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ORIENTAL SUNSHINE

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock • Multi-National


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Oriental Sunshine biography
ORIENTAL SUNSHINE was a late 60's trio from Bergen, Norway, inspired by acid folk and Indian music. They started out as a duo, consisting of Nina JOHANSEN (vocals, guitar) and Rune WALLE (vocals, guitar, sitar), who met at Manger Folk High School in 1968, and quickly found a common interest in British and American folk music inspired rock, amongst others, THE BEATLES, THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND, FAIRPORT CONVENTION, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, Joan BAEZ and Joni MITCHELL, as well as the music of Ravi SHANKAR, and Eastern religions and philosophies.

WALLE and JOHANSEN performed at the school, and later, after graduating, at several clubs in Bergen, before meeting an Indian by the name of Satnam SINGH, at Arts and Crafts School in 1969. He would join the band shortly thereafter (on flute, tablas, sarod and vocals), and so the trio was complete.

JOHANSEN composed most of their material, but it was with a song penned by Hans Jørgen HØINÆS (MOON SPINNERS) the band got their breakthrough. In late 1969 the band entered Talent 69, a talent competition organized by the NRK, which they won, with the song "Mother Nature". This resulted in a record deal with Phillips, and the release of two singles, "Mother Nature / Visions" and "Across Your Life / Unless", just before Christmas that year.

In 1970 the trio was joined in studio by Helge RØSLIE (organ), Espen RUD (drums, percussion), later members of JUNIPHER GREENE and MOOSE LOOSE respectively, and Sture JANSON (bass) to record their only album, "Dedicated to the Bird We Love". The album got noticed outside of Norway, amongst others it was featured in the American music trade publication Billboard. The two original LP releases of the album, from Philips and Fontana, are now considered collectors' items, but it was re-released on CD and vinyl by Pan Records (Norway) in 1991, and Sunbeam Records (UK) in 2006.

Before the album was released, however, the band had split up. WALLE moved on to form the country/folk/psychedelic rock band HOLE IN THE WALL, and was later a member of the Norwegian prog rock band SAFT, country rockers FLYING NORWEGIANS (founding member) and the American country rock band THE OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS. JOHANSEN quit the music business and moved back home to Skien to become a teacher, while SINGH did not get a permanent residency in Norway. He moved to Denmark and became a lawyer.

Their music features dreamy expanses of melancholy with quietly introspective female vocals, ...
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Buy ORIENTAL SUNSHINE Music


Dedicated to the Bird We LoveDedicated to the Bird We Love
Import
Sunbeam Records 2006
Audio CD$19.53
$84.70 (used)
Dedicated to the Bird We Love by Sunbeam RecordsDedicated to the Bird We Love by Sunbeam Records
Sunbeam Records
Audio CD$58.14


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ORIENTAL SUNSHINE discography


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ORIENTAL SUNSHINE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 19 ratings
Dedicated To The Bird We Love
1970

ORIENTAL SUNSHINE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ORIENTAL SUNSHINE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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ORIENTAL SUNSHINE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Mother Nature / Visions
1969
0.00 | 0 ratings
Across Your Life / Unless
1969

ORIENTAL SUNSHINE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dedicated To The Bird We Love by ORIENTAL SUNSHINE album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.04 | 19 ratings

BUY
Dedicated To The Bird We Love
Oriental Sunshine Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars When i first heard this sole release by the Norwegian band ORIENTAL SUNSHINE i was struck that they sound so much like a San Francisco band who slept in Golden Gate Park during the Summer Of Love and took a trip to India and fell in love with the sitar and decided to record an album together. DEDICATED TO THE BIRD WE LOVE is basically a psychedelic pop album dressed up with all kinds of Indian instruments. In fact of all possible influences that come to mind, it's Peter, Paul & Mary with their pop folky approaches. I keep expecting this album to drift into "Puff, The Magic Dragon" territory with sitars, tablas and Mama's & Papa's references.

This band was basically a duo with Nina Johansen on vocals and guitar and Rune Walle on sitar, guitar and vocals as well but they had a little help from their friends with keyboards, sarod, flute and bass. They were discovered on a TV show called "Talent 69" (the year not the sexual position!!!) What we have here for the most part are psychedelic pop songs that are very mellow. They are slow to mid-tempo and revolve around all the stereotypes of 60s hippies philosophy. While many bands at this point were evolving into the 70s, ORIENTAL SUNSHINE was clearly reflecting the promises of yesterdecade in lieu of the shattered illusions of the present.

While i don't want to diss this album too much for its naiveté or anything of the sort, what really makes this a mediocre listen for me is the okayish lyrics, the nondescript melodies and the inability of anything really standing up and above the other similar styles of the day. I mean, just listen to The Beatles' "Within You Without You" which sounds so much superior to anything that presents itself here. To me, this sounds like campfire songs in a decade when ideals reigned but strategies failed. A soundtrack for a philosophy that got its wings clipped before take off. A nice pleasantry of sort but one that just lacks enough bite to get my saliva flowing. It wouldn't be until the mid-70s that any sort of raga rock with some serious bite would truly take form, but this is a nice little find nonetheless, it just doesn't knock my socks off is all.

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 Dedicated To The Bird We Love by ORIENTAL SUNSHINE album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.04 | 19 ratings

BUY
Dedicated To The Bird We Love
Oriental Sunshine Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by LearsFool

5 stars A beautiful record, particularly drenched in Indian traditional music. A lot of this album starts off with prog keyboards, but then soon sitar, bansuri, and dhol all join in. Our vocalists all sing their hearts out as beautifully as the rest of the music, completing psychedelia's dream of a wonderful raga record. Words can't quite describe how wonderful it is, in playing, in its small amount of complexity, in its uniqueness. It is very exceptional, in several meanings of the word. Opener "Across Your Life" is the best track, starting with keys and then introducing the other elements at their best, and "Visions" and "My Way To Be Hurt", both free of keys, are tied for second, with the latter having acoustic guitar as well, but all is pretty and relaxing. Excellent, a one of a kind treat.

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 Dedicated To The Bird We Love by ORIENTAL SUNSHINE album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.04 | 19 ratings

BUY
Dedicated To The Bird We Love
Oriental Sunshine Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars This really euphoric record floats gently downstream, shimmering colors of ever loving mandala of esoteric truth. Sarnam Singh's sitar weeps enhance the mystic adoration qualities, and singer Nina Johansen has very clear pronunciation in addition of beautiful tone, revealing the pleasant, thoughtful and religious lyrics.

The album is opened wonderfully; Hippie anthem "Across Your Life" sets the tone of whole record very elegantly, representing the melodic and atmospheric charms of the record. The use of audio effects deepening the meanings of the words enhances the trippy depth of the mellow dreamy drifting on lovely oceans of psychedelia crashing to the banks of ears from the stereo speakers.

The record's tonal poems also prove the successful comprehensive fusion of Indian classical raga elements and West-European acid folk sounds. The joyful flute bongs naturally to both of these musical worlds, and thus functioning as integrating catalyst in addition of being a beautiful melodic instrument. For example on Magic Carpet's lovely album this confluence was left in my opinion to more distracted state, offering good glimpses to both worlds but not melting them as same singular incarnation. I believe an example of a mixture leaning yet deeper to Indian raga origins than Oriental Sunshine would then be the very recommendable recordings of Ravi Shankar and John McLaughlin driven group Shakti.

The songs of this record are not very long, durations oscillating around three minutes, but the pretty melodic compositions do not essentially yearn for longer improvisations. Instead here the licks of the sitar caress the songs thoroughly along the guitar and vocal driven song bodies, mystifying them with tempting shades of sensuality. The song quality on the release is also in my opinion exceptionally fine, the spiritually healing record not containing weak fillers. My own most favored tunes among the opener could be the tender pieces "Visions" and "Mother Nature". I would really recommend this dedication to the bird we all love for all those lost in the ozone and scents of thyme, carrying the confidence of 1960's flower power's conquering loving ways inside their hearts.

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 Dedicated To The Bird We Love by ORIENTAL SUNSHINE album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.04 | 19 ratings

BUY
Dedicated To The Bird We Love
Oriental Sunshine Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There might already exactly have been an element of a reflection of the age and various music if it thought about their music characters. Their music characters are guessed to have developed it with a purpose with the part derived from the influence of the genre of Music whom each member had absorbed.

There might exactly have been a flow of Acid Folk and psychedelic as a main current at time when this album was announced. They are recognized as a band that debuts from Norway. However, the music character that they are absorbed and developed. It is not simple Acid Folk.

They might have been absorbing various music since student's time. And, the music character at which they should aim might reflect some purpose and the age though this album was only left for Philips.

Existence of the musician to whom name rose by the member's remark. The existence of The Beatles, Ravi Shankar, and Joni Mitchell is spread enough to their countries. It might appear remarkably in this album. Part of good Acid Folk. And, the music character round which a pastoral melody and Raga Rock that flows overall twine and directionality. "PPM meets Ravi Shankar" This description is often used to introduce them. However, their music characters give the construction of a part calculated very much and a good melody.

The music character that Rune Walle that took charge of Nina Johansen, Sitar, and the guitar that takes charge of the song and the guitar cultivated might be remarkably reflected in the content of this album. And, the existence of Satnum Singh from India might be important for this band. The flow that not simple Acid Folk but various musical instruments and ideas are projected is united well as a flavor of Acid Folk/Raga Rock. It listens to diversity from the tune to introduce the organ and bamboo flute well.

Rune Walle that took charge of Sitar shifted to the band that was called Hole after this band. And, it shifts to the group that is called Folque further. The market of Acid Folk of Norway of this time is always supported. I feel the album of this Oriental Sunshine block various elements well overall. Good uniting as part and Folk/Raga Rock that puts out performance in band forward. Or, the construction of a pastoral melody and the tune that drifts in the whole appears well.

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