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30 Mar 2017

Contact “ Nobody Wants To Be Sixteen"1970 Swedish Psych Folk Rock

Contact “ Nobody Wants To Be Sixteen"1970 Swedish ultra rare Psych Folk Rock

The group had existed under different names and settings in Stockholm since 1963. Later in the seventies they got a breakthrough in Scandinavia using a mix of left-wing prog and folk music, all sung in Swedish. This debute is surprisingly different - mild garage prog/psych with a cozy feeling and English vocals. I was amazed by the total lack of conformity with their later work till I saw who produced - Kim Fowley. Apparently the US producer spent time in Sweden and took part in a few early productions for the independent MNW label. In this case he engaged them into using English lyrics to enable an international carreer for the group. However after recording the big plans were dropped and the LP released in Sweden only - where it didn’t sell at all. Apart from studio work Fowley contributed one track, co-wrote two and helped translating lyrics into English. So here’s a bunch of Swedes making their first album in a primitive studio, led and handeled by one of the most eclectic US producers. A strange alloy and it doesn’t sound like anything else. Maybe not all beauty, but attractive in its own way……………

Contact achieved surprisingly little recognition for their innovative albums. Their first and rarest album Nobody Wants To Be 16 (1970) was produced by Kim Fowley, who also co-wrote a couple of the songs. This was an unique, cool and relaxed mixture of Anglo-American hippie-rock and Nordic folklore with frequent use of congas, flute and acoustic/electric guitars. Try to imagine a mixture of The Beatles, Tim Buckley, Pearls Before Swine and Tyrannosaurus Rex and it sounded similar. 

Hon Kom Över Mon (1971) marked a transition of style, introducing Swedish lyrics and the extensive use of fiddles. 

Although Contact wrote their own songs, they also incorporated fragments of folk songs into their lyrics. Those who understand Swedish will find them highly entertaining (one track even has a reference to Frank Zappa). Their mood varied from sing-a-long jolliness t melancholic and sombre. This is a highly imaginative album and sometimes reminds me of another great Swedish group - Vildkaktus. 

Utmarker (1971) benefited from better production but contains more variable (and also more political) songs. 

Among the highlights were the moody folk-rock track "Det Är Natt” (7:11)………

By this time we had already published our first two singles. The first 
Convulsions / A fairytale was that too many bands our dream. The first plate! When Lennart Wretlind played on the radio a dull Sunday afternoon, we had to step out Tomas Larssons bubble Uppsalavägen and just scream … 

The strange thing was that when we did this album, we basically had “brejkat” with single number two; She came over mon / I’m a little sad tonight but MNW had been invaded by the dynamic American Kim Fowley, who “decided” that we would do our old English material. He was on a Nordic conquest and came from Finland and an LP recording of the Wigwam and now Contact do the “big times” … He ruled and asked what he wanted, and all our songs cicatrized of the sandlådestamp instead of drums and games blue train untuned clavinet. This record does not sound at all like we did at this time, The Band and Procol Harum belonged to our ideals, and really it is just Wounds of my songs, which sound like we did … I was clearly frustrated and walked and drank wine while Ted Steerling had to realize their dreams. He wanted to make music with English lyrics while I was on this by writing in Swedish. Lorne came more and more into the band as a bassist and he and I had started to find each other musically, but we are all seduced by Kim Fowley and probably thought we would hit international … 

The title song Nobody wants to be sixteen, it is instrumental embryo for the song Same wind, the scents, available on LP She came over mon and used by Bosse Rehnberg that signature to a radio program……………

The musicians: 

Alto Saxophone, Accordion – Björn Holmsten 
Drums, Backing Vocals – Leif Reinholds 
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Ted Steerling 
Violin – Bosse Linné, Claes Palmquist 
Vocals, Organ, Bass – Lorne DeWolfe 
Vocals, Organ, Piano, Guitar – Ted Ström

Whats That 3:31 
Wounds 3:32 
Visions Of Apple 4:18 
Sounds Of Wind 4:21 
Velvet Blue Saloon 3:00 
How Was Your Summer 1:45 
One Of Those 2:57 
Conquest Of A Red Rose 2:34 
Nobody Wants To Be Sixteen 1:21 
Misjudgement 3:27 
She Is Impossible To See 3:46

1970 Nobody Wants to be Sixteen, MNW 03P (MNW) 
1971 Hon Kom Över Mon, MNW 17P (MNW); CD: 1989, MNWCD 17 
1971 Utmarker, Polydor 2379 023 (Polydor) 
2004 Samma Vindar Samma Dofter 1968-2004, CD: MNWCD 2015 

Singles & EPs: 
1969 A Fairy Tale/Convulsions, MNW 05S (MNW) 
1970 Hon Kom Över Mon/Jag Är Lite Lessen Ikväll, MNW 07S (MNW) 
1971 Fyrvaktarns dotter/Fly mig en sommar, Polydor 2053-053 (Polydor) 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





Cassete Deck

Cassete Deck