The Spectres
Be Bop Pop / Vox Populi

Original album cover (1989)

Be Bop Pop

Vox Populi CD cover (2004)

Vox Populi


  1. Be Bop Pop (Rathbone/Lusk/Frost) (4:30) Listen
  2. Brave New World (Lusk/Frost) (4:19)
  3. Ancient (Rathbone/Lusk/Frost) (4:10) Listen
  4. White Hotel (Rathbone/Lusk/Frost) (4:03)
  5. Teddy Bear (Rathbone/Lusk) (3:58) Listen
  6. Crow on the Highway (Rathbone/Lusk/Frost) (3:39) Listen
  7. King of Hearts (Lusk/Robb) (4.57)
  8. Try to Forget (Rathbone/Lusk/Robb/Frost) (5:04)
  9. Between the Lines (Rathbone/Lusk/Robb) (4:15)
  10. Dreaming (Rathbone/Lusk/Robb) (5:22)

    Produced and engineered by John Lindemann.
    Recorded at RPM Studios.

    Track order on the CD re-issue is slightly different with 'Brave New World' moving down to track 4, 'Ancient' up to 2 and 'Teddy Bear' to 3.

    Bonus tracks on 2004 CD re-issue:

  11. Working Week bonus track on original cassette version
  12. Baby's Died
  13. White Hotel
  14. Ocean
  15. Pas De Chat
  16. Dreaming
  17. Sunday Morning

  18. Tracks 12-17 from rehearsal recordings at Gallo Studios in 1988.


  • Richard Frost: Percussion & Vocals
  • Tara Robb: Lead Vocals
  • Gary Rathbone: Guitar & Vocals
  • Allan Lusk: Bass & Vocals

    Additional Musicians:

  • Steven Lucas (aka Alan Lazar) - Keyboards
  • Jethro Butow - Guitar
  • Alistair Coakley - Guitar
  • Minouche Kaftel - Backing Vocals
  • Mandla Masuko - Alto Sax
  • Murray Campbell - Trumpet
  • John Davis - Trombone
  • Hilary Kromberg - keyboards on tracks 12-17

Release information:

1989, RMP Records, RPM 1256 (cassette CCRPM 1256)
October 2004 (as Vox Populi), RetroFresh, freshcd 141

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The Spectres produced one great album and then disappeared. 'Be Bop Pop' opens with the strong title track, brassy, bouncy and punky. This is a perfect pop song that you will be humming and singing well after the last notes of the final track of this album fade away. The catchy refrain "Be Bop Pop, Vox Populi" is possibly one of SA greatest pop moments.

Aside from this, other standout tracks are 'Brave New World' and 'Teddy Bear'. Both with catchy choruses they sit comfortable next to the jewel in the crown mentioned above.

Tara Robb's voice adds to the feel of the album, at times akin to PJ Powers, but usually tending more towards Heather Mac's (from EllaMental) strong punky sound. She will be sadly missed. (Tara passed away on the 13th September 2000).

Despite the 60's pop art cover and the upbeat title of the album, there is a darker side and sound to some of the tracks. There is a political undertone to the lyrics and the statement "Construction not Conscription" of the cover echoes that sentiment, yet this never detracts from the pop nature of the album.

It's a pity there was never a follow up album, but if you've got this one, treasure it. It is one of the great SA 80's pop albums, sitting comfortably alongside éVoid and Hotline.
-- John Samson, September 2000


All info supplied by John Samson, August 2000. Updated by Brian Currin, November 2004.

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