The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979

From Psychedelic Experiments to Political Propaganda

Tobias Petterson



This experimental big band was lead by Gunnar Lindqvist and featured a huge cast of improvising musicians. Among jazz stars like Bernt Rosengren and Maffy Falay, we also find prominent Movement musicians like Ove Karlsson, Torsten Eckerman, Roland Keijser, Bosse Skoglund, Bengt Berger (all five of whom were in Arbete & Fritid), Allan Olsson and Sune Spångberg (both of Iskra) and Gunnar Bergsten (Fläsket Brinner). The influence of G.L. Unit showed up in the music of later groups like Förklädd Gud, Lokomotiv Konkret and Iskra. Gunnar Lindqvist was also the producer for EMI acts Solar Plexus, Panta Rei, Energy and Storm.

1969Orangutang!Odeon 062-34163★★★★★★★7


Of the many obscure bands from Uppsala, Gandalf's eponymous album is probably the most sought after. It was pressed in five hundred copies and distributed privately, since a deal with the Oktober label fell through due to the fact that the song "Plastisk Svensson" was considered anti-working class. Formed during Christmas 1976, Gandalf wanted to produce plays and musicals in the vein of Nationalteatern. The primitively recorded album contains progressive rock with prominent guitars and features political lyrics in both Swedish and English. Feilitzen was later in pop group Hansa Band.

1977GandalfGandalf Skivproduktion 077-1★★★★★★★★8


See also Compilations

Thomas Gartz began playing fiddle when he was eight and drums at the age of fourteen. In 1967 he joined the psychedelic band Mecki Mark Men as one of two drummers. He still played with them when he joined Parson Sound, an experimental band that soon afterwards changed its name to International Harvester. This band went through several transformations and name changes before Gartz quit the scene in 1972. At the time, the band was known as Träd, Gräs Och Stenar and was one of the leading acts of the Movement. In 1974 he returned to join Arbete & Fritid before recording his first solo album in the autumn of 1975. The result, Sånger, features special and thoughtful Swedish-language lyrics and mixes mellow folk-rock tunes with psychedelic drones, often with acid-inspired Eastern influence. Playing on the album were Bengt Berger, Torsten Eckerman, Roland Keiser and Bosse Skoglund, all from Arbete & Fritid, as well as Jakob Sjöholm (Träd, Gräs Och Stenar), Nikke Ström (Nynningen, Nationalteatern) and Anita Livstrand. Gartz himself supplied vocals, guitar, violin and percussion. He was also a member of Stenblomma and Hot Boys and continues to make music in various bands and solo projects, most visibly in the re-formed Träd, Gräs Och Stenar. His nickname Mera was given to him by his girlfriend in the early 70's.

1976SångerSilence SRS 4635★★★★★★6
Titles up to 1979


A surprising entry, perhaps, as this celebrity, known to all Swedes as "Clabbe", is a well-known champion of disco music through his long-running radio show "Rakt över disc". Claes af Geijerstam started his career as a guitarist and songwriter for 60's popstars Ola & The Janglers, but he was also producing the likes of Hår, Opus III and Nature. His first solo album, Out Of My Hair, features progressive music in the vein of Opus III. This comes as no surprise, as Clabbe co-wrote all the songs for Opus III and both albums used many of the same musicians. Two tracks from his solo album were translated into Swedish and released as a single. The Jukebox EP's also contain tracks from the album. Geijerstam then formed the short-lived progressive supergroup Marsfolket, but his subsequent musical endeavours have been of a decidedly more commercial nature.

1970Out Of My HairSonet SLP-2518★★★★★★6
1971Regnbåge / Jakten (S)Sonet T-7864★★★3
1971The Game / Hello Morning Rainbow (EP)Juke Box JSEP 5607★★2
1971Where Is My Lite (EP)Juke Box JSEP 5611★1
Titles up to 1971


This band started out as a duo consisting of Janne Goldman and Bosse "Grappo" Johansson. Their first single, "Dyberg", is progressive pop in the vein of Jason's Fleece with Swedish language political lyrics. Their following releases are mostly mainstream rock. Exceptions include "Ska vi fortsätta" and "Puk-Lisa" from the first album, both mellow tunes with prominent flutes. "Grappo" Johansson then left, but Goldman decided to keep the name and brought in Leif Hallberg as a replacement. Åke Eriksson (Egba, Wasa Express) played drums on the "Förståelse" single and then Gin & Grappo signed to CBS as a full band, including drummer Benna Sörman (Alexander Lucas), who had already played on the the first album. The new line-up recorded one more album which, again, was eponymously titled and features the slightly progressive "Här kommer solen, tyvärr". After the break-up, Janne Goldman formed Day Dream before going solo.
1973Dyberg / Strandflickan (S)Efel SEF90★★2
1973Gin & GrappoGP LP7303★★2
1974Nettan / Cilia (S)GPS 1001★1
1974Förståelse / Benke med smilet (S)GPS 1002★1
1975Gin & GrappoCBS 80911★1


Mats Glenngård started out as a guitarist in 60's pop group Funny Faces. In 1972 his current band, Homo Sapiens, recorded a joint single with Kebnekajse as Los Compañnidros shortly before becoming members of the enlarged Mark II line-up of Kebnekajse. Although Glenngård is mostly known for his fine violin playing, Kosterläge focuses just as much on his songwriting and guitar skills. The album delivers long progressive tracks featuring his Swedish vocals alongside some shorter folk tunes on the violin. Also playing on the album were Sten Bergman (Atlantic Ocean, Fläsket Brinner), Bosse Skoglund (Nature, Arbete & Fritid), Kenneth Arnström (Jason's Fleece, Handgjort) as well as his Homo Sapiens and Kebnekajse band mate Thomas Netzler. In 1980 Glenngård released his second solo album Violin Race.

1972KosterlägeGump 4★★★★★★★★8



See also Compilations

This band was formed in Gagnef, Dalarna, in 1970 and performed at both Gärdet festivals that summer. The first album, Är du lönsam lille vän, was recorded in only a few days in November. The Swedish-language songs are predominantly about class differences in Sweden and the capitalist system in general. The fact the band had no drummer and Mosskin's prominent nylon-string guitar gives the music a hippie folk vibe. Ali Lundbohm (Contact) plays drums on the psychedelic "Långhåriga saker" and Håkan Thanger (Vildkaktus) plays bass on half of the album as Lars Åkerman couldn't get leave from the military service for the entire sessions. The Åkerman twins then left and were replaced by Olevald, Bengtsson and Wiktorsson in time for Här schaktas utan pardon. It delivers more complex lyrics that question the invasion in Vietnam and the consequences of imperialism. Notable tracks are the fuzzed-out "Olja" and the folk-drones of "I väntan på vinden". The latter was recorded at Träd, Gräs & Stenar's headquarters in Värmland and features members of that band joining in. Gläns Over Sjö Och Strand broke up in 1972 and leader Peter Mosskin, who published his first book in 1968, continued as an author and journalist. Tord Bengtsson joined Arbete & Fritid, while Börje Olevald played on Acke's first single and eventually ended up in Sky High. Hans Wiktorsson joined Nationalteatern and found fame as comedian Kurt Olsson's sidekick "Arne".

1970Är du lönsam lille vän?MNW 13P★★★★4
1971Här schaktas utan pardonMNW 22P★★★★4


According to the map on the sleeve, this unknown band came from Trelleborg. Their privately distributed album features a crudely recorded live session with half of the songs featuring political lyrics in Swedish. The rest is 60's-style pop music sung in English. All the songs were self-penned.

1972A Part Of SwedenKMH-Production GYLP1001★★★★4


See also Compilations

Actress and singer Lena Granhagen made her first record in 1957 and her first movie the following year. She made two political Swedish-language albums for the classical label Proprius. The EP Det brinner i mina grannars hus was released in 1969 to raise money for Amnesty International. Here she sang together with Bengt Ernryd's jazz group, which included future Egba members Ulf Andersson and Stefan Brolund. The Röster i mänskligt landskap album featured Granhagen's recitation of Elisabet Hermodsson's lyrics over music by Norwegian composer Alfred Janson. The next album featured Swedish translations of works by Greek and German national treasures Mikis Theodorakis and Wolf Biermann with reflective accompaniment from people like Björn J:son Lindh, Janne Schaffer, Hawkey Franzén, Janne Bandel (Atlantic Ocean) and the afore mentioned Brolund.

1969Det brinner i min grannes bus (EP)Kyrkoton EP326★★2
1971Till Camilo Torres och revolutionen i Latinamerika *Proprius 250402 008★★2
1972Sjunger Theodorakis & BiermannProprius PROP 7718★★2
Discography begins with her 10th record.
* with Håkan Strangberg & Göteborgs Kammarkör


This early jazz-rock band was formed in Stockholm in 1967. Jojje Wadenius left the following year to form Made In Sweden and was replaced by beat group veteran Janne Schaffer. They recorded a soundtrack EP for the documentary film "Deserter USA" about Americans hiding in Sweden to avoid doing service in the Vietnam war. Schaffer and Brunkert then left to form Opus III, while Eklund became producer for the long-running progressive live music show "Tonkraft" for Swedish radio. He was also a busy studio musician and is today one of the senior executives of Sveriges Radio.

1969Deserter U.S.A (EP)HB Artist HBEP1005★★★★★★6


This Malmö hard rock band's début consisted of two progressive instrumental numbers. The original trio of Borelius, Andersson and Bergh was augmented by rhythm guitarist Eddie Nyström and singer Peter Ekström for the second single. Both were released on Hazze Östlund's Scam label, where you had to pay to get your records out. It was also the home of Solid Ground, 4 Ever and Raunchy.

1974Great Ad / Borne Andy Mountain (S)Scam SS009★★★★★★6
1976She's Got The Fire / You'll Never Believe (S)Scam SS023★★★★★★6


This band started out as a country band singing in English and appeared on the first Gärdet Festival. By the time of their second album, Lindberg and Oswaldsson were replaced by Skäre and Lundbohm and they had changed to Swedish lyrics about alienation and working class issues. Bosse Linné and Ali Lundbohm were former members of Contact, while Lundbohm also played with Vildkaktus and Rolf Wikström. Jesper Lindberg, Staffan Skäre and Bosse Linné all later joined folk band Grus I Dojjan.

1971Livin' The Blues / You Ain't Going Nowhere (S)MCA MCS2100★1
1971Growing GrassMCA MAPS4725★★2
1971Alligator Man / I'll Be Your Baby Tonight (S)MCA MCS4724★1
1972FlyktförsökLjudspår 7101★★2



This largely unknown act performed political Swedish-language folk music quite similar to Lena Ekman, Jan Hammarlund & Turid's Igår, idag, imorgon album. Hör och häpna features a cover version of "Kärlekssång till en kvinna på 50 år" from the feminist Sånger Om Kvinnor project.

1976Hör & häpnaAB LP 1★★★3



See also Compilations

Gudibrallan was formed by students in Uppsala in the spring of 1969. Their first gig was in a church and parts of the audience were quite shocked as they were expecting a religious group. After unexpectedly performing anarchistic garage punk at the first Gärdet Festival to great success, the band immediately signed to Silence and released the album Ut i vår hage that was recorded in one day in November 1970. The album is a crude affair with a far-out version of the Jimi Hendrix classic "Hey Joe" called "Hej Gud" [Hey God] as well as the classic "Farbror Sven". The second album has a more, although not too, serious tone and rates among the classic Swedish alternative releases, featuring songs like "Sosse" and "T-doja". Bo Hansson worked on this album as sound engineer. By 1974 the original band had broken up. Örjan Terje then reformed Gudibrallan with new musicians and continued to play live extensively - with numerous line-up changes along the way. They earned a huge cult following but there were no more records released until 1985. Mikael Katzeff of Elektriska Linden joined in the 80's and has led the band ever since, along with Örjan Terje.

1970Uti vår hageSilence SRS 4601★★★★★5
1971Gudibrallan II*Silence SRS 4612★★★★★5
1971Gudibrallan II**Silence SRS 4612★★★★4
1971Handgranat och bajonett / Ät mera gröt***(S)Silence Zing 101★★★★4
Titles up to 1979
* with bonus single
** without bonus single
*** bonus single included with early copies of Gudibrallan II


See also Compilations

In 1967 Movement pioneers Torkel Rasmusson, Mats G Bengtsson and Leif Nylen had all published books and were editors of the Gorilla magazine. With little or no musical experience, they formed Gorillaorkestern with artist Tore Berger. They soon changed their name to Tjalles Horisont, then to Sound Of Music before settling on Gunder Hägg. Along the way, they picked up some real musicians like Roland Keijser and Kjell Westling (both later in Arbete & Fritid) and Urban Yman (International Harvester). The band was the first to release an album on the MNW label. It was originally pressed in a few hundred copies, but has since been re-issued several times. Göran von Matern left after the first album and instead the acclaimed graphic designer and film maker Carl Johan de Geer joined in on trombone. The brilliant Swedish lyrics compensated the mediocre musicianship, which resulted in a style sometimes labeled "cabaret-style dixieland pop". The third album, Glassfabriken, features better songs, playing and production still keeping their unique style intact. The Swedish lyrics are left-wing flavored with impressive political poetry. Legendary 1940's athlete Gunder Hägg - after whom the band was named - officially registered his name in 1972 forcing the band to rename itself Blå Tåget.

1969TigerkakaMNW 1P★★★★★5
1970VargatiderMNW 5P★★★3
1971GlassfabrikenMNW 19P★★★3


See Acke



Nynningen's Bernt Andersson and Bengan Blomgren were former members of 60's group Gin House Bluesband along with Kjell Jansson and Gunnar Petterson. Here they reuinited - nine years after the break-up of the original band. Together with Gustavsson and three singers from Göteborgs Visgrupp, they recorded an album of Swedish-language versions of Berthold Brecht songs composed between the years 1929-1947. These songs were now updated in a 70's fashion. An earlier version of the Brecht-ensemble appeared on two cuts on Knutna Nävar's 1971 album Internationalen och andra revolutionära arbetarsånger.

1979Låt er inte förförasAvanti AVLP-06★★2



See also Compilations

This band made music on the jazzy side of jazz-rock like fellow Gothenburg groups Mount Everest and Combo 8. All recorded for the local, musician owned, LIM label. The quartet's first album was released by Svenska Jazzriksförbundet and contained interpretations of folk tunes from countries like Italy, Hungary, Norway, Afghanistan and the Balkan. The second album was filled with energetic improvised jazz in the vein of early Iskra. They also appeared on the compilation Levande improviserad musik.

1974Göteborgs MusikkvartettSJR LSP-3★★★3
1975AftaraLIM LP75-2★★★★4