Hej! Welcome to An Old Song for Denmark, the Danish national final for FdlC 11.
1. “Everybody Must Know” – The Savage Rose (1968)
Formed in 1967, The Savage Rose was a rather unusual hybrid. The musicians came from very different environments. Singer Annisette and the original bass and guitar players were from the beat scene, drummer Alex Riel was (and is) a prominent jazz musician, and the songwriting team, Thomas (piano) and Anders Koppel (organ) were from classical music (they were children of the composer Hermann D. Koppel – the Koppel family is probably the most famous music family in Denmark, and it also includes the later Eurovision host Nicolaj Koppel – among many others!). Thus their music was a mix between rock, pop, jazz and classical music.
Most of the original members left during the 70’s, and from around 1976 the band was realistically the project of Annisette and Thomas Koppel who were now married. They became more political, and unfortunately their music became more purist and less interesting at that point. In the 90’s they moved towards soul music. After the death of Thomas Koppel in 2006, Annisette is the only original member of the band.
2. “Ivanhoe i Brøndbyerne” – Burning Red Ivanhoe (1969)
Burning Red Ivanhoe was formed in 1968 and is centered around the multi-instrumentalist Carsten Vogel. They cite avant-garde jazz and The Who as their biggest inspirations, but you may also hear an echo of The Velvet Underground or Frank Zappa in some of their songs. In any case, their music is very energetic, and it sometimes turn into long, wild and disharmonic improvisations (not in this song though). The band originally disbanded in the mid-70’s, but from time to time they reform and record a new album. Their latest album BRI was released in 2013. “Ivanhoe i Brøndbyerne” is the opening track from their first album M144, released in 1969.
3. “Siggimund Blue” – Sort Sol (1991)
The band was formed in 1977 as Sods; they were the most prominent Danish punk band at that time. From around 1980 their music became more experimental (clearly inspired by Joy Division), and they change their name to Sort Sol (black sun). They moved towards garage rock, and in 1991 they got a commercial breakthrough with the album Flow My Fireter on which “Siggimund Blue” is the opening song. Their best known song is “Let Your Fingers Do the Walking” from 1993. After the original guitarist Peter Peter left in 1995, the band began to lose direction. Tensions during the recording of the last album in 2001 meant that the band turned into a trio, and when the other guitarist left too in 2004, the band was effectively dissolved. However, they made a small comeback tour a couple of years ago.
4. “Kys det nu (det satans liv)” – Tv-2 (1988)
Tv-2 is centered around the singer and songwriter Steffen Brandt. They started as Taurus in 1974 playing symphonic rock, but in 1980 they changed their genre completely – towards minimalistic pop/rock – and they also changed their name to Tv-2 (Taurus Version 2). As such they have become one of the most popular bands in Denmark, especially because of Brandt’s lyrics: they often have a critical take on societal tendencies, containing a lot of irony, but there are also some strong songs about the difficulties of love and life. “Kys det nu” is a good example of the latter.
5. “Sangen om vandhjulet” – Sebastian (1979)
Sebastian (Knud Grabow Christensen, born 1949) started as a Dylan and Donovan inspired singer/songwriter in the early 70’s. During the 70’s his albums became richer in musical texture, and in 1978 his manager came up with the idea of writing new compositions to a handful of lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. Sebastian knew very little about the Brecht tradition, and they made the agreement that he would not be allowed to listen to the original compositions (by Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler and Paul Dessau) before he had finished his own. The result was the album Tiderne Skifter which, upon its release in 1979, was one of the most discussed albums in Denmark: Some saw it as a kind of sacrilege whereas others praised him for daring to show Brecht from a completely different angle musically. Today the album is generally considered one of his best works. From the late 80’s he mostly composed musicals, but he made a comeback as a solo artist a few years ago.
6. “Lænker & laster” – C.V. Jørgensen (1978)
C.V. Jørgensen (Carsten Valentin Jørgensen, born in 1950) is often regarded as one of the best Danish rock lyricists. He debuted in 1974, and in the following years he released a handful of albums containing some often very grumpy lyrics about personal antipathies. “Lænker & laster” is a good example, as is his biggest hit, “Costa del Sol” from 1980 (about Danish people who move to Spain in order to avoid tax). In the later years he got more mild, and both music and lyrics became more minimalistic. He is immediately recognizable by his rather nasal and sharp voice which is probably inspired by Bob Dylan.
Voting: To vote in the Danish national final, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the email, award the six songs 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 points, in order from the most liked song (12 points) to the least liked song (2 points).
National Final Ends: 23:00 CET, 21 December 2015
- Alex L.