“Portobello Road”

SPECTRUM – “The Light Is Dark Enough” (RCA International INTS 1118) 1970

I have everything The Spectrum released in Britain now that I found “The Light Is Dark Enough” LP in a Chester-le-Street charity shop for £1. I must say that I was extremely surprised to see this one on a shelf with around a hundred or so albums. I wondered to myself “Who was hip enough to buy this in 1970?”

The music is typical late sixties UK pop, any psych touches turning more progressive with intricate instrumentation and the organ sound in particular. Listen to their ambitious experimenting on “Walrus And The Horse” for instance – impressive.

They tried their best with the Beatles turkey “Ob-La-Di” but of course, no combo could make a silk purse out of that sow’s ear.

“Glory” is a success, I like this tasteful soft rocker. It reminds me of the Stones’ “Can’t Always Get What You Want” for some reason? If you want bouncy pop with harmonies “Portobello Road” will fit the bill, the mock Motown on “Headin’ For A Heatwave” just makes the cut too.

All in all, a very good album created by a group who had the ability but for whatever reason failed to punch above the second division groups in Britain. Their success in Europe was probably bittersweet.

back cover liners:

Formed in 1967, The Spectrum got off to a flying start with a number one hit in Spain, followed later the same year with another Spanish No. 1, “Heading For A Heatwave”, featured here.

Popular at home as well, all five members of the group are English, Tony Atkins – lead guitar, Tony Judd – bass guitar, Bill Chambers – organ, Colin Forsey – vocalist and Keith Forsey – drummer.

The Forsey brothers wrote three of the songs included on this album: “Nodnol”, “Mandy” and “Mr Jenkins Brand New Boots” and all members of the group sing harmony.

By the time “Ob-La-Di” was released in 1968, Bill Chambers had left the group to be replaced by Peter Wood on organ. The song was The Spectrum’s third No. 1 (Germany)

The Spectrum went through another change in the summer of 1969 when Tony Judd left, and Tony Atkins switched to bass guitar with Colin Forsey on rhythm guitar.

In addition to their list of hits, The Spectrum have also recorded tracks for two film and played a small screen role. They arranged and performed songs for an American TV series and appeared regularly on British, Spanish and German television as well as making the college and club circuit in England.

Listen to the most recent tracks of their album, “Glory” and “The Light Is Dark Enough” and you’ll know why The Spectrum have been labelled young, gifted and great!

charity shop purchase @ £1

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