16 October 2008
Second Hand Record Dip Part 18 - The Spectrum - Headin' for a Heatwave
Who: The Spectrum
What: Headin' For A Heatwave (b/w I Wanna Be With You)
Label: RCA Victor
Found: Reckless Records, Soho (RIP)
Year of Release: 1967
Cost: Two pounds
I've freely admitted before that I'm no big fan of The Spectrum, but I realise that they're a highly sought after act by some fans of all things popsike, so I'm including this single on the blog for the benefit of the curious.
However, because I have no great love of their work, and there's nothing particularly absurd or unusual about it either, it's rather tricky for me to wax lyrical about the contents of this disc. Suffice to say that this is a very smooth, slick kind of sixties pop which did manage to get some airplay on the pirate stations at the time. Soulful vocals and pounding orchestral arrangements dominate, along with some agreeable electric organ work (on the flip) and close harmonies. This makes them seem like they must have been a very professional act - but there's a certain lack of energy, adventure or excitement which prevents both sides from completely winning me over. Nonetheless though, their fans will probably be happy to listen to these tracks as MP3s. Curiously, the B-side "I Wanna Be With You" is definitely the best offering, sounding like the work of a finger-poppin' mod band you might have heard playing in dive bars around the time.
RCA released shedloads of Spectrum 45s throughout the decade which frequently pop up in second hand record stores in quantities which make me suspect that some of their singles may have bubbled just outside the charts. Sadly though, that's just a hunch, and I can't tell you for definite how close they were to the big time. They made it in Spain, however, where "Heatwave" was a massive smash. So there you go.
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