Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Bo Hansson

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bo Hansson Mellanväsen [Aka: Attic Thoughts] album cover
3.77 | 90 ratings | 11 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Funderingar På Vinden (Attic Thoughts) (5:30) :
- a) Marsch (March)
- b) Uppehåll (Repose)
- c) Vandring (Wandering)
2. Tid Och Rum (Time And Space) (1:37)
3. Väntan... (Waiting...) (7:34)
4. Vals För Mellanväsen (Waltz For Interbeings) (3:21)
5. Dags För Stordåd (Time For Great Achievements) (3:11)
6. Hybrillerna (The Hybrills) (1:28)
7. Kaninmusik (Rabbit Music) (6:23) :
- a) General Svartstarr (General Woundwort)
- b) Femman (Fiver)
8. Dag Och Natt (Day And Night) (4:30)
9. Lyckat Upptåg (A Happy Prank) (3:15)

Total time 36:49

Bonus Track on 2004 remaster:
10. Kristallsviten (The Crystal Suite) (6:21)
- a) Kristaller (Crystals)
- b) Minnen Ur Mörker (Memories Of Darkness)
- c) Ljus Igen (Light Again)

Line-up / Musicians

- Bo Hansson / organs, synths, bass, guitars, Mellotron, Fx, co-producer

- Kenny Håkansson / guitar
- Rolf Scherrer / acoustic guitar
- Gunnar Bergsten / saxophone
- Mats Glenngård / violin
- Thomas Netzler / bass
- Göran Lagerberg / bass, acoustic guitar
- Rune Carlsson / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Jan Ternald

LP Silence - SRS 4625 (1975, Sweden)
LP Charisma ‎- CAS 1113 (1976, UK) Different cover art

CD Silence ‎- SRSCD 3625 (1995, Sweden)
CD Virgin ‎- CDOVD 500 (2004, UK) Remastered by Paschal Byrne with a bonus track previously unreleased

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy BO HANSSON Mellanväsen [Aka: Attic Thoughts] Music

BO HANSSON Mellanväsen [Aka: Attic Thoughts] ratings distribution

(90 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BO HANSSON Mellanväsen [Aka: Attic Thoughts] reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Proghead
4 stars "Lord of the Rings" aka "Sagan Om Ringen" is without a doubt BO HANSSON's best known and best selling album, but he's released other albums worth checking in to. Like this one, entitled "Mellanväsen", better known as "Attic Thoughts" to anyone living outside of Sweden. "Mellanväsen" was once again released on Silence Records, while the versions released outside of Sweden, with the more familiar "Attic Thoughts" title was released on Charisma in Great Britain, and on Sire Records here in America (since Charisma temporarily pulled operations in the US by that time).

He takes that fairytale prog sound from his previous two albums and make it a more professional and sophisticated affair. The synthesizers are better integrated, and for the first time, the string synths rear its head. Here he has various members of KEBNEKAISE helping, including Kenny Håkansson on guitar, as well as Fläsket Brinner members like Gunnar Bergsten on sax, and Sten Bergman on flute, as well as musicians helping him out since the "Lord of the Rings" days like Rune Carlsson on drums. To me, I really think "Attic Thoughts" is one of HANSSON's best. It has less of the undesirable traits of "Lord of the Rings", for example none of the repetition, and still going for that wonderful atmosphere. A certain Jan Ternauld had done the cover artwork for this album, and he was a member of the strange Nordic/Krautrock-influenced combo called ÄLGARNAS TRÄDGARD (whose Framtiden Är Ett Svävande Skepp is truly an album worth looking in to). The Nordic influences of "Attic Thoughts" are well taken care of, I especially love that violin found on "Waltz For Interbeings", which really gives that Nordic feel that I really enjoy of Scandinavian prog albums. Totally amazing album from this often maligned artist.

My rating: 4 1/2 stars

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Make no mistake Attic Thoughts is worthy of a five star rating. It is as essential an ingredient to the 70's progressive movement as it is essential for just the sheer quality of sound it delivers. Here Bo Hansson had the finest quality musicianship backing him up. He had refined any rough edges from his previous 2 albums and the production is first class. The artwork is also stunning and again Hansson has that knack of conveying the title of his album into the deepest subconscious of the mind with his unique style and flow of his music. As in all the albums up to and including Watership Down they are instrumentals.Attic Thoughts has a darker more complex edge to it and the entire album stands up as excellent. Strongly recommended to anyone who might have missed Bo Hansson. Reclusive by music and reclusive by nature, Hansson demonstrates why he is such a good musician and why someone like Jimi Hendrix would have liked to have an occassional jam with!For the full impact listen to the whole album but the title track, ' Waiting..' , ' Day and Night' and the ever so clever ' Waltz for Interbeings' stand out.Side two has songs pertaining to Watership Down which no doubt acted as the catalyst for the next remarkable project.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Lofty ambitions

Bo Hansson flirted briefly with commercial success in the UK, perhaps on the back of the massive exposure enjoyed by Mike Oldfield. It would however be unfair to label Hansson as an Oldfield clone, since in artistic terms, Hansson came first (indeed there is an argument which says that Oldfield was influenced by Hansson).

"Attic Thoughts", or "Mellanväsen" to use its original Swedish title, was probably Hansson's most accomplished album. Musically, it is not that different from his previous works, such as "Lord of the rings", and "Magician's hat". It benefits enormously however both from more diverse instrumentation, and from much improved production.

Bo Hansson was undoubtedly a talented multi-instrumentalist, but for "Attic thoughts" he relied more heavily on other musicians to help him to fill out his sound. These included members of Swedish bands Kebnekaise and Fläsket Brinner.

The music is as ever entirely instrumental, and largely dominated by keyboards. While the listening is pleasant, there is a rather mundane feel to it, the album as a whole lacking any excitement or colour. Hansson's playing is as competent as his compositional abilities, but even after a number of listens, there is nothing particularly memorable here, just easy listening prog.

I understand Hansson has been ill for some time now, to the extent that he is no longer able to record or perform. We wish him well.

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With Attic Thoughts, Bo Hansson enters a new phase in his remarkable and unluckyly short solo career. The sound becomes more mature builded up by the usual warm, soft, eclectic and varied musical structure with the important change into a true symphonic pleasure. The result is something absolutely new to my ears, a completely original work and it's hard to imagine why this artist still doesn't have the attention he deserves.

Attic Thoughts, as the following Music Inspired by Watership Down does, demonstrates the highest level of quality and complexity reached by this important swedish multi- instrumentalist in the half of the seventies. It can be easily recognized as a whole genre itself for the peculiarity of the deep horizons, the warm passages, the slow and mid tempo and the sudden gentle variations (with even jazzy and waltzer incursions), the synth's solo alternating with sporadic but wonderful guitar solos of Kenny Hakansson, the piano interludes and the mellotron's escaping. All drenched with a convincing rythm's section and a nordic delicate taste.

It's unuseful to review it song by song. The best thing, I think, it's to strongly recommend this album (and the following Watership Down) but pay attention, please! This is only for who loves intimate, warm, wonderfully chiselled and polished symphonic experiences. If so, then Attic Thoughts has to be yours!

Near to the masterpiece status for sure. A work highly inventive, artisanship of highest standard of quality.

4.5 stars.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For this, his third album, Bo Hansson decided to increase his keyboard arsenal in order to create a more refined sound and a more polished use of sonic textures, although essemtially, his compositional style remains introspective and leaning toward the subtle side of melodic symphonic prog. The fact that the sound production is also improved helps Bo Hansson and his collaborators register an amplified sense of sophistication in their preformances. This fact is the reason why the electric guitar inputs (either by him or guests) also help to form the album's overall orchestral feel. In terms of musical cohesion, "Attic Thoughts" is just as excellent as any of the previous two, but all in all, given the new aforementioned facts, the ambiences tend to be more joyful. So here we have it, a partial departure from the predominance of raw mysterious tones that had made "Lord of the Rings" and "Magician's Hat" so special in the origins of the peculiar world of Scandinavian prog. In comparison, "Attic Thoughts" has got an appeal more closely related to British symphonic prog... but again, this is no tribute to Rick Wakeman or ELP, but a testimony of how Hansson could reinvent his own musical vision by letting some more colorfulness in his musical palette. The namesake opener has a very pleasant naive spirit to it, which helps to transmit the feeling of candid adventure alluded at in the title: some similarities can be drawn to Greenslade, espcially regarding the use of mellotron flute and organ. 'Time and Space' displays a succession of two distinct sections: a set of eerie ovelapped synth layers and a minimal acoustic guitar motif. 'Waiting...' and the sequence of tracks 5-7 show the most ambitious ideas in the album. 'Waiting...' is both exquisite and eerie, bearing a patent sense of ordainment that smoothly generates a sort of strength for the basic simplistic ideas. The sequence that leads from 'Time for Great Achievements' to 'Rabbit Music' displays an attractive dose of melodic richness, which makes them, as a whole, the most majestic portion of the album. Had some of the individual ideas been expanded a bit longer, the final result would have been much more magnificent, I'm sure of that, but they're more than OK as they are, at the end of the day. 'Waltz for Interbeings' is a merry mixture of funky and progressive waltz: I suspect this idea needed a further development, but that's how it is, anyway. 'Day and Night' is the one number that is clearly connected to the mysterious stillness of Hansson's previous album. Its delicate somber ambiences make it a highlight in its own terms, although it is perfectly integrated in this album's stylistic spirit. The closing track recaptures the joyfulness so common in many preceding tracks: it is based on an effective confluence of psychedelic prog and folkish textures. Even though Hansson's progressive vision may sound a bit "architectonical" to some, definitely the main idea in this setlist is to let the melodies and textures be featured as themselves, not overgearing them with abundant pyrotechnics. Definitely, "Attic Thoughts" is Bo Hansson at the top of his finesse as a performer and a writer.
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Attic Thoughts" is a much more band-oriented sound than the world discovered on his fantastic "Lord of the Rings" debut. While Hansson still tackles all keyboards and some guitar and bass, he is well backed by seven musicians including the talented guitarist Kenny Hakansson who is known from Kebnekajse. Besides the usual instruments and variety of keys employed before some violin is added to the mix here.

I actually don't care for the way Attic Thoughts opens as if it's a song in progress at mid gallup, but then the first guitar lead breaks in about 90 seconds later and all if forgiven. The pace remains fairly slow with keys and guitar playing in front of a bells-like percussion. Some piano also is sprinkled in like rain and the piece becomes quite peaceful and melodic. After the opening title track, "Time and Space" is a brief mixture of synth effects and very quiet acoustic guitar serving as a nice intro to "Waiting." Here delicate, melancholic guitar and synth hover above dreamy mellotron, as a strong bass and drumming back it up. Hakansson gets a co-writing credit on this long track, the only one not by Hansson alone. It moves along at a consistent pace pitting Hansson's keys against Hakansson's lead guitar creating some good fantasy imagery, a very strong track. "Waltz for Interbeings" is a funny title for an unusual track starting out funky, before going waltz, then hyper-jazzy, finally settling into more Hansson keyboard over conga groove. It's an odd song but satisfying at the same time. "Time for Great Achievements" begins with majestic drum rolls and keyboards/guitar notes packed with a forceful pride and insistence. This is one of the more outwardly rocking tracks here packing some real punch initially before leaving room for Bo's forays into the quiet and spacey. After the center section it picks up again. Another quirky short transition piece is "The Hybrills." Soft string keys opens another warm piece titled "Rabbit Music." Playful and varied is the composition here with all manner of moody keyboards. An odd percussion in the quieter parts, soft and bubbly, gives much of this a different feel. "Day and Night" gets edgy and frenetic at first, building up tense keyboards to a persistent guitar loop. It eventually breaks into the calm again with Hansson playing soft, dreamy notes over acoustic guitar, his depiction of night. "A Happy Prank" closes the album as it began, a bold group effort with the band way up front kicking it out. Some really cool warbled guitar effects and acoustic guitar rhythm add to the sound.

While LotR came early and stood up to music being made anywhere else, proving bold and visionary to other artists, by the mid 70s (recorded 74-75) when Attic Thoughts surfaced others had already explored more interesting territory and done it better frankly. While still a good album that is a must for Hansson and Scandy prog fans it is not as essential as his debut work which should be the more coveted title. If you're new to Hansson, definitely start at the beginning. Attic Thoughts is a fuller, more rounded band sound as many will point out but that doesn't mean it is more important or better material than the amazing debut. But he is a unique sounding artist with interesting material that should be heard by '70s prog fans.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The cover to Bo Hansson's 1975 album depicts the Swedish progger as a comic book keyboard superstar a la Rick Wakeman crossed with Gregor Samsa, the protagonist of Franz Kafka's novella "The Metamorphosis" (who discovers himself transformed one morning into a giant cockroach). It's all very silly and psychedelic, but the portrait gives a misleading impression of the music itself, a collection of mostly tame but evocative instrumentals with more than just keyboard heroics to recommend it.

Unlike the majority of keyboard wizards in the 1970s Hansson never presented himself as a virtuoso show-off. But he was adept at creating atmospheric soundtracks for imaginary films, playing guitar and bass alongside his synthesizers (which at any rate were used more for instrumental color and texture), and employing a large cast of guest musicians to fill out the soundstage.

The album title is appropriate: it sounds like the composer was doing a little housecleaning, collecting enough unused musical scrap from every corner of his head to fill (just barely) an entire LP. Most of it is in the slow to mid-tempo range, leaning closer to contemporary Space Rock than Symphonic Prog, and with a relaxing lack of rock 'n' roll histrionics (although "A Happy Prank" ends the album on an upbeat, almost jazzy note).

There's some good music here for such a short album, but the three-part title track and the superlative "Waiting" are the obvious highlights, exhibiting all of Hansson's considerable talents as a writer and arranger. The latter tune in particular (at 7+ minutes the longest selection here) has a haunting midnight-sun melody unequalled elsewhere on the album, or for that matter anywhere in Swedish music at the time.

"Attic Thoughts" never achieved the same popularity as his 1972 "Lord of the Rings" album, but that may have simply been a reflection of the craze for all things Tolkien in the mid 1970s (if that album had featured cover art by the Hildebrandt brothers, it would have gone platinum). This effort may not have the same thematic appeal, but in its own modest way it succeeds in capturing the sub-arctic beauty of backwoods Scandinavia better than some of the more renowned bands (and I'm not picking on THE FLOWER KINGS) from the same country.

Review by b_olariu
5 stars Bo Hansson is one of the most acomplished keybord players of the '70's from Sweden, he has a short solo career but with remarcable releases, one of them is Attic thosughts. Sadly Bo Hansson left this world in 24 of april 2010 at 66 years old, to found peace in a more greener world where he can find his old time musical mates. His musical legacy must be heread by any progressive rock listner. Attic thoughts was released outside Sweden (more specific in Great Britain) in 1976 by famous Charisma label and with a diffrent cover art (much better and inovative then swedish release Mallanvasen a year prior) made by Jan Ternald ( who was also a keyboard player in the obscure prog rock band from early '70's named Älgarnas Trädgård ). The music is symphonic prog with a dreamy attmosdphere, catchy keyboards arrangements and some fantastic guitar parts, all album is instrumental. Bo Hansson gathered around him a realy serious and great musicians, coming from well known progressive acts from the '70's like Kebnekaise or Fläsket Brinner. The keybords and organ sounds very well done here, a little more better then on previous releases, the sound is crystal clear, and the ideas are very good. The album goes very well from mid tempo pieces to a more mellower ones, always the musicians and specially Bo Hansson manage to interplay very well and smooth with the rest . A great piece of work, personal my fav Hansson album and one of the best from mid '70's , unfairly underrated in prog rock circles. The cover art aswell is excellent goes hand in hand with the music. Fav pieces are ttile track, great rythm and excellent song writting and fabulous and the best piece from here and one of the finest Hansson ever done is Waititng.., the arrangements and the sound of the organ and the guitar here has no equal, brilliant piece who shows once again that Bo Hansson means bussines with this album, very elegant arrangements. Besides that, the album has a scandinavian atmosphere for sure, you can easy recognize Hansson's music by miles, or at least this album, great stuff. So, I will give 5 stars, an essential album to have from this artist, who are often overlok in this circles, and to end this review, rest in peace Mr. Bo Hansson, you will never be forgotten.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars In my opinion this album and his debut "Lord Of The Rings" are Bo Hansson's best. How about that proggy album cover too. Very cool. I still prefer the debut to this one but I like how dark and atmospheric this is at times. Again POPOL VUH came to mind quite often while listening to this album.

"Attic Thoughts" opens with almost a minute of this catchy beat with flute, and then it settles down to a very laid back sound. Keyboards and drums become prominant later. Sounds like string synths too. Great tune. "Time And Space" is a short tune that builds then settles late. Keyboards and drums start to lead early on "Waiting..." as synths come and go. Nice bass 4 minutes in.The tempo picks up after 5 1/2 minutes. The rhythm is dark here. "Waltz For Interbeings" does have a waltz-like rhythm at times. "Time For Great Achievements" features prominant drums early. Guitar before a minute. This song changes constantly. I like it best after 2 1/2 minutes.

"The Hybrills" is uptempo with the drums outfront then it settles. "Rabbit Music" opens with synths then it kicks in before a minute. It settles with keys before 3 1/2 minutes before it changes to a more upbeat sound 6 minutes in. "Day And Night" is a top three for me. It's dark with sounds coming and going. A calm 1 1/2 minutes in but it's still dark. I like it. "A Happy Prank" is guitar and drum led with synths. Great sounding closer. "The Crystal Suite" is a bonus track. I don't usually comment on bonus tracks but this is fantastic ! It's divided into three sections.The first part is dark (it's dark throughout) with sparse piano. Flute joins in. It changes 2 1/2 minutes into an even darker mood. The final change occurs before 5 1/2 minutes. It sounds more like the first section with piano only though.

Anyone wanting to check Bo out would do well to start here or his debut.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Attic Thoughts - Mellanvasen if you have the Swedish version - sounds an awful lot like a continuation of its predecessor, Magician's Hat, possibly because so many of the guest musicians who pop in to give Bo a hand also performed on that album. Both albums show a diverse range of influences, sneak in a funky bassline or two, and lack the cohesiveness the concept of Lord of the Rings offered Bo's debut (as well as the mystical, otherworldly atmosphere of that album). On balance, if you liked Magician's Hat you should probably go for Attic Thoughts, and if you like Attic Thoughts you should give Magician's Hat a try - but if you don't have Lord of the Rings, go for that first.
Review by Sinusoid
3 stars After hearing ATTIC THOUGHTS, I'm surprised that Bo Hansson hasn't received more applause than I perceive him having. It falls right in line with good symphonic instrumental prog that is heavy on the keyboards, but allows the guitar to have some fun.

And it sheds most perceived pomposity by not really having much in the solo department; all tracks more or less function as if they indeed were classical pieces of music for a keyboard-led rock band. The tracks aren't overkill in the length department either, so the lack of any singing is somewhat nullified by the tunes being comparatively bite-sized.

Major problem-the inconsistency of the material. The second half is an absolute joy to listen to. ''Rabbit Music'', ''A Happy Prank'' and ''Time for Great Achievements'' especially pick up the pace of the album that was at a near lull on the first side. The opening march theme is it for the A side for me; it only lasts a minute before veering completely off course into mellower areas. ''Waiting''' is very apropos; I'm always waiting for something to happen.

While not a supremely great album, ATTIC THOUGHTS fits very nicely and can be uncannyingly enjoyable.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of BO HANSSON "Mellanväsen [Aka: Attic Thoughts]"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.