTRUM - CD - NEW - FREE SHIPPING ! USD $6.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Joan Armatrading - Collection [Spectrum] (1999) USD $2.37 Buy It Now 1 day
BALI Love To Love You Baby 7" VINYL UK Circa 1989 B/W Body Heat Spectrum Mix USD $4.25 Buy It Now 1 day

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SPECTRUM discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SPECTRUM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 16 ratings
Spectrum Part One
1971
3.78 | 22 ratings
Milesago
1971
2.08 | 3 ratings
Warts Up Your Nose
1973
3.07 | 6 ratings
Testimonial
1973

SPECTRUM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 4 ratings
Terminal Buzz
1973

SPECTRUM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SPECTRUM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SPECTRUM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.09 | 2 ratings
Breathing Space (EP)
2008
3.00 | 2 ratings
Breathing Space Too (EP)
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Breathing Space As Well
2011

SPECTRUM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Milesago by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.78 | 22 ratings

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Milesago
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A double album havering between sophisticated progressive music and bluesy psychedelic pop, Spectrum's Milesago isn't some sort of wildly avant-garde cutting-edge thing; it's more like the product of a band who've listened to the Beatles' last few albums an awful lot and decided to see where they could go by mashing up that sort of compositional approach with early 1970s soft rock and pop developments. From the opening of the album, the vocal harmonies in particular feel like they have a certain Beatles touch to them. The other majorly Beatles-y aspect of the album is that, like the White Album, it's a bit of a sprawling album which can be a little inconsistent and is a bit much to listen through all at once, though it's fun enough in its own way.
 Spectrum Part One by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.17 | 16 ratings

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Spectrum Part One
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars From way down under comes this amazing (at times) bunch. Their second album "Milesago" is a terrific piece of hammond drenched hard rock prog, spiced just a tad with psychedelia. This their first album is very much a prototype to that album. Heavy on the organ, british in some mellow kind of way but sprinkled a bit more with the psychedelic spices.

The opening "Make your stash" is quite a good track, as is "Fiddling fool". The first opens in an eerie way, before heading into a mellow piece. The same could be said for "Fiddling fool", though this piece is decidedly more psych.

"Super boy" is a great track. Yet again mellow, with beautiful organ. "Drifting" heads into some jazzy rock territory. Quite good. "Mumbles I wonder why" is my favorite track. It sounds naive in an endearing way and offers fantastic organ playing. The next one "Launching place part 2" is really alright aswell. They end it all with the Manfred Mann's Earth Band track "I'll be gone". The original track may be better but this one really is interesting.

Overall it is quite an arlight album. Well played, organic and endearing. I really like Spectrum and the sound they make. They hold a tone of their own, quite Australian in that je ne sais quoi kind of way. It is good but when push comes to a shove it is no more than that. I would recommend "Milesago" over this but still, it has loads of charm an ideas.

 Milesago by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.78 | 22 ratings

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Milesago
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Australian prog is not overly reviewed on PA. At least that is my conception. It may be wrong but I might be right. It seems, however, that Spectrum is not one of the most listened to bands on this site. Apart from a very precious few ratings and even fewer written reviews there seems to be little attention given to these proggers from Oz.

I bought myself this album as a christmas present back in 2009. The deluxe Aztec edition, I might add. Now, I am not reviewing that edition, though I strongly advise you to get a hold of it if you can. This review regards the original album as it appeared upon release in 1971.

The first thing to say about this album is that it is very raw and dirty, as far as the production is concerned. It is very heavy in parts, in no small part due to the excellent organ and guitar, of which both are very distorted. This fact makes me really enjoy the album. The rawness, alongside the quite impressive musical vision, gives the album an edge. I could compare it to a more progressive Deep Purple, circa 1970 - 1971. Overall, the musical ability is great. The vocals are heartfelt and gritty and the instrumentation is very well performed.

The songs ranges from rock'n'roll (But that's alright) to ballads (Love's my bag), hard rock (What the world needs now) to soaring progressive rock (Milesago) and all epic prog (The sideways saga). It is a great and somewhat eclectic collection of songs, which despite seeming sort of schizoid at first really merges together nicely.

My favorite track on the album has to be "What the world needs now". The track is driven by this unbelievable organ, distorted and played with such emotion. It starts off with this noise, made by the organ, resembling the noise made by the great Jon Lord on "Lazy" (from Made in Japan). It takes off and becomes this really outstanding song. If you are into organ, this is really a track to check out, as is the entire album.

As with any prog from any country, australian prog has it's own flavor and so has Spectrum. It is like a twisted form of british prog and I cannot point my finger at what it is. I do think, however, that in Spectrum's case it is a question of great musical vision, coupled with a psychedelic-progressive will, all mixed with a dose of "to hell with it all" and a sense of humour. It stands on it's own, majestically so. All in all, this album needs to be discovered by more people.

 Terminal Buzz by SPECTRUM album cover Live, 1973
3.08 | 4 ratings

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Terminal Buzz
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

3 stars This live album captures for posterity the final concert of Spectrum & Indelible Murtceps, before Ray Arnott joined Mighty Kong (Australia's own post-prog supergroup a la Asia, except ten years earlier...we were ahead of the curve for once), and the rest of the band regrouped as Ariel.

The first disc features the Indelible Murtceps version of the band - ie upbeat, simple rocking songs with mostly scatalogical lyrics, featuring electric piano instead of organ. They were in a jamming mood that night, three of the four tracks stretch well past ten minutes, but not in a way that would greatly interest prog fans - they kept the groove and kept things simple.

The second disc focuses more on Spectrum material - the difference by now meaning Hammond organ, ponderous slow tempi, and rather anarchic playing compared to their much tighter Murtceps material. In the studio, relatively new keyboardist John Mills had begun to use synthesizers and other keyboards, broadening the Spectrum sound palette, but here on stage he restricts himself to organ - "Essay In Paranoia" suffers from the absence of the synth. He is a much more technically advanced and melodically inventive player than was Lee Neale, I enjoyed listening to the detail of his playing on the older numbers, however he lacks the 'fiery' sound of Neale. "Essay In Paranoia" stays relatively faithful to the studio arrangement, while "Superbody" goes off on a completely different tangent, and "What The World Needs" is also distinguished from it's studio version by Mills more structured playing.

The first new piece, "Crazy Song" begins promisingly, with an unusually (for Spectrum) chromatic theme that made me think of Gentle Giant or Syrius, and finishes equally strongly with a fast running figure, but in the meantime we get an awful lot of atonal noodling. It segues into a simple four-chord jam "Goodbye". From here they segue again into the inevitable "I'll Be Gone" before encoring with another new number "i Want To Know', which returns to Murtceps territory.

Although there is some good music here - this is certainly an album any Spectrum fan will want to own - one would have to conclude that they'd made the right decision to break up at this time. The album shows clearly the disconnect between the Spectrum and Murtceps personae, and the declining level of inspiration on the Spectrum side of the equation. The first Ariel album featured a much rejuvenated group of musicians, finally capable of reconciling their two musical personalities into something exciting and new.

 Spectrum Part One by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.17 | 16 ratings

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Spectrum Part One
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by BORA

2 stars The band hails from my adopted country, Australia, where Prog was never "abundant". I may have heard this LP a long time ago. If so, then it didn't leave a lasting impression on me - for I can't recall. Recently, I was given the chance to hear it (again?)

Firstly, I feel terribly sorry for these well-meaning musos attempting to deliver some rather original material. Their difficult task in creating what resembles prehistoric Psychedelic material wasn't assisted by the recording process. Apart from that the material sounds like just a collection of demos, the mix is just horrible - and that's before we get to the artwork.

I was a bit taken aback by the vocals that don't sound anything I could compare with. Original would be the least I could say. More like indulgently experimental that compromises the entire works. A stroke of genius, or substance abuse - I couldn't possibly say, but it fails to impress.

The sound of the Hammond brightens things a bit, but apart from a few little runs on it, it's the actual rich sound of the organ that pleases - in place of the keys played. The bass player is definitely trying his best, but is left excessively loud in the mix thus, the somewhat amateurish delivery is further exposed.

The whole "album" tends to be devoid of any bulk, just repeatedly falling apart, due to indulgent gaps and a serious lack of arrangements. With some professional editing and mix this could be a 3 star work, but as it is I couldn't possibly call it good.

 Breathing Space Too (EP) by SPECTRUM album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Breathing Space Too (EP)
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

3 stars It's the same band that recorded the first Breathing Space EP, and continues to sound very little like the original Spectrum.

Having said that, Rudd's songwriting is much stronger on this second release. His humourous side comes out on "Xavier Rudd Is Not My Son" (in case you're wondering, neither is Kevin his brother) and "Sensible Shoes" (a sequel to "What The World Needs Is A New Pair Of Socks"?), while "Hotels, Motels" is a poignant tribute to the struggles of his generation as they move beyond middle age.

Still not remotely a prog record, still not near the quality of Part One or Milesago, but as it's a step up from the first Breathing Space I think it deserves a higher rating.

 Breathing Space (EP) by SPECTRUM album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
2.09 | 2 ratings

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Breathing Space (EP)
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

2 stars Why has the name Spectrum been resurrected for a band that bears so little relationship to the original band? Yes, Mike Rudd and Bill Putt are both involved - but Rudd and Putt have never stopped working together, moving straight from Spectrum to Ariel, and then to a succession of later bands including Instant Replay, The Heaters and WHY, on solo and duo projects, before finally deciding to take the Spectrum name for a project that has no more relationship to the original than any of these other bands. When Ray Arnott left Spectrum in 1973, that was considered to be sufficient reason to break up the band, even though the rest of the lineup and the musical direction remained intact into the first incarnation of Ariel. The new Spectrum does not have Arnott, or any other early member, nor does it sound much like the original band. So why? Other than maybe it's easier to get people to gigs, or to buy new records, when the Spectrum name is involved? That's the only reason I can think of.

Spectrum have actually been back on the live circuit for over a decade, and have previously released two CDs under the moniker Spectrum Plays The Blues. This initial 'reunion' was a three piece, with no keyboardist (something else I don't understand, when Lee Neale's organ was the most distinctive feature of the original band's sound). By the time they got around to recording the Breathing Space series, they had a keyboard player, but in contrast to the 'fiery' style of Neale or the multi-keyboard layering of John Mills, this guy is so self-effacing you barely notice he's there. The writing is low-key adult-oriented rock. The only time it starts to sound at all like the old Spectrum is on "Second Coming", during an instrumental break where the organ briefly cranks up (albeit with little more than some held chords) while Rudd plays the kind of hypnotic more-with-less guitar solo he was famous for.

It is good to see Rudd's humour is intact - in the song "I Play My Guitar" he notes "you say I play my guitar like I make love to you". Considering how famously self-deprecating he is about his guitar skills, this is pretty funny - especially since he gets former Ariel colleague Tim Gaze to play the solo! (And fine playing too)

The EP is not without its charms - but if you're looking for the Spectrum of the 1970s, you'll be disappointed.

 Testimonial by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.07 | 6 ratings

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Testimonial
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

3 stars Although there was an attempt to keep the Spectrum and Indelible Murtceps personae separate, there was inevitably some confusion between the two bands, and so the next album was jointly credited to both entities. There was an attempt to keep a demarcation between the two though, each track being assigned to one name or the other, with clear instrumentation and genre differences. Instead of this diversity being a strength, as it was on Milesago, it becomes jarring. The Murtceps numbers are generally straight-forward boogie numbers (with apparently an ear to the success of Daddy Cool - the guitar riff in "Indelible Shuffle" is very reminiscent of their "Hi Honey Ho"), with keyboards restricted to piano. The Spectrum numbers are ponderous mid-tempo numbers with a fuller range of keyboard sounds (courtesy new member John Mills), including the first use of synthesizers, but little of the fire we used to get from Lee Neale - or from anyone else in the band. The best number on the album is the one Murtceps number to break the genre straightjacket imposed on each identity, "Real Meanie". The best of the Spectrum numbers are "I Think I Even Missed The Station" and Ray Arnott's grooving "It Would Be Nice". "Essay In Paranoia", apparently a stage favourite at the time, is the most overtly proggy in it's multiple sections and use of synthesizer.
 Warts Up Your Nose by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.08 | 3 ratings

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Warts Up Your Nose
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

2 stars Despite a national #1 single in "I'll Be Gone" and two gold albums, Spectrum were near broke - the Australian market wasn't large enough to provide a large royalty income, and they couldn't get many gigs outside the small inner city circuit because their music was too complex - even a massive hit single couldn't get you gigs at the suburban dances that were still the mainstay of musical life in Australia. Spectrum were not the only band to adapt to circumstance by playing simpler, more commercial material at suburban gigs. However, they hit on an ingenious solution which allowed them to do so without compromising the credibility of the Spectrum name - they adopted an alter ego, the Indelible Murtceps (spectrum spelt backwards, geddit?) who would play the suburban dances, with less equipment, while reserving the Spectrum name for their more ambitious material. Murtceps developed somewhat of a following in their own right, which led to recording under that name. They had a minor hit with the double-sided single "We Are Indelible"/"Esmeralda" - the first song celebrating that "now we are sellable", while the other was a tribute to a hard-working prostitute. The album Warts Up Your Nose followed, and was a sign that band really weren't taking this too seriously. Most of Mike Rudd's songs are credited to "My Crudd", and, as the name suggests, most of them are throwaway songs concerned with scatalogical themes - "Blue Movies Make Me Cry", "In The Bog", "Excuse Me Just One Moment" (which captures the drinking culture of the gigs they were playing), "Hand Jive", etc. It's fun, but it's of no interest to prog fans. There are no organ solos, no atmospheric instrumentals (although there is a long jam in the middle of "Some Good Advice"), no multi-part suites - very little of what made Spectrum interesting in the first place.
 Milesago by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.78 | 22 ratings

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Milesago
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

5 stars By the time Milesago was recorded, Spectrum had already established their 'commercial' alter ego Indelible Murtceps, for which Mike Rudd was obliged to write simpler, more coherent songs. This sharpened his skills, and resulted in a much better material for Spectrum's second album. The first album was characterised by comparatively flimsy one-verse songs which then became the launching point for extended instrumental jams - if you preferred that side of Spectrum, it's still present in tracks such as "Love's My Bag", "Your Friend And Mine", "What The World Needs (Is A New Pair of Socks)", and "Fly Without It's Wings". But we also get some well-written short-snappy songs ("But That's Alright", "Untitled", "Virgin's Tale", "Tell Me Why", "Don't Bother Coming Round), some more structured long pieces ("The Sideways Saga", "Milesago"), and some psychedelic numbers that rely on more than one verse and a long organ solo ("Play A Song That I Know", "A Fate Worse Than Death", "Trust Me" - written and sung by new drummer Ray Arnott). Best of all, we get our first great glimpses of Rudd's sick sense of humour ("What The World Needs", "Virgin's Tale", "A Fate Worse Than Death", "The Sideways Saga", "Mama Did Jesus Where Makeup?"). Lee Neale uses a more diverse range of keyboard sounds, relying less on his 'fiery' organ (although it's still just as 'fiery' when it does make an appearance), and using more electric piano, with occasional harpsichord, clavinet and piano. In general, the more diverse sounds and songwriting approaches make this a much stronger record than the debut, one that is justly considered to be a high point of the early 1970s Australian underground/progressive rock scene.

The Aztec re-release includes several bonus tracks, including the single versions of "Trust Me" and "But That's Alright", b-side "Going Home" (somewhat of a sequel to "I'll Be Gone"), the rare soundtrack recording "Dalmas" (more in the style of the first album), a couple of live tracks from the Sunbury Festival of 1972, and a cigarette commercial! I'm glad to have these tracks, but unhappy they interfere with the original sequence of the four sides of vinyl.

Thanks to t.rox for the artist addition.

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