Hansson, Bo

Bo Hansson (April 10, 1943 – April 24, 2010) was a Swedish musician best known for his four instrumental albums released in the 1970s.
Hansson, Bo
Bo Hansson - El-Ahrairah

Artist: Bo Hansson
P: 1976 / 2005
In 1976, Hansson was able to negotiate a worldwide deal with The Famous Charisma Label. He returned once again to Studio Decibel and began work on recordings that were inspired by another book; Richard Adams' Watership Down. The recordings were issued in September 1977 as "El 'Ahrairah" (after the novel's rabbit hero).

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Bo Hansson - Endless Border

Artist: Bo Hansson & The Choir of Royal Holloway
P:
2011
The Swede Bo Hansson is a man of many talents: a guitarist, and a composer of a wide range of music in folk and jazz idioms. Choral music might be a relatively recent departure for him but its roots run deep, back to the days of his childhood when he sang as a treble in his local choir. He has observed that the human voice is the closest you can come to your soul and in that search he writes music that demands much of its performers in its sustained intensity of sound, a penchant for a cappella and a fresh way with word-setting even in the most established of texts, as in the darting energy of the Gloria from the Missa brevis. Rupert Gough and his Royal Holloway Choir are no strangers to Hyperion, having previously made waves in music by Baltic composers Mikinis and Dubra. Heres yet another sign that hes one of the most exciting choral conductors of his generation.

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Bo Hansson - Lord of the Rings Extended Remastert

Artist: Bo Hansson
P: 1970 / 1993
These musical visualizations by the Swedish composer-musician almost seem to have arisen from the very pages of the book. The track titles bear the names of chapters from the story in sequence ; "Leaving the Shire, the Fog on the Barrow Downs, the Black Riders,& the Flight to the Ford", & so on until the ending "the Grey Havens".
I admit to being a fan of Bo Hansson since the appearance of this album & I would go as far as accrediting him with having introduced storybook fantasy music to the broad realm of rock. Other artists soon followed with their own rock music adaptations of popular stories, historic,& folklore themes.
It must be remembered this music was created way before state of art digital electronic keyboards & computer enhanced sound. These were the days of the Hammond organ & the original Moog synthesizer. On this album Hansson plays organ, Moog, guitars,& bass, & most of it was compiled whilst he lived reclusively on an island off Stockholm.
It is worth noting that Bo was held in high regard in the British music scene in the late sixties when he played & recorded with fellow Swede Janne Karlsson. This unusual rock duo released their own albums under the name "HANSSON & KARLSSON" [see my review] & had a number of jams with none other than Jimi Hendrix. Bo's organ playing was considered by many to be ground breaking at a time when keyboard provided mainly backing for most rock bands.
Bo was one of the very first rock musicians to put the keyboard up front, often without an electric guitar anywhere in sight,& was one of the earliest to make full use of the Moog synthesizer as an exciting new lead instrument. In 1970 a tiny number of artists were just beginning to use electronic keyboard for this kind of musical imagery. These were really pioneering times & this album was a milestone at the start of an era of many keyboard masters & solo multi-instrumentalists, so one can see how many have been influenced by Hansson.
If you enjoy the "Lord of the Rings" story &/or you have a sense of fantasy consider this classic album from a very creative man.
This release contains some more tracks from the two albums: Magician's Hat and Attic Thoughts.

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