Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Kim Kuusi feat. Maarit, Arja Tiesmaa & Kari Rydman: 1978 - Kim Kuusen Lauluja (Songwriter/Ballad) (FIN)

Note that there is an alternate record cover, as seen by the discogs entry:

Which cover is the more beautiful?  It's difficult to say.  Given the melancholy atmosphere that pervades, as so often in Scandinavian music I've mentioned before, the bottom is perhaps more fitting.  But I love the out of focus photo of the top cover, with its highly evocative impression of childhood memories.

From my friend, and thanks to his immense generosity for sharing this with us:

"Kim Kuusi is a Finnish composer best known for his advertising jingles.

Kuusi studied at the Helsinki School of Economics, also teaching there in 1975. Studying alongside Kuusi had been involved in the creation of Ryhmäteatteri a composer and musician, he worked as 1969-73. At the same time, he also performed in Pihasoittajat, for whom he wrote, among other things, the Finnish Eurovision entry in 1975, Old man fiddle.  Pihasoittajat (1969 to 1975) were a folk music band with modern popular music influences.  In 1975 they represented Finland in the Eurovision song contest placing 7th in a field of 19. Members of the band for the contest were Arja Karlsson, Hannu Karlsson, Seppo Sillanpää, Harry Lindahl, Kim Kuusi and Hendrik Bergendahl.

Pihasoittajat reformed after a 20 years break in 1995. After several concerts the second revival for the band ended with Hannu Karlsson's death in December 2000.

Pihasoittajat's hit was this (in English) or here (in Finnish, much better arranged). "

For my part, I love this kind of music, recalling sometimes Carita Holmstrom and sometimes the great Petri Petterssen as posted earlier in this blog:

Incidentally, I reuploaded all the albums on the above links that were deleted due to inactivity, those netkups ended very quickly.

One of the best tracks is the following very heartbreaking item, A5's Unilaulu:

Notice that it starts relatively simplistically in A minor, with added 7th and minor 6th notes in the verse, but for the chorus we get this mind-blowing elegant complexity or sound of fullness by going into Bflat major7, then Eflat, Aflat, F7, which introduces us back to G minor 7 down to D minor and the E sus 7 takes you back to the A minor.  Really brilliant progression, which particularly reminds me of Carita's songs.  And what adds a lot of fullness or umami is that each of those major chords has a major 7th added.  This track would otherwise have been relatively ordinary and easy on the ears.  Note also how the depth of the trombone soloing in the middle of the song adds that note of melancholy pathos, much like the depth of a cello does so often.  It recalls in particular that gorgeous song on the second Carita album with the beautiful poem, which is worth replaying here:

(From her second album here, not this post.)


  1. kim kuusi
    Carita 1 reupload:
    Carita 2 reupload:
    Carita Two Faces:

  2. ...Studying alongside the (six) had been...

    Julian, please replace (six) with a word Kuusi (Kuusi, as Kim Kuusi, has two meanings in Finnish.)
    Kuusi is a Spruce Tree and Kuusi is also SIX, number six. =)

  3. To think that it took a finnish person (me) this many decades to discover this lovely album. I knew Kim Kuusi was a producer etc but... he's clearly an artist. (Next I'll have to find the original vinyl, with the out of focus girl on cover. It's easy to imagine somebody at Finnlevy thought that cover was too artistic, maybe even spooky, and wanted something more obvious ["marketable"]. The latter cover looks like it could be a stock photo used for Finland tourism ads.)
    Well, I stayed up too late last night just going through your inspiring collection here. I also DL'd the Open Window album which I found fascinatingly unclassifiable, so far. And still a couple of more fusion type albums I can't even remember now, haven't opened them yet, had to go to sleep. Exceptional blog, keep it up...


    1. Moi Petteri.
      Loistoa että heräsit ja löysit Pihasoittajien perustajan helmen. Josko haluat kyseisen levyn - ihan sama kummalla kannella, molemmat löytyy. Jo hyvän ystäväni (in real life) Julianin blogin vuoksi haluan 'erilaisen' (not mainstream) musan etenemistä harrastajien hyllyyn, voin luopua toisesta kopiostani perin vaatimattomaan hintaan. Otathan yhteyttä:

      yst.terv. Harri

    2. I only noticed Mr Morgan's reply months later, for some reason... I then did send a message to the address given above but haven't got a reply so far. Harri, are you still there..?

  4. Thanks for your kind comments.
    It's amazing to me too that my friend was able to find this record and rescue it for us!