Friday, December 19, 2008

Pop from the Dear Western Neighbour

Looking for some new 60s pop? Try Swedish! There was a lot of pop activity in this country back in the 60s. Pop such as instrumental rock (á la The Shadows) and beat music was adopted from the United Kingdom as well as American-styled rock’n’roll, pop, folk-rock and many others. There are, in fact, two excellent 2CD Swedish pop collections called Swedish Graffiti (Unfortunately, it’s probably very difficult to find those).

One of my most recent Swedish favourites has been Hep Stars. This band performed different styles of pop and rock. Their cover choices included Mike Berry (Tribute to Buddy Holly), The Kinks (So Mystifying) and others. The general sound of Hep Stars is quite mellow and includes Byrds-like feel and harmonies. Another strong point of their music is baroque melancholy. Check out Consolation and you’ll be mesmerized!

Hep Stars featured a future ABBA member Benny Andersson as a keyboardist. The band was active in years 1963-1969. During that time they released many albums and had numerous hits in Sweden.

Hep Stars at YouTube

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