The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979

From Psychedelic Experiments to Political Propaganda

Tobias Petterson




This Gothenburg band was formed in 1978. They ran their own recording studio and production company called Popligan, which booked tours for some of the hottest pop acts of the time, including Gyllene Tider, Noice, and Anders F Rönnblom as well as UK 60's veterans The Troggs and The Hollies. Packet made one Swedish language rock single about the ups and downs of a life in the limelight, with some progressive moves on the B-side. The band broke up in July 1981, having made around 500 gigs.

1979Kungen / Medaljens Baksida (S)Sista Bussen SB105★★★3


This progressive outfit was formed in Norrköping in 1971 by Bertil Jonsson and Urban Götling, who left early on. Their album features English-language vocals with strong melodies and good musicianship. Leif Hellquist quit in 1976 to play for dances and Björn Malmquist left to study at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and later joined Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. Ulf Stern and Gunnar Hermelin replaced them and the new line-up of Pandora recorded a Swedish-language single in 1979. Unusually, the band also ran the Norrköping record shop Rockslag. However, the shop went bankrupt in 1980 and the band folded the same year.

1974Measures of timeSMA 3002★★★★★★★★8
1979Makten / ...och härligheten (S)Kulturmissionen Kult-1★★2


This progressive outfit from Uppsala was formed around 1970 by guitarist Thomas Arnesen. By the time of the recording of their eponymous album, the line-up was Arnessen, Trolin, Östman and the Wihma brothers. Guesting on the album were jazzers Gunnar Lindqvist (flute) and Göran Freese (saxophone), who both previously played in G.L. Unit. The result was one of the most impressive progressive albums ever recorded in Sweden. The arrangements display great variety and flair with the flute and guitars interacting incredibly well together. The vocals are in English and each track is interesting in one way or another. Despite all this, the album went by virtually unnoticed upon its release in the summer of 1973, although it has since enjoyed legendary status. Panta Rei was a great live act and did several sessions for Swedish radio. In 1974 the band changed its name to Allting Flyter [Everything Floats] which was a Swedish translation of their latin name. Arnesen went on to form Good Morning Blues featuring jazz singer Claes Jansson (Baltik) and later released three solo albums. The late Tomo Wihma joined Kontinuerlig Drift, while early member Zeke Öhrn also played in Arbete & Fritid. This band should not be confused with 80's jazz group Panta Rei, led by guitarist Erik "Puppe" Lundmark.

1973Panta ReiHarvest 4E 062-34828★★★★★★★★8


Per Paulsson recorded songs in the summer of 1974 and submitted them to MNW, but got no response. He released the album himself, a primitive Swedish-language folk-rock set with his acoustic guitar as the only accompaniment. It features some poems by Bruno K Öijer and Erik Fylkesson, set to music by Paulsson. His label, Muggsvamp, planned to release other artists' albums as well, but since Tro, hopp och kaffe failed to sell it was the only album ever released on the label. In 1980 he recorded the EP Ackumulerad skuld backed by the band Ruff.

1974Tro, hopp och kaffeMuggsvamp 1 LPM★★★★★5
Titles up to 1979


This band released one single, with Ljungdahl and Ljungkvist featured on one side each. The music is 60's style pop with Swedish-language lyrics about environmental issues and indifference. There's a prominent fuzz guitar on the A-side and some faint progressive moves on ihe B-side, all with a basement feel.

1973Miljölåt / När vi fått det för bra (S)Euphonic ES022★★★★4


See also Compilations

Göran Persson played guitar in 60's band The Greenhorns from Mora. In 1970 he started to write personal songs resembling those of Jan Hammarlund. On his two solo albums Persson is backed by prominent Movement musicians like Tore Berger, Sam Ellison, Greg FitzPatrick, Rolf Wikström, Lasse Englund, Per Tjernberg (Archimedes Badkar), Hans Wiktorsson (Nationalteatern) and Tord Bengtsson (Arbete & Fritid). The latter two were also in fellow Dalarna band Gläns Över Sjö Och Strand. Goran's brother Håkan Persson played bass on both albums. He was also in The Greenhorns, which reformed in 2000 and relased the CD XXL four years later. Unusually for such a project it didn't feature rehashed versions of old 60's standards, instead the album contained new songs by Göran Persson, all sung in Swedish in his trademark style.

1972Blir jag sen spelkarlMNW 25P★★2
1974HundlivMNW 49P★★2


See also Compilations

Singer, guitarist and harmonica player Per-Åke "Peps" Persson began his long and illustrious career in the mid-60's with Hässleholm blues band Downbeat Crowd and got a solo deal as Linkin' Louisiana Peps in 1966. On his first album he was backed by Slim's Blues Gang, which included Slim Notini, Guy Öhrström (Handgjort), Bill Öhrström (Flasket Brinner), Göran Ramberg (Grapes Of Wrath), Göran Malmberg (T-Boones) and Pelle Ekman (Kebnekaise). Peps then moved to Örebro and joined Blues Quality, a band featuring Lasse Wellander and Bosse Skoglund that changed its name to Nature when Peps left in 1970. Their album together, Sweet Mary Jane, immediately caused trouble as the sleeve - by noted artist Sture Johannesson - featured the band standing among cannabis plants. The American producer Sam Charters brought Peps to Chicago in 1972 to record The Week Peps Came To Chicago with leading faces of the local blues scene. The experience forced Peps to understand the importance of his own culture and since then recorded only in his mother tongue with his trademark thick Skåne accent. Peps then formed Peps Blodsband, with Brynn Settles (keyboards), Christer Eklund (saxophone), Rolf Aim (bass, accordion) and Sten Sjöström (drums). Blodsband spawned Peps' first hit "Falsk matematik". Then followed the Blues på svenska album with old partner Slim Notini, featuring Swedish translations of blues classics. After that, it was time for political Swedish reggae and an even bigger hit with the title track from the next album Hög standard. Its sleeve was a brilliant satire on ABBA's then current album showing the differences between Movement ideology and that of the so called "commercial" artists. Drummer Bosse Skoglund was now back with Peps after playing in Arbete & Fritid and brought saxophonist Roland Keijser with him. More full-on reggae was found on Droppen urholkar stenen, which included new bassist Göran Weihs. The band also found time to back Ronny Åström on two albums during this period. For Fyra tunnlann bedor om dan the Pelleperssons Kapell band name was used, although many of the same musicians were used, as well as new bass player Stig Vig (Dag Vag). It featured music that was popular in southern Sweden in the 30's and 40's. A second LP using this moniker was 1982's Persson sjunger Persson featuring interpretaions of songs by Swedish legend Edward Persson (1888-1957). For his last 70's album, Spår, a revamped Peps Blodsband included West-Indians Tony Ellis (guitar) and Lester Jackman (keyboards) and Namibian Willy Mbuende (bass) in addition to stalwarts Aim and Skoglund. In the 80's and onwards Peps Persson has continued to release a steady How of albums and is definetely one of the best loved musicians of the Movement, despite spending most of his career on the much despised major labels.

1966I Got My Mojo Working / Fourtyfour Blues * (S)Olga OS36★★★★★★6
1967Jailer Bring Me Water / Old Time Religion * (S)Olga OS43★★★★★★6
1968Jailer Bring Me Water / Shake Your Money Maker * (S)Olga OS54★★★★★★★7
1968Blues Connection **Gazell GMG-1212★★★★★★6
1969Sweet Mary Jane **Sonet SLP-2501★★★★★★★7
1972The Week Peps Came To ChicagoSonet SLPD-2532★★★★4
1974Blodsband ***Sonet SLP-2552★★★3
1974Sweet Mary Jane **(Reissue with different cover)Spotlight SPO-130★★★★4
1975Blues på svenska ****Sonet SLP-2564★★★3
1975Hög standard ***Sonet SLP-2572★★2
1976Droppen urholkar stenen ***Sonet SLP-2575★★2
1977Fyra tunnlann bedor om dan... *****Oktober 0SLP518★★2
1978Maskin nr 1 / Maskin nr 2 ****** (S)Sonet T-7955★★2
1978Spår ***Sonet SLP-2625★★2
1979Rotrock / Stubbdubb (S)Sonet T-7988★★2
1970Copenhagen Blues **(EP)Juke Box JSEP 5599★★2
1974Copenhagen Blues/You're So Fine (EP)Juke Box JSEP 5637★★2
Titles up to 1979
* as Linkin Louisiana Peps
** as Peps & Blues Quality
*** as Peps Blodsband
**** as Peps och Slim
***** as Pelleperssons kapell
****** spitt single with Ronny Åström


Dennis Pettersson recorded an independently released album featuring political Swedish lyrics about life at the Luxor TV-factory in Motala. The musicians on the album included Solen Skiner's Christer Nahrendorf, Christer Kilander and Håkan Agnsäter as well as Mats G Bengtsson (Blå Tåget), Jörgen Adolfsson (Archimedes Badkar), Totte Tenmann (Underground Failure) and renowned guitar maker Arne Arvidsson. Motala singer Arne Gerdner makes a cameo performance on his own "Avgrunden". Pettersson released one more single in 1985. He later changed his name to Dennis Renfors.

1976MotalapromenadenBarrikaden BARR-01★★2
Titles up to 1979


A cloud of mystery surrounds this experimental band. According to legend, a demo tape was sent to Bo Anders Persson of Träd, Gräs och Stenar, who was so taken by it that he presented it to Silence in 1970. His band then covered "ln kommer Gösta" at the Gärdet Festival that summer and the song became an immediate cult classic. In March 1972 the Philemon Arthur & The Dung album itself was finally released. Although it only sold about 500 copies initially, it has since been reissued several times. The music is crude, performed with rudimentary guitar, accordion and kitchen utensils while the Swedish lyrics display a great sense of humour. The album unexpectedly won a Grammis Award for "best group production". This so annoyed certain people within the Swedish music industry that no more awards were presented for 15 years. A new cassette album appeared in 1987, Skisser över 1914 års badmössor [Sketches of the bathing caps of 1914], and 19 more unreleased tracks appeared on the CD Får jag spy i ditt paraply? [May I throw up in your umbrella?] in 2002. A long-standing rumour has it that the secret members of the band are, infact, Thomas Wiehe along with his brother Mikael Wiehe of Hoola Bandoola Band. But, there's also another lead that says the answer could be found in the village Torekov in the North West of Skåne.

1972Philemon Arthur & The DungSilence SRS 4607★★★★★5



The Jonsson brothers started playing in the 60's in various Norrköping bands with ever changing names, strongly influenced by the likes of Velvet Underground and Mothers Of Invention. In 1971 they formed Piska Mej Hårt and released one album of sinister rock with Swedish-language lyrics before changing their name to Eldkvarn. There was also a change of musical direction and they eventually became one of the biggest rock bands in Sweden, now with Carla Jonsson on lead guitar. Curt-Åke Stefan was the house engineer at MNW for several years.

1974ElisabetMNW 43P★★★★★5


Plebb was an obscure progressive outfit from Blomstermåla. The band's aggressive music is dominated by the fuzz guitar frenzy of Martinsson and Pettersson, who wrote most of the material with lyrics both in Swedish and English. The album was recorded under primitive circumstances at a school and a local biker club.

1979Yes It Isn't ItPlebb Records TMLP301★★★★★★★★8



This Avesta band released one album independently in 1979. The mostly instrumental music was written by the late Ole Bäck and stands with one foot in symphonic rock and the other foot in jazz-rock. He also sings one song in Swedish and another in English. Andreas Vera Ortiz came from Argentina while Bäck, Sjursvens and Boberg also recorded a single in 1981 with pop band Scoop.

1979Myromas frammarschCoop LP579★★★★4


These highly sought after jazz-rock albums feature one legendary American jazz drummer each. Vol.1's Ed Thigpen made his name in 1959 with pianist Oscar Peterson, while the second album's Tony Williams formed the pioneering jazz-rock band Lifetime ten years later, after leaving trumpeter Miles Davis. The core trio on this project were Sweden-based Polish musicians Wlodek Gulgowski (Made In Sweden) and Zbigniew Namyslowski along with guitarist Janne Schaffer. Rounding out the the first line-up was Schaffer's trusty rhythm section of Brolund, Jarr and Brunkert, while Danish bassist Mads Winding signed Lip for the second album.

1973Vol. 1Grammofonverket EFG-7350★★★★★★6
1974Song Of The PterodactylGrammofonverket EFG-501 5101★★★★★★★7


When Vingåker trio Prefix played live they sung Evert Taube songs to acoustic guitar accompaniment. Their album sounds nothing like that at all. It's more or less a Pierre Blom solo album as he wrote all the songs and played most of the instruments himself, with his wife Ingrid providing the occasional guitar strum or cymbal hit. Half the songs are very primitive fuzz guitar psychedelia, mostly sung in English. There are also some Swedish-language ballads - still with a distinct basement feel. One of the songs, "Stupid Record Company", could be an anthem for misunderstood DIY-ers everywhere. Pierre Blom later built a small studio and released ten more records by other artists on his PIM label.

1974Brustna IllusionerPIM 1★★★★★★★★★★10



This band was formed in Stockholm in 1978 when the two groups Skunk and Max Klös merged into one. Their album was recorded in a primitive two-track studio and features an unusual mix of freaky experimental music and jazz-rock. The unnamed B-side of their single is a piece of experimental 70's psychedelia. Petter Brundell was later in Ståålfågel.

1978Har vi någon stil?Mistlur MLR-3★★★★4
1979Grottekvarn / ... (S)Mistlur MLR-S-5★★2


See also Compilations

Torbjörn "Pugh" Rogefeldt is often credited for pioneering Swedish-language rock'n'roll but his influence on the Movement is equally important - although he was never a part of it himself. He started his career in the mid 60's with Mersy Sect, a band whose main claim to fame is that they once supported Jimi Hendrix in their home town Västeräs in 1967. The following year Pugh released his debut "Haru vart pä circus", backed only by bassist Inge Dahlin from his old band. The raw and experimental (Ja, dä ä dä!) was released in August 1969. Made In Sweden's Jojje Wadenius (guitar, bass) and Hansson & Karlsson drummer Janne Carlsson play on the album in addition to Pugh. The outcome is fabulous with classics like "Här kommer natten" and "Små lätta moln". It made #1 on the Swedish LP chart and is generally regarded one of the most important albums in Swedish rock history. It was even released in the USA with English translations of the lyrics by Turid and Lasse Tennander printed on the back cover, but the album still featured Swedish vocals. The follow up was made by the same trio and the playfulness is evident. It featured two songs sung in Pugh's own newly invented language, hence the title Pughish. The experimental trilogy concluded with Hollywood, which included contributions from people like Kenny Håkansson, Lasse Wellander, Bernt Staf, double bassist Palle Danielsson and Americans John Uribe (guitar) and Stu Phillips (drums). Together with his producer Anders Burman and Måns Rosander, Pugh was also behind the launch of Metronome's progressive Gump label. There he produced Nature's first album and they then collaborated on two excellent singles. The lackluster Pugh On The Rocks featured his Swedish translations of rock'n'roll classics, but he was back on form with Bolla och rulla. It was made with his road band Rainrock - Ingemar Rogefeldt (guitar), Roger Pettersson (bass) and Bosse Frölander (drums) - and spawned the classics "Dinga Linga Lena" and the political "Hog Farm". Their position as the hottest band in the country was cemented by the double live album, Ett steg till, which also featured pianist Janne "Lucas" Persson and Ola Magnell. Next, Pugh went to America to record the Bamalama album with the legendary musicians from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The result was a major disappointment. He then entered the Swedish heat of the Eurovision Song Contest with "Nattmara", recorded together with jazz-rock band Kornet. Pugh's last 70's album, Attityder, sold considerably less than Bamalama and his career since then has had its fair share of ups and downs. Still, it's his early work that's made him the icon he is today.

1968Harn vart på cirkus? / Skölj bort mig (S)Metronome J 45.795★★★★★5
1969(Ja, dä ä dä!) (1st press, black text)Metronome MLP 15.336★★★★★★★7
1969(Ja, dä ä dä!) (2nd press, yellow text)Metronome MLP 15.336★★★★★5
1969(Ja, dä ä dä!) (US release)Vault SLP 137★★★★★5
1969Här kommer natten / Dä ä bra, dä ä fint (S)Metronome J 27.040★★★★4
1970PughishMetronome MLP 15.368★★★★4
1970Föräldralåten / Sail with Me (S)Metronome J 27.068★★★3
1972HollywoodMetronome MLP 15.439★★★3
1972En stilla havsvals / Sanningen * (S)Metronome J.27.107★★★★4
1972En gång tog jag tåget bort / Karneval ** (S)Metronome J 27.110★★★★4
1972Slavsång / Lejon **(S)Metronome J 27.120★★★★★5
1973Pugh On The RocksMetronome MLP 15.477★★2
1973Bä bä vita lamm / Susie Q (S)Metronome J 27.132★★★★4
1974Bolla och rullaMetronome MLP 15.510★★2
1974Dinga linga Lena / Silver-Lona (S)Metronome J 27.159★★★★4
1975Ett steg tillMetronome DMLP-2★★2
1977BamalamaMetronome MLP 15.603★1
1978Nattmara / Speljäveln (S)Metronome J.27.189★★2
19781968-1978 (Compilation)Metronome MLP 15.628★★2
1978Night Creeper / Backslider (S)Metronome J.27.190★1
1978Solenergi / Silverflöjten (S)Metronome J.27.191★1
1978AttityderMetronome MLP 15.637★1
Titles up to 1979
* A-side as Pugh Rogefeldt - Bernt Staf
** as Pugh & Nature


Gothenburg band Pyramid's progressive music is sung in Swedish and English with lyrics about environmental issues. Highligts include the heavy title track and the tongue-in-cheek "Dog'n Roll". Christer Mentzer later sang in hard rock bands Mentzer, Silver Mountain and Norden Light. This is not the same Pyramid that appeared on the compilation Norrbottensplattan 2.

1978First StoneSfinx SPLP10001★★★★★★6