torsdag 1 december 2016


Swedish pop/rock combo founded as "Örjans" 1965. First years were turbulent with numerous member changes and confusion about direction. When the band 1967, after renaming to "Maniacs", suddenly saw themselves fronted by two male vocalists - Tommy Körberg and Michael Johansson - they decided to go with that, let them top the bill and appear as a male vocal dou with backing. The new setting proved to be a live success and eventually got them signed to EMI. Then followed a big domestic hit with the Chris Andrews cover "Somebody's Taken Maria Away", topping the lists for six weeks, but that was about it. The band broke up 1968 and is today more or less seen as a one hit wonder. Michael Johansson went on with funk/soul/prog group Salt & Peppar and later to work as a music teacher. Tommy Körberg continued solo and with prog bands as Solar Plexus and Made In Sweden, then further to a part international carreer in movies, theater, musical and opera, among other things starring in Chess, Les Misérables, Sound Of Music, Guys and Dolls and My Fair Lady. This was their one off album. A follow-up to the hit single, but not including it. I hear an all over well performed mix of covers and self-penned as male vocal with pop backing including brass, professionally produced but most of it rather ordinary for the time. On the positive side - I just love male high-pitch vocals and I get some of that here. Also the last track, the self-penned "Project X-Ray", doesn't seem to belong at all. A whimsical psych outburst filled with changes in theme and tempo, odd vocals and mellotron, but still melodic and quite catchy. Right up my alley. Wish all of it had been like that. To my knowledge this was the only vinyl issue. 2013 CD on Riverside (RRCD 149) came with 26 tracks, including unreleased material. Premiere vinyl had label as shown here, laminated fold out cover and pic/info insert. (CCÖ*) (SCÄ*) (MÖRS*)

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