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SPECTRUM

Crossover Prog • Australia


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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...
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Buy SPECTRUM Music


Forever AlienForever Alien
Reprise / Ada 1997
$9.95
$3.87 (used)
Geracao BenditaGeracao Bendita
Shadoks Music 2002
$12.48
$8.99 (used)
Take on me [Single-CD]Take on me [Single-CD]
Import
$9.81 (used)
Refractions-Thru the Rhythms of Time 1989-1997Refractions-Thru the Rhythms of Time 1989-1997
Space Age 2004
$7.07 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
DADDY COOL SPECTRUM 1971 POSTER Signed IAN McCAUSLAND Music Rock Art Ltd Reissue USD $19.39 Buy It Now
SONS OF THE VEGETAL MOTHER / SPECTRUM - MEGA RARE FREE GIVEAWAY PSYCH 45 VAULT USD $31.09 Buy It Now
SPECTRUM - MURTCEPS - GHOSTS: POST-TERMINAL REFLECTION - OZ RAVEN CD USD $17.88 Buy It Now
4-LP Box, Handel's Messiah, London Phil w/W Susskind, Alshire Audio Spectrum, NM USD $23.00 Buy It Now
Various Artists - Get Fit [Spectrum] (2011) USD $6.53 Buy It Now
Toots & / and the Maytals ' Reggae Greats ' CD album, 1997 on Spectrum/Island USD $8.52 Buy It Now
Vinyl Spectrum - Cosmic Desire [New CD] USD $14.29 Buy It Now
Etta James - Best of [Spectrum] (2000) USD $1.41 [0 bids]
SPECTRUM (EASY) - John Williams' Greatest Hits - CD - Soundtrack - *SEALED/NEW* USD $14.76 Buy It Now
SPECTRUM - Music Of Billy Joel - CD - Import - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $13.95 Buy It Now
BOB MINTZER - Spectrum - CD - Import - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** - RARE USD $181.75 Buy It Now
MUSIC LIBRARY NEW SOUTHERN spectrum MARK EMNEY 1983 UK STEREO LP USD $9.94 Buy It Now
Pete Rock & Keb Darge-Funk Spectrum III: Real Funk for Real People CD Import Ve USD $17.94 Buy It Now
CECIL PARKER ** I ' m So Hurt ** SPECTRUM USD $4.25 Buy It Now
NORTHERN SOUL CONNOISSEURS VOLUME 2 ( Spectrum ) USD $7.10 Buy It Now
Dexy's Midnight Runners Because of You CD Spectrum Music Celtic Soul Brothers USD $8.99 [0 bids]
USD $12.99 Buy It Now
The Fontana Years by The House of Love (CD, Jun-2004, 2 Discs, Spectrum) USD $75.00 Buy It Now
THOMAS STACY ON 2 SPECTRUM SR-159 USD $12.95 Buy It Now
JOHN WHITELAW / WILLIAM BIRD MUSIC FOR KEYBOARD SPECTRUM SR-139 USD $14.95 Buy It Now
NEW EVENTS: BOSTON COMPOSERS OF THE 70'S SPECTRUM SR-128 USD $12.95 Buy It Now
Inner Spectrum by Ace Spectrum (CD, Jun-2009, Wounded Bird) USD $67.96 Buy It Now 6m 58s
Spacemen 3 Recurring 180gm Vinyl LP Record & MP3! spectrum/spiritualized! NEW!!! USD $37.69 Buy It Now 31m 56s
Bing Crosby - Swinging on a Star [Spectrum] (2000) USD $1.78 Buy It Now 39m 39s
CEDAR WALTON - SPECTRUM - PRESTIGE RECORDS-PRT-7591 - NEW - MINT USD $35.00 Buy It Now 51m 27s
* Shay Torrent At The Hammond Organ . Sound Spectrum . Remo Biondi . LP USD $11.10 Buy It Now 56m 2s
Orbiting With Roy Orbison, Spectrum SDLP164, VG+ USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1h 22m
The Spectrum - Saturday's Child 7" SINGLE ORIG UK RCA 1967 RARE EX- USD $12.79 Buy It Now 1h 53m
Radere i can't sleep, i can't wake up on Full Spectrum Records ?2016 USD $11.95 Buy It Now 2h 25m
SMOKEY ROBINSON - TEARS OF A CLOWN. SPECTRUM / MOTOWN CD USD $1.41 [0 bids]
2h 33m
Blue for You [Spectrum] by Dusty Springfield CD, 1993 Universal/Spectrum A1131 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2h 51m
PATRICK WHITAKER - THE SOUND SPECTRUM ENGLAND IMPORT- ROY BUDD- MIKE VICKERS-CD USD $0.01 [0 bids]
3h
Collection by Rose Royce (CD, Aug-2003, Spectrum Music (UK)) USD $13.00 Buy It Now 3h 12m
ALEX THEORY - Full Spectrum Sound Healing - CD - Import - *Excellent Condition* USD $31.95 Buy It Now 3h 14m
Spectrum, Billy Cobham, Good USD $6.99 Buy It Now 3h 15m
Kim Weston (cd) Greatest Hits & Rare Classics (Spectrum Music (UK) USD $4.00 Buy It Now 3h 18m
NORTHERN SOUL-JAN BRADLEY-BACK IN CIRCULATION-SOUND SPECTRUM. USD $11.38 [0 bids]
3h 22m
JAZZ SPECTRUM DIZZY GILLESPIE COUNT BASIE DUKE ELLINGTON 1974 RARE EXYUGO LP USD $19.24 Buy It Now 3h 32m
Spectrum - 'The Light Is Dark' 1969 UK RCA Intl.LP. Ex! USD $42.65 Buy It Now 3h 43m
SONY SONG SPECTRUM cd VARIOUS ARTISTS - 10 TRACKS USD $1.99 Buy It Now 3h 49m
Best of the Platters, Vol. 1 [Spectrum] by The Platters (CD, Nov-1995,... USD $15.38 Buy It Now 4h 4m
James Last - Viva Espana 15 Track 1992 Polydor CD RARE! Spectrum USD $15.63 Buy It Now 4h 21m
Spectrum : The Music of Genesis CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 51m
David Allan Coe - Human Emotions / Spectrum VII - Exc. Cond. 2 On 1 Import CD USD $4.99 [0 bids]
5h 12m
SPECTRUM: "Forever Alien": NEW 2 LP SET:180g - Sonic Boom-Synths-Spacemen 3 USD $14.95 Buy It Now 5h 12m
Joan Armatrading - Collection [Spectrum] (1999)ALB-963 USD $5.67 Buy It Now 5h 35m
Burt Bacharach - Man & His Music [Spectrum] (1997)ALB-698 USD $5.67 Buy It Now 5h 39m
Various Artists - Number Ones of the 80's [Spectrum] (1999)ALB-415 USD $5.67 Buy It Now 5h 42m
Sandie Shaw - Puppet on a String [Spectrum] CD GRASS 510 USD $5.67 Buy It Now 5h 50m
Various Artists - Merry Christmas [Spectrum 2001] (2001) USD $2.83 [0 bids]
5h 51m
Five Classic Albums [Box] by The Stylistics (CD, Jun-2017, 5 Discs, Spectrum... USD $15.17 Buy It Now 5h 53m
SPECTRUM: La Musica Amansa A Las Fieras / Mesas Y Sillas 45 (Spain, PS, tol) USD $10.00 Buy It Now 6h 2m
SPECTRUM: Ola De Calor / Deseo Estar Contigo 45 (Spain, PC, close to M-) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 6h 2m
S896 JAZZ SPECTRUM VOL 4 COUNT BASIE METRO RECORDS STEREO USD $8.50 Buy It Now 6h 3m
New: SPECTRUM ROAD - Spectrum Road CD USD $11.98 Buy It Now 6h 14m
Spectrum Forever Alien 2x Vinyl LP Record! sonic boom from spacemen 3/e.a.r NEW! USD $33.69 Buy It Now 6h 24m
Spectrum: New American Music, Volume II~Wolpe, Rochberg, Shifrin~Inner Sleeve USD $16.96 Buy It Now 6h 35m
Country Lp Johnny Cash Story Of A Broken Heart On Spectrum USD $5.00 [0 bids]
7h 9m
STEVEN HALPERN SPECTRUM SUITE VINYL LP 1977 HALPERN SOUNDS HS 770, STEREO USD $19.95 Buy It Now 7h 17m
Janet Wagner/John Cobb HINDEMITH Das Marienleben - Spectrum SR-185 SEALED USD $15.00 Buy It Now 7h 32m
Darphin Intral Environmental Lightweight Shield Broad Spectrum Spf 50, 30 ml, 1 USD $87.69 Buy It Now 7h 47m
CHARLIE KUNZ : THE BEST OF CHARLIE KUNZ : CD Album : 1999 : SPECTRUM : 544 174-2 USD $2.35 Buy It Now 7h 51m
Jazz Spectrum Vol. 3 Comp (Oscar Peterson - 1971) 2356 003 (ID:15034) USD $8.83 Buy It Now 8h 18m
The Story of British Folk by Various Artists (CD, May-2010, Spectrum Music... USD $6.92 Buy It Now 8h 32m
Essential Collection by R. Dean Taylor (CD, Jul-2001, Spectrum Music (UK)) USD $4.83 Buy It Now 8h 33m
GLYTONE Triple Defense Brightening Complex with Sunscreen SPF 30 Broad Spectrum, USD $136.26 Buy It Now 8h 35m
Digable Planets Beyond the Spectrum U.S. promo label cd USD $9.95 Buy It Now 8h 42m
Silinder Pradesi - Spectrum (Roma Music Bank) Made in England "First Edition" USD $39.99 Buy It Now 8h 54m
TRUE MOTOWN 2006 SPECTRUM MUSIC 18 TRACKS CD GC *FREE AUST POST* L1 USD $18.66 Buy It Now 9h 14m
Priori Minerals fx Broad Spectrum 25, All-Natural Powder Foundation, Skin SPF25, USD $65.55 Buy It Now 9h 31m
enya The Frog Prince Original Soundtrack May 1999 CD Island Spectrum ?551 099-2 USD $5.55 Buy It Now 9h 35m
Spectrum - Forever Alien (CD Used Like New) USD $13.80 Buy It Now 9h 44m
HEY GRINGO Live From The Vault CD - New - Spectrum USD $11.62 Buy It Now 9h 49m
Various ?- Latin Spectrum II (3 VINYLS LPS) EXCELLENT CONDITION USD $23.64 Buy It Now 9h 50m
EDDIE ADAMIS midnight in paris SLS 50180 sunset sound spectrum series LP EX/EX USD $11.36 Buy It Now 10h 11m
Righteous Brothers CD You've Lost That Lovin' Feel / Spectrum Sealed USD $18.29 Buy It Now 11h 2m
Morbid Saint - Spectrum Of Death (Extended Edition) [CD] USD $25.97 Buy It Now 11h 18m
Morbid Saint - Spectrum Of Death (Extended Edition) [CD] USD $20.35 Buy It Now 11h 23m
PEARL JAM LIVE CD: SPECTRUM, OSLO NORWAY 29-6-00 2 CDS 27 TRACKS! NEAR MINT USD $11.99 Buy It Now 11h 38m
SPECTRUM: London Bridge Is Coming Down / Tables And Chairs 45 (dj) Rock USD $25.00 Buy It Now 12h 2m
CLAUDIA HOCA Leo Smit Piano Music SPECTRUM LP SR 177 NM USD $9.56 Buy It Now 12h 3m
LP Harry Horlick "Tango" Stereo Spectrum / Pickwick Records VG+ USD $6.00 Buy It Now 12h 14m
THE FOUR SEASONS / THE J BROTHERS / NEIL SEDAKA - SPECTRUM RECORDS LP USD $8.50 Buy It Now 12h 38m
David Grubbs - Spectrum Between (CD Used Like New) USD $12.98 Buy It Now 12h 49m
Noiseaux - Spectrum (SEALED NEW CD 2012) NOAH SOW USD $7.10 Buy It Now 13h 37m
COUNT BASIE Jazz Spectrum Vol. IV 4 / Germany Import LP Metro Records 2356 004 USD $10.99 Buy It Now 15h
SPECTRUM - I'LL BE GONE Ultrarare 1971 OZ only PROG Single! USD $23.32 Buy It Now 15h
ACE SPECTRUM Inner Spectrum 12" 33RMP W/Picture Sleeve Soul ATLANTIC SD 7299 USD $16.15 Buy It Now 15h 8m
ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM WALL POSTER BIG BANG THEORY SHELDON PRINT SZ: A2 A1 A0 USD $4.96 Buy It Now 15h 50m
ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM WALL POSTER BIG BANG THEORY SHELDON PRINT SZ: A2 A1 A0 USD $15.63 Buy It Now 15h 50m
ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM WALL POSTER BIG BANG THEORY SHELDON PRINT SZ: A2 A1 A0 USD $12.79 Buy It Now 15h 50m
ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM WALL POSTER BIG BANG THEORY SHELDON PRINT SZ: A2 A1 A0 USD $4.96 Buy It Now 15h 50m
A Rare 1973 U.S. Atlantic release Billy Cobham Spectrum Gatefold LP Album SD7208 USD $27.21 Buy It Now 15h 51m
LP LOUIS ARMSTRONG Jazz Spectrum Vol 2 Near Mint USD $7.80 Buy It Now 15h 56m
Squeeze Up The Junction CD album (CDLP) UK 5442292 SPECTRUM USD $16.34 Buy It Now 16h 6m
ABC Classic ABC Dutch CD album (CDLP) 5316861 SPECTRUM / UNIVERSAL 2009 USD $17.76 Buy It Now 16h 17m
Abba The Voice Of ABBA UK CD album (CDLP) 550212-2 SPECTRUM 1994 USD $17.76 Buy It Now 16h 26m
Phil Lynott Yellow Pearl - A Collection UK CD album (CDLP) SPEC2042 SPECTRUM USD $14.93 Buy It Now 16h 27m
Marty Wilde The Full Marty UK 3-CD album (Triple CD) SPECSIG2043 SPECTRUM 2010 USD $18.48 Buy It Now 16h 30m
Abba The Voice Of Abba CD album (CDLP) German 550212-2 SPECTRUM 1994 USD $17.76 Buy It Now 16h 30m
Spectrum (80s) How You Satisfy Me - clea... UK 12" record (Maxi) USD $48.27 Buy It Now 16h 33m

More places to buy SPECTRUM music online Buy SPECTRUM & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

SPECTRUM discography


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

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

3.17 | 17 ratings
Spectrum Part One
1971
3.78 | 23 ratings
Milesago
1971
2.08 | 3 ratings
Warts Up Your Nose
1973
3.07 | 6 ratings
Testimonial
1973

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

3.08 | 4 ratings
Terminal Buzz
1973

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

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

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

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

SPECTRUM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Milesago by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.78 | 23 ratings

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Milesago
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A double album havering between sophisticated progressive music and bluesy psychedelic pop, Spectrum's Milesago isn't some sort of wildly avant-garde cutting-edge thing; it's more like the product of a band who've listened to the Beatles' last few albums an awful lot and decided to see where they could go by mashing up that sort of compositional approach with early 1970s soft rock and pop developments. From the opening of the album, the vocal harmonies in particular feel like they have a certain Beatles touch to them. The other majorly Beatles-y aspect of the album is that, like the White Album, it's a bit of a sprawling album which can be a little inconsistent and is a bit much to listen through all at once, though it's fun enough in its own way.
 Spectrum Part One by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.17 | 17 ratings

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Spectrum Part One
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

 Milesago by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.78 | 23 ratings

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Milesago
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Terminal Buzz
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

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

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

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

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

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

 Spectrum Part One by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.17 | 17 ratings

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Spectrum Part One
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by BORA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Breathing Space Too (EP)
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

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

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

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

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

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Breathing Space (EP)
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

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

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

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

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

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

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Testimonial
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

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

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Warts Up Your Nose
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

2 stars Despite a national #1 single in "I'll Be Gone" and two gold albums, Spectrum were near broke - the Australian market wasn't large enough to provide a large royalty income, and they couldn't get many gigs outside the small inner city circuit because their music was too complex - even a massive hit single couldn't get you gigs at the suburban dances that were still the mainstay of musical life in Australia. Spectrum were not the only band to adapt to circumstance by playing simpler, more commercial material at suburban gigs. However, they hit on an ingenious solution which allowed them to do so without compromising the credibility of the Spectrum name - they adopted an alter ego, the Indelible Murtceps (spectrum spelt backwards, geddit?) who would play the suburban dances, with less equipment, while reserving the Spectrum name for their more ambitious material. Murtceps developed somewhat of a following in their own right, which led to recording under that name. They had a minor hit with the double-sided single "We Are Indelible"/"Esmeralda" - the first song celebrating that "now we are sellable", while the other was a tribute to a hard-working prostitute. The album Warts Up Your Nose followed, and was a sign that band really weren't taking this too seriously. Most of Mike Rudd's songs are credited to "My Crudd", and, as the name suggests, most of them are throwaway songs concerned with scatalogical themes - "Blue Movies Make Me Cry", "In The Bog", "Excuse Me Just One Moment" (which captures the drinking culture of the gigs they were playing), "Hand Jive", etc. It's fun, but it's of no interest to prog fans. There are no organ solos, no atmospheric instrumentals (although there is a long jam in the middle of "Some Good Advice"), no multi-part suites - very little of what made Spectrum interesting in the first place.
 Milesago by SPECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.78 | 23 ratings

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Milesago
Spectrum Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

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

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

Thanks to t.rox for the artist addition.

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