Years: 1969 - April 15, 1973; 1999 – present
Styles: Blues Rock, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Mike Rudd - Acoustic guitar , Guitar, Harmonica, Recorder, Vocals (in band: 1969 - 1973; 1999 – present)
Mark Kennedy - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1969 - 1970)
Lee Neale - Harpsichord, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1969 - 1972)
Bill Putt - Bass Guitar (in band: 1969 - 1973; 1999 – 2013)
Ray Arnott - Drums, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1970 - 1973)
John Mills - Keyboards (in band: 1972 - 1973)
Peter 'Robbo' Robertson - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1999 - present)
Daryl Roberts - Keyboards (in band: 1999 - present)
Broc O'Connor - Bass Guitar (in band: 2013 - present)
Spectrum were formed in April 1969 in Melbourne, as a progressive rock group, by Mark Kennedy on drums (ex-Gallery), Lee Neale on organ (ex-Nineteen87), Bill Putt on bass guitar (ex-Gallery, The Lost Souls), and Mike Rudd on guitar, harmonica and lead vocals (ex-Chants R&B, The Party Machine, Sons of the Vegetal Mother).
Initially the group drew on the work of contemporary bands such as Traffic, Soft Machine and Pink Floyd; they played cover versions of their material. Spectrum developed their own style as Rudd began writing original material. Alongside Kennedy's drum solos, Putt's bass playing and Neale's keyboard work, a feature of Spectrum's sound was Rudd's guitar playing — he eschewed the near-universal use of guitar picks – using a finger-picking style on a vintage Fender Stratocaster to develop a characteristic sound.
Early in 1970 they cut a demo single which they hawked to record companies as a 7" acetate. One side was an early, folk version of "I'll Be Gone". The B-side was another original, "You Just Can't Win". According to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, these acetates are now "impossibly rare" and only two or three copies are known to have survived.
After they signed to EMI under their progressive rock imprint, Harvest Records, the band went into the studio in August 1970 to make their first official recordings, using producer, Howard Gable (The Masters Apprentices).
The festival at Launching Place occurred in December 1970. "I'll Be Gone" was released in January 1971, which became a surprise No. 1 Australian hit on the Go-Set National Top 60 singles chart in May that year. It became one of the most enduring Australian rock songs of that era.
Spectrum released their debut LP, Spectrum Part One, in March 1971, although it did not include the hit single. The album reached No. 10 in April. Kennedy had left in August of the previous year just after it was recorded, he had "lost patience" as the group "struggled for gigs (promoters found them 'too progressive')." He was replaced on drums and vocals by Ray Arnott (ex-Chelsea Set, Cam-Pact, Company Caine). Kennedy later worked with Leo de Castro, Ayers Rock and then Marcia Hines.
Spectrum's follow up singles, "Trust Me" (June 1971) and "But That's Alright" (November), did not reach the top 60. During October that year Spectrum formed a side project, Indelible Murtceps, using the same line-up of Arnott on drums, Neale on electric piano, Putt on bass guitar and Rudd on vocals and guitar. They performed at pubs, and local dances, playing a more dance/pop-oriented repertoire and using a simpler set-up than when performing as Spectrum.
Their second album, Milesago, was released in December 1971, as the first Australian rock music double album. It is also the first Australian rock album to be recorded using a 16-track recorder – newly installed – at Armstrong Studios during the previous September. It peaked at No. 9 on the Go-Set Top 20 Albums chart. By September 1972 Neale had left both bands; he was replaced by John Mills on keyboards. Neale quit the music scene permanently after leaving Spectrum and Indelible Murtceps.
Spectrum's third studio album, Testimonial, was co-credited to Indelible Murtceps. It appeared in July 1973, which reached No. 12. In March, before its release, Arnott announced he was going to join Mighty Kong. Putt and Rudd decided to end both bands; each played their farewell gig at the Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne on 15 April 1973. It was recorded and released in December 1973 as a double live album, Terminal Buzz. Both of these releases were produced by Peter Dawkins.
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