The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979

From Psychedelic Experiments to Political Propaganda

Tobias Petterson



A British born folk singer and multi-instrumentalist who also played with Låt & Trail, Bella Ciao, Margareta Söderberg, Tillsammans, Jan Hammarlund and others. His first solo album features English translations of poems by Swedish national treasures Nils Ferlin (1898-1961) and Dan Andersson (1888-1920), with contributions from Kjell Westling (Blå Tåget), Staffan Skäre (Growing Grass) and Jan Hellberg (Vargavinter). The second album, Vi smida, found Lane singing in Swedish backed by Lasse Englund, Hans Alatalo (Norrlåtar) and Westling among others. Fred Lane made one more solo album in the 80's, Till soluppgång och till lycka, where he was backed by Spjärnsvallet.

1974Swedish SongsAlternativ ALP-5/Troll Flute LP1★★2
1977Vi smida...A-Disc BS770822★★2
1979Torparbruden / Gruvan (S)Krokben K1★★2
Titles up to 1979


Formed in Borgholm, Öland by Hawkey Franzén as early as 1961, they took the name Lea Riders Group two years later. After some line-up changes, they recorded their first single in May 1966. Their singles ranged from tough rhythm & blues to country & western. What merits their inclusion here is the B-side of the fifth and last single, the very psychedelic title track from Jan Lindkvist's and Stefan Jarl's controversial documentary film "Dom kallar oss mods". Jojje Wadenius replaced Ehlin one week before the band split up and, together with Slim Borgudd and Bosse Häggström, Wadenius then formed Made In Sweden. Franzén joined the cast of Hår and then started a solo career as well as forming the short-lived Jason's Fleece in 1970. Häggström was later in Solar Plexus and Wasa Express while Borgudd (who was also in Solar Plexus) went on to record a solo album before becoming a Formula 1 race car driver. Lea Riders Group's entire output has been reissued on both CD and vinyl by the Garageland label.

1968The Forgotten Generation / Dorn kallar oss mods (S)Philips PF 350 334★★★★★★★7
Discography shows only their 5th and last single.


This 60's pop group was formed in 1964 and scored two huge hits with "Stop The Music" and "L.O.D.". They also recorded the freakbeat classic "On My Way", released on a Bildjournalen flexi disc. Original guitarists Bengt Dahlén and Bjärne Möller left the band after the February 1967 release of their equally classic 10th single, the experimental "Orient Express". They claimed the new direction of the group being too commercial and played with Hansson & Karlsson instead. Dahlén eventually went on to form Fläsket Brinner. The new Lee Kings line-up predictably released some rather safe records, but came round with their 15th and last single, which featured a psychedelic version of The Beatles' "Day Tripper" on the B-side. Graham Nash and Allan Clarke of The Hollies produced the session and also wrote the A-side's popsike number "Coming From The Ground" exclusively for the group. After the break-up Mike Watson - who, like Tony Walter, had come to Sweden as a member of the English band The Hi-Grades - became an in-demand session player on the Swedish studio scene and also joined Marsfolket.

1967Coming From The Ground / Day Tripper (S)RCA-Victor FAS 796★★★★★★6
Discography shows only their 15th and last single.



After the Sogmusobil project, former Atlantic Ocean pianist Johnny Mowinckel and poet Einar Heckscher reformed their old freak band Telefon Paisa, using the new name Levande Livet. They were augmented by jazzers Maffy Falay, Peter Smoliansky and Gunnar Bergsten (Fläsket Brinner). All three had previously played with G.L.Unit. Most of the album delivers loud acid rock, with political lyrics in both Swedish and English, sung in Heckscher's unique voice. There are also a few quieter tracks, like the mellow instrumental "Samma Samba". One track, "Hr Drever & Hr Ströver", was sung by guitarist Tommy Broman. Together with bassist Labbe Bergström he also backed Tom Zacharias on the notorious Belinda albums of porn rock. Norwegian Johnny Mowinckel had started his musical career already in the late 50's as an Oslo rock'n'roll singer. Einar Heckscher's father, Gunnar Heckscher, was one of Sweden's leading politicians as head of conservative party Högerpartiet and brother Sten would eventually become the chief of the Swedish police force.

1973Strömmens pärlaSilence SRS 4622★★★★★★6


This band was formed in Uddeholm, Varmland in 1968. Their only single was released by Hans Edler's Marilla label. "Road Scrambler" is a totally fuzzed-out fast blues written by Kullander. The B-side is slower, with a more basement feel but has a wicked fuzz-guitar solo. The band folded in 1973.

1971Road Scrambler / Right Way Blues (S)Marilla MA-S78★★★★4


See also Compilations

Anders Nordh and Paul Sundlin began playing together as teenagers in 60's group Trolls. Next they hooked up with American soul singer George Clemons in King George Discovery. Nordh then had a brief stint in Blond before the pair reached the high-point of their careers with Life. Completing the trio was former Rowing Gamblers drummer Thomas Rydberg. Life's eponymous album has become one of the most sought after Swedish progressive rock albums. It is a highly accomplished affair, showcasing inventive songwriting and solid musicianship. The Swedish language vocals float above thundering drums and searing guitars to great effect. Some of the songs also feature string arrangements, courtesy of Björn J:son Lindh. Eight hundred copies of an English-language version of Life were made for export but were never released abroad. This version was released on CD by the Mellotronen label with the singles added as bonus tracks. All three members participated in the Resan project in 1973, but would then go their separate ways. Rydberg joined Nature while Nordh and Sundlin contributed to the Baltik project. Nordh played on yet another project, Bättre Lyss, before reuniting with Sundlin in Figaro.

1970Jag färdas / Living is Loving (S)Columbia 006-34196★★★★★★6
1970LifeEMI 062-34263★★★★★★★★★9
1971Life (English version)Odeon 062-34366★★★★★★★★★★10
1971To the Country / Tro på vår värld (S)Columbia 006-34556★★★★★★★7


See also Compilations

A former street musician, Anita Livstrand learned how to play numerous Indian instruments in the mid-70's and joined Archimedes Badkar. On her solo album a great number of unusual instruments are utilized to great effect, among them saz, bouzouki, surmandal, pakhawaj, tamboura, mridang and digeridoo. Several prominent Movement musicians, including Turid, Thomas Mera Gartz, Bengt Berger, Coste Apetrea, Ulf Wallander (Arbete& Fritid), Bill Öhrström (Flasket Brinner) and Lasse Holmer (Samla Mammas Manna), all guest on the album. The result is a pleasant and strange experience and may be the ultimate experimental folk album recorded in Sweden. It was released on CD in 2004. Anita Livstrand went on to join Vargavinter.

1978MötetMNW 87P★★★★4


See Kebnekajse


Lotus was an instrumental outfit that evolved out of the ashes of Malmö band Asoka, but sounded radically different. The eponymous debét features accomplished progressive rock with lots of guitars. The keyboards take a backseat, except on the track "Ungersk dans", where Claes Ericsson gets to shine on both Hammond organ and electric piano. Larsson, Berggrensson and Ofverbeck all left after the first album. New faces Allgulander and Nyberg brought a change to a more jazz-rock sound on Vera O'Flera. Håkan Nyberg went on to play with Mikael Wiehe and Nationalteatern. Lindvall also played with Wiehe and later joined Tolvan Big Band. Claes Ericsson had previously played with psychedelic 60's group Taste Of Blues. Both Lotus albums have been reissued on CD by the Mellotronen label.

1974LotusSMA 3001★★★★★★★7
1975Vera O'FleraSMA 3016★★★★★5


Lovart was a folk band that played self-penned political Swedish-language songs in a traditional style. They also put music to some poems by Gustaf Fröding (1860-1911) and K G Ossiannilsson (1875-1970).

1978StormsvalorOktober OSLP520★1


See also Compilations

Formed in Gothenburg in 1968, Love Explosion was one of the pioneering bands of the Movement. They concentrated on their political Swedish-language lyrics, not caring all that much about musical proficiency and, therefore, became a blueprint for a host of other Movement bands. "Ljusne", recorded in August 1970 and included on the Festen på gärdet compilation, is their best known song. It was re-recorded as "Stockholm City" on their album. The song "Djävulens patrask", a Bob Dylan tune with the band's own Swedish lyrics, breached copyright law and in order to avoid legal action the album was withdrawn. A second pressing was issued with a newly written melody for the song. The band split up in 1972 and Dennis Huntington eventually formed Huntington Band. He was also in Lag & Ordning, which recorded an album in 1975 that wasn't released until 1980.

1971Bästa låtar (B-side matrix: MNWL21PS2DELZ)MNW 21P★★★★★★6
1971Bästa låtar (2nd pressing)MNW 21P★★★★4


This obscure Luleå duo recorded an interesting album named Rebecca in the spring of 1976, although a few tracks had been recorded as early as 1973. Most of the songs were recorded at home but the fidelity is surprisingly good. It was recorded on Lundberg's Teac tape recorder, which he had to sell to finance the pressing of he 200 copies made. Highlights include the folk-psych of "Give Away Your Heart" and the experimental "The Pipes Of Pan". The only song with Swedish vocals, ”I den varma solens land”, is heavier than the rest and has a feel of basement psychedelia. Mats Lodén went on to publish several books about music.

1977RebeccaRebecca A-B★★★★★★6


This band was formed in Västerås in 1975, naming themselves after the latin word for wolf. Originally a trio featuring Werngren, Thuresson and Sundqvist, they eventually expanded into a four-guitar lineup. The B-side of their only single features political blues rock while the A-side is a Swedish funk tune. Lupus broke up while touring Germany in 1982. Björn Werngren was also in Mickey Moose String Band and later the successful Monaco Blues Band. Anders Falk had previously been a member of 60's bands Gents and Mersy Sect, a band that featured a very young Pugh and also opened for Jimi Hendrix when he played Västerås in 1967.

1979Mama Funk / Ta mej faen (S)Stirr LU001★1



When Pyret Moberg left Diddlers, the others renamed themselves Låt & Trail. No longer playing strictly Irish tunes, they devoted half of the space on their albums to traditional Swedish folk music. Some members played concurrently in others bands: Urban Yman with Gunder Hägg/Blå Tåget, Kjell Westling with those bands and Arbete & Fritid as well, Slim Lidén with Opponer. Fred Lane joined in the spring of 1973 in time for the second album. Marie Selander went on to front Vargavinter.

1971Låt& TrailSonet SLP-2524★★★3
1973Gamla go'bitarEuropafilm EFG-737061★★2
1974Gamla go'bitar (Reissue)YTF 50090★★2



This band was formed in Stockholm in early 1974 by former Arbetets Söner & Döttrar members Sandberg, Höglund and Lindström. They recorded one album of political Swedish-language rock with all the songs written by Lindström and Wikström. Lotta Sandberg was a former opera singer and this gave the sound a different touch. The band split up after one year and Rolf Wikström started a successful solo career. Jan Zetterqvist also played on albums by Risken Finns, Konvaljen, Tillsammans and Göran Persson. Ludde Lindström later wrote the novel "Tio liv" for Premium Publishing.

1975Nån gång måste man landaMNW 50P★★★3



Lötsjön, from Stockholm's northern suburbs, recorded an independently distributed album that consists of fourteen mellow folk songs, sung in Swedish and English, with occasional splashes of wha-wha and fuzz guitars. Some songs have left-wing lyrics. Helping out on the album were Hampus Hamberg (vocals), Anders Nyström (flute) and Björn Alshammar (bass). The latter also played with Hammar. Lötsjön made one more album, Things That Never Die, in 1982.

1976OstbitenUOSLP 1★★★★4
Titles up to 1979