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Bo Hansson - Lord Of The Rings CD (album) cover

LORD OF THE RINGS

Bo Hansson

 

Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 96 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Proghead
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Long before you had ─NGLAGARD, the FLOWER KINGS, ANEKDOTEN, etc., you had BO HANSSON, one of the earliest and most successful figures in Sweden's prog rock scene. Having already released four albums in the late '60s with drummer Janne Karlsson (as the duo Hansson & Karlsson), and jamming with Jimi HENDRIX during a European tour, HANSSON embarked on a solo career. For his first solo project, he decided to record an album based on JRR Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". Originally he intended the album to have vocals, and perhaps a choir, but since the Tolkien estate decline, he was forced to record an all-instrumental album that was inspired by "Lord of the Rings". The album was originally released in Sweden on the Silence label as "Sagan Om Ringen" and also became the first album ever released on that label (what a great way to kick off the label, by the way). In 1972, Charisma Records got a hold of it and released it under the much more familiar English title and artwork (it's also interesting to know the original Swedish album had all the song titles in Swedish, while the more familar version off Charisma was all in English, but, of course it doesn't really matter, since this is all instrumental).

Often this album gets maligned. It's not a big-budget production, it hardly resembles the music you hear on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies that recently surfaced. What you get is psych/early prog, dominated by Hammond organ, with some Moog. People often complain that the album sounds too much like psychedelic noodling, that it doesn't do the Lord of the Rings trilogy justice, and so on. The album is a product of its time, and understanding the early '70s would help you understand why BO HANSSON created the album the way he did. To me, what I really like is the mystical atmosphere he created. There's a Nordic feel throughout the album, but I guess that should be no surprise, given where BO HANSSON is from, not to mention that Tolkien, though from Great Britain, had his stories heavily influenced by Norse mythology. Yeah, the album has a bit of repetition, but the atmosphere more than makes for it. To me, the music fits the Lord of the Rings trilogy just fine, and I much prefer this than the typical over- orchestrated Hollywood fluff that was to be found on Peter Jackson's films.

Regardless how one might feel of BO HANSSON's "Lord of the Rings", especially when it compares to the more typical Hollywood-type of score for the Peter Jackson films, I still always think HANSSON's "Lord of the Rings" is a nice album to have, although the second half does run a bit out of steam.

My rating: 3 1/2 stars

Proghead | 3/5 |

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