Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Crossover Prog • Australia

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Spectrum picture
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...
read more

Spectrum official website

SPECTRUM MP3, Free Download (music stream)

Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with, learn how to submit new MP3s.

SPECTRUM forum topics / tours, shows & news

SPECTRUM forum topics Create a topic now
SPECTRUM tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "spectrum"
Post an entries now

SPECTRUM Videos (YouTube and more)

Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to SPECTRUM


War SucksWar Sucks
Mind Expansions 2009
Audio CD$7.48
$4.74 (used)
Forever AlienForever Alien
Reprise / Ada 1997
Audio CD$8.97
$2.72 (used)
Refractions: Thru the Rhythms of Time 1989-1997Refractions: Thru the Rhythms of Time 1989-1997
Space Age Recordings 2004
Audio CD$11.99
$10.26 (used)
Soul KissSoul Kiss
Limited Edition
Bmg Music 1992
Audio CD$11.95 (used)
Lake of TeardropsLake of Teardrops
Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$9.99
$4.00 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
SPECTRUM: NEW AMERICAN MUSIC, VOLUME III-NM1969?LP Druckman/Schwanter/Harbison USD $24.00 Buy It Now 47m 7s
OG NM Ayers Rock Beyond Vinyl Australia Spectrum Hans Poulsen Marcia Hines USD $52.47 Buy It Now 1h 10m
Spectrum Music of Celine Dion CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Spectrum Music of Abba CD USD $3.96 Buy It Now 1h 19m
SPECTRUM: NEW AMERICAN MUSIC vol.III LP: DRUCKMAN Schwantner HARBISON Weisberg USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1h 20m
Spectrum Thalia Myers Audio CD USD $17.86 Buy It Now 1h 33m
DON BYAS, COLEMAN HAWKINS & STAN GETZ factory sealed lp JAZZ SPECTRUM USD $7.41 [0 bids]
1h 49m
Rare Black Power Funk 45 - Reggie Lavong - Skin Deep Part I & II - Spectrum #106 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 50m
SPECTRUM (CD / Moments of Love) - NICE! Take a L@@K! USD $4.80 Buy It Now 1h 53m
Encore [Box] by Michael Ball (CD, Mar-2010, 3 Discs, Spectrum Music (UK)) USD $21.08 Buy It Now 1h 57m
STEVIE WONDER "Early Classics" CD 2000 Spectrum Music 544 211-2 UK IMPORT USD $9.95 Buy It Now 1h 59m
Belfast by James Last (CD, Oct-2002, Universal/Spectrum) USD $15.38 Buy It Now 2h 4m
Connie's Country by Connie Francis (CD, Mar-1999, Spectrum) USD $15.38 Buy It Now 2h 11m
azymuth spectrum lp m-9134 USD $9.00 Buy It Now 2h 30m
Spectrum [12" VINYL] Vinyl USD $23.70 Buy It Now 3h 42m
Greatest Hits & Rare Classics by Kim Weston (CD, Aug-1998, Spectrum Music (UK)) USD $4.82 Buy It Now 4h 3m
Billy Cobham: Spectrum, cd, German press, Warner, digipak USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4h 8m
DISCO SPECTRUM 2 /Don Ray, Cerrone,THP,Al Hudson, More!!! 2 cds OOP RARE!!! USD $49.99 Buy It Now 4h 10m
4h 42m
STEVEN HALPERN - Spectrum Suite - SRI 770 (issued 1976) ambient / electronic LP USD $16.96 Buy It Now 6h 27m
Inner Spectrum of Variables [6/3] New CD USD $17.49 Buy It Now 7h 39m
INNER SPECTRUM OF VARIABLES [6/3] [USED CD] USD $15.75 Buy It Now 8h 20m
Johnny Hodges - Jazz Spectrum Vol.10 LP Metro Records - 2356 011 USD $4.01 Buy It Now 10h 29m
NEW Spectrum 8 (Vinyl) USD $42.40 Buy It Now 10h 36m
Anna Dell. Move Into The Hammond Spectrum LP. 1970. Exc Vinyl. USD $2.01 [0 bids]
10h 37m
Live Chronicles Volume 1, Spectrum, 5023693104225 USD $15.61 Buy It Now 11h 12m
Disco Explosion by Spectrum (Easy) (CD, Mar-1995, Intersound) Party Album USD $5.99 Buy It Now 11h 15m
Soul Spectrum Volume 2 BBECD023 Original Card Sleeve - Excellent Condition Rare! USD $28.73 Buy It Now 11h 27m
Front Line Presents Roots by Various Artists (CD, Jun-2014, 2 Discs, Spectrum... USD $6.77 Buy It Now 11h 48m
Rob N Raz - Spectrum - Rob N Raz CD MKVG USD $23.98 Buy It Now 12h 13m
Diana Ross and the Supremes, Temptations, Stylistics, Ace Spectrum 4 Soul Vinyls USD $24.00 Buy It Now 12h 20m
ABRSM Spectrum Piano USD $21.12 Buy It Now 12h 41m
12h 41m
KIM WESTON Greatest Hits & Rare Classics NEW CLASSIC SOUL MOTOWN CD (SPECTRUM) USD $8.01 Buy It Now 13h
Ace Spectrum "Low Rent Rendezvous" 1975 Soul/Funk LP, SEALED/ MINT!, Orig Press USD $15.95 Buy It Now 13h 12m
CD Ghost and Other Great Movie Hits 10 Songs Spectrum USD $1.29 Buy It Now 13h 13m
Best of the Platters, Vol. 1 [Spectrum] New CD USD $8.08 Buy It Now 13h 15m
Nana Mouskouri The Romance of Music Cassette Spectrum Label USD $6.67 Buy It Now 13h 17m
Spectrum of Music - Music Appreciation Sampler LP - Childrens - Sealed No Marks USD $7.98 Buy It Now 14h 14m
Spectrum Fest by Various Artists (CD, Jan-1997, Relapse Records) Free Ship #FO50 USD $4.98 Buy It Now 14h 17m
THE SPECTRUM - Glory/Nodnol -Original 1969 German 2-track 7" vinyl single in p/s USD $40.09 Buy It Now 15h 9m
Swansinger - Spectrum - Rare Promotional Giveaway CD - 1205 USD $10.99 Buy It Now 15h 13m
OMAR The Collection NEW CLASSIC 90s SOUL CD (SPECTRUM) There's Nothing Like This USD $7.34 Buy It Now 15h 16m
Bendita Geracao Spectrum LP sealed Mint limited edition of 500 RE Groovie press USD $26.99 Buy It Now 15h 18m
The Very Best of the Rubettes by Rubettes (CD, Oct-1997, Spectrum) USD $5.28 Buy It Now 16h 3m
EUC - The Carpenters Unforgettable Memories CD 1995 Spectrum USD $5.00 Buy It Now 16h 27m
Got to Be There by Michael Jackson (CD, Feb-2003, Universal/Spectrum) USD $5.43 Buy It Now 16h 34m
GLASS SPECTRUM PRINCIPLE CD Progressive Jazz - Musea USD $14.75 Buy It Now 16h 43m
BLISS OF MRS. BLOSSOM Original Soundtrack, RCA vinyl LP, 1968, VG+, The Spectrum USD $4.99 Buy It Now 16h 45m
Breakthrough * by Greg Hoover (CD, Aug-2005, Spectrum Music (UK)) USD $6.94 Buy It Now 17h 14m
Quannum - Spectrum (1999) USD $4.00 Buy It Now 17h 16m
James Last & Rene Kollo - Festliche Lieder 13 Trk Spectrum CD NEW SEALED RARE! USD $16.03 Buy It Now 17h 21m
Spectrum by Spacefunk (CD, Oct-2002, V2 (USA)) USD $0.99 Buy It Now 17h 49m
Hank Williams Senior The Collection Universal/Spectrum import new CD USD $3.50 Buy It Now 18h 3m
Louis Armstrong - Jazz Spectrum Vol 2 - Free UK Post USD $14.17 Buy It Now 18h 17m
Tom Jones I'm Coming Home. CD (1993, Spectrum) Import. USD $7.96 Buy It Now 18h 22m
18h 32m
Sarah Vaughan Miles Davis Charles Mingus Dizzy Gillespie: Jazz Spectrum LP MINT USD $32.92 Buy It Now 19h 11m
Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles, New Music USD $21.06 Buy It Now 19h 19m
Got to Be There by Michael Jackson (CD, Feb-2003, Universal/Spectrum) USD $15.38 Buy It Now 19h 26m
SPECTRUM "Direct Flight" LP Audiophile Limited Ed. Discwasher LP 1977 DD 104 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 20h 2m
Spectrum [Digipak] New CD USD $18.23 Buy It Now 20h 31m
Witchwood: The Very Best Of * by The Strawbs (CD, May-2014, Spectrum Music (UK)) USD $4.80 Buy It Now 20h 33m
Spectrum By Quannum On Audio CD Album 2010 FF62490 Brand New USD $11.52 Buy It Now 20h 33m
SPECTRUM Connections Christian CD a capella NEW USD $9.99 Buy It Now 21h 10m
Spectrum Road USD $3.99 Buy It Now 21h 17m
Dick's Picks Vol. 36 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA 9/21/72 (4-CD Set), New Musi USD $56.20 Buy It Now 21h 32m
RHONDA CLARK Detroit 80's soul 45 SUGAR / inst.version ~ SPECTRUM VG++ USD $5.11 Buy It Now 21h 52m
Stan Getz - Jazz Spectrum Vol. 6 USD $7.00 Buy It Now 22h 24m
Plectrum Spectrum Audio CD USD $22.55 Buy It Now 23h 19m
Hear- Rare R&B 45 - The Jackson Sound- Honky Tonk Horn - Spectrum Records # 0114 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 23h 32m
Collection [Import] by Cleo Laine (CD, Sep-2002, Spectrum Music (UK)) USD $14.43 Buy It Now 1 day
Reggae Greats by Steel Pulse (CD, Jul-1997, Universal/Spectrum) USD $3.85 Buy It Now 1 day
The Music Of Neil Diamond By Spectrum CD 10 Songs 1994 Intersound Used EX USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
All about Boss Compact Effectors Japan Book with CD OD-1 Spectrum Slow Gear USD $79.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Alex Theory - Full Spectrum Sound Healing [CD New] USD $28.98 Buy It Now 1 day
BILLY COBHAM Spectrum 1973 CD JAPAN Jan Hammer D8317 USD $12.50 [0 bids]
1 day
Full Spectrum Sound Healing - Alex Theory (CD Used Very Good) USD $31.53 Buy It Now 1 day
Grateful Dead Dick's Picks 36 Spectrum, Philly 9/21/72 (2005 4CD Set) - Like New USD $140.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Brazilica! by Various Artists (CD, Jul-2002, Universal/Spectrum) USD $16.96 Buy It Now 1 day
Clear by Bomb the Bass (CD, Jul-2002, Spectrum Music (UK)) USD $6.76 Buy It Now 1 day
Ghosts: Post Terminal Reflection Spectrum & Murtceps Audio CD USD $26.83 Buy It Now 1 day
SPECTRUM: Let's Fall In Love / If You Wanna Party 45 Soul USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Dave Neiman - Spectrum of the Hammered Dulcimer 1990 USA CD *28-4 USD $11.39 Buy It Now 1 day
Georgie Fame Get Away With Music Cassette Spectrum Label USD $6.67 Buy It Now 1 day
Various - Spectrum - Ffrr - 1995 #739998 USD $46.77 Buy It Now 1 day
The Name Of The Game by ABBA (CD, Oct-2002, Spectrum Music (UK))BRAND NEW USD $8.94 Buy It Now 1 day
IMMACULATE FOOLS - The Best Of [UK 1997 Spectrum/Karussell CD 554 225-2] USD $22.66 Buy It Now 1 day
SPECTRUM: Opening Roll LP (2 tags on cover, slight cover wear) Bluegrass USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Harmonic Spectrum Tuning Forks +Mallet -check our store USD $108.99 Buy It Now 1 day
DEEP PURPLE - Progression / Cassette Album Tape / Spectrum Issue / 4473 USD $6.67 Buy It Now 1 day
BLACK SABBATH - Never Say Die / Album Cassette Tape / Spectrum1993 / 010 USD $6.67 Buy It Now 1 day
SPECTRUM CONTROL/CARRL - Mugen Volume 5 - Cassette USD $10.80 Buy It Now 1 day
?OST DALLOS org LP w/OBI japan sf anime dj funk breaks HIROYUKI NANBA SPECTRUM USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
The Key [12" VINYL], Spectrum Is Green, Good Single USD $3.90 Buy It Now 1 day
Rod Stewart Maggie May The Classic Years Music Cassette Spectrum Label USD $6.67 Buy It Now 1 day
CD geracao bendita
~ USD $14.25
LP geracao bendita
~ USD $20.75
LP the light is dark enough
~ USD $11.39
More places to buy SPECTRUM music online Buy SPECTRUM & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for SPECTRUM DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)
SPECTRUM has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

SPECTRUM discography

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

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

3.12 | 13 ratings
Spectrum Part One
4.05 | 20 ratings
2.08 | 3 ratings
Warts Up Your Nose
3.07 | 5 ratings

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

3.08 | 3 ratings
Terminal Buzz

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)
3.00 | 2 ratings
Breathing Space Too (EP)
4.00 | 1 ratings
Breathing Space As Well


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spectrum Part One by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.12 | 13 ratings

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
4.05 | 20 ratings

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 | 3 ratings

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
3.12 | 13 ratings

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

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

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 | 5 ratings

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

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
4.05 | 20 ratings

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.

 Spectrum Part One by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.12 | 13 ratings

Spectrum Part One
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

4 stars Spectrum were one of the most original bands to come out of Australia in the early 1970s - they simply do not sound like anyone else I can think of. In a genre that generally prizes virtuosity they are an anomaly, original drummer Mark Kennedy being the only real virtuoso in the band - but they were masters at creating atmospheric music that keeps the listener enthralled, particularly when Lee Neale cranks up the Hammond.

On this first album, Mike Rudd hasn't really developed the strong song-writing skills he would eventually become famous for. The songs are generally little one-verse affairs that then become the launching pad for extended instrumental passages. Nevertheless, Rudd already displays a strong gift for melody on tracks such as "Superbody", "Drifting" and "Mumbles I Wonder Why", while the comparatively low-key vocal melody of "Fiddling Fool" is lifted by a memorable organ riff. The most memorable tune is Ross Wilson's "Make Your Stash", borrowed from Wilson's 'special occasion' band Sons of the Vegetal Mother, with whom Rudd occasionally played - Wilson's more hyperactive version was eventually recorded by Daddy Cool - Spectrum play it their own way, using it as a lauching pad for a dissonant (in a good way) guitar/organ workout. The instrumental passages in "Fiddling Fool" and "Superbody" rely on atmosphere more than musical invention (particularly Rudd's use of recorder on the latter). The arranging skills step up more on the last two tracks - "Drifting" features some great organ/bass interplay and a good excuse for Kennedy to shift the beat around. "Mumbles I Wonder Why" starts in a similar vein, before finishing with a recorder/organ duet that I consider to be one of the most beautiful moments in all Australian prog.

The Aztec re-release contains no fewer than three versions of Spectrum's contemporaneous smash hit "I'll Be Gone" (including a demo bereft of the famous harmonica riff, but with a more fiery organ part), two versions of it's b-side "Launching Place part II" as well as the considerably rarer part I, and a demo of the unreleased "You Just Can't Win" which is reminiscent of Traffic.

Thanks to t.rox for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | — the ultimate metal music virtual community

Server processing time: 0.98 seconds