I have only made one Nordic comp so far [recent edit: Here is Sweden, and Norway, and Finland] and I know there is still a lot of untapped potential for more, so here is my effort to represent Denmark's great heavies. Having been aware only of bloggers favourites like Moses, "Terje Jesper & Joachim", Blues Addicts and Hurdy Gurdy, I was pleasantly surprised at the quantity and quality I found after digging deeper. Like a lot of countries connected to mainland Europe, jazz/fusion rock seemed to be a particular favourite style of the Denmark's 70's prog outfits, though I have only included a couple of bands that were known for that genre, concentrating mainly on my predilection for the heavier fuzz-laden side of things...
Track 1's Hair hail from Denmark's capital, Copenhagen (Danish: København). They only made one album but they showed great talent, ranging from west coast-style psych to faster hard rockers like the track I used here; "Supermouth".
Burnin Red Ivanhoe were another Copenhagen band, and one of the more successful here. They made a name for themselves in the european prog scene along with Danish contemporaries like Secret Oyster and Day of Phoenix. During the short life of the original lineup between 1969 and 1972 they released 4 albums. This comp's title track 'August Suicidal' is taken from a 1974 re-incarnation of the band that made one album, featuring former members Karsten Vogel, Bo Thrige Andersen, Ole Fick, with Kenneth Knudsen (drums) of Secret Oyster, and Karsten Lyng (vocals) from Day Of Phoenix.
|Terje Jesper & Joachim|
Copenhagen's Beafeaters are one of the earliest bands on here. Along with another Danish beat group "The Defenders", they were a launchpad for many rock musicians including Ole Fick (Burnin Red Ivanhoe, Secret Oyster), Nils Henriksen (Culpeper's Orchard, Mo-i-ra-na), Carsten Smedegaard (Midnight Sun) and Povl Dissing. I have included two tracks that were back-to-back on their 1967 debut. "Shakin' Fingerpop" is a groovy slab of freakbeat and "Night Flight" is a delectable psych instrumental with an almost space-rock feel and some innovative tape samples that lend even more to the hammond-lead, dreamy ambience.
The Old Man & The Sea were from Horsens, in the east of the Jutland peninsular. Their only record was a concept album based on Ernest Hemingway's last major work of fiction, "The Old Man and the Sea", an epic story of a wise old fisherman's battle with a large marlin. With their excellent heavy progressive musicianship, the band were reasonably successful and played lots of live shows, including Denmark's Roskilde Festival, along with opening slots for big name tours like Led Zeppelin and Ten Years After. There is an interview with the Organist Tommy Hansen here at the Psychedelic Baby webzine.
When Hurdy Gurdy formed in Denmark, the driving member was an english singer/bassist called Mac MacLeod. MacLeod seems to have been in interesting character and at the time was engaged in some correspondence with pop star Donovan who it is said, originally wrote the song "Hurdy Gurdy Man" for Mac. Due to numerous legal and work visa problems for various members, the band moved between The UK and Denmark a couple of times, at one point playing their rendition of "Hurdy Gurdy Man" to Donovan. He wasn't so happy with their heavy take on it and released his own version which became one of his defining hits. Whilst in the UK they did some recordings produced by Chris White and Rod Argent of The Zombies, from which this non-album track 'Lend Me Your Wings' is taken. MacLeod had left the band by the time they got around to releasing an album, he went on to join the post-Zombies band Argent for a while. Mac now has a website here where you can also download some other rare Hurdy Gurdy mp3s.
Sume formed in Sorø, in the Region Sjælland, east Denmark. History recalls that founding members Malik Høegh and Per Berthelsen were from Greenland and met in Denmark while studying. It also says they were "Greenland's first recorded rock band", though all three of their albums are labelled as Danish releases. If anybody out there can clarify their history that would be great! They had a quirky, catchy sound with progressive hints, not often heavy but groovy as hell at times and they certainly have some interesting ethnic flavour which I can only guess is some Danish/Greenland folk heritage coming through.
|Daisy, Lucifer 45|
Pan are another band that I have used on my previous Nordic comp, and I go back to the same s/t album for this short and wicked instrumental groove-out, 'They Make Money With The Stars [Pt 2]'. Revealed by Danish obscurity label Frost, it appears that Copenhagen's Pocket-Size never released anything, and we only have Frost's 2003 retrospective made from live recordings and demos. It's a shame as this track shows their solid skills with some big stoned chops, ably assisted by great hammond.
|Sensory System (1974)|
01. Hair - Supermouth (1970)
from album "piece"
02. Moses - Skaev (1971)
from album 'changes'
03. Fleur De Lis - In Love (1972)
from album 'facing morning'
04. Burnin Red Ivanhoe - August Suicidal (1974)
from album 'right on'
05. Terje Jesper & Joachim - Ricochet (1970)
from album 'terje jesper & joachim'
06. Beefeaters - Shakin' Fingerpop / Night Flight (1967)
from album 'beef eaters'
07. The Old Man & The Sea - The Monk Song Part 2 (1972)
from album 'the old man & the sea'
08. Secret Oyster - Black Mist (1974)
from album 'sea son'
09. Hurdy Gurdy - Lend Me Your Wings (1970)
10. Blues Addicts - Simple Expression (1970)
from album 'blues addicts'
11. Sume - Takornartaq (1974)
from album 'inuit nunaat'
12. Daisy - Lucifer (1969)
13. Pan - They Make Money With The Stars [Pt 2] (1970)
from album 'pan'
14. Pocket-Size - In One Or Another Condition (1970)
from retrospective 'in one or another condition'
15. System - While Nixon Plays The Piano (1974)
from album 'sensory system'
16. Young Flowers - Slow Down Driver (1969)
from album 'vol. 2'
Thanks for listening! Rich