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2 May 2017

Spectrum “Part One” 1971 Australia Prog Rock


A Spectrum poster in Australian TV Week, 1971

A Spectrum poster in Australian TV Week, 1973





Spectrum at Lucifers, Melbourne, in 1969


Spectrum at Melbourne club The Thumpin Tum in 1971

Spectrum at Melbourne's TF Much Ballroom, 1971


Spectrum “Part One” 1971 Australia Prog Rock
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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. .........by GruvanDahlman ..........

During their short but illustrious career Spectrum were in the vanguard of progressive rock in Australia, and they left a legacy of innovative and imaginative music, too little of which is currently available on CD. 

The central figure in Spectrum was singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike Rudd, one of the many outstanding expatriate NZ performers who have contributed so much to the Australian music scene. Mike arrived in Australia in 1966 as rhythm guitarist for the NZ group Chants R&B. (For the full History of this great band, please visit the Chants R&B page on Bruce Sergent's excellent New Zealand Music of the 60's and 70's website.) 

Chants only lasted a short time after they arrived in Australia, but Mike remained in Melbourne, where he soon teamed up with young singer-songwriter Ross Wilson and guitarist Ross Hannaford. Their first band The Pink Finks (which had also just broken up) worked in a similar vein to Chants, and had some local chart success in Melbourne. Mike was invited to be the bass player in a later lineup of their next band, the short-lived but legendary Party Machine (1967-69). This was followed by the more experimentally-oriented Sons of The Vegetal Mother (1969-71). 

Sons of the Vegetal Mother was an occasional project rather than a full-time band, but Mike was apparently involved on a regular basis, even after the formation of Spectrum, and he played bass on the Vegetal's only recording, an ultra-rare EP called The Garden Party, of which only about 250 copies were ever pressed. Although close connections between them continued, by 1970 Wilson and Hannaford were concentrating on the Vegetals new offshoot Daddy Cool, so Rudd decided to put together his own band, continuing down the progressive path he had been following with Party Machine and the Vegetals. 

Before being signed up by EMI, Spectrum had cut a demo single, which they hawked around to record companies as a 7" acetate. One side was an early, folky version of one of the newer songs in their set, I'll Be Gone; the flip was another original, "You Just Can't Win". According to Ian McFarlane, these acetates are now "impossibly rare" with only two or three copies known to have survived. "You Just Can't Win" was reissued to subscribers to From The Vault magazine on a 7” flexidisc in 1990, accompanied by the almost equally rare Vegetals track "Let It Begin", from their fabled Garden Party EP. The Spectrum track is now available of Aztec Music's CD reissue of Spectrum's first album. 

As the 1971 opened, all the hard slog paid off handsomely when "I'll Be Gone" (b/w "Launching Place Part II") was released as Spectrum’s debut single in January 1971. Heralded by Mike’s unforgettable harmonica intro, "I’ll Be Gone" announced the arrival of both Spectrum as a major new band and Mike Rudd as a significant new songwriter. It is without question one of the greatest Australian pop-rock songs ever written. Mike’s lyric is timeless, simple but eloquent -- a wistful, almost fatalistic observation of life on the road and the elusiveness of love and fortune. With its loping country-blues feel, the easy, swinging backbeat from Mark and Bill, and interlocking guitar and electric piano by Mike and Lee, "I'll Be Gone" became an immediate hit, racing up the charts to became the national #1 in February 1971 and spending 20 weeks in the charts. 

Its success was considerably assisted by one of Australia's classic early promotional films, created by musician and film maker Chris Lofven (who also made the clip for Daddy Cool's Eagle Rock soon after). The simple but evocative monochrome film clip, which cost the princely sum of $300, was filmed around Tullamarine and features brief glimpses of Mike's wife Helen and their young son, Chris, who also appears on the front cover of Spectrum Part One. .....milesago.........

To the Australian public at large, Spectrum will always be remembered for the 1971 #1 hit ‘I’ll Be Gone’, an enduring rock classic if ever there was one. As song writer and Spectrum lynchpin Mike Rudd has put it “‘I’ll Be Gone’ has had a marvellous life”, with indications that its potency will continue to rise. It still gets played on Australian ‘Classic Hits’ radio to this day. Spectrum still play the song at practically ever gig with the enthusiastic, sing-along response of the audience inevitable; a perfect example of this was the band’s appearance at the 2002 arena rock spectacular Long Way to The Top. The sound of an entire concert audience singing the song’s rousing refrain at full voice, with little encouragement, was indeed magnificent. While the song’s appeal is unquestionable, to the dedicated Australian rock music aficionado Spectrum is more than just one gloriously brilliant song. 

Many fans will tell you that Spectrum music is some of the greatest progressive psych rock recorded in the day, and nominate the band as purveyors of a uniquely Australian sound and identity. Spectrum’s debut, Part One was originally released on EMI’s progressive label Harvest and is rightfully regarded as not only a landmark progressive rock release, but the beginnings of one of Australia ’s more remarkable bands. In its original incarnation (1969-1973), the band went through three different lineups, also gigging extensively under the alter-ego moniker of the Indelible Murtceps, released five albums and five singles, and left behind many fond memories from their concert appearances. 

Package Contents 
Aztec Music’s deluxe reissue of Part One has 7 bonus tracks - the non LP b-side "Launching Place Part One" and the 3 versions of their classic hit "I'll Be Gone": the original Aussie mono single and b-side ("Launching Place Part Two"), the German stereo single and the "Psycho-Psychedelic" version of "Launching Place Part Two" and the ultra rare 1969 acetate version with the previously unavailable b-side "You Just Can't Win". Digitally remastered by Gil Matthews, liner notes by Ian MacFarlane and a 24 page booklet with many rare photos.........

These Spectrum was a progressive rock group formed in Australia in 1969 (not to be confused with The Spectrum, UK). Their leader was the guitarist, singer and songwriter Mike Rudd, born in New Zealand, but emigrated to Australia in 1966. After several attempts in various bands like "Chants", "The Pink Finks", "The Party Machine" Experimental of all "Sons of the Vegetal Mother," Mike and bassist Bill Putt plus Mark Kennedy on drums and Lee Neale on keyboards make up Spectrum. At first they were inspired in the forms of Traffic, Soft Machine or Pink Floyd, although soon they found and defined their own style and sound. With a strong bass game and great inventiveness on keyboards, but really, the main feature was Rudd guitar, a Fender Stratocaster, which played without a pua. It took 12 months to develop what would be their first album, called "Part One", recorded in 1970, and published in 1971. 
Just after finishing the recording of this his first disc, Ray Arnott replaced to Kennedy in the battery. Their live performances were habitual in all the Festivals of rock in their country, nevertheless, their success was limited outside its surroundings by the lack of promotion. Until 1972 they did not publish their second album, a double called "Milesago", that is considered by many like the best progressive rock album Australian. The change of tastes and tendencies, coupled with the changes in Laws that allowed 18-year-olds to enter discos, which until that moment could only be done at age 21, caused the interest of development music to decline. 
Even after all, they released two more albums, "Warts Up Your Nose" (1972), when Neale's change from John Mills to Keyboards and "Testimonial" (1973), but when the new battery was abandoned , Their leader did not see the continuation possible and decided to end the band. 
The farewell was the 15 of April of 1973, in a show in Melbourne that was recorded and later published with the name of "Terminal Buzz". 
After completing Spectrum, Rudd, Pitt and Mills formed the Ariel group..............

Mike Rudd’s 1st BASE sees piano accordionist George Butrumlis (Black Sorrows, Zydeco Jump, The Purple 
Dentists and Raga Dolls) and bassist Jeremy Alsop (Ron Charles Band, Allan Zavod, The David Chesworth Ensemble) on double bass joining Spectrum’s Mike Rudd in an acoustic-skewed reappraisal of Mike's previously all-electric output. 

Super excited to announce that Skyscraper Stan will be opening for Mike Rudd's 1st Base. When Stan came across the ditch from his native Auckland he set about serenading anyone who would listen. He built the powerhouse band Skyscraper Stan and the Commission Flats and hit the pub circuit in style. Now he is back playing solo with his distinctive 'Troubador Rock'n Roll': his songs tell a story in the troubadour tradition and his guitar settles into a solid back beat. If you like the blues, americana, rock, singer-songwriters - you will find something to love about this 6ft 5inch tower! Can't think of a better way to start the night. .....
Mike Rudd is best known for writing Spectrum’s 1971 national number one hit single, I’ll Be Gone, (Someday I’ll have money), but he also wrote the majority of the material in the subsequent albums produced by Spectrum, The Indelible Murtceps, Ariel, Mike Rudd & the Heaters and WHY, which amounts to a considerable legacy. 

Ist BASE’s repertoire is drawn from this occasionally confronting, often witty, but never less than intriguing catalogue of Mike Rudd songs. 

There are the singles of course, like the most famous of all Rudd’s songs, I’ll Be Gone (Someday I’ll have money), followed by Murtceps’ Esmeralda and Ariel’s Jamaican Farewell, but most of the material is drawn from the albums such as Spectrum Part One and Milesago, Spectrum’s alter-ego band The Indelible Murtceps’ Warts Up Your Nose, Ariel’s A Strange Fantastic Dream and Rock & Roll Scars. 

For 1st BASE, Mike has chosen songs from his solo repertoire that respond to being stripped back and reworked and that have a story to tell. Of course, Rudd is inclined to make a fascinating commentary about the songs he’s playing and the bands that originally played them. 

George Butrumlis' lyrical piano accordion in place of Spectrum’s Hammond organ is not as implausible as it sounds and Jeremy Alsop's double bass lines are all about restraint and intelligence and pair’s combination with Rudd’s nylon-string guitar playing is sublime. 

George’s bonus vocal harmonies serve to sweeten Rudd’s idiosyncratic lead vocals, which are, perhaps for the first time in a band context anyway, clear and understandable, giving even more impact to some of his more audacious themes. 

Now Mike has a new palette to play with in 1st BASE, perhaps we can anticipate new era of Rudd-songs to emerge. In the meantime you can enjoy watching and listening to Mike Rudd’s evolution from a well-established rock artist to singer/songwriter/raconteur playing an accessible version of his inimitable oeuvre with a couple of the best musicians around. 

This will be a huge night. Make sure you book early..... all roads lead to The Spotted Mallard! 

THE BACK STORY 
It was in 2009 at the Mt Beauty Music Muster that Spectrum’s Mike Rudd was having a chat at the bar with accordion-meister George Butrumlis, and George casually mentioned that one day he’d like to have a crack at some of Mike’s songs. 

At that stage Mike wasn’t considering an outfit with piano accordion, but he kept it in the back of his mind for future reference. The possibility of an acoustic-style band gained momentum after his long-term musical companion and co-founder of Spectrum, bassist Bill Putt, died suddenly in 2013. 

Earlier this year, Mike finally decided the moment had arrived. As well as being partial to piano-accordion, Mike’s always favoured the sound of a double bass -and then he remembered running into ace bassist Jeremy Alsop when Jeremy was working on a project with harpist/singer Mary Doumany in 2006. Jeremy’s reputation is principally as a jazz-fusion bassist, (he was co-founder of the fusion band Pyramid), but Mike gritted his teeth and put the proposition anyway – and to his delight Jeremy readily agreed to be involved. .....................

Credits 
Bass – Bill Putt 
Drums, Percussion – Mark Kennedy 
Engineer – Ern Rose, Roger Savage 
Guitar, Vocals, Recorder – Michael Rudd* 
Layout, Photography By [Colour] – Michael Rudd* 
Organ, Piano, Vocals – Lee Neale 
Other [Much Help Provided By] – Peter Andrew 
Photography By [Black & White] – Chris Watt (3) 
Producer – Howard Gable 

Tracklist Hide Credits 
A1 Make Your Stash 
Written-By – Ross Wilson (2) 
4:08 
A2 Fiddling Fool 
Written-By – Mike Rudd 
12:32 
B1 Super Body 
Written-By – Mike Rudd 
9:11 
B2 Drifting 
Written-By – Mike Rudd 
3:24 
B3 Mumbles I Wonder Why 
Written-By – Mike Rudd, Ross Hanaford* 
5:56 

Singles 

as Spectrum: 

May 1971 
"I'll Be Gone" / "Launching Place Part II" (Harvest HAR-9329) 

Aug. 1971 
"Trust Me" / "Going Home" (Harvest HAR-9505) 

Oct. 1971 
"But That's Alright" / "Play a Song That I Know" (Harvest HAR-9667) 

Mar. 1990 
"You Just Can't Win" (Spectrum) / "Make it Begin" (Sons of the Vegetal Mother) 
(From the Vault # 7) (shared disc with Sons of the Vegetal Mother) 
flexidisc 7" distributed to subscribers to From the Vault magazine

as Indelible Murtceps:

Apr. 1972
"Esmeralda" / "We Are Indelible" (Harvest HAR-9837)

1973
"Indelible Shuffle" / "Ray's Boogie" (EMI 10218)

Albums

Spectrum Part One (Harvest SHVL-601) LP 1971
re-issued on CD by Aztec Music (AVSCD026), 2007
Milesago (Harvest SHDW-5051) 2LP 1971
(as The Indelible Murtceps)
Warts Up Your Nose (EMI) 1973
Testimonial (EMI SOELP 10081/2) 2LP 1973
Terminal Buzz (EMI EMC 2503) 1973
Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet (EMI EME1100) LP 1984
Ghosts: Post-Terminal Reflections (Raven RVCD18) CD 1991

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..