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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


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

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

3.91 | 82 ratings
New Born Day
1973
3.14 | 59 ratings
Ranshart
1974
2.93 | 50 ratings
Let Your Light Shine
1976
3.36 | 39 ratings
Inner Voice
1977
3.06 | 29 ratings
Flying Colours
1978
3.36 | 24 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
 Ranshart by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.14 | 59 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
3.36 | 39 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
3.14 | 59 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
3.91 | 82 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
3.91 | 82 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
2.93 | 50 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
3.14 | 59 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.

 Let Your Light Shine by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.93 | 50 ratings

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Let Your Light Shine
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by BORA

4 stars Brilliant musicianship!

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

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

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

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

 New Born Day by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.91 | 82 ratings

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New Born Day
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Let Your Light Shine by RUPHUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.93 | 50 ratings

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Let Your Light Shine
Ruphus Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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