Saturday, 19 July 2014
Björgvin Gíslason's 1977 Öræfarokk
This album is am absolute masterpiece (to me) of progressive songwriting with that typical nordic touch of melancholy, along the lines of the earlier Frank Robson that I recently posted.
First of all notice the man's discography and presence in famous icelandic groups Náttúra, and Pelican. (Not that I'm crazy at all about the latter group, but Nattura did make a progressive masterpiece that everyone should be familiar with here.) In his solo works, clearly he decided to go for FM radio hits with just enough progressiveness to make me (and hopefully others) delighted.
The track "Doll in a Dream" surely should have been a staple of FM radio back in the seventies. The middle passage that goes into progressive territory really reminds me a lot of the great Chris Braun's Foreign Lady with its absolutely incredible cover photo...
And the way he belts out the lyrics at the end, for the final verse, just gives me the chills each time.
" She's a doll, dressed in red, with a blue ribbon, in her hair,
she sits there so quietly, silently staring at me,
blue eyes shining as she holds out her hand-- a little doll.
Do you look at me, with eyes full of sorrows,
have your dreams been denied in your mind?
-- A little doll..."
Very Very beautiful. Who is the woman he's talking about? or is it really a doll, that he is imagining watching him? we don't know. Would love to hear some input from the artist about this song...
The next song ("Ef pu getur") which recalls the over-played "Play that funky music loud" or whatever it's called, should have replaced that big hit on the radio playlist, it's a heckuva lot better in my opinion. This particular song is marred by an unpronounceable and incomprehensible icelandic title, however. So it surely wouldn't have played well in Atlanta, Georgia. Memo to you European musicians for next time. On the other hand, when has any European hit made it big on American radio?
This song is unusual insofar as the verse is clearly in something like 7/8ths time which is what gives it that odd lilting sound. As well, the chorus going from tonic of G up to A flat is really a little shocking. Notice the gorgeous syncopation the cymbals accomplish there too. I really love those funky guitar licks-- who doesn't??
Please enjoy this remarkable gift from my friend, and notice the selling price on discogs (300 dollars)...