Wednesday, July 17, 2013
WHITE – I denna samling (Polydor, 1979)
International relevance: ***
Swedish and English vocals
Sweden has always been a nation of hard rock fans and musicians. From the early days of Cream inspired power trios, through appreciated acts like Neon Rose and even Christian band Jerusalem, up to the current triumphs of Opeth, hard rock and metal in all shapes and colours have been vastly popular here. Bands like November and Life are heralded among collectors, but the heavy genre also had a widespread undergrowth, with acts such as Slite Cement, White and the NWOBHM inspired Rhapsody.
Among those, White were one of the most original outfits. Frequently crossing the border between progressive rock and hard rock, they played a rather unique kind of music as documented on ”I denna samling”. Major label Polydor recognized their talent, signed them, but obviously failed to grant them a less amateurish producer to make the album sound good enough. The sound is a bit murky and stiff, and I assume that a better represention of their songs would have given them a greater impact. Perhaps that's the reason why I can't quite get into ”I denna samling”. It's obviously a good album with imaginative songwriting, but this kind of music needs a more powerful sound to really make sense and leave a proper impression.
White hailed from Malmö and started out already in the late 60's. An apocryphical tidbit of information is that successful singer Dan Hylander were member of a band called White 1970-1972. Could it possibly be the same band that put out ”I denna samling” almost a decade later? In any case, White disbanded in 1981, and one of the members went on to play with curious rock singer Kal P. Dal. Drummer Göran Olsson can now be found in spacerock band Drahk Von Trip who released a couple of albums in the 00's.
Some trivia: ”I denna samling” was recorded in three different versions, one with Swedish lyrics, one with English lyrics, and the third with Danish (?!) lyrics. Only the Swedish version saw the light of day. Whatever happened to the international versions?
All in all, ”I denna samling” is a better album than the production suggests. For fans of obscure hard rock, this is a mandatory listen, but for others, it's far from essential.