Monday, September 9, 2013

40 Year Itch: Scandinavian Prog Rock

This month 1001Songs is flying all around the world on its supersonic internet spacecraft to discover how different regions responded to the influence of progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis and Yes.
And our phasers are locked on STUN!

Our first stop is Sweden where the avant prog band Samla Mammas Manna released their masterpiece Maltid. With Maltid, you get musicianship worthy of  great Canterbury bands like Soft Machine. And it's probably best you focus on that. Because for some odd reason, the band sings in an ear-wrenching falsetto. The epic eight minute "Minareten" has less of this than most cuts and was included on the box set The Essence of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979: Pregnant Rainbows for Colourblind Dreamers  

Also from Sweden comes the instrumental prog rock band Kvartetten Som Sprangde (The Quartet Who Blew)  and their album Kattvals ( Cat Drums). The band doesn't blow at all ( And what's with the self effacing band names of 1973? Average White Band, Budgie) KSS is a trio made up of a guitarist, Hammond organ player ( with a bass pedal) and a drummer. With no Swedish lyrics and no high pitched falsetto vocals, I might but this one first.

We're staying in Sweden because we have hopes to meet the Swedish bikini team and because this is the country where Kebnekaise ( the band, not the mountain) released their second album, artfully named Kebnekaise II. This is prog with a Swedish folk music take + African drumming. And it works!

Now we head to Denmark to see how the band Dr Dopo Jam responds to some of the intricate horn charts of early Chicago. There's just enough goofiness and variety in instrumentation here to make Zappa fans happy. Apparently that had a funny stage act as well.


  1. Hello there, just a quick note to tell you that I REALLY ADMIRE YOUR WORK here! Your blog has a fundamental role in my 2013-1973 music project.
    Absolutely fond with music, but overwhelmed by the infinite web offer to choose from, starting from 2011 I've stuck to a strict diet: only music from the year to date OR from 40 years ago. This year I've listened to 367 complete albums from 1973 so far... My main sources: wikipedia, discogs, deezer, grooveshark, youtube, and last but not list 1001 Songs (above all now that I want to dive deeper)! So thank you a lot, my friend! Keep on rocking! Ciao from Alessandro, Italy (

    1. Thank you Alessandro. I am learning as I write. I would suggest you add Rate Your Music as well