domenica 8 marzo 2015

Bo Hansson - Music Inspired By Lord Of The Rings (Japan Remaster) 1972

Biography: Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings is an instrumental progressive rock album by Swedish musician Bo Hansson. As its title suggests, it is a concept album based on author J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings. The album was originally issued in Sweden in late 1970, under the Swedish title of Sagan om ringen, and was subsequently re-released internationally as Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings in September 1972. The album reached the top 40 of the UK Album Chart and was eventually certified gold in the UK and Australia. It was also moderately successful in America, where it reached #154 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart. Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings remains the only release by Hansson to have reached the UK and U.S. charts and as a result, it is by far his best known and most successful album.
History: Prior to the recording of Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings, Bo Hansson had worked as one half of the duo Hansson & Karlsson. The duo were relatively well known in their native Sweden and between 1967 and 1969 they released a series of well received albums. By early 1969, however, Hansson's musical partner Janne Karlsson had embarked upon a successful career as a television presenter and comedian, resulting in the breakup of the duo.[9] At around the same time, Hansson became fascinated with the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and in particular The Lord of the Rings, after being introduced to the book by a girlfriend. Hansson moved into a friend's apartment and began working on a musical interpretation of the book, producing a number of demo recordings of material that would eventually be included on the album. Hansson then approached sound engineer and founder of Silence Records Anders Lind, with the idea of recording an album based on The Lord of the Rings. Lind was encouraged by the demos and agreed to release the album on his Silence label. However, the fledgling record company could not afford the expensive studio time needed to realise the production of the album and so, a small summer house on the remote island of Älgö, in the Stockholm archipelago, was converted into a makeshift recording studio. Throughout late 1969, Hansson and Lind worked on the album at the summer house, with the help of a handful of session musicians and friends, before relocating to Studio Decibel in Stockholm to complete the album in early 1970. Hansson has stated that his original intention for the album was to include a string section and other exotic instruments, such as the harp, but the lack of finances available from Silence Records resulted in the majority of the album having to be recorded using primitive electronic keyboards and Moog synthesizers.
The album was released in Sweden by Silence Records in December 1970, with the title Sagan om ringen (which was also the title of the Swedish translation of The Lord of the Rings at the time; lit. "The Saga of the Ring"). It enjoyed modest commercial success in its native country and received heavy rotation on the Swedish national radio station Sveriges Radio P3. Following its initial release, Hansson composed additional material based on Tolkien's book and consequently, later pressings of the album contained extra tracks not found on the original Swedish release.
News of the album's success and popularity in Sweden travelled to England and as a result, it was licensed to Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma Records in 1972. However, Hansson and Charisma were forced to give the album the augmented title of Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings, at the insistence of Tolkien and his publishers Allen & Unwin. Tolkien's publishers also had a hand in determining the musical content of the album, as Hansson told music journalist Tony Tyler in the November 18, 1972 edition of the NME: "I originally intended to use voices - perhaps a girl soprano - on the tracks but when we contacted George Allen and Unwin they put a firm 'no' to the idea. So we had to use the term 'inspired' by Lord of the Rings' - and we had to keep it purely instrumental." The original 1972 Charisma release of the album sported front and back cover illustrations by Jane Furst.

Release and reception: The album was released by Charisma Records in September 1972, accompanied by an extensive television advertising campaign. In the UK alone there were thousands of advance orders for the album and upon release, it quickly became popular with fans of progressive rock. The album's blend of strange, other-worldly music and Tolkienesque subject matter proved popular during the early 1970s, a time when interest in Tolkien's writings among college students was at an all-time high. The album peaked at #34 on the UK Album Chart in November 1972 and reached #154 on the U.S. Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart in May 1973, eventually becoming a gold record in the UK and Australia. Although no official singles were taken from the album, a promo-only single featuring the song "The Black Riders & Flight to the Ford" was issued by Charisma Records in 1974.
Today the album is considered by many critics to be a classic of the progressive rock genre as well as Hansson's best work. In addition, it can be seen as an early example of multi-instrumentalist rock, predating similar 1970s albums by artists such as Mike Oldfield, Rick Wakeman, and Brian Eno.[4] In his book The Billboard Guide to Progressive Music, author Bradley Smith has described the album as "an early classic of space music" and Bruce Eder, writing for the Allmusic website, has called it "one of the few progressive rock instrumental recordings that still holds up on repeated listening." In addition, author Charles Snider has noted in The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock that the album's "quiet yet sinister organ tones are more similar to Pink Floyd than anything fairy tale-like or electronic". In his review for the Dutch Progressive Rock website, Nigel Camilleri also likened the album to early Pink Floyd but was critical of its overall lack of variety and outdated keyboard and synthesizer sounds. allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01.Leaving shire
02.The old forest / Tom Bombadil
03.Fog on the barrow - Downs
04.The black riders / Flight to the Ford
05.At the house of Elrond / The ring goes South
06.A journey in the dark
07.Lothlórien
08.Shadowfax
09.The horns of Rohan / The battle of the Pelenmor fields
10.Dreams in the houses of healing
11.Homeward bound / The scouring of the shire
12.The grey havens
13.Early Sketches From Middle Earth (bonus track)

Bo Hansson:
Bo Hansson – organ, guitar, Moog synthesizer, bass guitar
Rune Carlsson – drums, congas
Gunnar Bergsten – saxophone
Sten Bergman – flute

2 commenti:

Solidboy ha detto...

flac cue log scans

adamus67 ha detto...

For decades, J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy had been well loved by book readers everywhere. In 1978, there was a rather forgettable animated version of Lord of the Rings. But before Lord of the Rings ever appeared on any type of screen, musicians were recording music inspired by Lord of the Rings, and Bo Hansson from Sweden recorded such an album.

The album was originally released in Sweden on the Silence label as Sagan Om Ringen (1970), and all the songs bore Swedish titles. Eventually in 1972, Charisma Records, the British label that gave us Genesis, Rare Bird, Van der Graaf Generator/Peter Hammill, Lindisfarne, and even Monty Python, had released the Bo Hansson album for international distribution, this time with totally different cover artwork, the better known English title, which was Lord of the Rings, and the fact the songs now all bore English titles. Don't worry, nothing was changed musically, as this is all instrumental music. Basically the music is very mystical sounding prog rock dominated by Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer.

He got some help with the likes of Gunnar Bergsten on sax, Sten Bergman on flute, and Rune Carlsson on drums. Hansson did all the keyboard work, as well as guitar and bass. Songs, as you may guess, bear titles like "Leaving Shire", "The Old Forest/Tom Bombadil", "Lothlórien", "The Ring Goes South", "Shadowfax", and many more. None of the songs are over 4 minutes long. The music is totally different from the more typical Hollywood type orchestral fare that is found on the Peter Jackson movie.

Bo Hansson's Lord of the Rings had been frequently criticized as being "cheesy organ and synthesizer music" (which I don't think so), and not fitting in with the trilogy. Usually these come from people who like to collect Lord of the Rings-related material, but don't listen to prog rock. To me, this music fits perfect to Tolkien's trilogy. You simply have to like prog rock, or understand what music was like in the early 1970s to appreciate it.

The album has a home made production. Most of this album was recorded at Bo Hansson's home on an island outside of Stockholm. Yeah, the music does get a little repetitious, but the truly mystical atmosphere makes up for the album's shortcoming. So if you're a Tolkien fan and a prog rock fan, be sure to add this album to your collection.

Marco thanks my friend, for reminder ;)

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