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Bo Hansson - Ur Trollkarlens Hatt [Aka: Magician's Hat] CD (album) cover


Bo Hansson


Symphonic Prog

3.59 | 65 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The (only) four solo albums released by Bo Hansson during the seventies are now by many considered of a cult status. Apart his first and most famous record inspired by Lord of the Rings, his music, despite not as widely known as it should be, is really very interesting and different to the whole prog movement of that era. The second record titled Magician's Hat (1972) is there to remember there was then a man from Sweden who sounded so varied and unespected melodies.

His multi-instrumental-skills and his wide range of composing ideas are well evident in this album. What the hell does rapresent in this album a quasi-south-american influence in part of its songs? Well, he was helped, as usual, by other good musicianswho provided their abilities on saxophones, flutes, pianos and congas, along with other kinds of drums and percussions.

He, the "Bo" man, is known as a master of organs, keyboards and synthesizers, but he is also quite a good guitarist. Magician's Hat is all intrumentally performed and it's very difficult to describe or to put in a specific genre of prog. If I had to describe it (this is what I'm searching to do, after all), I would say it's a sort of a marching band, inceasingly passing between various countries of the world through the roots of northern mythology. The rythm is almost always not very fast but with the positive remark of continuous variations and bright colours. By the way, the work is not based on complicated and fast series of notes. It's relaxing and somehow manage to catch the attention of the listeners for its curious passages. Sometimes it seems the author is searching in a classic cathalog, other times he mix a strong northern folk influence with the then rising star of symphonic prog.

All the various elements I've described can be found in the excellent opener "Big City" (in its extended version on my 2004 remastered cd reissue). 11,29 minutes of true original stuff, not many comparisons to be found, fortunately (and finally!). And so on with the remaining 10 tracks, along with the two extra tracks the grace the remastered version. A unique artist, a distinctive figure in all the classic prog scene, despite of the lack of more wide success. This work cannot be underlooked by the legions of prog rock fans we have on this site.

3.5 stars

Andrea Cortese | 3/5 |


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