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Monday 23 May 2011

Gothenburg Grooviness

It is one of those classic dilemmas for all music fans. You can't decide whether you want to listen to some Swedish prog rock or early Soviet poetry set to music. Well, the dilemma is solved. Just get yourself a copy of "För Full Hals", the 1973 album by Nynningen and now available (at least in Sweden) on CD, courtesy of MNW Music.

Nynningen were what Swedish Wikipedia describes as a "svenskt socialistiskt proggband" (that's "Swedish Socialist prog band" in English, but you had probably worked that out). Formed in Gothenburg in 1970, they made a series of albums in the 1970s.

"För Full Hals", which appears to mean "At the top of one's lungs", was their second album and consists of the poetry of one Vladimir Mayakovsky translated into Swedish and set to music. The man who wrote the tunes, Tomas Forssell, went on to greater success with an outfit called Häjkån Bäjkån, which made albums for children - no doubt full of subliminal Socialist messages - one of which won a Grammy.

Not speaking the language the lyrical content of the album is rather lost on me - I can make out the odd reference to the proletariat and revolutionary committees but that is about it - but I like the groovy organ and flute on these two.

"Vilddjurens Sång" - Nynningen

"Balladernas Konst" - Nynningen

Moving on, it may have come to your attention that a well known musician is celebrating his 70th birthday tomorrow. Never one to see a bandwagon go by without jumping on it, I would like to pay my own small tribute to a man who in many ways defined the sound of the 1960s. So many happy returns to Tony Valentino, guitarist with The Standells. Here they are in action.

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