Friday, 29 June 2018

Bridges (pre A-Ha) “Fakkeltog” 1980 Norway Prog Rock


Bridges (pre A-Ha) “Fakkeltog” 1980  ultra rare & excellent  Norway Prog Rock recommended..!
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https://ok.ru/rokarkheol/topic/63928561218926

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http://www.bandtoband.com/band/bridges/fakkeltog


A hidden treasure, and one of my favorite from norweigan scene. some copy/paste: 

Pål Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen’s first group was called Bridges. They released a self-financed LP on the record company Våkenatt in Norway only called “Fakkeltog” (Torch-light procession). 1000 copies were made, but very few of them sold. The music is heavily influenced and inspired by The Doors. This record is the most sought-after record among a-ha fans and you must expect to pay an awful lot of money to get your hands on a copy of this record. ….. The album was produced by Svein Erichsen, mixed by Svein Erichsen and Tore Aarnes. It features Pål Waaktaar on guitar and vocals, Magne Furuholmen on synthesizers, Øystein Jevanord on drums and percussion and Viggo Bondi on bass guitar. The track “Vagrants” features Øivind Nusle and Hans Morten Stensland on violins, Svein Ivar Fors and Elisabeth Moe on cello, Ingvil Kaalhus on obo. “September” features Gro Hanne Fors and Sissel Grønlund on tumpets. The songs, arrangements and lyrics are all by Pål except for “Vagrants” which is arranged by Erik Nygaard. The songs on this album are all sung in English. This is the only album released by Bridges, the band started another album by the name of “Poem” but it was never published. The a-ha song “This Alone Is Love” features song text from the Bridges songs “May The Last Dance Be Mine” (“It will make my last breath pass out at dawn It will make my body dissolve out in the blue”) and slightly adapted lyrics from “Every Mortal Night” (“Travel by trap-doors our souls are a myrid of wars And we are losing everyone”)…ProgNotFrog….~


Imagine that Jim Morrison had never died in Paris. Imagine that the post-“L.A. Woman” Doors regrouped after Morrison’s Parisian sojourn, with fresh ideas and excited to create music again, and had continued thru the early 70’s in a more complex, progressive rock direction, with long, intricately woven songs, and with a bass player that sounds like Chris Squire from Yes. Imagine that they submitted the master tape to Elektra for release, but the record company rejected it as being too “uncommercial” and unrepresentative of the sound the Doors had become known for. Imagine the master tape sat unreleased in Ray Manzarek’s or Robby Krieger’s closet for years until finally being released by a small independent label. 
This would be that record. And by the way, it’s really superb. Buy the recent vinyl reissue and dig in…..by..antshrike ..~


It was about 15 years ago or so, while leafing through an LP rarities catalog, that I first came across this Bridges title. The description basically stated that it was pre A-Ha, but you would never know it by the contents of the music. I didn’t believe the catalog. I figured it was hype to get top dollar for an obvious rarity. Probably just another pop rock album that didn’t sell well. Well the catalog writer was right and I was wrong. This really is something to pay attention to! And it’s also filled with irony. A-ha, to many Americans at least, represents the epitome of mid 80s MTV video driven synth pop (I understand that their albums are deeper than that, but the perception remains). So how can it be that the very embodiment of 1980s slick pop, could put out an album in 1980 that sounds like it was from 1968? See, this Bridges album is heavily influenced by the classic Doors sound, right down to the Morrison baritone vocals. As well, most of the instrumentation is vintage including the Hammond organ. Talk about a change in direction! To me, the Doors are a quintessential American band, where the culture is a big part of the sound. So I do think it’s hard to appreciate a band from Norway copying the style, even though it’s extremely well done. I suppose it’s similar to a band from Los Angeles singing in Italian and trying to replicate classic PFM. Anyway, a fascinating album that would easily find an audience for a CD reissue…..by…ashratom ….~


Excellent multi faceted norwegian art rock. The short and often catchy tracks feature a blend of New Wave-ish dandyism a la Roxy Music combined with the tonal language and barytone vocals of High Tide. The tracks are ingeniously woven together by a melodic flow mostly associated with progressive folk music, so instead of a pile of shining pearls, you’re offered a beautiful necklace. The final three or so tracks are a bit off the mark, but overall this is a brilliant and highly recommended piece of work and one of my all time favourite albums….by…Tovan …~


When Bridge ’s came with the Fakkeltog release in 1980, few thought about what was going on, and that Magne Furuholmen and Pål Waaktaar would be central in Norway’s most successful band ever. Fakkeltog received lab reception, and the LP, which was printed in 1000 copies, did not sell anything, and many ended up in the cheap bunks priced at a tier or two. Today you have to spend several thousand kroner for one copy. There have also been no new releases of this on vinyl, until now. The Italian label Luna Nera is behind this, which is hardly officially licensed, but both wrapping and vinyl printing keeps reasonably good quality. The front page is identical to the original, while the backside seems to be made specifically for this release. The sound quality is not something to say as far as I can judge. Probably, a litter LP is used as a source, which is a useful alternative when you do not have access to the masterband. Musically this is of course interesting because of the following story, but the album also has the status of a “ hidden treasure ” in some circles. Can be ordered from Panorama Records , but do not wait for a long time, 300 copies are hardly enough to cover neither Norwegian nor international demand over time. Also check the polite message that has been ripped into the matrix of this LP … someone will slash it into the comment field afterwards …~ 


  Heavily DOORS influenced psychedelic album full of acid- rock leads and a vocalist that sounds very much like Jim Morrison. Released in 1980, and having no proper distribution, the band managed to sell just a handful of copies to local record stores and the album was swept under the carpet of oblivion, making it one of the top rarities of Scandinavia. This release is limited to only 300 copies. ….~ 


  In 1976, the young residents of Oslo Pal Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen decided to assemble the group, calling it Bridges. The future members of the band Pal Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen began to “play” back in their youth when they were ten and twelve years old, respectively. Before they were finally brought together (Viggo Bondi - bass and Oystein Jevanord - percussion), the band was temporarily visited by Jan Erik Odegor, who was soon replaced by Erik Hagelin , but his age in Bridges was also short. Since Paul and Magne were at the time not only fond of music, but their idols were the Americans of The Doors, how could they perform music similar to the spirit of the creations of Morrison, Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore . Moreover, they wanted the same glory as the scandalous American group. Of course, we are talking only about the glory of the musical. The first concert at the Chateau Neuf took place on March 27, 1977.
The first album, by the way, completely financed from the pocket of musicians, was called “Fakkeltog” (“Procession with torches”). It turned out to be later, was the first and only album of the group. Of its 1,000 copies, only 600 were sold.
The music composed by Voktor and Furuholmen was dark, pessimistic, deep and full of wisdom, which you do not expect from such young people. Listening to the recording, you catch various noises in the background: animal screaming, opening and closing the door. The style of the song, her mood could change at any moment, and it seemed as if listening to one, you heard at least three. Songs passed, one into another, and the whole composition could end with where it began. All songs are written in English.
Bridges began recording their second album entitled “Poem”, the work of Magne was used to design the cover, but it was never finished. All demos and bass guitar Viggo Bondi were kidnapped from the studio. Paul and Magne immediately saw this as a sign from above. It was time to gather in England, as they planned. But Viggo and Oystein did not want to make them a company, and on this the Bridges group ceased to exist. The backbone of it - Voktor and Furuholmen - stayed in Norway for some time and recorded their creations: the song “All the planes come in on the quiet” was preserved. Music was different from what they wrote for their first (not the first, of course, but the first serious) group. It was already an electronic sound, synthetic guitars and keys. The stolen album was found on the Swedish border, but this sign was no longer appreciated by the guys. They have already accumulated 10 thousand crowns, they were already in England - in their dreams - and it was impossible to stop them. All bridges - in all senses - were burned.
When Morten Harket first met on their way, he was just one of the visitors to the concerts of the band “Bridges”. He liked their music and they became friends. In early 1983, a couple of friends suggested that Morten Harket join them as a vocalist, and he finally agreed. At home with Paul’s parents, young people recorded several demos. A new, short, easy and memorable name for the band - A-Ha was invented…..~


Line-up / Musicians 
- Magne Furuholmen / vocals, guitar, keyboards 
- Pål Waaktar / vocals, guitar 
- Øystein Jevanord / drums 
- Viggo Andreas Bondi / bass





Songs / Tracks Listing 

1. The Oncoming of Day (2:08) 
2. Somebody’s Going Away (2:53) 
3. May the Last Dance Be Mine (2:32) 
4. Devided we Fall (2:16) 
5. Vagrants (2:03) 
6. The Strangers Town (10:05) 
7. Pavillon of the Luxuriant Trees (2:44) 
8. The Oncoming of Night (0:48) 
9. The Vacant (3:31) 
10. Guest on Earth (3:23) 
11. Death of the Century (2:58) 
12. The Melancholic Chevaliers (3:01) 
13. Scared, Bewildered, Wild (1:42) 
14. Every Mortal Night (3:19) 
15. September (5:19) 

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