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RUPHUS

Heavy Prog • Norway


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Ruphus biography
Formed in Oslo, Norway in 1970 - Disbanded in 1981 - Concert reunions in the 2000's

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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RUPHUS discography


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

3.93 | 88 ratings
New Born Day
1973
3.21 | 62 ratings
Ranshart
1974
3.09 | 54 ratings
Let Your Light Shine
1976
3.39 | 41 ratings
Inner Voice
1977
3.12 | 31 ratings
Flying Colours
1978
3.47 | 27 ratings
Manmade
1979

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

3.60 | 5 ratings
030678
2017

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

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
Best Of Ruphus
1977
4.00 | 1 ratings
Rock on Brain
1978
2.60 | 5 ratings
Hot Rhythms And High Notes
1978
4.36 | 16 ratings
Coloured Dreams & Hidden Schemes
1996

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

2.50 | 2 ratings
Flying Dutchman Fantasy / Opening Theme
1974

RUPHUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 New Born Day by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.93 | 88 ratings

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New Born Day
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars You should definitely know this "flagship of the Norwegian prog scene", which drew its jazz-rocky and progressive tracks through the stormy prog scene from Gentle Giant to King Crimson as well as Yes, Jethro Tull and Uriah Heep from 1970 to 1981, after all, Ruphus is still considered one of the best and most creative Scandinavian prog bands in Norway today. "The New Born Day" from 1973 is their absolute flagship album.

"New Born Day" was born in a house near Trondheim where the group locked themselves up for a whole month before joining the studio with producer Stein Robert Ludvigsen. The formation, numerous, included seven elements of which only two, the guitarist Kjell Larsen and the bassist and flutist Asle Nilsen, will be constantly present in all the band's productions. In addition to them we have Hans Petter Danielsen on guitar, jazz composer Håkon Graf on organ, piano and vibraphone and Thor Bendiksen on percussion. In this very first version the Ruphus had two solo voices, one female, incredibly powerful and of great appeal, that of Gudny Aspass, and a male, pleasant but unfortunately less thick, more feeble and monochord, that of Rune Sundby who also played sax and acoustic guitars. It is precisely Gudny's great charisma that makes this rough and precious album unique, which reveals enormous potential by leveraging the enthusiasm of musicians who are eager to show all their skills. The album follows the tradition of British hard rock. Striking riffs, together with a dynamic organ sound and an agile rhythm section, create a down-to-earth rock sound. Romantically flowing flute interludes also provide one or the other well-dosed tranquility. Sometimes there is a dangling into the realm of light-footed progressive rock, which also offers a more complex rhythm. Here, too, the energy emanating from the pumping bass should be emphasized.

When listening to the forty-minute album, you quickly understand the euphoria, which is definitely justified. Already the two-part male / female singing, which is often performed in duet form or set chants, is inspiring, as is the extensive flute use, or the saxophone, which sometimes also mingles with it fat organ sounds combined.

The debut of Ruphus is built on an imposing hard rock matrix with deep bluesy veins that will disintegrate over time, first leaving room for a more deeply prog album like "Ranshart" (1974) to then bring out more markedly jazz rock traits like those of "Let Your Light Shine" (1976), produced by the legendary Terje Rypdal.

"Colored Dreams", the opening track, enters our brain with force and Gudny's disruptive voice moves on a carpet of Hammond and decisive guitar riffs. The impact is convincing but this formula, which makes us think more of Uriah Heep than anything else, allows us to glimpse only in part the fantastic evolutions that await us further on. The acoustic guitar, which kindly opens "Scientific Ways", makes us savor other scenarios. The voice is that of Rune and unfortunately its limits are appreciated but it is precisely when Gudny enters the scene that the games become interesting: an articulated rhythm section is added to instrumental intertwining that could remind a little of Gentle Giant for a song with ample melodic and symphonic openings and anything but linear writing. The explosive incipit of "Still Alive" almost catches us off guard. Thundering is the Hammond organ by Håkon Graf. The bass is in the foreground with Crimsonian echoes and almost Horror scenarios embellished with sax and vibes. "The Man Who Started it All" begins with the romantic piano echoed by the flute and the tones gradually become more dramatic and pressing. "Trapped in a Game" is literally illuminated by Gudny's performance as he challenges his limits by pushing his voice higher and higher. The organ interlude that cuts the piece in two may instead recall something of "Foxtrot". "Trapped in a Game", with the bass in the foreground and the organ in evidence, still plays on complex arrangements that bring us back to Gentle Giant. The piece still benefits from the splendid presence of Gudny and this time jazzy connotations emerge that make this piece one of the best successful of the lot. "Day After Tomorrow" is the longest and perhaps also the most complex song on the album and stands out for its magnificent organ progressions and symphonic openings with references to Yes and EL&P.

Definitely a Scandinavian piece of Prog music history that you should definitely have in your high-quality record collection as a Prog lover.

 Ranshart by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.21 | 62 ratings

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Ranshart
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars In retrospect, the Norwegian Ruphus are named as a formative progressive band of the 70s in their Nordic homeland. But like so many bands of that time, they developed and changed almost constantly over the years, especially through various lineups, and also went through several style changes. While the debut "New Born Day" (1973) was still rooted in traditional hard rock, this was followed by the "Ranshart" (1974) discussed here, a symphonic progressive rock album that was clearly marked by Yes, without being considered pure clones. Subsequently, Ruphus clearly tended towards Jazz Rock, the musical direction for which Ruphus is still known today, with the 76 work "Let Your Light Shine" being the highlight in the band's discography.

"Ranshart", which was re-released by Karisma Records in various formats, remastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo, was recorded in a slightly different line-up for the debut. Singer Gudny Aspaas and singer Rune Sundby had left the band. There were also several changes on the instrumental side and one had shrunk from a septet to a quintet. The following can be heard on this album: Rune Østdahl (vocals), Kjell Larsen (guitar), Håkon Graf (keyboards), Asle Nilsen (bass, flute) and Thor Bendiksen (drums). The personnel changes also went with a changed musical direction. The five songs on "Ranshart" thrive on melodic, at the same time interlaced compositions in a symphonic progressive rock pace. Not only through the polyphonic vocal harmonies, but also in the arrangements you can sometimes recognize the certain Yes inspiration. At the same time, Ruphus prefer a restrained, sometimes more straightforward approach, which, in addition to euphoric, impressive moments ('Pictures Of A Day', 'Back Side'), sometimes slips into a somewhat too harmless point of view. It's easy to listen to, shows potential, has surprises in store, especially with some flute parts and analog keyboards, but Ruphus only found their actual musical destiny with the future change to jazz rock.

To open the dance a winking "Love is My Life" that immediately highlights the skills of Rune Østdahl with her Andersonian voice that stands out on high tones. The song, sunny and flowing, can recall something of Kansas, especially when the guitar parts prevail. The keyboards of Håkon Graf are perhaps a little secluded but incisive. With its arpeggiated guitars and Moog, "Easy Lovers, Heavy Moaners" makes its proximity to Yes feel more and more clearly in a particularly sweetened formula. "Fallen Wanders", which originally closed the A side of the vinyl version, raises, with its fusion forays, the prices of an album which, despite some creative flickers, proves to be significantly less experimental than the debut. The top of the work is represented by "Pictures of a Day", a long instrumental of over 8 minutes which opens with some electronic suggestions and which shines for its simple and gaudy symphonicity. The flute, played by bassist Asle Nilsen, helps to create suggestions very close to the Genesis of "Foxtrot", especially in the central portion of this flowing and variegated piece. The closing is entrusted to an equally long song, "Back Side", festive, with long sequences of Moog and an appeal that unmistakably leads us back to Yes, also as regards the excited rhythm part, supported by the drums of Thor Benediksen .

The album was recorded in 1974 in Oslo in the legendary Roger Arnhoff studios and released shortly after for Polydor. Although it is an indisputably beautiful work and universally appreciated by fans of our genre, it received a rather cold reception at the time and this probably led the group to change style again. Østdahl left and in his place Aspaas was called again to give life to a new work that was projected towards new horizons, perhaps even more surprising than the debut.

 Let Your Light Shine by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.09 | 54 ratings

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Let Your Light Shine
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Norwegian band RUPHUS started out back in 1970, and until the band disbanded in 1981 they had an interesting career trajectory, releasing 6 studio albums along the way. "Let Your Light Shine" dates back to 1976, and was the band's third studio album. This is also the third of their albums that was remastered and reissued through Norwegian label Karisma Records in 2019.

There's a lot to like on Ruphus' third album "Let Your Light Shine", but this production also strikes me as very much a two-sided creation. The first side catering to those who like their jazz-rock to be free-flowing, elegant and oriented towards distinct moods and atmospheres, while the other side appears to be more geared towards those who appreciates quirky features, expressive instrument details and the use of dramatic bursts, strong contrasts and other choices with a subtle disruptive effect. Those who love and treasure both sides of this particular coin obviously the ones that should set aside some time to get familiar with this production.

 Ranshart by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.21 | 62 ratings

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Ranshart
Ruphus Heavy Prog

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.

 Inner Voice by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.39 | 41 ratings

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Inner Voice
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars Great Krautrock/fusion sounding Norwegian heavy prog with similarities to bands as diverse as Jane, Caravan and Heart.

The music is mainly soft mellowish jazzyrock fusion with mostly nice sounding keyboards like fender rhodes and tasteful guitars, accompanied by steady, funky grooves and bluesrock-vocals. Mostly instrumental with lots of build-ups and very capable keyboard and guitar solos.

The band also remind me a bit of dutch fusion band Solution, but the vocals are more bluesy like Frumpy and Heart (heavy and soft singing like Ann Wilson). Only Heart has heavier guitars and Ruphus has more keyboards.

Recommended for those who like the softier, bluesier side of progrock.

 Ranshart by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.21 | 62 ratings

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Ranshart
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

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 due to multiple line-up changes eventually they dissolved in the late Seventies. Nowadays Ruphus first album is considered a real gem in the Norwegian progressive rock, in 2018 was reissued by Karisma Records and in 2019 this prolific Norwegian label reissued the second album entitled Ranshart, originally from 1974. Between the first and second album three members left, and a new singer arrived so it was pretty much another band that recorded the second album.

Despite the changes in the line-up Ruphus still has obvious hints from early Yes, the main difference concerns the vocals, not that emotional as the former singer (in the vein of German Inga Rumpf from Frumpy). Most of the five melodic and harmonic compositions (between 4 and 9 minutes) contain catchy beats and the pleasant vintage sound of the Hammond organ, Minimoog synthesizer and the unsurpassed Mellotron. The track Easy Lovers, Heavy Moaners starts with wonderful twanging acoustic guitars, Fallen Wonders delivers fiery work on the electric guitar and Pictures Of A Day is loaded with beautiful, folky sounding flute, from soaring to sparkling.

My highlight is the final song Back Side (8:10). It starts with a swinging rhythm featuring Hammond runs, Minimoog and Mellotron violins, and fuelled by dynamic rhythm-section (a big plus on this album). The powerful female vocals evoke Jon Anderson, and also bands like Druid and England come to my mind, due to the Anderson-like vocals and the vintage keyboards. Halfway the music turns into Vintage Keyboard Extravaganza: first a Mellotron flute solo, then a flashy Minimoog solo with lush Hammond and finally a bombastic atmosphere with strong vocals and Hammond, yet another sparkling Minimoog solo, with lush Hammond, again fuelled by the excellent rhythm-section. Wow, this is Ruphus inits full splendor!

To me this reissue sounds as a pleasant and solid effort, between Classic Prog and melodic rock, emebellished with wonderful work on Hammond, Mellotron and Minimoog.

My rating : 3,5 star.

This review was recently published on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine, in a slightly different version.

 New Born Day by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.93 | 88 ratings

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New Born Day
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars The prolific Norwegian label Karisma Records (situated in the wonderful city Bergen) hosts of a lot of known native prog bands, from Airbag, Virus and Magic Pie to Nordagust, Bj'rn Riis (Airbag) and Wobbler. One of Karisma its latest releases is the reissue of the highly acclaimed debut album from Norwegian formation Ruphus.

Ruphus was founded early 1970, the band signed with famous record label Polydor in 1973 and released six studio albums and one compilation between 1973 and 1979. During the years their sound gradually turned from harder-edged prog to more jazzrock oriented. Ruphus had good album sales after their breakthrough album Let Your Light Shine (1976), then got some airplay and toured successfully in Germany. Due to multiple line-up changes the band dissolved eventually in the early Eighties, but in the 2000s Ruphus did a number of reunion concerts.

An important part of their sound on this debut album is the interplay between the Hammond organ and the harder-edged guitar, reminding me of the Early British Progressive Rock Movement (somewhere between Atomic Rooster and Fruupp). Most songs contain catchy beats and sumptuous eruptions, blended with male vocals (with a strong accent) and female vocals, her raw, powerful and emotional sound evokes to me female singer Inga Rumpf (from contemporary German band Frumpy). The strong element in Ruphus its music is delivering variety in atmospheres and instruments, topped with a passionate approach.

A fiery electric guitar solo and a swirling Hammond solo, blended with duo vocals, in the opener Coloured Dreams.

First acoustic rhythm guitar and synthesizer flights, and then a swinging mid-tempo with powerful drums and a flute solo in Scientific Ways.

Bombastic Hammond, fiery wah-wah guitar and a powerful saxophone solo in Still Alive.

First a dreamy atmosphere with flute and piano and then a swinging rhythm with wah-wah guitar and in the end subtle piano in The Man Who Started It All.

From bombastic with Hammond and raw but very passionate female vocals (evoking Inga Rumpf from Frumpy) or a churchy organ sound, to dreamy with mellow organ and a catchy beat with rock guitar, and in the end subtle acoustic guitar in the compelling Trapped In A Game.

Powerful Hammond and wah-wah guitar in the titletrack.

The highlight and most varied composition is the epic final song Day After Tomorrow. It starts with swinging Hammond, a Yes- like bass sound and vocal harmonies (evoking The Byrds), then dreamy with a churchy organ sound, gradually turning into a bombastic final part featuring intense vocals, strong drums, delicate piano work and in the end topped with inspired duo vocals, very compelling and a splendid conclusion of this album!

I am very pleased with the way Ruphus has captured that unique early Seventies prog spirit (passion, skills and adventure), a true gem in the Norwegian prog history!

This review was recently published in a slightly different version on Dutch prog website Background Magazine.

 New Born Day by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.93 | 88 ratings

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New Born Day
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Norwegian band RUPHUS were among the first progressive rock bands in Norway that made something of an impact. The band was formed in 1970, and in their initial phase they explored many different varieties of progressive rock, going from hard progressive rock at the onset to a more refined variety of jazzrock in the final stages of the band. "New Born Day" was their debut album, and was initially released in 1973.

This is a good album, and one that hasn't lost all that much with age. It is very much a product of it's time and it's era, but still strikes me as good music that Father Time has been rather kind with. If hard, organ and guitar driven progressive rock of the early 70's is something you appreciate, then this is an album that merits an inspection for sure. And I'd wager a guess that this remixed version of the album will give the superior experience as far as enjoying the best qualities of this album is concerned, as the task has been handled by someone with a very good ear for sound indeed.

 Let Your Light Shine by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.09 | 54 ratings

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Let Your Light Shine
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 1975 should be marked as the year of changes for Ruphus.Rune Ostdahl would remain for the band only for the ''Ranshart'' release and Gudny Aspaas was asked to rejoin.In the meantime the album was poorly received by the press, despite its fully progressive sound, propably due to lack of personality, while keyboardist Hakon Graf had already started working with guitarist Jon Eberson in the Jazz Fusion band Moose Loose.Bringing his experiences back to Ruphus he faced the warm reception of the rest of the band, deciding to call Terje Rypdal for the production of their third album.''Let your light shine'' was recorded at the Rosenborg Studios in December 1975 and released early during the following year on Polydor.

Forget about the past of the band and consider Ruphus to be a reborn Prog act, because the progressive content on ''Let your light shine'' is often overpowered by the enthusiasm of the members for their new direction.For the most of its part the album comes as a combination of ethereal Jazz Fusion and soft Progressive Rock with strong Nordic and Canterbury influences, they do sound a bit like the jazzier side of FOCUS, but there are no Hammonds or Mellotron in here, instead the music is layered by delicate synth and piano entries and Kjell Larsen's smooth guitar plays.Gudny Aspaas was asked to return, but she is rarely found in a heavily instrumental album.But when she enters the scene, be sure to get prepared for some efficient and dreamy wordless vocals in the vein of Annette Peacock, as heard in BRUFORD's albums.The compositions are fairly jazzy-oriented, lacking the freedom of Jazz though (propably a good thing), with the band choosing to surround the jazzy solos and interludes with mellow progressive tunes, breaks and textures.Some great flute parts by bassist Asle Nilsen in a light Canterbury vein and excellent drumming by Thor Bendiksen.The 10-min. farewell ''Brain boogie'' is a beautiful piece of relaxed Jazz Fusion with discreet funky vibes, nice electric piano, calm instrumentals and some notable COS and RETURN TO FOREVER comparisons, possibly the highlight of this effort.

''Let your light shine'' just prooves how talented this band was.They changed direction in short time and they could play Fusion music with efficiency and passion.Very nice collection of jazzy and progressive instrumentals with an ethereal atmosphere.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Ranshart by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.21 | 62 ratings

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Ranshart
Ruphus Heavy Prog

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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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