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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Pregnant Rainbow For Colourblind People, The Essence Of Swedish Progressive Music 1967 - 79 CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

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4 stars This 4-CD anthology on Swedish prog 1967-1979 is an excellent package in many ways. In fact, I don't know any similar attempt to give such thorough and precise picture of the prog scene of one particular country, in a particular time limit. Or if I have come across such things, surely none of them have been done so well.

It would be an interesting research to see how many of the bands/artists of this box are undeservedly not (yet) in ProgArchives. I believe there are several! Naturally many of them are very rare and have a limited output (sometimes narrowed down to a single single), but despite that fact, this box is a perfect thing for anyone who wants to dig deeper into the early Swedish prog. Which indeed has a unique character. If that uniqueness is heard already by listening to just a few classics of Swedish prog, this compilation only deepens that idea.

I'm not going into details, here's just some of the more known bands: KAIPA, BO HANSSON, KEBNEKAJSE, MADE IN SWEDEN, SAMMLA MAMMAS MANNA, ÄLGARNAS TRÄDGÅRD... What's very wise of this box, these "bigger" acts are not given more room than the rest. The goal clearly has been to give as full picture as can be given within four discs. Any imaginable sub-genre is present, be it Psychedelia, Jazz-Rock, Symphonic... Take you pick. OK, one thing COULD be more user-friendly: one hears no notable differences between the CD's, whereas it would have been nice to try to categorize contents somehow. It doesn't even run chronologically, which would also be a suitable way to do it.

The texts are very inormative, and everything about the package is edited tastefully. This box is a sort of successor to a book on Swedish prog.

Report this review (#263765)
Posted Monday, February 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars An entire box, consisting of four fully packed CD:s, of swedish prog, is that really necessary? Well, yes. Focusing on 1967-1979 it showcases all needed develepment of this genre in Sweden. Progressive rock in Sweden was either politically infused (lyrically), musically progressive or a bit of both. There are certainly varying degrees of excellence here. Some is more amusing than good, while others are simply outstanding.

I have loved the swedish progressive movement for many a year, now reaching the two decade mark. While lyrical content is important it is essentially the musical overcoat that makes it worthwhile. To me the inclusion of Samla Mammas Manna or Trettioåriga Kriget goes without saying. They are among the finest, alongside Kaipa and others. These groups are examples of the great musical skill and vision that blossomed during these years (and have continued to do so). Träd, Gräs och Stenar are, on the other hand, more charming than skilled. While not bad they do struggle with some musical difficulties, though not necessarily in vision.

There are some truly swedish sounds on here, especially evident when listening to Fläsket Brinner or Arbete & Fritid. Fusing swedish folk music with all out (hard) rock, the tapestry is really exciting. On the political side of things you may enjoy Midsommar's "Illusionen av en färdiskomad akademiker", with it's Santana-ish sound or Nationalteatern's "Jack the Ripper". Great tracks, both musically and in lyrics.

Other highlights are Panta Rei (a truly mindblowing, energetic track), Pop Workshop (amazing fusion), Life (with it's heavy, proto- metal sound), Hansson & Karlsson (instrumental organ and drums) and so forth. There is so much music to enjoy on here. And while I miss some bands (Mr. Brown, Atlas or Heta Linjen for instance) this is most likely the greatest way to start investigating the progressive music in Sweden, at least between the years 1967-1979. It is a labor of love, this box, and if you are able to get hold of it, do not hesitate. Buy it and revel in times gone by and the sounds of a swinging, evolving Sweden. I dare say that every aspect of prog is well represented here.

Report this review (#1399346)
Posted Thursday, April 16, 2015 | Review Permalink

VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Pregnant Rainbow For Colourblind People, The Essence Of Swedish Progressive Music 1967 - 79 ratings only

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