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Bo Hansson

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Bo Hansson Music Inspired By Watership Down album cover
3.74 | 37 ratings | 6 reviews | 16% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Born of the Gentle South (16:35)
2. Allegro for a Rescue (1:23)
3. Legend and Light (3:39)
4. Trial and Adversity (4:10)
5. The Twice - Victory (8:14)
6. The Kingdom Brightly Smiles (1:24)

This was also released as "El-Ahrairah" in 1977 on YTF-50350 in Sweden.


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Bo Hansson / piano, keyboards, bass, guitar, tambourine

- Sten Bergman / flute
- Torbjörn Eklund / wooden flutes
- Kenny Håkansson / guitar, bass
- Göran Lagerberg / bass
- Tomas Netzler / bass
- Fredrik Norén / drums
- Pontus Olsson / piano, recording
- Bo Skoglund / drums, maracas

Releases information

LP Sire 6044 (1977, USA)
LP Charisma CAS 1132 (1977)

CD EMI Records 8661402 (2004, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Aussie-Byrd-Brother for the last updates
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Buy BO HANSSON Music Inspired By Watership Down Music

Music Inspired By Watership DownMusic Inspired By Watership Down
Import · Remastered
EMI Import 2004
Audio CD$59.99
$45.00 (used)
Bo Hansson - American Engineered (Music Inspired By Watership Down) - Love Records (US) - USLP-1-1102Bo Hansson - American Engineered (Music Inspired By Watership Down) - Love Records (US) - USLP-1-1102
Love Records (US)
Vinyl$35.43 (used)

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BO HANSSON Music Inspired By Watership Down ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(65%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BO HANSSON Music Inspired By Watership Down reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Proghead
3 stars I really thought "Attic Thoughts" was one of Bo HANSSON's best. For "Music Inspired by Watership Down", he decided to do another album similar to "Lord of the Rings", that is recording an album inspired by a book. Unfortunately, I really thought BO HANSSON really ended up in a dead-end here, really adding nothing new or surprising that he hadn't already done better on previous albums. It's not a bad album, but I really got a feeling he wasn't really going anywhere. The songs are quite a bit longer than anything he's done before, and I don't have complaints of the length of songs. Just that it's a bit lacking in inspiration. It's just good as well that this would be his final album (until he released an album in 1985 called "Mitt I Livet" before going in to seclusion once again, with rumors of poor health). Definately start with "Lord of the Rings" and work your way forward before coming here.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have to disagree with Proghead here, whilst Watership Down is not as good as Attic Thoughts it is still a very good, all round album. ' Born of The Gentle South' which takes up the majority of side one is a 17 minute classic and the production as a whole is excellent. As technology improved so did the production quality and it seemed that as Hansson developed his musical style the sound quality improved too. The wood flutes and delicate guitar licks throughout this album together with the richly layered keyboard sounds lend tribute to what an excellent album this is.' Trial and Adversity' and 'The Twice Victory' on side two are great tracks although the latter does sound more like a film score and loses it's way occassionally. This was the last great work from Hansson and apart from ' Mitt I Livet' an album released in 1985 ( Have not heard it but apparently very poor)Hansson virtually disappeared off the face of the earth! Rumours abound of ill health, destitution and mere reclusive lifestyle, but I would love to know what happened to such a fine musician and how even with the advent of the punk revolution Bo Hansson simply vanished into the ether.
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I personally love the fourth Bo Hannson's album. It's a cohesive and mature work builded up around relaxing melodies and warm colours. These elements are well imprinted in the opener, the magnum opus titled "Born in the Gentle South" (16,35 minutes). The nordic influence are more sparse, now, keyboards and synthesizers have the most prominent role. The other tracks are in the same vein, slow for the most part with many surprises and unespected changing of tempos that enrich the arrangements. "The Twice Victory" (8,14 minutes) is the other most evident example with an orchestral and anguishing (I don't know why, but it is so) structure.

The titles of the songs are inspired by the verses of famous english poets, Shakespeare and Keats, for instance. The more melancholic sound demonstrates the the disillusionment of Bo Hansson for the music press of that time. Indifference was what they gave him for the release of this jewel! Nowadays seems to be not very different from 1977: I saw in fact many people saying this album is the weakest of his (not large) production. I tell you the truth: Watership Down is the album I listened to the most. It's a sort of hymn, sometimes giving us the opportunity to escape from our reality and travel far from home. In fact the sound is dreamy and floating and the electric guitar shows some references to Pink Floyd.

The bad thing is that it is the last Hansson's album and, for another time, it's sad to see that also this artist had to stop his solo career after so high levels of quality.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars It would seem that Bo was maybe trying to capture the magic of his debut with this his fourth album, as it also is inspired by literature. For me though this is my least favourite of his first four studio albums.

"Born In The Gentle South" is the longest track by far at around 16 1/2 minutes. Keyboards and guitar keep swapping the lead here as we get a beat and synths coming and going. It settles before 6 minutes then picks back up. Some attitude before 11 minutes for over a minute. Flute before 13 minutes. "Allegro For A Rescue" is a short guitar led piece. Never heard guitar like this on a Hansson record before.

"Legend And Light" is led by piano early. A beat arrives a minute in. The song kicks in after 2 minutes briefly then again later. No flow to this one. "Trial And Adversity" is much better as it's kind of dreamy with a beat and keys. "The Twice-Victory" is slow moving with piano to start. The synths before 6 1/2 minutes sound a lot better. It kicks in after 7 minutes to end it. "The Kingdom Brightly Smiles" is the short conclusion. Piano melodies throughout.

A good album but I find 3 stars to be more than fair.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Including a track based on Watership Down on Attic Thoughts (AKA Mellanväsen) evidently inspired Bo Hansson to produce an entire album based on the book, much like his debut was based on J.R.R. Tolkien's work. Music Inspired By Watership Down (AKA El-Ahrairah) is an interesting mix of the mildly funk influenced symphonic jams of Attic Thoughts or Magician's Hat with the mystical approach of Lord of the Rings, and for my money it's Hansson's most accomplished and cohesive work since his debut, the concept apparently helping to focus his efforts. Apparently this would be Bo's last full-on prog album - the mid-1980s comeback album Mitt I Livet being a very different affair from his earlier albums - but as far as swan songs go it's a more than credible effort.
Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars For some odd reason, this later album by Swedish artist Bo Hanson is frequently considered a real drop in quality from his previous works, but I can't for the life of me understand why. `Music Inspired by Watership Down', based around the well-known Richard Adams novel, is still full of all the colour, shimmering keyboards and unpredictable quirks usually associated with Hanson's work, and there's still plenty of traces that made his earlier albums (including one of my personal favourites `Attic Thoughts') so memorable and delicious to the ear. Like with an earlier album `Lord of the Rings', Mr Hanson once again turned to a beloved novel for initial inspiration, and the results are perhaps one of the most tasteful and exquisite instrumental prog albums, and certainly one of the most gentle!

With an army of keyboard variety (Moog, Hammond organ, you name it), endless tempo changes, propulsive drumming, jazz/fusion electric guitar flavours and even some adorable strolling reggae moments in the finale, the almost 17 minute opener `Born in the Gentle South' is a lush and mellow epic. Hanson's fellow musicians here have frequent little duels between eachother, with Kebnekaise member Kenny Hakensson's grand electric guitar solo in the climax worthy of approval from Camel mainman Andy Latimar himself. Playful, dynamic and always endlessly melodic, the whole piece makes for a sublime example of impossibly charming instrumental prog at it's most romantic.

After the brief delirous synth/guitar/drum interlude `Allegro For A Rescue', the stark piano and tip-toeing flute of the darker `Legend and Light' is full with a playful creeping unease, with two booming fanfares to offer some blustery relief. For such an imposing title, `Trial and Adversity' is actually very mellow and dreamy, with the most gentle of David Gilmour- inspired guitar licks over wavering spacey synths and placid washes of synths and another little taste of soft reggae tones. `The Twice - Victory' opens as a delicate and affectionate acoustic guitar and piano duet before rising to life as a victorious organ fanfare, only some electric guitar menace and marching drums raising the tension in the second half. Some Steve Hackett-type `Voyage of the Acolyte' sounds are in evidence here, and the instrumental melodies throughout the piece might be some of the prettiest Hanson ever offered. The brief `The Kingdom Brightly Smiles' is a warm piano solo finale to then close on.

I wonder if the album had a different title and a more colourful cover (or even a borderline insane one like `Attic Thoughts'), followers of Bo Hanson who kind of dismiss this one would be a little more forgiving. Suitable for a lazy afternoon background listen or a great way to unwind for everyday stresses, `Music Inspired by `Watership Down" is a perfectly lovely and diginified instumental album that lovers of Bo Hanson's previous works and the romantic prog of artists such as Camel, Rousseau and Terpandre should adore.

Four stars for this timeless little beauty.

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