We asked Thomas Hartlage of Shadoks Music to tell us picks for the top 5 Danish underground albums of all time. Hartlage has been collecting vinyl since the 70s and has been reissuing amazing underground/psych music via Shadoks for over a decade.
CULPEPER’S ORCHARD S/T LP – Denmark 1971
Here we have possibly the best Danish underground album from Denmark recorded in 1971. We just love every second of this album and we are happy to re-release it for the first time legit on LP. The LP version includes a rare poster, unseen photos by Jørgen Angel and extensive liner notes written by our friend Claus Rasmussen based on interviews with Cy Nicklin (lead vocals & guitars), Michael Friis (bass, organ, piano, flute) and others.The band was inspired by Westcoast bands such as The Byrds, and Crosby, Sills Nash & Young. The powerful music might be compared to Jethro Tull, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. A superb combination of heavy progressive and folk stylings, the album also has its very own identity and haunting songs.. They have played many great concerts and festivals and became one of the most Danish popular bands. Julian Cope wrote: Replete with extremely catchy songs, fiery Dervish-like guitar solos, confidently self-referential lyrics from a Wino Weinrichian poet/guitarist, all the while the entire ensemble spewing euphoric vocal harmonies over intricate and furiously hard-edged arrangements, this Album of the Month owes its artistic success not to any great dream of originality, but to the wild spirits of each of its performers and especially that of its primary writer – one Cy Nicklin – and his clear desire to contribute highly accessible Hippie Dream music that sat well alongside such million-selling contemporary heroes as The Moody Blues, Crosby, Tween, Nash & Young, Led Zeppelin, Traffic and The Who.
TERJE, JESPER & JOACHIM S/T – Demark 1970
Terje Bandholdt on drums, Jesper Schmidt on guitar and Joachim Ussing on bass recorded this album in 1970 for famous Spectator Records in Denmark (Moses / Blues Addicts / Days).For the first time reissued in original cover plus insert with many photos and band-story, this amazing heavy psych album beats most releases from Denmark, in quality and rarity. Massive guitar action all over, great heavy vocals and pumping rhythms lifts this album out of there grooves. Beside Moses the best heavy psych album from Northern Europe.
PAN S/T – Denmark 1970
Beside Culpeper’s Orchard perhaps the most important underground prog album produced in Denmark. The whole concept of this album works out perfectly. Great songs, heavy, touchy, great guitars and organ, beautiful vocals, just a perfect match. Robert Lelièvre (vocals & guitar) did compose all of the music. He sadly passed away early in 1973. In February 1970 producer Freddy Hansson lost the master tapes which where just recorded and the album had to be re-recorded again. Thomas Puggaard-Müller on lead guitar, Henning Verner on piano, organ, vibes, Arne Würgler on bass & cello and Michael Puggaard-Müller on drums. Pan is a Danish rock band with cult status. Our release includes many unseen photos by the original photographer Teit Jørgensen including the poster, plus photos from Steen Møller Rasmussen, a 4 page insert with great stories and liner notes by our friend Claus Rasmussen, personal drawings by the family of Robert Lelièvre, the original single with cover – a complete PAN collection! After Pan split up musicians became members of bands such as Blast Furnace, Culpeper’s Orchard, Delta Blues Band.
4. YOUNG FLOWERS ’No. 2′ – Denmark 1969
In the early seventies Denmark was home to a wealth of progressive bands whose releases are now highly collectible and appreciated by music enthusiasts for their original Scandinavian sound. A little earlier in 1967 when rock music changed for good with the appearance of psychedelic rock and powerful blues trios like Cream and Jimi Hendrix Experience, it did not take long for Danish musicians to adopt the trio form and develop their own unique progressive sound. The most influential and long-lasting of these early Danish groups was the power-trio Young Flowers (1967-1970) from Copenhagen. They have recorded their single in 1967 and the first album “Blomsterpistolen” (flower-pistols) in 1968. This is their second amazing album “No.2″ from 1969 one of the most important albums from Denmark, full of fuzz guitar, great vocals and tight underground songs. Comes as the original in a heavy gatefold SILVER cover, which was the most expensive cover we have ever produced, plus rare poster photographed by Jan Persson, printed innersleeve and 4 page insert. The band is on tour right now playing lots of concerts in the original line-up. After the first album “Blomsterpistolen” No.2 might be the most sought after Danish underground album
5. DELTA BLUES BAND S/T – Denmark 1969
Delta Blues Band was originally formed in 1968 in Copenhagen. In the spring 1969 they got the chance to record an album for the big record-company E.M.I. and their album was one of the first rock-albums using multitrack technique in Denmark. Just after the release of their debut album the brothers Thomas and Michael left the group to form the successful group PAN. By 1968 the main rhythm and blues group in Denmark was Beefeaters. However, Delta Blues Band was distinct from both Beefeaters and the many other groups playing a British inspired rhythm and blues in Denmark. Delta Blues Band was rather American blues inspired with a massive psychedelic touch (and light show). On concerts Delta Blues Band opened for Chicken Shack, Taste, Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers (featuring Mick Taylor). This only album by Delta Blues Band is very rare and it is fetching very high prices among collectors. The underground blues sounds a tight and the album has a solid status among those early underground blues albums we like so much such as Keef Hartley Band, Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown. A jewel from beginning to end. The underground music I grow up with and love so much ever since.
For more information on Shadoks Music & Thomas Hartlage, check out this article about him!