The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979

From Psychedelic Experiments to Political Propaganda

Tobias Petterson



Älmhult singer Ronny Åström worked at IKEA's headquarters and wrote songs in his spare time. He was a dose friend of Peps Persson and recorded two albums of political Swedish-language music with Persson's help. Den ensamma människan was a reggae album featuring songs like "Livet på landet" and "Skeve Per". Hampadängor had much in common with Persson's Fyra tunnlann bedor om dan album and featured a collection of mostly old Skåne songs. Besides Peps' usual crew, the album also included members of Basement Society. The highlight was "Del bästa med Stockholm" which tells the listener that the best thing about Stockholm is that you can take the train back to Malmö - where Åström was now residing, working for the magazine Hemmets Journal. A packaging machine at work gave him the idea of a joint single with Peps, where they recorded one song each using the machine as a rhythm track. This was to be Ronny Åström’s last record, although he later contributed to some children's albums. He died of cancer in the early 2000's.

1976Den ensamma människanSonet SLP-2580★★2
1977HampadängorSonet SLP-2599★★2
1978Maskin nr 1 / Maskin nr 2 * (S)Sonet T-7955★★2
* split single with Peps Persson



This Landskrona band was formed in 1969 and recorded two singles on the obscure Örebro label Habima. The début was influenced by Jimi Hendrix and featured plenty of wah-wah guitar. The original trio expanded to a five-piece for the second single, which was more mellow with some progressive moves. Second drummer Roine Olsén later changed his last name to Sangenberg. The band made a few more line-up changes before finally folding in 1975.

1972Crowned King / Where Do You Get Your Love (S)Habima HS7027★★★★★★★7
1973Sweet Mary Jane / A Teardrop From Your Eye / Ett konstigt djur (S)Habima HS7033★★★★★★★7



This mind-expanding band was formed in Gothenburg in 1969, initially known as Innerst Inne. After playing at the 1971 Gärdet Festival, the band signed with Silence and recorded Framtiden är ett svävande skepp, förankrat i forntiden. The album is truly an original and inventive work. The A-side sports two long excursions inspired by Kraut-rock that display loads of sound effects upon intricate layers of percussion, electronics and string arrangements. The B-side consists of dark doomsday chants. "Möjligheternas barn" is especially haunting with vocals from folk singer Margareta Söderberg. Jan Ternald painted the album cover and later pursued a successful career as a designer, including several sleeves for Silence. The band broke up in 1974 during the mixing of their second album, although Söderqvist, Brandt and Johansson did a few sporadic gigs as Älgarnas Trädård until 1976. Dennis Lundh had played on Nynningen's För full hals album and then hooked up with jazz-rock band Mwendo Dawa while Ternald and Öberg joined Fläsket Brinner. Dan Söderqvist joined Ragnarök and later formed synth bands Cosmic Overdose and Twice a Man with Ingemar Ljungström (Anna Själv Tredje). In 1985 Sebastian Öberg formed the highly successful Fläskkvartetten, known as Flesh Quartet outside Sweden. The second Älgarnas Trädgård album was finally released by Silence in 2001 with the fitting name Delayed.

1972Framtiden är ett svävande skepp, förankrat i forntidenSilence SRS 4611★★★★★★★7



This Malmö duo's only album was recorded in Gothenburg in the early months of 1973 with the helping hands of a large choir and seventeen professional musicians, including Claes Palmqkvist (Contact), Igor Janco (Röda Lacket) and the Spotnicks duo of Bob Lander and Björn Thelin. The latter also produced the album in conjunction with Änglabarn. The Swedish-language lyrics have standard hippie concepts like love, life and dreams and go well with the richly textured and atmospheric sounds. The album also includes their interpretations of four poems written by Dan Tillberg's grandmother Anna Maria Nilsson. The single contains non-LP tracks and doesn't have the lush orchestrations of the album. In 1979 Tillberg released the solo album Gatstenar on his own Bellatrix label. It featured Swedish versions of songs by the Rolling Stones. He recorded a similar album of Bob Dylan songs two years later and then scored a few hits as a pop singer. The Änglabarn duo should not be confused with the 80's pop band Änglabarn, fronted by singer Danne Stråhed.

1973ÄnglabarnPlump Productions PLP1000★★★★★★★7
1973Vi kan drömma / Här kan vi leva (S)Plump Productions PS010★★★★4


Famous actor Örjan Ramberg's only single is one those ground breaking records that made it acceptable to sing rock in Swedish. However, most of the credit should actually go to former Tages star Göran Lagerberg. Not only did he write the songs and produce the session, he is also the lead singer and plays on the record with his band Blond. Ramberg only gets to share the vocals with Lagerberg on the B-side, where one could clearly hear the differences between their voices. The CBS single was soon reissued by Mercury and same thing happened with pop duo Pillow, another Lagerberg production released at this time, where Blond also provided the backing track.

1969Balladen om killen, del 1 / Balladen om killen, del 2 (S)CBS 4541★★★3
1969Balladen om killen, del 1 / Balladen om killen, del 2 (S)Mercury 6062.006★★2