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Rag I Ryggen - 1975/2005 - "Rag I Ryggen"

(54 min, Record Heaven)

TRACK LIST:                             
1.  Det Kan Val Inte Pole Farligt 5:37
2.  You Know It Ain't Easy 7:17
3.  Spangaforsens Brus 5:52
4.  Jan Banan 5:10
5.  Naked Man 6:12
6.  Queen of Darkness 4:31
7.  Sanningsserum 6:30
Bonus tracks:
8.  Jan Banan Live 7:26
9.  Land Over the Rainbow 5:26


Jonas Warnerbring, voice
Christer Sjoborg, organ & synthesizers
Bjorn Aggemyr, bass
Bjorn Nystrom: guitar
Jan Aggemyr: guitar
Peter Sandborg: drums

Prolusion. RAG I RYGGEN is a Swedish band from the 1970s with one release to their name, released here on CD.

Analysis. Rag I Ryggen's sound was in the vein of better known bands such as Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and early Black Sabbath, all circa early 70s. Their music has that driving bass and drum line, plenty of keyboards as both organ and synthesizers. Also of note and enjoyment is the use of two guitarists, providing some nice double solo work. The songs are split between English and Swedish lyrics. Spangaforsens Brus is an instrumental track that sounds like it may have its roots in folk music and reminds me a bit of the B-side of Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" or Hergest Ridge in the guitar sound and overall compositional style. Both keyboard and guitar solos abound throughout. Naked Man uses flute in the intro before kicking in the heavy stuff and then reappearing in a Jethro Tull-ish solo toward the end. The last two tracks are live recordings, which remind me of why I was not a fan of live recordings back in the day; there's much distortion and poor sound quality. I'd have been happy with just the studio tracks.

Conclusion. If you enjoy the hard rock of the early '70s, (which is quite tame when compared to the hard rock of today) this could bring you some musical joy. Hammond Organ with a Leslie cabinet, wah-wah & fuzz-wah guitar effects: it's all here. The vocals are good, though to the native English speaker, the heavy Swedish accent can sound comical at times. The playing is good and something of a blast from the past from a band I never knew.

KW: January 12, 2006

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