Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Spectrum - The Light Is Dark Enough (1970)

I wish I knew more about this UK group. While they only managed to record one rather rare LP, during the 1967 - 69 timeframe they generated an extensive singles catalog that's quite diverse and commercially attractive.
RCA Records was apparently the brainchild behind the group with their rather transparent aim being to come up with a Monkees-styled outfit with commercial potential. The original line-up consisted of lead guitarist Tony Atkins, keyboardist Bill Chambers, singer Colin Forsey, brother/drummer Keith Forsey and bass player Tony Judd. Starting with 1967's 'Samantha's Mine' b/w 'Saturday's Child (RCA catalog number RCA-1589), the group released a string of nine singles that sold well throughout mainland Europe, but did little in their native UK and generated even less attention in the States.
Released in 1970, "The Light Is Dark Enough" offered up a mixture of earlier singles and new studio material, essentially serving as kind of 'best of' retrospective. Interestingly, while the band's occasionally slapped with a psych label, musically most of the ten tracks reflected a distinctive pop orientation. That was certainly the case for the group's better known works including 'Headin' For A Heatwave' (# 1 in Spain), a rather rote cover of The Beatles' 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' which went top-20 in Germany and 'Portobello Road'. Mind you, anyone recording in the 1967-69 timeframe was bound to have been effected to some extent by their surroundings and Spectrum was no exception to the rule. While not exactly acid soaked, tracks like 'Nodnol' (London spelled backwards), the Procol Harum-ish instrumental 'Walrus & The Horse' and 'Mandy' all showcased lite psych touches, though nothing that was a threat to their commercial orientation. Certainly part of the band's appeal lay in the fact Colin Forsey had a winning voice that occasionally reminding me of a Davy Jones bulked up on steroids (check out 'Glory' and the title track). Similarly, the rest of the band were never less than professional with guitarists Tony Atkins and John Beattie turning in several nice performances on material like the rocker 'Jacqueline'.

"The Light Is Dark Enough" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) -
2.) Mr. Jenkin's Brand New Boots (Colin Forsey) -
3.) Nodnol (Colin Forsey - Peter Wood) -
4.) Walrus & The Horse (instrumental) (Peter Wood) -
5.) Glory (Richard Kerr - Maitland) -

(side 2)
1.) Portobello Road (Marsh - Veal) -
2.) Mandy (Colin Forsey - Keith Forsey) -
3.) Headin' For A Heatwave (Roberts - Kinsella) -
4.) Jacqueline (Andrews) -
5.) The Light Is Dark Enough (Richard Kerr) -

In addition to the singles and LP, the group recorded some material for a several films, including 1969's "The Reckoning" (they also has a small role in the film). They also wrote and performed the title track to the British kids television series 'Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons' (no I'm not making that up).
Keith Forsey went on to enjoy considerable success as a songwriter (you can blame him for writing part of 'Flashdance (What a Feeling)', as a producer (you can blame him for Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" and The Psychedelic Furs "Mirror Moves") and as a film score composer. Taken from Bad Cat

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Lisa! This lp sounds fun. looking forward to hearing it.

-->D.Moose

Anonymous said...

Assholes house :

http://www.myspace.com/progagainstpirates

http://progagainstpirates.blogspot.com/

A.N.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks. I never heard this.

dan said...

dear Lisa,

can you re-upload the Record Collector Dreams books series in massmirror please...

many thanks before.

cheers,
dan

Anonymous said...

I was listening to the Radio London's website Radio (OldiesProject) when the Spectrum came on...
Marvelous ! I would certainly like to hear more of that.
And a quick search on TotallyFuzzy brought me here !
To a place that I thought was abandonned long ago ?
Welcome back, you're great !
Michel

calandria said...

Links don't work

torch1971 said...

seems to have gone missing as well as the Scorpion post, pls re-up these, thank you

Jiltz said...

Thank you for this Lisa.

Hope everything is still good with you.

;)

Rainette du Loiret said...

Hello Lisa, How lovely to see Spectrum on the net. I have known the keyboard and singer, Bill Chambers for more than 40 years. Sadly he died in January this year. I miss him... He was so charismatic!!!
Froggette

Chuntao said...

Hi Lisa,

Sorry that you haven't made a post in a while & that some of your links to rare music are not working. Therefore, I have managed to acquire this excellent album & reupped on my site http://www.raremp3.co.uk

I hope you can join us soon.

Chuntao