sunnudagur, ágúst 22, 2010

Classic Icelandic Albums (CIA) # 12: "Hljómar" by Hljómar

# 12
"Hljómar" (1967)
Hljómar (“Chords”, but using the name Thor's Hammer for the international market) was a band from Keflavík. Keflavík ("Driftwood Bay") is a town in the Reykjanes region in southwest Iceland. In 1995 it merged with Njarðvík & Hafnir to form Reykjanesbær. A lot of great bands come & came from this area. Maybe because people were able to listen to the Rock 'n Roll music of the US Navy Radio Station of the military base & airport just outside town. Hljómar are often called "the Beatles from Keflavík".
The self-educated guitarist Gunnar Þórðarson, who played @ first with some older guys in a band, engaged his friend Rúnar Júlíusson to play bass (for the first time) in a new band in October 1963. Hljómar started to play the latest Beatles songs with a lot of success. The Beatlemania reached Iceland in 1964, so the band (and others too) could perform & tour around the island. Band members came & went, but the only 2 always on stage were Gunnar & Rúnar.
Engilbert Jensen took the place of drummer Pétur Östlund in March 1967.
Classic album "Hljómar" was released on 7. November 1967 on SG-hljómplötur Label (SG-013).
This LP was recorded in Stereo @ the Chappell Recording Studios @ London with the kind support of Tony Russell.
Cover Art was made by Hilmar Helgason, although the photographs were taken by Kristján Magnússon.
About 5000 copies were sold.
Album contains 12 songs:
7 covers (with Icelandic lyrics by Ómar Ragnarsson) & 5 original Hljómar songs.
Of which 3 songs were by Gunnar Þórðarson with lyrics by Ólafur Gaukur or Þórsteinn Eggertsson; 1 by Rúnar Gunnarsson with the lyrics by Þórsteinn Eggertsson ("Peningar") & 1 by Þórir Baldursson with the lyrics by Þórsteinn Eggertsson ("Miðsumarnótt").
It was considered as the best album of 1967.
Band Members on the album were:
Gunnar Þórðarson on solo guitar, Rúnar Júlíusson on bass, vocals & backing vocals, Erlingur Björnsson on rhytm guitar & backing vocals, Engilbert Jensen on drums, vocals & backing vocals.
Hljómar disbanded in 1969 when Rúnar, Gunnar & Shady Owens formed super-group Trúbrot which went on to produce more progressive music than Hljómar ever did.
Side 1
1. Heyrðu Mig Góða
2. Sveitapiltsins Draumur (John & Michelle Phillips "California Dreamin'" (The Mamas & The Papas))
4. Hringdu (Tony Hatch "Call me")
5. Þú og ég
Æsandi Fögur (Buddy Kaye, Beatrice Verdi, E. Ginn "Little by Little" (for Dusty Springfield))
Side 2
1. Peningar

2. Þú Ein (Felice & Boudleaux Bryant "Love hurts" (Everly Brothers))
3. Einn á Ferð (John Lennon & Paul McCartney "Nowhere Man")


4. Syngdu
5. Um Hvað Hugsar Einmana Snót (John Sebastian "Rain on the Roof" (Lovin' Spoonful))
6. Gef Mér Síðasta Dans (Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman "Save the last dance for me")

Watch a live show on Icelandic televison broadcasted around the release of this album on YouTube.
YouTube # 1
YouTube # 2
YouTube # 3
YouTube # 4
YouTube # 5
YouTube # 6
YouTube # 7
YouTube # 8

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