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The Spectres

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Formed in South London back in 1962 and gradually developed playing local dates and backing visiting American singers, the Spectres were one of the longer-lived local bands from London, enduring through five years of club dates and backing visiting American singers. The band -- Francis Rossi (guitar, vocals), Alan Lancaster (guitar, bass, vocals), Rod Lynes (keyboards), John Coughlan (drums) -- were later joined by Rick Parfitt of the Highlifes on bass and keyboards, and they hung onto in this lineup long enough to get signed to Pye Records' Piccadilly imprint in 1966. They made their debut that year covering the Shirley Bassey hit "I (Who Have Nothing)," which Donovan later recorded with great success, and followed it up with a version of "Hurdy Gurdy Man" a cover of the Blues Magoos hit "(We Ain't Got) Nothing Yet." That record, released in early 1967, captured a good chunk of the sound -- crunchy guitar, swirling organ Arabesques, and a hard rhythm section -- that the group would use, after an interlude spent as Traffic Jam, to finally top the charts as Status Quo. The three Spectres singles and their B-sides have appeared on various CD reissues, grouped together on a couple of Status Quo compilations. "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet" has appeared on Sequel Records' Freakbeat Freakout, among other compilations, while "I (Who Have Nothing)" is on the Sequel Songs of Leiber & Stoller collection. ~ Bruce Eder

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Years Active:

'60s, '00s