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RUPHUS

Heavy Prog • Norway


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Ruphus biography
RUPHUS is probably one of the most important 70's Norwegian hard rock band with progressive tendencies (there were a few of those back then: AUNT MARY, TITANIC, POPOL VUH / ACE etc..) but their music evolution would differ greatly from those groups. Their debut "A New Born Day" is certainly one of the best Norwegian albums with a very exciting sound and its extraordinarily communicative enthusiasm, even if a bit dated. But three members left after the album release and a new singer was found for their second album "Ranshart", a more progressive record looking towards YES and FOCUS, but it was not quite as exciting as the debut. Future jazz-rock legend Terje Rypdal produced their third album "Let Your Light Shine", a jazz-rock album that had much success in Germany, but again, personnel change struck at the worst of times, but their fourth album "Inner Voice" continued the formula, but further changes undermined the group, eventually folding at the end of the decade to general indifference.

RUPHUS's discography is interesting to a few types of progheads from the more symphonic ones to the more fusional ones.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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New Born DayNew Born Day
Import
Panorama
Audio CD$34.99
$26.49 (used)
Let Your Light ShineLet Your Light Shine
Import
Pacd026 2005
Audio CD$49.99
$178.92 (used)
RanshartRanshart
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Panor 2000
Audio CD$34.99
$21.99 (used)
Inner VoiceInner Voice
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Pan Records
Audio CD$34.99
$136.52 (used)
Coloured Dreams/Hidden SchemesColoured Dreams/Hidden Schemes
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Universal 2006
Audio CD$29.49
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RUPHUS discography


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

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

3.91 | 49 ratings
New Born Day
1973
3.12 | 29 ratings
Ranshart
1974
2.80 | 27 ratings
Let Your Light Shine
1976
3.29 | 21 ratings
Inner Voice
1977
3.06 | 17 ratings
Flying Colours
1978
3.48 | 14 ratings
Manmade
1979

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

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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Of Ruphus
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rock on Brain
1978
2.00 | 4 ratings
Hot Rhythms And High Notes
1978
3.95 | 13 ratings
Coloured Dreams & Hidden Schemes
1996

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Flying Dutchman Fantasy / Opening Theme
1974

RUPHUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ranshart by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.12 | 29 ratings

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Ranshart
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 Let Your Light Shine by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.80 | 27 ratings

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Let Your Light Shine
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by BORA

4 stars Brilliant musicianship!

I have this habit of randomly selecting an entry, an album listed on PA, then read the reviews. Today it happened to be this work.

I was greatly bemused by the low ratings as - from memory - it is a fine album. Dusting off my old copy has confirmed that indeed, it's quality offering. Pure Jazz-Rock of a better variety. Largely keyboard driven with fluid and professional input on guitars and competent rhythm section. Comparisons with Brian Auger, Robin Lumley (Brand X), Return To Forever, electric Herbie Hancock , Gary Boyle (Isotope) spring to mind. So what's wrong here?

For a Heavy-Prog outfit to deliver such quality Jazz-Rock with ease, surely is a sign of great talent. Unfortunately the female singer is spoiling some of the efforts. She has a reasonable voice most of the time, not unlike Gail Moran, Flora Purim with a touch of Ursula Dudziak. Still, I wouldn't miss her presence and the good thing is that much of the album remains instrumental.

The compositions, the delivery would please any Jazz-Rock fan immensely and merit 5 stars from me. Sadly, the vocals take some shine away and bring to mind again that "less would have been more". Still, a solid 4 is appropriate.

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 New Born Day by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.91 | 49 ratings

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New Born Day
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars "Trapped In A Game" is one of the coolest songs I've ever heard in my life.

Just figured I'd throw that out there before I give this album some general assessment. What we have here is the debut from one of the first prog bands from Norway, and man does this thing cook. The opening track sets the tone, essentially a hard rock tune with a generous amount of Hammond organ banging to compliment the heavy guitars and bass. A pretty sweet rockin' riff too, with only the slightly jazzy style of the drums keeping this song from full Deep Purple worship. But there is also the vocals...and that's what sets this band apart.

I don't tend to give such a high score to an album, even if I really dig it, unless it has something unique to offer or something I haven't heard before that endows the album a with specific individual vibe. In this case it's the dual male / female vocals sung with a wide-eyed enthusiastic passion. Gudny, without a doubt, is one talented and maybe more than a bit crazy vocalist who has no time for terms like subtlety or restraint. From her introduction on the first track, she's already reaching for ridiculous high notes in an almost unhinged fashion, but damnit she sounds great with a killer tone. Rune, for his part, does the male foil role more than adequately, dishing out strong vibratos and taking the lead in some of the tracks. The overall vocal dynamic is great and adds a lot of character to the album.

Talent-wise the band can certainly jam, but some little gaffs can be heard here and there, such as the bass player's occasional struggle with the difficult runs during the title track, but it's a small trifle. What's more important is that I can feel the wild enthusiastic aura permeating from each of these songs. This gang took inspiration from Purple to Yes to King Crimson to Uriah Heep and swirled them into their own blend, keeping tunes varied, unpredictable, and especially engaging. Seriously, some of these tracks are teeming with fantastic hooks and exceptional melodies flowing through them.

Again, though, "Trapped In A Game" is some next level thing. A sort of prog-torch song with a ton of soul and a bizarre organ mid-section that morphs into some drumming fury, it's one of those go-to songs when I'm in the mood for some serious female pipes soaring over rock music of any kind. A Gudny Aspaas showcase, she puts on a damn clinic straight from the heart, really reaching for those notes with powerhouse lungs. A spectacle in itself.

Other highlights include "Scientific ways", which reveals the more adventurous 'proggish' nature of the band after the more straightforward rockin' opener, the smooth saxophone soloing displayed in "Still Alive" (which also boasts a groovy bass-line and some oddball lyrics), and "Day After Tomorrow" ends things on a suitably bombastic note. If there's anything this album doesn't possess, it would be a dud. Every cut is essential. Granted, I will say that the vocals may not be for everyone...in that I can imagine some folks would find them overbearing, but I love them. New Born Day is great stuff performed with sheer exuberance, and deserves a high recommendation for anyone interested in the roots of Scandinavian progressive rock.

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 Let Your Light Shine by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.80 | 27 ratings

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Let Your Light Shine
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After indulging in unabashed Yes worship on Ranshart, Ruphus change their style again - but not, alas, reverting to the more original sound that their debut album showcased. Instead, they throw themselves into slick jazz-rock. Let Your Light Shine is essentially a smooth fusion album with hints of funk, and it doesn't really convince; it borrows a lot from more accomplished fusion pioneers and doesn't really add anything to the genre, and the compositions usually outstay their welcome appreciably.

The basic problem with Ruphus seems to have been that they were a technically proficient group who had no real clear idea of what a Ruphus album was meant to sound like, and as a consequence kept changing styles between albums, sticking with no particular sound for long enough to really master it. My overall recommendation is to stick to their debut album, which at least has them playing a style that they appear to actually care about rather than a sound they're mimicing for commercial purposes.

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 Ranshart by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.12 | 29 ratings

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Ranshart
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 New Born Day by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.91 | 49 ratings

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New Born Day
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ruphus burst onto the scene with New Born Day, which presents a sound which much of the time resembles a heavier version of Yes, with the influence of pre-Larks' Tongues King Crimson and a bit of Van der Graaf Generator craziness mixed in and a vocalist - the mighty- lunged Gudny Aspaas - who can rock out with the Robert Plants or Roger Daltreys of this world with ease. The group wear their influences on their sleeves and whilst the album isn't an essential classic by any means, it's still a very credible homage to the early prog greats that's worth a listen for anyone curious about the early roots of the Scandanavian prog scene (which, arguably, would overtake the UK scene by the 1990s).

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 Let Your Light Shine by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.80 | 27 ratings

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Let Your Light Shine
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars It's time for Ruphus to turn the lights down to a low smooth setting and get their freak on! A much different offering than their more traditional proggish approach, this album incorperates lots of jazz and smooth funkish vibes into their prog rock (distorted guitars, hammond organs, the usual), resulting in an interesting but not exactly stellar release.

The opening track actually reminds me a bit of the title track from Renaissance's Prologue album...not as fast, but the style of singing and the general prog meets jazzy approach to the music gives "Sha ba wah" at least enough similar aspects to be possibly inspired by that Renaissance track. The musicians are certainly talented, and the soloing is quite good if not mind-blowing, while Gudny sings like a young and rather unpolished Annie Haslam. A pretty endearing start. The rest of the album bounces around between shorter ditties and longer jams, with the title track being the most memorable for me since it's the only song here with actual lyrics. It's pretty catchy too, and despite the length it flows by pretty well although I should say it's somewhat similar to the opening track musically.

"Corner" sounds like an instrumental take on a Pablo Cruise song with a severe case of "progitis". Clearly this tune is for the proggers who want to show their lovers what tiiiiime it is before gettin' buzzay to a strange time signature on a leopard skin rug (or maybe a rug with a big picture of that Tarkus tank on it). The smooth grooves are followed by the "Second Corner", which is another instrumental with a faster jazzier vibe...gettin' jiggy to this could result in a sprained ankle or something. Be careful tiger.

"Brain Boogie" incorporates lots of funkiness to the prog rock and has a wild chorus with Gudny bustin' out some orgasmic notes without lyrics getting in the way of her controlled caterwauling. You gotta dig the name of that song too.

I found the album kinda fun as a whole, although some of these short numbers really don't add anything except album length. This certainly isn't essential, even by the band's standards, but if by some utterly deranged reason you want to mix prog with your sexual conquests, here is a soundtrack to a night of prog passion. Groovy.

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 New Born Day by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.91 | 49 ratings

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New Born Day
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "New Born Day" is without a doubt one of the best albums to come out of seventies Norway. We get male and female vocals and this is one of those rare times where it doesn't matter to me who is singing because they both are great. Lots of vocal melodies too.The bass is prominant and Squire-like while the drumming is outstanding throughout. We also get some excellent guitar, flute and sax added in the mix in this fairly hard rocking album.

"Coloured Dreams" has this excellent guitar intro then it turns fuller quickly. Dual vocals on this one. Nice guitar solo 2 minutes in as well.The organ is prominant late. "Scientific Ways" opens with strummed guitar as reserved male vocals join in.They do become more passionate. Female vocals before 1 1/2 minutes and she sings with passion after 3 minutes. Flute after 4 1/2 minutes to the end. "Still Alive" has a good heavy sound with the bass digging deep.Vocal melodies follow then the male vocals lead as it stays heavy.The organ sounds good too. Sax after 3 minutes then the themes are repeated. Great tune.

"The Man Who Started It All" opens with piano as flute joins in then it picks up before a minute.Vocal melodies then male vocals come in. Great sound. Female vocals come in too then piano only ends it. "Trapped In A Game" opens with drums then it kicks in. It settles back quickly with female vocals.The focus here is on her singing. Organ only 2 1/2 minutes in then church organ takes over in a powerful way.The vocals are the focus again 4 1/2 minutes in while guitar takes the lead a minute later. "New Born Day" opens with organ as the bass then drums join in. It's building. Squire-like bass here.Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. I really like the drumming but the bass is stealing the show here. Nice guitar after 3 minutes that goes on and on.Vocals are back. Amazing tune ! "Day After Tomorrow" inspired the movie. Okay not really but this is the epic track at almost 9 minutes in length. Drums and organ lead the way early and the guitar comes in before a minute making some noise. A calm follows as male reserved vocals come in. Female vocal melodies too.Intricate sounds before 4 minutes after the vocals stop. It settles with female vocals after 6 1/2 minutes then kicks back in. An intense finale.

I wasn't expecting this to be that good but it fits my tastes really well. I'm impressed.

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 Flying Colours by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.06 | 17 ratings

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Flying Colours
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Ruphus managed to keep the same lineup on consecutive albums for the first time with 'Flying Colours' but once again the group seems to be searching for a sound, which generally means in search of commercial success. That's okay I suppose, but not usually a good sign for a progressive band. And that becomes apparent quite quickly here as well, with the band delivering an opening almost boogie-rock number in "Footlovers Diet" that sounds a bit like the lackluster rock of Juanita Haan and Babe Ruth toward the end of their career.

"Frysja" is an interesting number though, a mellow but sometimes funky instrumental that calls to mind Gerry Rafferty's "The Ark" on 'City to City' that released the same year as this record. And "Early Riser" starts off promisingly enough with a blast of guitar and Sylvi Lillegard's strong vocals, but quickly morphs into the same sort of laconic fusion that dominated the band's third and fourth albums. The title track is more of the same although I will say Kjell Larsen is more inspired on guitar than I've heard him since their second record.

"The Rivulet" is more laid-back and jazzier, but features some very complex violin work from guest musician Trond Villa, apparently a Norwegian journeyman who has also appeared on albums by Folque and Shine Dion. "Joy" is heavy on keyboards with vocals I can't quite follow as they tend to be buried by the guitar and keyboard mixes.

The closing "Moody Moments" is the longest song the band recorded since "Brain Boogie" in 1976, and features more scat scaled vocals and lengthy funk guitar and almost new-age keyboard passages. The song doesn't do much for me personally but I suppose it does show the band was capable of putting together an epic length (if not epic-sounding) track.

After two consecutive heavy fusion records the band seems to have decided to try and expand their sound a bit, and as a progressive group they deserve some credit for that effort. The results are mixed, but mostly on the strength of "Frysja" and the opening "Footlovers Diet" I'm going to go with three our of five stars for a rating and a mild recommendation, especially considering this was a 1978 release and as such was better than most of what came out that year simply because it wasn't boogie rock, punk or disco.

peace

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 Inner Voice by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.29 | 21 ratings

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Inner Voice
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars New keyboardist, new lead singer for Ruphus on their fourth album but the music is quite similar to the fusion sound of their third record 'Let Your Love Shine'. Sylvi Lillegård replaced Gudny Aspaas on vocals and while she actually sings as opposed to what wasd more like scat by Aspaas on the prior record, Lillegård has a decent voice but seems to have rather limited range and at times strains on higher octaves.

Like I said the sound here is quite similar to 'Let Your Love Shine', and in fact on the opening title track I had to check to make sure I was listening to the right CD. The songs on this one are all mature and developed as opposed to the prior record which included a couple of brief transitional snippets of instrumental music as interludes between longer tracks. The more rhythmic and poppish sounds of the latter seventies start to emerge here with songs like "No Deal" and "Left Behind", as they would with just about every other progressive rock band by the time the decade winded to a close.

But the light jazzy vibe is present throughout, particularly on the final two tracks which feature lengthy piano/guitar passages as well as stilted electronic keyboards. Fans of the bands have written rather glowing reviews praising Ms. Lillegård's vocals and the band's mature sound, but I honestly can't really get into this record at all. Musically the production is solid, competent and professional but there is little spark or innovation to draw in anyone other than hardcore fans of the band. And that is the definition of a two-star album, which is what I'm going to say this record is. Recommended to fans only and I should note now available on CD since Pan Records reissued it a few years ago.

peace

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