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Ruphus Ranshart album cover
3.18 | 66 ratings | 7 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Love Is My Light (6:12)
2. Easy Lovers, Heavy Moaners (4:37)
3. Fallen Wonders (5:51)
4. Pictures of a Day (8:30)
5. Back Side (8:10)

Total Time: 33:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Rune Østdahl / vocals
- Kjell Larsen / guitar
- Håkon Graf / keyboards
- Asle Nilsen / bass, flute
- Thor Bendiksen / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Kathinka Rasch Halvorse

LP Polydor ‎- 2382 046 (1974, Scandinavia)

CD Pan Records ‎- PACD017 (1999, Norway)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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RUPHUS Ranshart ratings distribution

(66 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

RUPHUS Ranshart reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars I reviewed Ruphus’ debut album about a year and a half ago and wrote that some of it smacked of mid-seventies AOR, and that it was a decent album but overall hadn’t aged all that well. The same applies to ‘Ranshart’, their sophomore release that came out less than a year after ‘New Born Day’.

There are a few differences, albeit mostly minor ones. The opening track isn’t nearly as heavy as “Coloured Dreams” from ‘New Born Days’, and the band manages to deviate from an obvious Yes-influenced style with the almost Styx-leaning (and decidedly non-prog titled) ballad “Easy Lovers, Heavy Moaners”. The vocal harmonies on this one remind me just a bit of Spock’s Beard as well, although the lyrics are pretty much repetitive and disposable.

As with their debut there is a heavy emphasis on keyboards of all sorts, yet with this second album the band does spend a bit more time at least trying to give equal billing to Kjell Larsen’s guitar and (quite noticeably) bassist Aslec Nilsen, who is also credited with the flute but doesn’t really play it much except on “Pictures of a Day”. A second guitarist and flautist from the first album is gone, as is the band’s original lead vocalist Gudny Aspaas which is too band because I liked her voice. The band also had a second keyboardist (Håkon Graf) who has apparently left as well, but they have added a new vocalist in Rune Ostdahl.

While the first album settled into a very period-appropriate heavy prog groove after the opening track, this one balances guitar riffs with synthesized keyboard forays and just enough multipart vocals to sound more like early neo-prog than its heavier predecessor. This is most evident on “Fallen Wonders” and the closing “Back Side” though, while the rest of the album is characterized by the same sort of decidedly mid-seventies as the albums that preceded and followed it.

My understanding is the band took more of a fusion direction toward the end, but if you are one of the many folks who still appreciate that seventies symphonic-meets-art-rock sound, this record may appeal to you. Reissued on CD in 1999, you can still find copies pretty easily although in the U.S. at least you’ll have to import it as I doubt you can find this on many record store shelves. Three stars anyway; a pleasant enough diversion on a late autumn evening or perhaps even a lazy summer afternoon. Recommended for nostalgic types I suppose.


Review by Warthur
2 stars Ranshart sees Ruphus changing their style dramatically and aiming for an early Yes sound. ("Early" meaning from the debut album to the Yes Album or thereabouts.) Whilst I can see why some musicians might consider this a canny move when Yes seemed on the verge of becoming completely inaccessible following the (brilliant) experiments of Tales From Topographic Oceans and Relayer, at the same time the approach the band take is so crass and cynical that it becomes impossible to overlook the shortcomings of their cloned sound.

Aslec Nilson makes the occasional bid to mimic Chris Squire's distinctive bass sound and almost succeeds, but all this does is underline how far they fall short of their target. Likewise, Rune Ostdahl is no Jon Anderson, no matter how much he cribs from Anderson's lyrical focuses and vocal style.

I have no objections to bands that try to recapture the classic sound of earlier groups - hell, I wouldn't be as fond of neo-prog as I am if that were the case - but I only dig clone groups if they're able to actually approach the standards of the band they are imitating, or if they bring their own ideas to the table to spice up an otherwise played-out formula. As it is, Ruphus achieve neither on this album, and the only thing they accomplish is the loss of the more interesting sound of their debut album. This is a crying shame.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In 1974 Ruphus would face some serious line-up changes for the first time.Hans Petter Danielsen left the band to become a well-known producer and he was briefly replaced by ex-Junipher Greene's guitarist Freddy Dahl.Dahl spent just a few months with the band and quit along with Gudny Aspaas and Rune Sundby (who had a short solo career in the 70's).The three departing musicians were replaced only by new singer Rune Ostdahl.With a shortened five-piece core Ruphus entered the Roger Arnhoff Studios in October 74' to recorded their new work ''Ranshart'', their second one also for Polydor.

With ''Ranshart'' Ruphus abandoned the diverse yet excellent sound of their debut for a more focused style towards Classic Symphonic Rock, which was more or less influenced by YES and other British Prog bands.They offered a complicated Progressive Rock with poppy sensibilities during the vocal parts but a very high level of composing and technique, delivered in long, refined and mostly interesting arrangements, full of keyboard colors and tricky guitar parts.Their music had a good sense of melody and lots of changing soundscapes, based on the very good keyboard textures as displayed on organ, synthesizers and Mellotron, while all guitar and bass lines have this unmistakable YES flavor.The ideas are always very rich and interesting despite the obvious lack of originality with plenty of odd meters and shifting gears as well as some fine multi-vocal arrangements.However the piece that really shines through is the long instrumental ''Pictures of a day'', very much along the lines of FOCUS and KAIPA, featuring lovely flute lines, melodic guitar parts, obscure Mellotron themes and a generally very symphonic sound.

Add another great album in Ruphus discography.It lacks the more genuine style of their debut, but their brand new approach is always charming and professional.For all fans of Classic 70's Prog...3.5 stars.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Norwegian band RUPHUS was formed back in 1972, and first appeared with the rather charming and impressive debut album "New Born Day" the following year. Working at a fairly high speed, their second album "Ranshart" appeared in 1974, just one year after their debut album.

Those who fancy symphonic progressive rock that literally is vintage and time typical should find plenty to enjoy on Ruphus' second album "Ranshart". Liberal amounts of keyboard layers, a more subtle guitar presence and liberal amounts of vocal harmonies combined with lead vocals, flute and Mellotron should come across as very much familiar elements indeed, and while perhaps not a stellar classic this is a good album in general and one that should please the tastes of an audience as specified very well indeed.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Norwegian prog formation Ruphus released 7 albums between 1973 and 1979, after their acclaimed debut album New Born Day from 1973 the band moved to Germany. During the years the sound of Ruphus gradually turned from harder-edged prog to more jazzrock oriented. The band had success in Germany but ... (read more)

Report this review (#2237523) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Thursday, July 11, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is how I imagine Yes may have sounded had the original line-up remained together for another year or two. Full of energy, inventiveness and the optimism of prog in its youth. You could possibly agrue that it does 'sound of it's time', but if like me you are particularly fond of early 70's p ... (read more)

Report this review (#143609) | Posted by barp | Thursday, October 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This LP is one of the best Norwegian prog-LP's, with excellent melodic harmonies, very good compositions, has joy of playing and, it is a bit different of the rest Ruphus albums. More in the Yes vein, Ranshart should absolutely be a part of a serious proghead's collection!The other remaining ... (read more)

Report this review (#61336) | Posted by | Friday, December 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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