I thought about using my first post of 2011 to look forward to what the year might bring, but rapidly came to the same conclusion as Noel Coward.
"There Are Bad Times Just Around The Corner" - Noel Coward
So instead I decided to look back. Join me as we journey to Denmark at the beginning of the 1970s, courtesy of a couple of CDs I picked up when in Copenhagen a couple of months ago.
First up is an outfit called Pocket-Size, whose CD "In One Or Another Condition" contains - according to the only other English words on the cover - "newly discovered Danish psychedelic masterpieces from 1970". I don't know whether they are less hyperbolic in Danish. It is alright, but rather too heavy for my personal taste. This is probably the pick of the bunch.
"I'm So Sleepy/ Bake Your Own Cake" - Pocket-Size
Much better is a CD called "Hippieology Vol. 1", released by the Danish label/ online music shop Karma Music in 2005. It contains two albums: "Foreningen Til Livets Besyttelse" ("Society For The Protection Of Life") from 1971 and "Den Lille Prins" ("The Little Prince") from 1972.
From what I have been able to piece together, both albums came out of a hippy commune in Aalborg. The line-up appears to have been largely the same for both records, with the notable exception of one Susanne Hamilton from Copenhagen who sang and wrote several of the tracks on the first album.
"Foreningen Til Livets Besyttelse" is the more experimental of the two albums. "Den Lille Prins" is fairly conventional by comparison, containing as it does some discernible tunes and even some displays of musical competence, possibly as a result of them all being slightly less stoned without the malign influence of that Susanne and her fancy Copenhagen ways. Both albums have their charms; here is a selection from each.
"Betjent Larsen" - Foreningen Til Livets Beskyttelse
"Cirkus I Byen" - Den Lille Prins
For the clip I was going to feature a Prince video, but he has decreed they shall not appear on YouTube. Then I thought of trying the cover of "Raspberry Beret" by the Hindu Love Gods, who were the late Warren Zevon and most of R.E.M., but I could not find that either. So here instead is a solo performance from Warren in which he expresses a similar sentiment to that voiced by Mr Coward way back at the beginning of this ramble.