Spectrum (Billy Cobham album)

Spectrum (Billy Cobham album)

Studio album by Billy Cobham
Released October 1, 1973
Recorded May 14–May 16, 1973 at Electric Lady Studios, New York City
Genre Jazz fusion
Length 37:17
Label Atlantic
Producer Billy Cobham
Billy Cobham chronology
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C+[2]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[3]

Spectrum is the debut album by jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham. The album contains much influence of the music of Miles Davis and Mahavishnu Orchestra, with whom Cobham had previously collaborated extensively.

Ken Scott, producer and engineer of Spectrum, on recording Cobham's drums: "Bill Cobham's drums were treated in exactly the same way as I recorded every other drummer. I just used more mics: Neumann U67s on toms, D20s or RE20s (at Electric Lady) on the bass drums, Neumann KM54 or 56 on snare, and either STC 4038s or Beyer M160 ribbon mics for the overheads. One other thing: in order to dampen the snare, Bill just laid his wallet on the top head."

Leland Sklar, bassist on Spectrum: "Spectrum is such a benchmark for so many people. There was a sort of fire in it. It was new ground and it wasn't very analytical. It was more flying by the seat of your pants. That's where great accidents happen, which seems impossible these days. We never did more than a couple of takes on any of it. It was more or less a two-day record. It went by so fast." [4]

Tommy Bolin, who would go on to join the hard rock band Deep Purple two years later, plays lead guitar.[5]

The song "Stratus" appears in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV of the radio station "Fusion FM", as well as being the main sample in the Massive Attack hit "Safe from Harm".


  • Track listing 1
  • Personnel 2
  • Chart performance 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Billy Cobham.

  1. "Quadrant 4" – 4:20
  2. "Searching for the Right Door" – 1:19 / "Spectrum" – 5:07
  3. "Anxiety" – 1:41 / "Taurian Matador" – 3:03
  4. "Stratus" – 9:48
  5. "To the Women in My Life" – 0:51 / "Le Lis" – 3:20
  6. "Snoopy's Search" – 1:02 / "Red Baron" – 6:37


Chart performance

Year Chart Position
1974 Billboard 200 26[6]
1973 Billboard Jazz Albums 1[6]


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. Spectrum (Billy Cobham album) at AllMusic
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Campbell, Hernan M. (1 April 2012). "Review: Billy Cobham - Spectrum | Sputnikmusic". sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Scott, Ken, Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust, p. 207-208
  5. ^ http://www.hit-channel.com/interviewbilly-cobham-solomahavishnu-orchestramiles-davis/56775
  6. ^ a b "Spectrum - Billy Cobham | Awards | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 

External links

  • Spectrum at Discogs (list of releases)