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Spectrum

Billy Cobham

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Customer Reviews

Get this fixed!!

You would hope that after 3 years a company the size of Apple would be able to get the right recording up here. Well the errors highlighted in 2008 are still there. Great album but DON'T buy it here.

Spectrum

A must for any collector of jazz funk. Tommy Bolin's soloing on Quarant 4 is one of the most exhilarating pieces of guitar palying in the cannon. A must have.

Classic Cobham

This is a classic 1970s jazz/rock/funk album: a genre-definer. Sadly its edition here on iTunes is very slightly marred by the fact that the track-listing is wrong. Well, not wrong exactly. The track-listing is in the right order, with considerable repetition. And all the tracks are here too; in fact they are so here that the last four are repeated, and then the last track, "Red Baron", is thrown in a third time for good measure. (These are not alternate takes as far as I can tell, they are exactly the same tracks repeated.) What is annoying is that in some cases the track name does not correspond to the actual track. Anyone who has chosen to just download "Stratus" because they want to hear the original that Massive Attack sampled for "Safe from Harm" is going to be disappointed and somewhat bewildered by getting "Snoopy's Search / Red Baron" instead. Just to clarify, here are the iTunes titles and the actual tracks they correspond to:

iTunes Title = Actual Title

1. Quadrant 4 = Quadrant 4
2. Searching for the Right Door / Spectrum = Searching for the Right Door / Spectrum
3. Spectrum = Anxiety / Taurian Matador
4. Anxiety / Taurian Matador = Stratus
5. Taurian Matador = To the Women in My Life / Le Lis
6. Stratus = Snoopy's Search / Red Baron
7. To the Women in My Life / Le Lis = To the Women in My Life
8. Le Lis = Le Lis
9. Snoopy's Search / Red Baron = Snoopy's Search / Red Baron
10. Red Baron = Red Baron

Anyway, back to the album itself. When I first heard this in the 1980s it sounded dated; terribly dated. I was a young drummer and I just listened to Billy Cobham's playing. The Moog synthesizers, the wah-wahed guitar, the crazy melodies all just reminded me of some terrible 70s blaxploitation B-movie soundtrack. But now with older ears and more distance it sounds great: fat, funky and just cool. Anyone who doubts the last claim might remind themselves that, as I mentioned earlier, Massive Attack sampled "Stratus", but if that isn't enough then they should also know that the original song features on the radio station in GTA4. Cobham, Jan Hammer and Tommy Bolin are amazing, the epitome of jazz/funk/rock fusion. Those of you who are a little suspicious of the excessive noodlings of the genre (not entirely absent on this album) should also know that there is some exquisite acoustic bass playing from Ron Carter to be heard here too. And it would be foolish to fail to realise that a great many of the people interested in this album will be drummers: to them I say, just buy it, it's pretty much essential listening.

Quick 2014 update of my 2008 review: the problems with the repeated tracks and incorrect listings that I mentioned earlier have now been corrected.

Biography

Born: 16 May 1944 in Panama

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Generally acclaimed as fusion's greatest drummer, Billy Cobham's explosive technique powered some of the genre's most important early recordings — including groundbreaking efforts by Miles Davis and the Mahavishnu Orchestra — before he became an accomplished bandleader in his own right. At his best, Cobham harnessed his amazing dexterity into thundering, high-octane hybrids of jazz complexity and rock & roll aggression. He was capable of subtler, funkier grooves on the one hand, and...
Full bio
Spectrum, Billy Cobham
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  • £7.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Fusion, Rock
  • Released: 1973

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