The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979

From Psychedelic Experiments to Political Propaganda

Tobias Petterson



Formed from the remains of Lea Riders Group in the summer of 1968, the highly influential trio of Wadenius, Häggström and Borgudd was soon signed to Sonet. The first album is dominated by instrumental tracks that blend pop, jazz and progressive elements. It was recorded in only six hours and the musicianship is exceptional throughout, winning the band a Swedish Grammis award for best group. The track "I Don't Care" was later released as a single in a much faster version. Snakes In A Hole won them another Grammis and was an even better album. It featured Danish jazz legend Svend Asmussen playing wha-wha violin on the title track. The third album was recorded live during three nights at the Gyllene Cirkeln club in Stockholm. When reissued on CD, the album actually featured different versions of most songs. The band then traveled to London to record Made in England, which was produced by Colosseum bassist Tony Reeves. The band also found time to record two children's albums: Regnbågslandet featured actor Olof Thunberg narrating the story while Goda' Goda' was released as a Jojje Wadenius solo album. After the split, Wadenius and Slim Borgudd joined Solar Plexus and when Wadenius moved to the USA in 1972 - to join Blood, Sweat & Tears - his replacement was none other than Häggström. Jojje Wadenius returned to Sweden in 1976 and assembled a new version of Made In Sweden, featuring Solar Plexus singer Tommy Körberg, Finnish progressive veterans Pekka Pohjola (Wigwam) and Vesa Aaltonen (Tasavallan Presidentti) as well as Polish keyboardist Wlodek Gulgowski (Pop Workshop). Where Do We Begin did not resemble the earlier recordings and didn't sell very well. Körberg then decided to concentrate on his blossoming acting career and Göran Rydh (of "Keep On Jogging" fame) was brought in as a brief replacement. Aaltonen then left as well, his seat being taken by future Egba drummer Peter Sundell. These changes didn't help much and Wadenius soon called it a day and returned to America.

1968Made In Sweden (With Love)Sonet SLP-71★★★★★5
1969I Don't Care / Sunset (S)Sonet T-7764★★★★4
1969Snakes In A HoleSonet SLP-2504★★★★★5
1970Snakes In A Hole (Japanese release)Sonet UPS 1208 N★★★★★★★7
1970Snakes In A Hole (French release)Barclay 0920271★★★★★★★7
1970Snakes In A Hole / Big Cloud (S) (Japanese release)Sonet UP 252 N★★★★★★6
1970I Don't Care / Lay Lady Lay (S) (Spanish release)Discophon S 5095★★★★★★6
1970Live At The Golden CircleSonet SLP-2506★★★★★5
1970Made In EnglandSonet SLP-2512★★★★4
1971Made In England (Spanish release)Discophon SC 2124★★★3
1971Mad River (UK release of Made In England)Sonet SNTF621★★★★★★6
1971Scandinavia Sound Ahead (Japanese release of M.I.E.)Sonet UPS 502 N★★★★★★★★★9
1970RegnbågslandetSR Records RELP1109★★★★★5
1971The Best Of (Compilation)Grand Prix GP-9997★★★★4
1976Where Do We BeginPolydor 2480 358★★2
1976Where Do We Begin (Finnish release)Love Records LRLP 207★★★★4
1976Pop-Poem / Manhattan Vibes (S)Polydor 2053 247★★2
1969Little Dame (EP)Juke Box JSEP 5590★★2
1969Little Charlie (EP)Juke Box JSEP 5592★★2
1970Sunset (EP)Juke Box JSEP 5595★★2
1971Blind Willie / You Can't Go Home (EP)Juke Box JSEP 5610★★2


See also Compilations

This singer/songwriter from Kalmar began writing poetry in his early teens. Initially inspired by Bob Dylan he soon discovered his own unique style and released his first single in 1972 with the assistance of Björn J:son Lindh, Rolf Wikström, Mike Watson (Marsfolket) and Janne Bandel (Atlantic Ocean). Having switched labels, Magnell was not allowed to include the single version of "Påtalåtar" on his first album, Påtalåtar, and radically re-recorded the song. In late 1974 he joined Pugh's enormusly successful "Ett steg till" tour and subsequent double album. It contained a third version of "Påtalåten" and made him a household name. Magnell then cemented his newfound fame with his second album, Nya perspektiv, which spawned the hit "Kliff". The album was an immediate favourite among fans and critics alike and made #1 on the charts. Parts of Höstkänning was recorded in America and featured the legendary rhythm section from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Ola Magnell has continued to release a string of albums and is active to this day.

1973Påtalåten / Försommarland (S)Telefunken U5471P★★★3
1973Påtalåten/ Försommarland* (S)Telefunken U5471P★★2
1974PåtalåtarMetronome MLP 15.504★★2
1975Nya perspektivMetronome MLP 15.557★1
1977HöstkänningMetronome MLP 15.618★1
1979Straggel och strulMetronome MLP 15.646★1
Titles up to 1979
* sleeve variation


This band released one hopelessly obscure album privately pressed in fifty copies. The music ranges from folk-rock to blues and the album contains a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair" that, like most of the record, is amateurish. The production is poor as well, perhaps due to the fact that it was recorded in a scouting cabin in Bromma. The album was recorded in two days in April 1970, because the band thought it would be nice to make their mark on vinyl and inspired their friends in Underground Failure to do the same. The album was given to friends and families of the band, who actually found it difficult to get rid of every copy. The sleeves were handmade with rubbed-on lettering. Dick Blomberg went on to become a producer for Swedish radio. The album was re-issued in a numbered edition of 200 vinyl copies in 1991.

1970MalariaBlack Sign GS1001★★★★★★★★★9


See also Compilations

Troubadour Roland von Malmborg struck a record deal in 1965 with RCA Victor. Despite creative differences, they released the main-stream album, Räck din hand, as well as two singles, including a Swedish version of Barry McGuire's "Eve Of Destruction". He left RCA to record folk ballads with political lyrics that major record companies would not touch, creating the Globalist label in the process. The fact that he started his own label under these circumstances foreshadowed the essential elements of the Movement, although his pacifist non-communist and non-capitalist beliefs never really made him a part it, himself. Even so, he managed to sell the two thousand copies he pressed of Vårt klolrunda fosterland. Roland von Malmborg also participated on the Vi kan leva utan kärnkraft compilation album. He later became a politician for environmental party Miljöpartiet. Both his albums are available on CD.

1969Vårt klotrunda fosterlandGlobalist GLP1★★2
Titles up to 1979
Discopraphy shows only his second and last album.


Mamba's sole album was recorded in the Bellatrix studio in Malmö. It featured long, funky instrumental tracks in the vein of Egba. Guitarist Mats Norrefalk previously played with Saga and Thomas Wiehe.

1979MambaSonet SLP-2627★★★★4



This was a short-lived progressive super group that made some TV-appearances and this lone single. Both sides featured English-language vocals and were written by former Blond guitarist Björn Linder. The band was put together by Claes af Geijerstam and all members played on his first solo album. Everyone was heavily invoved in the Swedish studio scene with the exception of pop star Björn Skifs, who became the first Swedish artist to reach #1 on the US Hot 100. This he did in 1974 with "Hooked On A Feeling" together with his group Blue Swede. Janne Schaffer and Ola Brunkert were previously in Opus III and both Skifs and af Geijerstam sung on their album. English born Mike Watson started his Swedish career in 60's group The Lee Kings.

1971Maria Maria / The Hunter (S)Sonet T-7874★★★★4


American percussionist Sabu Martinez began his career in the 40's and played with jazz greats Dizzie Gillespie and Benny Goodman. He hooked up with Art Blakey in 1949 and stayed with him for nine years. In 1957 Martinez released his first solo album, Palo Congo, and appeared on Louie Ramirez' Latin jazz classic Jazz Espagnole three years later. Sabu moved to Sweden in 1967. His last album was the ultra-funky Afro Temple, which included musicians like Bernt Rosengren (G.L. Unit), Christer Boustedt (Musikteatergruppen Oktober), Red Mitchell (Jason's Fleece), Ali Lundbohm (Contact) and Stefan Möller (Lee Kings). Sabu Martinez died in 1979.

1973Afro TempleGrammofonverket EFG 7341★★★★★★★★8
Discography shows only his 9th and last album.


Clas "Mecki" Bodemark had been a member of early 60's group The Adventures and also had his own band Mecki Mark Five. They made their first gig as Mecki Mark Men in July 1967 and released their début single the following month. The first album came in December and was full of psychedelic soundscapes created by a wide variety of instruments - including sitar, conga and saxophone - and featured two drummers. One of which was future Movement stalwart Thomas Mera Gartz. The album was well received in Sweden and was even released in the US the following summer. The American version was remixed, with some sound effects removed and is not as clear sounding as the Swedish release. By this time the band had broken up and Bodemark had joined Baby Grandmothers and with them performed in the musical Hår [Hair]. He was then contacted by the American label about a follow up album and persuaded Baby Grandmothers to become the new version of Mecki Mark Men, consisting of Bodemark, Kenny Håkansson, Bella Linnarsson (aka Ferlin) and Pelle Ekman. Running In The Summer Night is more complex than the début and features a heavier sound. It was released only in the USA, but was imported to Sweden. Prior to the release the Americans again remixed the album, but the original mix - which differs significantly from the released LP - was finally issued on CD in 2004. Mecki Mark Men toured America in 1970 and played with big acts like The Byrds, Jethro Tull and Grand Funk Jailroad, recording their third album that summer in Chicago. Parts of Marathon is much more laid-back than previous efforts and is not as inventive. It was only released in Sweden and failed to make much of an impact. Mecki Bodemark then parted ways with the others, who brought in guitarist Rolf Scherrer (Steampacket) and continued as Kebnekajse. Bodemark teamed up with some members of Red, White & Blues for the short-lived band Mecki Mark. In 1979 he revived Mecki Mark Men with a completely new line-up - including a returning Anders Sjöstedt - and a new sound. It resulted in the album Flying High, which delivers jazz-rock with a touch of soul.

1967Midnight Land / Got Together (S)Philips 350322PF★★★★★5
1967Midnight Land / Got Together (S) (Dutch release)Philips PF 350322★★★★★★★7
1967Mecki Mark MenPhilips PY842560★★★★★★★★8
1968Mecki Mark Men (US release)Limelight LS-86054★★★★★5
1968Sweet Movin' / Love Feeling (S)Philips 350333PF★★★★★★6
1968Sweet Movin' / Love Feeling (S) (US release)Limelight L-3083★★★★★5
1968Get Up / Sweet Movin' (S) (Japanese release)Philips SFL1211★★★★★★★★★9
1969Running in the Summer Night (US release)Limelight LS-86068★★★★★5
1971MarathonSonet SLP-2521★★★★★★★★8
1979Flying HighKompass Records KOLP18★★★★★5
1972Got No Money / Ragathon / Set On The Street (EP)Juke Box JSLP 5617★★★3


Stefan Mellberg released this privately distributed album on his label SM Records. He was helped out by Peter Edlund (guitar), Vincent Holslag (guitar), Cor Vosvelt (harp, keyboards), John Roxfelt (bass) and Göran Säll (drums). The songs are sung in English and just barely makes it into this book as most of the songs are middle-of-the-road pop. There are some folk psych moments on parts of "Where Is The Sun, Amelia" and there's one progressive instrumental track.

1978Pieces Of My MindSMR LP01★★★3


This Stockholm band's only single featured an undistinguished Elvis cover on the A-side, but it's the experimental psychedelia of the flip-side that merits their inclusion here. After the break-up in March 1968, Åhman and Jansson formed Zoom.

1968One Night / P.S. Elic (S) (Danish release)Jacks Beat BR1056★★★★★★★7


This Linköping band was formed in 1971 from the remnants of pop band Magazine Story, which had recorded the single "Kinky Kathty Abernathy" for Sonet the previous year. Mendoza's only album veers in different directions. The first track is "Jojk", a seven minute progressive instrumental number. Other highlights include the heavy "A Sinful Man" and the folk psych of "The Grateful Sales Man & Co". The rest of the tracks are mostly mainstream pop and rock sung in English. Lennart Palmefors was previously in 60's bands The V.I.P.'s and Bed Bug Collection.

1972Jambalaya / Hello Hello (S)CBS S 7988★★2
1972MendozaCBS S 64874★★★★★5



Mersmak was formed in Kalmar in 1975, initially as a trio featuring Grimlund, Olsson and Berglund. The band expanded when they staged the musical and resulting album Liten groda i stor damm. Most of the songs were written by Grimlund and ranged from folk to rock with some experimental moves. A notable track is the progressive instrumental "Av jord är du kommen", which features the sounds of a couple making love. Both male and female band members sing the lyrics in Swedish. Mersmak's sound is quite similar to Dagens Rätt and Nationalteatern. Ulf Bejerstrand of fellow Kalmar band KungTung played bass on the album. Per Berglund returned the favour by drumming on Bejerstrand's solo albums. Mersmak was down to a four-piece for their single and consisted of Grimlund, Jonsson, Ekedahl and a returning "Nutte" Olsson, who had now changed his last name to Blomqvist.

1978Liten groda i stor dammFrog Music LEFK-02★★★★4
1978Himmelsfärden / Vi, oss? (S)Frog Music LEFK-04S★★2



This progressive band released their first album on Sonet subsidiary label Gazell. The heavy Belsebub är lös is a tense affair with great saxophone work interwoven with wild guitars and screaming vocals in Swedish and should appeal to fans of Asoka and November. The eponymous second album is quieter and the lyrics are more political. The progressive themes have been partly replaced by folk-rock moves. By this time Petersson had changed his name to Weyne Feldt. Reg Ward was later in Nature while Peder Sundahl went on to join Roadwork, the backing group for rocker Jerry Williams.

1971Belsebub är lösGazell GMG-1224★★★★★★★7
1973MidsommarMoondisc ARD 1633★★★3


This symphonic rock band came from Gotland and took their name from the viking name for Istanbul. Their album features political Swedish-language lyrics and showed influences from ELP, Genesis and Kaipa. Guesting on the album were Jan Sandberg (violin) and Jeppe Lerman (trumpet). Miklagård often worked together with Gotlandsteatern and appeared on Swedish TV backing Anders Peedu of 60's group The Friends on some Kinks covers.

1979MiklagårdEdge-LP 791★★★3


This short-lived band from Älmhult played keyboard-oriented symphonic rock in the vein of UK band Camel. The arrangements are often tranquil and the music displays considerable instrumental proficiency. The album was reissued on CD in 2006 by the Transubstans label.

1977Mellan tre ögonFly Khan 0177★★★★★★6


Mixed Media was a female vocal group that recorded their début album with the helping hands of nine men, including Peps Persson, Håkan Nyberg (Lotus), Ola Ström (Gonks, Solstollarna) and Sweden's leading champion of world music, Ale Möller. The soft folk music is a pleasant backdrop to Mixed Media's accomplished vocal harmonies that, unlike most contemporary female bands, deliver the songs without much political comment. Dan Tillberg of Änglabarn produced the album and it was released on his Bellatrix label. Kersti Olin was then replaced by Ellen Olterman and Persson became Ingalill Dunsö by marriage to Per Dunsö (Solstollarna). He also wrote one song on their second album, which was recorded live without help of outside musicians. Dan Tillberg's Mixed Music Media label re-issued both albums on one CD in 2006.

1978Mixed mediaBellatrix BLP701★1
1979LevandeBellatrix BLP706★1



See also Compilations

Mobben began playing together in Gävle in the mid 60's. Noted for their strong performances, it was no surprise that the second album was a live recording. It was recorded at the Uppsala Musikforum in February 1974 and captures the band at its best, despite the poor sound quality. It was released on the SUB label and members of Mobben also appeared on the SUB-gruppen album. Gunnar Hofverberg and Ecke Forsberg (Störningen) joined in time for the third and last album, Elektrisk Natt. It included "Pansarpappa", which was written by Mora Träsk's Leif Walter. After the split Peter Ericson went solo, adding the initial 'R' to his name and had his songs covered by such artists as Cornelis Vreeswijk and Monica Zetterlund. He also formed The Incredible Gretsch Brothers together with Anders F Rönnblom.

1974Och du frågar mig varförMNW 42P★★★★4
1975Mobben leverSUB 0475★★★★4
1976Elektrisk nattMNW/SUB 73P★★2


This band came from Borås and played melodic jazz-rock in the vein of Chicago with both Swedish and English vocals. Album highlights include the progressive organ workout ”QZ 4800” and the folk-influenced "Granvisan". Guitarist Stefan Sandberg went on to play with Thomas Ahlsén Band and later Peps Persson.

1972Modem Music BandSpark LP10008★★★★★★6



See also Compilations

Mora Träsk was formed by Leif Walter in Gävle in 1971. The band initially played rock music with progressive elements and witty Swedish lyrics that was released on their own label. The third album, Mestrud, is their most interesting and features long instumental passages on several tracks. The "Kap-ten Jöns" single was recorded live in a Gävle bookstore and came with a blank white label and no cover, only an insert describing the contents. The band reached a bigger audience with Rocken kommer från Gävle. The next album featured music by the legendary Gävle native Joe Hill, who emigrated to America in 1902 and became an important protest singer before being executed in 1915. Mora Träsk recorded one more rock album in 1980 - and even got to make their own film, "Fran punksvett till punktsvets", for Swedish TV - before reconstructing into a duo featuring Leif Walter and Gert-Ove "Prikken" Smedlund, performing children's music to great success. They are still going strong 25 years later with Smedlund being replaced by Daniel Lindblom in 1999.

1974Mora TräskMora träsk MTM1740512 ankn/19★★★★4
1975Plays BachMora träsk MTM175★★★★4
1975Mestrud</td>Mora träsk MTM275★★★★4
1977Kapten Jöns / En vogue (S) (White label single)Mora träsk MTMS1A★★2
1978Rocken kommer från GävleMora träsk MTM4★★2
1979Joe Hills sångerMora träsk MTM6★★2
Titles up to 1979



See also Compilations

Line-up changes continually confounded this hard working band from Gothenburg that played heavy rock with left-wing Swedish-language lyrics. Juris Salmins started the band in 1974 and was its only constant factor. Original singer Göran Ekstrand left after the second album to join Nationalteatern and Salmins himself took over on vocals from there on. By now, drummer Mikael Gyllenstig (Nynningen, Huntington Band) had signed on. He would prove to be the most loyal member by staying until the break-up. Motvind released three more albums in the 80's before they folded in 1984 after selling over 200 000 albums and performing more than 3 000 gigs.

1976Känn dig blåstNacksving 031-5★★2
1977Jo jo ja jaNacksving 031-12★★2
1978MotvindNacksving 031-18★1
1979Plockepinn / Törst (S)Nacksving 45-6★★2
Titles up to 1979


See also Compilations

Mount Everest was formed in Gothenburg in 1971 by jazz musician Gilbert Holmström, who led the band through many different line-ups.The first album featured eight people and is on the jazzy side of jazz-rock - somewhat resembling Egba, a band keyboardist Lars Jansson would later join. By the time of the second album, the band was down to a trio consisting of Holmström, Kjell Jansson and Conny Sjökvist. The music was now full-on free jazz in homage to jazz star Albert Ayler and is comparable to the more freaked-out moments of Iskra. The album is considered something of a classic and was reissued on CD in 2000 by the American label Atavistic. For the third album, Holmström teamed up with Ronny Johansson and former Soffgruppen members Matz Nilsson and Anders Kjellberg and produced a more accessible jazz-rock album, which led to the group being voted "Best Jazz Group of 1979" by the readers of music magazines Tonfallet and Orkesterjournalen. Mount Everest released two more albums in the 80's, showing more of a latin influence.

1972Mount EverestPhilips 6316024★★★★★★6
1975Waves From Albert AylerUM 75-3★★★★★5
1979Jazz i Sverige 79Caprice CAP1177★★★3
Titles up to 1979



Members uncredited

Four houses on Krukmakargatan in the Mullvaden quarter of Stockholm were destined to be torn down in 1977. Squatters came to occupy the buildings to much media attention. They settled in after bringing tools, paint and food. To raise money they recorded an EP with music by Gunnar Edander (Sänger Om Kvinnor) on one track. After a few months they were thrown out by the police and created a street opera about the situation with the Swedish lyrics written by Erkki Lappalainen. It was recorded at the Museum of Modern Art with a strong choir and bombastic percussion. Highlights included the eastern-flavoured "Vi jobbar och sliter" and the heavy touches of "Om du är listig och smart". The nature of this project meant that no names of the participants were printed on the album cover. A song from the opera was also recorded by Algotssömmerskorna.

1978Låt husen leva (EP)MNW 49S★1
1978Mullvaden bara börjanMNW 90P★★2



This theatre group released one single with a Swedish translation of Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet on the A-side and its members also featured in many other bands. Lead singer Karin Biribakken was a member of Tillsammans and Södra Bergens Balalaikor and also guested on Hoola Bandoola Band's På väg album. Biribakken and Ödquist also sang with Nynningen. Holmberg and Granath were former members of Narren, while the latter was also in Tältprojektet. As with many other groups, the musical accompaniment for Ariel was provided by the ever present Urban Yman (International Harvester) and Kjell Westling (Arbete & Fritid). They were both members of Blå Tåget along with Leif Nylén, who wrote the lyrics to the B-side. To conlude this maze of related bands and members, we must also mention that Biribakken, Ödquist, Granath, Holmberg and Westling were all members of Bella Ciao as well.

1979Om livet / Drömvals (S)Avanti AVS-079★★2



See also Compilations

This free theatre group was formed in Malmö in 1973. Their first album was a joint effort with Bruksteatern and featured their interpretation of Berthold Brecht's 1932 play "Die Mutter". The same year Ninnie Olsson and Henric Holmberg wrote the play "Sven Klangs Kvintett", about musicians playing for dances. In 1976 it was turned into a highly successful movie, featuring Anders Granström as the band leader and the late jazz great Christer Boustedt as the frustraded jazz musician in the group. Oktober then participated in Tältprojektet and released their third album, För släkt och vänner, before moving their home base to Södertälje in 1978. Their albums contain both music and spoken word and the general theme is witty, left-wing politics with a serious undercurrent. The music is mostly pretty straight jazz. They recorded one more album in 1980 and an EP the following year. The ensemble is still going strong, now known as Oktoberteatern and with Ninnie Olsson still writing their plays. Per Eggers became an established actor often seen on TV, as is Hannes Råstam - but as an investigative reporter. He was also in Blåkulla while Per Melin joined Nationalteatern. The late Eva Remaeus was the most visible member of the group thanks to her appearance in the extremely popular children's TV programme "Fem myror är fler än fyra elefanter".

1974Modern*Oktober OSLP-507★★2
1976Sven Klangs KvintettDragon LP9★★★3
1977För släkt och vännerAmalthea AM1★1
Titles up to 1979
* with Bruksteatern



This band from Lund made two progressive albums with political lyrics in Swedish. Several songs on the first album featured long instrumental passages and there was also a Kebnekajse-like folk number, "Folke". Franzén then left and singer Roland Svensson took over the bass duties. The second album showed strong influences from West-Indian music, but also included the progressive instrumentals "Motortrafikled upphör" and "Billingevingel".

1976Musiktruppen GuranMNW 69P★★2
1979I sista minutenAmalthea AM9★★2


This Dalarna group released an album of political folk songs on A-Disc, a label affiliated with the Social Democratic Party. Several members of the band also played on an album of Ture Nerman songs by Björn Arahb and Monica Nielsen.

1979Du livA-Disc BS770901★1


Måns Mossa came from Skellefthamn in the north of Sweden. Most of the songs have a left-wing message, while the music varies from funk and reggae to mainstream rock. High-points on the album are the progressive instrumental "Autron" and a funny cover version of Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff" with completely different Swedish-language lyrics.

1979Måns MossaGMP GLP7918★★★★★5


This band was formed in 1974 by the late Åke Bylund, a former drummer with 60's band East-West. Originally named Chilly Chimes, they released a single and appeared on the Ljud från Friberga compilation before becoming Mörbyligan in 1978. With political Swedish language lyrics and some aggressive songs they had one foot in Movement and the other in the punk camp. They scored a huge hit with "Ensamma Sussie" from their first album. An earlier version of the song was included on the EP. Mörbyligan went through several line-up changes and made four more albums in the 80's.

1975Join The Army / Let Me Inside* (S)AB 02★1
1978Mörbyligan (EP)Gomora Studios SUR-02Z★1
1978Mörbyligan** (EP)Gomora Studios SUR-02Z★★2
1979Världen tillhör dom vackra / Vi försöker glömma (S)Mistlur MLRs-07★★2
1979MörbyliganMistlur MLR-08★★2
Titles up to 1979
* as Chilly Chimes
** sleeve variation