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Tasavallan Presidentti

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Tasavallan Presidentti Tasavallan Presidentti album cover
3.74 | 60 ratings | 4 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Introduction / You'll Be Back For More (6:16)
2. Obsolete Machine (3:56)
3. Who's Free (3:30)
4. I Love You Teddy Bear (3:40)
5. Crazy Thing No. 1 (0:46)
6. Drinking (3:17)
7. Crazy Thing No. 2 (0:13)
8. Driving Through (4:33)
9. Ancient Mariner (3:24)
10. Wutu-Banale (6:41)
11. Woman Of The World (2:53)
12. Roll Over Yourself (2:25)
13. Thinking Back (3:06)

Total time 44:40

Bonus tracks on 1990, 2003 & 2013 reissues:
14. Solitary (3:46)
15. Deep Thinker (2:41)

Extra bonus track on 2003 & 2013 reissues:
16. Time Alone With You (3:34)

Extra bonus track on 2013 reissue:
17. Obsolete Machine (3:56)

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Robson / vocals, piano, organ
- Jukka Tolonen / guitar, piano
- Juhani Aaltonen / tenor & soprano saxophones, flute
- Mns Groundstroem / bass, organ
- Vesa Aaltonen / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Ulla Ground

LP Love Records ‎- LRLP-7S (1969, Finland)
2xLP Svart Records ‎- SVR241 (2013, Finland) Bonus LP with 4 bonus tracks (1969-1970 Singles)

CD Love Records ‎- LRCD 7 (1990, Finland) Remastered by Pauli Saastamoinen with 2 bonus tracks
CD Love Records ‎- LRCD 7 (2003, Finland) 24-bit remaster by Mika Jussila with 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI Tasavallan Presidentti ratings distribution

(60 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI Tasavallan Presidentti reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars TP is Finland's second-most important group of the 70's after Wigwam (both had English mother-tongued singers), but it was born out of the ashes of a previous band called Blues Section, when US singing-pianist Robson (whose voice can be reminiscent of Stevie Winwood) and bassist Goundstroem teamed up with brilliant guitarist Jukka Tolonen and the Aaltonen brothers (drums and winds). The debut album is strange and unfocused affair, where the blues crosses progressive rock, but there is also plenty of other musical references, from jazz to classical tidbits. Released in 69 on the inevitable (for Finland) Love Record label, the album sports a misleading Greek-mythical musician artwork on its sleeve, one that doesn't relater well to the music inside it.

The opening Robson-penned Back For More is a fairly good example of the mix of the album with a blues-derived voice and vocals over a prog riff, the whole thing not being that far from early Traffic, not only due to Robson's voice, but also Aaltonen's sax and flutes. The following Obsolete Machine and Who's Free are also like a bluesier and harder Traffic, but they lack the refinement of their inspiration. But the album takes a sudden dip with a crooner version (read involuntary pastiche) of Procol's Whiter Shade Of Pale with the near-atrocious Teddy Bear. The book-ending and amateurish-clumsy classical tidbits Crazy Things surround the prog-bluesy Drinking, where Aaltonen's flute and Tolonen's guitar solos take the spotlight.

Over the flipside, the hard-driving bluesy Driving Through track features some solid musical interplay, but it's not like we're in groundbreaking mood or anything. This could find space on a John Mayall's Bluesbreaker album, and this without the slightest disrespect. The album suffers another dramatic turn of ambiance with the cheesy narration over dissonant musical improvs during Ancient Mariner (check out David Bedford's version instead, but it came out much later), than another shift with the superb but heard-elsewhere (let you guess where, it won't be hard) Wutu-Banale, even if Steely Dan will sound a lot like this later. Woman Of The World is a hard-driving blues-rocker, where Robson sounds more like Gary Brooker than Winwood, but another untimely(and ill-advised) mood changes occurs with the rock-n-rolly Roll Over Yourself definitely ruins the album's cohesiveness. The closing Thinking Back is a fairly-dramatic (if a tad cheesy) piano-piece, oddly written by guitarist Tolonen, but played by him over bird noises.

Two non-album bonus tracks are included, most likely from a single released around the time (no details given), which are more or less in line with the album's overall mood and sound, especially the nice Solitary (again dj-entendu), while the jazzy Traffic-like Deep thinker gives an enjoyable final touch to the CD reissue. A rather enjoyable but clumsy debut affort, it's a little unfortunate that most of the tracks on the album have a dj-entendu or heard-elsewhere, but they are all attributed to the TP members. Certainly if they had not been Finnish and little heard-of, there might have been a few lawsuits thrown in. To be honest, it is limit-scandalous they got away with it. But this shouldn't take away the charm of this uneven and unfocused debut album that should spin once in a while in your deck.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I liked this album very much! The voice of FRANK ROBSON is more pleasing to my ear than EERO RAITTINEN's, who replaced him on the forthcoming "Lamberland" album. I would like to add BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS to the batch of bands, which were mentioned as the influences of these guys. Pressa's ballad "I Love You Teddy Bear" sounds a bit like "Sometimes in Witer", and Frank has a similar voice as DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS. Along that song, my favorite tracks are "Obsolete Machine" (bluesy rocker), "Drinking" ("I want to go naked in the pub, and hit the doorman in the face" !), "Driving Through" (another bluesy rock song a l CREAM) and "Thinking Back", which is a beautiful piano tune by JUKKA TOLONEN, with birds singing over it in the vein of early PINK FLOYD tunes. The bonus track "Deep Thinker" is also an excellent song! It was on their single with the another bonus track, but it was also on their second album which was a really rare collectors item for a long time.
Review by Matti
4 stars Soon after WIGWAM had released their debut single in the spring of 1969, the other Finnish prog giant TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI was founded -- by the young, highly gifted guitarist Jukka Tolonen together with his cousin and bandmate, drummer Vesa Aaltonen. Just like Wigwam, also TP was born from the ashes of the groundbreaking band Blues Section; it was most likely the former BS bassist Mns Groundstroem's idea to invite the British vocalist Frank Robson, who had replaced Jim Pembroke in the last stages of that band in 1968. Before Robson's return from England, Groundstroem suggested the addition of saxophonist-flautist Juhani Aaltonen. The foursome was't satisfied with the original band name Balloon, so they phoned a certain guy who was good at inventing names. The chap was reading a newspaper at the moment, and his first suggestion was Uutiset ja S (News and Weather), but "The President of the State" indeed sounds more serious. Urho Kekkonen himself gave his acceptance to the name. The group's first gig took place in the midsummer of '69, and the LP, produced by the Love Records leader Otto Donner, came out in December.

Despite some stylistic uncoherence, the album is a strong evidence of the band's excellent musical competence. As a brief intro there's an elegant flute melody backed by acoustic guitar, before the meaty jazz-rock starts. The second track 'Obsolete Machine' is my favourite of the album, with its fascinating rhythm pattern, Clapton-like electric guitar, fresh-sounding flute and the bluesy vocals of Robson, comparable to Gary Brooker and Steve Winwood. The blues oriented songs were mostly written by Robson and Groundstroem. The latter shows some will to experiment in his instrumental outburst 'Crazy Thing No. 1' and in the atonality of 'Ancient Mariner'. Groundsroem wrote also the beautiful rock ballad 'I Love You Teddy Bear' and the gorgeous final instrumental 'Wutu-Banale'.

Tolonen was to become a notable composer a bit later; here he offers a romantic, birdsong-flavoured 'Thinking Back' in which he plays his first-learned instrument, piano. The album's reception was warm and it received favourable reviews abroad too. Personally, I like it more than their second eponymous album, but I prefer the third, more complex prog album Lambertland with the new vocalist Eero Raittinen. Blues elements don't generally interest me very much, but this innovative album has more than that. An important early classic in Finnish rock music.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I would like to start my first review with this album. And what i'd like to say is that this is the best finnish rock album ever! I really can't find anything negative about the sweet 54 minutes and 50 seconds this album can offer to us. This also (As many of us already know) one of the first r ... (read more)

Report this review (#94082) | Posted by Wutu Banale | Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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