Bo Hansson - (Music Inspired By) Lord Of The Rings Bo Hansson - Lord Of The Rings

Year of Release: 1970 / 1972
Genres: Progressive Rock | Instrumental
Length: 38:13

Bo Hansson - Organ, Bass, Guitar, Guitar (Bass), Keyboards, Vocals, Moog Synthesizer, Producer
Sten Bergman - Flute
Gunnar Bergsten - Saxophone, Wind
Rune Carlsson - Conga, Drums
Anders Lind - Producer, Engineer

Tracks: Leaving Shire (3:28) / The Old Forest/Tom Bombadil (3:43) / Fog On The Barrow-Downs (2:29) / The Black Riders/Flight To The Ford (4:07) / At The House Of Elrond & The Ring Goes South (4:40) / A Journey In The Dark (1:10) / Lothlórien (4:01) / Shadowfax (:51) / The Horns Of Rohan/The Battle Of The Pelennor Fields (3:57) / Dreams In The House Of Healing (1:56) / Homeward Bound/The Scouring Of The Shire (2:54) / The Grey Havens (4:57)
- All tracks composed by Bo Hansson

Bo Hansson - Lord of the Rings #
Bo Hansson - Lord of the Rings [EXTRA TRACKS] [REMASTERED] [IMPORT]

With the recent success of the blockbuster movie version of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy, what could be more suitable than making this classic album the first entry into this, "The Webmaster's Pick" section? Right, none, that was my thoughts exactly. :)

So what is "The Webmaster's Pick", you wonder? Basically, it is what it is called. It's me giving purchase suggestions, telling you about an album that I personally enjoy listening to. I have no idea if there is any interest for this, if anyone takes my word for what is a good album, or if anyone will even read this. I hope you will, even if you do not buy the albums. Now, the albums to be featured here will Not necessarily have anything to do with Aerosmith, actually, they most likely won't. I will try to be a bit varied, listing different types of albums, but the thing they will all have in common is that I like them alot (which, I guess, narrows it down to mainly albums in the genres of blues, rock, 60's pop, metal and prog). I have not yet decided how often I will take a new "pick" from the wealth of great albums and put up something new, if it will be once a month, twice a month or once every two months etc. It will certainly be updated from time to time anyway. Now, enough talk about that, let's get on to the album in question shall we...

Now, make no mistake, this is not a movie soundtrack, but an album of music inspired by the legendary fantasy book. The album features a true "fantasy feel" throughout, with the different tracks representing different parts of the books.

"Lord Of The Rings" (originally released in Sweden under the title "Sagan Om Ringen") was the first solo album from the Swedish organist/composer Bo Hansson, a man who had previously played in the progressive rock duo Hansson & Karlsson, a jazzy duo with the minimalistic setting of only drums and organ. Hansson & Karlsson (formed in 1966) had been a truly unique phenomenon in Sweden in the late '60's, with music built greatly on improvisation and who employed a heavy organ sound before it was common in progressive rock. Among their admirers you could count the late great Jimi Hendrix, whom they met after a concert at one of his visits to Stockholm! Hendrix recorded one of Hansson's songs, "Tax-Free", and also recorded some jams with Hansson that are still unreleased. The duo later toured with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and also played with other big acts such as Frank Zappa and Cream. When the '60s ended, and as Hansson & Karlsson were getting big in progressive circles in Europe, their career came to a halt after conflicts between the two and their manager.

Now, Hansson's big commercial and international breakthrough, however, did not come through any of the four albums he released with jazz-drummer Janne "Loffe" Karlsson (later to become a second-rate actor/comedian), but with this album. "Lord Of The Rings" sold millions of copies and charted in both Europe and the U.S, a success he would unfortunately never quite be able to reach again. The album even received Gold Record awards in England and Australia!
"Lord Of The Rings" was the first release on Silence Records, an independent label which, I guess partly due to the commercial success of their first release, still exists today. Silence released albums by a majority of the more well-known names from the swedish prog scene in the '70's and has kept on releasing only Swedish acts to present day.

All over this instrumental album there are great compositions and beautiful sound textures, with Hansson's keyboards being the most prominent instrument. This doesn't mean that it's a keyboard-only album though, there is some very tasty flute, guitar and drums on it too for sure. The overall feel of the album is quite calm and relaxing, but there are also some faster and more exciting sections. These, of course, appear when the part in the trilogy, that the song represents, is of a such character that it requires so, if you will.

In conclusion, this is one of those truly classic albums that no record collection is complete without. Everyone with good taste in music, I strongly urge you to give this album a listen, if you haven't already! You owe yourself to own a copy of this classic!

// Cristoffer Eriksson. April 15, 2002

AMG Review: The best of Bo Hansson's albums, and one of the few progressive rock instrumental recordings that still holds up on repeated listening. J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy provide the inspiration for a series of strange, other-worldly tracks that transcend their source material. Hansson's keyboard playing is quite unlike the work of such rivals as Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman, less heavy and "gothic" and more oriented toward jazz. His guitar work as is flashy and aggressive as his keyboards ("The Black Riders/Flight to the Ford" is a great showcase for both), and the backing by sax, flute, and drums creates an overall rich sonic palette. — Bruce Eder (All Music Guide)

Deep Purple - Made in Japan. Deep Purple's classic live album has been released with many different covers, this is the most common and famous one. Deep Purple - Made In Japan

Year of Release: 1972
Genres: Hard Rock | Heavy Metal
Length: 98:02 [2CD version]

Ian Gillan - Vocals
Ritchie Blackmore - Guitar
Roger Glover - Synthesizer, Bass, Mixing
Jon Lord - Organ, Piano, Keyboards
Ian Paice - Drums

Original album engineered by Martin Birch
and produced by Deep Purple.

Tracks: Highway Star (6:42) / Child In Time (12:18) / Smoke On The Water (7:37) / The Mule (9:28) / Strange Kind Of Woman (9:52) / Lazy (10:27) / Space Truckin' (19:53) // Black Night* (6:17) / Speed King* (7:25) / Lucille* (8:03)
 - All tracks composed by Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice,
     except "Lucille", by Collins/Penniman

* Additional Bonus Tracks on the 2-CD "remastered edition" only.

Deep Purple - Made In Japan: 25th Anniversary Edition
Deep Purple - Made In Japan
Deep Purple - Made In Japan

The Greatest Live Album of all time!? Quite possibly! I would definitely say that "Made in Japan" is one of the best albums (live or not) ever released! As far as I'm concerned it even beats out two other Heavy Metal live albums that are close to flawless, Judas Priest's "Unleashed In The East" (1979) and Iron Maiden's "Live After Death" (1985)!

According to some, the ultimate album from the '70's, the era of double-vinyl live albums, "Made In Japan" features extended versions of some of Deep Purple's most popular songs. Several of the songs are drawn out to ten and even nearly twenty minutes, yet not becoming boring for one second! This is one of the things that make many live albums from the '70's so great, in my opinion. There are not many bands who do this today, but in the '70's many of the greats, such as Deep Purple, Richie Blackmore's Rainbow and Led Zeppelin, often indulged themselves in lengthy solos and jam sections, making the songs something more than just uninteresting copies of the studio originals! (ALSOS, anyone? ;)

This album features the band at the peak of their career. After recording a couple of albums in more of a pop/rock vein in '60's ("Shades of Deep Purple", "Deep Purple" and "The Book of Taliesyn") and performing with an orchestra for Jon Lord's experiment of fusing rock with classical music (1969's "Concerto for Group and Orchestra"), the band begun the 1970's with three fantastic hard rock (metal?) albums!

"Deep Purple in Rock" (1970), "Fireball" (1971) and their biggest success, "Machine Head" (1972), were all to become hugely influential on hard rock/metal to come, and has proved to inspire many artists though the years (notably guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen, a devoted Blackmore fan). It's also from these three that most of the selections on "Made In Japan" were taken, and mostly then from their latest studio album, "Machine Head".

The album, recorded during three concerts in Japan in August of 1972, starts with the crowd pleasing rocker "Highway Star." As always Lord's raging organ play a central part and already in the first song Blackmore treats us with a nice speedy solo. On the second track, the beautiful and moody epic "Child In Time" from "In Rock", Ian Gillan is given the chance to truly prove why he will always be considered one of the best singers ever! One word: Fantastic! No wonder Gillan was asked to sing in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Jesus Christ Superstar," what a voice!

Next up is "Smoke On The Water", a track I'm sure needs no introduction. I've always considered "Smoke..." way overrated, considering how many songs the band has recorded that are much better. Still, it would have felt odd, had not their biggest hit been included.
Following the song with the worlds most memorable riff is "The Mule", featuring a lengthy and impressive drum solo from mr Paice. I usually tend to find drum solos very boring, but this one actually works quite well!
Next up is another song off of the "Fireball" album, "Strange Kind Of Woman." Another very good song! I love how Gillan goes from the beautiful soft "oooohhh"-part to doing his trademark scream! Some very taste guitar playing too!

Coming up next is one of my personal favorites from the "Machine Head" album, "Lazy"! A jazzy experimental tune. This live version starts out with some random noise before moving into a slow and gentle jazzy part. After a while Blackmore's guitar enter and the song take a turn towards a sound closer to rock again. The songs shifts several times between hard rock, jazz and blues (some nice harmonica!). Some awesome organ/guitar jamming in this song, with Paice and Glover keeping it all together as the dynamic rhythm section that they are.

Ending what made up the original double-LP is an extremely extended version of "Space Truckin'", a great rocker in which Gillan screams his lungs out! "Come on, come on, let's go Space Truckin'!!!" Lots of jamming going on in this one!

As I said, this is where the album used to end. However, on the remastered "25th Anniversary Edition" of album, released in 1998, a second disc has been added, adding more than 20 minutes of encores! These songs are "Black Night," previously released only as a European B-side, and versions of "Speed King" and Little Richard's "Lucille" that were previously unreleased. For those of you who already own the original album, you should probably consider getting the "25th Anniversary Edition" for these three!

"Black Night" is one of Deep Purple's best song ever, an absolutely essential classic, and "Speed King", a tribute to their roots in '50's rock n' roll of sorts, just flat out "rocks"!

A truly classic album indeed! Unfortunately "Made In Japan" also put an end to an era of sorts. Deep Purple Mk II (Blackmore - Gillan - Glover - Lord - Paice) did record one more studio album together, "Who Do We Think We Are" (1973), but few would argue that it was as good as the three that preceded it. I don't. In that aspect I see "Made In Japan" as the end of the greatest era of Deep Purple.

After "Who Do We Think We Are", Ian Gillan and Roger Glover were forced to leave the band, two members who had also joined the band at the same time, prior to "Concerto for Group and Orchestra." Enter David Coverdale (later to form Whitesnake) and vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes. These two were awesome singers, but personally I consider Gillan to be the only "real" Purple-singer, even though they've had several others through the years. Coverdale/Hughes recorded three very good studio albums with Deep Purple, "Burn" (1974), "Stormbringer" (1974) and "Come Taste the Band" (1975). The latter does not feature Richie Blackmore. Blackmore left the band for his own project, Rainbow, with whom he released some fantastic albums, with master vocalist Ronnie James Dio, before going into a more commercial direction. Deep Purple, on the other hand, stopped existing after "Come Taste The Band", but reunited with the classic Mk II-lineup for 1984's "Perfect Strangers." Deep Purple still exists today and has released several more album to date, with varying band lineups.

Still one of the worlds greatest live bands, they have released many live albums (probably one of the bands with the most live albums released ever) after "Made In Japan," but none with the status of this one. There's a reason this is regarded by many as one of hard rock's cornerstone live recordings!

I end this edition of "The Webmaster's Pick" by quoting one of the customer reviews for this album that I saw at Amazon.com: "Deep Purple's studio stuff is good, but it pales in comparison to this scorching slab of rock and roll fury. This is a huge-sounding, thunderous, feedback-drenched, distorted psychedelic organ feast of ear-splitting noise." Who can argue with that?

// Cristoffer Eriksson. May 15, 2002

AMG Review: Recorded over three nights in August 1972, Deep Purple's Made in Japan was the record that brought the band to headliner status in the U.S. and elsewhere, and it remains a landmark in the history of heavy metal music. Since reorganizing with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover in 1969, Deep Purple had recorded three important albums — Deep Purple in Rock, Fireball, and Machine Head — and used the material to build a fierce live show. Made in Japan, its selections drawn from those albums, documented that show, in which songs were drawn out to ten and even nearly 20 minutes with no less intensity, as guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord soloed extensively and Gillan sang in a screech that became the envy of all metal bands to follow. The signature song, of course, was "Smoke on the Water," with its memorable riff, which went on to become an American hit single. But those extended workouts, particularly the moody "Child in Time," with Gillan's haunting falsetto wail and Blackmore's amazingly fast playing, and "Space Truckin'," with Lord's organ effects, maintained the onslaught, making this a definitive treatment of the band's catalog and its most impressive album. By stretching out and going to extremes, Deep Purple pushed its music into the kind of deliberate excess that made heavy metal what it became, and their audience recognized the breakthrough, propelling the original double LP into the U.S. Top Ten and sales over a million copies. On November 17, 1998, Warner Archives/Rhino issued "the remastered edition" of the album, a two-CD set that added more than 20 minutes of encores on a second disc that contained "Black Night," previously released only as a European B-side, and versions of "Speed King" and Little Richard's "Lucille" that were previously unreleased. — William Ruhlmann (All Music Guide)