The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979

From Psychedelic Experiments to Political Propaganda

Tobias Petterson



Hailed by many as Sweden's leading progessive band, Kaipa was formed in Uppsala in 1973 by former San Michael's members Hans Lundin and Tomas Eriksson. Originally named Ura Kaipa, they released a single with songs intended for the second, but never released, San Michael's LP featuring Nane Kvillsäter (guitar) and Gunnar Westbergh (drums). Original drummer Thomas Sjöberg died of cancer in early 1974 and was replaced by Ingemar Bergman. They became a four-piece with the addition of seventeen-year-old guitarist Roine Stolt. The new line-up made its first gig at the August 1974 Gärdet festival, with the name now shortened to Kaipa. Their eponymous debut album - with cover art painted by Stolt - was the first notable symphonic rock album to come from Sweden and sold very well. The follow up, Inget nytt under solen, saw a move toward political lyrics and more musical complexity, with resplendent sound and lush orchestration. The standout track is the 21 minute "Skenet bedrar", which showcases Lundin's maturity as a songwriter. Despite increasing popularity, Eriksson quit in October 1977 and was replaced by eighteen year old Mats Lindberg. Mats Löfgren also joined to front the band so Lundin could concentrate on keyboards. Roine Stolt, who wrote most of the tracks on the third album, left after its release. Max Åhman replaced him and the musical direction of the band changed considerably. The two final albums, Händerand Nalldjurstid, saw a few line-up changes, including another bassist named Mats Lindberg. Kaipa dissolved in December 1982. The band was reformed by Lundin and Stolt and new members in 2002 when, what was initially intended as a Hans Lundin solo album, was eventually released as by Kaipa. The 5-CD box, The Decca Years 1975-1978, was released in 2005. It contained one CD of demo recordings from 1974.

1974För sent / Bay-e Bay-o* (S)Four Leaf EFG-1013089★★★★★★★7
1975KaipaDecca SKL5221★★★★★★6
1976Inget nytt under solenDecca SKL5260★★★★★5
1978Sen repris / Visa i sommaren (S12)Decca FM44598★★★3
1978SoloDecca SKL5293★★★3
Titles up to 1979
* as Ura Kaipa



This was the sountrack album for the children's TV-series "Kapten Zoom", starring Anders Linder as an alien from outer space, trying to understand Swedish society. The album, like the series, has decidedly left-wing point of veiw and features spoken word as well as music in a variety of styles, including the fuzz-induced Iheme song. Among the musicians on the album were former Mascots pop stars Gunnar Idering (guitar, bass) and Rolf Adolfsson (drums), who both played with Linder in NJA-Gruppen. All-round entertainer Anders Linder plays saxophone, flute, clarinet, harp and keyboards. He later joined Elektriska Linden.

1976Kapten ZoomOktober OSLP512★★★★4



This feminist album features political lyrics in Swedish. The music ranges from progressive rock to traditional folk music and there's even some ā capella tunes. Slim Lidén was a former member of Diddlers and Låt & Trail.

1979Kvinnor sjung ut!A-Disc BS790402★1


When Mecki Bodemark broke up Mecki Mark Men in 1971 the three others - former Baby Grandmothers members Håkansson, Linnarsson and Ekman - recruited Rolf Scherrer (Steanipacket) and took their new name from Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekaise. There has been some confusion about the spelling of the band's name over the years. Three albums were spelled like the mountain - with an "i" - but the band's own prefered spelling is with a "j". After the release of the hard rocking Resa mot okänt mål, Scherrer moved to the woods of Värmland and Linnarsson was replaced by Göran Lagerberg (Tages). Kebnekajse did a few gigs as a trio and then merged with the band Homo Sapiens that had contributed backing vocals on the début. The result was a rock big band with a double set of instruments. Their first outing together was the one-off single "I Want My Darling", released as Los Compaņiddros. To complete the line-up, Guinean percussionist Hassan Bah and jazz guitarist Ingemar Böcker later signed on and for live work the band was also joined by Turid. The eponymous second album showed a strong folk influence. It also featured the band's most well-known song, "Barkbrödlåten". Lagerberg, Lindström, Andersson and Böcker had all left by the time of the fourth album Ljus från Afrika. Here Hassan Bah's influence is evident as it features versions of traditional African songs. Then came a change to jazz-rock for Elefanten. Most of the drumming was done by Åke Eriksson (Wasa Express), while a departing Ekman and new drummer Pelle Holm did one track each. Kenny Håkansson left the band in 1977 and his absence is quite evident on the last album, Vi drar vidare. Mats Glenngård had taken over the leadership and the style was now progressive rock. Half of the album was instrumental and the rest was sung in Swedish. Kebnekajse reformed in 2001 and still performs regularly.

1971Resa mot okänt måtSilence SRS 4605★★★★★5
1972I Want My Darlin' / The Dream Push* (S)Silence Zing102★★★★★★6
1973KebnekajseSilence SRS 4618★★2
1975Kebnekajse (Dutch release)Stateside 054-95927★★★★★★6
1975Kebnekajse IIISilence SRS 4629★★★★4
1976Ljus från AfrikaSilence SRS 4636★★2
1977ElefantenSilence SRS 4642★★★★4
1977Elefanten**Silence SRS 4642★★★★4
1978Vi drar vidareMercury 6363 015★★★3
* as Los Compaņiddros
** sleeve variation


This Charlottenberg band was formed in the 60's by guitarist Kent Olofsson and saxophonist Morgan Nilsson. Both had left the band by the time of the recording of this single. The B-side "Brotherhood Feeling" is basement psychedelia with plenty of fuzz guitar, played by hired gun Bengt Dahlberg, while the A-side is a Swedish novelty tune.

1972Balladen om Kalle / Brotherhood Feeling (S)Marilla MA-S74★★★3


American soul singer King George Clemons came to Scandinavia with Harlem Kiddies in 1967. He then teamed up with former Trolls members Anders Nordh and Paul Sundlin and re-recorded an old Harlem Kiddies track for the first single. The eponymous album features funky soul with a noticable Jimi Hendrix influence. The stand out track is the psychedelic "The Memory". It was sung by Nordh and Sundlin, who both went on to form Life. The band broke up during the sessions for the unreleased second album. King George later formed Red White & Blues.

1968I'm the best / Hold me Closer (S)Columbia DS2408★★★★★5
1968I'm the best / Hold me Closer (S) (Italian Release)Bell Disc BD8018★★★★★★6
1969King George DiscoveryHaparanda AL02★★★★4


See Folk & Rackare



See also Compilations

Evolving out of the Freedom Singers, this Gothenburg band's two full-length releases are perhaps the most political albums ever released in Sweden. They were released by Proletärkultur, a label affiliated with the communist party KFML(r). The début isn't strictly a Knutna Nävar album as it also features a choir, a marching band and Göteborgs Brechtensemble. Here Knutna Nävar plays mostly folk songs with the exception of the classic "Lär av historien", a full-band take on the Ike & Tina Turner version of "Proud Mary" with over-the-top Swedish-language communist lyrics, performed by actor Anders Lönnbro. Among all the propaganda the band also produced some fine music, including the soft progressive pop of "Det är något konstigt med friheten". It was taken from the double single, Vi slåss för vår framtid, which also included a re-recording of the Freedom Singers song "Rickard Dollarhjärta". Highlights on De svarta listornas folk included "Strejken på Arendal" and the fuzz-induced "Till minne av en avskedad kamrat". The album also featured the notorious "Sången om Stalin", a tribute to Joseph Stalin. Josefson and Lundälv were previously in the folk duo Mats & Brita. They had released one album and an EP on the Columbia label in the 60's and once supported Jimi Hendrix.

1971Internationalen och andra revolutionära arbetarsångerProletärkultur PROLP171★★★★★5
1972Dom ljuger / Arbetarkvinnans sång till sin son (S)Clarté ML ML172★★★★★5
1972Vi slåss för vår framtid* (S)SKUml ML272/ML372★★★★★★6
1973De svarta listornas folkProletärkultur PROLP373★★★★★★6
* two singles in one sleeve



See also Compilations

Knäckebröderna recorded one album of piano-based rock with witty political Swedish-language lyrics. The sound resembles both Ted Ström and Ulf Lundell. Highlights include "Janson & von Han-zon" with its flutes, high-speed vocals and a psychedelic bridge as well as the slightly experimental "Kort resignation". The late Mats G Bengtsson had previously been a member of Guilder Hägg/Blå Tåget. He also played the role of "Hilding" in the classic Swedish children's TV-series "Tårtan".

1976LyckosparkenMNW 71P★★★3



Kontinuerlig Drift from Uppsala was more of a project than a band and started life in the early 70's as Hela Huset Stormar. They liked to jam together, often hour-long improvisations in the vein of German band Amon Düül. In the autumn of 1977 the band decided to record an album, which was produced in Gävle in two days. Only 300 copies were pressed and the sleeve was created by a close friend. The sound of the album leaves much to be desired even though the musicians were fine purveyors of progressive jazz-rock. The music occasionally resembles early Arbete & Fritid. The Erikssons and Alf Arvidsson would later move on to Turmans Band. Drummer Tomo Wihma had previously played with Panta Rei while Arvidsson, now a professor in ethnology, was also in Mora Träsk, Mobben and Gudibrallan.

1977Kontinuerlig driftTrixie Rec 01★★★★★★★7



See also Compilations

Lennart "Konvaljen" Johansson spent thirty-odd years in prison and was featured in 1972's Kåklåtar project of songs written by inmates. In the autumn of 1974 he cut an album with the help of musicians that include Nikke Ström (Nynningen, Nationalteatern), Jan Zetterquist (Löpande Bandet) and Slim Notini (Slim's Blues Gang). Konvaljen sings and talks about life in prison against a backdrop of soft blues and jazz. His peculiar voice gives the recording a melancholic touch. The track "Resocialiseringsblues" features backing from Samla Maminas Manna and stands out from the rest.

1975KonvaljenMNW 51P★★2



Like several other bands on the Manifest label, Kornet came from Luleå. They released three high-calibre instrumental jazz-rock albums filled with odd meters and intricate melodies. Lundström and Engström left after the first album and were replaced by Örjan Fahlström and Ed Epstein. The second album featured a guest appearance by percussionist Sabu Martinez. After its release Epstein left the band and joined Ibis. The maxi single was a test record, showing the difference between direct-to-disc recording and digital recording - which was brand new at the time - with one side devoted to each technique. The Kornet members also found time for outside projects: Stefan Nilsson collaborated with Coste Apetrea in De Gladas Kapell and Vänspel while Stefan Björklund was a member of Anton Swedbergs Swängjäng and played albums by Turid, Rekyl, and Andreas Aarflot. Several Kornet members also played on Ted Ström's För evigt ung, Ola Magnell's Höstkänning and, somewhat unexpectedly, Pugh's Eurovision entry "Nattmara". In the 80's and onwards, Nilsson, Forsman and Sundqvist were often seen onstage or in the studio with some of the biggest names in Sweden.

1975KornetManifest MAN005★★★★4
1977Fritt fallManifest MAN011★★★3
1979Struttin' / Jesper's drömmar / 727 (S12)Gylling/Sony S001-8/9★★2
1979IIISvenska Love Records SLLP03★★★★4
1979III (Danish release)Pick Up PULP79-301★★★3



See also Compilations

This rock band was formed in Kalmar in 1974 and went through several line-up changes and musical styles before committing to vinyl with their witty Swedish-language lyrics. The first album was a live recording that was released in a private pressing. Kung Tung then released one single featuring radio recordings on Ulf Bejerstrand's Grisbäck label, before signing with MNW in 1978. Highlights on the second album include the ballad "Du är min korvkoisk" and the political "Sa du nåt". The band split up in 1979, but Svensson briefly reformed the band in the 80's with new members, including bassist Anders Åborg. Early bassist "Zeke" Andersson was previously in Ohlssons Grova while resident poet Bo Stefan Lundquist was also in Agaton Sex. Svensson, Wiegert and Åborg all participated in the Bröderna Lönn project while Bryngelsson and Wiegert were also members of Ragnarök. Thomas Svensson later changed his last name to Stålberg and formed the band Prins Lätt.

1977På reditLjudcenter LEFK01★★★★★★6
1978Ät dina penyar och dö / Punk (S)Grisbäck Productions GRIS7802★★★3
1978Det är ett kort liv - det är våra livlMNW 86P★★★★4
1979Jag är ett trafikljus / Två Blodröda segel (S)MNW 53S★★2



Kurres Kapell was formed in Boliden in 1977 and released an album of accomplished self-penned political rock tunes. Highlights include the progressive instrumental "Semestervecka i Brutorp" and the heavy guitars of "Långväga-Sven". Kurres Kapell also released a single in 1985 with music from their play "Kalla Vindar".

1979Kurres kapellA-Disc BS790529★★2
Titles up to 1979



The name of this band is a pun on the famous novel "Kvartetten som sprängdes" [The quartet that fell apart] written by Birger Sjöberg in 1924. Although soon reduced to a trio, the band kept the name. Fred Heilman was a former member of Zoom, while jazz drummer Rune Carlsson had played on Bo Hansson's solo albums and the influence of those records is noticable. There are also similarities with early Santana, Fläsket Brinner and, of course, Hansson & Karlsson. Kattvals was released on the collectable Gump label, overseen by Anders Burman, Pugh and Måns Rossander. The sound and energy is incredible and the long instrumental tracks are inventive treats of guitar work and swirling organ. In "Gånglåt från Valhallavägen" they manage to take a variation of the first few notes of the intro from "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" by Jimi Hendrix and make it sound like an old Swedish folk melody. The same year, the band accompanied Bernt Staf on his Valhall album. Rune Carlsson also played on albums by Mikael Ramel and Björn J:son Lindh as well as Lasse Färnlöf's jazz classic The Chameleon. Finn Sjöberg became an in-demand session guitarist and released his own instrumental album in 1978.

1973KattvalsGump 5★★★★★★★★8



This was a project that featured songs written by inmates describing the life in prison. The album featured a stellar cast of musicians, including Tore Berger, Tomas Forssell, Sam Ellison, Greg FitzPatrick, Kenneth Arnström (Jason's Fleece), Tord Bengtsson (Arbete & Fritid) and Hans Wiktorsson (Gläns Över Sjö Och Strand). Of the inmates, Konvaljen got most of the attention and released his own solo album in 1974.

1972KåklåtarMNW 31P★★2