Will Jackson 9-Sep-2006 New Born Day + Ranshart

Their debut NEW BORN DAY (1973) is Ruphus's tour-de-force, seven terrific semi-symphonic prog-rock songs with male-female vocals, blazing guitar and elaborate keyboard work. Female vocalist Gudney Aspaas's ballsy singing recalls Carol Grimes or Lydia Pense, but she doesn't grandstand; her vocals are artfully worked into the arrangements. Strangely, she and male singer Rune Dunby disappeared on the second record RANSHART (1974), which features a new male lead singer who contributes quasi-mystical lyrics; much of the material is pedestrian ("Easy Lovers, Heavy Moaners" anyone?). Still, most of the entire second side of RANSHART contains accomplished, and at times, grandiloquent classic/symphonic rock in the Genesis/Yes/Focus mold. Later records by Ruphus veered towards funky jazz/prog and even though Gudney Aspaas returned in 1976, the band had already forsaken its more interesting ambitions for typical genre moves.

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